THE RUSSELLS WERE ABLE TO SPEAK WITH CHRIS FOR AN HOUR ON CHRISTMAS DAY! HOW FUN THAT WAS FOR MOM AND DAD TO HEAR HIS VOICE...
The Christmas phone call was wonderful and we learned a lot more about Christmas in the Ukraine and what goes on in the City of Kharkov.
First of all, the plaza that sits close to the Elders' appartment building, had a huge beautiful tree that was decorated with lights and ornaments to the hilt. It actually could compete with the tree in Times Square, I'm told.
Chris said that one day, a truck pulled up with Logs on it dumped them off at the plaza and then workman came out of nowhere and started making a log house with windows. It was a couple of stories high and at the end of the day there were several slides that extended out of the windows. The people would pay to ride the slides.
Also, A cement mixer showed up one morning and proceeded to pour cement into one of the streets next to the plaza. Later the cement area was used as an ice skating rink. Chris said that it was fun to watch everyone ice skating but he was puzzled as to why you'd cement up a major street.
Also, many carnival rides were brought in aan set up for the festivities. If you've been to the San Benito Fair, there were more rides than what you see there.
Christmas Eve in the plaza was very active with lots of fireworks; just like 4 th of July in the States, Chris said. As the people descended from the viewing of the fireworks, the missionaries were on the edge of the Plaza singing Chrismas Carols. Many individuals stopped and listened and took pictures of them. There were members there to hand out flyers about the church and answer questions. They received many contacts from this unique way of contacting.
Chris said to thank all who had sent things in his Christmas box and for all the dear elders that everyone continues to send.
I asked him what we could do to help the Ukraine Donetsk mission, he said that praying for the Donetsk missionaries to find people to teach is what they need most at this moment in time. They do not have a Stake formed in this mission and it will be a great blessing to have a Stake so that the people can govern themselves. Of course, there have to be a certain amount of members in the area to create a Stake.
So this new year, let's make a point of praying for the Donetsk missionaries to find those spirits who are just waiting to be taught and baptized and enjoy the many blessings that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ has to offer them.
May you and yours be blessed this up-coming new year!