Elder Christopher Russell, Donetsk Ukraine Mission July 2010 - July 2012

Christopher Russell was found worthy to serve a proselyting mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, and received his mission call from President Thomas S. Monson to serve in the Ukraine, Donetsk Mission.

Chris will spend the first twelve weeks of his mission at the Mission Training Center in Provo Utah learning, Russian.

On October 13, 2010 he will start his journey to the Ukraine.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Ukraine Tidbits

Here are a few things I have learned about the Ukraine in the last few weeks...

Did you know that 40% of the energy consumption in Ukraine is nuclear? In fact the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, is located in Ukraine.

Did you know that between 1991 and 2009, when the church was introduced to the Ukraine, there have been 10,722 baptisms, thats 1.6 baptisms a day - and Chris isn't even there yet!

Did you know the Easter Egg tradition, pysanky, has long roots in Ukraine? These eggs were drawn on with wax to create a pattern; then, the dye was applied to give the eggs their pleasant colours, the dye did not affect the previously wax-coated parts of the egg. After the entire egg was dyed, the wax was removed leaving only the colourful pattern. This tradition is thousands of years old, and precedes the arrival of Christianity to Ukraine.

More to come...

Conversing in Russian already!

--- On Tue, 8/31/10, Christopher Russell wrote:

Subject: Hey
To: "Steve Russell"
Date: Tuesday, August 31, 2010, 11:44 AM

Hey Everyone!

So last tuesday we were able to go to a devotional where Jeffery R holland spoke and it was amazing. He told us how much we are all loved and needed by God and the church leaders......it was cool.

I'm going to try to send some pictures but I'm fairly confident that I won't get any out until after I'm in the field. These computers have a ridiculous amount of workaround protection so that I can't do anything close to doing something wrong...reminds me of when the people put the extra laws on the law of moses so that there was no possible way that they could sin......

My companion is now the district leader and half of our zone is gone, we get new people in 8 days so it should be really neat to get new people and be the older zone. I have pictures of my entire zone and district but if I can't send them to you I don't know when you'll see them.

On wednesday we're teaching the first lesson in russian at 6:30 so I would love it if you would all pray for me:) .We got a new teacher (this is number 11 so hopefully we don't lose him too) and because of that our schedule changed again (second time already) and we now have 6 hours of MDT (studying) on Monday....gift/curse since we need to be productive for all of that time and it's really hard.

My pen ran out of ink so I got several felt tip ones that were really nice (I know I have other pens) because I really wanted them and I have extra money on my card that I need to use before I leave. I can actually carry on a conversation in Russian now which is pretty amazing to me, my companion seems to be struggling with it and I'm just trying to help out but he seems to be on edge lately. Our TRC task went well last week and I was able to use circumlocution to talk to the person in Russian. Progressive investigators are gone because school started again so won't see him anymore.

Jealous of Brian since he's already thinking in Spanish and I'm still trying to practice reading Russian...but I'll be fine :). I want to point out that I was devastated to hear that I somehow managed to forget the email addresses of my siblings in about 3 weeks here at the MTC and then found out that they didn't even bother to check their emails.....silly siblings. If I send mail to you can you send a dear elder to at least let me know that you got it please, it would really help me out.

I think I can have pictures sent to me by mail alyssa if you want to send a picture of or copy of your artwork. Other people have cats on their walls.

Love you all!

Elder Russell