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

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