Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Picnic, Baptism & Bomb Shelters

This week has been a good one. We have had bomb shelters, baptisms, and a pretty nice picnic.

I guess I'll start with the most interesting first. Jason (fake name for the sake of privacy) was baptized this week. He is a legit kid. He used to play professional soccer and is now getting back into it in college. When we first met him, he said that he would not come to church until he read the Book of Mormon cover to cover. Then he met with some of our members and saw how cool they are and realized that we were actually normal people who don't have horns (that's a myth here), he flipped like a switch and took the lessons and agreed to be baptized as soon as we felt he was ready. So we are super grateful to say that we were able to have Jason baptized this past Monday in a quarry outside of the city. It was an awesome experience for everyone who was able to make it there. I'd say that goes to show how important church members are in missionary work.

This week was also my first Easter in Ukraine, and it's something for sure. People will walk past you on the street and say "Christ is resurrected" and then you are supposed to say, "truth is resurrected". We said that a lot yesterday as we were walking down the street. There were Russian orthodox priests standing outside of their huge temples and they would baptized, bless (or something like that ) any objects for some cash. I watched some people have family artifacts blessed, and I also saw some vodka blessed too, so all in all it seems like a good tradition. To celebrate Easter our congregation of now 10 people went out and had a picnic at the same quarry were "Jason" was baptized and had a big Easter picnic. It was a super fun time, and a great reminder of the blessings of being with those you love and it's even cooler to know that the Lord’s plan is to have that joy be with us forever.

Bomber Shelter
Lastly this week, on Monday, we went out on an adventure as a district. One morning, Elder Houghton and I were running and we found a trail that lead into the forest and we stumbled across this giant concrete entrance that lead into the ground. I would honestly describe it as a gate to hell. With that said, Houghton and I thought it would be a good idea to explore it on P-Day. So five days later, we as a district went out, had some sushi for courage, and then went into the dark mouth of the concrete cave. Turns out it was an old bomb shelter. We found that out by all the gas masks scattered on the ground, and the few little rooms. Pretty crazy stuff. It honestly seemed like the set up of a horror film. After that venture we went out and explored even further outside of the city and found some giant ruins of buildings. After exploring more a random solider came out of no where and asked us kindly to get closer to civilization. So we went home with some gas masks and good stories from our crazy venture.

All in all this week has been a great adventure! I miss all of you guys, but I love being here and working with such great people. I love you all and do something good this week!

-Elder Cody Johnson


  1. It may seem random to be getting a comment from a complete stranger, but my name is James Wigginton, and I had the pleasure of serving in the Ukraine Dnepropetrovsk mission at its inception in 2007. I'm so excited to see that Kriviy Rog is open now! When I was in Ukraine, Kremenchug was just opening, and we also worked in Pavlograd from time to time.

    Also, in another weird coincidence, my wife and I had dinner after stake conference tonight with Tiffany Houghton, who said her brother is serving in the Dnepr mission. Related to Elder Houghton, I assume? As they say in Russian, "mir tesen" (it's a small world).

    Keep up the great work!

    1. Thank you for sharing. I will pass this on to our son Elder Johnson. :)