Sunday, February 23, 2014

Family, here is a poem to start off my email

Good Timber

by Douglas Malloch

The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.

Where thickest lies the forest growth,
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
This is the common law of life.

President Monson shared a part of this poem in the last general conference. I really like it and I thought I would share it with you. Our struggles, trials, and our greatest efforts are blessings that will strengthen us, fortify our faith, and our character.

Ok.... wow. I have so much to share this week but I am not really sure where to start. Let's see, a rundown of what happened this week.

On Tuesday morning we worked with Elder Bodell in the office on the going home video.

On Tuesday night we got to go to a basketball game. The L'viv Lions played a team from Mikolayev. this is part of the Super league, which is 14 professional teams in Ukraine. We went with a less active member and the branch president. Our branch president had never been to a baskatball game before so I spent much of the game explaining the rules to him. It was very fun and I enjoyed talking about basketball. On an even better note we had the chance to talk with some of the players. Two of them happened to be from the states. They had played in college and then decided to continue playing ball over seas. One of them was named Miles and we talked with him, his wife, and his little son. They had only been in Ukraine a short time and we invited them to church, told them we could translate into English, and told them we could help them find anything in L'viv helping them with the language. So that was cool. I hope something good comes from it.

On Friday we went out with the other elders to a Harry potter cafe. It was really fun. The only sketchy thing was that on the menu you could order mushrooms from the forbidden Forrest. We had a fun time.

On Friday night we gave the spiritual thought at family night. We played three songs. 1. A rap song,2. "Don't worry be happy", and 3. "Come thou fount." As we played them in sequence we told people to pay attention to their feelings. Then we told them that music is a great tool from God to bless our lives. As we know how music affects us, we can use it to protect us rather than harm us.

On Saturday we went trackting and contacting for most of the day. My companion is still not allowed to preach, so I had to do all the talking but I was ok with it. It was nice to let people know that the gospel has been restored. On Saturday there was also a conference of young members of the church in our mission in L'viv. I got to see a lot of my friends from other cities which was a huge blessing.

On Sunday we were in Ternopil for church. On the train there we met a really cool young couple from east Ukraine who were on their way home. We gave them a family proc and they gave us their information to send to the missionaries where they are from. What a cool blessing. The husband did not really speak Ukrainian, but we were blessed to understand him and even be able to talk with him. His wife spoke some Ukrainian, but most of our conversation was in Russian.

Great News, a husband and wife (members) from central Ukraine are moving to Ternopil this week. They were there on Sunday looking for an apartment so they came to church. This should help speed up the work in Ternopil.

In Ternopil the lake was frozen over, so we were able to go walking on it. An ice fisherman even let us take pictures with him!

Our trip back from Ternopil was great too. A man who we sat next to just asked question after question about us and the church and what we believe. There were about five other people on the bus who listened attentively to the whole conversation. We made a lot of friends and shared our message with a lot of people.

I think that is about it for cool things that happened to me this week. The weather here is pretty nice. The snow that you got looked really fun though!

I hope you have a good week. I love you all and miss you a lot.


Elder Mitchell Hadfield

Sunday, February 16, 2014


So here is a funny story that happened to us on the way to the Internet club today: So today I am on exchanges, this is transfer week, so there are a lot of missionaries in L'viv. We were walking down the street to the internet club and there was a man on the side of the road with his car stuck in a ditch. He yelled out to us for help, so we walked over to help him. He got out of the car and together we tried to lift the car out of the ditch. Right when we squatted down to get a good grip on the bottom of the car, I hear a rip. It wasn't my pants, but it was the pants of the missionary next to me. Poor guy. We ended up helping the man to get his car out of the ditch. Walking away we had a good laugh at the situation. Serving others does not always mean you are immune from bad things happening to you. The other missionary didn't know L'viv really well so I showed his to a clothes repair store that was close by and they stitched up the whole backside of his pants. To make a long story short, now I am here emailing you.

My week was ok! Thank you for singing for my birthday and for making/eating cake for me. I feel very special. On Sunday for church Yeva came up from Uzhhorod which was a pleasant surprise. Her four favorite elders were all in L'viv and she wanted to come up and see us., and wish me a happy birthday in person.

This week I ended up with the chance to skype President Kliebengat for an hour and a half from the office. President Kliebengat used to make videos for going home missionaries (like one for the whole group), and then give it to them as their keep sake. So our mission decided to do the same thing for the missionaries who go home. Anyway, we bought the same program that President Kliebengat uses. We skyped so that he could teach me how to use the program.

Good news everyone, we are now allowed to preach in L'viv. I can wear my name tag, carry a Book of Mormon, and talk to whomever I want about whatever I want!

This week I met my new companion Elder Vandermark. He has been on his mission just about a year and is from California. Something cool, we found out that we were in the same BYUI student ward for a semester. I really like him and we get along very well. He is really easy going and he has a really strong testimony. I am excited to be with him this transfer. This week has been pretty busy in the office getting ready for transfers. They are done, so our work load will go down here this next week which will be nice.

The last two nights we have had meeting with inactive members. Both of them have gone very well. Our meeting last night was with a couple who were sealed in a temple in Germany together, and have been in active for about three or four years. The husband has since been confined to his chair as it is hard for him to walk, and I think they stopped coming to church more because it got hard physically and less because of a testimony problem or being offended. We have a family night at the church on Friday,and we are going to go over to their house before it to pick them up. The wife was also very glad to hear about the teple in Kiev and she wants to start coming back to church so that she can go to the temple in Kiev.

After church on Sunday we went over to the Bodell's house because they needed help changing their filters. They are alder so it is hard on their arms to unscrew the filters. So we went to help them. After helping Sister Bodell gave us some really good cupcakes. We had planned on bringing two of them with us to give to the inactive members that we were going to visit that night, but after eating a few of them, we just ate the rest.

L'viv has been a pretty peaceful, quiet place this week! I am not really sure what is still going on in Ukraine, of if there is anything big going on, or what was decided. L'viv is a great place to be. The branch is really great too. There are a lot of pretty families which is always nice.

Man, I miss the Olympics. I have not heard much about the sadly. Maybe that can be one of my conversation starters this week on the buses? We'll give it a shot.

Well, I love you all very much! I miss you.


Elder Hadfield

Saturday, February 1, 2014


Today I want to start off a cool story that I hear at district meeting! Enjoy!

The Parable of the Turtle:There once lived a turtle called Shelly in a lake, which had two swans as her good friends. All three of them would meet on the banks of the lake everyday, and exchanged stories, before returning at sunset. They enjoyed each other's company. One year, there was no rain and lake started to dry. The swans got worried about the declining water level of the lake, and said to the turtle, "You will not be able to survive in this lake. All the water in the lake will soon dry up". The turtle was aware of the problem, "It is indeed difficult to live here anymore. Dear friends, please look for an alternate lake which is full of water. So first look for a lake full of water. Then find a strong stick from somewhere." The turtle continued, "Once you find another lake, you can carry me to the lake with a stick. I can hold the stick tightly with my mouth, while both of you can hold the stick at either ends and fly". As planned, the swans flew to distant places and after some time found a lake which had plenty of water in it. They returned to carry the turtle. They prepared to hold the stick from both the ends, and suggested the turtle, "Dear friend, everything seems fine. But make sure to keep your mouth tightly shut all the time. You must not speak, or you will fall off." Finally, they started flying. After some time, they had flown some distance when the turtle saw a town below. The people of the town were staring at the sight of two swans carrying a turtle in the sky. "Look at that! This is a rare sight that two birds are carrying a turtle with the help of a stick, I wonder who's idea that was?", they shouted! On hearing all the commotion, the turtle opened her mouth, "It was my idea!", she yelled. Needless to say, she went down the moment she opened her mouth, and the swans could do nothing to stop Shelly from falling down to the earth. As she fell down, the people of the town captured her to make a feast out of her.

So you might have caught on that the story is about pride. I feel like a lot of times in our lives, we are like the turtle, wanting to take credit for things that the Lord blesses us with. While the turtle was not flying by her own power, she felt very proud,and instead of remembering to keep her mouth closed, Shelly's pride was her downfall...literally! Just a cool thought for you to start off the week! I know that everything that I have, everything that I am, and everything that I will be is from God. Most of the times I don't even deserve His high blessings, but he sends them to me anyway.

One of the blessings that I feel is one of peace and safety. I am sure that you heard about the situation getting a little worse this week in Ukraine. Some people from L'viv died in Kiev this week, and their bodies were brought back and they had a huge funeral ceremony for them at a very large Catholic church right down the street from our apartment. It is a little scary to be in a country where there is a bit of turmoil going on, but I feel safe and protected. Nothing really major is going on in L'viv, which is good, I am safe and still very able to focus on my work as a Missionary. Our Mission president has us all very prepared for any situation that could occur. Though it is unlikely that an emergency would happen, we all have 72 hour kits and an emergency plan just in case. Being prepared defiantly brings peace of mind in any situation. For safety reasons all missionaries in Ukraine are now asked not to wear name tags, but most of us can still preach (everyone except L'viv). We continue to be optimistic and use all of our talents to share the gospel. My companion, Elder Randell, is very good at teaching English. That is one of his talents, so we have made that a really fun part of our week. We had our class do a treasure hunt all over the church in English (duh). We were sneaky because we got them to go on a self-guided church tour, in a low stress setting.This brought up many questions from them about what we do in the different rooms, especially in the chapel. Now when we invite them to church I think they will feel more comfortable and willing to come, having already been around us, and around the church itself! Win for English class!

This week Elder Malm came to L'viv for a few days. I guess he had planned on going to Russia but there were bombings there to protest the Olympics. I am not really sure. All I really know is what I hear, and that is not much. Well, on P-days we go to this restaurant and get gyros (which are way good) and the Ukrainian news is always on, so we get to hear a little bit about what is going on in the world. Though it is nice because our Mission President usually keeps us informed about what is going on. I feel like that is better. Elder Malm is in the area presidency. If I am not mistaken he is the second counselor and he is from Norway. I didn't get to talk to him, I only got to shake his hand in passing but he looked like a very warm, friendly man. I think he is a 70, if I am not mistaken. So that was a buzz in L'viv amongst the missionaries.

So it is snowing in DC huh? That is nice (for the Girls), I am sure it makes the commute to work much harder. Living on the outside of the city myself we normally have to take a 30-45 minute bus ride. Today we were squished in the back of the bus. I would say about 130 people were on that bus, and about 15 of them were inside my personal bubble. Personal bubble.... well, I don't really have one, because here, they do not really exist haha. In L'viv it has been snowing pretty much all week. It is not packable snow though,so no snowmen... It started right after we got done with email last Monday, and guess what? It is still snowing right now! The temperature has dropped, but that is ok,I have plenty of warm clothes. So I guess you could say that I am enjoying the snow. In a couple places the snow was up to my knees. I got in the snow just for a picture even though my companion warned me that I might regret it.Did I regret it? Not at first because I had a really cool picture...but then my legs started to freeze because a bunch of snow got in my boots (my boots are so nice and warm, I haven't fell once). On Sunday I got to shovel snow at the church after the third hour. It was a lot of fun and it brought back memories of shoveling sydenstryker during that huge snowfall we had that one time. There is a really cute family in the branch and their two sons came out and got their toy shovels and were like "Dad, we want to help shovel!" When it was time for them to go their dad called them told they they needed to go and they answered him "But dad we didn't finish yet." It was Kodak moment!

That is about all that I had planned to say for this week. Be safe, and remember that I love you! Don't forget your prayers. I had been wondering for a while if prayers on behalf of other people even get answered, or how that works,because that has been a tough concept for me. But yesterday the thought struck me, was the Atonement not a prayer by Jesus Christ on everyone else's behalf? That was a confirmation to me of how powerful our prayers for others can be. Thanks for your prayers, I feel them very strongly! You are in my prayers!


Elder Hadfield