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

31 March 2011

Grateful for Elder and Sister Luna.


Hello! Howdy! 'Sup? Hi! ETC!

First of all I just want to say that I AM HAPPY! Truly.  I won't lie, there are moments when things are really hard too.  Missions are a mix of emotions, but overall it is one of joy. It's like the people of Mosiah when they received the record of Ether. They were filled with joy to know more of the will of God, but sorrow for their brothers. On my mission, I feel happy to be able to serve God and see the Gospel in the lives of others, but also sad when I see that people don't want to accept it. I feel kind of like Alma, when he prayed to the Lord when he was serving amongst the Zoramites. He said unto the Lord "Behold... their souls are precious..." but he knew that the Lord would strenghten him and his brothers as they served amongst them. My scripture right now is Alma 26:37 "Now my brothern, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen"

I will admit though... I have been focusing on the negative in my emails lately. I just read them and I'm sorry. I'll focus more on the good. I read a good talk by President Uchtdorf about focusing on the good in last months Liahona. You should read it. Elder Luna called me last week after you sent him an email saying that I wasn't as happy as usual and he was really worried. I told him I'm just fine, just sometimes there are disappointments on the mission. He was glad to hear it and told me that if I ever want to talk, I can call him anytime. I'm going to miss the Luna's when they leave. They are my parents here in Russia! Elder Luna is so humble and Sister Luna is so fun and bubbly. They both have great testimonies and so much love for the missionaries!

Well transfers came and left, and I am still serving with Elder Loskutov in Pskov, which I'm glad. The branch is really small, but the 5 active members of the branch have a lot of faith and I really enjoy serving with them. President Aleksay is a really young branch president, but he does a good job. The only thing that changed in our district was Elder Nielsen left Novgorod, Elder Gillete is now serving in Novgorod with Elder Ilin... Elder Nielsen was the district leader... and now President Podvodov made Me district leader... Which means if people have questions they ask me and if I don't know, I ask the zl's. Also means I'm in charge of training in the District. Zone leaders for us are Elder Beck and Elder Berven. I was really excited to hear that Elder Berven was the ZL. He is a really good missionary, companion, and it was a fun transfer to serve with him.

The email is smaller than normal, as I put in some pictures. Pictures say a thousand words, right? Pictures include district meeting last transfer with the ZL's, the branch here in Pskov when President came to give a talk, me at a monument here in Pskov for Alexander Nevskiy, me in Petergof with Brother Silva from Cuba his dog, and his daughter, Our district when I served with Elder Berven, and me with Elder Hill jumping in the air while we were in Estonia.

Keep praying for Alexander and Olga. They are really close to gaining testimonies, I can feel it. They are great people and I'm really glad to know them. They love everything we teach them, just need some help to exercise the faith to find out for themselves that it is really true.

Well I gotta run. Putting pictures on took a while. I love you all. I hope you are happy at home. I hope you feel God's love in your life, and I hope you feel this for other people.

Be of Good Cheer. Keep Smiling!
With Love,
Blake

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