“I Missed Feeling the Spirit,” Liahona, Aug. 2011, 39
When I was 16, I participated in a student foreign-exchange program for a year. I went from my home in Ukraine to a small town in Arizona, USA, where I stayed with a Latter-day Saint family. I had never heard of Latter-day Saints before.
The exchange program didn’t allow the family to preach to me, and I wasn’t allowed to meet with the missionaries. But I chose to attend church with my host family and participate in all Church activities.
I felt the Spirit with that family, and I felt much love at church. At that time I didn’t know that what I was feeling was the Spirit, but my heart was touched.
When I returned to Ukraine, I missed that feeling very much. I remembered how my life was when I went to church and lived gospel teachings. I realized what was missing, but there was no church and no missionaries where I lived, so I thought I would never have that feeling again.
About four years later, however, some missionaries knocked on my door. I was so happy to see them. While they were out working, they had listened to the Spirit, which led them to my house. I’m so grateful they were obedient. I was baptized and confirmed soon afterward.
Since then I have been sealed in the Stockholm Sweden Temple to my husband, a returned missionary who is from Russia. And now there’s a temple in Kyiv. We plan to attend regularly.
The temple is the most amazing place on earth. It is a place where you can be close to Heavenly Father. I feel so grateful that in the temple we can receive one of the greatest gifts given to us by Heavenly Father: to be sealed as families for eternity.
I am grateful to the members of that Latter-day Saint family who helped me feel the Spirit, starting me on a journey that would lead me to a family of my own that is sealed together forever.