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 June 2011

Serving with all our might in the Zone.


Hello! Things are going pretty good here in Shoovalovo area of St. Pete's.
 
Things are going well in our Zone. Elder Anthony and I are proud of the Zone, as they are all working hard, improving the quantity quality of their lessons, and they are serving with all their might. Can't really complain about our Zone very much. Great missionaries!

The Petrozavodsk elders are doing great and trying to set a lot of baptismal dates. They are having great success. They just set a baptismal date yesterday! (Elder Andersen and Elder Freestone)

Kaliningrad elders are working very hard, but they seem to have a hard time finding meetings, despite the fact that they have 5 area books full of investigators. We'll pray for the area of Kaliningrad. Elder Byington is frustrated with the language, but he'll get it and other than that, they work well together there in K-grad. (Byington and Uliyanov)

Vyborg is doing great too. Elder Tekolvi is doing well, and is excelling in the language very quickly. I'm impressed that this is only his first transfer! Elder Hunt isn't trunky at all yet, and he seems like he will serve hard until the end, even if this is his last transfer.

Sestroretsk elders and the sisters are working well with less actives and active members, trying to find more oppertunities to find new investigators. Elder Haddock says that Elder Nelson is a great branch president, and is the man for the job.

Elder Anthony and I have been busy traveling this week to K-grad, and we've met with less active members a lot. We asked them to prepare to teach us the Gospel, so they can see the joy of missionary work and maybe also help them to return to church. It was great to be back in Kaliningrad this last week. Everything is so nice and green there, and I got to see a few of the members! They were surprised when I could actually talk with them in Russian, as they only remembered me as "the greenie" who didn't know Russian. The flight back wasn't very fun, as we had to deal with some very drunk man on the plane who wouldn't shut up and couldn't barely walk. Get this... He was a police officer. That is messed up. Both him and his partner were drunker than who knows what. 
 
Well, I finished my letter to you Mom, so be expecting one soon. I'll write again before your birthday. Hope you understand this letter I sent. Ha ha.
 
About the belt, while I was in Vyborg, Elder Hunt gave me some that fit me. Really good ones too. He doesn't need them anymore. Elder Hunt is a champ.
 
Today for P-day, Elder Anthony and I are going to go to a park and throw around a baseball with Foo, our Chinese member and friend here. Foo is hilarious. I'd send you a picture, but we are in the Hermitage and there isn't a place to plug in.
 
Service in the Hermitage is really fun. We stand at the main entrance and ask people to take off their coats and put them in the wardrobe, and we answer questions that they have. We just assume they are Russian, so we talk to everyone in Russian and when we see they don't understand us, we try in English and it usually works. A lot of people from England or America ask us were we learned English and we laugh and tell them we are from America. We get some good contacts this way.
 
Right now we have some cool investigators. First is a family from Armania. They have a hard time understanding the Plan of Salvation and the concept of sin, but they are the nicest family in the world. They always want to feed us and help us with whatever. We also have an investigator from Greece named Gary who speaks 4 languages including English and Russian. Its hard to meet with our investigators as we are doing splits or they are working alot, but they are still awesome people.
 
This next week luckily we will be here in St. Petersburg for splits with Sestraretsk, so we should be getting some stuff done this week in our own area. Ha ha.
 
Sounds like things back home are about the same. It's weird to think that Mom hangs out with my friends more than I have this last year, but it's understandable why. Ha ha. I'll be ready for those fruit trees when I get home!!!! Believe me. ha ha. Fruit here in kind of expensive.
 
Tell Lee to get feeling better from me. I pray for her! That is pretty bad if she missed church. She must have been really sick. Did she get my letter yet?
 
Well, I really got to run. My hands just flew trying to type this. Scratch the dogs behind the ears for me and give KB a hug. I love you all back there! Tell everyone hi! Hope all is well and that you are working hard because from work comes blessings.
 
I know that God loves you and that He is in control. Be of Good Cheer. Keep Smiling!
 
Love,
Blake

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