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.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pouch Mail To The Ukraine - ITS FREE !!!

POUCH MAIL VIA dearelder.comTuesday, October 5, 2010 10:59 PM

Chris' last dear elder mails will be delivered to his MTC dear elder address THIS FRIDAY. No dear elder mail will be forwarded to Him in the field. Supposedly, they toss it in the garbage!

You can check out all the information on FREE POUCH MAIL at the dearelder.com website. Go to Pouch mail and click on his mission Doentsk Ukraine. This is a wonderful FREE way to communicate with Chris in the field.


Thanks to all of you for your packages,MTC drop off goodies, prayers and support of our missionary!!! He so appreciates all the love that you show him!! I know that his success up to now has been due to the many prayers that have been offered on his behalf. Keep those prayers coming!!!

missionary mom, DeLisa

Scattered Tidbits - Getting Ready to Leave

Tue, 10/5/10, Christopher Russell

Subject: Hey Everyone!

Date: Tuesday, October 5, 2010, 11:44 AM

HI! So I'm ridiculously stressed today since I can't seem to find time to do all of the things that need to get done. But For my parents I met someone who knew the May family after they moved from hollister and we talked for a while. Sis Nordstrom's sister sent me bread and it was really really good. I got another package too and the simpsons sent me one. My companion had to get an MRI this week which was exciting, and then we had to spend 2:30 going to a doctor and waiting for him to tell us what to do. He said after a year it'll be fine.

While doing service we were told that two elders had taken trays (like ones from burger king) from the cafeteria and had put them in their room. the supervisor saw this, wrote the reference to the ten commandments on a post-it and stuck it to the trays. They were then returned. My mail has apparently been going to a chandler russell because they sort by first two letters of first name and the last name. so from now on my name is c-hristopher. :) Just write it like that and I think that the issue will go away. When I'm in ukraine I don't think it'll be a problem though....but just in case.

I can't believe that the only hearing of papa having an Ipad is from Ilana. This is big news! Someone will have to tell me the whole story on this. I thought it was really interesting that there was a family choir in General conference. I can't imagine a family being that big!

One of our firesides someone mentioned that the church is like a stone consuming the whole earth. (like it says in the scriptures) And they showed a very dated seminary video which reminded me of katamari damacy.....consuming the world one thing at a time.

Talk with you all later!

Elder Russell

Monday, October 4, 2010

Smelly Poop = Courageous Navel & Das Vidaniya

--- On Tue, 9/28/10, Christopher Russell
From: Christopher Russell
Subject: Hey Everyone!

Date: Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 11:28 AM

Hey Everyone!

So I want to thank everyone for the packages that I got. I was thankful to get them after finding out I couldn't do gym. There was a lot of smoke in the air last week and I didn't know why (I assumed that everyone was burning wood in fireplaces because it's cold) so that's cool information to find out. My only news that I get is from you and what I might here in the temple, but that's about it.

Um, I'm told that if I receive dear elders after I'm gone then they just throw them away and they don't forward them, I don't know what happens to actual mail but the same thing might occur. So when it gets closer to my departure time make sure to send me stuff that will arrive before I leave.

We're hosting on wednesday which sounds like a ton of fun and I'm really excited to teach some new elders about the MTC (I am fairly knowledgeable about these things) and say hello to them. We also have an SYL meeting since we are doing SYL until the end of our stay at the MTC. Then Friday we are teaching a native Russian and the next day is conference! YAY! I never thought I would be in the MTC for conference.

One funny thing: smelly poop in russian means courageous naval.

So we now have two progressing investigators: the native russian and a teacher that used to be the progressing investigator. Unfortunately we can meet with them about twice before we leave.

We taught the lesson in Sunday school (district meeting) this week as a companionship. It was an experiment in and of itself to see how it would work out, but afterwards the branch president (who was there for the whole lesson) said,"I have to apologize to these elders" and proceeded to tell us that he wasn't clear on his instructions and it wasn't our fault but he was expecting something different. He said we did a great job though considering the task that we thought we had.I was just laughing.

Shorthill is my companion and I tried to label the pictures but I didn't have a lot of time. sorry. The russians are going to either russia or ukraine or somewhere russian speaking, I don't know where. My whole district except for seitz is going to the Ukraine and most are going to donetsk.

Das vidaniya

Elder Russell
FYI, 1.The smoke Chris is referring to is the smoke that drifted down from the fires that were burning outside of Salt Lake City.

FYI, 2. Dear Elders letters CAN BE SENT TO A NEW ADDRESS WHICH WE WILL GIVE YOU IN THE VERY NEAR FUTURE. WHEN HE IS IN THE UKRAINE, the letters will NOT get to him the Same day, but he will get them about the same time as regular Ukrainian mail or faster the closer he lives to the mission home. Please don't waste your money on stamps.

Chris' head collides with someone's chin :(

Tue, 9/21/10, Christopher Russell
From: Christopher Russell
Subject: Hey Everyone

Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 11:35 AM


So This week was pretty exciting, I saw and talked with Ryan Grow a little in the TRC and then I saw another elder Russell who is going Spanish speaking. That was pretty cool. Everyone seems to be jealous of the fact that my hair doesn't appear to be getting significantly longer at all and I haven't needed a haircut since I got here (which has been really nice since the lines are generally really, really long). We went through another endownment session with the Russian missionaries, I'll try to get a pic with them before I send pictures to you all.

Brother Wilson told me (we have almost weekly interviews with our teachers) that my comprehension on the russian language is really good and that I understand the structure really well. And I told him I just need to work on vocab, which is true.

I appreciate Shelly saying that if I don't get mail everyday it's the post-office's fault.....I'm sure that all those letters will be snatched up and I'll never see them again.

This past sunday they finally played the Testaments in the big gym so we could all see it (after the fireside of course) and it was amazing! I had something interesting happen to me this week, I was telling a story to my companion (about Skip the horse) and I mentioned that he was "ornery" and I said it or-ner-ee and he had no clue what I was saying and he said "you mean 'on-ree'" and I said no. Anyway we thought it was interesting the way that I say certain words from the rest of the people here.

Oh, When I was playing soccer I wass running after the ball and someone in my district ran into me and their chin ran into my head. It hurt. He was fine and I'm fine now.

Thank you for all of the letters that I got over the weekend! I had 8 dear elders a letter and a box, which was nice since my head hurt.

Not a lot happens here but I'm going to try to send pictures in a pouch thing so hopefully they'll get to everyone somehow.

I love you all!

Elder Russell

Naps on P Day - Who Knew?

Tue, 9/14/10, Christopher Russell
From: Christopher Russell
Subject: Hey Everyone

Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2010, 11:21 AM


So we got our new district this week which is pretty exciting, of course 1/2 of them pretty much know about as much as we do with russian so it should be interesting. Last week the email thing was terrible and I had a hard time doing anything.....I'll be much happier when this timer is gone and I can fix problems. Last wednesday we taught as a 3some in the TRC which went better than I thought it would've. I apparently have connections with others in the district that I didn't know about. I taught the lesson on Sunday which went really well and I think that I helped people so that's good. We found out that we can take naps on P-day....not that we have much time to do that, but it's good to know. Someone in my district said that if you put pictures of christ on packages that you send to Ukraine that they will arrive fine because people think they'll be cursed for tampering with them. My companion was sick this week which inevitably led to me being sick, which I still am, and it means I'm not thinking straight, I'm irritable, and I'm tired. I slept for 4 extra hours this morning because I didn't feel up to the temple, which I hope doesn't enrage my companion...but he seems to be poking fun at me more lately since I'm overly irritable.......

Brian Leaves Wednesday so I got to talk to him on Sunday which was pretty cool, and he gave me his email address so we can talk when we're in the field. The GYM is under construction still, which means that I will be able to use it for about 3 weeks before I set out....ironic. And on saturday there were extra russians in the TRC so we were able to teach them the 2nd lesson before we actually needed to! It was great and I think that it really helped us and boosted confidence. My companion is now the senior companion as well as the district leader, he's been pretty careful to make sure the rules are kept since the new district doesn't know what the rules are and such. But our zone seems to be pretty immature lately.

Hopefully you will get pictures soon!

Love you all!

Elder Russell

Rhino Charging....

From: Christopher Russell
Subject: Hey Everyone
To: "Steve Russell"
Date: Tuesday, September 7, 2010, 11:51 AM

Hey everyone back home!

Happy birthday to My Grandma Russell and to Krista Parker!!!!! :)

So this week our russian teacher had to figure out how to put our names in cyrillic and he found a name for everyone but me because there is no "u" sound like there is in russell. So I took him into the other room where the name of Russell M. Nelson was on the wall in cyrillic and we got it figured out....I'm special!!! Yay!

So for gym I've been known as the rhino because I play defender and I can sprint at about 15-17 mph and I'm 200 pounds. So people fear me charging :). I've also started playing volleyball, which is not as much fun at 7:30 in the morning as one would think it is....can't feel feet. So I'm playing that in the afternoon now. Our TRC task went a lot better than I thought it would, I apparently know more russian than I think I do. We had two SYL days this week and in order to keep it going we have a pink beanie baby seahorse that we give to the last person that spoke in english. I never got it which made me happy. My companion is having a lot of trouble with the language since until a week ago he didn't really know how to study it...I'm just really grateful for the mind I've been blessed with that helps me to understand these concepts, and my french knowledge has helped a lot. I've been talking with some elders recently about how long they're here for and they say "oh I'm leaving in a couple of days and I went crazy after the first two weeks here, but now it's the third week and I'm out of here" to which I say "I've been here six weeks with six more to go" they then stare at me like I'm crazy and apologize for my suffering. I then think that we are all called to different missions because of what we're able to handle, both in language and the training and the field, cool!

We get five new missionaries today from germany, japan, and somewhere else. And this wed we get some more american missionaries as well. Used gloves today and they are amazing! It's getting a bit chilly here since the fall is coming. Taught a native russian teacher with my companion yesterday and she speaks really really fast! Russians apparently onlyy use backpacks through elementary school so I'll have to figure out how to deal with that issue. Having a little trouble figuring out what to study since I can pretty much say what I'm trying to say by using other words to get around it. Teaching the first lesson on Wed againn so that should go better than the one that we did last week.

Oh, so I have a ridiculously low voice and one day we were singing onward christian soliders in russian and I was doing the bass part of the chorus but there's a point where there's only bass singing and nobody was singing with me (they did for the first two verses) so I belt out a super low note and I'm the only onee singing so everyone started laughing, it was pretty funny.

Have to go!

Elder Russell