Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

It is really crazy to think that 2012 has already come and gone. Oh, and guess what... the world didn't end. We have been joking about that the whole week. Remembering the MTC, there is a phone company here in Ukraine with the initials "MTC." It's kind of funny because we see it everywhere. We can't do a whole lot for New Years because we have a curfew at 10:30, and we have to be in our apartment tonight at five o'clock because our mission president wants us to avoid all the drinking that goes on here. Something that is kind of cool though is here in Ukraine they have their own special new year’s day. It is on the 14th of January. Don't ask me why, I am not really sure, I will try and find out and get back to you about that.
Currently we are still searching for a church building. This Sunday we held church at a business center where you can rent rooms by hour. Our plan is to keep doing that until we find a building. What was really cool is that ten minutes before church started, my companion and I invited the security guard to come with us. He agreed and he stayed for the whole thing. We had a grand total of eight people there! It was the four elders, our one member, two investigators, and the security guard. The hardest part about church is singing hymns. Because we have no piano and the missionaries are the only people who know the tunes to the songs. It has been such a great experience. After church we gave the security guard a Book of Mormon and he agreed to meet with us this week.

We looked at seven church buildings this week. None of them have been what we needed unfortunately. It has been really fun though! I feel like one of those people on the Home Network shows trying to find a home. It's a little stressful because we want to make sure we have a spiritual atmosphere so people can have a good experience at sacrament meeting. I will keep you posted on our real estate endeavors!

Well, it’s time for me to go again:( I feel like I never have enough time to say all the things that I want to. I love you all! I look forward to writing you again next week.


Elder Hadfield

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hello! This email may seem a bit jumbled because my thoughts are all over the place. There are a lot of things I need to tell you since this will be my last email in the United States. First of all, I just wanted to say I have the best aunts ever. Aunt Jenny and aunt Liz you rock! I love you both so much. I brag about you all the time! I also got an amazing package from Kendall this week:) And to top it all off, grandpa and Sister Howard sent me some goodies!

Well, here is the fun part! My travel plans! I am the travel leader of our group flying to Ukraine. All that means is that I have to make sure everyone is on our flights before we take off at the different airports, and if anything bad happens I have the number to call the mission home to let them know what is going on. On Tuesday morning we report to the MTC travel office at five in the morning to get our visa's and our plane tickets. A bus will then pick us up shortly thereafter and take us to the Salt Lake City airport. We will then fly from Salt Lake to New York, and then from New York to Amsterdam. We have about an hour and a half in Amsterdam and then we fly to Kyiv, where we will be met by president Klebingat and his wife. Then I am not sure what will happen from there. I am sure they will let us send you an email so you know we have arrived safe in Kyiv. So just be expecting an email on Wednesday!

I had a really fun week this week. For our devotional on Sunday, instead of a speaker, the BYU men's chorus came and sang like six Christmas songs, and in between each song someone from the chorus came up to the microphone and shared a story from their mission. It was awesome! We are not allowed to use our iPod's here at the MTC so there seems to always be a shortage of music. But soon I will be in Ukraine and I can listen to hymns in the morning while I work out. Plus I will get there in the middle of Christmas season, and from what our teachers tell us there is a lot of carolling!

Thanks for all the dear elders:) I think I got one from everyone this week. That was great! Jessica it sounds like you had a great birthday on the ice, but it sounds like mom might have needed some ice after help her bum not be sore ha ha. Just kidding. Amanda I love you! I sent a letter home this week and I hope you all enjoy it! I included some funny comments in it about heath cake:). Well its time to go, I love you all! I look forward to calling home from the airport! And also calling home for Christmas. I hope all is well.


Elder Hadfield

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Another Beautiful Day at the MTC.

Hello! Another week has gone by. Thank you for your package! I loved it so much. I drank like all of the chocolate milk in one day ha ha, are you surprised? Thank you for all the dear elders. Dad, I love reading the ones you send to me. Please tell Grandma thank you from me, for the box she sent me with goodies. She is so sweet! Well, I don't have a whole lot to report this week. Although tomorrow I should get my travel plans and my Ukrainian Visa, so I will let you know all the information that contains next week. Can you believe that I leave the United States in less than two weeks? Its pretty crazy, soon I will be in a county where I don't speak the language (at least not well), I pretty much don't know anyone, and where I will live for the next 22 months. I am very excited though. We might even fly through DC. I only say that because the last group who flew to Ukraine went through DC and the through Germany. It is really weird, but as I have been getting better and better at Ukrainian, my German is getting harder and harder to use. The first few weeks I was here I would go and speak German with the German missionaries quite often. The last few weeks I have tried to do that, but as I talk all that comes out is a mix of Ukrainian and German. It sounds really weird. And when I am able to speak German, it is with a Ukrainian accent.

Happy Birthday Jessica! I know it is not your birthday today but it will be on the 8th. How does it feel to be 18 (please answer after your birthday)? I hope you have fun partying or doing whatever you have planned. I'm sorry that I can not be there to celebrate with you. Just know that I love you!

Something cool happened to me this week. I got to meet an Elder who red shirted for the University of North Carolina for basketball. He didn't play during the season, but he did get to play during the NCAA tournament. It was neat to hear him explain why he decided to give that all up and come on a mission for two years. His name was Elder White and he said that he was planning on going back to North Carolina to play basketball after his mission. But still, that is really hard as an athlete to put that all on hold. My allotted time on the computer is winding down. I love you! Its about time for me to go. I hope you are having a great Christmas season. Remember to focus on the Savior, from what dad tells me you are doing a great job so far. I am proud of you. Talk to you next week.

Elder Mitchell Gregory Hadfield

Two Weeks and Counting

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sister Garret and I in the MTC.
Hello again, boy does time go by fast when you are busy. It feels like I was just sending you an email yesterday. I hope you enjoy all the pictures! Most of them are from thanksgiving. Its a little crazy, but the night of thanksgiving there were Christmas lights up all over the MTC. That's pushing it if you ask me:) Just kidding! The picture of me is with Sister Garret, who I was telling you about. 

Well let me tell you about my thanksgiving! After breakfast we had a devotional, and guess who came? Elder Holland! It was really exciting to see an apostle. He talked about what a blessing it is to live in the latter days when the fullness of the gospel is restored. He said that he thinks that is one of the most overlooked blessings that we have. Living during this time in the world's history is an amazing opportunity with all the innovations and technology that we have. With all those blessings comes a great responsibility of sharing the gospel with those who do not yet know about it. Elder Holland also had his granddaughter sing "If the Savior Stood Beside Me." She looked like she was about ten years old and she had an amazing voice. After the devotional we went on a walk as a district, it was a little cold but I love to be outside and see the beautiful mountains. We got back from our walk and then we went to have thanksgiving dinner (lunch). It was pretty good! Don't worry mom, it can't even compare to your thanksgiving cooking, but I was still thankful to have a nice meal.

After we ate (it was hard to walk haha) we had a play we got to watch about the first thanksgiving. It was missionaries dressed up as Native Americans, settlers, and turkeys. It was by no means politically correct, but it was a lot of fun! At the end we sand over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go.... don't ask me why. Then came my favorite part of the day. We were able to do a service project for children in Africa (I forget exactly which country it was for). We put together school kits and first-aid kits for them. I was in charge of putting in calculators! It worked like an assembly line, the bag would be passed down the row and we would put our item in. It was something really small but it felt really good. Well that's pretty much everything exciting that happened on thanksgiving!

As I was reading my scriptures I was thinking about what it means to be a representative of Jesus Christ. And then a thought came to me. When Jesus Christ suffered the Atonement he acted as a Representative for me.In the Garden of Gethsemane He stood in my place, with my name on His chest, as He felt the pain of every single sin I have ever committed and bled from every pore. I am so thankful for Christ's willingness to be my proxy. Now I have the opportunity to do my best to thank Him by standing in as His proxy. Though I will not bleed from every pore, I promise that I will sweat from every pore as I work my hardest to do Justice to the name on my chest.

I love you all! I hope you had a good week! Thank you so much for your love and support (and your letters:).


Elder Mitchell Gregory Hadfield

Happy Thanksgiving from the MTC.
Elder Kelley and I teaching the Gospel "Uk-Raine Style"