On Christmas Eve (American, that is) we were at the young adult ball in Donetsk. This dance is one of their more important events of the year, and young adults came from Kiev and other areas in Ukraine, and even a few came from Russia this year. It was great fun, and most of the young adults had a wonderful time. The evening included a spiritual message from President Fry (Mission President), a service project, dinner, dancing, dance exhibitions between dancing, and the arrival of Santa at the end of the event. This all started about 7:00 in the evening and ended at 6:00 the next morning. And, yes, Elder and Sister Reed danced the night away and didn’t go off in a corner for some sleep. Amazing for two old senior couple missionaries!

The dresses were beautiful and well as the girls!

After President Fry spoke there was a shadow play of Dicken's Christmas Carol. This is a story which is not familiar to most of the people here, so we were glad to see it introduced to them.

After the opening program everyone participated in the service project.

Half of the group participated in putting together school kits for children in need. These were put in gift bags and distributed to children in Donetsk, Dnepapatrosk, and Kharkov.

The other half made cards to put in each bag. Ukrainians are very creative with paper, and the cards were beautiful.

During the evening of dancing there were dance exhibitions by the YSA from the different areas of the country.

These were our kids from Kharkov doing a salsa dance. They started practicing for this in October.

This group did a tango type dance.

This swing dance was a big hit!

This was an activity which involved everyone. It was a tunnel dance where couples pass through the tunnel picking a new partner as they go.

An unusual event happened at the dance. There came a group of about twenty people through the door, each holding a candle light. They formed a circle around this couple and the man got down on one knee and proposed marriage to his girl friend. She was totally surprised, but she accepted! Thank goodness! It was a fun way to propose marriage, and everyone clapped and cheered.

Around 5:30 in the morning three Santas came dancing into the room. They distributed white elephant gifts to everyone from their bag of goodies.

We started back to Kharkov on the bus about 7:00 a.m. This is what it looked like after about an hour into the trip. The whole evening was such great fun. How we love our YSA!

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  1. Wendi Jagerson says:

    Sounds like a fun event. I love the candy cane balloon decorations. :)

  2. kirsten says:

    I’m glad the girl said yes to the marriage proposal! Way to party on guys! You’re such spring chickens you know. :)

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