From the Church

Missionaries were moved out of Ukraine last month. Here’s how it impacted 2 elders who served there

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Elder Isaac Stubbs was serving in Ukraine as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but due to uncertainty in the area was recently reassigned to Chicago.
Screenshot from WSFA 12 News

On January 24, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that missionaries serving in the Ukraine Dnipro and Ukraine Kyiv/Moldova missions would be temporarily reassigned to other missions due to uncertainty in the country.

The decision to reassign missionaries was made out of an abundance of caution, and the statement noted that the Church is praying for a peaceful resolution and looks forward to when missionaries can return. But how are the reassigned missionaries faring, and where have they ended up? Here’s a look at two elders’ experiences.

Returning Home

In this week’s ChurchBeat newsletter, Deseret News reporter Tad Walch caught up with recently returned missionary Matthew Landon. Since Landon was near the end of his mission, he returned home to Provo, Utah, instead of being reassigned.

Landon’s mission was anything but conventional as he began his mission learning Russian at the Provo Missionary Training Center in February 2020 but then left the MTC early due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was reassigned to Montana speaking English. After 14 months, he arrived in Ukraine last June and had to start learning Russian all over again.

Missionaries were asked to live in housing on the Kyiv Ukraine Temple grounds from Christmas to January, and during that time they did missionary work virtually. In January, they received word that only Ukrainian missionaries would stay in the country. While it was a difficult transition for some, Landon felt prepared for the situation.

“I naturally knew, and this is a gift that I was given by Spirit, that everything was fine, everything’s working out the way it should be happening,” Landon told Walch. “It’s God’s plan. It just worked out that way.”

Landon also spoke about how he was inspired by the Latter-day Saints in Ukraine and their trust in the Lord. You can sign up for the ChurchBeat newsletter at Deseret News.


Elder Isaac Stubbs had been serving in Ukraine for nine months when he was reassigned. Recently, WSFA 12 News interviewed Elder Stubbs’s father, Troy Stubbs, about his son’s experience.

“He was having a great time learning more about the Ukraine culture and speaking the Russian language,” he said, adding that while they weren’t sure what was going to happen, their son’s safety was a priority for them.

Elder Stubbs was reassigned to Chicago for the next four months of his mission. Despite the complications with his son’s situation, Troy Stubbs expressed his gratitude for the good experiences his son has been able to have while serving.

“Our son is there doing a good thing, serving people and loving and being compassionate to those around him,” Troy Stubbs said. “He’s learning a lot about himself, and so in the end faith prevails, and we feel blessed that he is having these experiences that he’ll have for the rest of his life.”

Watch the interview at WSFA 12 News.

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