Taking root in Ukraine

330 young single adults gather

KIEV, Ukraine — The result of 330 young single adults meeting for a three-day conference near Kiev was the assurance that faith and testimony are taking root among an expanding membership in Ukraine.

Young single adults from all corners of the country gathered at Kastan Camp outside Kiev June 21-23 for instruction and activities. Among them were recently returned missionaries, and five others who received their mission calls during the conference.

Held a week prior to the dedication of the Nauvoo Illinois Temple, the conference theme was "Nauvoo to Kiev, a Legacy of Faith." Participants wore blue T-shirts, which emphasized their unity and demonstrated their growing number.

Instruction by Elder Alexander Manzhos, Area Authority Seventy; Elder Douglas L. Callister of the Seventy and president of the Europe East Area and his wife, Jan; Elder Manfred Sch¬Ětze, Area Authority Seventy; President Vladimir Kanchenko of the Kiev Ukraine District; President Frank Trythall of the Ukraine Kiev Mission and President David McQueen of the Ukraine Donetsk Mission reinforced their testimonies and added to their gospel scholarship.

Two of the group, Valeriy Pshenchnyy and Yuri U. Martinenko, had completed their missions to the Ukraine Kiev Mission only a few days prior to the conference and returned to participate.

One evening, under the cool of the summer trees, two young women, Natalya Georgiyev and Irina Glushchenko, borrowed a mobile telephone to call the Donetsk mission office where they directed the mission office staff to open their mission call envelopes. Above the cheers of the crowd around them, they learned they had been called to serve in the Ukraine Kiev Mission.

The next day, President Trythall of the Ukraine mission handed out three large envelopes from Church headquarters addressed to Galina Trokhimenko, Rafael Bagorenko and Yevgeny Kovalyov. "Do I open it now?" each asked. Their excitement too great to wait, they opened their calls to learn they had been called to the Ukraine Donetsk Mission.

"I realized that there are a lot of young adults here in Ukraine," said Stas Trofimenko, recently returned missionary from the Illinois Chicago North Mission.

"The conference showed me that I am not alone, that there is a great future generation of young adult Church members here in Ukraine who appreciate the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ," said Igor Redko, who served as co-chairman of the conference with Natasha Shelaykina, both recently returned missionaries.

— Elder Charles Broberg

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