Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Missionary Nametag
Hello again! I hope my emails don't get boring because it seems like I do the same things every week. I promise my emails will get way more interesting when I get to Ukraine! First off, Thanks dad for the workouts I am using them and they are great! Amanda, you are so cute thank you for the dear elder, it is the best. Also I got a nice Christmas package from the ward, it was really hard to restrain myself so I opened it already haha. There were a bunch of nice letters and candy.

Tomorrow is thanksgiving, are you excited? I am. I just want you to know that I am very thankful for you. Our lunch tomorrow is two hours long. We have a break from the normal missionary grind which will be nice. In the morning there will be a two hour thanksgiving program which we hope will include an apostle. Then we have a service project and another program at night. I will tell you all about it next Wednesday. Oh man, I just remembered that the Cowboys play tomorrow. Who do they play? A new elder who came in last week is from Dallas and likes the Cowboys saw my sweatshirt and we became instant friends. He told me we aren't doing to well though. What a bummer. Also how is college hoops going? I miss watching basketball games. I hope I will have the chance to play some in Ukraine. One of my teachers was telling me about this really nice outdoor court in the middle of Kiev... SCORE (pun intended).

Wow, I leave the MTC in one month, pretty crazy huh? It's nice though because I think I will get to spend Christmas with the Mission President! I can't wait to talk German to him. It's funny but sometimes when I am teaching in Ukrainian a German work will just slip out. With all the new vocabulary that's floating around in my head sometimes I pick a wrong word. I was talking to one of my pretend investigators, and I meant to ask him how his wife was doing but instead I said "whats up woman?" I hope that doesn't happen in Ukraine, but it probably will. You just have to laugh it off I guess:) I have come to the conclusion that it really doesn't matter how well I can speak the language (though I am striving to master it) as long as the Spirit touches the heart of whoever I am talking too. Having that in mind takes off a lot of stress. One thing I have learned over these last few weeks is how to have patience with myself. There have been times where I have been really frustrated that I can't say things how I want to. I just try and realize that I have only been learning Ukrainian for five weeks and get a better perspective. I think Satan likes it when we are not patient with ourselves. We are human and none of us is perfect, we can get caught up in all the small mistakes that we make because that stops us from progressing. We need to rely on the Savior and the atonement to pick us up when we fall short.

Well, my time is up:( I will have a lot of fun things to tell you next week. I love you!

Elder Mitchell Gregory Hadfield

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Enjoying the great food at the MTC Cafeteria!
Hello! I am doing very well, I am so excited to email you today. So I just got back from the temple and I want to share something that happened to me on my way there. The temple is about a fifteen minute walk from where I am staying, and it was a very cold morning today. When Elder Kelley and I got to the temple he realized that he had forgotten his recommend. We had to walk all the way back to our room in the cold to get it. At first I was really bummed. But after we grabbed his recommend we were walking back to the temple and we saw an old man struggling to get out of his car. He had a walker and a bunch of things he was trying to carry. I recognized immediately that we were supposed to help this man, and that he was the reason why we needed to be delayed. We went and helped him in, and he was very thankful and told us "You guys are the best." I know that God loves that man, and that God put us in that man's way to show that man that He loves him. It may seem like something small, but the feelings of love were great!

I hope you got a chance to read Jacob 5 and 6 this week! I just want two share my feelings very briefly. I love the allegory of the olive tree and it means a lot to me. I am one of the Lords laborers in his vineyard. My fellow elders and I are striving to find the good people of the earth and to save them from the day that the vineyard shall be burned. I am so blessed to have the privilege of serving along side Jesus Christ as we find His children. This week I would ask you to read the story of Abinadi in chapters 12-17 of Mosiah, I know its rather long, but I know there is much that can be learned from it. As you read try and find similarities with Abinadi, with what happened to Jesus Christ as He shared His gospel, and with the prophet Joseph Smith. Thank you for doing that:)

Dad, how was your trip? You would be proud of me during gym time, we play knock-out a lot. Guess who wins? I do, well some of the times. It reminds me of playing knock-out with you and aunt Liz in the yard! We are having SYL days know (Speak your language). Where the whole day we speak nothing except Ukrainian. It's tough but it is helping my Ukrainian come along. Well its time for me to go. I love you! I love my Savior, and I love His gospel. I will send some pictures when I go to do laundry!

Until Next week, Love,

Elder Hadfield
Beautiful Snow Day in Provo, UT.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Elder Kelley and I in our "cool" Ukraine t-shirts
Hey! I am so glad it is Wednesday. First of all, tell Grandma and Aunt Jenny thanks for the boxes they sent me full of goodies. Oh and also tell Sister Howard thanks from me, she sent me one too! I got the line of authority cards and they look great I was so excited to see them. Thanks for all the dear elders, I love reading them.

Well, it’s been a month. Do you miss me? I hope so. Don't forget about me. I am doing great. Guess what mom? We had enchiladas again this week. Also, how is it best to wash the sweaters? I should have paid better attention the first time you told me. The food here is good but I miss your cooking. It is getting pretty cold but I am wearing my hat and gloves so I do not get sick! Dad, I got a conference ensign so I can read the talks that you told me about. I am so glad that you are spending time reading the words of the prophets. I hope you got the chance to read the first few chapters of the book of Mosiah. Pretty amazing huh? It helps me to be humble and realize that I rely on God for everything that I have. Reading it also helps me to feel the power of the atonement and to see the affect that it had in people’s lives. I know that as I use the atonement I can feel its enabling power to lift and to strengthen me and I can feel the joy that it brings. This week I would like you to read the allegory of the olive tree in Jacob chapter five and six. I have read, re-read, and pondered it many times this week. Please send me any insight that you derive from it to help me better understand it.

My companion and I get along really well. We have the same sense of humor (I'm sure you can imagine) so we have a lot of fun. We take the gospel very seriously but it is nice to be able to laugh every once in a while too! We have two "investigators" that we are teaching. It’s hard not knowing exactly how to express what I want to say in Ukrainian, but like Nephi says "I delight in plainness." Our lessons are very plain and simple. However, the amazing thing is how powerful the Spirit is despite our weakness in speaking!

My Ukrainian is really coming along well! I can say the sacrament prayer, and in a few weeks I will get a chance to use it in church! I am almost to the point where I can start building sentences all by myself. The only thing holding me back is the grammar (which I am starting to get more comfortable with), and my very limited vocabulary. Every day I get better and learn more so I am very optimistic. It's kind of funny, I can teach short gospel lessons and share scriptures, but if I had to have a conversation with someone on the street I would be helpless. I do know the word for milk though so if I am ever thirsty I will be set.

How is everything at home? I saw that you are all safe from the storm, is the house OK?  They made it seem really bad in here. Emily! I sent you a letter today, I hope you enjoy it. I love you! I am sad that I am all out of time:( and I am sorry I don't have my camera with me, I will try and send some pictures in a few hours when I go to do laundry. I love you all. Continue to read your scriptures and pray and I know that the Lord will bless you. I know that Christ died for me and that He loves me. I know the gospel is true.

Elder Hadfield

Just got a new haircut. Go Cowboys!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

My Mission District in front of the Provo Temple.
I am so glad I have the chance to send you an email today! I just got back from the temple and I feel so blessed to be going to a mission with a temple. Mom, I miss your enchiladas! The other day they had them here at the MTC and let me tell you it was like having McDonalds instead of Mikes. I hope you are all safe from the storm. Please let me know how bad it is because I really have no way of knowing in the MTC. Please thank Grandma for me, she sent me a very nice care package. Thanks for yours as well. Also please thank Brother and Sister Stewart for the popcorn they sent me!

Well I miss you all, its hard to be away from you. However, I know that I am doing whats right. I want you to know that I have a very firm testimony of the restored gospel. As I have really been studying the Book of Mormon I have come to feel of the power the Atonement can have in our lives. Left to my own strength I would not be able to accomplish the many things required of a missionary of Christ. I feel extremely strengthened and lifted. I hope you are keeping up with your reading and study. I have an assignment for you! Maybe during family night or something read King Benjamen's address to his people in the first four chapters of Mosiah. Then please let me know of any insights that you draw from it. I will do the same and I will share my insights next week! Sound good? Ok!

This week has been a very strong week. Elder Kelley and I had the opportunity to teach at Sunday school for our district this week. The topic was repentance. I used the poem that Dad gave me to start out my comments. I really felt the spirit. I am excited to be able to go to the Ukraine to be able to share a message of repentance so everyone there will have an opportunity to feel the power that the atonement can have in their lives. Every Tuesday night we have a devotional from a member of the quorum of the 70, or of the twelve. So far it has been all 70's, and they have done really good jobs, but we are optimistic that we might see an Apostle this Tuesday! Wouldn't that be neat? Sunday nights are movie nights. I know what you are thinking, "You aren't allowed to watch movies as a missionary." You would be right, however, we get to watch old devotionals. We watched one on Sunday that was given by Elder Holland. He talked about how as a missionary I have the same title as an apostle. That of "Elder." He said that he is an apostle with a big A, because he was ordained to be an apostle. He also said something that really hit me. He said that I am an apostle with a little a because I was set apart. For two years I get to wear the Master's name on my chest. What an honor. I am doing my best to live up to it!
I love all of you, and I love hearing from you. It makes me feel like I am not so far away. Be safe!

Until next week,

Elder Hadfield