Free resources about the Ukraine Donetsk Mission:
- Mission address and phone number
- Mission map
- Video interviews with returned missionaries
- Missionary blogs
- Facebook groups
- LDS Mission t-shirts and gifts
- List of past mission presidents
- Cultural articles written by returned missionaries
- Survey with RMs
*Other Mission Pages: Ukraine LDS Missions.
Ukraine Donetsk Mission Address
Here’s a recent address for the Donetsk Mission. We try to keep this information up to date, but it’s a good idea to check the address with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.
Ukraine Donetsk Mission
Prospekt Bogdana Khmelnitskogo 67a
Phone Number: 380-62-381-1977
Mission President: President Robert B. Lochhead
Ukraine Donetsk Mission Map
Here’s a link to the mission map for the Ukraine Donetsk Mission (LDS). To access the official, up-to-date LDS.org map for the Donetsk Mission:
Videos with Donetsk RMs
Here are in-depth YouTube video interviews with returned missionaries from the Donetsk Mission. We interview hundreds of returned missionaries each year, so check back regularly to see new RM interviews.
LDS-Friendly Videos about Ukraine
Here are LDS-friendly educational videos about Ukraine. We scoured YouTube to find the best quality videos about Ukraine, that are free from inappropriate music, immodesty and profanity.
Ukraine Donetsk Missionary Blogs
Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the Donetsk Mission. This list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their blog was updated.
Ukraine Donetsk Mission Groups
Here are Donetsk Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the Donetsk Mission.
- Ukraine Donetsk Mission Alumni Facebook Group (582 members)
- Donetsk, Ukraine Mission Facebook Group (375 members)
- Donetsk Mission Presidents Fry and Campero Group (151 members)
- Donetsk Mission President Lochhead Group (20 members)
- Donetsk 2004-07 Pres. Christensen, Anderson Group (1 member)
Ukraine Donetsk Mission T-Shirts
Here are T-shirts for the Ukraine Donetsk Mission!
Shirt designs include Donetsk Mission logo/emblem shirts and Called to Serve shirts. The shirts make great gifts for pre-missionaries, returned missionaries and missionaries currently serving. LDS Mission shirts come in all sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, up to 4XL. The mission designs are printed on white shirts and are shipped to you.
*Simply click on a shirt design to view the details and submit an order. The designs on mission t-shirts may also be printed on other LDS mission gifts, including: Donetsk missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.
Ukraine Donetsk Mission Presidents
Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the Donetsk Mission.
- 2013-2016, Robert Bruce Lochhead
- 2011-2013, Vladimir Jesus Campero
- 2008-2011, Timothy Lee Fry
- 2005-2008, Dale Edwin Andersen
- 2002-2005, Kay Henrie Christensen
- 1999-2002, David McQueen
- 1996-1999, Aleksandr Manzhos
- 1993-1996, Leo Merrill
Ukraine LDS Statistics (2015)
- Church Membership: 11,536
- Missions: 3
- Temples: 1
- Congregations: 51
- Family History Centers: 39
Helpful Articles about Ukraine
Ukraine Donetsk Missionary Survey
Here are survey responses from Ukraine Donetsk RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.
When did you serve?
- 2013-2015 (Henrik)
- May 2013-May 2014 (Renae)
- 2013-2014 (Julie)
- 2013-2014 (Sarah)
- 1998-2000 (Alan)
- 1994-1996 (Blake)
- 2000-2001 (Amber)
- 2000-2002 (Jeff)
What areas did you serve in?
- Kharkov, Sumy, Obidenyoni. (Renae)
- Donetsk Center, Petrovski, Obidenyoni, Lugansk (South), Mariupol (Premorski), Kiev (Obolon). (Julie)
- Makyevka, Obidenyoni (Donetsk). (Sarah)
- Dnepropetrovsk, Donetsk, Makeevka. (Blake)
- Mariupol, Sumi, Harkov, Gorlovka. (Amber)
- Donetsk, Dnepper, Harkov, Gorlovka. (Jeff)
What were some favorite foods?
- Borscht and Perojki. (Henrik)
- Green borscht, rylet s makom (poppyseed pastry), Armenian bread. (Renae)
- Borscht, plemeni, vareniki, chuda yogurts, the juice is fantastic, and the wafers. (Julie)
- “Salads”, which were basically just vegetables and imitation crab covered in mayonnaise. Stuffed cabbage rolls. “Grechka” (buckwheat). I suggest cooking it with the ’10 veggies’ spices and an egg. (Sarah)
- Veryeniki, Borsch, Street Pirozhki (Alan)
- Borsche, Pelmeni, Peroshki, Tort. (Blake)
- Borshte, vereniki, blinchiki. (Amber)
- Padushechkee-cereal called pillows:) Shashleekee- shishkababs. Borsh. (Jeff)
What was a funny experience?
- When I flipped over my handlebars and ripped my pants! (Henrik)
- Sports nights with the youth/single adults. The members tried really hard to play Ultimate Frisbee, but it didn’t work very well. But since the field was not maintained, we all tripped often. (Julie)
- One time, a drunk woman flagged us down on the street and asked us to give her a blessing. We’re sister missionaries, so we kind of had to tell her we couldn’t (probably wouldn’t have anyway, she was pretty wasted), and she ended up hugging me a lot and crying and saying what a nice little Ukrainian girl I was (I’m American). We left pretty quickly. (Sarah)
- My first companion made me sleep on a bunch of stretched ropes. I assumed that was the way it was done. When he finished his mission, my new companion asked me if I wanted a mattress since his bed had two… (Alan)
- My companion and I were in charge of bringing Goose and Turkey to a “Thanksgiving” party we held for our mission. We had a member pick them up for us on a farm. She came back to our apartment with an army backpack with a live goose sticking its head out one side and a live turkey sticking its head out the other. I’m a duck hunter now, but at the time, I had only harvested deer. We had a copy of “The Joy of Cooking” and learned how to clean and pluck the birds after we took them out in a field and put them down. That was a unique Thanksgiving. The food was great. (Blake)
- Falling flat on my back in the middle of the road on a snowy, icy road!! (Amber)
- Too many. Being duped into picking up a dead guy, taking him into the middle of nowhere and burying him. Being hit by a drunk driver, and the craziness that followed in the hospital. Elder falling out of a moving taxi van. (Jeff)
What was a crazy/dangerous experience?
- Our entire mission was given 36 hours to pack up and evacuate on trains to the Kiev Mission. It was really crazy and stressful. But no missionaries were hurt or really in danger. The tanks rolled in and fighting started two days after we left (in case you were wondering if mission presidents receive revelation on your behalf). (Julie)
- In March 2014, we had to suddenly leave the mission because there was a civil war starting. There were a lot of precautions that we were taking before that sort of just made everything ‘feel’ dangerous. (Sarah)
- I was walking into my apartment building. As soon as we stepped inside, an ice dam broke and about a thousand lbs of ice landed right behind us. The concussion on the ground was so strong, all the ice dams on the building broke and the sound was deafening as the ice fell off the whole building onto the ground. (Alan)
- I flushed the train toilet when it was stopped. The toilets dump directly on the tracks there. That is a big no-no. Oops. I got yelled at. (Blake)
- My companion and I witnessed, from a distance, 3 police officers get shot. (Amber)
- Being held up at knife point. And gun point. And having some guy try to chase us yelling I’ll kill you. Craziest part, I never felt like I was in real danger. (Jeff)
What was a spiritual experience?
- Every day!!! (Henrik)
- We worked with a less active man. He was in his mid-30s, but hadn’t been to church since he was 18 (two years after his baptism). I was amazing to see the wonder and understanding in his face as he learned who God was and developed his own personal relationship with Heavenly Father. The lessons we taught weren’t perfect, sometimes they were really rough, but the Spirit made up for our failures and watching him grow was amazing. (Julie)
- I was crossing a one-way street and only looked one direction. I hesitated for a second then stepped out. A car coming from the opposite direction hit my leg just as it stepped out. Had I stepped out a half second before, it would have hit me full on. (Alan)
- My Dad joined the church while I was in my first area. My family called from the other side of the world to tell me the news. That was awesome. (Blake)
- The best spiritual experience. (Amber)
- So many can’t recount, but can think about them daily. One of the most was doing the second baptism interview discussing abortion with women who had carried the yoke of their sins for half a century, experiencing the yoke of Christ, and the ease of their burden, along with its joy. (Jeff)
What are some interesting facts about the Donetsk Mission?
- It no longer exists. It was evacuated. (Henrik)
- Ukraine is not a part of Russia. Most people are nonreligious, but will claim to be part of the Russian or Ukrainian Orthodox Churches (Pravilslavni). The people are proud, but often unmotivated because they have been subject to generations of oppression by the Russian Czars, Nazis, and Soviets. Currently, Ukraine is making a stand to determine its national identity so that it can move on into prosperity and happier times. (Julie)
- Ukraine has a long and epic history of wars and religion. I would definitely look into some of that history, especially as it was part of the Russian Empire and also more recently as it split off from the Soviet Union, and particularly you should know as much as you can about the 2014 conflict. Ukrainians are blunt enough to bring that kind of thing up. (Sarah)
- There is a war going on there now. Many of the people I knew are war refugees now. The mission is now closed. (Blake)
- Everything about Ukraine is interesting. You have to exit a car only on the passenger side. You cannot sit on the cement ground, they think it makes you infertile. Ukrainian grandmothers are the best and tell you what to do all the time. (Amber)
- Had an apartment that only had water from 5 AM till 6 AM. Also was in an apartment when a propane water heater exploded. (Jeff)
What was the weather like?
- Cold, beautiful and humid. (Henrik)
- Hot and humid in the summer. Bitterly cold in the winter. Invest in some intense tights at the “renik” market. (Renae)
- Super cold in the winter- the wind is always blowing. Hot and humid in the summer (no air conditioner anywhere). Spring and fall are nice though. (Julie)
- I ended up only being there in the winter, and it was COLD. There were only a few weeks where I had to wear my thermal underwear off and on, though. I bought a Ukrainian coat on the market, which was great. (Sarah)
- Four seasons. Cold and gray in the winter. Warm and green in the spring. Hot in the summer. Wet in the fall. (Alan)
- Sub zero at times in the winter. It is very flat there, like Nebraska, so they get strong winds. Sometimes over 100 in the summer. Muggy. Lots of mosquitoes in the summer. Muddy between seasons. (Blake)
- Hot and cold. They have seasons similar to Utah. (Amber)
- Hotter than hot in the summer. Like 125 degrees on the pavement. (Jeff)
What do you like about the place/people you served?
- The people were always honest and sincere. I loved that. (Henrik)
- It is beautiful, especially in July when the sunflower fields are in bloom and in the fall. The people are very blunt, so you rarely have to guess if someone is actually saying what they mean. They are also exceptionally caring and sweet. You may not see it at first, but the friends you make will be 100% genuine and lasting. (Julie)
- Ukrainians are scary enough to be kind of endearing for it. They’re very sincere, while having a funny sense of humor. They’re blunt about giving you advice/criticism, which mostly just shows that they care. (Sarah)
- I’ve never met so many literate, well read people in my whole life. That was a generation ago. I am not so sure the folks are as soviet as they were when I served. Very inquisitive. They ask a lot of questions that are considered taboo in the US. EG: How many members in your family. What is your family’s income, etc. (Alan)
- Very friendly people once you are in their homes. It was good to know that they didn’t want to go to war with us any more than we did with them. They tended to be very kind, and wanted to know about where I was from. (Blake)
- I loved it all!! The people were humble and very loving once you got to know them. (Amber)
- Humble people who have endured. Ready for happiness. (Jeff)
Any packing/clothing advice?
- Buy a coat there! (Henrik)
- Buy winter clothes when you get there, not in America. It is a good idea to bring all the shampoo and everything they suggest because then you don’t ever have to worry about running out during the week, although things like regular shampoo, etc. are available in some stores. Bring clothes you love, but not clothes that you want to always love. Even your favorite shirt will need to be burned after you get home. (Renae)
- Don’t bother to bring super fancy clothes (especially sisters). Most people in Ukraine rotate about three outfits, so try not to be overwhelmingly fancy in comparison. Also, there is dust everywhere, so bring cute flats or shoes that have a thick enough sole that it won’t wear out. Also, make sure that your shoes are easy to clean (it was a mission requirement for me). Bring your own peanut butter, vanilla, taco seasoning, and rootbeer extract. Everything else is available to buy. Don’t wait to buy a coat! Bring a down trench or other down winter coat (it blocks the wind and has little bulk) from the US, they don’t sell down in Ukraine!!! (Julie)
- Bring fuzzy socks for the winter. You might also want slippers, because the apartments probably won’t have more than space heaters. I bought a coat and boots while over there. Not only was it warmer, but it ended up being a slightly different fashion from what Americans would wear/buy. Wool tights are a must. If you find yourself short on clothes when you’re there, they have Secondhand Stores (literally, they spell out the English words ‘second hand’ in Cyrillic, it’s pretty funny) that will have sweaters, etc. Well, maybe not skirts. Ukrainian girls wear pretty short skirts. (Sarah)
- Don’t get a trench coat. Just get a good looking parka that doesn’t stand out. Trench coats are too thin and the down-lined ones look like you’re walking around in a queen-sized bed comforter. Bring a couple boxes of Kraft MacnCheese to share with your trainer. Root Beer is a little heavier, but that is another thing you won’t see for two years, in case you want your first companion to have a bit of nostalgia. Don’t bring a sleeping bag with you, but it’s a nice thing to buy after you get there. (Alan)
- I wear size 13 shoes. I never saw any shoes or boots there that would have fit me. That may have changed now, but it would have been a problem if I thought I would buy shoes there. TAKE A CAMPING WATER FILTER AND A CANTEEN. The water in the trains was not treated and filtering it kept me and my companions healthy when we were on the road. Having a hundred dollars in ones would be good for traveling too. (Blake)
- Take a sleeping bag! (Amber)
- Good boots -waterproof ankle socks-life saver in the summer. (Jeff)
What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?
- I can communicate effectively. I understand people a lot easier. (Henrik)
- Can’t begin to count all the ways my life has and I know will continue to be blessed because I served a mission. Mostly, the blessings revolve around the person I am because I served. (Renae)
- My last companion is the best friend I’ve ever had in my life. I gained so many close friends and grew so much in the gospel. The biggest blessing, though, is that I learned a lot about myself that I didn’t know that I didn’t know before. (Julie)
- SO. MANY. My mission changed me so much, made me realize that I can really do anything. It gave me self-confidence, and a stronger testimony of Christ. (Sarah)
- I was blessed with knowledge, pride and a strong work ethic. (Alan)
- Met my eternal companion in the Mission Training Center. We now have three kids. (Blake)
- I was converted myself to the gospel in a more dedicated way. I learned how to receive answers to prayers and I learned how to really study the scriptures. I learned I can do hard things!! (Amber)
- Innumerable. Hot wife. Great job. Tons of amazing kids. Happiness. (Jeff)
What are some skills you gained on your mission?
- I can speak Russian. I can discern peoples’ needs a lot easier. (Henrik)
- I learned that if you have the same goal as someone else, you can make ANY companionship work. I learned that people really are always more important than ideas. I learned how to talk to anyone. I learned what it means to be a good member missionary and a good friend. I learned how to study the scriptures. I learned how to receive revelation from church, prayer and scripture study. (Renae)
- The ability to act boldly, even when I have know idea what I am doing. I learned to be decisive and roll with whatever comes. (Julie)
- Russian! The ability to approach strangers. How to ride a public bus. (Sarah)
- The language skill has blessed me on dozens of occasions, despite never putting it to professional use (aside from occasionally translating at a local hospital or court setting). (Alan)
- Learned Russian. Learned to talk to people. Learned to cook from scratch, there were no boxed foods there at the time. Had to make everything. Learned how to function without running water, without hot water, without heat in the apartment. (Blake)
- I learned to speak Russian. I learned how to speak with people and how to share my testimony. I learned how to be independent and also how to rely on the Lord. (Amber)
- Fly and roach hunting with air soft guns. (Jeff)
What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?
- That the language of the spirit was the most important language to study. (Henrik)
- I wish I knew how hard it would be. If, once a day, I was able to get the whole name of The Church out before someone slammed the door in my face, it was a good day. (Renae)
- Make your vocab study lists from phrases, not just words, that you hear. It is hard to learn and use sayings and idioms later on. (Julie)
- I wish I had realized how much your companions can really be your friends. It’s not easy to live with just one other person 24/7, but you don’t have to make it a chore. (Sarah)
- Wish I knew the language better. (Blake)
- I wish I would have realized how quickly times goes by and that a year and a half is really not that long. (Amber)
- How much my senior companion loved the people, and that all of his choices were based on that. (Jeff)
Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to Donetsk?
- Just love God. Everything else will be easy if you can learn to do that. (Henrik)
- Never think to yourself, “I’ll just wait out the next (insert number of weeks here) until I get a new companion”. I’m so glad my companions worked to work things out. A mission is the hardest thing you might ever do. If I had to choose whether or not I would do it again, I absolutely would, but I would not want to extend my mission by one more day. I was ready to go home when my 18 months were over. It is more physically and emotionally exhausting than you can imagine. It is also incredibly rewarding. You truly gain eternal perspective. (Renae)
- Actually do your language study the ENTIRE time. Don’t slough off in the MTC–it makes the transition harder. Also, buy a little cart to carry your groceries in–it will save your life (and hands) every P-day. (Julie)
- Thank you, thank you for going. I love Donetsk so much, and I’m so worried for the people there. We did our best to leave good Area Books for you, but they’ll probably be outdated because of a lot of people moving out of the area due to war. My advice is, don’t be afraid. Don’t be discouraged. If the Lord has you there, it’s for an extremely good reason. Just love the people. (Sarah)
- It’s not the world’s worst thing to go on your mission having never read The Book of Mormon. However, take that incredibly boring and tedious time in the MTC to read the Book of Mormon in its entirety. (Alan)
- I hope you took scouting seriously. There was a lot about this mission that felt like a camping trip. There are people out there that want to mug you. Learn to be situationally aware of who and what is around you at any given moment. Don’t do the “I’ve got your nose” gesture. It is the equivalent of flipping someone off. (Blake)
- Just do it!! It will change you and bless your life. It will bring you closer to your savior and help you learn how to focus on others and forget about yourself. It will help you be a better mother and wife, husband and father. It will give you confidence in the gospel and help you understand eternal things. It will give you an eternal perspective. (Amber)
- Many of these people don’t know God. Make sure you know Him. That He is your Father. That he loves you. That he loves everyone, no matter what they have said, done, or believe. (Jeff)
What was a funny language mistake?
- Once my two companions and I were talking with a woman sitting outside of her apartment. She had met with missionaries previously and we were seeing if she wanted to meet again. I had only been out for a few weeks at this point and was sitting closest to her, with my two companions behind me. The language was incredibly confusing at this point and so the majority of our conversations involved me smiling and nodding along with my companions. In this particular conversation, I wasn’t able to see their reactions to what the woman was talking about. I nodded through the whole conversation until the woman asked, “you understand?” I, as usual, nodded enthusiastically and smiled. Then I looked at my companions only to see that they were furiously shaking their heads no and looking very confused. One of my companions informed me later that she had been explaining some complicated biology theory. It was funny afterwards. (Renae)
- It is hard to make the soft “t” sound at the end of the word for “mother” that differentiates it from the word “curse word”. So there were a lot of raised eyebrows for a while when I told stories about my mom. After a while, I gave up and just said “Mama”. (Julie)
- Like many missionaries, I too have accidentally blessed the sacrament “In Hell.” The term “water” and “In Hell” are Vahdu and Vohdu. Say that wrong during the sacrament and you may hear a hushed, “Oh Bozhe” from someone in the congregation. One time, I found a piece of chock as big as my hand. I held it in front of my English class and yelled, “Hooey! That’s a big chalk!” Hooey is the Russian swear word for male genitalia. (Alan)
- The word to urinate and to write a letter are identical except for where you put the emphasis on the word. Peeing a letter home got a good chuckle out of a lot of people. (Blake)
- In a spiritual youth conference talk, I tried to say someone died of cancer. Stated in Russian died by the means of cancer. Turns out the word for cancer is also word for crab. I said died by the means of crabs. Needless to say the native companion that was there was laughing so hard he couldn’t explain my mistake for about 5 minutes. Also… Spirit was gone. (Jeff)