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

14 June 2011

Will miss President and Sister Podvodov.


Hello from Shoovalova! (North Zone)

Thanks a ton for the pictures of Codeski! He doesn't seem to be going bald to me... Don't know what he is talking about. He hasn't really changed much since he left other than got a little more plump. Ha ha.

Tell Meleea to get better already! I pray for you all everyday, but especially for Meleea's health, mentally, physically and emotionally.

How's Cole doing? Don't hear to much about him. And K.B.? How is she doing?

Jake's brother died!!!!!!!!!????? I had no idea. I wrote a letter to Jake a long time ago, but I've never heard from him while I've been on my mission. I think I will write him another letter when I get a chance to finally, but it might take a while to get to him. If you see him, tell him hi for me and that I'm really sorry about what happened. Dang it...

Well, Elders Punderson and Mower went home, and Elder Gerard is the new AP. (No one is surprised, he'll be great!) It's weird to think that both the AP's right now were my companions...

Next week Elder Anthony will be in Petrozavodsk, which is an 8 hour train ride from St. Petersburg, then we will be there for a day. It takes up about 3 days for this split, but I heard that the branch there is great, and that it is really pretty there, rivaling Vyborg of Kaliningrad. I'm excited to see it. I will be with Elder Freestone, who is on his 2nd transfer in Russia.

Things are going well in North Zone, but to be honest this last week was a little harder than it has been in previous weeks. Petrozavodsk's investigator who is golden and would meet with them often and has a baptismal date wouldn't answer his phone or would just say that he was busy and couldn't talk. I don't know what Elders Andersen and Freestone could have done better, they are very diligently working, especially with this investigator. Vyborg is doing about the same still. They were able to meet with Igor again after his baptism and talk with him about it. He loved his baptism, and they said that he seems to be adjusting well to be a member of the church. The only problem that he has right now is that he lives far away from the branch for his work. Still has a great testimony, but hard for him to always attend church. They are working on finding new investigators, as they don't really have any steady ones. Kaliningrad also is having troubles with investigators, and especially meeting with them. We've asked them to try to use the area books more, and that seems to help, as they usually don't try to talk with us on the phone as much at night, so they can call former investigators. Sesteretsk is doing well, especially for their area. They are working with one good investigator grandma who fits in really well with the branch, but just can't seem to get over the fear of baptism. They are also helping to get less actives back to church since elder Nelson is branch president there. They succeeded in getting a lady to church who hadn't been for 7 years. They are doing well. Sisters are doing well too with investigators. Of course they are, they are Sisters! They are always better than the Elders! Jana, their investigator with the baptismal date, comes every week to sacrament meeting, sometimes bringing her mom. She definitely will be getting baptized, I'm sure.

As for me and Elder Anthony, our focus this week has been getting investigators and less actives to take on the commitments of reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it, and also to come and hear Elder Nelson, an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, when he comes this Sunday. I'm looking forward to meet with him with just the missionaries on Saturday! Surprise!! I heard somewhere that one of the sister missionaries in our mission is the granddaughter of Elder Nelson... That would be weird to see you grandfather on your mission, but maybe it won't be weird for her as her grandfather is an apostle...


Zone Council was good, but also sad to think that it is our President's last Zone Council, as it was my first. It will be interesting though to see a new mission president. I learned a lot from President Podvodov, and I know that he was called of God just like all the missionaries here. He literally received revelation from the Lord as to what we need to be doing in our mission. Will miss them!

I have a feeling that Elder Anthony will be Z.L. somewhere else next transfer, because of the lack of missionaries that will be here in the mission at present. I've really enjoyed this transfer with Elder Anthony! Probably the hardest working companion that I have had.

Today for P-day, we are playing football with McCartney, our Namibian friend (I said that he was from South Africa, but I was mistaken. That is were he served his mission), his room-mates, and a bunch of missionaries who are going to be going home at the end of the transfer. It will be fun! McCartney is the man. He has been teaching me a little bit of Afrikaans, and it sounds a lot like German.

I suggest to people to read the book Articles of Faith, by James Talmage. That is a really good book. Not as good as Jesus the Christ, but still...wow.

Well, I've got to run. Time just doesn't suffice to write all the stuff we want and bear your testimony. I want everyone to know I KNOW that God restored His Gospel on the earth and offers it to EVERYONE who wants it and will follow Him. He loves us, and the better we understand this love, the better our lives will be... but we can only understand His love if we try to follow him and keep His commandments.

Love you all! Keep smiling! Be of Good Cheer!
Blake


No comments:

Post a Comment