"You will have significant experiences. I hope that you will write them down and keep a record of them, that you will read them from time to time and refresh your memory of those meaningful and significant things. Some may be funny. Some may be significant only to you. Some of them may be sacred and quietly beautiful. Some may build one upon another until they represent a lifetime of special experience." Gordon B. Hinckley, 2006
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Ira and Sergei
Ira and Sergei are your typical Ukrainians. They speak Russian in their deep, loud voices. (Sidenote: when Russians speak, I think it sounds like they are mad and yelling all the time. They aren't, it just sounds that way. Different tones and intonations than we use.) Ira is the sister of one of Brian's friends from the mission. He now lives in the US. Ira is not a member of our church, nor is her friend Sergei, whom Brian paid to drive us around Kiev on our first and last day.
Once we got to know them they have really nice hearts. They both speak a tiny bit of English, and I worked really, really hard that week I was there to pick up some Russian, and when we couldn't find the words we just smiled at each other a lot! :)
And we laughed a lot. Everyone understands laughter--it doesn't matter what language you speak.
On the last day, on the way to the airport, we laughed and joked and had a really great time together. Sergei said to me, "You know, you don't speak Russian, and I don't speak English, and yet we understand each other perfectly!!!"
It was true.
He also paid us the greatest compliment when he said to me and Brian, "Watching the two of you makes me want to get married."
We had such an amazing, spiritual, uplifting trip. I felt like it really helped me understand my husband better. I will always be so grateful that we were able to have this experience. And it almost felt, a little bit, like we were on a mission. We spent a lot of time doing church things, and had so many amazing spiritual experiences.
The night before we left, I prayed to my Heavenly Father and earnestly thanked him for the time we were able to spend there, and for the Spirit we had been blessed with. I knew I'd treasure them for ever. And then selfishly, I prayed that we may be able to have just one more missionary experience before we left the Ukraine.
We got that experience the next morning on the way to the airport with Sergei and Ira. Brian had 2 copies of the "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" in Ukrainian. He pulled them out in the car and gave one copy to each of them, and said to them, "This is something that explains a little bit about what we believe about families. It is very, very important to me, and has brought me so much happiness, joy, and peace. I want to share it with you and I hope it can bring you the same happiness."
They both smiled and accepted the proclamations, and Sergei told him, "I respect you a lot. If this is important to you, then I will read it."
What a sweet to end an absolutely perfect trip.