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.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Packing Up and Moving Out, and notes from Mom

Hello Family and Friends,

So this week started off with a split on P-day with my trainer. So after we sent our e-mails, Elder Rader, my original trainer, and I went and played Risk at a part member home. That was fun. After wards Elder Rader and I talked. Apparently he's been having trouble with his companion. So, I was a nice change for him. He's now training someone else.

We met with the only family in our branch that has a young kid...he's a fireball, and since Elder Beck wanted me to direct the lesson; I was struggling a little bit. Then after our lesson we ended up playing Twister with their family.

Since Friday, things have been a little hectic. We didn't get transfer calls last week which usually means that we're staying; but we were also told that we were getting rid of the apartment.
So, we called the office to see if we should be looking for a new apartment, and they told us that they would call us back.

On transfer day, we get a call from the Assistant to the President, he says, Elder Beck, you're being transferred along with Elder Nielson" and Elder Beck is confused as well as me. Then the A.P. says, "of, wait, I mean Elder Russell, you and Elder Russell will be going to Soltivka."

So we are expected to be out of here by this coming Thursday. We have to move all of the church stuff too. Things like pots, irons, books, church materials, and two beds... Yeah! We have a member helping us with a van for five hours on Thursday. Hopefully, it will all be fine.

Lots of people are sad to see us leave and the branch president thanked us for all that we've done here. Our whole area is being closed down for now, so it will be interesting to see what happens.

This week I tried on my ice shoes that were made out of wire(they attach to my shoes with shoelaces) and they didn't work very well. Elder Beck says that I shouldn't buy boots because you won't use them for that long and they take up a lot of room in your suitcase.

I found out that there is also a holiday here for "old New Years, going by the old calendar. I'm sad to leave, but Elder Beck is really excited about Soltivka and the area might not be so hard to do missionary work in.

Love to all,
Elder Russell
From the Missionary Mom:

I checked Sis. Fry, the Mission Pres. wife's blog, on Friday of this past week and she had all of the transfers listed. Chris and his companion weren't mentioned.

I am sure that this was a split second decision but one that was prompted by the Holy Ghost, and I know that Elder Russell and Elder Beck have great work to do in their new city. Our family is excited for them and what lies ahead.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Years Meals/Fireworks and Ice Shoes

Hello family and friends!

So this week was pretty slow on account of the biggest holiday of the year being this week, but we still got some things done.

Almost all of the members wouldn't meet with us until after New Years but we got to go to a family's home that lives in a village. It took an hour to get there and it was expensive because we took a taxi instead of a bus (all the buses were full) It was fun though, they have around 8 children so we taught our lesson and the Reeds(the senior couple who came with us) taught theirs and then they fed us(it was a really interesting meal) and then we played a game. It was New Years eve so we needed to be in at 6 pm.

Insert of Meal Description from DeLisa in a subsequent communication she discovered that the meal consisted of the following:
cold soup, cold fish, sala (bacon fat), fish casserole, coleslaw, sausage, bread, cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers.
We are grateful that this very large family generously shared their New Years Meal with Chris and the others.

After returning home, we had some dinner, made some brownies, watched the testaments, I made my Lego and my ice shoes, and Elder Beck cut his hair. At midnight, we looked out our window and saw people shooting up fireworks everywhere. The whole city had fireworks going off the rest of the night.
The next day it sounded like a war zone because fireworks were just going off every l0 minutes or so.

One day we were walking this week and contacting, and we talked with someone who actually took a book from Elder Beck's hands and gave us his contact information before we finished talking. We're excited about this contact.

We went to buy some wire so that I could make ice shoes and we got to the hardware store and couldn't find any. But they had a little hook that used the wire I wanted so we asked if they sold more of that there. They thought that we wanted the hook, neither of us knew the word for wire and began to explain they just made it. We eventually explained it and they showed us where it was. We took around 3.4 meters but they sold it by the kilo and what we had was probably 50 grams. So they said "Happy New Years Presents" in English and gave it to us for free.

I got my passport back this week from registration and it said that I was registered to a city near Donetsk. My Zone leaders thought that meant that I was going to be transferred there, but I'm not. I'm staying here in Kharkov where it's awesome!

Love you All!
Elder Russell