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

20 July 2011

President Clark Arrived!

Great to hear from you again as usual! I can't believe how things are going to be different when I get back with all that you explain in the backyard. Also I want to see Cody Ryan! That is really cool to hear about him. 


I haven't been to the office in a while so I don't know if my package has come yet. We will be there tomorrow so if it has arrived, I will have it tomorrow. Yay!

Thursday we went to a famous alley in St. Petersburg that they called the Den of Thieves and now is a famous souvenier shop. Everyone there just attacks the people that come in and tries to sell you something... Very funny actually. They speak broken English, but they don't give up... If they find out you speak Russian, they try even harder. We also stopped by St. Isaac's Cathedral, but the line was too big to get in so we just took some pictures outside. Friday we had a breakfast with all the zone leaders at President Nuenschwander's to talk about some leadership training and some other things that he felt were happening in the mission. He first talked about the principle of delication, and gave the examples of Moses and Jethro. It was good. He and his wife are very nice and friendly and approachable and love the missionaries!

 We had a split with the AP's, and I was with Elder Bervan. It was good to be able to serve with him again! We met with an investigator and talked about prayer. He has some interesting views about prayer... It kind of sounds like he thinks they are like spells or something, but after he understood and it was an okay meeting. We met up at a baptism down in Center Zone to switch back companions on Saturday. We expected an investigator to come to the baptism, but she didn't make it. I love seeing baptisms... The only people that I have really taught that have been baptized are Igor, Ana and Yarislav, all from Vyborg... No wonder I love Vyborg so much! We met again with Vova, but only for a little bit, because we both didn't have much time and talked about how Heavenly Father is literally our spiritual Heavenly Father. Then we had a meeting with an active family, the Lukiyanovs, and got some ideas from them as how we can work better with the members after we had a spiritual thought about unity with them.

Sunday we had a conference with all the Zone, District Leaders and Branch Presidents her in the St. Petersburg district and discussed the Goals we have so we can all be working together on the same page, not as if the missionaries do one thing and the branches do another. President Nuenschwander really helped us understand the importance of working together, even if he was here for a short time. He was a mission president before and he knew what he was doing. Monday I was on a spit in Sesteretsk with Elder Nelson. We met with a less active family and also did a lot of service for them. Cut lots of wood for them... I shoud be a logger now because I'm an expert at chopping wood. Ha ha.


The next day the other Elders came down and we switch back after doing a little more service for them. Elder Anthony and I didn't have an umbrella when we left and it was pouring rain. We were lucky to catch our bus quickly or we would have been soaked. We met with a less active member who just moved here from Armenia. He was super happy to see us! He said he came to Russia a while ago, but did not  know where the church was or who to ask and fell away from the chruch since he did not have contact with them. He really wants to return and repent and he really wants to help us with our Armenian investigators.

Yesterday was the usual Wednesday service at the Hermitage, but that is a good thing. I really like doing service there. So many people from so many countries! Later we had a good meeting with Vova, probably the best one yet. He was really focused and interested. It was a meeting about how we find answers to problems by studying the scriptures, and we applied the scriptures to his personal situation.

Today again we are in the Hermitage. I have never seen past the entrance at service, so we are going to look around with everyone in our district. ~ Elders Nelson, Way, Anthony and me with Sisters Lane and Parker. Tomorrow we have interviews with the new mission president, President Clark!  He will be my 3rd mission president, and only 2 weeks ago I only  had one... ha ha. Not many people can say that. We all wanted President Nuenschwander to stay, but we are sure that President Clark will be great too!

Well that's about it for me this week. I'm really glad to be on my mission!! I can't believe how fast the time has gone, even if it does seems like I have a long time left, because it just keeps getting faster and faster and i will be home before you know it!


  I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. The happiness that the Gospel brings can't be replaced with anything in the world. I will always be grateful what the Lord has done for me and I hope that everyone can understand what He has done for them.


Yikes. Gotta Run.
Love you all. Be of Good Cheer. Keep Smiling!

Love,
Blake

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