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 October 2010

Many have wrong impression of who Mormons really are....

Hello! I think I always start my email with that... Oh well. So let's see... what's new here in Vyborg. This last Saturday we helped clean up all the leaves at the branch, along with sweep around the church and clean out the gutters and stuff with the branch for a ward project. They had salad and "sausages," but Russian sausages are nasty hot dogs... I tried one... Never again!! On Sunday, the branch had a day to help fellowship less active members of the ward that haven't been in a long time. Elder Domankskiy and I went with Evgeni Nadelev, who is soon going to be 18, so he is close to getting ready to serve a mission. He's a really good example to me. He is like most teenagers, or 20 year olds named Blake Larsen. He likes music and all the things I like usually, but he has a great testimony of Jesus Christ and the Gospel. I wish I could see him on a mission! On Tuesday after service at the castle and with Yawna, we had a meeting with a family in the ward who has a son who is 12, but didn't feel like he wanted to be baptized. We talked about baptism, what is means, and why we do it. We talked about how Jesus Christ who was perfect, was baptized by immersion and by one holding priesthood keys. He said he wants to get baptized, and we set a baptismal date with him! That makes 2 baptisms set for November 20th! Yesterday was an interesting day. We had a meeting set with an investigator who works at the castle. He finds the church very interesting and asks lots of questions, but I'm still not very sure how much of the message he accepts. He was pretty active in the Russian Orthodox church at one time. He is a really cool guy, though and has LOTS of wood carvings he has done at his house. They look like folk art. If I was a tourist and had money, I would buy one from him. We went to his house yesterday, but the wife said that he was drunk and sleeping... That was depressing. We got a meeting with a man that I met on the street when Elder Haggard was here... About 3 months ago. I contacted him on the street and he was pretty much the only person that talked with us that day. After that I hadn't heard from him until this last Sunday when he showed up to Church. He loved it! We had a meeting with him before English Club yesterday, and he really enjoyed our meeting too. He then stayed for English club. I'm really excited for to see how things work out with him. His name is Igor, and he works for an Italian restaurant here. Today we already had a meeting with another lady who we met on the street on Tuesday. We are really busy lately, so we even had a meeting on Preparation Day! That's a good thing though, right? She told us even when we were on the street that she is very interested in our church. We had a great meeting today, talking about Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and baptism after we showed her around the church here, showing her all the classrooms and the sacrament hall. She accepted everything very well, and said she will be there on Sunday. She's not sure how here husband will like her going to "the Mormon Church" though... We get that a lot here... People don't even know who we are, but they have heard "false things" about us and instead of seeing for themselves, they just assume that we are bad. I am really starting to realize just how much God is helping all of us here on Earth. He has always been helping us, and always will... We just forget that sometimes. God loves us very strongly. His whole heart is full of love towards us. We know this by his words, which we can find in the Scriptures, and from revelation from Latter-day Prophets and Apostles. Every word found in these things are words of love. We can see how strongly someone loves their family, their neighbor, their friends, their enemies, and their God through the words they say and do... "... for out of the abundance of thy heart the mouth speaketh." (Matthew 12:34) Do we truely love everyone? If yes, our actions and words will mirror out heart. I want everyone back home to know how much I love them and miss them, and I hope to better mirror my love through my actions and words. The more I serve the people of Russia, the more I love them, and the more I love them, the more I serve them. I've been taught this before, but I didn't understand exactly what that meant... I'm just starting to learn exactly what the scriptures mean when they say the will of God is one eternal round... Again... Words don't come to me when I want to explain the feeling..Like Ammon, "... I cannot explain the smallest part of which I feel." I hope we all can learn to feel this unexplainable love... even if just a part. I know we can't comprehend or even feel the fullness of joy that Christ gives in this life, but one day, we will. I know that things will be okay, no matter what the challenges we are facing in our lives. God is always there. Times about to end. Dang it. I want to say so much more. Just remember I love and miss you all, and so does our Heavenly Father! Love, Blake

1 comment:

  1. Such progress is being made, with teaching and personal growth alike. Keep up the great work!

    ReplyDelete