This past weekend we had the glorious opportunity of attending the dedication of the Kiev Temple and all the events connected with the dedication. Words cannot describe our feelings and emotions during the entire weekend. We both experienced two days of tears of joy and gratitude for this momentous event for Ukraine and the Eastern European countries. President Monson, President Uchtdorf and his wife, and Elder Nelson and his wife were the visiting General Authorities. The members were absolutely overjoyed and elated to see them, as were the Reeds. There was such a joyous spirit felt by the crowds at each of the events we attended, and all of us felt like the most blessed people on Earth to witness this great time in the history of the church here in Ukraine.

The next few entries in the blog are the different events and activities we experienced during the weekend. We met many wonderful people from all over, and we so enjoyed seeing our beloved Kharkov Saints participate in the different parts of this Temple celebration and dedication.

Our trip started out with a mix-up with the hotel at which we were to stay. We met a group of wonderful YSA and their branch president from Armenia, and one of the girls served a mission in Chicago which made her English just the thing we needed at this time. These loving YSA took us under their wing and helped us find a hotel, shared their lunch with us, and arranged for a taxi to take us to the new location. Here are the two sisters who were the most help. Both have served missions – the girl on the right served in Chicago and her sister served in Ukraine.

On Friday evening there was a fireside at one of the church buildings in the center of the city. Oleg Gruppman and his wife spoke to us and played beautiful selections on their violas. Brother Gruppman is the director of the Temple Square Orchestra in Salt Lake City. He is from Kiev and studied music here in the city. His wife is from Hungary, came to Kiev to study music, and this is where they met. They spoke about their conversion, bore beautiful testimonies, and played solo and duet pieces on their violas. This was a wonderful way to invite the Spirit into all our minds and hearts for the miraculous events which were to follow during the weekend.

The Gruppmans performing

Brother Gruppman had invited the youth who were playing in the orchestra for the Folkloric Celebration on Saturday to join him at the fireside. The music was outstanding.

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