Posted by kosakhe on July 29, 2012
Posted by kosakhe on July 20, 2012
Posted by kosakhe on December 28, 2010
The Moscow Kosak family wishes you a wonderful and peaceful Christmas 2010. We’ve been very blessed this year with health, peace, and many accomplishments of our family & personal goals. Most importantly has helped us our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. His infinite atonement was with us each day in happiness and sad moments, in strength and some pain, in afflictions and accomplishments – we’ve seen His hands in all our life in 2010. Elder Neal A. Maxwell has incredibly explained, that “God’s gifts, unlike seasonal gifts, are eternal and unperishable, constituting a continuing Christmas which is never over! These infinite gifts are made possible by the ‘infinite atonement.’” (The Christmas Scene, p. 4.)
We’re still in the Christmas story, every day, every month, it is “still unfolding” in every place we live. Even at the traditional days of remembrance of His birth, His atonement girds us and guides us to be happy and joyful every minute.
Our testimonies got strengthened especially through the many students in Seminary and Institute we’ve met in so many countries, in so many different and difficult situations. What a blessing to see so many lives changed because of Him, His birth, His teachings, and His atonement.
Lisa-Marie, our daughter, has blessed us too. She is in her Senior year at the Anglo-American High school in Moscow and was accepted at the BYU Idaho in 2011. She, still, studies intensively in school every day, fulfills her callings, and her daily study, and – smiles.
It was also our 25th Anniversary this year – Elke and I married in 1985. We deeply love and miss each other while I am traveling in Europe East extensively but enjoy evenings at home with books and good movies and travel together as we did to Cornwall/England this year.
Many friends are with us, we kept old ones, we won new ones, and we enjoy the community of LDS people in Moscow.
May the Lord bless you during this special Season and for 2011 as well.
Posted by kosakhe on September 3, 2010
“A landmark in the maturation of the Church in Eastern Europe.” [President Thomas S. Monson]
We visited as family the Open House of the Kyiv temple two weeks ago. Beautified with local wheat ornaments in windows, furniture, and carpet, the temple beams in its neighborhood. After our temple in Freiberg, the only temple built during communist times, this is another “landmark” as the first temple in the former Soviet Union.
No question others will follow.
We came home, excited about the historical events we participated in. Let’s keep such memories eternally in our hearts and minds.
President Thomas S. Monson dedicated Aug. 29 the Kyiv Temple and opened, by doing so, a new chapter in the history of the Church and, by extension, all the world.
“How pleased and honored I am to have the opportunity to be here in Kyiv with our faithful members and to dedicate this magnificent temple — the 134th in the Church,” President Monson said.
“As this temple is dedicated, I would hope that each one in attendance today would pledge to rededicate his or her life and to make the promise, ‘As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord’ ” (Joshua 24:15).
Posted by kosakhe on December 23, 2009
Soon we will start with our fifth year in Russia – and we miss you.
Living here where we miss going out because traffic is just always a nightmare, where life during the year basically is reduced to work, school and church, where we, in the best time of year, lack of any of our beloved German Christmas traditions, like wonderful flower arrangements, little Christmas concerts, Christmas markets or visiting friends and family, in short: missing a location where still not everything about Christmas is business and commerce, makes us even more grateful for the blessings of the gospel which reach all over no matter where we are.
Sometimes the spirit tells us something we always knew but now we feel it is a part of us.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell said in November 26, 1980, “Ultimate hope and daily grumpiness are not reconcilable. It is ungraceful, unjustified, and unbecoming of us as committed Church members to be constantly grumpy or of woeful countenance. Do we have some moments of misery or some down days? Yes!
But the promise is that Christ will “lift thee up” (Moroni 9:25). The disciple can note the depressing signs of the times without being depressed. He can be disappointed in people without being offended at life. Thus it is that ultimate hope, if it does not finally dissolve our daily disappointments, at least puts them in perspective.”
The miracle of the birth of our savior Jesus Christ touches our hearts even though we don’t live in our comfort zone.
We are extremely thankful for the Christmas spirit we feel in our heart, home and family and we look forward to the New Year with faith and certainty that our Lord will help when we need Him.
We’re happy to have such a wonderful daughter in our family who is striving towards spiritual stars. Every day dad gets still the favorite “Lisa” scripture as SMS. Elke enchants our home and our hearts, and Henry is happy as teacher, working together with incredible fine colleagues and their families, visiting the marvelous future, the youth, in so many countries, and seeing great examples in the serving missionary couples here. So many friends are not visible right now, but are still there – we feel it.
What a wonderful life we have. We try to count our blessings each day and cannot find enough paper to write them on.
We, the Kosak family in Moscow/Russia, wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2010.
Elke, Lisa-Marie, and Henry
Posted by kosakhe on September 11, 2009
The Creation! Besides, I speak not only of gigantic rarities but of the simply green grass, from clouds which unite to dangerous sky armies, from animals which still live in the wilderness, from glaciers which melt faster and faster, from the single small flowers which please her neighborhood with sunny colors – or simply from driving, hours and hours, along sceneries which want to give rest and peace and calmness in your heart.
Visiting Friends! President Henry B. Eyring said once, “All of us will be tested. And all of us need true friends to love us, to listen to us, to show us the way, and to testify of truth to us so that we may retain the companionship of the Holy Ghost. You must be such a true friend.” We are happy and blessed to have such friends and relatives who are a spiritual guidance in enjoyable and troubles times. You do not have to have contact with them every day, every week, every month – it is an unwritten order, an often unmentioned but felt relationship of trust. Then, suddenly, whenever you see each other, even after years, there is that bond of truth, of testimony, of example, and of love you want to follow then.
I always like Elder Marlin K. Jensen’s statement about friendship, given at General Conference, April 1999, “The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “friendship is one of the grand fundamental principles of ‘Mormonism.’ ” 1That thought ought to inspire and motivate all of us because I feel that friendship is a fundamental need of our world. I think in all of us there is a profound longing for friendship, a deep yearning for the satisfaction and security that close and lasting relationships can give. Perhaps one reason the scriptures make little specific mention of the principle of friendship is because it should be manifest quite naturally as we live the gospel. In fact, if the consummate Christian attribute of charity has a first cousin, it is friendship. To paraphrase the Apostle Paul slightly, friendship “suffereth long, and is kind; [friendship] envieth not; … seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; … [friendship] never faileth.” 2
Like so much of what is worthwhile in life, our needs for friendship are often best met in the home. If our children feel friendship within the family, with each other, and with parents, they will not be desperate for acceptance outside the family. I think one of life’s most satisfying accomplishments for my wife and me is to have lived long enough to see our children become good friends. It’s definitely a miracle that those in our family who in younger years occasionally threatened one another with serious bodily harm now seek out and genuinely enjoy each other’s friendship. Similarly, I think no finer compliment can be paid to parents than to have children say that their parents are among their best friends. …”
This was a summer of counting blessings, instead of murmuring therein. The nature, the smiling and not smiling people, the rain and sun, the frienships we have, and the relationship to our Father in Heaven and our Lord, Jesus Christ, prepared us for upcoming events. Enjoy some of the pictures that give us constant memory.
Posted by kosakhe on June 14, 2009
Our short escape to see spring in February was delightful. Lisbon is the city I expected – beautiful, old, smiling people, and full of old stories.
While Lisa, our daughter, went on a School Discovery Week to Egypt, Elke and I used this time to see, to inhale, and to enjoy “Living History”.
How wonderful it is to be married – and not only for time on earth, but for eternity – to share the exceptional moments in life.
I am a happy man – my whole family is “in history”. We love to visit museums, to read books about world history, and to compare those times with ours.
Hopefully we excerpt the right principles in everything. As Arnold Toynbee, the famous American historian, once said that all of history can be written in a simple written formula – Challenge, Response!”
- Facades with tiles
We couldn’t believe it – lemons on the tree – and a gentle wind enveloped our face. See the pictures and enjoy our exploring, on ways that were used by Cabral who explored Brazil, by Magalhaes who circumnavigated the earth the first, and by Henry the Navigator.
Mark L. Grover wrote in 1997, “Portugal is a country with a history of pioneers. In the 15th century, Portuguese ships began exploring beyond the known European world. A century later, Portugal had established its presence in many lands, particularly in Asia, Africa, and South America. The emigration of citizens from Portugal to these lands continued for hundreds of years.”
Talking about exploring, I’d like to share what Elder Neal A. Maxwell [in “The Inexhaustible Gospel,” Ensign, Apr 1993, 68], explains what the true principles of EXPLORATION are, “Clearly in some situations, a few individuals in the Church unfortunately end up “looking beyond the mark,” missing the already obvious. (Jacob 4:14.) For these few individuals, exciting exploration is preferred to plodding implementation. Speculation and argumentation are more fun than consecration for these individuals. Some even try to soften the hard doctrines. What happens, however, is that by their not obeying, they lack knowing—the very knowing we are discussing today. (See John 7:17.) Thus, since they cannot defend the faith, a few of them become critics instead of defenders.
As far as salvational truths are concerned, therefore, the secular knowledge explosion in recent years—with all of its many and unarguable benefits to mankind—has not been a bang at all. This has been merely a whimper. It was the Restoration which provided the explosion of salvational knowledge.
I now hasten to add, having said these preliminary things, that the role of secular knowledge is very important. Latter-day Saints should have all the genuine excitement others have in the traditional adventure of learning, including learning secular truths, and we should have a little more. In fact, when we are so learning and so behaving, we are truly “about [our] Father’s business.” This should bring to us a special and genuine zest for learning. (Luke 2:49; see also 2 Ne. 9:29.)
Furthermore, those of us who have spent much of our lives involved with traditional education regard it as one of mankind’s most useful, productive, and cost-beneficial enterprises. It is even more beneficial, however, when it has the added spiritual dimension. Moreover, secular education wisely does not pretend to give us answers to the great “Why?” questions—any more than you and I would read a telephone directory in search of a plot.
Furthermore, our different frame of reference should never cause us to preen or to be insensitive to the uncertainty or despair some feel in the world precisely because they believe sincerely that man exists in “godless geometric space.”
As if speaking to this very point, the Prophet Joseph Smith observed: “Knowledge does away with darkness, suspense and doubt; for these cannot exist where knowledge is.
“There is no pain so awful as that of suspense.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 287–88.) Joseph, of course, was speaking about a particular kind of knowledge and pain.
Thus our view of education is the same as Jesus prescribed with regard to our other Christian duties: namely, the weightier matters should receive their deserved prominence, but without leaving the lesser learning chores undone. (See Matt. 23:23.)
The Prophet Joseph also observed, “If you wish to go where God is, you must be like God, or possess the principles which God possesses.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 216.) God possesses perfect knowledge, but He also possesses perfect love, purity, mercy, and so on. What a contrast He is with those mortals who are bright but bad and who are clever but carnal. Even genius without goodness can be dangerous.
No wonder, therefore, “to be learned is good if [we] harken” to the counsels of God instead of setting them aside, as if we have somehow outgrown them. (2 Ne. 9:29.) How can one ever outgrow Christ’s example of knowing, behaving, and doing? What happens, however, is that some easily fall into the trap described by Paul, when they are “ever learning” but “never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Tim. 3:7.) One might learn, for instance, a great deal about the physical characteristics of this planet earth, but yet be ignorant of why it was created in the first place. (See Isa. 45:18; 1 Ne. 17:36; Moses 1:33, 39.)” [end of quote]
There is a “real exploring” united with a “real education” when we open our eyes, mind, and heart to the Lord’s creation items, we find in secular education, but even more, when we study the scriptures consequently, and not only as a “quotation handbook”.
Lisbon has shown the horizon and the eagerness to explore the “core” in our life.
Posted by kosakhe on February 17, 2009
Posted by kosakhe on February 17, 2009
London trip – unexpected but long desired. A family relief while listening, smelling, tasting, and feeling “real” history in one of our most favorite cities now.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell once said, “Ultimate hope and daily grumpiness are not reconcilable. It is ungraceful, unjustified, and unbecoming of us as committed Church members to be constantly grumpy or if woeful countenance. Do we have some moments of misery or some down days? Yes! But the promise is that Christ will ‘lift thee up’ (Moroni 9:25) The disciple can note the depressing signs of the times without being depressed. He can be disappointed in people without being offended at life. Thus ut us that ultimate hope, if it does not finally dissolve our daily disappointments, at least puts them in perspective” (The Neal A. Mawell Quote Book, ed. Cory H. Maxwell [SLC: Bookcraft, 1997], 164).
The timeout of five days was edifying in a spiritual and secular way. How wonderful it is to have children who are interested in the past to prepare the future but to live TODAY.
Let me show you some pictures we took.
Posted by kosakhe on December 24, 2008
The Church office building in Moscow, December 2008.
Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year, dear friends and colleagues!
Christmas is one of the happiest and most memorable times of any year. As we prepare for the holiday, our thoughts carry us beyond that night in Bethlehem, and we think of the glorious gift our Father in heaven gave to us by sending His Son to earth almost 2,000 years ago.
As our family lives in Moscow/Russia since three years, we’re blessed to celebrate Christmas twice – our Western Christmas in December and the Orthodox Christmas at January 7 and to keep the memory and spirit a little bit longer. Our memories go back to our childhood, to Germany, and to the years we spent here in Russia.
How much comfort do we find in the peace that comes from our faith into the justice of God. Christ taught His disciples shortly:
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
So many in the world are not able to find such peace yet, while experiencing war, hunger, persecution, poverty, fear, unemployment, separation, and loneliness.
Then I will remember Scrooge’s dream when the Ghost of Christmas Past appeared and said to him: “I wear the chain I forged in life. I made it link by link, … and of my own free will I wore it.” Thus Scrooge was reminded of his own neglect of his fellowmen and his heart began to soften. By the time of the appearance of the Ghost of Christmas Present, he was able to say, “Tonight, if you have aught to teach me, let me profit by it.” Then when the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come appeared, Scrooge said: “I am prepared to bear you company, … with a thankful heart.”
As he was shown the sad fates of some he had failed to help and foresaw his own lonely death, he pleaded, “Assure me that I yet may change … [and] I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
May we live so that we will have no regrets for Christmases past. May our present Christmases be filled with the joy that comes from keeping the commandments that our Lord and Savior came to teach. May we continue to look forward with expectation for happier Christmases to come because we have shared our blessings with others. And may it be said of us, as it was ever after of Scrooge, that “he knew how to keep Christmas well.” Elder Neal A. Maxwell explained it that way: “The larger Christmas story is clearly not over. It is not solely about some other time, some other place, and some other people. It is still unfolding, and we are in it! (The Christmas Scene, p. 11.)”
Our dear friends, we’d like to remember that He whose birthday we celebrate was the Son of God, the Eternal Father and the Redeemer of the world. May this Christmastime be a glorious and happy time for each of you.
With love and joyous Christmas wishes,
Henry, Elke, and Lisa-Marie Kosak