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!


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

Saturday, February 16, 2013


I finally got mail! It was nice to just kick back at night and read some really awesome letters. Thank you so much to everyone who sent me letters:) I love you;) They make my day! It was the perfect "red light," to start of a week that stayed on green for the rest of the week.

On Tuesday morning we had a pretty cool experience. We were looking for an English club to volunteer to help practice English we people. We had a little flier from the mail with the address on it. However, after walking up and down the road several times and asking people where it was located, we had no luck of finding the English club. We decided to say a prayer to be able to find the building and that is just what we did. After we both felt prompted to walk down a big hill that had just taken us twenty minutes to climb. We followed the prompting and while at the bottom of the hill a man asked us if we needed help. We told him about our situation and he said he was familiar with the building we were looking for. He walked up the hill with us and showed us the building. We then realized it was the exact same building that we said a prayer in front of to be able to find English club. My companion and I wondered why we would receive a prompting to walk back down the hill when the Lord could have just as easily told us to turn around. I have pondered this curious experience the whole week and I am still not exactly sure what I need to learn from it.

On Thursday we met a man named Victor on the street. He told us that he had just been praying to be able to find someone to talk to. We got his information and said a prayer with him and then we left. On Friday we gave him a call and he was very eager to meet. My companion and I taught him the first lesson, then I asked him to be baptized. He answered with a YES in an "of course I will" attitude. On Saturday we taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of Wisdom (because he asked us to). When we told him about not being able to drink coffee he told us he drinks for cups a day but that he would quit. Then on Sunday he came to church and he showed us some verses he really liked from his Book of Mormon. He read the introduction and fourteen chapters! He had a blast at church and is pumped to meet again. He told us he is going to read it all. It was nothing that we did. This man was flat out prepared by God to receive the Gospel!

On Friday we also gave the church building a makeover, we got a "Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" sign, and we got enough chairs to fill out our sacrament meeting hall! It is really starting to come together. We are still waiting on a few things like paintings and a podium but other then that we are all set to go.

This week we got two new Elders into Uzzhorod. One of our older investigators asked me at church if it was a requirement to be a good looking male to serve on a mission for our church ha ha! She thought us four elders were looking pretty sharp. I told her no it was not required, and that is the reason why they allowed me to come on a mission! She was pretty funny about it. I think I said this before but she calls herself our Ukrainian Grandma. This was her sixth Sunday coming to church.

Another miracle of the week was a girl who came to church. We had contacted into her dad on the street and gave him a small pamphlet. He took it hesitantly and walked off quickly and my companion and I did not think twice about it. Apparently he took the restoration pamphlet home and gave it to his daughter who was praying to know which church is right. She read the pamphlet and after coming to church she thinks she found the answer to her prayers and she is excited to meet with the missionaries. It's crazy how the Lord works!

Today I had a pretty slow p-day, it was mainly spent with our land lady getting registered and paying rent. that whole process took us about four or five hours. Then we were able to go out and get some lunch. Then after this it's off to the grocery store and back to work tonight. I hop[e all is well back home. I think of you often, you are always in my prayers.


Elder Hadfield

Monday, February 4, 2013

Since last week, I have said goodbye to my companion and bid him farewell. But before he left we had some fun on my birthday. First we went to the hospital to visit a member (we found out we have a second one in this area) who had been in a car accident. The whole time this member kept thanking us for coming, and telling us how hard our life must be right now, having to come to another country and learn a language and everything. Meanwhile, in the middle of telling us how hard we must have it, this seventy year old woman is sitting in the hospital bed with crushed legs, having grown up in the Soviet Union. It was a shock to hear her say this. During the entire conversation, all I could think about is how this woman's life has been far more difficult than mine. It made me realize how many things I have been blessed with both temporally and spiritually.

As far as celebrating my birthday went, we made a cake in a pot haha, and frosted it then we sang happy birthday. I say "we sang," because I decided it would be very awkward for another guy to sing me a solo happy birthday. Then we ate the cake. It was nice to "have my cake and eat it too," however you want to apply that to my current situation.

On Sunday I dropped my companion off at the Train station and said goodbye to him. I now have a new companion. I have already got to know him pretty well so far as he had been serving in the other apartment in the same area. We will be moving into the apartment I currently live in for the next six weeks. Well actually we are already all unpacked and good to go. I am really excited to get the chance to serve with him.

With all the things that have gone on recently with the lowering the age of missionaries, I just wanted to offer my advice for anyone who might be considering serving a mission. Many youth may be able to relate to the situation that I was in before I became of age to make the choice to serve a mission. I did not always know that I wanted to serve a mission. In fact if you ask my mother, much to her dismay, she might tell you of a time where I was very much opposed to idea. In many ways the Lord softened my hardened heart as I got older until I was humble enough to pray to Him for guidance. I remember of one instance in particular where I was feeling many outside influences tugging me both to serve a mission and not to serve a mission. I knew that there was only one way that I could know for sure what to do, and that way through prayer. I said a prayer with the intent to act on whatever answer came. The answer came that I needed to serve, so that is what I am doing. If you want to know if serving a mission is right for you, then who better to ask then God? I promise that he will answer your humble prayer of faith. Serving a mission is the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life. I can also promise you that it won't be easy for you either. But that is OK! Because when has anything well worth it been easy? I have seen my limits be stretched beyond what I ever thought possible. I am sure the Lord still has much in store for me as he does for you. I know a mission was the right choice for me, and I know you can find out what is right for you.

Well, looks like my time is up for the week! I look forward to writing again in a short seven days.


Elder Hadfield:)

Happy Birthday week to me! Make sure to eat cake and think of me:) Mom, my land lady came over this week and I had my Ukrainian blanket out on my bed and I asked her if she liked it. She said that she thought it was sweet and that boys are always little boys to their mom's. Is that true haha? I am just kidding.
Let's see, how did my week go? It is getting colder here. There is a ton of ice on the ground and I managed to slip three times. One of them was pretty bad because I tried to grab on to a nearby fence and the fence fell over on top of me. I was laughing about it after, but in the moment it was pretty embarrassing since there were a few people other than my companion who saw. So for church we have a one hour sacrament meeting, then a half hour class for everyone there. Yesterday I gave a talk on Charity, blessed the sacrament, and conducted the music. It's kind of weird because we four missionaries here run the church. I am trying to think of it from a non-members point of view. You get invited to church, you show up and it is held in a small room, run by four 20 year old boys.

We are working really hard to get the church up and running here. We have done a lot of service in the city and I think people are starting to notice. When I serve others I can really feel the love that the Savior has for them.

With Love,

Elder Hadfield