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

18 September 2011

Busy week, but that is a good thing!

Busy week. But that is a good thing! ;)

I was thinking about an early date, but I heard that President Clark wants you to have a good reason like school to go home early. Also I want to say that I served the full 2 years. I wonder if there is a way to go home on my 2 year mark. But anyway, I've decided that the plan for now is to stay until my release date. The only reason I was thinking about coming home early was I'm just getting more and more tired, but that's nothing I can't handle. In high school, when I really had some bad sleeping problems, some days I would go to school and work, only having slept a couple hours. On my mission, I've just learned to appreciate naps!

We met with our investigator Galina, but unfortunately we decided it was time to drop her after that. She is a "student" of another religious institution, and it seems like she is trying to convert us. This wouldn't be unusual, except she doesn't want to try to listen to our side of things, and so the lessons lately are more of her telling us how things are, we listen to her, and when we say our point of view, she interrupts and says that we're wrong. She says her views are knowledge,and we only have belief. So yeah... We had to drop her. She doesn't want to read the Book of Mormon now either,... at least not yet.

We had some success meeting with less active members, but we also got stood up a lot this week by them... We were able to meet with a former Branch President who hasn't been to church in over 7 years, and he says he wants to come to the District Conference and to General Conference with us. 

We did a lot of service this week. First we fixed a grandma's window after she locked herself in her house and had to call a rescue team who cut through the window to get to her. We helped Brother Myakishev, a less active member, move some furniture in his apartment. We got to go to Vyborg to do a baptismal interview, so we did a split there. While we were there, we helped a family build a floor on a house they are building. The dad is American, and he used to be a contractor and sell wood, so the building plan was how we do it in America and I enjoyed helping him build it. It reminded me of working with Dad back home on all the houses and jobs. John Cummings, the dad there, speaks with a big Cowboy accent. I felt like I was in America! ha ha.

Elder Loskutov conducted the baptismal interview of Edward, who passed with flying colors and will be getting baptized. He is the husband of a member, but for a long time hasn't wanted anything to do with the Church until recently. I was on a split with Elder Manuel Brisillera? No idea how to spell his name in English. Italian name and he is from Oklahoma. He has been here less than a year, and I didn't really know him very well until the split. Cool guy! Very laid back, but not lazy and works hard.


We had a good lesson with Erjo, our Armenian investigator yesterday and got him interested on the subject of family. We didn't have time to go into it, as we were talking about faith with him up until the end, and he wants us to come back to talk about family.

Today I'm finally going to go buy some shoes- Eccos and if we have time we're heading to the Hermitage with Elders Berven and Gerard.  Next Wednesday will be my first Zone Conference as a Z.L. since we have them every 3 transfers, but this one got changed due to the switching of mission presidents.

I know that God lives. He loves us. He wants us to love Him. We can show our love for Him by keeping the commandments. Keeping the commandments helps to build our faith in them, and faith is the principle that God works upon. All things are done by faith. By keeping the commandments, you find out if the doctrines are true or if they aren't. I know this Church is true, because I've tried the doctrines, and they work.

President Clark is really nice, but the only time that I've really talked with him so far is the first day he was here, and at Zone council. He is really busy trying to get into the mission.

Well. I got to run. Love you all!
Thanks for everything!
Be of Good Cheer. Keep Smiling!

Love,
Blake

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