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

06 January 2011

Happy Russian Christmas!


Happy Russian Christmas!!!
Today is when the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas here.

Well, since New Year's is the biggest Russian holiday and they pretty much celebrate it for 2 weeks, transfers have been messed up and this transfer is going to be a week longer, next transfer will be a week shorter, so I will be finding out on Monday if I'm transfered. I truly hope that I can maybe stay here with Elder Gerard, because I feel like I just finally know the area and love it. It has been great being companions with him! We will see though...

All the kids loved the stickers, rings, bracelets, cool rubber bands, etc. that you sent, Mom! They thought I was the coolest missionary ever... I told them that you sent me all this stuff to give to them, and they said, well she is the coolest missionary mom ever then! Thank you!

New Year's was really fun here, but REALLY weird. We were allowed to stay up and watch the fireworks that EVERYONE does here at midnight, so pretty much everywhere around the apartment of the Z.L.'s we heard fireworks ALL night. We played Phase 10, and made ourselves sick on Christmas candy. Elder Gerard and I found out how to make a really good homemade pizza at the Z.L's, so we had homemade pizza too like you did back home!

New Year's day we went to one of the buildings the church owns here with our whole district, including Elder Punderson!! Happy he is back! The sisters made lots of food, and we just watched movies until 5, when we had to be back home. That was fun. The streets were EMPTY on New Year's, and I didn't feel like a missionary, for a minute. I then wrote Lee a letter, and I finally will be able to send it off today. (And I HAVE sent more than 3 letters... Probably didn't get to you?)

This week was pretty hard as far as meeting with investigators. Sergei said he didn't want to meet again just yet... He said he is still thinking things over and we gave him alot of information to think about. He said he wasn't meeting but just not right now, especially during the holiday season. Vladimir and Alexander both said no or didn't show when we set up appointments, so we did a LOT of contacting... ONE day we probably walked about 10 miles just for contacting....

I sure hope that K.B. is COMPLETELY over her croup!! That's awful! I'm very glad to hear that she is okay. I'll pray for her as I always do. Miss her!

Glad to hear that Lee had a fun birthday! Dance at the U.? Cool, cool! Who did she go with to dinner and the dance? I found a funny b-day card here in Russian, and translated it for her. HOPE SHE GETS THIS LETTER.

No I don't think that the hat, and scarf are dorky. They are plenty warm too. Thank you! You don't need to send more.  I usually were the scarf only wrapped around once and tucked in my coat, because since I'm already wearing a tie and the coat is also big, if I wrap it arond more than once it looks like I have a goiter or something! Ha ha.

Congratulations on a year mark, Cody!!! Mine will be in a month! That is so crazy!?

Don't worry Mom. I'm healthy, happy, and SMILING like Grandpa used to say to you! My letters are probably getting shorter just because I don't have as many things going on like I did, and also because President has been asking us to write more to him about our areas and investigators, so he can know how to help us better, so my letters to him have been a bit bigger.

Well, I love you all back home! I know that things get tough, but they just make me appreciate the small things in life more. Like when someone gives you a smile, or just realizing that I'm ME, and the Lord LOVES ME just the way I am. And since He loves me the way I am, I just want to make myself better and help others do this too, so we are more worthy of the Heavenly Love that He gives us! We will always owe him for this love, and I will always be grateful for that.

Peace be with you! Be of Good Cheer! Keep SMILING!!
LOVE,
Blake


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