For several months we have been planning and organizing a Returned Missionary Conference for returned missionaries from the Donetsk and Neptrapatrosk missions here in Ukraine (some even came from Kiev when they heard that some of their old companions were going to this event.) There were around 40 missionaries who attended, and some of them brought their spouses.
The Conference was a two day event which included passing out Books of Mormon on Freedom Square (where the big statue of Lenin is, also, 72 Books of Mormon and 19 referrals), a service project at the city zoo, speakers, a power point presentation where they tried to match a baby picture of the missionary with the “now” picture, a dance with games, mixers, and then a dance with the music the youth loves. These were all the Saturday events. On Sunday there was a testimony meeting followed by spiritual messages from the two District Presidents. We had asked each missionary to send a testimony by email along with pictures, and we had these printed in a beautiful booklet for each missionary to take home. President Fry, our Mission President, presided at all the meetings. And, of course, there was lots of food consumed!
We had a lot of help in the planning and implementation of the Conference from our Donetsk CES coordinator, Yury Orlav, who is also a returned missionary who served in the United States. A couple from one of the branches also helped a great deal, along with some of the Institute members. We couldn’t have done it without all this wonderful help and the power of prayer. The Lord truly sees that His work gets done. As these returned missionaries had the proselyting activity, and as they talked together about their missions, we could tell that the missionary spirit and zeal was being felt by them again. We hope that they will all go back to their respective branches and wards with a renewed spirit of missionary service to work diligently in building the Lord’s Kingdom here in Ukraine.