Sunday, November 17, 2013

My dear Family,

So just a little update about transfers. I will no longer be serving in Kmelnitskiy. This next transfer I will be serving in L'viv.  Oh and by the way I will both be serving as an office Elder. I wouldn't peg myself as an "office" type of guy, but I will have a lot of fun doing that. I feel like it will give me a good opportunity to get to know president and his wife a little better. Overall I am way excited! And on top of that I think they might have me keep going to Ternopil from L'viv, which made me really happy because I love the wonderful saints in Ternopil. Oh, and another early Christmas present was that I found out that I need to take a day trip to Uzhhorod to renew my document that allows me to be a resident in Ukraine. I have to go to Uzhhorod because that is where I got it in the first place when I came to Ukraine. So that is exciting. I have a lot of blessings. I am planning on clever ways find people to teach. I really want to baptize or at least teach a post office worker! We will see how it goes. The Lord knows the situation there and He will gather his children. Nothing will stop Him from doing that!

One of those blessings is my awesome family and my great parents. In Ternopil we visited an orphanage of older children, about 12-17 or so, and it was kind of sad that they did not have parents who love them and take care of them. I am comforted to know that each of them has heavenly parents who love them and will take care of them forever. None the less, it made me more thankful for my family here on the earth. Growing up in such a great family, you think families are the norm, as you get older you see the sad truth that they are the exception. I love my family!

Our Ternopil trip was a success once again. The members are so strong and full of faith. We also talked about faith in our meeting. Samuel, a returned missionary who is from Ghana gave a talk about how faith can be broken up into three parts. 1. Knowledge 2. Belief 3. Action. Then he shared the example of faith like a seed in Alma 32 and applied to to knowing, believing, and then acting. It was very powerful.

This week we met a few more times with Masoud! He is so great! We watched more conference talks with him in Persian, and read the bible with him in Persian. He is coming along great. We explained to him the whole story of the Book of Mormon and he now understands about Lehi, the Nephites and the Lamanites, and why the Book of Mormon is important. We found out there is a Persian copy of the Book of Mormon in the Kiev mission so we are getting it sent to us to give to Masoud. He is way excited to read it. He will be in Kmelnitskiy for two more weeks before he leaves. He is a very genuine person. I am going to miss him.

Thanks for reminding me that tomorrow is veterans day! I am sad to say that I did not remember. I am proud of you dad, and grandpa! You both are such good examples to me. Tell the girls to help you rake the leaves! Congratulations to grandpa for getting re-elected mayor! The mayor is a great man! He will do great. Funny story, so on my calendar you made for me it has the mayor from disney world and I showed it to another Elder. We are together right now since both our companions left to go home last night. Anyway I told him about the "he is a great man" inside joke and so we say it all the time and think it is funny! I will take a little time today and write him a letter.

I love being a missionary! I know that we can be a force for good in the world as we do what is right. I love my family! This is my last email from Kmelnitskiy.

Love,

Elder Hadfield

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Hello Family,

On the 31 for Halloween we did also celebrate a bit. Mom and Dad sent me some great pictures of Halloweens in the past and I was able to make a really cool slide show with an English club that meets at a local library. They really enjoyed it. Basically we gave a history of Halloween and then showed two traditions we have during Halloween. 1. Dressing up, and 2. Carving pumpkins. The Library is called "Window on America," and is supported by the United States so they were very glad to have us come by. The Librarian is a very cool lady and she is taking a work trip to D.C. to visit the library of congress soon. I told her I was from D.C. and told her if she had any questions she could email my mom haha!. So the picture I attached was from that. We made paper pumpkins, and drew on them, played some other games, and had some treats. Then some of the people who came to the club found out that we speak Ukrainian, and they thought it was the greatest thing ever. That lead to a lot of other question, which is always good because people always want to know what we are doing in Ukraine! We are always very happy to answer.

I am glad that you liked my story about out trip to Ternopil! You will be excited to hear that we are going back this Sunday! It will be great. This Sunday will also be my companions last Sunday is Ukraine as he is going home next week, so I will miss that because I will go on exchanges to go to Ternopil.

This week we have been working with our awesome investigator from Iran and he is just an amazing person! It is hard to teach him out of the Book of Mormon because there is no translation of the Book of Mormon in Persian as far as we can tell (is there?), so we found the Bible for him in Persian and he has been reading that a lot. He speaks ok English, and while we are not able to read from the Book of Mormon with him we shared the story of Lehi and his family and he was like "Yes, I believe it." He found out that his father has cancer and that was really hard for him. He may be going back to Iran soon to be with his dad, so he really liked the plan of salvation when we shared it! Also we had a sports day and played soccer and he is super good!

I am not sure if I told you but in our apartment we have a bike, so that is sometimes fun to ride on at night or in the morning. I am sad to hear that the socks won the series... but on a better note, our investigator has an iPad and we asked Siri if the Lakers won (since my companion is a big fan) and we found out the lost to the Spurs, so that was cool!

I miss you all very much!

Love,

Elder Hadfield

Hello!

I had a very good week this week, and I have a few really cool\fun stories to share with you.

So this Sunday, I went with another Elder in my District to Ternopil, a city that is about two hours away from my current city. We went there to hold sacrament meeting. There are currently no missionaries there, nor have there ever been missionaries there who have lived constantly. There are five members of the church in Ternopil. One is a peace core worker from the states, and the other three are from Africa. One of them is from Ghana who just got back from his mission in Nigeria and is studding in Ukraine. We had one of the most powerful meetings I have ever been a part of. We all sat around a conference table in a hotel in the center of the city. When it was my turn to give a talk, I just sat in my seat on the round table and talked. I bore my testimony to those fine saints that God loves them, and I did not just say it, I felt it with all my heart. I love that city. It was so cool. I hope that Ternopil will be opened, because it has a lot of potential. It is a beautiful city and I just felt so good about it!

On a more funny note, we had quite the train ride home last night. We ended up sitting next to a drunk man, and on the other side of us was a dance team of 10 year old girls. They had some kind of competition in Ternopil and they were on their way home. The drunk man was hassling us pretty hard, but then we got talking to the trainer of the dance team and she was very nice. She thought it was cool that we learned Ukrainian and was asking a lot of questions. To make a long story short the little girls stated asking me and the elder that I was with for our signatures, we felt quite popular. I had a few american quarters left over in my bag from a long time ago, so I pulled them out and gave them a few and they thought it was the coolest thing ever. We ended up telling the trainer about the baptism that we had this week and about the Helping Hands activity that we did. She was very impressed. Hopefully she comes by the church sometime!

I almost forgot, we had a baptism here this week. A girl in a part member family just decided to get baptized! It was really cool. I was asked to give a talk at the baptism about the gift of the holy ghost so I brought my sweet Ukrainian blanket that you sent my for Christmas last year, and did a sweet object lesson. Everyone loved it, and everyone wanted to take pictures with me and the blanket after haha.

One other cool thing that we did this week was a Helping Hands activity. We basically cleaned up a park . We picked up a lot of trash, did some weeding, and some other stuff the people in charge of the park asked us to do. It was a blast.

That in a nutshell was my week. I hope you enjoyed reading about it.

I love my family. I hope all is well.

Love,

Elder Hadfield

Monday, September 30, 2013

My Dear Family,

Well another week has gone by. Time is flying so fast. Sometimes I look back and wonder where it has gone. Surely it is the most valuable resource that we have on the earth. No one can buy more of it, no one knows how much of it they have, you just have to live the time that you have to the fullest each and every day. Because who knows what will happen tomorrow? Those have been the thoughts that I have been thinking about a lot this week. Let me explain why.

This week marks the end of the transfer. I found out that after living and serving here for six months, I am leaving Chernivtsi. It was a bitter sweet thing to here. On one side bitter knowing that I have to leave, and sweet knowing that it happened and seeing all the people that I have come to know and love. Well, I am sure you are wondering where I am going now. I am going to serve in Khmelnitski. And I got called to be district leader there. It is a little more east and a lot more north than where I am right now. It will be six elders and two sisters. I am not really sure about what the branch is like there, but I will tell you all about that next week!

This week was a lot of fun! Let´s see... where to start?

The whole week we spent preparing for Sunday since we had a huge branch lunch and also during sacrament meeting all the missionaries did a musical number. We sang the EFY melody, where you mix ¨As sisters in Zion,¨ and ¨We´ll bring the world His truth.¨ It was very powerful.

As far as the branch lunch goes, we went with one of the members to help them buy food for it at a local market since it was a lot of food and there was no way they were going to be able to carry all the food home by themselves. I ended up carrying a fifteen kilogram bag of potatoes for a little less them two miles. My back hurt so bad the next morning. On Saturday we went back to the members house and helped peel all the potatoes, great (like with cheese, I am not sure how) them, and make little has brown patties with them. We were in the kitchen for like four hours straight. But the food turned out way good, and on Sunday everyone loved it. Either that or they were just really hungry since none of it was left over.

I got to go on exchanges this week. My companion from the MTC and from Uzhhorod both came down to Chernivtsi (they are serving together). It was really fun, elder Sweeten and I talked a lot about the amazing times we had in Uzhhorod and about the miracles that have happened since. It was really fun.

Mom, I really liked that story you shared with me, I think I have heard it before. It is very comforting to know that Christ will not let the challenges in our life get to bad to where they will ruin us, only to the point where they will refine us and make us more like Him. I think that was something that I really needed this week!

I have such a great family! What a blessing to me! Your letters are always just what I need to hear, and they always help me feel your love for me. Until next week,

Love,

Elder Hadfield

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hello Family! 

This week we took our trip to L'viv. We were there for one day for a conference and then we came home. We didn't really have a chance to do much while we were there since we got in late one night, and got on the train the very next day right after the conference to come home. We got pretty lucky as far as getting on the train since we walked on the train right as it was pulling out of the station on the way home.

On Sunday I had a chance to give a talk on "The worth of souls." It went well. One of the people who was supposed to talk after me did not show up, so our terrific Branch President gave a great talk on self worth! He is so great. I have learned a lot from him. He came over to me on Sunday, sat down and then said "Elder Hadfield, people would go to work day after day and sit in on meetings with their boss saying 'yes boss, yes boss,' they would do whatever it takes because that is where their money comes from. But when God asks them to come to church for three hours once a week, they have a hard time doing it, what they don't realize is that God is the source of all their blessings." Words of wisdom!

It is getting a lot colder here, so that means less people on the streets and more people in their homes. So this week we went knocking on doors for the first time in a long time. During the middle of the summer there is really no point since everyone is outside and they stay outside all the way until we have to be home since it is bright late into the night hours. I really like knocking doors. You are never really sure who will open the door, but you are always ready to share your testimony with them.

I miss you all so much. It is hard to be so far away from you, but I know what I am doing is important. Thank you for your love and support.

Love,

Elder Hadfield
My Dear Family,

Things picked up a bit this week! I am not sure if I told you last week, but this week I will be in L'viv for a conference.Well, only two days out of this week.

Mom, that sounds fun to hand out with the missionaries on their preparation day. I am sure they were very happy to have such a cool member like you show them the sites. Your story reminded me of when I was first in Uzhhorod and it was like two weeks after going down there, so I still did not know the area very well, and the zone leaders came down to go on exchanges. I pretended that I knew my way around really well and we got really lost. But I didn't want to say that we were lost, so I said a little prayer and then we somehow found our way to where we were going, and I didn't have to admit I had no clue where I was haha.

What happened this week? Well this is a funny little story but it will help explain the picture that I sent along with my email. So were were walking down the street when we saw this tiny cute cat. So what the heck, I thought to myself "What would Amanda do?" And then I bent over to pet it. I ended up picking it up for a second to take a picture with it. At the same time as I did this a little girl (about 7ish or so) stopped to talk with us. She was like "Is that your kitty?" We told her no and that we had just found it on the side of the road. She looked at us with the biggest puppy dog eyes and said "Please take him home with you!" It was really hard to try and explain to the cute little girl that we were not allowed to have pets in our apartment. She was really sad, so she picked up the cat to see if she could keep it at school! I hoped that worked out for her.

Oh and this week we had to go to pick up the sisters in the morning and so we thought "lets run to the train station" and we get there a lot faster then we thought. So we had to wait for like 30 minutes and then they got in. So we took their stuff and got in to a taxi to go to their apartment and then we ran home to our apartment and my companion lost the keys to our apartment. So we had to run back to the train station to see if the keys fell while he was siting down, but we didn't find them so we went to a little restaurant by the station for breakfast since we were way hungry and we didn't have any way to get at our food in our apartment.  Then we tried to see if maybe the keys had feel out in the taxi, so we checked if the same taxi came back to the station, but we didn't find him. 

So by now its like 10 am and we had an audit at the church to do, so we go there and did the audit. Keep in mind that we were still in our running clothes. Then we called the land lady and tell her what happened. She was way understanding, which was a miracle, and told us that her husband would come to help us out. We decided to run some errands since we really could not do much else. Then went to meet our land lord and he didn't have the key so he called a lock smith and he said he would come by at 6pm to break us into our house. Our kind neighbor gave us some apples and I cleaned up the leaves on our porch. Then we helped an old man carry like 20 pounds of onions to his apartment, since he was old and could not do it himself. Then finally the lock smith came and took out the lock. I was surprised at how easy it was for him! After we got in the house we were understandably hungry so we got dinner and then got ready to go over to our neighbors house. He invited us over to talk to get to know each other. Then we had a little meeting with our neighbor.

Something pretty cool happened yesterday at church. One of my recent converts who got the priesthood a few weeks ago blessed the sacrament! It made me very happy to be able to watch that!

Well that is all from my end this week! I love you all so much!

Love,

Elder Hadfield
Me as Nephi with the Gold Plates
Hello, 

We spent all day Yesterday settling on the apartment with the land lady and the realtors. Then we moved ourselves out of our apartment, and then we helped the sisters move into the apartment that we were in. A little miracle happened though in the whole process. One of the realtors became very interested in the Book of Mormon. While we were signing contracts and things of that nature I managed to explain a little about the book and she even read the introduction. As time went on she kept asking more questions about what we believe, what we thought about the Bible, and about different traditions in our church. Then at the end before she left we gave her a Book of Mormon and invited her to come to church. She seemed pretty enthusiastic about coming.

My companion and I get along really good, and have a great time doing missionary work. That is what it is all about. Being happy, so others will see you, and wonder where the happiness in you came from.

This week we had a party to kick of institute and seminary at the church. The teachers of both classes asked us for our help. We dressed up like Nephi (me), and Lehi (Elder Bailey|), and locked ourselves in the closet. The students then had to go on a treasure hunt to find us. There were clues all over the church that were hidden. When they found us, we came out with the "gold plates" and bore our testimony of the Book of Mormon and how important it is to us. The we had a bunch of really tasty sloppy joes!

Oh, our recent convert got the priesthood on Sunday!

Just a little scripture that I like that I wanted to share: This is when Lehi is talking to Nephi about Laman and Lemuel.

"1Nephi 3:5 And now, behold thy brothers murmur, saying it is a hard thing which I have required of them; but behold I have not required it of them, but it is a commandment of the Lord."

A lot of times I feel like what my leaders ask me to do is a "hard thing." But when I take a second to think about it, it is not really my leaders who are asking me to do these things but it is my God. When I have that knowledge it is easier for me to do them!

I love you all so much! Mom, your son is doing great, he loves you!

I can't wait to talk to you next week!

Love,

Elder Hadfield

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Hello,

On Wednesday I was in L'viv to pick my new companion. He has two transfers left on his mission before he goes home.  Now in L'viv the missionaries are not allowed to preach, wear name tags, or carry books. Something with the government a little upset about the creation of a new mission there. So it has been pretty hard for the missionaries there to do much other than meet with members and teach English. Anyway, while I was there I got to eat at McDonalds for breakfast. It was ok, a little expensive.

I have a little miracle to share with you. So, the other night we were at the train station to pick up the three sisters coming into Chernivtsi at about eleven at night. We were asked by our district leader to go and help them with their bags so they would not have to lift them all by themselves. We went and helped them, got in a taxi and took them to their apartment. We then paid the taxi driver, and unloaded the bags from the back of the truck. Then the taxi drove away. We had forgot to ask him to wait so that he could take us from the sisters apartment back to our apartment. at this point it was about midnight and it was pitch black. We called a different taxi company to come and get us, but we were told they did not have any free taxis. 

So I turned to my companion and he asked "are we running?" I told him yes. We then proceeded to sprint for 25 minutes until we reached our apartment. It was not until the next day however, that we realized how blessed we actually were. The next day we walked back down the same path that we had ran the night before. However, in the light of day we were able to see how bad the road really was. There were so many holes, big rocks, uneven steps, drop offs, and debris that we should have tripped, fallen, gotten hurt, or even noticed the rough ground as we ran. As we talked about it, we both felt like the run had been very smooth, and it was hard for us to believe that the same road we were looking at was the one we had ran the night before. We both felt like we were blessed and that God had been watching out for us.

On Saturday was Ukraine's independence day. So to celebrate we had to be at home by six. So me and my companion just turned on church DVD's and worked out a lot. If you are wondering, that is what the benching pictures are from. My companion has some weights, so its super good since he lets me use them.

On Sunday I was able to give our recent convert the gift of the Holy Ghost. I was a little nervous, had trouble pronouncing his full name, and I may or may not have repeated myself a few times, but over all it was a very uplifting experience.

What else to say? That's about all from my end.

I love you all so much!

Until next week, Love,

Elder Hadfield

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Family!

So here is the run down on what we will be happening with me this next week: On Sunday after church we are having a little lunch with the branch and then we are all going to a near by hotel where our investigator Tolik is going to get baptized. That night at 11 my companion has a train to L'viv, where he will spend his last preparation day before he goes home. It is still unknown if I will or will not be on the train with him, as we still have not received information on who will be serving where next transfer. We will find out this Saturday where we will be serving, so I will have to let you know next Monday.

This coming week we also have a really fun activity planned with the branches from Chernivtsi and the neighboring branch of Ivano. On Saturday morning the branch is all getting in a rented bus to go up to the mountains in between the Chernivtsi and Ivano oblasts on the border. There the two branches are going to hang out all day, have a big lunch together, and have a lot of fun, and then later on in the day get back on the buses and go back to the cities that they came from. We are allowed to go if we have investigators who are going, which is nice since Elder Dorius and I have about three who are going to go. It will be really nice for them to get to meet a lot of members and have fun with them. Plus I think there is going to be a spiritual thought there and everything like that.

This week was pretty good. I don't have a whole lot to say. For three days I was on exchanges with other elders and on those days we couldn't seem to schedule a meeting with anyone so we were just out on the street talking to people about the gospel all day. Those three days just happened to be the hottest three days of the whole week. Funny how that works. But I still had the sun screen that mom gave me when I left so I made sure to use it and I didn't get burned at all. Way to go mom!

I love you all so much, and I can't wait to hear from you next week and tell you all that is going on with me and where I will be serving from now on. I hope you have a great week!

Love,

Your Son/Brother

Elder Hadfield

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hey family,

A cool little experience that I had yesterday: We were walking out on the street and I was super hungry. I was thinking to myself "wow, it would be nice if I had some fruit to eat right now." Then some old lady called us over to her, so we went. And she told us "hey boys, I just wanted to give you some apples." She then took six apples out of her bag, gave them to us and left. It was a very sweet tender mercy!

We had a really scenic river baptism this week, where two people were baptized. The weather was perfect, there was a lot of support from the branch members, and we even had a lot of non members come! To start off the service all the missionaries sand "Come thou Fount." It was very powerful!

The only hard thing was that the water was not very deep, and the rocks on the bottom of the river really hurt to walk on, on the way back to the shore after the baptism, I slipped and fell on some rocks a few times and got all wet in the river. I am not going to lie, it felt super good. Who said you can't go swim on your mission?

My companion baptized our investigator. He had to get baptized three times before he went all the way under, but I am sure he didn't mind since he thought the water felt really good.

The sisters made a really good lunch and after the baptism we all had a little picnic on the river bank.
Then on Sunday we were able to confirm our new members and give them the gift of the Holy Ghost. What a spiritually packed week.

I love serving in Chernivtsi! It is such a pretty city, and the members are awesome. I am finding much joy in serving others.By the way I am taking so many pictures and my flash card is filling up fast, it will be fun when I come home to sit down and go through the thousands of pictures and videos that I have and show them to you and tell you the stories behind them! Oh and you will be happy to know that I am getting way better at writing in my journal too! Ever since I got the new one my entries have been way longer.

I love you and miss you so much! I hope you have fun on the rest of your trip,

Love,

Elder Hadfield

Monday, July 22, 2013





My dear family,

I don't know if you all remember, but it was exactly one year ago today that I opened my mission call to serve in Ukraine! What a whirlwind it has been since then.

I have two really cool stories to tell you from my week.

First: We have a baptismal date for this Saturday. His name is Vitaly.  He is twenty three years old and he is awesome. He loves the way that he feels when he is at church and is really excited to learn more. He even decided to get baptized in the river. So on Saturday we are going to go out to the river and I hope there will be a lot of support from our wonderful branch.

Second: The Sister missionaries have this investigator names Larissa who has been coming to church ever since I came here to Chernivtsi. She has never been baptized and I am not really sure why. But yesterday I was sitting in priesthood when the overwhelming feeling came to me that I needed to go and ask Larissa if I could baptize her on Saturday. So after the closing prayer I went and found her and just told her that I felt like I should ask her if I could baptize her this coming Saturday. She thought for a second and then said yes! How cool huh? I was very thankful to God for the prompting that He sent me. What a huge blessing! Needless to say I am very excited for Saturday!

Hey, you all have iPhones, you need to take some more pictures to send me since I don't get to see you otherwise! I miss seeing you and it has been to long since you sent me pictures!

I love you all so much! I will talk to you next week,

Love,

Elder Hadfield



Friday, July 19, 2013


Family!

This week was really good! I also took out of the bank 100 dollars this week. I bought a new journal (you wouldn't believe how hard it is to find one that is not graph paper), I bought a shoulder bag since we are not allowed to use a backpack anymore, and I also bought a few ties.  I think it is pretty sweet. I had to control myself so I didn't buy to many.

One cool experience we had this week happened as we were walking to the church. We were in the middle of the center of the city and a girl and her mom stated waving at us. We turned around to see if they were waving at someone behind us because we didn't think they were waving at us. Turns out they were and they called out to us to come over to them. When we walked over to them they handed us an English Book of Mormon and said "Here is your book." We were shocked because we never take English books with us and we did not know how it got onto the bench (where the mom and her daughter found it sitting). So we took it from them and I was like "Here, let me exchange you for one you can read," and I handed her a Russian book. This whole conversation was in Ukrainian by the way. They did not speak English. We said goodbye and kept walking. I turned to my companion and said "Hey, it would be really cool if we found an English speaker to give this book too." About five minutes later we ran into a man from Africa named Fredrick who said he currently did not have a church and he was looking. We gave him the English copy of the Book of Mormon and got his number. We asked all the other missionaries in the city and they said that none of them had given out an English Book of Mormon, plus where is was is far away from where all the other missionaries live. I don't know for sure, but I think that God was watching out for Fredrick and he sent one of His angels to set that Book of Mormon on that bench!

President Latin came by our area this week. He came into Chernivtsi on Thursday and we had lunch with him and then that night we had a fireside at the church for all the members. He is a lot different then our last mission president, but I think he is really great and he will help us accomplish a lot of good in the L'viv Mission.

Well, I love you all so much! I hope that all is well with you. Until next week,

Elder Hadfield

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Dear Family,

I miss you all so much! It is great to be able to hear from you every week. It brings me much comfort to know that you are all doing so well and being really good member missionaries. I know that as you look for missionary moments in your life, you will find them and you will be able to share the gospel with those whom the Lord has prepared for you! I know I am receiving so many blessings on my mission in Ukraine for all of the strides you are making to share the gospel back at home.

So on Friday we were blessed in Chernivtsi to have the first baptism of the L'viv Ukraine Mission! The lady who I told you about got baptized and I had the great honor of being able to baptize her. It is really cool to see how happy she is with the gospel in her life. It is night and day. She has always been a strong woman of faith, but the knowledge that the restored gospel brings has given her a whole hope about life.

She shared with us a very cool experience she had a few days before the baptism that I would like to share with you. Remember the son that I told you about last week that she had who died in a really tragic manner? Well, she said that he came to her in a dream and told her that she needed to join this church and then he left and she woke up. She was very calm and confident in her decision and she knows the Book of Mormon is from God.

She is just an amazing lady and I feel very blessed to have found her. She loves us and she takes good care of us. She had a garden and she gives us lots of berries and fruit. Oh, and she makes some really good natural tea from boiling leaves from a certain type of tree.

For the 4th of July we had a party with all the people who have been coming to our English classes, and all the members who wanted to come and bring their friends. It was a lot of fun. My companion and I made a lot of really good treats that people liked. Ukrainians don't really know what brownies are, because they don't really make them here, but they loved the ones we made!

On Saturday we were in L'viv for the first mission conference as the L'viv mission. President Latin and his wife sister Latin were there and it was really great to get to hear from them. They are awesome people and I feel very blessed to have them here. We didn't get a whole lot of time to talk with them on a 1 on 1 basis, but that's ok, because they are doing a mission tour this week to do a fire side with each branch. On Thursday we have a lunch with President and his wife, and then we have interviews with him, and then at seven at night he is putting on a fire side for the branch, so it should be a pretty fun week!

Oh, I almost forgot, transfers are this week and I am staying in Chernivtsi. I love it here very much, so I am super excited to be able to stay! Well I have to go, Я вас люблю:) I hope you have a fun week! Keep looking for opportunities to share the gospel with the people around you! I am very proud of you!

Your son/brother,

Elder Mitchell Hadfield

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

2 July 2103

Ummm, Ummm, Good!

Dear Family,

If you are all gathered around the computer anxiously awaiting my thoughts of the first presidency broadcast then I am sorry to disappoint you. Did I get to watch the broadcast? Why yes, I sure did! Did I get to watch it in a language that I understand? Why no, I did not. Now I know what you are thinking. "You have been studying Ukrainian for nine months now, you should understand it!" Well that is all true. But knowing Ukrainian does not help very much when you watch the broadcast in Russian. It does help a little because a lot of words are similar, so I understood a lot of words, but as far as complete understanding goes, I didn't get most of the broadcast. No worries though, tomorrow for district meeting we are going to watch it in our native tongue! I admit it was a really cool experience to watch it in Russian because rather than paying to much attention to what was being said I got to take the chance to listen to what the Spirit was trying to tell me. I can't really describe it, but it was very neat.

So this week we set a baptismal date with our investigator named Violetta. She is about 55 years old and lives with her husband very close by to the church. We go over to her house to teach her and loves meeting with us! She had an unfortunate situations with one of her two sons many years ago where he died, I don't want to go into many details, but she really misses him. The plan of salvation really hits home for her. Plus she thinks I look a lot like her son that passed away, and he was tall like me, so Violetta really likes me. We will be holding a baptismal service for her on Friday morning this week! I am super excited! Then after the service we have a train to L'viv where we have a conference to meet our new mission president, which is going to be great!

I almost forgot Happy early Independence Day! We are still not sure what we are going to do to celebrate yet, but we will think of something! Oh, now I remember, we are going to sing patriotic hymns for companion study! Sounds fun huh?

That's all from me for this week. I love you all so much!

Elder Hadfield

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Me and President Klebingat at my last meeting in the Kyiv Mission
Dear Family,

So this week we had a zone conference in L'viv with all the missionaries who will be in the L'viv mission. I got to see a little more of L'viv this trip because we did not arrive in the middle of the night like last time. The city is very beautiful and I hope I have a chance by the end of my mission to serve there.

We left of for L'viv on Friday afternoon by train. Trains are fun... but when it is really hot and the train has no air conditioning it can be a little miserable. But I had a lot of fun anyway. There was a little old man who was selling little carved pen whistles. I asked to buy one, so he blew into it to test it... then he gave it to me haha. It was pretty funny. Then he asked if we understood Ukrainian well, and we told him yes. So then he started to sing some Ukrainian songs for us. It was really sweet. Then he recited some Ukrainian poetry. I got some of it on camera. The man was very nice. After he finished I got to talking with him, and he found out we were missionaries. He started listing of all the different churches that there are in the world. Then I asked him a question. "Why do you think there are so many different churches in the world?" He looked at me for a bit and then he told me that I gave a very smart question and then declined to answer saying that he did not have any idea. He then asked me the same question. I boldly but humbly answered by telling him that while most churches have a lot of good things, Satan does not want God's children to find the true church of God with the fullness of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ. The man was a little shocked. I told him about the Book of Mormon, gave him a copy, and he agreed to come to church. It was a really great experience.

On Saturday we went running with president in the morning followed by our conference. Don't worry, we had time to shower and change in between! At the conference President gave us all the advice that he usually gives in his departing missionary interviews since that was our last time to get to be with him. Then he and his wife shared their conversion stories which were incredible and then following they told us about how they met and their story together which was pretty cool as well.

Then we got back in a train a headed back to Chernivtsi. We found out that we will have another conference in L'viv on the 6th of July, except this one will be with our new mission president. I am excited to meet him, and learn from him.

I hope you enjoyed all the pictures! I love you all so much! Until Next week,

Elder Hadfield
The beds are a bit small on the train.

My Companion and I on the way to L'viv.














Monday, June 17, 2013

Picking Cherries for the Primary Children
My Family,

This week was a lot of fun, on Saturday we had a big activity at the church that we had been planing for a while. We had been planing to show slide shows of our lives and then have some games, but as the week went along we still could not get a hold of a projector so we just had the activity without slide shows and played a lot of games and made more food instead. Elder Dorius and I played an apple game against two members of the branch. You have to feed your partner an apple while he or she is feeding you one. The fist team that has both apples eaten first wins. As you would have guessed... we won, and the losing duo said it was unfair because they are girls and we have bigger mouths. We had a lot of members and non-members come to the activity. Early this week we met a man in a taxi who had just moved to Chernivtsi from Russia. We invited him to come to the activity, and he came with his wife and his daughter. He told us it was a miracle because his daughter did not have any friends yet since they were very new to the area, but she mad friends with some of the primary girls in our branch.

On Sunday my companion was teaching elders quorum when little Susanna (The branch president's daughter) runs up and tugs on my suit coat. "Elder Hadfield... come here... we need you." So I got one of the other Elders and I went with her. She took my be the hand and led me outside where the primary was. They go out there after their lessons sometimes to keep the kids from making the church building too loud. Susanna led me over to a cherry tree where the kids were trying to climb to reach the cherries. With my outstretched hand, I was able to reach the cherries and give them to the kids. It was really fun! The Sister who is in charge of Primary is Sister Figel. She is so awesome. She served a mission in Russia about 12 years ago, and is one of the many amazing members here in Chernivtsi!

I have been thinking a lot about the Book of Mormon lately and wanted to share something I read this morning during study! It is by M. Russell Ballard from the book "Our Search for Happiness"
"But the prospect of sharing my beliefs with a group of ministers was intriguing, so I
chose to accept this invitation. On the appointed day I traveled to the School of
Theology in Toronto and met with about forty-five ministers, who were all seated
around a large table. I was given forty-five minutes to explain the basic teachings of
the Church, then the ministers were free to ask questions.

The first comment, issued in the form of a challenge, was, "Mr. Ballard, if you could
just place the Gold Plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated on this
table so all of us could handle them, then we would know that what you are telling
us is the truth."

I felt prompted to respond by looking the questioner in the eye and saying, "You are
a minister, and you know that no truth has ever come into the heart of man except
by the Holy Ghost. You could hold the Gold Plates in your hands, and you would
not know any more about whether this Church is true than before. May I ask, have
you read the Book of Mormon?"

He answered that he had not.

I replied, "Don't you believe it would be wise to read the Book of Mormon, and then
ponder and pray and ask God if the Book of Mormon is true?""

You would be surprised at how many people ask us if we have the original plates still or where they can be located, when we have a copy of the knowledge the plates contained in our hands in these peoples native language right in front of them. It hurts to see the people that you love deny themselves the opportunity to come to know their Savior because they won't give the Book of Mormon a chance. I am so glad for the Book of Mormon in my life and the knowledge and comfort that come through reading. I have prayed about the Book of Mormon and I know it is true and of God. And the cool thing is that God will give anyone who asks him in faith, and answer about the truthfulness of the Book

I love you all so much! I love being on a mission and serving the Lord with all my heart! Thank you for all your love and support,

Elder Hadfield

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Family,

Teaching is going great, we are finding a lot of humble people who want to know more about their Heavenly Father. We have set three baptismal dates in the last three weeks, but none of them have gone through like we planned, but we are still working with these people to help them progress in the gospel.

This week we had a seminary graduation of our own, youth from two near by cities came to Chernivtsi and we have a very nice night for them. The picture I attached is the group photo that we took at the end of the graduation.

On P-days there are some things we have to do, like buy food, send emails, and study, which end up taking more time than you would think. Then with whatever time we have left, we take naps:), some times we do extra work outs, or go look around the city. Today we went a worked out with one of our investigators at his garage. It was a lot of fun. His name is Tolya and he is a pretty strong guy.

Yeva called me this week! She told me about all the temple work that she has been doing for he parents and grandparents! She told me about how the church is growing very fast down there in Uzhhorod. It was great to hear from her again, she is such an amazing lady.

This week we made some brownies for a recent convert and tried to bring them to his house after church, he didn't pick up his phone, and he was not in his apartment, so we ended up eating the brownies to cheer us up! That is why we had to work out so hard this morning.

A cool investigator we are teaching is Vitaliy. He's about 22 and if I remember right he recently finished school. He's super nice and came to church this last Sunday. He stayed for all 3 hours like a champ. At the end he said it was a little boring to sit for that long but he agreed to meet. We wanted to make the church a little less boring for him so we invited Oksana, who is a 22 girl getting ready to serve a mission. We thought that having a girl there of about his age he would make it a little less borning for him. She really did a good job of making him feel comfortable and I think she really helped him want to read the Book of Mormon. She has a great testimony. We were grateful for her help and the prompting from the Spirit to invite her. I'll let you know more about Vitaliy as he progresses more towards baptism. He's a good kid, just what this branch needs.

First off, if you have any packages or letters, do not send them until I get you the new mission address, which will be coming in July. Just hold on to whatever you might have written until then since very soon the missions will be splitting and you don't want to risk it not getting here in time before the mission turns into the L'viv mission.

Well I have to be going, I love you all so very much! I hope you enjoy the pictures and the videos, I will do my best to have more for next week!

With love,

Elder Hadfield

Friday, May 31, 2013

Family,

We got transfer information this week and I am going to be staying in Chernevtsi for another six weeks with Elder Dorius! I am very happy about this. I love it here! Elder Dorius is great, and best of all I get to keep sleeping on the best bed in the mission!
 
Just a quick run down on the pictures since I am always really bad at telling you what the pictures are all about. The first one is of a really cool kid from sports day and I. He loves basketball so I played a bit with him. The second picture is of my companion and I. We rapped at district meeting it was pretty fun.
 
A cool story from the week:
 
So Volodimer, the guy who we had set a baptismal date with does not have a cell phone, and we had two meetings set up with him last week. And both times he did not show up. So we got worried and we thought that he didn't want to get baptized and keep learning about the gospel. Yesterday after church, my companion and I had a lot of things to file on the computer and we had a few meeting with people so we ended up staying at the church from nine in the morning to eight at night. Usually we would have been out a lot earlier. Anyway, at 7:45 Volodimer walks in the doors of the church, came up to us (sounding really sick), and told us that he has been in the hospital the last few days. The doctors told him he needed to stay but he told us he left because he knew that he needed to come to the church. He told us he didn't think anyone would be at the church so late but that he had a feeling he needed to come anyway. We talked for about ten minutes, we gave him a priesthood blessing and then he let. We set up another meeting with him for tomorrow. It was a tender mercy in our life. Then we got to go home and eat dinner! It was nice after not eating anything all day!
 
I love you all very much. Until next week,
 
Elder Hadfield
 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pretty Good Form!
Hello,

Today we went bowling, it was really fun. I was pretty hot and had a couple good rounds in a row. While we were there we heard some music that sounded like it was new that I have never heard before. It was pretty catchy. It made me realize that I have been on my mission for a long time. Well 7 and 1/2 months. I am loving it though. The language is coming along as I am able to understand more and more every day. I am even getting good at being able to talk on the phone. In fact, the lady who I baptized in Uzhhorod gave me a call yesterday. It was so good to hear from her. She told me about how next week she is going to the temple to do baptisms for the dead for some of her deceased family members. It was one of the happiest moments on my mission. Oh, the reason I say that is because she told me how impressed she was with how much I have improved speaking Ukrainian. Its is hard for me to tell that I am making progress from day to day, but when I talk to someone that I have not seen in a month it is easy for them to tell I am improving.

So a funny story from last Sunday: My companion and I went to the train station to help a guy from our ward get on a train. He left for his mission to one of the other missions in Ukraine. We were loading his bags onto a train when all of the sudden the train started going with us on it. It was my me and my companion, the soon to be missionary's two siblings and best friend all on the train. Then some conductor lady started yelling at me in Russian (It was a train to Moscow) and to be honest I am pretty sure she spit all over me. I didn't know what she said, but when the train was pulling out of the station I got the hint. We all sprinted down the hall of the train and were forced to jump off of it as it started to speed up. We all got off safe but it was a pretty close call.

I have some good news as far as missionary work goes! We set a baptismal date with a man named Volodimer. He walked into the church the other day and we happened to be there as well. He loves serving people and loved what we had to tell him about the plan of Salvation. He said he feels like it is true and wants to get baptized. He is about 50 years old and very well dressed!

Ok well, love all of you very much! I am so glad that I was able to send you an email today! Take care, be safe, do what is right! I will look forward to talking to you again next week!

Elder Hadfield

Monday, May 20, 2013


Working in the Yard
Hello,

This week has been very hot. We broke out the short sleeve shirts and we still are sweating like crazy. It is kind of like home where the humidity is bad. But I don't mind it at all. I have got a little bit of a farmers tan though but that's ok. It's not like I am going swimming any time soon. In Chernivtsi there are six missionaries four elders and two sisters. This week we all were invited to go to a members house because they needed some help on their yard. We filled in holes, and moved rocks for about three hours. It was really fun. I felt like I was back with Bill doing landscaping work. The family was really cool. They had a lot of animals. They had turkeys, chickens, doves, ducks, a dog, a cat, and two goats. One of the goats was just barely born. We got to hold him, or her, I don't really know its gender. Then the mother of the family had us come inside and she fixed us a huge meal. I don't think I ever recall feeling that full in my life. I think we might have eaten one of the chickens that we were playing with when we first got there though. Oh well, it tasted really good.

The church is really growing here, we got a call the other day that we needed to find a new apartment. I am not moving, but soon a new set of missionaries will come here. I think next transfer we are getting twenty new Ukrainian speakers to go along with the fifty that we have right now. I hate to say it but I could very easily be training next transfer. That is kind of scary. Well, that just means I better work as hard as I can to learn the language so I can be a good example when I am with new missionaries.

On Saturday we had a Easter party as a branch. It was really fun. A family was here from Idaho. The father served his mission in Russia and the Mother is Russian. Their kids speak English and Russian. They are here since the father is in the Air force and they sent him here to learn Ukrainian.

Well that is about it for this week! I am so excited for mothers day:)

Love,

Elder Hadfield
On the Street in Chernivtsi

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hello,
The Kiev Temple
Let me tell you a little bit about things that have changed. My new companion is named Elder Dorius. He is a bit shorter than me but not short overall. He is really good with the language and is helping me learn a lot. He is the first counselor in the branch presidency here and I just got called to be the branch clerk. Our ward has about fifty active members, maybe a little bit more. Recently our Mission President called a Ukrainian to be the branch president. It is the first time that there has been a native branch president, so things are really moving forward. Chernivtsi is a beautiful, and it reminds me a lot of Uzhhorod.

I was able to go to Kiev this week and go to the temple. It was so great! I think that is the last chance I will get to go:(. Oh well.

Sorry for the short letter:(, It will be a lot longer next week, today was really busy trying to get registered and everything.

Love,

Elder Hadfield

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Chernivtsi City Center
Dear Family,

Some news right off the bat, next week I will no longer be serving in Uzhhorod. I will be serving in the city of Chernivtsi! I am really sad to leave Uzhhorod, but I know my hard work will continue in Chernivtsi. The oblast it is in borders Moldova and Romania, cool huh? I am so very thankful for the opportunity I have had the last four months to share the gospel with the people who live in Uzhhorod. I am going to miss them, and they will always have a special place in my heart. They have taught me so much! I have learned how to show gratitude, how to be humble, how to show love by serving others, and I have even picked up some Ukrainian. I leave on Wednesday for Kyiv and them from Kyiv I will go to Chernivtsi with my new companion. I am really hoping that I will get a chance to go to the temple while I am in Kyiv, because after the next two transfers our mission will split and I will not get a chance to be in Kyiv again.

We were able to watch conference this week. We watched the five, two hour sessions in English, then we watched them in Ukrainian on Saturday and Sunday. It was nice to already know what they were talking about when we watched it in Ukrainian because it was easier for me to follow. It was a good language study though, just listening and trying to comprehend it all. I started out writing down words that I did not know, but I could hardly keep up with writing down every other word ha ha. I loved conference! One of my favorite talks was by Elder Cook, when he talked about how we can be at peace in a turbulent world. The commandments are given to us by a loving God who wants us to be happy. By being obedient we can have inner peace no matter what chaos is going on in the world around us.

On Saturday after conference we went to a park bench in center to do some weekly planning. We said a prayer to start and I felt like we needed to go stop by victor at his house. I told my Companion and he said yeah. So we got up and walked over to his house which was about ten minutes away. We knocked on his door and nobody answered. So we went to another park bench close by and started planning again. Within fifteen minutes we got a phone call from an unknown number. My Companion answered it and a guy on the other end said that he was walking through center and stopped by a bench. He stopped by the bench and saw a blue book on the bench. He sat down and waited thinking that somebody would comeback and pick up the book but then after a couple of minutes he opened it up and started reading it. He then found our number in it so he called us. He said it was super interesting and that we wanted to meet with us in 15 minutes. My Companion told him of course so we met up fifteen minutes later. It ended up that when My Companion and I had left Center to go to Victor's house we left our Book of Mormon on the bench and Vacil (his name) found the book and called us. What a miracle! We ended up talking to him for two hours answering his questions and teaching him every single aspect of the Gospel. He is about 20 years old and is just searching for God. While we were talking to him, Victor walked by and we talked to him and he was doing great so that was an answer to our prayer and Vasil totally met a member of the church. It gets even crazier though.

So we are teaching him and right as we get to the Restoration, right when we start talking about the first vision a drunk old lady walks up to us and starts talking to us. To back up a little we had already seen her earlier on a bus and she had tried to grab my crotch. To make a long story short, she is not a very good lady. We tried as hard as we could to get her away and eventually she left. Then we started talking about the Book of Mormon and right as we opened the book of Mormon, and right as we started reading another guy walks up and starts Bible bashing with us trying to prove to us that there couldn't be any more revelation other than the Bible. My Companion totally shut him down. Atta boy Elder! Then we had a super long conversation with him. We ended up giving Vasil, the elect guy, a Book of Mormon and invited him to Church, and then we left. And on Sunday he totally came, he loved conference and there were talks in that conference about a lot of what we talked about on Saturday. Lots of things that explained the Gospel. I received a lot of peace from President Uchtdorf, when he said that darkness is real but light will always win. We had just witnessed it. What a crazy crazy story.... We are planning on meeting with Vacil this week. I will probably get to teach him once before I leave.

I hope all is well at home! You are always in my prayers as I am sure I am in yours. For the last time from Uzhhorod,
Love,

Elder Hadfield

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Family!

I am doing great! Thank you so much for the letters.  How was Conference? From the things I read it was great! I have yet to hear it, but I will get the chance to do that this week. We might watch it in English beforehand if we can get it to work, but if not we will watch general conference this Saturday and Sunday in Ukrainian with our members and investigators. I am looking forward to hearing from the apostles and Prophets of the Lord. My only concern is that I won't be able to understand them that well in Ukrainian ha ha! Then I can just print and study the talks.

I love Ukrainian, last Sunday was our fast Sunday since we have to watch conference a week late, so I bore my testimony. The members were so happy after because I didn't make a single grammar mistake! I felt happy because I have been working really hard to understand Ukrainian and how it works. I do admit that my testimony was not that long, but none the less I was proud of myself.

I love basketball! We were walking down the street and I saw three young boys shooting baskets on a playground basketball court. So we walked over and asked if we could play with them. We thought that "horse" would be a good game so we asked if they knew how to play. We explained the rules of "horse", and we found out they have the same game here in Ukraine. They call in "Minus Five." For every shot that you miss you get a minus. When you have five minuses then you are out. We played with them and then invited them to come to English.

Overall I am doing well and working hard. I love you all!

Love,

Elder Hadfield

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Happy Easter.... I guess. We have been out of the loop so we totally did not even know that it was Easter. We thought it was next week for some reason or another. Oh well. As far as general conference goes, we will watch one week after it comes out, but then even when we watch it, it will be in Ukrainian. SO I am going to take notes as I watch, then when I have a chance I will read the talks in English and we will see how close my notes were to what was actually said haha! We have to wait a week because we need to get copies of General conference in DVD form to be able to play at the church (on a small projector that we have).

On Monday last week we went to a castle close by Uzhhorod with a few of our members and a few of our investigators. It was a blast. The castle was up on a big hill so we had to hike up to it. It reminds me of the one we saw in Germany. It was more of castle ruins than an actual castle, but none the less we had a really fun time. We took the American family with us and they were very grateful.

We met a girl who did an exchange trip from school to Boston. She was there a few years ago, and she was telling us about how the family she stayed with was big red sock fans. She said they even bought her a Kevin Youkalis jersey haha! How funny right? I did get the chance to go to a sporting event though this week! Remember the basketball team we play with? They had a game against a team from another city and they invited us to come watch. It was a blast. They ended up losing by three, but they played great. It was so fun to watch a basketball game, and to be able to yell and cheer.

I am not sure what it is called in English, but people here have their own dialect. Its called Carpathian Language. Its a mix between Hungarian, Russian, Ukrainian, and Slovakian. Crazy right? Tell me about it. We had some lessons this week with people who only spoke Russian. It was pretty tough. Though the languages are similar it was hard to understand. They understood Ukrainian though because they live here... thank goodness! I was defiantly blessed to understand and to answer far beyond my ability!

We had a baptism this week! It all went very well. I was able to baptize Yeva. She is 65 years old and she was a bit scared about having to go under the water but she did great. She called me the night before her baptism to ask for my shoe size, so I told her. The next day she came to her baptism and she had knitted me size 48 white sandals so I would not have to get in the water with bare feet. What a sweet lady. After she was baptized she bore a very sincere testimony that no matter what age you are, Jesus is always waiting to help you repent and change your life.

I had a great week this week! I am doing well and every thing is working out for us here!

I love you so much,

Elder Hadfield
 
A castle close by Uzhhorod with a few of our members and a few of our investigators


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hey Family:)

So I had to get on the computer a little early today since we are going on a little trip for p-day. I will tell you about it next week:).  Things are moving pretty fast here in Uzhhorod, we had a record breaking 14 people at church yesterday. It may not sound like a lot, but when you think about it, a few moths ago we only had one!

This week we were walking to the church and we saw a family of five, and I noticed that one of their kids was wearing an Under Armor hoddie. I have an Under Armor backpack and people ask me all the time what brand it is because they don't have anything Under Armor here. So that was a clue to me that the family we saw was not Ukrainian. Then we heard them speaking English, believe it or not it felt crazy to hear someone speaking English on the street. So we decided to go and talk to the family. It turns out they are from Colorado and they are here in Uzhhorod to adopt an elven year old girl from an orphanage. They are here for one month because they have to wait for all the legal paperwork to process and things of that nature. They had the young Ukrainian girl with them when we met them. The only problem is, the family only speaks English and the girl only knows how to speak Ukrainian. So we sat and talked with the family for a while, and talked with the girl because she seemed a little scared. We told the family that we would love to meet up with them later so that they could get to know their daughter. We are going to translate for the family and for the daughter so they can talk to each other! Pretty cool huh? It was a blessing that we ran into them so that we could be of help to them. Before we said goodbye to the family, we showed them to a restaurant and we ordered food for them since they did not know what Ukrainian food to get. We ordered them some of our favorites and they were very grateful.

So here is the story of what happened to my Ukrainian grandmother, as she likes to call herself! So we had been meeting with her for three months, since I first arrived in Uzhhorod. She was one of the first people that we met here. She has been to church ten times already! But anyway she grew up under Soviet rule. She has so many crazy stories of what happened during her childhood. And she likes to remind us that we do not have nearly as much life experience as she does, which is totally true. When we first met her I could not speak a sentence of Ukrainian, but now I can communicate a lot better. About a month ago she went to Kiev to visit her son. On Sunday while she was in Kiev, she met up with the Sister missionaries and they showed her around the temple grounds and took her to church (shout out to the Sisters, they are the best). She even got to meet our Mission President. She loved the Sisters and the temple. She came back to Uzhhorod with a new light about her. We thought we were making real progress when one day she called us and told us that she was going to Hungry and that she didn't know if she was coming back. Two weeks later she came back, had us over for lunch, and the first thing she said to us was "How can I help you get me ready for my baptism." We were just blown away. It is really cool to see the joy and the happiness in her life. When we first met her she was very sad and pessimistic about the rest of her life, but now she is always happy and smiling. She even tries to dance around sometimes (I guess she used to be a gymnast when she was younger). We are having her baptism this Saturday and I am going to baptize her! I am very excited.

Love,

Elder Hadfield

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hello,

I am staying in Uzhhorod for another month or so at least! Great huh? I am very excited. We have the four best basketball players in the mission here, and we are all staying. We were all very happy about that! We are going to go play basketball again today. I love this city. The people are so warm, and we are starting to see our hard work pay off.

My favorite part of being in Ukraine is all the friends I am making. Ukrainians love that we do our best to learn their language and their culture, they open up and they love to share their love for their country and their history. Something kind of cool about Uzhhorod is that in the past sixty years it has been a part of three or four different countries. 

My Ukrainian Grandma is going to get baptized on the 30th of March! Pretty cool story, it is kind of long and I don't have a lot of time so I will tell you the whole story next time.

It is hard to be away from my friends and family, but I know that what I am doing is worth it!

I love you all so much! I am excited to talk to you next week:)

Elder Hadfield

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hello,

It has been so warm this week! I am living it up and basking in the sun that is Uzhhorod. Yesterday was another busy Sunday, whoever coined the term "day of rest" didn't have that many callings or meetings I guess haha. But I love being a missionary so much. We had a record turn out at church yesterday. Any guesses? Wait for it...wait for it...11! The church is growing! I had the opportunity to give a talk on how God is our loving Heavenly Father. Talk about an easy topic to give a talk on! Then for Sunday school, my companion and I taught about the scriptures. We discussed the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the other standard works of the church. We talk with one of our investigators after church and he told us that as soon as he touched the Book of Mormon he felt a heat wave come over his body that was "a calming warmth." Any guesses as to what he felt? If you guessed the Spirit then you would be correct. It was just really cool to hear an investigator describe the Spirit.

Another really neat experience this week happened in our English class. When I was with my last companion, we contacted into an English teacher at the University in Uzhgorod. To make a long story short, my current companion and I went to the University to talk to one of her classes about culture and invited her students to come to our English class. To our surprise the English teacher herself showed up to our English class and she brought the whole English faculty from the university. They loved our English class, they said it was one of the funnest courses they had ever done. Fast forward a week... We run into the English teacher out on the street and she told us about one of her co-workers who came with her to our English class. She said her co-worker was depressed and that our spiritual thought at the end of our English class "saved her." I don't really know what that means but I thought it was pretty amazing. God works through us when we don't even know it!

Missionary work has a lot of funny moments as well as spiritual highs, so I just want to share a couple of the moments that made me laugh this week! One of them happened yesterday after church. We were walking home, and a Jehovah's Witness (there are lots in Ukraine, people mistake us for them quite often) asked me if I was a JW as well. Not understanding her, I said yes. Then she proceeded to give me a high five and told me to keep doing good work. Then my companion explained what she had asked to me, I went up to the lady again and told her we were Mormon missionaries and she called me a liar haha. Something else kind of odd happened while we were tracting an apartment building yesterday. We ran into this man who knew about our church, and he knew the word of wisdom really well. He knew everything that we were not allowed to drink, but he kept insisting that in the word of wisdom it says that we have to drink milk every day. So he invited us in and gave us tons of milk. It was really sweet!

Oh, how could I forget, we got a chance to play basketball again! We played when the zone leaders were here with us in Uzzhorod. It was really nice because we had enough for a whole team and we didn't need to borrow any players. We beat them 3 out of 4 games. We lost the first game really close, then we won the last three games with out much of a problem. It was so much fun. The even better thing is, they asked us about the gospel so we were able to teach some of the players mini lessons! They invited us to come back again, so since it is p-day we are going back. It is a good thing when missionaries can us their talents to share the gospel.

One more quick thing from this week! On the 8th Ukrainians celibrated "Women's Day," it is kind of like mothers day in America but on a larger scale. So Happy Women's day!

I love you all! I can't wait to email you next week. The end of this week is transfers so I might be going to a new area. To be honest I hope not since I love it here, but we will see.

From down town Uzhgorod town,

Elder Hadfield

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hello,

I want all of you to know that God hears our prayers and answers them! I know that for a FACT!! I have seen it time and time again in everything I do as a missionary. I even see answers to prayers from previous times in my life that I failed to recognize in the moment. Anyway that is a small part off my testimony for the week! Mom asked about English so I will tell all about what is happening with English in Uzhhorod. My companion and I have, by ourselves been to the Uzhhorod university twice and to and English school three times to help converse in English. We have made a lot of friends and shown a lot of people that we are just normal guys. We even baked banana bread for them and they loved it and thought we were amazing cooks. They were also really impressed when they found out that we cook for ourselves, like making our own meals. We even met a girl who lived in America for a year on an exchange program who wants to meet with us about the gospel. Along with our own English activities, as a district we teach an English class twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays at six pm. We get about 20-25 people each night who come to that, which is pretty crazy since we only advertised English for one day before the first class. Uzhhorod has a lot of universities and a lot of young people who are interested in learning English and what not.

I love Ukrainians. They are the most hospitable people I have ever met. I keep having a similar experience over and over, and it happened again last night. As we were knocking doors, we were let in. Ukrainians feel obligated to feed you something even when they have almost nothing themselves. The family we talked to last night found the two chairs they had in their house and gave them to us so we would have somewhere to sit as they stood around us and listened to our message. As we left the mother gave us some candy and some walnuts, neither of which are cheap here. I was just blown away with how genuine and loving Ukrainians are!

On a funny note their is a weird tasting Ukrainian drink called Uzvar (I am not really sure if that is how you spell it), and it is commonly referred to by missionaries as ash pit compot. It tastes like a fruity camp fire, if that makes sense... If you could try it you would understand. Anyway it is pretty bad (in the opinion of the missionaries). But Ukrainians love it, and they always tell us how healthy it is. So I pretend to like it haha, and they think its really cool that a foreigner "loves it." At the store today I saw some Uzvar yogurt and I bought it to see if it was better in yogurt form... it was not just in case you were wondering haha! Well my time is up. I have to go. I send my love from Ukraine, and I know you send yours from home.

Love,

Elder Hadfield

Monday, February 25, 2013

Well, it is official. There will be a L'viv Mission created on July 1st if I am not mistaken. From the information I have so far, all the Ukrainian speaking missionaries in the current Kyiv Mission will become part of the L'viv mission, and the Russian speakers will stay in the Kyiv Mission. It is very exciting. At our zone conference in L'viv this past weekend we talked quite a bit about what this means for Western Ukraine. As you are aware our mission covers a very large area of space and has a mind boggling amount of missionaries. Plus with the new influx of missionaries we will only be getting bigger. It has been hard for the smaller branches and areas in the west to get as much attention and focus that they have needed simply because of the limitations of having such a big mission. The work in the soon to be L'viv mission will be able to pick up at a much faster pace.

I am very glad Brother Nelson got my letter and that he enjoyed it! Please send him my thanks for the language learning advice, it is really helping me make my study more effective.

You will never guess what I got to do this week!!!!!!! If you guessed that I got to play basketball and do missionary work at the same time then you guessed right! In Uzhhorod there is a very nice Olympic sports complex where we got invited to play at (since we were Americans and sometimes people assume Americans are good at basketball, in this case they were right). When we showed up to play we found out that we would be playing the second ranked 20 year old team in all of Ukraine. They are from Uzhhorod and they practice here for their tournaments. They were pretty good, but in the end it was a tie. We for sure held our own, the only hard part was we were all rusty and have not ran that hard in months. Not to mention we had no game plan, we just went in there and played playground ball. The next day we all woke up and were so sore. It hurt to walk around town haha! I feel like a pansy. We, being the four missionaries, joked around saying that we might have a hard time wining a race up and down the court but if anyone wanted to take us on in a speed walking or stair climbing contest they better watch out because that's what we do all day every day! Oh well, they invited us back so we are going to go play again tonight. I feel pretty well rested and way excited to play. I am even going to rock my shooting sleeve for the people of Uzhhorod.

We had a baptism this week at the same complex that we were able to play basketball at. We elected not to have a baptism in the river, though it would be very cool, it would have been way to cold and to make things worse the river is too shallow for a baptism. It went very well. My companion baptized him and on Sunday I gave him the gift of the Holy Ghost.

This week has been great! I love you all so much and I am excited to write you again next week!

Love,

Elder Hadfield

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Happy Valentines Day!!! Well it was a few days ago, but today is the only day that I am allowed to email you so I apologize. I hope your day went well. My day was pretty full. I was at the library with my companion for most of the morning trying to figure out some registration issues. Why is it so hard to get registered in this city? The world may never know! The upside was the librarians were putting on a little Valentines day program so we got to listen to that while we scanned our documents. It sounded pretty sappy ha ha, but that's OK! We brought our member a bar of chocolate and told her thanks for all the help she has given us and then we visited the hospital to take a heart balloon to this old lady who is our other member who has been in the hospital the last three months. She was so grateful that we stopped by, we didn't really do a lot but it really lifted her spirits. Other than that we just tracked at night.

One really cool opportunity We had this week was to have the second counselor of the Mission presidency come down to Uzhhorod and spend Saturday and Sunday with us. My companion and I picked him up at the train station at 6:30 am on Saturday and were with him all day. We showed him the church and he really liked it. I just want to tell you a brief summary of his conversion story real quick. He is somewhere in his 40's but he has been a member of the church for 21 years. When he was in his early 20's he was praying to be able to find God's church on the earth. At that time the church was not quite yet in Ukraine. He moved to Germany for work and met two missionaries there, read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover, received a witness it was from God, and was baptized. He had a great career in front of him at this point, but he dropped it all to serve a mission. He now has a wife and five kids who are all sealed to him in the temple. He was one of the first members of the church in Ukraine which is kind of cool. We went contacting people with him and I was so impressed by his love of the gospel. He looked at us and told us how much he envied us because we as missionaries get the opportunity to teach people about the gospel all day.

My Ukrainian Grandmother (also one of my investigators) went to Kyiv to visit her son and his family this week, we invited her to go to the Kyiv temple grounds and attend church there on Sunday. We called the Kyiv Sisters and they met with her and showed her around and took her to church. She loved it! I think it was really good to show her the whole church in action. It is hard to do that in Uzhhorod for the time being because it is just four American boys. However in Kyiv it is wards of 200 Ukrainians! I am really excited to meet with her when she comes back from Kyiv. She is planning on being back in Uzhhorod on Friday.

My language is starting to come along. I am getting a lot better better at understanding people and my vocabulary is increasing, bit I am still having quite a bit of trouble with using the right grammar. In Ukrainian word order is very lose, and it does not matter as much where the words are as long as you put the right ending on them. It just takes practice. Good thing I have the chance to practice every day all day. In a Russian proverb "Repetition in the mother of all learning." I am starting to get pretty good with Gospel things, but I still need a lot of work with normal conversation.

I've got some pretty cool plans for this week:) On Tuesday we are starting our English class, we will be teaching English every Tuesday and Thursday at our building. On Wednesday we are having a family home evening with the branch. On Friday we are having a baptism for our investigator, He is such a cool man. Then On Saturday we are going to Liviv for zone conference. We leave Uzhhorod at midnight, then spend a day in Liviv and get home at two am! I will have to tell you all about it next week!

I love you all so much! I hope all is well at home:) I have not made my cake yet. I will have to do that this week too!

Elder Hadfield