Monday, December 8, 2014

December 1, 2014-- Khmel' nits' ky Week 1!

Hey all I hope that you all had a super Thanksgiving I know that I had one that I won't Forget. This week we were in L'viv to meet up with our new companions, and then out train to Khmel'nits'ky left the station at 9:45 am. The night before we had arranged with the Elder's to come and help us with our bags, because the Apartment where we were staying is on the 5th floor without an elevator. They said great and that they would be there at 9:00 to come and pick us up. The next day we are up and ready and waiting, it's 9:04 so we call the elders to make sure that they are still coming. Turns out they thought that we were meeting at the church. We said we started ferrying our bags down all of the stairs. We finally get to the bottom and the elders get there and throw them into the back of the van. We all take of and are driving like crazy down the cobblestone streets of L'viv dodging Marshchrutka's and Baba's to get to the Train Station across town. Also somehow we end up hitting every red light! We finally get there it's 9:40...So we take off running to find the right platform and car number. We're still running when the strap of the bag that I'm caring with All the Copies of the Book of Mormon in it breaks. Meanwhile we see that all of the conductors' are closing up the cars and getting ready to go. We literally jump onto the train and the Elders start throwing on our bags and as they chuck up the last one and say bye the train starts pulling out. It's exactly 9:45. We laterally made it just in time. Then of course we had the problem of getting to the right seats and storing our luggage. that's when the 3 Ukrainian Guys who were also late start making their way to wagon 6 from wagon 9. So the Conductor asked them if they could help us with our stuff. Luck for us they said yes. And then we both finally die and are able to rest for a few hours as the train does all of the work in getting us there. When we finally got into Khmel'nits'ky I started unpacking and moving in, which I was uber grateful for, and while that was going on we got cooking our Thanksgiving. Which consisted of us having French Apple Cobbler in addition to our potato's, gravy, rotissary chicken, corn, creamed spinach, and biscuits. So all in all not a bad meal. And I'm now all unpacked, And ready to get going for this final Hurrah with Sister Moffitt. And I must say it is looking to be a great last go. So have a great week and don't forget to be thankful for the things that you have and the miracles that He Sends your way. And try to look for the times when He is using you to perform a miracle for someone else. I love you all!
Сестра Граф

Luts'k Week 18!-- November 24, 2014


I hope that you all had a wonderful week and are excited for the Holidays! Like Ashton's 11th Birthday! Such a big Girl now. For those of you that didn't know it was on the 22nd of November, but no worries if you forgot because in my family we believe in ones Birthday Month so...HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
I had a Crazy week and I found out that For My Last transfer I will be moving to the super fun City of Khmel'nits'ky! YAY And I will be with the fabulous Sister Moffitt YAY! So crazy to move one last time. But enough trunkiness from me. I am sad to leave Luts'k again but excited to see the last chapter of my Mission open up. There is no more wondering where the final battle will take place. Now there is simply following through and giving it my all.

I hope that you have a great Thanksgiving, I know that I will. I have so much to be grateful for! We all do.

Sister Lattin, our mission president's wife, sent us a wonderful letter this week, with some things she is grateful for about US! Some of my favorites-
You all have two arms and two legs
You all have great brains
You all have great potential to have a wonderful future
You are all missionaries in the greatest mission in the world [=D too true Sister Lattin]
You all have a knowledge of Heavenly Father’s Plan
You are all beautiful and handsome!
You all get to wear a nametag with the name of Jesus Christ on it.

I love you all so Much and don't forget to be Grateful!
З Любовю
Сестра Граф
PS. Sorry no pictures this internet place has given people buggs before, so I 'll send them next week.

Luts'k Week 17!-- November 17, 2014

Hey everybody! So this week was fantastic We were working super hard but it seams as though almost all of our investigators fell of the face of the world! But that gave us lots of extra time and so we got to work and we were able to find two new families! It's so amazing how the lord is able to help when we put forth the effort!
I know that he is always there and wanting to help us if we will but turn to him. And I know that he is there waiting with open arms to receive us. I know that he loves and knows each and every one of us. Don't ever forget that!
I hope that you have a great week.
З Любовю
Сестра Граф
We had to turn in pictures today for an end of mission video. 10 fun 10 serious These are the ones that I picked. =D

Luts'k Week 16!-- November 10, 2014

Hey everybody!
Hope that you all had a fantastic week, I know that I did. We were in L'viv for Mission Conference, Which was amazing. My favorite was when we talked about prayer. Seriously so amazing. I don't even know where to begin, but I challenge you all to do a study on prayer, because it is amazing. Also I learned again that it truly does work, when yesterday we got to church and Brother Kastuchuk came up to me and asked If I would be able to give a talk in church. My answer, Of course...when. His you'll speak first. Me um.............Heavenly But it was all great and I didn't stress too much, so that's good. what's even better is that it was in understandable Ukrainian. YAY! Hope that you have a great week
З Любовю
Сестра Грейф (cause that's how it's spelled on my documents)

Luts'k Week 15!-- November 3, 2014

Hey everybody!
Hope that you all had a wonderful week and a Happy Halloween!
So this week we started our new English program, which we are calling "English Gospel Discussions" And Unless you couldn't tell from the name, We are Discussing the Gospel in English! So fun and it was amazing! This first lesson that we had was based on the Preach My Gospel lesson "God is our Loving Heavenly Father" It was amazing and the people that came were amazing. When we explained that god looks like us One of them was like, "Wait...God looks like us!?" Our answer, "Yes. Lets turn to Genesis 1:26-27 in the Bible where we learn about this."
Honestly it was so amazing. And of course we were also having them read in Ukrainian and English to make sure that they understood the verses. SO GREAT! At the end we asked if they had any other questions and one man replied, "If I asked all my questions we would be here all night." We said that that's okay, because if he wants to he can meet with the elders and they can help to answer his questions outside of English!
I have to say that at first I was worried about the transition of the one program into the other, but things are going fantastic! So I'm happy! and The Gospel is literally wonderful!
I love you all and hope that you have a great week!
З Любовю
Сестра Граф
1. Gota love the Book of Mormon
2. Happy "Helloween" Typos =D
3. ...

4. Halloween Party
5. Carving Squashes
6. Pumpkins in Ukraine

7. Happy Halloween
8. Ukraine
9. ...

October 27-- Luts'k Week 14!

Greetings everyone from Ukraine!
Well I must start this off by saying that it is still so crazy to be back! This week was somewhat slower, partially because I got a cold, but thanks to some sleep, and the Day quill, orange juice, and Chocolate that was smuggled to us by our district leader elder Newton, interspersed with calls asking if we had Herbal tea and how we were feeling, I was able to come off conqueror and win the battle against the runny nose. hahahaha So I was sick and got better and that's that. 
Luckily we were also able to still meet with some people and help them out. One of these service activities involves me fixing the rug of one of our members Baba Katya. Super fun. I'll send pictures next week, 'cause I forgot to take them yesterday.  But there is still lots of sewing to do so I'll get some next week. Other than that, not much happened. So I'll end this epistle by telling you all that I love you and that I hope that your Halloween is super exciting, and that I expect pictures of your fantastic costumes, and all of that jazz. And Don't forget to wish Meghan a Happy 23d Birthday!
З Любовю
Сестра Граф

Monday, October 27, 2014

Luts'k- Week 13 (Well, Week 1 again) October 20, 2014

So I'm back in Luts'k with Sister Fitts like I said last week! And I must say it is strange to be back, and I don't know if I am able to explain how crazy this is. And I must say first off that Sister Fitts is amazing. So far we did some service, My second day here we went over to a recent convert Alla. She had moved to Luts'k from Khmel'nits'ky back when I was here last time. They've been remonting since then, so we went over and helped her scrape off all the layers of old wallpaper. so that they can put a new layer down. It was actually super fun. And then on Saturday night we went over to an investigator's house, Raisa, and while we were there she invited over some of her church friends, and we were able to meet with them all and answer their questions. It was so amazing, to see their countanances change over the course of the lesson, as their hearts softened and they then started to listen to the message that we had to share. such an amazing experience.
I love you all and hope that you have a fantastic week!
З Любовю
Сестра Граф
1. Me and Sister Fitts
2. It was dusty scraping
3. So...We got baba scarfs
4. yay
5. So...there was frost on the grass...winter is coming!
6. And...this is us trying to show you all our breath...behold our epic fail.

More Pictures- Rivne Week 17!

4. ...
5. ...
6. This goes down to the crypts. =D (Don't worry we didn't go all the way down.)

7. More
8. This is where once stood a statue of Paul.
9. As you can tell, He's not there anymore =D
10. The church.
11. ...
12. ...
13. Me
14. Cool Fountain in the park next to where we live
15. This is me and one of our investigators, Antonina


Rivne- Week 17!-- October 13, 2014

Rivne- Week 16!-- October 6, 2014

Hey Everybody! Hope that you all had a great time watching General Conference! I still have not had the opportunity to see it yet, but this Saturday and Sunday we will get to see the broadcast in Ukrainian!
Anywho this week was great! I didn't get a chance to send a big email last week because we were running to go and catch a bus to Khmel'nits'ky for Exchanges with the sister's there. It was very fun and a few more exchanges that expected. The first day I was with Sister Tsimbal again and it was great to fall back into our companionship again. (For those of you who may have forgotten, she was my little Ukrainian from back in Luts'k.) And I must say that it was simply wonderful! Just being able to be there with her again! We had a lesson planned but then it fell through. However in Khmelnitsky they have Young Women's! So since the sisters there are the YW President and counselor we planned Mutual. Super fun time and the girls brought there friends too! Honestly an awesome time! Then the next day the Sister Training Leaders had to go to L'viv with the District Leader Trio, and since President Didn't want the other sisters to be alone in Khmelnitsky alone we stayed and did exchanges with them as well. It was great, First i was with Sister Wind, who was also my companion for 3 days in Luts'k before sister Tsimbal came. That was great! There was this one member that we went and visited and it was a wonderful thought from the Liahona and she loved it! in the middle of the lesson though we got a call from President Magayga The Khmelnistky branch president Telling us that we had to be at the church in 30 minuets! So we quick called the sisters and all met up at the church and got there in time for some people to come and do some sort of Remont stuff. Then we got a call from The visa clerk Lubamere because sister Henrichsen had to go and get registered. She had been with sister Barnes And had a meeting set up with one of the people that Sister Barnes had taught a year ago when she served in Khmelnitsky, order for them to still be able to have that meeting we pulled a quick switcharoo and I ended up wit sister Henrichsen (another former companion from Luts'k) and sister Barnes and Wind set off. We were at this point still waiting on the Remont people and when they finally finished we got another call from Lubamere telling us that it was too late and that she would have to do her registration the next day. So...this left us with something of a dilemma because our former plans had fallen through, so we were messing around with the piano truing to figure out what to do, when what do you know Some guy wanders in and asked where the free English practice was. We told him that it was the next day. As he was leaving He picked up a Book of Mormon and said, "Can I have this" Our answer, "Um...yeah if you want, we have lots," Him "For free?" us "Yeah" then he left. Probably should have given more of an introduction, but we were more amazed at the fact that he had found his way to the Church! For those of you who don't know The church is renting in a football stadium on the second floor, and in order to get to the entrance you have to go through these doors, see picture below, and then you are given the option of going up or down the stairs. Go up because if you go down you will find yourself, well...not in the church, to be blunt it would be the Tarrentino Bar, Lets just say they are looking for a new location. Anywho needless to say I was surprised that he found the church in the first place. and we were able to get his number to pass along to the elders, so that's good.
Then we finally got back to Rivne on Friday in the afternoon, and things are going great! Last week we met this family that helped us when we were trying to find this one address. They were very nice and invited us over when we got back. So Yesterday night we went over to find their place but got lost, so we called them to ask for help in finding them. They were so glad that we called, they were even afraid that we weren't coming because we had gotten lost and were running late. They were able to help us get unlost and we had a wonderful meeting! and they Want to meet again and learn more about the church! This is such an amazing miracle that we were able to see. I am grateful that the Lord has trusted us enough to let us help them!
I love you all to Ukraine and Back again!
З Любовю
Сестра Граф

1. Me and sister Tsimbal in front of the door in Khmelnistky
2. ME Sister Henrichsen and Wind
3. More sweeping for Mormon helping hands

Rivne- Week 14!

So this was a great week We had a great mission conference with Elder Klebingat of the first quorum of the Seventy! Super amazing! In actuality he called us all to Repentance, or to change and become more like our savior Jesus Christ. Honestly it was amazing I feel that sometimes when we hear the word 'repent' we feel like we did some horrible mistake, and need to go through this long process of bad feelings. But that is not the case at all! in fact Repentance can, if we allow it to, take place immediately! I wish we would always remember how happy of a thing repentance is. Preach My Gospel says:"Bringing our lives in line with God’s will through repentance is a central purpose of our lives. We can return to live with God the Father only through Christ’s mercy, and we receive Christ’s mercy only on condition of repentance." So amazing! And I am honestly just still thinking about all that he said. So this may be shorter. Also after the conference he was only able to have a few interviews and I was able to be one of them! Such an amazing experience! And what's also super great and amazing is that Saturday Afternoon He will be speaking in General Conference! So...Watch it!
I love you all!
З Любовю
Сестра Граф

Rivne Week 13!-- September 15, 2014

Rivne- Week 12! -- September 8, 2014

So I hope that you all had a fun filled week!
I know that we did and it was filled with service! From which my body is still acing, but if that's the only price to be payed I'd do it any day! We were able to help out at this one Museum and Rake up all the leaves that have been falling, and by rake I mean sweep as in with a broom, but not just any kind of broom, the ones that can only be found in Ukraine or in witches houses. Super fun and not something that one does everyday. Afterwards they even gave us a small tour. And it was very fun to actually know what they were telling us about, even though it was all in 'Museam Ukrainian'  Then the next day we went out into the selo to the Didushok's Datcha and harvested Potato's. I can now almost do a Bab squat! After doing it for many hours Yay!Such a surreal experience They do everything the old fashioned way Using a team of horses to help turn up the potato's. So amazing, and also funny because some of the tools that they were using we saw the day before in the Museum. Crazy! Well I love you all and hope you have a service filled week.
З Любовю
Сестра Граф
1. This is a rake?
2. ...
3. ...

4. Potatoing
5. ...
6. ...

10. Potatos!
11. ...
13. ...
14. Going to take in the haul
15. This is the second time that it came back like that
16. Examples of what we saw in the museum  
17. More

Rivne-- Week 11- September 1, 2014

Guess What!!! I get to stay in Rivne another transfer with Sister Barnes!!!!!
So I an to say the least super excited! Also this last week was amazing! We had exchanges with our sister training Leaders Sister Jardine and Tsymbal, and it was a great at first I was worried what we would do because we don't have many investigators right now, but somehow Tuesday we were able to get many appointments and things that we needed to do and it was a miracle that we had the other sisters there to help, because if they weren't there we would not have been able to do everything. We even were able to meet with one woman from the area book and she  became a new investigator! Then the next day we switched and Sister Jardine and I ended up working on our Area book re organising it and through our efforts therein we were able to reach out to multiple people and have set up appointments for every day this next week. I know that we would not have been able to do this without the divine help of the Lord's hand. I know that he is there and that he listens to us. We are his sons and daughters. And he knows each of us individually. He wants us to develop a personal one on one relationship with him. He knows how to help us best. And he knows what trials to give us so that we will come out for the better. He wants to help us and he will if we will but turn to him.
I hope you all have a fantastic week!
З Любовю
Сестра Граф

Rivne- Week 9 -- August 18

August 18, 2014
Hey Everyone!
So we're finlay back in Rivne after a week in Armenia and then L'viv while Sister Barns' went to Armenia to get her Visa. We both kept Asking ourselves how that all worked out, sending us on our visa trips a week apart. Still can't figure it all out. Anywho we are here until Wednesday when we get to take another Train back to L'viv to have Mission Conference! on the 21st which is also my Year mark in country! Crazy! Then we'll come back to Rivne again on the 22nd and have time to get ready for the 24th of August! (For those of you that don't know that is Ukrainian Independence day)
З День Незалежності! (Z Den' Ne-za-lezh-nos-ty!)
          СЛАВА УКРАЇНА (SLA-VA U-KRAY-INA)        

You should all get out your traditional Ukrainian Getup and wear it, or if you don't have that just wear a combination of blue and yellow.(Preferably with the yellow on bottom and the blue on top) I'll show you all the traditional Ukrainian clothing next week in pictures.
Last week was super fun and crazy. I was back in L'viv again and it was super cool. Hard to be away from your own area for so long, but things turned out great. I was temporary companions with Sister Radjavaba and Sister Banja and Sister Garrett, Super fun. Since we weren't in our own areas we did alot of English contacting and and trying to talk with people. Along the way it always amazes me how every time I'm back in L'viv I see something new.
I love you all so much!
З Любовю
Сестра Гарф
1. Ukraine
2. Ballerinas
3. Never would have thought I'd see that!

More Pictures-- Armenia Week 1

August 11, 2014

More pictures from Armenia

9. So if you look realy close you can see Mt Ararat where Noah suposedly landed with the ark.
10. ...
11. This is Soup?
12. ...
13. Food
14. ...
15. Look what we found! (They don't have this stuff in Ukraine)
16. Morning Run
17. ...
18. ...
19. ...
20. Opera House
21. These are the Cascades
22. The top