We have spent the last four days at a Senior Couples Missionary Conference in Donetsk. We stayed with the Mission President. We have a new humanitarian couple in Kharkov, and the proselyting couple who were here are now the mission office couple in Donetsk. We had inspirational and uplifting meetings, great company, and delicious food.

President and Sister Fry were in Kharkov for our Missionary Zone Conference last week, so we rode down to Donetsk with them in the mission van. The countryside in the summertime is green and lush, and most of the homes have a vegetable garden growing close to the house. Much of the land is used for growing huge fields of sunflowers which are used for sunflower seed oil. The fields we saw by the road weren’t quite in bloom yet, but when they are, a sea of yellow is visible.

A typical country village in the distance

Along with the spiritual and informational part of the conference, we also had some fun – games in the evenings and a tour of Donetsk’s state-of-the-art soccer stadium. In the summer of 2012 the cities in the mission area will host the European Soccer Cup Games. All the cities involved have extensive remodeling and repairs going on this summer and next to prepare for this important event. The new stadium in Donetsk is in it’s first season of use. The designer of the complex wanted it built to be the best in Europe. Soccer (futbol, as it is called here) is the national sport, and each city is very proud of its team.

The sisters in one of the games

The group in front of a big soccerball on the stadium grounds - left, President and Sister Fry, the Aagards (office), Olya (mission language translator) and her husband Vatalik, Reeds, the Meads (humanitarian in Donetsk), Vlademir (President Fry's driver and one of the branch presidents) his wife, Galena, and their son Max, and the Burrs are in the front (humanitarian in Kharkov)

The ball is suspended on jets of water and can be swiveled around. The stadium holds 51,000 people.

The designer also wanted this stadium to be the most beautiful in Europe with parks and ponds on the grounds.

A view of the inside - the team is called Shakhtar (miners).

There are lights on wheels which move to give the grass 24 hours of light every day. The grass is as thick and beautiful as you'll ever see.

The Shakhtar team - they are the Ukraine champions this year. The emblem in the upper left says their team name and the white words say Champions Ukraine.

The Elders in the locker room

Enjoying the VIP seats right next to the field - what a way to watch a soccer game!

Dinner at the mission home

All of the missionary conferences we have attended are a wonderful part of missionary service. They fill our cups spiritually, we learn and grow, and they give us time to share insights and experiences with the other couples. Our Heavenly Father loves all of His sons and daughters and want us to return to Him. How wonderful it is to be a messenger for our Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ!

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  1. Wendi Jagerson says:

    I love that first picture with Sister Reed enjoying herself with the other Sisters. And I especially appreciated that last paragraph. :)

  2. kirsten says:

    That’s quite the stadium! Hopefully it will bring in some revenue for the country. Also nice to see the Burr’s since I’ve never met them before. Brian looks a lot like his dad.

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