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

07 July 2011

Interim Mission Pres. Arrived ~ President Dennis B. Nuenschwander

Hello! Another week has come and gone... Just keep getting faster and faster...

This week I've been reading from Articles of Faith by James Talmage, Isaiah 36-42, Mormon 6- Ether 3, D and C 50- 56. Lots of reading. Isaiah talks very differently than we do but if I ponder things I found, I learn more than I would think. The biggest lesson I learned from Isaiah was the story of Hezekiah. He was going to die, but prayed tot he Lord and received an extension on his life. Some blessings only come when we ask the Lord for them. Mormon and Moroni testified of Christ to the Lamanites, and they told them that the Book of Mormon will come to them through the Gentiles. Moroni said that if we ask in the name of Christ, listening to the Holy Ghost, we'll receive whatever we ask for. And Jared and his brother in the Book Of Ether cried to the Lord and were not confounded. They also learned how they were to build the ships that they needed. When the brother of Jared didn't pray to the Lord for 4 years, he was chastised for 3 hours by the Lord from a cloud. From my study, you can definitely see the importance of prayer in our lives!

Last Thursday we did not have any meetings after P-day, as the metro closed and so we called the member, saying we were going to be late, and he said that he couldn't wait and so we just ended up contacting.

Friday we met with some members. The first is Anatoliy who is blind and hasn't left his house for 8 years. Really nice guy who still has a strong testimony, but doesn't know how to get to church due to his vision and sicknesses. The other is Raisa, who just started to come back to church as we help her every week. She is in a wheelchair, so she can't come herself. We are trying to find a way to take both Raisa and Anatoliy... We will have to work with the members better. The last is McCartney, an African from Namibia. He is going home this week, so we just wanted to support him and tell him we are here to help any way we can.

Saturday we had our interviews with President Nuenschwander and then I conducted the baptism for Zhana, a girl the sisters found and baptized. We had an investigator come to her baptism and we had a meeting with him afterwards and did the first lesson. He is really nice and already thinks our church is true, but he doesn't have a testimony about prayer or Joseph Smith Yet. The McArthurs were there and even though they didn't understand everything, they said that they could feel that he has a good spirit about him.

Sunday was a day help Raisa to church, and doing weekly planning

Monday we had a good conference from President Nuenschwander, his wife and the branch presidents. (By the way, yes, he is from Centerville/Bountiful. He lives in the same condos that the Salmonds lived in! I had an interview with him, and as I was leaving he said, "It's good to serve with a neighbor I never knew."  I learned a lot about the Atonement and Unity. He also just went over who he was and got to know us better. He took away all the rules that we had with President Podvodov, almost 60 of them, saying, " You guys have the scriptures, the White Handbook, and PMG. Also, you have brains! What more do you need? If you want to serve the Lord, you'll do it. If you don't, adding more rules isn't going to help." Let's just say we are really appreciative of that... and it was kind of ironic that he got rid of all those rules on the 4th of July. ha ha. I can email Cody now! That night we met with our branch president and discussed what we can do to work better together, and we will continue with branch council.

Tuesday I had a visa trip so I was in Estonia all day. It was cool though because we saw the Elders serving in Estonia and actually attended there District Meeting. (They invited us) We also took lots of cool pictures at a castle near the border of Russia and Estonia. I'll have to try to send you some. Maybe the Senior couple in our district, the McArthurs' can do that for me?


And yesterday we did service at the Hermitage and met with McCartney one last time before he leaves. We also met with Anatoliy Myakishev, a less active member who is a great potential Melchizedek Priesthood holder. He loves the missionaries, but feels like he already knows everything at church and doesn't want to come. He is afraid of commitment, I think.

Sorry to hear that your 4th was kind of not so good ... But next year WE will be there for the 4th!! Thanks for the pics of Cole! He does look like Al! ha ha. Made me miss fishing. Also the pic of Nate. He had a BAPTISM! That is fantastic!

Well I don't have much time left, and want to write Code-man. Yay!

Love you all! Be of Good Cheer. As Grandpa C. said-Keep smiling!!

Love, Blake.

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