Sunday, April 29, 2012


I went to church today. Let me just say, my day was great! I love going to church and feeling Christ's love for me. It makes me have so much hope and I feel so much joy. It makes me smile more. I laugh easier. I can be more friendly when I've felt the Spirit. I love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I am grateful I have it in my life!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Little Godsends

Today I was cheered up by an unexpected someone. I was having a rough start with my day and just couldn't get into a good mood. I had planned to meet up with some friends for a temple trip and had got on the wrong trolley bus that took me who knows where. I was at least a half hour late and had no phone. I showed up at the metro finding no one. I sat there in the metro in despair and frustration. All of a sudden a little boy about three years old took a seat at the corner of the bench. He sat there swinging his little legs back and forth with a small bouquet of dandelions. He seemed to take notice of my gloomy figure. He looked over at me with the biggest eyes and scooted closer to me. I think he was just curious. His eyes were just beaming with all the joy a little boy could have. He eagarly looked at my ipod, captivated by the weird language it was in. Then, without a hesitation he held out his bouquet of dandelions to my nose and just gave me the biggest grin his little mouth could hold. I sniffed them and told them how wonderful they smelled, even though he didn't understand English. We both just sat there and giggled. A minute later, my metro pulled up and it was time for a goodbye. I smiled and said bye! He quickly gave an excited wave and kept shouting pica! Pica! ..which is goodbye in Russian. He walked off with his dad and glanced back one more time for a frantic, yet excited wave and a beautiful smile. I got onto the metro and was just beaming with joy from that simple experience. That little boy was a little godsend to me today.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A day at the Ukrainian Zoo

What is this might you ask? Apparently, it is a Phoenicopterus roseus......a translation from Russian to the English word for flamingo. Wouldn't it be just be easier to say...flamingo????
I guess it wasn't the best time of year to visit the zoo in Ukraine... Before my host family took us, they had told us that a lot of animals usually die in that zoo. They don't have the best reputation.Gigantic mass waste lands and bomb shelters were seen. It was an adventure in itself. We didn't get to see a lot of animals. Gorillas...nope.Monkeys...nope. Hippos, cheetahs, elephants, flamingos, turkeys, nope! We just got to see the massive signs advertising for the animals. We got to see some good sized geese and a lion or two though.
The zoo was able to keep a snake though. Mom, I thought you'd like this.

It is unacceptable to make fun of the animals....or feed candy to them for that matter.

Although there wasn't much to see at the zoo, it was a fun day relaxing with the fam!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happiness is a choice

Today is a good day. It may be a chilling 5 degrees Celsius, but that is okay! I'm in Ukraine. I'm teaching my cute Followup kids, Vanya, Raya, and Yulya. They sure are fun! Why shouldn't I be happy?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Tonight, I got a manicure from my host mom, Ira.
I can't speak Ukranian.
She can't speak English.
BUT this is what made my day.
Ira went to school and studied cosmology. She can do hair and nails professionally you could say. She has a 16 year old daughter and almost every night they sit in her room and do each others nails with glitter and creative designs. I think it would be so much fun to do mother-daughter things like that! I love it and think it's so cute.
Since I have moved into my Ukrainian home, I haven't had the best communication with my family. The parents don't speak little English and I speak a FEW words of Ukranian/Russian. She offered to do my nails last night and so I eagerly accepted. I walked into the kitchen and she had little cloth set out on the kitchen table and had her bag of nail gadgets. I didn't know I was getting into a full salon experience!
She put some smelly good nail oil on. Then she pushed back my nail cuticles and clipped them. She was so delicate and precise. She wasn't just going to paint my nails. She was going to make sure that she did them well. She wanted to make an impression and show how much she loved doing them and how well she could. She worked and worked on my cuticles and then got the file out and worked on rounding my next to nothing, scrawny nails. Then she got out her hand cream and gave me a hand massage. We just giggled like two little girls as she just pampered me. I was just so happy to see this side of her. Then she painted my nails and put 2 little sparkles on each nail and did a neat design on my ring fingers
....after she was done her daughter told me that I needed to grow out my nails a bit so she could shape them and make them look good. I just think I might take her up on that! 

This is just one small thing that made my day! Even though it was through painting nails, I got to know Ira a little better and share a happy moment with her.