Monday, October 24, 2016

Ukraine! Airport Security, Laxatives & A Deported Missionary



I'm in Ukraine! After tons of twist, turns, changes, airplane food, broken Russian, and having a sit down with security, I am here. 


"Where we is..." 
I suppose a good place to start is flying in. We flew into the Dnepropetrovsk airport around 1 P.M. (I think that's midnight in Arkansas). The airport was about half the size of Jasper high school, maybe even smaller. About half of the people on the flight to Dnepropetrovsk were missionaries. We came to customs and had no problems there. We then got to the next security gate, where they would scan our luggage. Now before I continue this story, I need to explain a "rule" or suggestion from the mission president. Before we came to Ukraine, the mission president sent us a list of medicines and drugs to bring to our mission. The majority of these things are typical over the counter stuff in the states that could be difficult to obtain in Ukraine if we're sent to a very rural area. So in a nutshell, one of my suitcases is packed with a lot of pill bottles and other scandalous looking things. Needless to say, I was pulled aside and asked to open the suitcase. A really tall, stoic, redheaded woman from security, approached me. She looked at me and then my "stash" and asked in a thick Ukrainian accent "why do you have this many things?". I proceeded to explain my situation and made the same case for all the missionaries. She nodded and continued to just look at the pile of medicine until a puzzled look came onto her face. She picked up a pill bottle and asked me, "What are these?"  She looked at the label and sounded out the word. "Lax-uh-tiv". 

I then replied, "yes, Laxative." 

"What does it do?"

I couldn't help but chuckle. Here I was, thousands of miles from home, explaining to a Ukrainian Security guard (who knows little English) how laxatives work. I took my first teaching opportunity in Ukraine, and I went all in; One part Russian, another English, and other part hand gestures. After a perfect explanation, She looked at me, surprised that I would be carrying something like that.  She started chuckling and told me I was good to go...Nailed it.  




I got to meet our mission president and my new companion shortly after, and both are great people. My companion was initially in Samara serving his mission, until he was about a year in and was deported. Look up "five LDS missionaries deported from Samara, Russia". 
, for only serving for a year, his Russian is very impressive. (I can't really tell yet for sure, but He does sound like the other Ukrainians we speak to). I'm excited to be working with him. We've been sent to a northern city called Kharkov (K is silent). The city is truly beautiful and has a unique flavor to it. From what I've heard, many Ukrainians from Donyects have come here to escape the conflict. The people here are great. I look forward to learning more about them, learning from them, and working with them. 


Elder Johnson with is trainer Elder - wait, he never said his name.

Elder Johnson with mission President Sullivan & Sister Sullivan 

Though Ukraine is very different from anywhere I've been and almost every aspect of life here is foreign to this boy from a little town in Arkansas, the great feeling that I get from serving others is the same. I look forward to continue my Mission here in Ukraine, and try my best to improve the lives of those who allow me to help. Whether it be by teaching them about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, or something as simple as helping them across the street. I'm here to serve, and I'm happy to do it!  


"Our tiny beds in our soviet style apartment." 

I hope everyone has an awesome fall and an even cooler Halloween. 

я вас люблю!!!
(google translate: I love you.)

-Elder Johnson

Letters & Packages: 
Elder Cody L. Johnson
Karla Marksa 27A 5th floor
Dnepropetrovsk,
49044
Ukraine 




2 comments:

  1. Oh Elder Johnson, you are one impression guy! The tears came easily in the very last paragraph. "I look forward to continue my Mission here in Ukraine, and try my best to improve the lives of those who allow me to help. Whether it be by teaching them about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, or something as simple as helping them across the street. I'm here to serve, and I'm happy to do it!"

    And I know you are happy to do it, because that is you. Always happy to help and serve and may I add with a big smile on your face and probably a good joke or two thrown in! You are a blessing to everyone around you! We will continue praying for you! Love, Sis. Jenkins

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  2. Thanks a lot for this post. Laxatives is a good way to lose weight healthy way if done in right way, but most of the people take wrong way or use wrong laxatives, so that's why I have also listed top laxatives with reviews on my lose 10 pounds quickly website.

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