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

28 August 2010

Vyborg members fasting for the missionaries!

Hello! Great to hear from you again! First of all just want to say... DON'T worry about me at all. I'm perfectly fine. :) Yes... sometimes I get frustrated, but that's missionary work. Key word WORK. But this work over all brings me happiness. Like Joseph F. Smith said "The spirit that shirks responsibility shirks labor. Idleness and pleasure take the place of industry and strenuous effort... Time will vindicate the laws of God and the truth that individual happiness is found in duty, and not in pleasure and freedom from care." Christ never said that it would be easy, but that it is possible. I've got Him on my side all the time, and I'm happy! Glad that my letters got there for Meleea and Cole. :) I expect to here from them soon... well as soon as I can considering time it takes to get here and then waiting for transfers, zone conference, or splits with the ZL's. Did you receive any of my other letters?... Do Kelsey and Liz just live at our house now?! Ha ha ha. Tell them "Privyet" the next time you see them from Elder Blake :) I'm really sorry about Ben! He was too young to get hurt like that. I hope Kelsey is okay too... Tell her she is in my prayers. Say hi to Amanda Wignall for me when she comes... Still think it's funny how small the world is... ha ha. I about laughed my head off thinking of Millie falling over like a statue... Ha ha ha!! I miss my dog!!! She isn't getting fat is she? So this last week was not such an eventful week as they have been. We met with a lot of members this week because the members are taking turns fasting for the missionary work here in Vyborg. We taught them about what it means to fast and the blessings that come from it. One of the families we visited lives in the next town over called Gavarilava. Where one of the deacons lives. He really likes the missionaries. This town is in the middle of no where and I don't think they have a lot of youth there, so he appriciated me playing chess with him after our lesson with his family about the importance of scripture study. His name is Misha, and I have a feeling that he will make a good missionary some day. They youth are amazing here. The youth here help to bring a lot of happiness to Russia, and they bring a lot of happiness to the missionary. They help us a lot by inviting their friends to family home evening, coming with us to less actives, etc. They really have to step it up being surrounded everywhere you go with drugs, porn, alcohol, and corruption. Yawna, (the girl in the wheelchair) her grandfather died this last week and we had to help move his stuff out of the apartment this week for service. It was a sad day, but we talked to her about the Plan of Salvation, and even though she has some mental disabilities, she said, "I know that." (By the way, I saw Elder Wignall's address in the grandfather's room when we were clearing things out for them.) When we went to the castle this week for service, they didn't have anything for us to do, and we ended up talking with one of the janitors there named Mihail for about an hour. During Soviet times, he was a captain in the army, and he saw a lot of horrible stuff. Now he is a janitor and just wants things to be better, but he turns to alcohol for his support. I felt the Savior's love for him while he was talking and just wanted him so bad to listen to us about why we were here as missionaries. We tried to get him to come to church and meet with us, but he didn't think that it would help and wouldn't agree... I think times like that I feel just a little what the Savior and Heavenly Father feels... So our hot water has been turned off for the past month and I don't even remember what it feels like to take a hot shower... ha ha. I'm starting to like cold showers to be honest... They wake you up in the morning faster than anything else! ha ha! Yesterday we had a huge storm and the roads had rivers of water. I bought a new umbrella because mine broke. (took off 500 more rubles from my card ~ about 18 dollars I think?) We were about ready to build an ark! Elder Haggard and I walked down the street in the rain with our umbrellas singing "There is Sunshine in My Soul Today." Made us laugh! So I got an email from Nate Reidhead's mom giving me his England address. She wants you to email her! Whoops! Look at the time. Gotta run. I love you all alot and miss you tons! Wish I could say more but dont have time. Hope this email is long enough for you! ha ha. "Walk with God" Love, Blake

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