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

10 June 2010

Hello from St. Petersburg

Dear Mum, Hello! Wow. Lots to going on right now. I don't know how Cody only sends a few lines?! I always have too much to talk about. Well it's the start of the new transfer and Elder Poulson and I are still comps in K-grad. The other elders are moving out and we are getting Elder Antony and a mini missionary in their place. Elder Poulson trained him too. Weird huh? We won't have a senior couple in our area, and Elder Poulson and I moved into their apartment. It's a nice apartment. It's in more of a suburban area that is closer to the branch. We live across the street from an old Russian Orthodox church with a really nice garden by it. I like it a lot. There is a small little room with a desk to the side of the living room/study area, and on the whole wall is printed an image of New York and sunset at that bridge that connects Brooklyn and Ellis Island! Think of Cody every time I see it!! Other elders apartment was flooded, so it has to have repairs, and the day we were moving out of our first apartment, the people upstairs flooded their apartment and it started to leak through the ceiling of our apartment! Way ironic. Glad we don't have to deal with that apartment, but Elder Antony will. Poor Elder Antony! He was going to be with me and Elder Poulson in a triple, but then at the last minute a mini missionary came. (They are just members of the church here in Russia who come serve for a transfer in an area.) so he was put with him instead. Work is getting harder. Youlia, our only real investigator, called us crying last thursday and said her husband forbids her to hear the lessons anymore. She was so sad!!! She loves the church and the people there, and reads the Book of Mormon everyday for 30 minutes or more. She also is almost done with the Gospel Principles manuel and is just so accepting of everything, and we were just about to ask her to be baptized and set a date. She always refers to the church as "our church" as if she is already a member. She is still really good friends with us, and I know she will become a member of the church when the time is right. Í'm just sad that her husband never would agree to meet us with her, and then he read all of the lies on the internet about us and forbid her to do anything. We planted the seed, and we'll just have to trust in the Lord. He will direct her path. Well, even though we are staying the transfer in K-grad, as of right now I am in St. Petersburg. We came because this Saturday and Sunday Elder L. Tom Perry will be speaking to our mission, and so we had to fly in on Tuesday, because that was the easiest time they could schedule airplanes and stuff i guess due to transfers. We are here until next Tuesday, and are staying with Elder Beck and Elder Melnik. Elder Beck is from California, and is a really nice guy! I made friends with him really fast. Elder Melnick is from Ukraine, and also very nice! To be honest, I think i like St Pete's better than K-grad! It's not as humid, the streets are paved better and a lot wider and the city just seems more open. Lots more things to see actually than in Kaliningrad like gardens or squares, and there is actually quite alot of old, cool looking buildings and churches still here in St. Petes too, and most areas are just as clean or cleaner. It doesn't get dark here until like 1 or 2 in the morning though! So weird. Not going to lie. and it's only going to get worse. It is still pretty light at night in K-grad, but not like it is here. Last night we met with a doctor that is a member of the branch here in Pete and he made us some weird soup. Had like pickles, bananas, macaroni, and who knows what. weirdest stuff i've ever eaten! He was really nice and smart! He speaks Russian, English, and Chinese! He has just a normal apartment though, which was cool. He doesn't need unneccesary things in his life to be happy. I'm super glad to hear that Liz got my letter, but I'm wondering why Kim hasn't gotten my letter yet? What about Kelsey? Haven't gotten a lot of mail here either. Earlier last transfer the only mail I got was a couple Dear Elders from Liz. The only mail I got this week was a short Dear Elder from Kim saying that she needed my address in New York!! Ha ha!!! She got me mixed up with Cody, and a Dear Elder from Kelsey. She says you are awesome for helping her with her wisdom teeth! Oh wow. I didn't even get to say half of what i wanted to say, but I need to email president and then go get some food for the rest of the week here in Petes. I decided metros are cool!! Well, I love you all and miss you alot!! One thing my mission has really taught me so far is how great my life was back home because of the people I had in my life. I have a great family and friends and a great place to live, more than I deserve!! Tell everyone that, okay? God is blessing me, and He will bless you if you look for Him. Trust in Him with all you do and you will be happy. He makes our weaknesses strong, our burdens light, and our hearts not just filled with joy, but BRIM WITH JOY, overflowing!! I think that's why we cry when we feel the spirit. It's gotta go somewhere, right? ;) Love ya! Peace and success to you! Love, Blake

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