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.


Elder Hadfield

Monday, March 18, 2013


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


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


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.


Elder Hadfield