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

02 December 2010

Branch Made Thanksgiving Dinner for Us!

Dear Everyone, Thanksgiving here in Russia was pretty good! We were able to eat with the branch, where they made chicken and salads and stuff. It was quite different than an American Thanksgiving, but it was still very good!! So nice of them! The branch shared there testimonies about why they are thankful to the Lord this year, and I felt the Spirit so strongly. The branch here is only about 20-25 active members, so the majority shared their testimony. I really like the branch in Petergof. Sister Aumister (the Branch President's wife, they are from Estonia) even knew how to make a pumpkin pie!!!! Awesome!! Elder Gerard is a stud, and speaks straight fluent Russian!! We noticed that we learned a lot more when we had Russian companions, so we are trying to only speak in English when absolutely necessary. Elder Gerard knows lots of words, and he is a great missionary! I'm glad, grateful to be serving with him right now. I don't want to hear anyone complain that it is cold unless they are living in Russia!!! It's so cold and humid here that your face just stings from the cold after a while, and I swear even my boogers are frozen!!! I bought a good coat, had to buy another scarf because I lost mine in the Metro, (maybe stolen) and bought a good hat. The only thing that I am still looking for are thermals. I'll keep looking. Don't worry Mom, we are eating well. I do have to say I have lost 15 lbs. since I came to Russia, though. I lost all the MTC weight and then some. We actually have a Mission Rule that we have to eat 5 vegetables a day, so we eat a lot of vegetables and fruits and stuff. I will do the math and figure out the time differences when I will be calling for Christmas. I want to call when K.B. is there. Tell our cute little monkey thank you for the monkey E-card. It made me laugh! Also tell Kelsey thanks for the pics. She sent me a few with just a quick note. Is that Liz? She looks different to me. Oh and thanks for the picture of Nate. That's last week in England? Here EVERYWHERE is frozen! I sent a letter to Cole the other day, so hope he gets it soon. I never hear from him. Dad? Pancakes!! That would be pretty cool! How long would that be? Well, the work here is hard because we don't really have any investigators who want to meet with us, and we contact alot in the freezing cold weather. We did have a good meeting with a man named Sergei in the next city over who is really interested in the message though, and is already reading the Book of Mormon and the Bible. He had been sick after that though, and haven't been able to meet with him again. Pray for Sergei and his wife! They are really cool people, and the Gospel would bless them so much! We're trying hard to find people, but sometimes you have to search a long time I guess. I know that this church is true and that God loves us. His power and mercy are incomprehensable, and His love is insurmountalbe. He is the God of the Living, and all who come to Him will live again, on this side of the veil and on the other side where people have gone through the ordained change we call death. He loves us ALL! I'm glad to be a part of sharing this love with the people of Russia, who I am coming to love with all my heart, even if they are a little rough around the edges at times. They have the same heart as anyone else if you can break the walls down they sometimes put up. That might not just be a Russian thing, I think that is everywhere around the world. Remember I love you all back home too though!
 Peace be unto you! From Russia with Love, Blake

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