Can't believe that this is my last email you'll get from the MTC! Time has gone by fast. I've got a lot to write so I'll get started.
First things first, THE TRAVEL PLANS HAVE ARRIVED! We got them last Thursday. So here is the plan - we're leaving Tuesday at 5 AM and our flight leaves at 8:10 AM from SLC. We fly to Washington, DC and will arrive there at 2:12 PM their time. (So that is 12:12 in Utah time) We have a three hour layover in DC so I will call you guys when I get to DC. And I will call your cell phone Mom. It will be between 12:30 and 2:30 Utah time. Then we leave DC at 5:25 PM their time and will fly to Vienna, Austria and arrive there at 8:30 AM their time. We have a layover for a little less than two hours and then we leave Austria at 10:20 AM their time and fly directly to Donetsk, getting there at 1:50 PM their time on September 14th. So at 4:50 AM your time Wednesday I will have arrived in Donetsk! They are nine hours ahead of Utah so it will take some getting used to haha. As far as who all will be traveling with me, there are eight missionaries that are going to Donetsk - four from my district and four from the district next to us. And there is one sister in the group as well. The Kiev missionaries are taking a different flight plan so we won't fly with them. And most of the Russian Elders are leaving here on Monday so us Ukrainian elders will all be here by ourselves Monday night just finishing up packing and whatnot. The elders in my district going to Vlad leave Monday night, fly to LAX, then to Korea, then to Vlad and we leave twelve hours after them and still beat them getting to our mission haha. Lots of flight time! I'm excited to go, but a little nervous of course! A week from now I will be in Donetsk and I won't know what has hit me! But I know that Heavenly Father will be with me and that it will all work out.
And now to comment on your dearelders and stuff - Thanks for the heads up about the mailroom being closed. They don't tell us these things for some reason haha. I am going to send one or two more packages home with things I don't need for Ukraine. We're going to start packing a little today so hopefully I can better see what to leave and what to pack. And my Book of Mormon reading is going good. I am set to finish this Saturday or Sunday. I feel like I am learning how to really use the Book of Mormon when teaching investigators and that I am really understanding all of the stories and events that happen. It is really important to introduce the scriptures when I use them because most people will have no clue what they are saying and obviously no clue who any of the people are. I really enjoyed Alma 56 this last week. I believe it is like verse 45 that Helaman asks the stripling warriors whether or not they will go, and then the next verse he says that he has never seen such courage among all the Nephites. And then like a few verses after this they all say that they don't doubt their mother's knew it. I really applied this to leaving next Tuesday and how your guys' love and example for me is one reason that I am out here - so that I can help other families be together forever and invite them to come unto Christ. This truly is a marvelous work! I know that it is the Lord's work and that He works in His own time and ways to bring about the gospel. It is a privilege to be apart of this work. I know that Heavenly Father will watch over me and all of the missionaries so that we may be safe and know what to do when we arrive to the field. I know that The Book of Mormon is true. It is another testament of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. (or in Russian, new testimonies of Jesus Christ) I know that Joseph Smith is the prophet of this last dispensation and that everything that he says happened to him happened. It either did or it didn't and I know that it did. I love you guys so much!! Thanks for everything that you do for me, your prayers, love, letters, and examples. I look forward to calling you next Tuesday and talking with you! I can't believe it's that time to leave the MTC soon. I have learned a lot about the Gospel, but much more about myself. I feel ready to go to Ukraine and work my hardest to serve the Lord and His people. What a blessing this is! Again, I love you all so very much! Tell everyone that asks about me that I love them too! Have a good week!!
Love, Elder Keown