Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer in Ukraine


Our new mission president, Jorg Klebingat, replaced Lane Steinagel as he and his family arrived on 30 June. We miss the Steinagels, but the Klebingat's are already well adjusted and accustomed to Ukraine since they lived here for about 4 years. He took President Hinckley to view the temple site location options and recounted to us the selection process in which the site was selected, and where the temple now stands. They will do great as we all enter this new chapter of the Kyiv Ukraine Mission.

We are preparing for the next All Ukraine Helping Hands Day, or "Day of Service" as expressed by President Eyring during April Conference. We had a great turnout for ther Helping Hands Day in April and hope to duplicate it in October. In addition to building Branch unity, the media covered many of the projects and reported on them. It is great exposure for the Church as we serve the communities we live in.

We recently spent several days in Crimea where we participated in several Humanitarian Service project closing ceremonies. All the recipient organizations were extremely greatful for LDS Charities support. Typically the assistance is for orphanages, handicapped schools, homeless shelters, homes for the elderly and hospitals. Blankets, desks and dorm furniture, a washing machine and kitchen appliances go a long way to help those in need.

Whilei n Crimea, we took advantage of the long daylight to spend a few minutes near the Black Sea. One very interesting site was the old Soviet submarine tunnel that housed several submarines while being repaired or prepared for sea duty. Built in the 1950's, they were completely hidden from later satellite images. Now they conduct tours though the tunnel and have a nice museum.

We also had a chance to test out the Black Sea beaches. They are very nice, especially as you go further east along the Crimean Peninsula. It has been a cool and somewhat rainy spring, which means the sea temperature is a little lower than they would like. But it was OK for us in getting our feet wet.

We are in a time of uncertainty. If the Church does not replace us, then we have a lot of cleanout to do with our apartment since it serves as our office. If they replace us, then we have to clean up our computers so that they make sense to other people. I never was good a putting together a filing system, and the same goes for a folder system.

More to come later.

Tom and Shauna

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