June 11, 2008


For those of you who don't know what a P-day is, the "p" stands for preparation day. I think the missionaries seem to think it means "play" day. Well to be truthful that's what we thought at first too. So this week it was a "play" day for us. So for all you parents who missed your e-mail yesterday this is where your missionary was. We had and official P-day and rented a bus and took a trip to Slavajorsk. I say a "real p-day" because most of the missionaries spend their p-day at the Internet cafe and playing sports. We all try not to complain too much when we hear how our friends in other countries are spending their p-days. Let's just say most of us have not seen the ocean, a river, taken a hike up a mountain, or been on a game preserve since we left home. Most of us have seen several war monuments and statues of Lenin. Ooops! I think that sounds a little like complaining. Sorry. You just have to come to Donetsk Ukraine to know that we don't have many natural wonders of the world here to see. Slovajorsk is a Provaslavik monastery on the river. The Elders arranged the whole thing. This has been one of the perks as a missionary couple. We don't have to be in charge. We just got a phone call from Elder Burrup inviting us and the Elders did all the rest. So we all packed a lunch ( well some of us packed lunches) and jumped on the bus at 8am and drove for 2 or 3 hours to this beautiful spot on the river. I want you to know that P-day starts as soon as you get up and slip into jeans instead of a suit or dress. We took the bus to the office where we were all meeting and as we exited the front door Elders Summerhays and Oldroyd came out the back door. I don't know who had the bigger smiles lets just say I think we were all excited to be going on this trip. As we entered the office we found about 20 Elders and two sisters with the same big smiles anxiously waiting for the bus to arrive. Elder Burrup was disappointed when the bus arrived without the promised air conditioning but he was assured it did have a fan above each seat. I don't know about the fan but it didn't take long before the open windows were keeping us cool. You would really have to be here to know that this is a huge luxury to open the windows as much as you want in the bus. There is some superstition I think they call "Swasnik" that the locals believe about having windows open and causing a cross breeze. I don't exactly know what it is but I think it has something to do with getting sick. So when you ride public transportation here nobody wants to create a cross breeze. There are just little narrow windows at the very top of the big window that slide open to let some air in but they are usually just opened about 3 inches. So needless to say, the first thing we did was open all the windows that weren't nailed or screwed shut. The curtains were just flying in the breeze. I mentioned some of us brought lunches. I have to say I am reminded so many times that this is a growing experience for the missionaries. I know, going hungry is a good consequence for not preparing and packing your lunch the day before but I was never really good at the "natural consequence thing" when it came to being hungry. So I had to throw in a couple extra sandwiches and cut up apples and carrots "just in case". I didn't see anyone who looked too faint from not bringing a lunch but let's just say every last carrot, orange, and apple I brought was gone. One of the Elders even said, "I think this is the first vegetable I have eaten since I came into the country". Anyway, we had a great day. We hiked, we did a little shopping at the stands that were set up and some people got to enter the underground caves in the monastery. When we hiked to the top of what seemed like a huge hill to me we sat under a monument and ate our lunches. I was surprised that the young missionaries were just as happy as we were to just sit and visit after we finished our lunches. We boarded the bus around 3 and got back to Donetsk a little after 5. Most of the missionaries still had to board public transportation to get back to their areas. So it was a long day and I am sure most of you didn't get your weekly e-mail but we had a wonderful adventure.

2 messages from friends and family:

Carol said...

You hard working missionaries certainly deserved this day off! What a sight to see so many good looking young men together. Thanks for posting your slide show too--I wish all the missionaries parents could view it. I was wondering about those necklaces! I'm sure my son was too thrifty to buy one. Thanks for sharing your mission with us!

Jane said...

Yes, it was a great sight to see all those missionaries. The photos and details about the trip are just wonderful. I am enjoying it so much because I'm sure Elder Woodhead is not going to be in the same place for the rest of his mission! This blog has been just a little bit of heaven!!

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