Monday, October 13, 2014

55 Hours!!!

Dear Family and Friends, 

Can you believe it? This is it. The last weekly letter. The last P-day. 

Our apartment is in shambles right now as I am trying to get everything packed. We have been out and about printing pictures and fixing my boots and watches. All around me I see people, sights, moments that I am realizing that I won't see again... Some that I will miss dearly, others not quite so much. Today as we did repairs on my watches, the repairman told me how much it cost, then said that if he could kiss me, it would be free. Even though I clearly understood, I responded with an innocent, "Sorry, I'm from America, I didn't understand that" then enjoyed when the lady from the next booth over chewed him out for creeping on innocent American Girls... I probably won't miss the creepy Ukrainian guys that follow me everywhere, but I think I will miss the "innocent American" card that I could always play :) 

This week was full of so many crazy emotions, happy, sad, surprised... Everything! 

The Elders and the members planned and threw a surprise going away party for me. Friday, we usually have our missionary meeting with the Ward Mission Leader, Brat Roman. On Friday, we arrived at the meeting a little late (now I know why...) and Roman was standing by the door. He told us that he had something that he needed to show us and led us into the Sacrament Hall. When I walked in, I heard, "Surprise!" and the lights turned on and there was balloons, and posters, and flowers, and all of my favorite people here from Brovary. I did not even know what to do or to think. I was in shock. They had made a slideshow of pictures from my whole mission and we all watched that, and then everyone shared their favorite memories of me... I don't know that I have ever blushed more in my life! Everyone had presents for me and I don't think I have ever felt more loved in my life. But the surprises didn't end there! When it was time for treats, the Elders told me that they had made gluten free brownies! I asked them how they had done that, and they told me that about 2 weeks ago, they had been in the office and saw that Sister Leavitt's Dad had left Brownies for me (thanks!). They took them home with them, but didn't give them to me and instead kept them as a surprise until the party. Sneaky elders! Combine that with the fact that they pulled off a surprise party...sneaky elders. They're the best haha. 

This week we spent a lot of time saying goodbye to the members, to my investigators and to my friends. It's hard to say goodbye! But I know that at some point, I will see all of them again! Also, Mom and Dad, I gave pretty much everyone an open invitation to come to our I hope that is ok for you! :) Ukrainians have a special tradition of saying what they desire for you when you leave, so I don't even think that I can count the number of times where someone has wished me "A handsome husband, many children, and good health". It's so cute. Also, they all say to pass on to my parents that they raised a fantastic daughter :) 

One cool moment is when I called up a family that I hadn't seen in months, nonmembers. I invited them to the church to say goodbye and when they came, they told me how much they appreciated that I introduced them to the church, and took home with them all the recent Liahona magazines and everything else that they could see! 

This week, I studied and thought a lot about what I have done on my mission, who I have become, how I have changed. I thought about success and what it means to be a successful missionary. In Preach My Gospel, it says that, "You can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when you feel the Spirit working through you". I realized that I have so often felt the Spirit working through me on my mission. Although my mission has been much different than I ever could have imagined, it has been wonderful, and I wouldn't change my experiences and what I have learned for anything else in the world. My mission was perfect for me. I'm so glad that I served a mission and choose to serve a mission! Yesterday, I was blessed with a special tender mercy to let me know that the Lord is pleased with my work. Right before Sacrament meeting started, I was asked to share my testimony in the meeting and say goodbye. I said a quick prayer and asked that I could share what the Lord would have me say and that the people would understand what I said and what I meant. When I got up to bear my testimony, I felt the Spirit so strongly, and I felt so confident. The words and thoughts that I wanted to say came easily to my head. While I was speaking, I felt what I needed to say and how to say it in Russian. When I finished, I realized that it wasn't me that was suddenly so great at Russian and such an eloquent speaker, but that it was the Lord speaking through me. After the meeting, one Sister from the ward came up and said, "Sister Ford, your testimony was exactly what I needed to hear today. You helped me feel comfort. When you spoke, you spoke perfectly, your Russian had no mistakes. You said exactly what we needed to hear. The Lord spoke through you to us." What a tender mercy to be an instrument in the hands of God to help the people here! I LOVE being an instrument of God and allowing the Spirit to work through me to help others! 

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! Although my nametag will come off soon, my missionary work never has to end! I can keep sharing the gospel for my whole life, not because I have to, but because I want to! I know that this Gospel is true! It will bless the lives of anyone that lives by it! I know that God lives, that he answers prayers, that He loves each and every one of us! I know that His Son, Jesus Christ is our Savior. His Atonement is a real power and will help us in times of need. It gives us strength when we can't do any more! This Gospel was restored through Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ! This gospel is true, I know it! I LOVE IT! I love my Savior and no matter what comes next or ever, I will follow Him! 
I love you all! I can't wait to see you soon! I can't wait to see my family at the airport! 
See you in about 55 hours (I think?!?!?)! 

Sister Kati Ford 

Monday, October 6, 2014


Dear Family and Friends!

Happy Monday! I am literally in shock that it is already Monday again... especially when I look at this week, or the next 9 days.... 9 days! Is that real?!?! This week is going to go by super fast too. We have a couple exchanges, a 3 zone conference, a million members to say goodbye to, and then the last few days! I'm so glad that I am still here on my mission, enjoying these last few days and these last few special moments! I don't know exactly what is all in store for this week, but I am sure that it will be special :) 

This last week was really good! We had exchanges this week and I was with Sister Grandy! It was super fun, We got to meet with all my favorite people in Voskresensky that I have been with before on exchanges. One funny moment was when we asked an old lady to read a scripture and she pulled out her magnifying glass and read at snail's pace. Sister Grandy and I were dying! :) 

What else this week?? Oh yeah, one of the members in our ward collects we had a wig party. I decided that my natural hair is the best ;) We did service for her and got to weed her gardens. All our weeding for a wig party, not a bad deal!! 

Which one do you like the most?!?!? haha :)

We worked a lot with Sergey this week, even taking him with us to a Family Home Evening. He fasted yesterday to know what he should do. I don't think he will be ready for baptism on Saturday, so my next goal is shooting for the 25th of October. Birthday gift maybe?!?? We also focused a lot on Joseph Smith. It was super good and I got the chance to strengthen my testimony of Joseph Smith. I'm so grateful that God and Jesus Christ appeared to him in answer to his prayer and restored the gospel through him. I'm grateful for prophets, from Joseph Smith up to our modern day Prophets and Apostles. I'm grateful that they speak God's words to us! Like at general conference! 
Already saying goodbye to members :( 

Babyshka on exchanges :) 

Speaking of General Conference... 

I think that the highlight of my week was the little bit of conference that we got to watch. We watched the Saturday Afternoon session and all of it was super good! But, my favorite part (of course) was watching PRESIDENT (now Elder) KLEBINGAT SPEAK! oh my, it was so good to hear him and see him! His talk was so good! If you want to know what he taught us in conferences, just watch that talk! The things that he mentioned are all things that I learned from him! Oh, it was so good! We watched it with the elders and we were all just freaking out about how cool it was. That's my mission president everyone!!!! He is the best! :) 
I'm so glad that the rest of the world gets to "meet" President Klebingat and that they get a little chance to see how great he is and learn from him too! That is really what he is like, bold, smart, encouraging, obsessed with exercise and determined to help us become better so that we can be comfortable returning to live with God again! So cool! :) 

I love being a missionary! I love doing this work and having the opportunity to put on my special black nametag everyday, the nametag with both my name and the name of Jesus Christ! I'm grateful to represent Him here in Ukraine and to invite people to come unto Him and accept His Atonement! I'm grateful for the power of the Atonement, not just the power to be cleansed from sin, but also the power and strength to do more than our natural strength! I know that power is real, and have seen it in my life. At times when there is so much physical pain, or emotional trials or anything else, God gives us the strength to keep going! I love my Savior! 

Wish my luck as we explore KYIV and enjoy our last day of adventure here :)
I love all of you :) 
Sister Kati Ford 

PS- pancakes with our disctrict... We invited a bunch of other people, but no one else came... sad :( Everyone else was too busy to watch conference and eat pancakes...they missed out!

Monday, September 29, 2014


Dear Family and Friends,  

Happy P-day! I have some really good news, I finally found my tights, they were in a box on the balcony, I'm not sure how they got there, but I'm glad I found them. In not so good news, I had to use them because it is so cold here! Winter is coming super quickly! 

Cold weather!!!
In other good news, Saturday was September 27th! MY 18th MONTH MARK! :) I can't even believe it! :) It was a really good day... I'll tell you all about it! :) 
Elder Grochmal, Sister Lee and I 
celebrating 18 months after the baptism :) 

Overall, this week was super good! I just can't believe how fast everything is coming to an end. The days are flying by super fast. Anytime that I am with the members, they ask me what I will do when I get home and what I will miss and what I am excited to see. It's freaking me out! But it's so good! Last week, I did some shopping and got some books in Russian, including Pushkin stories and the Hunger Games in russian! I had to hide them away in my suitcase so that I wouldn't be tempted to read them :) 
Me and kitten :) 

 I can't believe that I have been on my mission for 18 months. It's so weird how time flies so quickly, I seriously feel like I have only been a missionary for maybe 6 or 8 months. But it's already been so much longer. Right now, I am reading the Book of Mormon and trying to finish it before I go home. Right now, I am in Alma and on Saturday, I read Alma 26, where Ammon talks about his missionary service. That chapter hit me so strongly and I reflected on my missionary service. Just like Ammon, I was filled with gratitude to God for all the amazing opportunities that I have had on my mission and all the lessons that I have learned and for the person that God has helped me become. As I thought about the last few weeks that I have left, I thought of a soccer analogy. You know how in soccer, they play for the regulation 90 minutes, and then after that time ends, they have the added time, or bonus time? I feel like right now, I have entered that bonus time! In all the soccer games that I have seen, the players always give everything that they have during that last time, and they play their best defense and offense. Teams oftentimes score and have great plays during those last few minutes. And it is the same for me! This is the last few "minutes", the last sprint to the end. I know that the Lord still has work for me to do here, and together we make an unstoppable team! So it's just time to give everything that I have, to work as hard as I can, and to do all that I can to help the Lord's work progress here in Ukraine! It's a great time to be a missionary! :) 

As I read Alma 26, I was really touched verse 16, where it says, "I cannot say the smallest part which I feel". I thought of moments on my mission, where I have learned something or felt the Spirit super strongly, and then no matter how hard I try, I can't write about it or talk about it in a way that does it justice. Ammon felt that same way! And as I reflected on that, I realized that these feelings can't be described because they aren't earthly feelings. When we feel the Spirit so strongly or we are taught through revelation, those are heavenly feelings that we are feeling. The natural man doesn't understand those feelings and using our limited earthly knowledge, we can't explain how we are feeling. We are so lucky that we can still experience those feelings from time to time, as we work on becoming those heavenly creatures. 

I had a moment this week, where I felt some of those feelings. On Saturday, we took Sergey with us to a baptism. Before the baptism, we took him out to eat with a senior couple (the MacLeods) and they did a great job telling him about how they came to the church and learned about the gospel. He was so shocked that they had 30 grandchildren :) haha. Then after lunch, we went to the baptism. There was a lot of missionaries there, which Sergey loved. He wants to serve a mission, so he always asks why missionaries chose to serve and why they are members of this church. But the best part was the actual baptism. The spirit was so strong. After the closing prayer, I leaned over to Sergey and asked him how he was feeling right at that very moment. He said that he felt peaceful, and I told him, 'that is the Holy Ghost speaking to you". and then I asked him about baptism, and he said that he thinks that he will be baptized!!!!!!!!!!! Right now he is praying to know if he should be baptized on the 11th of October. That happens to be my last Saturday in Ukraine, so that would be ideal :) I hope he receives that answer, but I know that the Lord has His plan for Sergey, so whatever happens will be great :) 

As I was reading the Book of Mormon this week, I made a really cool connection. As I was studying more about discipleship, I noticed a pattern in the Book of Mormon, where anytime that someone comes to know and understand the Atonement, they start immediately to share the gospel. And they share it forever, with all their heart and strength. You can see it all over the Book of Mormon (for example- Alma the Younger (Alma 36:24) , King Lamoni (Alma 19:31), King Lamoni's father (Alma 22:23), Alma the Elder (Mosiah 18:1) and more!) Once they repent and use the Atonement, they can't help but share the gospel. It talks about that same thing in Preach My Gospel when it says that, "As your understanding of the Atonement increases, your desire to share the gospel will increase". I realized that if I want to be a better missionary, I need to constantly increase my understanding of the Atonement and apply the Atonement in my life. If I want the members to share the gospel, I need to help them understand and apply the Atonement. I feel like so many Saints have a knowledge of the Atonement, but we don't use it in our lives as much as we could! I feel like there is so much power from the Atonement that the vast majority of members don't know how to use. Alma talks about how the knowledge of the Atonement helped him to endure through all his trials. He must have relied on the power of the Atonement while watching the women and children burn, while praying for his son to repent, while watching the people harden their hearts and fall away. I learned that I can absolutely rely on the power of the Atonement to overcome my trials and hard times. I want to more fully apply the power of the Atonement me, to strengthen me beyond my own strength. And I want to help the people here understand that power as well! 

I watched part of the Women's Meeting, It was super good! I felt so much sisterhood love ;) 

Darn it, I had more that I wanted to say, but we are being told we have to leave :( Oh well, I'll tell you it all soon enough! :) 

I LOVE YOU! Don't forget to watch general conference this week! Especially Saturday Afternoon, :) :) :) :) 

Sister Kati Ford 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Was that just a dream?????

Dear Family and Friends, 

It's getting so cold here! I think that they are going to have an early winter! I just hope it waits until I get home, I misplaced all my tights somewhere! Oops! ;)

This week, I had a pretty funny experience that helped me see my mission with new eyes! On Thursday, we got mail, and I got a letter from Tyson and Zach's Sunday School Class. They have done a really good job of writing occasionally and I really appreciate it! 

As I opened the letter, there was a bunch of different notes from different members of the class. As I read the notes, I read about school starting and sports and homework. But then I noticed that most of the notes had a common theme, "We may be sending a package soon". I thought that was REALLY weird, considering that I go home in like 4 weeks. But I kept reading. 

Then I got to the note from Zach. He said that BYU football lost to Utah by 7. I was really confused, because BYU hasn't played Utah in football this year... Then he said that his football has lost every game so far, and I was extra confused because I know that they won at least one. 

Then I got to the note from Tyson. He said that he was really excited to turn 13. 

WAIT a second, I thought that Tyson was turning 14 this year! 

At that moment, the following thought flashed through my mind, "This last year has all been a dream and it's still last year and I still have a year left on my mission". It was a freaky thought, but then I realized that there was probably another more probable solution. I examined the envelope, only to see that the letter was postmarked 27 October 2013. It took almost a whole year to get to me! Haha. It was a super weird feeling though, like I had been dreaming for the last year. I'm so grateful that my mission isn't actually a dream and that it all really happened, trials and blessings! :) 

Seriously though, Sometimes I feel like this is all a dream because the days are passing so fast, they feel like minutes or seconds going by. No matter how much I try to slow the days down, they are just flying by! Super fast! I can't believe that yet anther week has gone by! Wow! 

This week was fun! I spoke in church yesterday! It was really good, I spoke about covenants! The first speaker spoke for 25 minutes, and the Stake President was visiting and needed to speak after me, so my talk was basically 5 minutes, instead of 15 minutes like I had planned, but it was good. Covenants are so cool! I learned and realized that you really can receive blessings and power by keeping covenants that you make with God! There are huge blessings promised for those that keep their covenants! 

Also this week, we took Sergey to a YSA Fireside. President Packer and his wife spoke. We warned President Packer that Sergey was coming, and President spoke just to him for a lot of the meeting, talking about the importance of baptism and how to hear the voice of the Holy Ghost. It was perfect! They also talked a lot about marriage! AHH! But they have a super cute proposal story! ;) 
 I bought a ukrainian headdress :)

Sister Batalova and I, sharing some love with another sister :) 
Look! Gluten free banana bread...
except it wasn't. :( 
Did you know that baking 
powder has gluten in it... now I do!

Speaking of Sergey, he is progressing super well! We have focused on teaching him this week about how God speaks to people, because he isn't sure that he received an answer. So we watched a Mormon Message with him and asked him to try and ask God to explain and help him know how He (God) speaks to him (Sergey). He did that and his prayer was answered in a pretty special way. He was waiting at the bus stop, and just barely missed his bus. As he was standing there, he looked around and saw a billboard. On that billboard was written, "Ask and you shall receive, seek and ye shall find... You will find the kingdom of God where you see faithful people gathered" or something along that lines. He was pretty shocked and took that to be an answer! It is so cool to see someone that has never had much faith in God receive answer after answer and come closer and closer to God by the day! It is such a miracle! 

I know that God hears and answers our prayers. In the last conference, Sister Stevens spoke about prayer and said,

 "Wherever we find ourselves on the path of discipleship, whatever our worries and challenges may be, we are not alone. You are not forgotten. We can choose to reach for God’s hand in our need. We can face our challenges with prayer and trust in the Lord. And in the process we become more like Him.Speaking to each of us, the Lord says, “Fear … not; … I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; …I will help thee;yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

It has been fun to see Sergey progress and learn this lesson and to continually relearn this lesson myself! I know that God helps us and that He loves us! :) 

Have a great week! Don't forget to watch the women's meeting on Saturday night! :) 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TYSON! 14 years old! :) Yay! :) Have fun at those stake dances ;) ;) ;) 

I love you all! 
Sister Kati Ford 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Oh sister!"

Dear Family and Friends, 

Yay! I'm back and working! This week was crazy getting a new companion and shipping my other companion off, but it has been really good. I said goodbye to Sister Larcabal on Wednesday, it was such a good experience to serve with her for the last 3 transfers. I learned so much from her, and I'm so grateful that we were able to grow so close! I love her! 

So that means that I started with my new companion, Sister Batalova. She is from Russia, and I am absolutely in love with her. We are having a really great time together. She is super funny and we spend a lot of our time laughing. She loves the color pink, shopping, and cats. She has the cutest Russian accent when she talks in English, "Oh sister..." I wish I could send it over email. When she talks in Russian, people ask her if she is from America because she is getting an American accent after living with missionaries for so long... oops. I wish that went the other way, but no one has told me that I have a Russian Accent yet. Maybe this week.

One of the best parts about serving with someone that knows Russian very well and English not quite as well is teaching each other fun sayings. I never realized how much slang I used until this last week. I taught her "He didn't fall for it" "He was hitting on me" and "Yolo". She in turn taught me the Russian version of "He was hitting on me" and the common (?!?) phrase "Good Job. Take a cucumber from the shelf" that I guess all mothers always saw. (So that she doesn't sound super insane, it rhymes in Russian, so it kinda makes sense...haha)

This week we were able to teach Sergey so many times! He is progressing so well and it is so fun to teach him! He is really getting into the Book of Mormon! He was having a hard time really understanding it, so we taught a lesson about scripture study and how to start with prayer and focus on reading less and learning more from it, and he did just that and has been learning so much. We also had an extremely powerful lesson about prayer where we all shared powerful stories about having our prayers answered, but maybe in different ways than we thought they would be. 

Last night, we had a Recent Convert Family Home Evening and brought Sergey along. It was SO FUN! We brought a bunch of different props and acted out stories from the Book of Mormon. One group did Nephi getting the Plates and our group did Samuel the Lamanite. It was so fun. We ate cake and played a fun dice game and just had a really good time. Sergey really loved it and told us how he feels like he is part of a family when he is with people from church. I thought that was really cool because he couldn't even really speak to a lot of the recent converts because they speak English, not Russian, but he still felt like family with them. So that was really cool! 

Today, for P-day, we were in Kyiv for a bit. We ate lunch at the "Friends Cafe", which was decorated on the inside exactly like the cafe from the TV show Friends. (But Ukrainian Style) Sister Batalova loved it and for me, it brought back a lot of crazy memories from my first semester of college. haha. :)

 As I was studying this week, I realized how so much in the Doctrine and Covenants is about missionary work and new members of the church being called to serve on missions. It is especially fascinating to read because the majority of it comes straight from the Lord, with Him talking straight to the elders he calls. As I reflected on those calls, I realized that the same advice and counsel and blessings that the Lord gives to those missionaries back then would be the same advice and counsel and blessings that the Lord would give me today. So I took the things that really stood out to me in the various sections of the Doctrine and Covenants and created "My Mission Call from the Lord". 

"I, the Lord, have a great work for you to do. Ye are chosen to bear testimony of my name, called to cry repentance and declare glad tidings, at all times, and in all things, and it all places. Ye shall go forth, anxiously engaged, opening thy mouth, declaring my gospel with the sound of rejoicing, laying the foundation of a great work through small and simple things. Arise and gird up your loins, take up my cross, follow me and feed my sheep. Doubt not, for behold my grace is sufficient for you. Sanctify yourselves and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made and ye shall be endowed with power. Be not weary in well-doing, but waste and wear out your lives and be diligent unto the end. Be of good cheer and do not fear, for I , the Lord am with you and will stand by you. I am in thy midst, my Spirit in your hearts, and my angels round about you, to bear you up. I will bless all those who labor in my vineyard with a mighty blessing, for the testimonies which ye have borne are recorded in heaven. Ye are on my errand and I am with thee. How great is your calling!" 

As I have reread that over this week, it have helped me to keep going when things are tough. The Lord expects a lot out of His missionaries, but he also blesses us so much more than we ever deserve. It is really a privilege to be a missionary and be constantly serving the Lord! 

I love you all! Keep praying for our investigators! :) 
Sister Kati Ford 

Ps- Me at the Friend's cafe...Sorry I didn't take many pics this week, I don't even have one of Sister week :) 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Miracles and Tender Mercies

Dear Family and Friends, 

I'm sure that you are all dying to know about how my first few days with Sister Batalova went, and to maybe hear some funny stories about maybe a cultural difference or a language misunderstanding... Unfortunately, y'all are going to have to wait because I haven't started to serve with her yet. This week has been absolutely insane and nothing like I had imagined it would be. 
me sister robertson sister hunt and steinacker!
And, if I'm being totally honest, most of you don't even know what is going on because I didn't write about it last week. But last week, I had to go to the doctor, where they told me that I had fractured my back again. I (understandably) was really worried about it, but after a confirming MRI, they discovered that nothing was fractured or broken or anything. However, it was inflamed and so they prescribed a week of rest. So this week was absolutely CRAZY as I did exchanges with everyone until finally ending up with Elder and Sister MacLeod (a senior couple) during the day and the neighboring Sister Missionaries by night. It has been super crazy, but I've seen a lot of tender mercies and miracles. I think the biggest is that the MacLeods are seriously angels on earth. They have been taking such good care of me, they are seriously like my grandparents here, and I am so grateful for their service and help for me. I don't know what I would've done without them. 
Resting with Sister hunt and Sister MacLeod
In a really awesome tender mercy, the neighboring sisters just happen to include Sister Hunt (hehehe) so I have been staying with them the last few days. I, of course, love being with Sister Hunt and her new companion, Sister Steinacker is the sweetest. They have been taking such good care of me and I'm so grateful for them too! :) 
pretty views
Also, Senior couples eat way better than normal missionaries. I have had the best food of my whole mission! :)

But in the sense of real miracles, I have seen those too. I got to Skype yesterday and talk to Julianna! I only got to talk to her for a few minutes but it was so good to see her and to talk to her! She is loving school and got a hair cut thing and is looking so good! Ahh!  I love her so much and I love that I can still see her, even when she is so far away! :)  Also, Oksana has agreed to meet with us again, during her lunch time! It was so good to see her! 

On Monday, I was with Sister Wallace, and we had gone to do my MRI. 
 sister wallace and I

After the MRI, we had an hour before we got the results. We didn't really know what to do with that time, but decided to go look for something to eat. As we were walking, a young girl (Olga) came up to us and introduced herself to us. At first, I thought that she was a girl from Sister Wallace's area, but then we found out that she was a recent convert from Dniproprotrosk that had just been baptized a few weeks earlier. It was her first full day alone in Kyiv, where she had come to study. She was alone, afraid, and sick. She had found and called the elders asking for a blessing, but couldn't find the church. Right when she was about to give up and go back to her dorm, she saw us! We were able to lead her to the church and be with her while the elders gave her a blessing. We exchanged numbers and told her about when church was here. Right when we walked her back to the Metro station, we looked at our watches and noticed that it had been 55 minutes, giving us just enough time to walk back to the hospital and pick up the results. It was really cool to be a part of a miracle to help Olga! 
our district
Also, it has been really cool because even though I haven't been in Brovary, Sister Larcabal and Batalova have worked really hard. One of our investigators, Sergey, has been progressing so well!!! He said that he believes that God is answering his prayers. When they asked him to be baptized when he knows that it is true, he said yes! They asked him about a specific date and he said, "yes, if I don't have work!" So I am so excited to work with him when I can go back :) 
Exchanges with Sister Zharkova!
I know that God lives and loves us!  He always has a perfect plan for us as He, through our trials and experiences, molds us into what He wants us to become. He knows what He is doing and He knows why these things need to happen. He knows why my back hurts and what I need at this time. And when I see how the trials in the past have blessed my life now, I have no choice but to trust in Him for the future. I'm in His hands and everything will be just how he wants it to be. :) 
We got to see Oksana again right before I left!

Being a missionary is so fun! I miss the typical missionary work and I can't wait to get back to work! I know that this gospel is SO true and I love being here in Ukraine!
I love you all! 
Sister Kati Ford 

Monday, September 1, 2014


Dear Family and Friends, 

HAPPY SEPTEMBER FIRST! This is one of my favorite Ukrainian Holidays. Every year, on September 1st, school starts. So all the little kids get dressed up in their best school uniforms, and they go to school with their families to meet their teachers and get books and all that. The girls all have huge white bows in their hair, and most of them have pig tails. It is so cute :) All the kids take huge bunches of flowers to their teachers (I'm not sure what the teachers do with so many flowers) and chocolate and such. It is so fun to see all the teachers and children together and to see them going back to school. It is super cute! :) 

This week was really good. Full of lots of little miracles and tender mercies! I love being here in Ukraine! I love being a missionary! This week hasn't been easy, but I've found that as I trust in God, and take one step at a time I realize that He is continuing to mold me into the person that He wants me to be. He has a perfect plan for me, and it is different then what I want, but exactly what I need. No one can argue that the Lord doesn't know best, right? :) 

This week was full of tender mercies, especially in considering who I saw! I got to do an exchange with Sister Hunt 
 Sister hunt and I on exchange :)
and it was so much fun as we celebrated our 17th month mark on a mission! We reflected on how far we have come together, and how great being a missionary is! I'm so glad that we have always had each other, from day one on this amazing journey! I also got the chance to do mini-exchanges with Sister Leavit and Sister Sink, who go home this week! We got to talk, and I loved spending a little bit of time with both of those special sisters. It was WAY interesting to spend a night with 3 of my former/current companions all at once. We had a lot of fun! :) I also got to spend a little bit of time with Sister Carr, who I knew in Odessa. And of course with Sister Larcabal. We continued to bond this week, relishing our last days together. Sister Larcabal and I have had a LOT of adventures together, so learning last week that she wouldn't be my companion anymore was kinda sad. But I'm excited for new moments to come.
 game night :)
"attitude" at game night.

I found out that I will be serving with Sister Batalova next transfer, here in Brovary! Woo-hoo! With a native from Russia! I can't believe it. I've always wanted to serve with a native, and she is super cute! i think we will have a lot of fun together! :) and I am so excited to stay here in Brovary and finish my mission here! I love the people here and doing missionary work in Brovary is the best! Our investigators are still doing well, I didn't get a chance to meet with many of them this week, we had some unforeseen things pop up, but we have been able to talk with them on the phone. Because Sister Larcabal is going to Kyiv to serve, we were able to set up to meet with Oksana this week! YAY! I can't wait to see her! :) She is still so sad that she can't come to church or see us anymore, but we are just so excited to see her during her lunch break :) 
 Celebrating with ice cream
Birthday party for Sister Clark, 
can you even see me?

I love the feeling that I get from time to time, confirming that the Lord leads this work and that he is preparing people for the gospel. I got that feeling several times this week. One moment was when I got on a bus, heading into Kyiv. I sat down next to this man, and noticed that he was reading the Bible. THE BIBLE! who reads the bible on the bus? So I asked him, "Do you like to read the Bible?" (great opening line, I know? haha like anyone would read the Bible on the bus if they didn't like it). and so of course he answered yes. So I asked him what church he was part of, and he told me that he had looked around a lot, but had never found the true church. And so, I took that opportunity to teach about the restoration and the Book of Mormon. He was so excited and eagerly accepted the Book of Mormon and the invitation to learn more and meet to take the missionary lessons. 

We talked the whole bus ride into Kyiv (like 30 minutes) and he was just full of perfect questions. In Preach My Gospel, there is a section called "Questions of the Soul" that teaches where to find answers in the Book of Mormon to questions of the Soul and at that moment, Dima (that's his name) was pretty much asking questions straight off that list. It was so fun to testify that the Book of Mormon could answer his questions-- because it can! If you read the Book of Mormon with a prayerful heart, it will answer almost any question that you have! I love the Book of Mormon! :) 

I love being a missionary, especially in unplanned teaching moments, where you don't have anything prepared, so you just have to rely on the Spirit. I love those moments, because you feel the Spirit so strongly, and He helps you know what to say and how to say it and helps you remember the Russian words that you need. It is so AWESOME :) 

I feel like I have already said it about 20 times in this email but I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! I love sharing the gospel. I am savoring every day that I have left, because I know that these moments are special. The gospel is true! Christ lives and He loves us! He and Heavenly Father have a perfect plan for us! They want what is best! Through the Atonement, we receive comfort during hard times and they will never forsake us! 

It's a great message to share, and I feel so blessed that I have been called to share it here in Ukraine! :) 

I love you all!
Sister Kati Ford
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...