Sunday, August 31, 2014

My family,

Amanda, to start off and answer your question, if I could sum up my mission in one word, I would use the word Blessing. I don't know of any other word I could use to sum it up.

Some of the highlights from my week include:

Zone Conference: We in L'viv this week. Our Conference was a huge blessing. President Lattin talked about Baptism, Sister Lattin talked about flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon, and then we talked a lot about our mission culture. It was very uplifting. I was also given a chance to bear my testimony in front of the mission because it was my last conference. I got to sit by the Bodell's which was really nice. I am really excited for you to meet them. They come home at the end of January. We will all have to go to their homecoming!

Bus Ride: The road (if you can call it that) from Luts'k to L'viv is horrible. It felt like a roller coaster. We were all just very thankful that we were able to ride a train home!

Hotel: In L'viv we got to stay in a hotel because there were to many missionaries and not enough space in the four mission apartments in L'viv. It was really fun. For dinner we ordered sandwiches from room service!

Song: At Zone Conference my MTC group of elders along with six sisters sang a song that was written for our Mission by sister Garret's mother (one of the missionaries in our mission). It was very special. The song is about praying, building, and expecting and waiting upon the miracles of the Lord.

Baptism: The Branch had a baptism on Saturday! One of the sister's investigators, who happens to be the wife of a member, was baptized. Our branch president baptized her and confirmed her.

Independence day!: After the baptism we had a little branch lunch for independence day, which was actually on Sunday, but we did a little celebrating on Saturday!

Conducting Sacrament: I got a chance to conduct sacrament meeting this week. It was a lot of fun. I think I did a decent job. It is not as hard as you might think.

This week on Sunday, after church, we will leave for transfers to L'viv. I will be serving in L'viv until the 10th of September in a threepanisonship.

Dad, thank you so much for your email. You know exactly what to say.

I love you family! I hope you have a great week!


Elder Hadfield

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Dear Family,

We got a letter from our mission President today and it started out like this:

Dear Elders and Sisters,

Elder Holland talked about the frustrations associated with missionary work. He said, “Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font? You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane.”

When we are going through our own personal Gethsemanes we can the example that Alma set as a Father when he spoke to his son in Alma 39:7 and said "And now, my son, I would to God that ye had not been guilty of so great a crime. I would not dwell upon your crimes, to harrow up your soul, if it were not for your good." Alma, as a Father did not do anything, except it would be good fro his son. Our Father in Heaven is the perfect Father. We can find comfort in some extent in knowing that everything He does is for our good!

Pictures from this week:
The Video on there is from L'viv if you were wondering.Here are some of the things I did this week (this should explain most of the pictures):

Ukrainian Checkers: For family home evening we went over to the home of the first counselor in our branch and enjoyed time with him and his wife. We ended up playing checkers for an activity. Great.. I know how to play checkers.. or so I thought. In Ukrainian checkers there are a few different rules that really threw me off. You can jump backwards and kings can jump as many spaces and move as many spaces as they want. I did not know that starting out, though even if I did I don't think it would have helped. Brother Mykola is a pretty seasoned player. We stood no chance.

Rivne Trip: We went to Rivne for two days to do exchanges with the zone leaders. It was a lot of fun. On the bus ride (Rivne is an hour and a half from Luts'k by bus) home there was a huge storm. I don't know how to explain it through an email. But just take my word for it. Lightning was so close to us and all the sudden it stated hailing. Then came a downpour of rain and a lot of wind. We got home safe so that is what matters!

Elder Randell's Bag: We got into Rivne at about 10:20 or so on Tuesday night. Our bed time is 10:30. However, once we got to the apartment of the zone leaders Elder Randell realized that he left his bag (with all his money and documents) on the bus. So we rused back to the station in a taxi to try and find it. We said a prayer before we set out. We didn't find it that night. The people at the bus station recommended us to come back the next morning at five am. So we did. We got to bed at about midnight and then got up the next morning at 4:30 to find his bag. The first few buses leaving the station didn't have it, so while we waited for the next one we went on a walk in a nearby part with some soviet union tanks and statues. That was pretty cool. Then at 8:30 that morning we found the bus with his bag. It still had all of his money and documents in it!

Suits: I tried on a few suits this week. There is a member in Rivne who sells suits, so we went to visit her at work. I still haven't bought anything yet. The European suits have a very different fit. I like it though. It is much more form fitting!

Chair Maker Man: In Rivne we went over to a potential investigators house because he called us and wanted to show us a thrown that he made for Obama. We thought he was probably crazy but decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and went. Turns out he is not crazy. He is a super talented wood worker. He had a chair he made based off of the US seal and also one based off of the Russian seal. He also had a variety of other chairs he had made. He showed us one that he had sold to the German embassy in Kiev for 10,000 dollars! He wasn't really interested in investigating the church, though we did have a good spiritual thought with him about the Book of Mormon. He shared how the Bible has blessed his life. He is a really nice man. It was fun meeting him. He let us take all kinds of pictures at his apartment.

Elder Vandermark: It was fun to go on exchanges with Elder Vandermark (we served together in L'viv for two transfers). We didn't have a lot of things planned that day so we ended up going contacting for most of the day. We met a lot of people, I got to see most of Rivne, and the weather was nice.

Plan of Salvation: On Friday we took brother Zhuck with us to go to Volodymyr's home to teach him the plan of Salvation. Volodymyr's wife Lilya was really busy so she couldn't be there, but it still went really good. We had taught the plan of salvation one other time to Volodymyr but that was about a month and a half ago. He pretty much remembered everything. Brother Zhuck was able to clear up some of the questions that came up.

Brother Zhuck: Mom, would you add him (and anyone else on my facebook for me?) Thanks! He told me he wrote you notes. If you write him back just put whatever you write into google translate to Ukrainian then send it to him. It won't be perfect grammar, but he will be able to understand. He called us and said dad wrote him but he couldn't read it haha.

L'viv Trip: This week we are going to L'viv for the last mission conference of my mission. My MTC group (without the sisters because they went home a while ago) will be singing a song that a mother of one of our current sister missionaries wrote for our mission. That will be fun.

In Proverbs 13:10 we learn that "Only by pride cometh contention." I came across that scripture this week as I was getting ready in the morning one day. When I thought over those words and some experiences from the week that confirmed the truth of the statement, my mind was reminded of the words from the second verse of the hymn I Stand All Amazed:

"I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,
That he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify."

We are all fallen by nature. Our job in this life is to overcome that fallen nature. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the only means whereby we can accomplish that task.

Mosiah 3:19 "For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."

Through the grace of Christ and His atonement, we can overcome our character flaws and become like Christ. His grace is sufficient for all men who will come unto Him. I know that is true

I hope you have a good week! I love you and miss you a lot. Shout out to Jessica! She is going to be a great missionerka!


Elder Hadfield

Saturday, August 16, 2014

My dear Family,

Here are the highlights of my week:

We taught Brother Zhuck about patriarchal blessings because the patriarch is coming in october so he will be able to get his blessing before he goes to the temple. We had one lesson about the house of Israel and then one about revelation. He has a tablet, so he asked us to teach him how to use facebook. That was pretty cool. He was able to get in touch with the Elders who baptized him 10 years ago.

We have an investigator from the Congo, we had not been able to meet with him for a while, but this week we found out why. By our apartment there are some dorms. He lives there. He is black and some bad things have happened to some Africans by the dorms lately. So he didn't want to leave his apartment alone. We were able to go by and pick him up on Sunday and bring him to church. The members really like him!

On Sunday after church we went to the home of our old investigator Volodymyr. He is the one who had a baptismal date. We taught him and his wife the restoration lesson. Volodymyr had an operation that caused him to be bed ridden for a month so that is why he was not able to come for so long. We got a return appointment with them on Friday (since we will be in Rivne for exchanges for a few days). We are planning on bringing brother Zhuck with us to teach them both the plan of salvation! That was the first time we met his wife. She was very nice and pretty interested in the gospel.

Shout out to the power of clean music! As I was reading the Old testament this week I came across this verse: "And it came to pass, when the evil spirit which was not of God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him" (1 Samuel 16:23). Did you know that good, clean music has real spiritual power? It does! It makes sense. I am sure that Satan and his devils are not just going to hang around and listen to it with you. It bothers them and they leave.

DandC 25:

10 And verily I say unto thee that thou shalt lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better.

11 And it shall be given thee, also, to make a selection of sacred hymns, as it shall be given thee, which is pleasing unto me, to be had in my church.

12 For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.

Be aware of the things that you listen to. Would the ministering angels and the Holy Spirit be comfortable to stay with you as you listen? That is a good check.

Sorry for the short letter. I will make sure to write more next week. I miss you and love you lots.


Elder Hadfield
My dear family,

How blessed we are to know about the gospel of Jesus Christ! May we never take for granted so many simple truths that so many of the people around us in the world are living without.

Let me share some of the highlights of my week with you:

The Flood: In the middle of the week after workouts we got a call from one of the sets of sisters. They informed us that their apartment was flooding and that their land lord was not picking up his phone (he was probably still asleep). They asked us to come over and check it out. So we did just that. After five minutes of trying to figure out what the problem was we decided to go home and change into sports clothes. After we returned (with towels and blankets to help soak up as much of the water as possible) we did our best to figure out what the problem was. There was a huge clog in one of their drains that stopped any water from getting out of the apartment. And no matter which appliance they would use with water, it would cause water to flow out of the drain for the washer (I think because it is the lowest drain and the easiest gravity wise). The land lord called, and sent a plumber over to snake the drains and pour some chemicals down them. After that all got fixed their electricity went out... I think that is fixed by now too.

New apartment: We found a new apartment to move into (our one right now is pretty bad, I will leave it at that). However we found out that we could not move until the end of this month. So I will just tough it out until the end of my mission. I don't really have any reason to complain. I have a place to sleep, food to eat, and a very important work to do!

Salt of the Earth: The Branch President owns a business of water filters. He ordered three tons of rock salt for one of his stores because they also sell stuff for water softening (the water in Luts'k is really hard). He gave us a call to see if we could come and help him unload the semi truck of rock salt. It was a great chance to serve him and meet his employees. It reminded me of when I worked for Bill and did landscaping and would load his trailer up with hundreds of bags of mulch. As we unloaded the salt I thought of the scriptures and the references of salt. D&C101:39 "When men are called unto mine everlasting gospel, and covenant with an everlasting covenant, they are accounted as the salt of the earth and the savor of men." Our righteous choices, actions, and prayers have a preserving effect on the world. They give our brothers and sisters who are living in sin more chances to repent and mend their ways. Alma 10:23 "But it is by the prayers of the righteous that ye are spared." Keep being true, continue being the salt of this earth, and never lose your savor! -pictures of us in the shirts that the Branch President brought us so we would not get our white shirts dirty.

Arnesons: I didn't know what else to call this one. The Arnesons are a really nice senior couple who work with seminary and institute in our mission. They came down to Luts'k this week. We met with them and the Branch President after church and on Saturday we tolk them on a lesson with us.

Skype: On Sunday night we had a skype lesson with Germany and Dieter! We are trying to help him find some names so he can go on the upcoming temple trip and be baptized for his family members. Also we went over to Brother Zhuck's home this week (he says hi). He has a tablet and he asked us to help him set up skype so that he could do his home teaching. One of the brothers he home teaches lives a ways away and it is long and expensive to get there. So we helped him. He thought it was the greatest thing ever. He is a really special man. The patriarch is coming to Ukraine soon, and we are excited to tell him about the opportunity to get his patriarchal blessing. -picture with us and Brother Zhuck!

2nd Counseling: My new calling is a great opportunity to be able to serve more people in the branch. Our branch is so strong and filled with many noble, worthy men and women. I am blessed by their faithful examples no matter what situations they might find themselves in. It is interesting to see the workings of the church from another side. The leaders in each ward and branch sacrifice so much time and effort to receive revelation about how to lead, guide, and help the people under their stewardship. Our Branch President is a father of four, a business man, and still gives his all to the Lord. He loves the branch and loves each person in it. I am blessed to be able to learn from him. We had a lot of meetings on Sunday and we had a little break in between a few of them. There were six young primary kids who were waiting for their parents (who are in the branch presidency) and so we ran around and played with them. They sure wore me out. I love children!

Basketball (always a favorite): We live by a stadium and had a chance to play a little basketball this week. We met a really cool guy who was about 37 and was money from down town! He is a physicist and travels a lot for his work. He speaks English because that is the international language that he uses for work. He was really happy and had a light about him.

President Lattin: President Lattin came to our city this week for a few hours on his way to another city. We were each able to have an interview with him. It was a really good opportunity. President Lattin is our mission president, but he also is the Stake President over all the members in the L'viv mission. So he has a lot more responsibility than just missionaries. He was in Luts'k to also do a few interviews with members. I had to sit in and translate for one interview. I have a lot of respect for priesthood leaders because they are often left to have the "hard conversations" with people. The interview started off with "I am going to speak very forward." I don't really want to share any details, but I am sure you get the picture. I am very impressed in watching my priesthood leaders with the gift of discernment that they have. That is a testimony to me that the spirit is with them.

Do you know where I could get a free Book of Mormon?: Finding people to teach has been a general struggle for a lot of companionships here. But a cool miracle happened to us this week. On Saturday we were walking down the street and a girl and guy (in their 20's) walked up to us. The girl with excitement in her voice asked us "do you know where I can get a free copy of the Book of Mormon?" We always have a few books with us so we gave her one. She was very happy and said thank you. She then asked if we could tell her when we met as a church. She knew where our building was, but she wanted to know the time because they tried to go to our building before, but when they showed up it had been locked. We told them that tomorrow (Sunday) would be church at 10 am and invited them to come. Then as quick as they walked up to us they were gone. I looked over at Elder Randell and we both kind of wondered if that was real or just some kind of joke. We were both kind of unsure if they were really going to come to church. They next day at church after sacrament meeting they showed up! They are really interested in the church and the sisters talk with them and are going to meet with them to teach them the lessons!

This week I have been really grateful for the counsel and guidance of living prophets.The fact that we have living prophets is a big sign for me that God loves me. I have been thinking a lot about goals that I want to set for myself as I will be returning home soon, to keep my life on the right course. I have tried to base these goals off of the scriptures and the words of our modern day prophets. The future is a scary thing, but I am comforted by the Lords words about Joseph Smith, which I think can be likened to any modern day prophet:

D&C 21

4 Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;

5 For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.

6 For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.

This week I listened to a great talk given by President Hinckley that I would highly recommend to you (especially my sisters)!

I love you all! I miss you! And I am looking forward to seeing you soon! Keep up all of your hard work and preparation. Follow the Prophets, read, pray, and all things will work out for our good.

Have a good week!


Elder Mitchell Gregory Hadfield
My dear Family,

I am very glad that you had a good week. I am happy to hear about Elder Robinett. We had a lot of fun and did a lot of good work together! I am also happy to hear that you were able to go to the Draper temple. I long to be able to go back to the temple to learn and to rest from the cares of the world. We are truly blessed to have the temple so close. Having all these temple preparation lessons has really made me miss the temple even more. Brother Zhuck wanted me to say hello to you from him!

I had another pretty busy week this week. I think I told you this last week, but we have five sisters in our area. We only have two Elders. So this week (before transfers) Elder LeBaron and I had to move into one of the other apartments because our apartment was pretty nice so it went to the sisters. That took a good amount of time.

On Monday night we were walking to a family house through a row of garages when two poliece called us to come over to them. So we did. They ushered us into a garage when one of them was finger print dusting some CD cases. They told us that there had been some kind of crime and they needed witnesses. They assured us it would not take long and then tried to get us to fill out some paper saying we had seen something. They found out that we were not Ukrainians so they let us go because to be a witness you must be a citizen of Ukraine. It was a really weird experience.

Then on Wednesday the five of us (three sisters, myself and Elder LeBaron) set off for L'viv for transfers. We took a bus. It was pretty rainy. Also the road from Luts'k to L'viv is terrible. It was a four hour roller coaster ride. We got in and with a bunch of bags waited a half hour in the rain for a taxi big enough to come and pick us up. Then we went to the church and dropped off luggage.

The next day I met up with Elder Randell (my companion). I served with him once before in L'viv. We went back to Luts'k on Thursday all by ourselves with his bags. It was bumpy again, but this time there were no seats, so we did it standing. We met some cool people on the bus so it was worth it. Some of them added me on Facebook, so I was wondering if Mom could add people on my facebook again? Thanks! We had English practice on Thursday night (we normally do three groups but we combined them all because we were the only missionaries in Luts'k). We had to do English in the basement at the church because there was a yearly cleaning going on upstairs and the floors were wet.

On Friday all five sisters came to Luts'k on a bus (three of them are new to Luts'k so you can imagine how much stuff they had). One of them is Ukrainian! Anyway, we had to go and help them off of the bus and help them get all their stuff to their apartments.

On Sunday the branch president asked me to be his second counselor in the branch presidency. I won't be here for too much longer but it will be a good chance to give service.

Elder Kenneth Johnson of the Seventy gave a talk in 1994 called "We All Have a Father in Whom We Can Trust." -the link to the full talk. We listened to his talk at the end of companionship study on Saturday. The talk meant a lot to me. I just wanted to share a small story from his talk about him and his dad, after I will explain why. His story is from his boyhood in England after his dad came home from fighting in the war:

"We lived, like many others in those war-torn years, in humble circumstances. Our home was modestly furnished. Dad had many skills and used them to beautify the home. He raised the Anderson air-raid shelter located in our garden to ground level and made it his workshop. He spent many hours there repairing shoes and making items of furniture for the home. I would wander into this workshop and watch him. Just to be in his presence was a thrill for me. He invited me to help him by passing a hammer, a screwdriver, or some other tool. I was convinced that my help was necessary and that without me he would not be able to complete his task. He used a variety of pieces of wood, obtained from different sources and considered by others to be unsuitable for any practical use, and from them created items of great beauty and worth for our family. As he worked he played a game with me, inviting me to determine what he was making. I was seldom able to do so until the components were completed and the object assembled. Then I would declare with great excitement, “It’s a bookcase!” or “a table!” and wonder at his ability to create so much from so little.

As I look back and reflect upon those wonderful memories, I realize that my contribution was not necessary for my father to complete the work he was engaged in. I was the beneficiary, as through these experiences I came to know him and to love him.

How like the association we have with our Heavenly Father, believing at times that the service we engage in is for his benefit, when in reality it is comparable with my handing tools to my father. It is the relationship that develops that is of greater significance more than the contribution we make. As expressed by King Benjamin, “For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?” (Mosiah 5:13.)"

Now John 17:3 makes so much more sense. " And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." While I am doing my best to serve my God on my mission and on my life, I am the true beneficiary, as through my service I am blessed with the opportunity to get to know my Father in Heaven. I am sure in the grand scheme of things my efforts are small and unnecessary for my Father in Heaven to complete His work. However, the relationship that I have developed (and am still developing) with Him means everything, now, and in the grand scheme of things.

As I thought about this I pulled out my picture album and tears filled my eyes when I came across one of my favorite pictures I have( I attached a picture of it on this email). It is a picture of dad and me (when I was a little boy). He is holding me on a ladder so that I can reach the ceiling. I have a paint brush in my hand and we both look as happy as can be. That picture, and my relationship with my father here on earth helps me to understand my relationship with my Heavenly Father. When I was little, and even when I was older, Dad always invited me happily to help him with a variety of projects around the house and yard. He always was happy to teach me the "how to's" of everything and give me pointers. He was never too hard on me when it took me a while to grasp something and he always remembered that our relationship was more important than any of the mistakes I made. Most of all he always made me feel needed and loved, even when I am sure he could have done the job much faster on his own. I am sure God could gather His other children must better, much faster, and much more effectively on His own, but I am glad He sent me on a mission. I love my earthy father and my Father in Heaven and am thankful for their examples. I know that we can come to know "the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" as we serve them. We can serve them by serving those around us. I think that is the the essence of the gospel.

I hope you have a good week. I miss you, I think of you often, and I pray for you.


Elder Mitchell Gregory Hadfield

My Dear Family,

This week marks the start of my last transfer as a full time missionary. I will be staying in Luts'k. My companion however, is being transferred, and I will be serving with Elder Randell. He is a really great Elder. I served with him in L'viv for one transfer and we got along really well. He is very smart, has a very strong testimony, and before his mission was an actor on a few TV shows. He is really good with people. I am excited for all the good work we will be able to accomplish together. We go to L'viv on Wednesday to exchange companions.

We have been very busy this week getting ready for transfers. This transfer in our city we will have two elders (my companion and I) along with five sisters. Crazy right? We are moving out of the apartment we are currently in to give it to the new set of sisters and will be moving into the apartment where Elders Ward and Millard lived. We are in the process of moving right now but a lot of things have came up that we need to do before going into L'viv. We are just hoping we will have time for all of them. Elder LeBaron and I set a goal to memorize all the articles of faith in Ukrainian before the end of the transfer. We are doing really good. We only have one more to go! It gives us really good, short powerful statements of truth to share with people that we talk to on the street. I never realized until now just how great they are!

I have often wondered why so many people persecute us, even when we are doing such a great work that is ordained of God? Some people yell at us, tell us to leave, and even one time a priest tried to cast devils out of us. It doesn't happen all the time, but part of being a missionary is dealing with those unpleasant, hurtful, and painful situations. During Church I was reading my bible and came across a few verses that gave me some comfort.


20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

God knows the things we go through for Him and He is thankful for our love and our loyalty.

Yesterday after church we went to the bus station to wish my two good friends farewell; Elder Ward and Millard, who finished their missions together. In his closing testimony at church Elder Ward shared a scripture from 2nd Nephi 1:

30 And now, Zoram, I speak unto you: Behold, thou art the servant of Laban; nevertheless, thou hast been brought out of the land of Jerusalem, and I know that thou art a true friend unto my son, Nephi, forever.

Elder Ward talked about the importance of friends and how God places them in our lives to bless us. I have been blessed to meet many amazing people, members and missionaries, that I know will be true friends unto me forever.

It was hard to see them leave. But I was happy, knowing that they served faithfully. I am very proud of them.

Sunday was a big day for a few other reasons as well. Brother Zhuck, the amazing man that we have been working with, had his interview with the branch president for his temple recommend, then over skype he had an interview with President Lattin as well. I was able to be there on that one to translate, which made it even sweeter. Brother Zhuck is so ready to go to the temple. On most of the temple preparation lessons we have done with him, Brother Zhuck has taught us way more than we have taught him. We are planning to go over to his house tomorrow night so we can spend a little bit of time with him before Elder LeBaron leaves.

Also, Volodymyr, the man who had a baptismal date a while ago came to church on Sunday for the first time since his baptismal date fell through. It was nice to be able to get in contact with him again.

This week we have also had a few opportunities to do service. On Friday we were in a village not to far away from Luts'k with the other elders doing service at a members home. To make a long story short we helped them collect a bunch of hay rolls (big tractor rolled ones) to store them away for the animals for the winter time. We had a blast. They also fed us a really good lunch after we finished. We all got a bit sun burned. Then we played some soccer with the son of the family and some of his friends before we left to go back to Luts'k. Man I am bad a soccer. But whenever sports are involved I love to get competitive. Being competitive and not very good at something is not a good combination.

On Saturday we went and we took the sacrament to an older woman who lives a ways away. She can't travel, so once a moth we travel to her to administer the sacrament. She was so thankful that we came to her. It was humbling to see just how much faith she had. I have a long way to go.

The following is a talk called "One Key to a Happy Family" that was given by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf . I wanted to share it because I was flipping through my journal the other day and I have a little clipping of the story he shares called "The princes Dog" taped in on one of the pages. I go to it often when I feel like someone has wronged me or when I feel angry. It helps me quickly realize that my anger is foolish. The talk itself is about families and I thought it would be good to share with my family! I hope it blesses your life as much as it has blessed my life. Enjoy!

"The great Russian author Leo Tolstoy began his novel Anna Karenina with these words: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” While I do not have Tolstoy’s certainty that happy families are all alike, I have discovered one thing that most have in common: they have a way of forgiving and forgetting the imperfections of others and of looking for the good.

Those in unhappy families, on the other hand, often find fault, hold grudges, and can’t seem to let go of past offenses.

"Yes, but …” begin those who are unhappy. “Yes, but you don’t know how badly she hurt me,” says one. “Yes, but you don’t know how terrible he is,” says another.

Perhaps both are right; perhaps neither.

There are many degrees of offense. There are many degrees of hurt. But what I have noticed is that often we justify our anger and satisfy our consciences by telling ourselves stories about the motives of others that condemn their actions as unforgivable and egoistic while, at the same time, lifting our own motives as pure and innocent.

The Prince’s Dog:

There is an old Welsh story from the 13th century about a prince who returned home to find his dog with blood dripping down its face. The man rushed inside and, to his horror, saw that his baby boy was missing and his cradle overturned. In anger the prince pulled out his sword and killed his dog. Shortly thereafter, he heard the cry of his son—the babe was alive! By the infant’s side lay a dead wolf. The dog had, in reality, defended the prince’s baby from a murderous wolf.

Though this story is dramatic, it demonstrates a point. It opens the possibility that the story we tell ourselves about why others behave a certain way does not always agree with the facts—sometimes we don’t even want to know the facts. We would rather feel self-justified in our anger by holding onto our bitterness and resentment. Sometimes these grudges can last months or years. Sometimes they can last a lifetime.

A Family Divided
One father could not forgive his son for departing from the path he had been taught. The boy had friends the father did not approve of, and he did many things contrary to what his father thought he should do. This caused a rift between father and son, and as soon as the boy could, he left home and never returned. They rarely spoke again.

Did the father feel justified? Perhaps.

Did the son feel justified? Perhaps.

All I know is that this family was divided and unhappy because neither father nor son could forgive each other. They could not look past the bitter memories they had about each other. They filled their hearts with anger instead of love and forgiveness. Each robbed himself of the opportunity to influence the other’s life for good. The divide between them appeared so deep and so wide that each became a spiritual prisoner on his own emotional island.

Fortunately, our loving and wise Eternal Father in Heaven has provided the means to overcome this prideful gap. The great and infinite Atonement is the supreme act of forgiveness and reconciliation. Its magnitude is beyond my understanding, but I testify with all my heart and soul of its reality and ultimate power. The Savior offered Himself as ransom for our sins. Through Him we gain forgiveness.

No Family Is Perfect
None of us is without sin. Every one of us makes mistakes, including you and me. We have all been wounded. We all have wounded others.

It is through our Savior’s sacrifice that we can gain exaltation and eternal life. As we accept His ways and overcome our pride by softening our hearts, we can bring reconciliation and forgiveness into our families and our personal lives. God will help us to be more forgiving, to be more willing to walk the second mile, to be first to apologize even if something wasn’t our fault, to lay aside old grudges and nurture them no more. Thanks be to God, who gave His Only Begotten Son, and to the Son, who gave His life for us.

We can feel God’s love for us every day. Shouldn’t we be able to give a little more of ourselves to our fellowmen as taught in the beloved hymn “Because I Have Been Given Much”? The Lord has opened the door for us to be forgiven. Wouldn’t it be only right to put aside our own egotism and pride and begin to open that blessed door of forgiveness to those with whom we struggle—especially to all of our own family?

In the end, happiness does not spring from perfection but from applying divine principles, even in small steps. The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have declared: “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”

Forgiveness is positioned right in the middle of these simple truths, founded on our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness. Because forgiveness connects principles, it connects people. It is a key, it opens locked doors, it is the beginning of an honest path, and it is one of our best hopes for a happy family.

May God help us to be a little more forgiving in our families, more forgiving of each other, and perhaps more forgiving even with ourselves. I pray that we may experience forgiveness as one wonderful way in which most happy families are alike."

I have seen from my own experience that giving others the benefit of the doubt brings blessings of love and understanding. Even if they really may be at fault isn't it still better to show love than anger? It is a lot easier said than done. I sure have a lot of progress I can make! I want you to know that I love you very much! I am glad that you are my family!

Have a good week!


Elder Hadfield


Germany won the World cup! Brother Zhuck called us this morning to tell us because at church I had a notebook with the German soccer team on it! We have a temple lesson with him tonight. We are teaching the lesson about Symbols. Also LeBron to the Cavs... I was so excited that I turned to Elder LeBaron to tell him, but he isn't really a big basketball guy, so he didn't understand. You'd think he would follow LeBron with a name like LeBaron. He get's called LeBaron James every once in a while haha!

Now I will tell you about some cool things I did this week:

1. Skype lesson with Berlin.
Remember the German man that I baptized at the beginning of last transfer? If not, his name is Dieter. The other Elders meet with him and the German Elders to do recent convert lessons. I was on exchanges this week and was lucky enough to get to be on one of the lessons. Our branch president was also there. The topic was Temples. I was not able to speak a lick of German, but a huge blessing was that I was able to understand everything that was being said in German. I translated for our branch President. The gift of tongues is real and it is manifest in many different ways. The German Elders are way cool and they are really good missionaries. I was very impressed. I told this to Jessica already, but I saw in the background (they were skyping from their mission office) tires. Turns out they drive cars in their mission! Do you know if Jessica's mission is a car mission?

2. Skype lesson with France.
You thought I was done talking about skype huh? Nope! There are two investigators in our district from Congo who are here studying at University. They speak French. We couldn't participate as much on this lesson as we did on the one with Germany, because Dieter speaks some English (little) and some Russian (very little) and the guys from Congo don't really speak either (other than a few English words, but getting a point across is really hard). But it was still a cool experience. It is nice to see how technology is used to further the work of God.

3. Exchanges.
In our city we have four Elders. The other Elders are two of my very close friends who I have served around almost all of my mission. This is their last week on their missions. I want them to come see me when I come home. You will really like them! They go home next Tuesday. It is hard for me to see them go. After they leave I will be the oldest group of Elders in Ukraine. Since our apartment is out of hot water temporarily (for 15 days.. I have been taking ten second ice cold showers), we went over to their apartment for exchanges. It was a blast. We had a lot of fun and worked hard. When they go home our mission will have more sisters than Elders. Right now it is about even, but soon it won't even be close. In January there will only be 12 Elders (I will not be one of them). From about a year ago when were at 30 or so. With the situation in Ukraine they are not sending American Elders or sisters to our mission, only Ukrainian ones. After this transfer we will only have two Elders in our city.

4. Talk
For a little bit of back story. I got a call from Elder Bodell this week (I love him so much! I am really glad we are only going to like like five minutes from them!). And he told me that he had received information from you about our new stake president. Also before I forget, you should tell him who our bishop is because some of his sons might be in our ward! He also told me that his son is on the high counsel and will be there when I give my report about my mission. To be honest I didn't know that you have to give a report to your high counsel. I thought you just had an interview with your stake President. So I asked him kind of what it entailed and he explained it to me. It caused me to think for a bit. I also shared this story with Jessica. I thought of some verses that had for a long time been hard for me to understand from Alma 34:

31 Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.

32 For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.

34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.

Elder Bodell's call helped me to understand what Alma is getting at. On a smaller scale I can relate it to my mission. From my mission's view, essentially Alma is saying "Elder Hadfield, once you are standing in front of the High Counsel, it will already be too late for you for you to do good things in Ukraine to report to them. You can't wait until then, because it will be to late. You have to do good now, so that when you stand before the counsel, you will have good things to report to them." That has given me an extra drive this week to my best. It has also helped me look at repentance in a different light. When we repent and change, God had promised that He will not remember our sins. How beautiful! When we stand before Him and the last day to report of our earthy missions, if we have repented, changed our lives through the atonement of our loving Savior, and been obedient to the commandments, then we will be filled with joy and be able to tell God of the good things we have done. The alternative is fear and guilt in front of our Father knowing we did not do what He asked of us. I had an opportunity to give a talk this Sunday, so I chose to speak on this topic.

President Uchtdorf shared an old proverb which says "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time is now." The same thing with repentance and change. The beauty of the atonement is that while we are here and the Lord says there is still time, we can repent and change. I am deeply touched by the Saviors plea " how oft will I gather you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if ye will repent and return unto me with full purpose of heart" (3 Nephi10:6). I know the Savior has gathered me many times and He still does. I feel as if I am wrapped and protected in the arms of His love against the devil and all the evils of the world. What great joy is mine! I am glad that I am able to help others find the loving arms of their Savior.

I love you very much! I hope you have a good week!

Elder Mitchell Hadfield

Saturday, July 5, 2014


This coming week we are going to L'viv for Zone conference. That should be fun!

Sadly I don't have a whole lot to share with you from my week. I have had my ups and downs. This week, to be honest was more of a down. So I just wanted to share with you some things that I have learned instead of telling you about my week:

D and C 58:

3 Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.

4 For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.

5 Remember this, which I tell you before, that you may lay it to heart, and receive that which is to follow.

Sometimes in life, we have to go through really hard trials. Whether it is the loss of a loved one, some kind of set back, or something else. These trials test us, and many times are very painful. They come even when we are doing what is right. These trials can either bring us closer to our Father in Heaven or they can drive us from Him.

A story that has been really close to my heart the last few weeks is found in three places in the scriptures. Matthew 19, Luke 18, and Mark 10. I will quote from the latter.

A young, rich ruler comes to Jesus to inquire what he needs to do to receive eternal life. Christ answers Him:

19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

The young ruler was a good man. He kept the commandments.

21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

This was to be the mans trial. Christ knew it would be hard. Sadly this trail was to much for the young ruler, for we read:

22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

The young ruler was not willing to give His all. He was willing to give his most. But when God asked for that which was most dear to his heart and soul, that was too much for him. He backed out. I believe that each of us will have similar moments that will try us to see if we will be willing to answer the call of the Savior:

Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me

As we continue in Mark ten we read, that after the young ruler refuses to give his all:

28 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.

Peter and the other disciples truly had done just that. For we read in Matthew 4:

20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

They left their nets, their work, all they knew at the call of the Savior. Was it hard for them? Yes, I am sure it was. But that is the high price of being a disciple of Jesus Christ.

In Matthew 20 we also get a little taste of the price of being a disciple.

21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.

22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.

23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

Life was not meant to be easy. It is the refiners fire. We will have to drink in small measure the bitter cup that the Savior drank.

As we read of Him, we learn of what filled His cup.

Mosiah 14:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

We can even read His own words:

D and C 19: 18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—

19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.

So when trails come your way, remember the words of Peter

"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery atrial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."

There are many other who have walked the path behind the Savior who we can look to as examples. Consider a few:
-Joseph Smith
The list goes on and on.

These words in Moroni 7 really stick out to me "charity suffereth long"

47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

Have the hope that when you are called to your fiery trials that it is not meant to destroy you, but it is meant to help you reach the promise in the previous verse. To become like the Savior, we must follow Him. That includes walking in the same path He walked. Frightening? Yes, of course.But also, with the help of the Savior and His atonement for us, it is doable.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 16: 33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

I know that the Savior knows what we are going through. I know He can and will help us overcome every obstacle. I know He is the Son of God. He loves us. He wants us to be happy, and He knows what will make us happy.


Elder Hadfield

Sadly I don't have that many stories to tell you this week. We spent most of our time this week on the street talking with people trying to find God's elect. It is nice to speak with people who are open and willing to receive what God wants to give them and it is hard to see people who don't want to receive more knowledge from God. We get to see people on ever part of the spectrum.

We did not have a baptism on Saturday. Our investigator got sick, ended up in the hospital, got big blisters on his feet so it was hard for him to walk, and felt a lot of pressure from family and friends not to get baptized. However, he still wants to keep coming to church and learning about the gospel. Hopefully he will still get baptized sometime in the future.

Brother Zhuck gave me a letter to translate to give to you, I put it in my journal. Here is what it said:

Dear Parents of Elder Hadfield,

I wanted to say thank you for the way you raised your son. He is a great man. We have become really good friends and he has really helped me though this hard time with the passing of my wife Nadia. When he is around I feel peace and I feel calm. I love him. I know God has a plan for each one of us.


Brother Mikola Zhuck

He is a very sweet man. I have been blessed on many occasions by his Christlike example. Brother Zhuck is a person who understands life. He gets why we are here. He loves the Savior and His atonement. He is kind to everyone. I love him.

In a talk in the last general conference "Live True to the Faith," by Elder William R. Walker Of the Seventy, he says"The more connected we feel to our righteous forefathers, the more likely we are to make wise and righteous choices. And so it is. Each of us will be greatly blessed if we know the stories of faith and sacrifice that led our forefathers to join the Lord’s Church."

As I read his talk I just got stuck on that quote. I guess I never really thought about it before, but I don't have a clue how any of my ancestors came to join the church. The only one I kind of know is Grandpa Schmidt, but I don't really even know that whole story. It all of the sudden became interesting to me, because of the quote I read in the Liahona. Knowing about my righteous heritage will bless me and help me be true to the faith and help me make wise choices. So if you know about how our ancestors came to join the church of God, I would really love to know about it. Or maybe Grandpa Hadfield and Schmidt know. I would love to know the stories of our ancestors so I can be blessed by their good examples.

Thanks for your emails. Thanks for your love and support. I am doing well and being taken care of.


Elder Hadfield

Happy Fathers Day (yesterday)! I am so thankful that I have such a great father.

My week this week was good. We did not have a baptism, but we have one scheduled for this coming Saturday. The branch members have been key in teaching and fellowshiping Volodymyr (the one with the baptismal date). I will let you know how that goes next week.

We have been struggling with finding lately, so this week we spent a good amount of time searching for people to teach. We haven't really had any success yet, but we are not discouraged. We will just turn it up a notch and keep going. Keep us in your prayers.

We went to the celo this week (outside of the city) for a young men's activity with a family that we home teach. We did some work on their farm garden and we also played soccer with their son and the boys in the village. We had the four elders there and we played four vs four Americans vs Ukrainians. Sad to say we lost 14-7. After we lost I asked them if there was a basketball court in their village haha!

This morning I was reading in the book of ether and I came across this verse (5) in the third chapter (it is the brother of Jared speaking with the Lord) "Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power, which looks small unto the understanding of men."

That really made me think, how could God's power look small unto our understanding? It made me think of many things that we just take for granted ever day like the sun rising, rain, plants growing, and many other similar things. So many intricate systems working in harmony that bring us so many blessings. Some people may think that is just how it is, or that it just happens by itself. But the reality of it is that God upholds them by His great power.

There is a really cool mormon message about Fathers that goes along with this thought. As God's children, we do not often see all God does for us, as children do not understand all their eartly father does for them.

A funny story from our week that Elder LeBaron wrote:

Elder Hadfield and I have been having a hard time finding new investigators. This happens to every missionary at some time or another. Such has been the case with us. We pray on our knees every morning before leaving the apartment for safety, and to find those people who are ready to hear this message. Since it was raining this day, and our only method of finding investigators besides visiting members (who we didn't manage to get any appointments with), or english (we are on a 2 week break from english class), is contacting on the streets. When there is rain out, NO ONE will stop and talk. In fact, it makes people here kind of angry. So, since it was raining, we decided to make some awesome cake for some members who helped us on lessons recently, some older people, and anyone who has had some difficult circumstances recently. We had run out of flour. This meant going to the store. Okay! Time to leave the apartment. On our knees, Prayer.
This particular time, I was especially invested in praying for just ONE AWESOME missionary experience that day. Anything, please. I knew it was raining, and everyone out there was trying to get from one place to another, but anything.

Well, the rain stopped for a bit.

We went outside... and there, on a bench, was an old man eating some little bread thing and a can of tuna. Naturally, we weren't about to pass this one up. Elder Hadfield planted himself right next to the man, and began talking to him! It seemed like an awesome contact! The man even offered his half eaten bread thing to us. We kindly declined, because we had already eaten.
"So, we're volunteer's of our church, and what we do is meet with people, and teach them about this message! Would you have some time this week when we could meet and explain a bit more?"
"Where is your church?"
Elder Hadfield explained where our church was, and then tried to give some directions...
"Show me where it is!"
"Uh... okay,"
Elder Hadfield then looked at Elder LeBaron, and all I could muster up to say was, "I left the oven on."
"Will it be okay?"

And so we took this man across the city, by foot, to our church building. He explained about his life as we walked... He worked as a miner! He has a very large family. His name is Yura! He also has a strange love of pigeons. On our way, he found one hobbling around in the middle of the street, and went out of his way to chase it off to the side of the road, in order to save it's life (?).

Remember how I said it stopped raining for a bit? It unstopped. We got very wet.
At one point, we thought we lost him... but his just stopped to take a whiz in the bushes by someone's house. Cool. Do what ya want bud'.

Finally, we get to the Church. We've by this point (embarrassingly) realized that he was drunk from the beginning...
Seeing our church, he immediately turned stone faced. We gave him a pamphlet, and he bid us adieu. Awesome... wet and on the opposite side of the city. Adventures!

So we take a bus back home.
We finish the cake.
And we take off to deliver it.

SURE ENOUGH, back outside of our apartment, there he is again. This time, he is smashing a television set with his bare hands by a dumpster. He cheerfully greets us, we waved to him, and went about our business. I'm not sure what kind of missionary experience that was, but I assume that it's going to help somebody, someday. I think the moral of this story is two-fold; Always check the sobriety of those with whom you are conversing, and God works in mysterious ways."

A little add on from my end:

In the Bus home this really cool man named Rooslan sat next to me and we got talking and he ended up taking a Book of Mormon and promised to read it!

I love you,

Have a good week,

Elder Hadfield
Hello Family,

So I am sure you would love to know about my week. This week we have taught a lot of lessons to our investigator. We pretty much have all the lessons required for baptism done except one. So that will be nice because it will give us a long time (two weeks) to review other lessons, and to read the book of Mormon with him. He is a small, very humble man, who is full of desire and great gospel questions (not to mention he always wears a nike shirt). Everything we teach him seems to make sense to him. Which is really cool because in Preach my Gospel it talks about how we are not teaching people new things but we are bringing it back to their remembrance. The members who have came on the lessons with us to help us have payed such an important role. One in particular has became really close friends with the investigator and he talks on the phone with him to answer questions that come up.

We got transfer information this week. I will be staying in Lutsk with Elder LeBaron for another transfer, alo the other elders who were here will be staying. Both of them finish their missions after this one. I know them both really well, and have been around them in various cities so it will be fun to serve it out with them. Yak Raz (It just so happens) that we went on exchanges with them this week. It is always nice to get another perspective on things. I have come to learn that the best way to teach someone is by a loving example. That goes leaps and bounds beyond telling someone how to improve. While it is good to tell them sometimes, showing an example will help them realize they want to gain the trait that you are showing and their desire to change will come from the inside and not the outside.

After exchanges we had a chance to play some basketball. I love sports! We can lean a lot from them and grow mentally and physically! Haha, though while we were playing I went up for a rebound and smashed my finger. So sadly basketball is the cause of my pinky being all sorts of nasty colors.

In a nutshell that was my week. A senior couple also came to Lutsk to do apartment checks, and we passed! So that was good!


Elder Hadfield

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Good Morning,

Elder Lebaron and I went to Rivne this week for exchanges with the zone leaders for two days. It was a little hard to be out of our area for two days because we have so much work to do here. But it was productive. I met a guy on the street who was wearing straight baseball get up. He had on the hat, coach nike shoes, and a rivne baseball shirt, so I stopped him and talked with him. Found out they were getting ready for a game that Sunday, so I offered some service, we were able to go down to the field on Friday and help clean it up, and get it ready for their game. It took me back to my baseball days. Some of their players were there helping too, so we were able to chat it up with them. I had a blast! In Rivne I also was able to be on a lesson with a guy who had his baptism in three days and with the second counselor in the mission presidency. We talked about tithing. Quote form Elder Bednar "Tithing is not paid with money, it is paid with faith." When you think about it, it is true.

On Saturday at 10 am we were able to tune into a live priesthood broadcast from the Baltics for all priesthood leaders and brothers in Ukraine, Russia, the Baltics, Turkey, Armenia, and a few other countries I can't remember. Elder Bednar, The Bishop of the church, President Razband, and President Lawrence (our area President) were all there, along with a few other local 70's. The broadcast lasted for four hours. Elder Bednar started off with a parable shared by Boyd K packer a long time ago. "The parable: A merchant man seeking precious jewels found at last the perfect pearl. He had the finest craftsman carve a superb jewel box and line it with blue velvet. He put his pearl of great price on display so others could share his treasure. He watched as people came to see it. Soon he turned away in sorrow. It was the box they admired, not the pearl." He related that to the church and the gospel. The gospel is the pearl. On a live broadcast Elder Bednar had people from all across the area send in questions and he did a great job on the spot of addressing the concerns that people had, and showing a great example of how to teach. The spirit was very strong and all who were there were edified and uplifted. He sais that as priesthood leaders, we are not managers (box) but we are ministers (pearl). He also talked about sharing the gospel. When Lehi tasted of the fruit of the tree the first thing he wanted to do was to share it. The way to help people do missionary work is not to talk about missionary work. That does not help. We must halp them taste the fruit of the atonement and gospel in their own life. People don't share the gospel because 1. they haven't tasted the fruit, and 2. they have forgotten what it tastes like. I know I learned a lot that will help me be a better person and teacher.

On Sunday our two investigators came to church. They are both very serious about investigating and are looking for answers in their lives. It was fast Sunday and a bother who I am really close to bore his testimony. He wasn't feeling real well, but he said he came to church because he needed the blessings of the sacrament in his life. His wife had recently passed away. I sent you that story and last week we were able to go to the grave sight and dedicate the grave of his wife. He asked me if I would say the prayer and I felt honored. He has been helping us with a lot of our lessons.

President Lattin came down to Lutsk this week. We were able to have him on a lesson along with the mission driver for one of our investigators. It really helps to have natives on lessons. President Lattin also interviewed each of us while he was here. It was nice.

My companion is really cool. I think we are going to stay together one more transfer, I would really like to finish off with him! He is very faithful and has a solid testimony and backs it up with hard work and obedience. He is from Utah bust since he has been out his dad moved to Arizona with his brother (his mom died when he was 14). We get along really well and are a good team.

Have a great week.


Elder Mitchell Hadfield

Monday, May 26, 2014

So today my companion and I had to share a computer during email, so we did not have the normal time we usually do because we had only one computer, so I had him send me one story that he typed about our week so I would not have to re-type it! I will start off my email with that story. So in the words of Elder LeBaron here is what happened to us on Saturday:

"We had an awesome experience this last week, in which we got the chance to visit a less-active family who lives in a little village about an hour outside of Lutsk (By bus). We're their new home teachers! :D We got up first thing in the morning, worked out, ate breakfast, got into our work clothes, and hopped onto a bus.
When we finally got there, I had forgotten what the other Elder's had told me as far as directions are concerned... but I confidently took my companion along the dirt path right behind the stop and started walking. I was pretty sure they said something about a dirt path. Makes sense, right?
Long story short, we ended up lost in the midde of nowheresville, by a heard of cows, and some random rancher man. I called Brother Polyshook, and gave the phone to the Ukrainian farmer so that, between these two Ukrainian guys, we could figure out where we even wanted to go.
Longer story short, I chose the wrong dirt path. Back track = 1 hour total of walking back to there house... which was in the opposite direction of where we were heading. Maaaaaaan.

But it's okay, because we finally made it to their place! What was first on our agenda, you may ask? Sawing logs! Ha! It was actually pretty fun, even though I never got to play with the Chainsaw myself. Bohdan Polyshook handled that, and I just stacked logs onto the little makeshift log holder thingy. (I'm really eliquently versed in farm vocabulary now, you see).

After hours of work, we got to wheelbarrow all those logs to the back of the house, and stack up a bunch of them. Brother Polyshook said that he would do them himself... mostly because I'm pretty sure I wasn't stacking them the way he wanted. He's got a thing about orderliness and niceness that I just don't have.
Then, we fooded.
We fooded so hard.
There was borshch, and there was home-made "pizza" (it's not just pizza here, it's something more magnificent), and there was home-made apple cake with chocolate on top. Ah man. I can't even describe the joys of that meal sufficiently. I have not yet eaten anything super horrendous, but I have eaten the GREATEST THINGS IN THE WORLD here in Ukraine.

And then, we had a spiritual thought about gaining spiritual light through scripture study, prayer, and church attendance. They were great! We had a family discussion, and everyone was so involved (except bohdan, but he was suffering from food coma, kind of like me).
We then looked at some of their family photos, most of which were pictures of their two returned missionary sons. Afterwards, we left them with smiles, hugs, and handshakes. All we had to do was walk back to the bus stop, and ride on home.
This took up our whole saturday. It was the most wonderful of days."

I have been thinking a lot this week, and I would like to share my thoughts with you. My thoughts have been drawn back to my basketball days, when we would prepare to have a game against our opponent. I would like to relate that to our life here on earth. We have an opponent right? He is the devil and along with him he has hosts of evil angels. So how do we prepare to face him? Well, in basketball there are a few steps we take. We watch film! We want to know what our opponent has done in the past. Then we pick apart their game plan. Then we form our strategy against the team we will face. I would like to take a minute and do those few things with our common opponent Satan. Once we have done this we need not fear in the fight against him for we will know how to defeat him. By preparing his weaknesses will be evident and we will know how to exploit them.

So first "Watch film," or in other words what has our opponent done in the past? To see a little bit of our enemy in action we can turn to the scriptures. In JST, Revelation 12:1–17 we find an account of How Lucifer (one of God's choice spirit sons) Became the devil and took a third of God's other spirit children and were cast out onto the earth. We read.

4 And there appeared another sign in heaven; and behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman which was delivered, ready to devour her child after it was born.

5 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore years.

6 And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought against Michael;

7 And the dragon prevailed not against Michael, neither the child, nor the woman which was the church of God, who had been delivered of her pains, and brought forth the kingdom of our God and his Christ.

8 Neither was there place found in heaven for the great dragon, who was cast out; that old serpent called the devil, and also called Satan, which deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out into the earth; and his angels were cast out with him.

11 For they have overcome him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; for they loved not their own lives, but kept the testimony even unto death. Therefore, rejoice O heavens, and ye that dwell in them.

12 And after these things I heard another voice saying, Woe to the inhabiters of the earth, yea, and they who dwell upon the islands of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

13 For when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man-child.

17 Therefore, the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

In the Bible dictionary under War in Heaven we can also read:

"One-third of the spirits refused to accept the appointment of Jesus Christ as the Savior. Such a refusal was a rebellion against the Father’s plan of redemption. It was evident that if given agency, some persons would fall short of complete salvation; Lucifer and his followers wanted salvation to come automatically to all who passed through mortality, without regard to individual preference, agency, or voluntary dedication (see Isa. 14:12–20; Luke 10:18; Rev. 12:4–13; D&C 29:36–38; Moses 4:1–4). The spirits who thus rebelled and persisted were thrust out of heaven and cast down to the earth without mortal bodies, “and thus came the devil and his angels” (D&C 29:37; see also Rev. 12:9; Abr. 3:24–28).

The warfare is continued in mortality in the conflict between right and wrong, between the gospel and false principles, etc. The same contestants and the same issues are doing battle, and the same salvation is at stake.

Although one-third of the spirits became devils, the remaining two-thirds were not all equally valiant, there being every degree of devotion to Christ and the Father among them. The most diligent were chosen to be rulers in the kingdom (Abr. 3:22–23). The nature of the conflict, however, is such that there could be no neutrals, then or now (Matt. 12:30; 1 Ne. 14:10; Alma 5:38–40)."

So know that we have "watched film" on our opponent, or I guess the better word is adversary, let us pick apart his game plan. This is step number two. This will help us prepare for the most vital step: our game plan. Ok, his game plan! (These steps can be found in the Bible dictionary under "Devil," and some of the text has been copied right from there, just so you know!) In no particular order here is what the devil does:

-One of the major techniques of the devil is to cause human beings to think they are following God’s ways, when in reality they are deceived by the devil to follow other paths. We can find proof in 2 Nephi 28:21 "And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell." I would ask each of you to examine your own life and see if this is not the case in some aspect or another.

-The devil is the father of contention. 3 Nephi 11:29 "For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another." These contentions often lead to much worse acts of anger, violence, and murder. Any time you feel contentious it is the influence of an evil spirit.

- He tries to imitate the work of God by transforming himself nigh unto an angel of light. 2 Nephi 9:9 "And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled our first parents, who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel of light, and stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness." This step goes along with the first one. He will twist good things into bad things without us even knowing. In this way he will trick us, and cheat our souls, and we will not even know it.

- Since the devil and his premortal angels have no physical body of flesh and bones, they often seek to possess the bodies of mortal beings. There are many such instances recorded in scripture (Matt. 9:32; 12:22; Mark 1:24; 5:7; Luke 8:30; Acts 19:15; see also Mosiah 3:6). The devil and his angels are jealous of us because a spirit can only have a fullness of happiness with a body. In his jealousy he will try and get us to misuse our body in any way possible.

- He is also a worker of miracles, by which he deceives many upon the earth (Rev. 13:1–15). In fact, the scripture says he deceives the whole world (Rev. 12:9). He can cite scripture to make his point seem plausible (Matt. 4:1–11). All of this is his scheme to make man miserable like himself.

Ok, now we have done our homework. We have watched film, and we have picked it apart to find our enemy's strategy. Know here is the important part. We MUST come up with a game plan to utterly destroy the evil one, then we must put it into action. Here is the game plan I would like to suggest to you:

- Pray! Alma 34: 23, 18 "Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness. Yea, cry unto him for mercy; for he is mighty to save."

- Read and study the word of God! Helaman 3:29-30 "Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked— And land their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob, and with all our holy fathers, to go no more out."

-Keep the commandments! Every single one! Selective obedience is a death trap! D&C 98:22 "And again I say unto you, if ye observe to do whatsoever I command you, I, the Lord, will turn away all wrath and indignation from you, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against you."

- Have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ! Helaman 5:12 "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

In the end Christ will overcome the serpent. We are on the winning team! I promise that this game plan will prevail! And after the buzzer has sounded and the game is over the words that were spoken to the devil will be fulfilled. 2 Nephi 24:16 "They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and shall consider thee, and shall say: Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms?" Yes our enemy is strong. His back is to the wall and he knows his time is up soon. He wields hate, but we are motivated by a better cause (see Alma 43:45)!

One last thought before I close my letter to you this day. D&C 131:6 "It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance." Why is that? It is not because God does not want to save all people. Even those who refuse to lean His word. It is because those who do not learn, and do their homework, watch film, and make their game plan, will not overcome the devil and therefore not be able to be saved. Hold on to the words of the Savior when he said "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). Knowledge is power! Follow the game plan that is laid by the Savior in the scriptures and in the words of the living prophets and the devil will have no power over you, you will always do what is right, and you will return to God in the last day with Honor. I know this is true. I know Christ is the living Savior and captain of our team of saints. I ask you the question found in Romans 8:31 "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" Let me answer it. The Devil! But maybe the better question to ask would be "If God be for us, who can beat us?" Let me answer that: NOBODY!

Stick to the game plan and in the words of Christ Himself "ye shall have eternal life" (3 Nephi 9:14). This is my testimony, in the name of Christ, Amen.

My Family,

Today we just came from a lesson with one of our investigators named Volodimir. He has a really cool nike bag and he came to church for the first time on Sunday. We watched the restoration with him and went over how he can know for himself that Joseph was a prophet. He says he feels a lot like Joseph Smith because he sees so many churches and does not know where to go. He says that he feels like there is something more out there for him and he wants to find it. He is very sincere.

In my few weeks in Lutsk I have became very close with a brother in the branch named brother Zhuck. I sent a few pictures of him home today. He is a very sweet, spiritually attuned man. Over a seven year period of inactivity due to having to take care of his wife (see the story below) he told us how he continued to read the book of Mormon and how it has answered every question that he has had and kept him strong.

Here is the story about what happened with brother Zhuck last week:

Sister Zhuk had been sick for seven years. She could only lie on her back in bed and suffered quite a bit of pain. She loves her husband, and he loves her very much. He spends his days taking care of her. He couldn't come to church, because he can't leave her beside except to go and buy food every so often.

We had just finished skyping with our families, and since Elder LeBaron had a hard time getting everything connected, we were running a bit behind. We decided to contact instead of going straight to another appointment. We were walking along the path behind the church, just trying to contact and find some people to teach, when Elder Hadfield expressed that he was having a hard time stopping people, and he didn't know why he let a couple of people walk past him without trying to share anything. He then felt the need to talk with a woman who was playing with her Grand-daughter.

Instead of talking about the gospel though, he decided to ask her about directions. He asked her the fastest way to the street on which we lived. She showed us a different way than where we had initially planned to go. So, being awkward to completely ignore her adviced, we went that way.

This route took us past Brother Zhuk's house, as opposed to going around it.

As we were walking past, a woman was trying to get in. She recognized us as being from the same church as Brother Zhuk. She called out to us, and asked if we knew Nadia (sister Zhuk). I responded yes! I was the only missionary currently serving in Lutsk who had been by to visit the Zhuks. She expressed to us that Sis. Zhuk had passed away that very day. We had Brother Zhuks number, and we were able to call him to come and open the door to the apartment complex in which they lived.

This made a great opportunity for us to come in and comfort Brother Zhuk, by singing hymns with those who were there. We shared a bit about the Plan of Salvation. We talked about families, and shared pictures of ours. We made plans to bring the other two elders over the next day to help carry the casket and help with the funeral services the next day. Elder LeBaron was able to have a full conversation with Brother Zhuk while Elder Hadfield was talking about the plan of salvation with another woman, and he truly felt the gift of tounges help him communicate with him. It was incredible.

We did all of this, and then we left, hugging our Brother, and promising to return. As we exited the door, we were met by the Priest of the local Orthodox Church. He was going in to perform some ritualistic something or whatever. We were glad that we had a chance to invite the spirit and to comfort those who were there. Because of the spirit leading us, we had been there first. The Lord led us to help our Brother in his time of need, and it was absolutely incredible.

Brother Zhuck is now getting ready to go to the temple to be sealed to his wife. His wife wanted to be baptized while she was alive, but the doctors would not allow her too because of her very frail condition. Brother Zhuck feels much comfort in the fact that his wife is now resting from her physical pains and ailments. He knows the gospel and he lives it!

Man, there are so many more cool miracles that have been happening in my life, I wish IO could share them all with you right now. I love the city that I am in and I really feel like God is working through me and my companion to bless His children in Lutsk!


Elder Hadfield