December 23, 2007

Elder Kunz and Elder Harris

Elder Harris, Sisters Chidister and Jackson, Me, Sister Clark, Elder Clark and Elder Hammond
December 23, 2007

We invited Elder’s Hammond, Harris, Benson, and Kunz, and Sister’s Chidister and Jackson, and the Clark’s to come to our place for dinner. Elder Kunz has been telling us how he loves to cook, so we said, “great, what if we pay for the food, and you cook it.” So, they arrived with everything we needed and made wonderful burritos; the best part of the deal was, we didn’t have to cook. Sister Chidister even brought brownies. We were very impressed, Elder Kunz even brought Mission Tortilla chips and Salsa that he got in his recent package from home. And to top that off they made a green salad with Ranch Dressing from America. I know that doesn’t sound so exciting to you but we were thrilled. It was like a lobster dinner to us. Elder Kunz was right; he does know how to cook; he even made refried beans from scratch. It was such a treat they wouldn’t even let us clean up. It was a lot of fun and we had a chance to visit and get to know each other better.
Sister Clark had been given the assignment of making Sugar Cookies (about 150 of them) for our Zone Conference the next day. Zone Conference is when all the missionaries come in from the various surrounding cities for a Mission Conference. Sister Clark brought the cookies over to be decorated. Our bedroom had cookies everywhere. We had so much fun decorating snowmen, gingerbread men, and Christmas trees. Some of the snowmen even ended up with ties. We could tell as the evening progressed that the Missionaries were beginning to get a little homesick. We were thankful we could spend this special night with them.These are the same Missionaries we went Christmas Caroling with a few nights earlier. It was so nice to get to spend this time with them. Elder Kunz is going home in a week. Elder Benson and he were companions in the MTC and served as companions when they first arrived in Ukraine. They are just delighted that they are companions once again just before Elder Kunz goes home. Elder Benson will go home in February as will Sister Jackson. Elder Kunz is from Utah and so is Sister Jackson. Elder Benson grew up on a farm. He is really funny. The night we were Christmas Caroling he just kept saying how he was so embarrassed. He said he wasn’t going to sing on the bus, and couldn’t believe we were singing in Lenin Square. Elder Hammond told me he hates to sing and probably sang more that night than he had in his whole life. It’s amazing how a mission forces you to stretch in ways you never would have imagined.
The above picture is everyone bundled up and ready to return to their domes. Nobody has a car, so they either walk or ride Public Transportation. This isn’t everyone who spent the evening with us, Elder’s Kunz and Benson had to leave after dinner to go to an appointment to teach. I was impressed by how obedient they were. I’m sure they would have preferred to stay with us but they went out into the cold night to do what they were sent here to do. They were great examples to all of us.
Thenext day we attended the Zone Conference, it was our first. I was so impressed to listen to the wonderfully inspiring words of these young missionaries. It was also Christmas Eve. It was fun to be in the office when the Missionaries were arriving from all over Donetsk. They are serving in little cities all around Donetsk Central and some of them only see each other during Conference or on Transfer Day. Some of these missionaries spent 13 weeks together in the MTC and when they arrived in Ukraine were sent to various cities here in the Donetsk Mission. So when they greeted each other it was with huge hugs and smiles and , “I love you’s, or I miss you’s.” It was really tender. I told Bruce that I knew this was a hard time for them many of them missing mom and dad and brothers and sisters. I was noticing Elder Hammond seemed a little quiet. I told Bruce, “I think Elder Hammond needs a hug”. Well I guess he did, because later in the day Elder Hammond found Bruce and gave him a great big bear hug. It was also exciting because some of the Missionaries had packages from home waiting for them and they had just sat down on the office floor and tore them open. They were gathered around looking at each others treasures from home. Most of them munching on some very coveted American candy of one sort or another. After the Conference we had our delicious Sugar Cookies. As all good things must come to an end we were done by 4pm and everyone went their separate ways. Bruce and I just came back to our apartment. Needless to say, it was a very long evening.

1 messages from friends and family:

Grampa Doug said...

Hello Kinghorns
I am Elder Simmons, the Novosibirsk Mission financial secretary. My wife and I are serving til May 2010. Are you still in your mission? Your blog is so much more interesting then mine. I would like to learn how to put all this stuff on it. I'm at My email is Love to hear from you. Great blog!

Saints in Ukraine (put music on pause)

My music

click on the photo to see the captions

Armenia Trip

Our last Zone Conference

Some of the faces we will miss

Our trip to Mariupol

March Zone Conference in Donetsk(click on photo to view a larger version)

Missionaries helping the International Relief Development unload a container from America

Health Fair click on the photo to see what is coming up

To listen to this talk you will need to put the music on pause first

Sometimes we forget what divine gifts we have been given. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, 2nd Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Look at the fun equipment we got to deliver to this internat for Special Needs children

Europe East Area District Meeting


OUR APARTMENT (this is not an average missionary apartment)




Click on photo to see more photos of the Open House at the Kalininsky blg