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MTC Address

Pouch Mail (*see instructions below)

Elder Christopher Pascal Chun

Ukraine Dnepropetrovsk Mission
POB 30150
Salt Lake City, UT 84130

Pouch Mail instructions:
Letter can only be one paged with one side left totally blank. Lay the letter blank side down. Fold the bottom of the letter about one-third of the way up the page and crease. Fold the top of the letter to the bottom of the first fold and crease. Secure the long side with two pieces of tape about one inch in from each end, but do not seal the ends. In the top left corner write your name and complete return address. Affix first class postage in the top right corner. In the middle write the missionary address as above.

If you use they print your emails for free and deliver them to him on pouch mail day. When you get on their website you can click "Pouch" on the left hand side and see their pouch mail countdown running. Pouch is sent once a week from church headquarters in Salt Lake City on Mondays at noon.

If you make a free account on you just need to choose "Ukraine - Dnepropetrovsk" for his mission, not the Provo MTC any more!

Packages or other letters besides pouch mail need to be mailed to the mission home to the following address:

Christopher Pascal Chun
(do not include the mission name)
Karla Marksa 27 A 5th floor

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Week 7

Dear Friends and Family,

The MTC is going great! We just started an MTC challenge to speak 100% russian in the last two weeks at the MTC. It's definately difficult and all the teachers and leaders decided to wait until now to tell us how riduculous of a goal it is for us. They said that the Russian language program used to be a 10 week program. Then one year two elders had problems getting visas and would need to stay at the MTC for 2 more weeks. The MTC presidency asked one of the General Authorities what to do with them and instead of sending them to a stateside mission until they got their visas, the General Authority said that they can stay at the MTC as long as they speak only Russian. So the missionaries did that and when they got into the field they spoke about as good as a lot of the missionaries who have been there a few months already. So they extended the Russian program to 12 weeks and then challenged the russians to speak only russian the last two weeks. Inspiring right? But... We're on a 9 week program. Which means, by the time we're out of here, we will still not have had as much time to learn the language as those first missionaries did. We have 3 fewer weeks to do so. They started their challenge after 10 weeks and we are starting ours after 7. Haha, I know anything is possible with the Lord though and honestly I think this is helping a lot even though it's hard. There are times when we have to speak English though. For example when a branch presidency member who doesn't know how to speak Russian is conducting a meeting or something. Or when we're talking to service coordinator people. But we still speak a lot of Russian. Today I haven't said a word of English so far.

General Conference was amazing from the MTC. Maybe because it wasn't as magical this year as in some of the other years. This year I heard every one of the speakers and took good notes wheras during some of the other years I would be taking notes and everytime I "blinked" there would be a different speaker, like magic. Haha but seriously there was a lot of good stuff said. More and more as I'm here at the MTC and as I hear different devotional speakers and talks and lessons and things am I realizing that missionary work is so good. Because I'm not doing anything different than that what I should be doing when I'm not a missionary. Plus I've been set apart to do this though. So last night I actually realized that a mission is kinda like a handicap maybe? Or like a headstart on life? Because you don't have to worry about anything going on except for what you are doing. Whereas after the mission you need to have the same purpose as a missionary but you have to deal with everything else as well. So the mission teaches how to focus on the things that matter most and then life is just where it is applied after the mission. My favorite General Conference talk was the one that Elder Anderson gave in the last Session. I don't necessarily remember much of what he said but I remember he would say a statement like, "What does Jesus think of me?" and it would get me thinking and I just felt the spirit working with me as I pondered about that phrase and then everytime he said another powerful statement I would hear it and the spirit would work with me again. It was an amazing feeling and that's why that talk was my favorite.

Yesterday, one of the native teachers taught me something really culturally different about Russians and Ukranians that I'm really going to have to work on. She said that when people talk, they look eachother in the eyes. It's almost like a staring contest except you don't compete. She said that if you're talking and you look away a lot then it means that you have something to hide. This is a good lesson for me to be learning because I actually just recently learned that in a talk that Elder Holland gave, he talked about how we know that the spirit is working with our investigators. He said that the way to know is to firstly, have the spirit with yourself, and second, look them in the eyes. I thought that was kind of strange council but I'm guessing that this is a lesson that the Lord wants me to learn because he had to tell me twice. Plus this teacher made it very real for me when she started asking us about how we were going to share the gospel. She started out with the question, "What does your church, or what do you have to offer me?" Then we began to explain the blessings one can recieve from living the Gospel, then (I don't know if this was her family, her friend, or if this was purely hypothetical) when we got to eternal families, she said, "I don't want that, every day my husband comes home from being with his friends at about 1 or 2 in the morning, he is completely drunk and he often throws me against the wall. I can't leave him because I'm afraid of what he'll do to me and my children. I have 2 kids and he's my only financial support. I don't want that to last forever. So what else do you have to offer me?" and throughout all this she wanted me to stare her in the eyes. I don't know what culture this is from in my life but that seems kind of intrusive to me so that's why I'll have to get over that. But that lesson really got me thinking (It went on a lot more than that and there were other things in her life that were pretty miserable too but that was the main part that really got me thinking) I don't know exactly what she's looking for and I don't know exactly how to give it to her. The only thing I really know as a missionary is that I have a message and that my message can change the world. My job is to share that message in a way that allows people to find for themselves what they are looking for, but at the same time I need to share it in the right way that will make people interested and willing to work and put effort into bettering their lives.

So this was a pretty spiritual week. I don't have much funny stuff to say because I can't remember much. I guess I was really tired yesterday and I took two naps on the floor in my suit in class. Haha I really can't remember too much stuff. I know I have a good laugh at least once every day but I can't really remember most of it exactly. I have been working on Russian cursive though. It looks really really pretty. It's strange because the Russian people are often portrayed as an extremely austere and angry culture almost and hollywood russians all talk very harshly, but really russian is a really pretty language. It's not as harsh as German is and it flows really nicely. Russian cursive is really cool in the same way. It looks very pretty. I'm pretty sure I'm going to send some russian to my family so if you'd like to know what it looks like you can ask them to show it to you in a few days when they get a handwritten letter from me.

Love you all, thank you for all your love and support!

- Elder Chun

P.S. Sorry I'm not responding to everyone's letters anymore, I don't have too much time to write letters anymore so I have to pick and choose the most important letters to reply to. So if I don't respond to your letters it infers you need to write better letters. :P No I'm actually trying to respond to them in order of people I haven't responded to ever first and everyone else after.

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