September 15, 2009
What a great day it was! This morning we heard President Monson speak at a BYU Devotional at the Marriot Center on the campus. It was absolutely wonderful. He spoke about all the prophets he has known since his boyhood. He gave little anecdotes about each one and made it so very personal. He joked, we laughed, but the message was truly from his heart, and we could feel the great love he has for each of these wonderful men. He told us of each outstanding character trait that each of these prophets had and said that if we could live with each one of these to guide us in our lives, we would be on the path to the Celestial Kingdom. This evening we heard Jeffrey R. Holland at our Devotional here at the MTC. He didn’t mince for words telling us just who we stand for and how hard the work is going to be. But yet it will be one of the greatest experiences of our lives. His great love for us was so apparent, and his great love for missionary work and the gospel of Jesus Christ. How grateful we are to be here – there is truly no place like it on earth.
We have finished our language training, and we can now bear our testimonies in Russian! It’s a simple testimony and it is spoken haltingly and humbly, but we are so excited that we can do even that. We’ve had wonderful instruction in Preach My Gospel and also in teaching in the Church Education System. We’ve had lots of practice in putting what we’ve learned into practice. Pretty humbling at times!
We leave for Ukraine early Thursday morning and will arrive in Donetsk on Friday. We will be in the mission home for a day or two and then will go up north to Kharkov and get to work. We are anxious to get started. We’ll keep you posted as to just what we are going to be doing there. We are so very thankful for this wonderful and sacred opportunity to be representatives of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It’s a most humbling task, but we are determined to do our best with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit.