Monday, June 16, 2014

Rivne-- Week 1!-- June 16, 2014

Well I'm now in a new area and it is the wonderful city of Rivne, And I must say I am Excited to be here! Although it is sad to leave Lovely city of Luts'k. I think the other day it dawned on me how small some missionaries' missions are. For example some are half a city while others are half a country! So amazing how both big and small the world is at the same time. However I know that there are people that we as individuals can touch no matter where we are.If we are serving on a mission, or in the nursery. Our Heavenly Father is placing those people on our paths that we can touch in a unique and individual way. All we need to do is take advantage of those opportunities. To lift others up and fully partake of what the Lord has to offer. 

I love you all and hope you have a Fantastic week.

And to all the fathers out there, Thanks for all that you do.
I love you Daddy, Thank you for always being there for me. Happy Fathers Day!

З Любовю
Сестра Граф

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ukraine Missionary Update

Note of update from Carly's dad on the situation in the L'viv Mission.

As of the first week of June, Ukraine has elected a new president-- Petro Poroshenko.  And, although there is some widespread violence in Donetsk region of the country, other oblasts remain largely peaceful, including the Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk Missions.

Missionaries in the L'viv Mission continue to work, largely unaffected by the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.  Carly is roughly 70 miles/100km from the Polish-Ukrainian border, and approximately 700 miles/ 1000km from Donetsk.

The Church and local leaders maintain constant vigilance over the situation in Ukraine.  The Lord is hastening His work, not just in Eastern Europe, but throughout the world.

Carly is secure and happy in her service.  She loves the people of Ukraine and is anxious to help them understand the doctrines of eternity-- and particularly of our Savior, Jesus Christ-- which can bring lasting happiness and peace.  The culture of that beautiful country is rich in history and and faith and she is immeasurably grateful for the opportunity to enjoy such an experience as a missionary.

Any words of support which you can send her are received with excitement-- she loves to receive mail!

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to contact us.

Benjamin Graff 

Luts'k- Week 11!-- June 2, 2014

Hi all!

Super Great week! 

I'm sure that most of you are farmiliar with the story in the First book of Nephi about the Liahona For those of you that aren't Here's the scripture.

"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the pointers... that they did work according to the faith and diligence and heed which we did give unto them."  (1 Nephi 16:28)

Well, this past week, we discovered just how the "Liahonas" of our lives do actually work according to faith.

I was on exchanges this week one of the other sisters and I were going to contact a referral. I  had looked at the map the night before so that we wouldn't get lost or anything, and then the next morning we went about 10 minutes after we had left I realized that I had forgotten our map but it was no big because I knew how to get there and I remembered how to get there from the night before so we went. Long story short, half an hour later we were really lost. And then we found a lady. And she was elect. She asked US if we wanted her number and to meet. Her name is Faith. When we came home, we looked on the map to see where we had been. We were nowhere near where we thought. Which was strange because I had remembered distinctly that the address was by the Kievsky Mydon but apparently it wasn't so we were really puzzled. Apparently our map works according to Faith. We had a great Liahona experience trying to find her. Heavenly Father will get you where you need to be if you are willing to go there.

And then I saw these poems in Sister Wind's Letter and felt like I had to include them. The first poem is by William Ernest Henley, and the second is by Orson F. Whitney, and as cool as the first poem is, the second one is so much cooler. It's a rebuttal to the first one. 

Out of the night that covers me, 
Black as the pit from pole to pole, 
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the terror of the shade, 
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how straight the gate, 
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate, 
I am the captain of my soul. 

The Soul's Captain:
Art thou in truth? 
Then what of Him who bought thee with His blood? 
Who plunged into devouring seas
And snatched thee from the flood, 
Who bore for all our fallen race
What none but him could bear.
That God who died that man might live
And endless glory share.

Of what avail thy vaunted strength
Apart from His vast might?
Pray that His light may pierce the gloom
That thou mayest see aright.
Men are as bubbles on the wave,
As leaves upon the tree,
Thou, captain of thy soul; Forsooth,
Who gave that place to thee?

Free will is thine - Free agency, 
To wield for right or wrong;
But thou must answer unto Him
To whom all souls belong.
Bend to the dust that 'head unbowed'
Small part of life's great whole,
And see in Him, and Him alone,
The captain of thy soul. 

Love you all.
Сестра Граф

Luts'k- Week 9!-- May 19, 2014

Hi everyone! 

Hope that your weeks were fantastic. This one is going to be shorter because i want to add pictures and then Sister Tsimbal is going to teach me how to make Borshch! YAY! I love you all and want you to know that I know that this church is true, and that it is led by a living modern day prophet. It was restored to us through the Prophet Joseph Smith and I know that he through the power of God was able to Translate the Book of Mormon. I have read it and know that it is true. And I would challenge you all to read it again and find out for yourselves if it is true.

Love you all!
Сестра Граф


Cotton candy!




Luts'k- Week 8!-- May 12, 2014

So much has happened!
First off HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!! I loved being able to Skype with you and it feels like it was just yesterday that I last talked with you...but then that's because it was! ha ha. Just think next time I talk with you it will be Christmas and then in about 13 days I will be home! less than two weeks! (I better stop counting or else I might tell you how many milliseconds that would be;)
Anyway...Last Wednesday I told you all that I was in a trio again however that was very short lived. On Thursday I got a call from President Lattin telling me that I would no longer be in a companionship with Sisters Henrichsen and Wind. Instead I would be companions with Sister Цімбал (Tsimbal) a native Ukrainian! She had originally been called to serve in the Nova-Sibersk Mission, but when things started heating up in Russia the Native Ukrainians were pulled back into Ukraine and dispersed throughout the missions there. So...she went into the Donetsk Mission, and when that was closed all of the missionaries there went into the Kyiv Mission to await their reassignments. And Finally she came into the L'viv Ukraine Mission on Friday. So on Friday we got on a 3 1/2 hour buss ride fro Luts'k to L'viv got Sister Tsimbal and then took a train back to Luts'k Friday evening.
Then on Saturday we went to the baptism for the Elders investigator Diter! It was amazing! Even more so because he is from Germany! The Elders have been having Skype lessons with the Elders in Germany. Then for the baptism one of the Elders learned how to preform the Baptism in German. We the Sisters sang the first two verses of "O My Father" in German! (I must say in order to know how to pronounce it properly while we were singing I did a phonetic spelling in Ukrainian because that was easier to understand) And then on Sunday he was given the gift of the Holy Ghost from a member who came down from L'viv (because he knows German). After church we had a break the fast, because last Sunday we were all in L'viv, and everyone brought something and we made Borshch. It was so good! Then I got to Skype home and that was wonderful.

All in all a super week! I can hardly wait to see what is in store for next week. I hope you all have a great day. And again...HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!!
З Любов'ю
Сестра Граф
PS. This Computer won't let me attach any pictures so you will have to wait till next week. Sorry :(

Luts'k- Week 7- More Pictures in L'viv

Luts'k- Week 7- More Pictures from L'viv

Luts'k- Week 7- May 7, 2014 - With Pictures!

Hi everyone!

Sorry that this one is comming out later. The reason that we wern't able to email on Monday was because we had Mission Conference with President Laurance, the east Europe area President, and then on Tuesday we had Transfers! I am in a trio again, so great! At mission Conference we all had a interview with President Laurence, and an open Q&A with his wife. (Boy, does she know the Gospel!) We had an amazing time and there is no way i could sum it up so I am just going to say that and put up all of the pictures that I have been promising you.

З Любов'ю
Сестра Граф


Time in L'viv



Luts'k- Week 6!- April 28, 2014

Христос Воскрес! (Kristos Voskres!) That's what we said on the streets this past week. Everyone says it to each other. You say, "Christ is Resurrected!" Or without the exclamation point. Then you say back to the person who said that to you,- "Воістину Воскрес-" (Voistinu Voskres) Indeed, He is resurrected. Level of enthusiasm variable. We said it to pretty much everyone we saw with a good deal of it. Also Best suprise of the day, looking down and seeing frosting and sprinkles on the sacrament bread. Yes. A childhood dream fulfilled by a couple of patriotic high priests and paska, the traditional Easter cake of Ukraine. So fun! Also this week we had so many amazing incounters from a nice woman giving us a Paska to another leaving her home to help us find an address so many tender mercies throughout each day. I love you all. Also I found out that i am going to be staying in Luts'k with Sister Henrichsen, and Sister Wind will be joining us in a trio! YAY!

Сестра Граф

Luts'k- Week 5!-- April 22, 2014

Hey all!

Super quick I had hoped to be able to write more, but things were crazy and I'll just have to tell you all about it next week. Easter was great and right now we are running over to a lesson so I just wanted to tell you all that I love you and hope that you can all share this wonderful message that we have to share.

Lots of Love 
Сестра Граф

Luts'k- Week 4-- April 14, 2014

Hi all
This week was great and filled with service. Last Monday we went to meet a woman that the elders had met so that we could possibly start teaching her, She had mentioned that the road near where she lived was very dirty and had lots of trash, so we and the elders went and picked up some of that we didn't get a chance to meet her but hopefully she will have had a brighter day. and then on Friday we helped an investigator that Sister Wallace was working with in Хмельніцьки move in She is now going to live here in Луцьк and we are excited to help her progress towards baptism.  Conference was great and I hope that you all had a wonderful time watching it last week. I hope that you have a great Easter soon and remember why we truly celebrate this day of days when Christ our Lord triumphed over Death so that all of us may stand again with all of our loved ones forever.
Сестра Граф

Luts'k- Week 3!-- April 7, 2014- With Pictures!

Such a fun Week!

This is going to be a quick one because we are going to do some service later today.
We had our Mormon Helping hands activity on Saturday and it was super fun. We went over to the zoo-park and picked up trash, but that was not all that we found. In addition to old bottles, moss covered hats, and lots and lots of plastic forks, we found frogs. Super Fun. Also I found out one reason why we have companions. (Matt 7:4) "wilt thou say to thy (sister), Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye;" Sister Henrichsen had dropped a bottle and a glass chip got in her eye...luckily I was able to get it out and everything is all good. and we haven't seen any beams in my eyes yet, but let me know. if you see any =D
I love you all so much and hope that you have a great week.
Сестра Граф
1. Mormon Helping Hands
2. ...
3. Who wants the hat?

4. Frogs
5. ...
6. ...
7. More Frogs

Luts'k- Week 2!-- More Pictures

4. This is for Daddy
5. ...
6. ...
7. Luts'k
8. ...
9. ...


Luts'k- Week 2! Plus Pictures-- March 31, 2014

Hey all

I'm here in Луцьк (Luts'k) and things are great! We had a baptism in our district last week and it was amazing! So great to finally see a convert baptism on the Mission! Unfortunately the water was super cold despite our efforts to warm it up with chiynicks multiple times. But despite the cold he was able to do it and is now the newest member here in the L'viv Ukraine Mission Luts'k branch! Yay! The crazy thing is that he is only 13! (Roberts age) His mom was coming back into activity in Kyiv and referred him to the Elders here. He invited a friend to his baptism and he was able to give her a copy of the Book of Mormon on Sunday! We hope to start teaching her soon. 

I love you all and hope that you have a great week! Don't forget to tune into Conference this weekend! I won't get a chance to see it for a while, but I would love to know what your favorites were. So let me know!

З Любов'ю
Сестра Граф


1. Random Funny
2. Sister Henrichsen and me
3. Baptism!! (We were busy trying to heat up the water and I didn't get a picture with him in his whites but this is after)

Ivano-Frankivs'k- Week 12! March 17, 2014

Such a fun week!
I found out on Saturday that I will be moving this Wednesday to Луцьк (Luts'k) and I will be companions with Sister Henrichsen! Super exciting to have all of these changes. Luts'k is in the North Western part of Ukraine. I have heard that it is the oldest city in Ukraine and they even have a castle there. =D It will be sad to leave Ivano and the people that I have come to know and love here, but also exciting to meet new people and forge the bonds of friendship with them as well. I look forward to a great next Transfer.
I know that this is the Lord's true Church once again restored on the earth through his Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God given to us so that we can come to better know who he is and his plan for us. I know that he knows what we are going through and that he knows each of us as individuals and has a plan for us. I know that as we follow his teachings we will be able to find true happiness.
I love you all and hope that you have a great week! Till next week in Luts'k
З Любов'ю
Сестра Граф

Ivano-Frankivs'k-- Week 11-- Ooops! Forgot these pictures!

Ivano-Frankivs'k- Week 11- More Pictures

7. Women's Day (March 8th)
8. The lake
9. ...