Mother of LDS missionary in Ukraine shares her anxiety

- SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – ABC 4 Utah is getting a personal look at how the violence in Ukraine is affecting missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church is now sending 22 of those missionaries home early. On Friday ABC4 Utah talked to a mother whose son is serving in the violence ridden area.

Violent images in Ukraine have mother Teresa Novakovich worried.

"It makes me feel anxious, it makes me feel nervous, but it... honestly it drives me to my knees," said Teresa Novakovich, mother.

Her son, BYU student, Daniel Novakovich is serving a mission in Ukraine for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His mission covers the Crimea Peninsula, right now at the heart of the Russian conflict.

"The first image that popped up on my news feed was an image of Russian soldiers in full body armor and machine guns and honestly I just had a little panic attack," said Novakovich.

Although the Church announced Thursday it is sending 22 missionaries home early, who are now serving in the region, Novakovich's son isn't one of them. She's been told his area is safe.

"He has not felt threatened or unsafe in anyway," she said.

As a precaution Novakovich's son is being told to stay away from large crowds, but there are no plans to pull him out of his city of Dnepropetrovsk and his mother is putting her faith in God that he'll serve the remainder of his mission unharmed.

"I'm putting my trust in the lord and his church, and I’m feeling okay about it," Novakovich said.

The Church said there are missionaries who have been moved out of the Crimea Peninsula, and some missionaries who are waiting to go to that region have been temporarily reassigned.
The missionaries who are going home early were scheduled to end their missions in March or April.

Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @briancarlsontv

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