April 11, 2014
To Parents of Missionaries in the Ukraine Donetsk Mission
Re: Status Update
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Due to the continued unrest in this region, the Church has chosen to transfer the 85 young missionaries from the Donetsk Ukraine Mission to serve in other areas within Ukraine. Last night all of the missionaries boarded trains from Donetsk and Kharkov for Kyiv. Missionaries serving in the outlying cities had traveled to Donetsk and Kharkov on Wednesday. We do not know how long this transfer will be necessary, and we hope that it will not be long. Sister Lochhead and I met yesterday for a testimony meeting with the missionaries in the Donetsk region, and we briefly joined by telephone a similar meeting being held in Kharkov. Listening to your sons and daughters share their testimonies was one of the great events of my Church experience. You would have been proud to listen to them and feel of their spirit.
Saying good-bye even temporarily to our missionaries was very painful, and my wife and I shed more than a few tears, but we are confident it is the right thing to do. The transfer is being made as a precautionary measure after prayerful consideration and counseling among Church leaders in Salt Lake City and at the Area Headquarters in Moscow. I am thankful for their unfailing support and wise counsel. The safety and wellbeing of the missionaries has always been the top priority. Our three faithful senior couples have remained here with Sister Lochhead and me, and we will work with the local Church members to try as best we can to maintain the positive momentum created by the efforts of your sons and daughters until they can return. Again I thank you for sending them here. For Sister Lochhead and me it has been one of the richest experiences of our lives to serve with them. We honor and respect each one dearly.
President, Ukraine Donetsk Mission