Sister Mariah McCrea's Contact Information:

Email -

Ukraine Physical Address (For Postal Mail and Packages):

Sister Mariah Sargent McCrea
Ukraine Dnepropetrovsk Mission
Karla Marksa 27A 5th Floor

Note: If you are planning on sending a package to Sis. McCrea, please contact her mom and dad for suggestions on which carrier to use and what to do to avoid package tampering.

Elder Mitchell McCrea's Contact Information:


Brazil Physical Address (For Postal Mail and Packages):

Elder Mitchell McCrea
Brazil Belem Mission
Av. Navare, 532 Sala 412 4 Andar
Navare Royal Trade Center
66040-143 Belem-PA

Note: If you are planning on sending a package to Elder McCrea, please contact his mom and dad for suggestions on which carrier to use and what to do to avoid package tampering.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mariah, week 30, Zaporozhye

"I-I'm s-s-s-so c-co-cold, I-I could use m-my nose drippings as c-c-hopsticks..." "I-I'm so c-c-cold... I-I'm-I'm s-sh-shivering!"

Five points to anyone who can name what TV show that quote is from!

But anyway... that quote and every other quote referencing being cold and/or ice has been replaying in my head all this week. It has been FUH-REEZINGCOLD in Zaporozhye this past week. Like, at least -14 C every day. It's been so awesome to walk around, contacting at night, with the ice-biting wind blowing right in our faces. The streets and sidewalks have all been iced over since at least Wednesday. (And a funny difference between the U.S. and Ukraine is that they're smart in the way that they don't use salt on the roads and sidewalks. They use sand instead, which doesn't end up rusting cars and stuff.) I feel like we should PREPARE FOR THE ICE AGE! 

For those of you who may have been slightly worried for my safety after finding out about all the political protests that are going on in Kiev and Ukraine -- don't worry. Everything is fine where I am in this part of Ukraine. Zaporozhye hasn't gotten very crazy with the protests or anything. Our mission president has just advised us all to stay away from areas where there are large groups congregating... and when someone starts to talk about politics, we ask them to be baptized instead! :D

Back to my life in the Dnepropetrovsk Ukraine mission. It's week 7 of my fourth transfer. (Normally transfers are 6 weeks long, but the transfer before this was cut two weeks short since it ended right before the holidays.) Anyway, this week, like every week has been for a while, has been full of miracles, sprinkled here and there. Tuesday, we found a miracle contact. We had to go to church to have our interviews that we have with President van Bruggen every two months. After we got off the marshootka at the stop we needed, we were still a little early, so we decided to contact for a little bit. As it often is, the first person we talk with isn't interested. And so we moved on to another lady that was waiting nearby. We struck up a conversation and asked if she read the Bible. She said yes, but that she received revelation from God that it was changed and she keeps that in mind when she reads. (No joke.) So Sister Nielsen, my companion, and I showed her a Book of Mormon and talked a little about it, what it is, etc. She seemed a little interested. Then she asked where we met for our church service and Sister Nielsen pulled out a church invite card and stuck it in the book. The lady opened the book back to where Sister Nielsen had stuck the invite card and stared at it for a while. "... I had a vision," she said. "There are so many churches -- Baptist, Provaslovni, Jehovah's Witnesses, your church -- and I asked God which one is true. And in my dream, I saw in big gold letters: ЦЕРКОВЬ ИИСУСА ХРИСТА (Church of Jesus Christ) ... just like how it is on your card." Sister Nielsen then did a good job of testifying to this lady that our church is the true church that she's been searching for. Her work schedule is really crazy from what she's told us (4 days on, one day off) so fingers crossed that we'll get to meet with her!

Saturday was also another crazy day. Little Dima, a 8 year-old boy in the branch here, GOT BAPTIZED! At first though, he almost didn't. Since it's late January, and the water that they pumped into the baptismal font was ice cold -- Dima was so scared to be dunked and get baptized. (And I can totally relate. All I can remember from my baptism is that the water was freezing cold.) Anyway, poor little Dima was crying and after 10 minutes of trying to persuade convince him, he didn't want to do it and they gave up and pulled him out of the blow-up pool and let him go change. Everyone that had attended the baptismal service was all basically standing around, staring at the baptismal pool. Sister Nielsen had the great idea to say a prayer, to give little Dima a little bit of peace and and maybe an ounce of courage. The whole time though, I was just thinking in my head, 'if only the water was warmer...'  Long story short: after an hour or so, of trying to dump water out and replace it with hot water, we warmed the water up enough for Dima to feel comfortable and receive the saving ordinance of baptism. I know that I didn't really have anything to do with teaching him or anything, but that is why I now consider him to be one of my precious baptisms! :D 

Saturday, Zaporozhye also had the chance to get a little Latvian~ !!

There are two Latvian elders who serve in Zaporozhye. And believe it or not, they are actually companions. Elder Vanags and Elder Tsoonski -- both awesome elders. And on Saturday, Elder Vanags and Tsoonski gave a little presentation about Latvia, which included a slideshow, video clips, music and food. Sister Nielsen and I actually got a chance to help prepare the food. I can't wait to come home and introduce all these different eastern European food and dishes to my family and friends!

Other noteworthy things that happened this week:
  • Apparently I read in Russian "very well". Those are words from a semi-less active who lives in our area. Her kind words boosted my confidence in my reading abilities.
  • I have "творческая личность" (personal creativity). Zina, a very close friend and wise member of the branch here told me that. I've always thought of myself as being creative and cleaver. But just the way that she explained it... it really clicked in my head. I know which color to use next. 
THAT'S ALL FOLKS. Tune in next week for more Ukrainian adventures. And now for some inspiring words from the scriptures:

"O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will you not now return unto me and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?" -- 3 Nephi 9:13

Сестра Макрей

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Zhoozha, the mohawked naked mole dog and my hand :D

(P.S. the subject line quote was from Spongebob Squarepants!)

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