Beautiful Russia!

Beautiful Russia!

Our great friend, Roma made dinner for us!

Our great friend, Roma made dinner for us!

Elder Rasmussen is very excited to see real food!

Elder Rasmussen is very excited to see real food!

Companion and friend, Elder Jake Rasmussen

Companion and friend, Elder Jake Rasmussen

Trifecta's Last Time In Estonia

Trifecta's Last Time In Estonia

With my wonderful friend, Faik.

With my wonderful friend, Faik.

Sunrise, at One P.M.

Sunrise, at One P.M.

Petrozadovsk District

Petrozadovsk District

Lake at Petrozavodsk

Lake at Petrozavodsk

North Zone Conference Nov. 2011

North Zone Conference Nov. 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner 2011

First Zone Conference with President Clark

First Zone Conference with President Clark

Neva River Fall 2011

Neva River Fall 2011

Visa trip, Oct 1st 2011

Visa trip, Oct 1st 2011

Oh my aching jaw...

Oh my aching jaw...

Hermitage Museum on P-day!

Hermitage Museum on P-day!

Me, Svetlana and Elder Loskutov

Me, Svetlana and Elder Loskutov

Birthday lunch with Kostya

Birthday lunch with Kostya

My friend, Grisha

My friend, Grisha

Service for Babushka

Service for Babushka

MTC Missionaries in Estonia

MTC Missionaries in Estonia

Waiting in Estonia...

Waiting in Estonia...

Visit from Elder Russell M. Nelson

Visit from Elder Russell M. Nelson

Elders Larsen and Anthony

Elders Larsen and Anthony

Our MTC teacher surprise visit!

Our MTC teacher surprise visit!

Podvodov family gave powerful talks!

Podvodov family gave powerful talks!
Pskov, Russia Branch

Vyborg Castle

Vyborg Castle

St Olaf's Castle Where We Do Service Work

St Olaf's Castle Where We Do Service Work

Beautiful Vyborg on the Sea of Finland

Beautiful Vyborg on the Sea of Finland

Vyborg

Vyborg

Misty day in Kaliningrad

Misty day in Kaliningrad

Kaliningrad District May 2010

Kaliningrad District May 2010

Russian MTC Group

Russian MTC Group

Russian MTC Zone at Provo Temple

Russian MTC Zone at Provo Temple

05 June 2010

Branch visit from the Cooks

*Email from a wonderful couple, Steve & Vera Cook from SLC, who attended the LDS church in Kaliningrad, Russia, May 2010. Dear Mr. and Mrs. Gillett, Mr. and Mrs. Broadhead, Mr. and Mrs. Poulson and Mr. and Mrs. Larsen, I will take just a moment and introduce myself and let you know how we came to take these pictures and talk with your sons. My name is Steve Cook and my wife is Vera and we live in Salt Lake City. We were in Kaliningrad just over a week ago and while there we went to church at the branch. I think everyone was very surprised to us when we walked in and your sons were in attendance and greeted with smiles and I think the were a pleased to have some Americans coming to church, it was a good excuse for them to be able to speak some English. The branch building in Kaliningrad is a very nice building in a nice part of the city. My wife and I were surprised at how big the building was. I think there was a mixed group of about 50 people in attendance. I hope I don't make a mistake here but forgive me if I do, I believe that it was Elder Larsen who had been there the longest and he translated the service for us and did an excellent job. Afterward we assembled outside in beautiful weather and I took these pictures. After the service was over we said our goodbye's and separated with Vera and I walking a couple of blocks to an ATM machine where I tried to withdraw some Roubles so that we could pay our hotel bill. This ATM machine did not have on option for English so everything was displayed in Russian. I was not able to make the machine work and after a couple of tries we decided to walk back to the branch building to see if any of the elders were still there. When we walked back all four of them were just leaving and two volunteered to walk with us to the ATM and see if they could help. We walked back and one of them translated the Russian for us which in effect said that "this bank had deactivated my card and that this machine was preventing us from getting any cash." We tried my wife's card and got the same response. Thankfully the machine did return our credit cards. Without the help of the missionaries we would not have had a clue of what was wrong. Next we ask them some information as to what the bus cost and how we needed to pay for that. Steve and Vera Cook This picture was taken on May 23, 2010 outside the church in Kaliningrad, Russia All of the elders were doing fine and were very helpful to us. May 23, 2010, Kaliningrad, Russia The "who's who" of Americans in Kaliningrad. Luckily later in the day we found another ATM machine that did accept our card and worked without a problem. I told the kids that I wanted to send these pictures to their parents and they had give me your email addresses. I had intended to send these out earlier but my wife and I picked up an particularly bad cold on our last day of the trip and yesterday was the first day that I really could function well. Now why were Vera and I in Russia? My wife was born in Koenigsberg in 1943 and became a refugee during the war and she and her family were forced to leave Koenigsberg when she was just one year old. She had all of her family stories about Koenigsberg but wanted to see the city and if possible the building that she was born in. We made that our vacation goal this year. Vera was born less than a half mile from the branch building, and we found the address of her former home. We took pictures of the building and the area for other relatives. We found Kaliningrad to be a beautiful city, the people were friendly and exceptionally helpful when we could make ourselves understood. We had beautiful weather and meeting your sons was just and additional joyful expericence. Steve

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