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

Sunday, May 11, 2014

My wonderful family,

I am sure you are curious about how my week went! So let me tell you!

On Sunday we have a mission conference, with all the members in western Ukraine. You could compare it to a stake conference. There were 300 people there. It made my heart leap with joy to see all the people from cities that I had served in during the past. I had a lot of time to chat with them and catch up on everything that is going on in their lives. President Lawrence (of the 70, also our area president) and his wife both spoke.

On monday we had a mission conference (just for the missionaries). Sister Lawrence is one of the most intelligent women that I have ever heard speak and she gave an amazing presentation about gathering the house of Isreal. I wish I had time to expalain it all. I guess I was missing a whole chunk of understanding up until know when I read the scripturers. I feel like my eyes have been opened quite a bit. It makes me vallue my lineage and my family much more knowing the things that I do know. We are literally decendants (a believing bloodline) of Israel (Jacob). And my job as an "Elder of Israel" is to gather the rest of the family. Those who also are of the family of Jacob, and of course to give the gentiles a chance to repent and come unto Christ. President Lawrence spoke about obedience. It was very good. Elder LeBaron and I are doing our best to be exactly obedient.

On monday night I got on a train and came here to Lutsk! I love it here. The weather is warm, the spirit is strong, and the people are ready and prepared to recive the glad message of salvation.

My new companion Elder LeBaron is from Orem Utah! He is a great missionary. I feel really lucky to be able to serve with him. He is very happy and has a beyond solid testimony of the gospel. I believe that the Lord will use us to do great things this transfer. I will send a companionship picture next week. Sadly we did not take any yet.

Yesterday we met a really cool family who is moving to Utah (they are members). The husband and wife were first married and then they found the church. They have three little kids. It is sad to lose them. We gave them a spiritual thought yesterday about Lehi's family leaving Jerusalem and how they were blessed as they were obedient (so many times we find that promise in the book of Mormon) and we related that story to their family!

Today we are about to go play soccer with some students that we met on the train to Lutsk! So until Saturday I will bid you farewell. I love you all very much. Thank you for your prayers.

Until Skype,

Elder Hadfield

My Dear Family,

To start off my email I have three stories. All of which came up this week. The first one was in a spiritual thought that Elder Bodell gave at the office meeting. The second one was in a spiritual thought that was given by a member here at friendship night on Friday. And the last one was an old story that I heard a while ago, but that I was reminded of by another elder on Wednesday. I think that each of theses stories have a lot that we can learn from so I wanted to share them with you. I hope you enjoy them. I did very much so. After the stories I will continue my email.

1. The Torchbearer

The God of High Endeavor
Gave me a torch to bear.
I lifted it high above me
In the dark and murky air;

And straightway with loud hosannas
The crowd proclaimed its light
And followed me as I carried my torch
Through the starless night,

Till drunk with the people's praises
And mad with vanity
I forgot 'twas the torch that they followed
And fancied they followed me.

Then slowly my arm grew weary
Upholding the shining load,
And my tired feet went stumbling
Over the dusty road.

And I fell with the torch beneath me.
In a moment the light was out.
When lo! from the throng a stripling
Sprang forth with a mighty shout,

Caught up the torch as it smoldered
And lifted it high again,
Till fanned by the winds of heaven
It fired the souls of men.

As I lay alone in the darkness
The feet of the trampling crowd
Passed over and far beyond me,
Its praises* proclaimed aloud,

And I learned in the deepening twilight
The glorious verity,
'Tis the torch that the people follow,
Whoever the bearer may be.

To me the torch can be a lot of things. The priesthood, the gospel, the Savior. It is humbling to know that I am part of something much bigger than myself. I am just a bearer of the torch. It is good to be reminded about that lest we let pride creep in and we think we are doing these amazing works by our own power.

2. The Story of a Son
author unknown

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art. When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son. About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands. He said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art. The young man held out his package. "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this." The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. "Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift." The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.

The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. "We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?" There was silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one." But the auctioneer persisted, "Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?" Another voice shouted angrily, "We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids! "But still the auctioneer continued, "The son! The son! Who'll take the son?" Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. "I'll give $10 for the painting." Being a poor man, it was all he could afford. "We have $10, who will bid $20?" "Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters." "$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?" The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel. "Going once, twice, SOLD for $10! A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Now let's get on with the collection!" The auctioneer laid down his gavel, "I'm sorry, the auction is over." "What about the paintings?" "I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!"

God gave his Son 2,000 years ago to die on a cruel cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is, "The Son, the Son, who'll take the Son?" Because you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.

Today I read Alma 33 as I was waiting in a barber shop for my companion to finish getting his hair cut, because we all know that I do not need one. It is where Alma is rehearsing the words of Zenos and Zenok to the Zoramites (wow... a lot of Z's). I was impressed that about every other verse it talks about how we btaine mercy "through the son" or God blesses us "through the son." You should read it!







I think that it starts with our thoughts. We begin to choose which wolf we will feed with our thoughts. Then it shows in our words, later in our actions, then later in who we are as people. Feed the right wolf!

So here is some information that I need to make sure to let you know. First of all, next Monday we have mission conference, so do not expect an email from me on Monday. Instead we will have our P-day on the 7th of May (Wednesday) so I will send you my next email them. We have transfers on the sixth. We found out about them already and I will be going to Lutsk to serve with Elder LeBaron. He is in his second transfer right now. I was asked to be the district leader there. I will be sad to leave L'viv but I am excited for Lutsk and what I can do to help out there. Also some more information that you should know, we were asked to Skype on Saturday night instead of on Sunday. I don't think this will be a problem and it might even work out better for you if dad needs to leave. I can do it on Saturday night anytime. That would be Saturday morning for you. Please let me know in your next email what time would be good for all of you and I will arrange to make it happen. Thanks so much!

Let me tell you a little bit about my week!

This week we had a big Family History day of open doors that was on Saturday. It was for anyone to come and learn how to do family history and it was put on by specialists. We just helped out set up, clean up, and all other stuff like that. On Tuesday we went on exchanges with members to hand out fliers (invites) to the Family History day. We met a lot of nice people. I went with the branch president. He wore his cool traditional Ukrainian dress shirt called a wishywanka and I wore my normal missionary clothes. Everyone took invites from him, but people were suspicious with me as I had a name badge on for a church. That day I was yelled at for being a Jehovah's witness (which I guess I really am if you think about it because I testify about Christ every day), a seventh day Adventist, a baptist, and finally for being a Mormon. One older lady even started screaming that I was a devil when I tried to talk with her. Haha. It was a little discouraging. Then I met a nice old man, who asked me which person I would be voting for in the upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine (a very popular question now of days). I told him that I was a foreigner and that they would not let me vote. The man then leaned over to me, gave me a hug, and said "we love you, thank you for your support." It made me feel very warm inside after being yelled at for the better part of the day. Even when we seem to have trials, it is cool how God reaches out to let us know that He loves us.

On Sunday we went to Ternopil. It was a very rewarding trip. In the hotel where we have church one of the candidates for president was staying so there were a bunch of really jacked guys in suits who looked at us all really funny when we came in. It was funny. I gave a talk on the atonement.

Sorry I am a little out of order here, but let me tall you about last monday. In western Ukraine it is tradition to throw water on each other the monday after easter. The more water that gets thrown on you then the happier you are supposed to be. Well, let's just say I should be pretty happy. We got a lot of water thrown on us. Most of it was by church members. Don't worry, you can be sure that we got them back!

Elder Vandermark and I also got really good at planing trips because a senior couple from Kiev came down (they are new on their mission) to visit out branches to audit them. They did not plan their trip before they came down to L'viv so we ended up doing that for them (train tickets, hotels, meetings). We did such a good job we should have charged. It took us about two full days to get everything set. They were really grateful and they took us out to dinner on Saturday night after the meeting (to go over the audit) with the L'viv branch president and the clerk (me).

I had a good week! I love you all very much!


Elder Hadfield

My dear Family,

Just to explain the picture:

Well, I told the lady to cut my hair short. And she did. I think it is a little too short. But I like it and my head feels good in the breeze. Side note... today it is very warm and it is the first day since last year we are just in white shirts!

Well, this week was a little crazy. It started off with a call from Elder Bodell on Tuesday morning. He said "Elder Hadfield... how fast can you be in the office?" I told him that we could be there in 30 minutes. Then I asked if everything was ok and he just told me to hurry into the office. So we did just that. When we got there we found out that church headquarters was thinking about evacuating the Dnipropetrovsk mission and sending their 83 missionaries to come live in our mission. Crazy right? Well let me paint a picture for you. In our mission right now we have 50 elders and sisters, and to be honest, it feels a little crowded missionary wise. So imagine trying to double or triple it. In the office we had to make contingency plans on Microsoft excel for transfers, housing, companionship match ups, and a lot of other things for all of the "what-ifs." It turns out that they decided not to evacuate them. At least not right now. But at least we have a plan just in case.

Also, about mothers day skyping. I am sure we can plan to do it in the morning (your time?). That should not be a problem. Just let me know what time works for you and I will work around that. Mother's day will be after transfers (the 6th of May) so I don't think I will still be in L'viv. So when I go to wherever it is that I am going then I will plan everything out so we can skype before you have to go. I am excited to see you and talk to you. I am also excited that Jessica will be there too!

Happy Easter! In Ukrainian Easter is Великдень. It is cool because the two words that make up the word are великий, which means big and день, which means day. So Easter in Ukrainian literally means "Big day." And it is a very big day. Well, what I mean to say is that the resurrection of the Savior has a very BIG meaning in each of our lives.

11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.
16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.
17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.
18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:
19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.
21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

The Resurrection is Jesus Christ. He has life given Him of the Father in Himself, and He is commander over it. The Resurrection for me is the fact that all of us will rise again from the dead. But it is more than just that. It shows that Christ has power over death, sickness, and pain, even before we die. I had a great Easter here in L'viv.

I love you all. Thanks for the great pictures this week! I can't wait to skype soon.


Elder Mitchell Hadfield

Dear Family,

Life seems to bounce back and forth between trails and blessings. Trails to show us that we need God to make it though and blessings to show us that God is mindful of us and that He loves us. A mission is no different as there are ups and downs as well. On Saturday I had a little experience that could be looked at from either view point. In the grand scheme of things it might be of little importance, but I will share it with you anyway. On Saturday we had Mormon helping hands and I decided to wear a pair of shorts without pockets. Since my shorts did not have pockets I could not put my camera in my shorts. How is this a blessing you ask? Well when I was walking up the little dirt hill up to the church after, I tried to jump up to the concrete slab. The only problem was that my foot caught onto a stick of some kind and I fell down pretty hard into the corner of the concrete slab right where my camera would have been. So now I only have a messed up leg rather then a messed up leg and a broken camera haha! Got to look on the bright side sometimes, even when the bright side seems to be dim.

So like I said we did helping hands this week (different than the church cleaning I mentioned last week). We went to a park that had a lot of trash to clean it up. There were a lot of different volunteer groups in the park as it was very big. The lady at the park who was in charge of overseeing the clean assigned the group from our church to the very worst part of the part. It was funny because we got to clean up all the random trash. I picked up things such as alcohol bottles, shoes, doors, bags, tires, syringes, cups, wrappers, smashed TV and mirrors, and even a toilet bowl. After two hours of cleaning we all felt pretty satisfied with our work! I wore my Cowboys sweatshirt as it was pretty cold for the first part of the morning!

Bounce back to Monday: We went over to a really cool family in the ward to have family home evening. The Father invited one of his friends from work. His friend brought his son and the son played with the two little boys of the family where we went. The dad of this family is really great and he is always looking for opportunities to do missionary work. He has been on a mission, he was the branch president in L'viv for six years, and he has contributed a lot to the growth here. We gave a spiritual thought about the resurrection as Easter is coming up soon and read some verses from the bible. The conversation ended up leading to the restoration and the Father of this family invited his friend to meet with us (the missionaries) and he said that he would love to be there for those meetings. We are excited to have a lesson with them. I think we may be able to set one up for this week!

This week we got a random guy who bought a Book of Mormon for ten griven from someone in a small village. I am not sure who sold him the book, but I guess it had our number in it as he gave us a call. He wanted to meet and talk about the book. We met him mid week and we talked about the first part of the restoration. We gave him a restoration DVD (he asked for it) and we told him to watch it and we would meet again in a few days. We are going to meet with him on Tuesday. I will let you know how it goes.

Hey, did you watch conference? I did not because we are going to watch it in Ukrainian this coming Saturday and Sunday. I am not sure if you caught it but my old mission president, President Klebingat was called to be a member of the first quorum of the 70. This was very exciting news for me, but came as no shock. He is a very amazing man. He will probably be in Utah when I come home so that would be really cool if we could go see him. Dad, you would like him a lot. He loves sports and working out, is super organized, and gets down to business. Elder Bodell told us about it on Sunday and it made me smile!

My Ukrainian is coming along well. I am confident that I am able to convey whatever I need to. Russian... I understand, but is a struggle to speak. It is really hard to explain. I hear it so much that I can understand it really well, but speak it so rarely that it is hard to speak. I hope that makes sense!

That's all I have for this week. In about a month I will be able to skype you for Mother's day! Won't that be great! I am very excited for that. I love you all! Have a good week.


Elder Mitchell Hadfield