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

22 July 2010

Hello from VYBORG!

Hello from Vyborg!!! Today is my first day in my new area: Vyborg. It is about a 30 min metro ride plus a 2 hour bus ride from St. Pete's. It's a city right next to a big river. Lots of shady parks and green trees. I'm exicted to serve here! The only thing was last night the sun didn't really ever go down that much... Oh well. What can you do? There is sunshine in my soul today! Ha ha. I can't really say much more about it though see that I haven't even been here a day. When I left K-grad, I flew with Elder Anthony. We didn't even know when our flight was until about 2, and we had to fly out at 8:50 at night. The airplane didn't take off on time, so it didn't leave until 9:40. Add in the time zone change that we had when we got to St. Petersburg, and we didn't arrive until about 1:30 in the morning. Fun stuff. :) I've already had to travel after midnight twice on my mission. Seriously, though, we were laughing pretty hard! I'm going to miss K-grad a lot, but i know I'll like it here in Vyborg too. For family home evening the memebers in K-grad bought me and Elder Anthony little keychain amber things, which Kaliningrad is famous for. They played games and invited a bunch of people from the English club and our investigators came!! Elder Poulson is staying there with Elder Anthony's companion, so I can still hear how they are doing during zone conference and stuff. Will miss him & K-grad. Who knows, maybe I'll go back there someday? To be honest, I feel like I'm slowing down a little bit and so I'm trying to give myself that added boost to get going again. The Russian is still pretty hard, and we work alot, so I think that is why I'm tired. My new companion, Elder Haggard seems like a really happy, optimistic, hardworking guy too, so I think that he will pick me up a little bit. Things are hard, but they are getting better. They always do! Just trust in the Lord all that you can and He takes care of the rest. That's one thing that I've definitley learned my strongly here in Russia. In other news, I will be heading back to St. Petersburg today, because tomorrow I have to go to Estonia to renew my visa. Just call me "Elder Blake the World Traveler Larsen." I'm excited as I get to go with Elders Gerard and Andersen!!!!!! I've heard that Estonia is really cool. Next week Elder Haggard (my new companion from California) has his visa trip, and we also have zone conference, so we won't really be spending time in our area for the first week again. We'll still be doing missionary work though. :) My P-day next week might be on a different day than thursday, because of this. Just so you know, so you don't worry if you don't get a letter on Thursday. I have sent home letters, I promise!!! I just barely got letters from Nate and Liz yesterday marked the very begging of June, even the Dear Elders, so it takes a while to get mail no matter what. I actually think the Dear Elders aren't any faster at all then normal letter because I think they print them off somewhere else and send them in a pouch or something. I hear it takes longer to get from Russia to USA than from USA to Russia. I'm printing off some photos today and sending them home so hopefully you'll be getting them in a month or so... ;) I tried to connect my camera to the computer here, but I wouldn't read my camera. Sorry. Sounds like the medical issues of the family are getting taken care of. Tell dad that I will be waiting to hear about his knee and tell him good luck from me. NO I didn't put them up to it. It was totally there decision. The girls like you, mom. What can I say? (They also like your cake too...;)) What did they say to you? How are they doing? I've barely heard from them, and when I do it's old news. ha ha. Old news is a ton better than no news though, so I'm not complaining. Tell Liz, yes I got the Dear Elders, but they still took a long time. That's crazy that you saw Brae's mom! I knew she worked at a Doctor's office, but didn't think we'd ever see her. Tell her to tell Brae hi if you can somehow. ha ha Have you heard more about Ian Stats? I hope he didn't have to go home because of his injury. I always have so much to say, but not enough time to write. I hope I gave you some good stuff for my blog though. Sister Luna tempted me with a peek when I was at the office, but I thought if I looked that I wouldn't be able to stop, so I didn't. ha ha! I'm very curious who and what is on there. Lastly, I just want to tell you all back home, my testimony. I know without a doubt, 110% that this church is true! That Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the World and that only through Him can we receive the joy only Eternal Life and Salvation can bring. I know that life is hard, that we all have trials, that we all make mistakes, but I also know that no matter how big the burden, if you trust in God, he will make the burdens light on you back like he did with the people of Alma. I know that Heavenly Father is polishing us and perfecting us with the roughness of our trials, and the power of the living waters that He has, and that He knocks away the rough edges until we become smoother in His hand. I know that we can be instruments in God's hands and do great things while we are here on this earth, but without the Master, the tool cannot do anything. It just becomes dirty, dull, and stationary. I know that the Lord never forgets us, we only forget Him. Words cannot describe the Joy the Gospel of the Lord, Savior Jesus Christ brings! I don't know where I would be without it. Like it says in my favorite scripture Alma 26:16 ~ "Therefore let us glory yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea we will rejoice, for our Joy is full; yea we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long suffering-towards the children of men? Behold I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." Love you all!! Miss you more than you know, but loving that I'm serving the Lord. Love, Blake

2 comments:

  1. Could hardly read the testimony for the mist in my eyes! That was beautiful and inspiring. I love knowing the threesome got to spend the day together. Not such a bad deal afterall, the three month visa thing, eh? :)

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  2. Paige, it will be so fun to read their emails this coming P-day. I am sure Blake was overjoyed to travel with them once again! This was an emotional transfer for him to Vyborg but I know he needs to grow & have more experiences. I too enjoyed his testimony. What more can a parent ask for than our children to love God so deeply and want to share it with others? ~ Tammy

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