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,