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

If you have served your mission right, then it never really ends.

Things are going well here with Elder Loskutov and I. We are working hard and still getting along great with each other. 

Highlights from the past week:
I was on a split with Elder Nelson in Sesteretsk and there we met with a couple of grandmas and also a less active member named Ruslan after we played soccer with him.  During one of the meetings we were at the branch helping a grandma with her family history work and, Ruslan showed up at the branch. Ruslan has been meeting with the missionaries for some time, but never wanted to do anything about trying to come back to church. Well we invited him in and as we were sitting by the computer, Russlan said out of the blue, "I want to pass the sacrament. How can I do that?" Elder Nelson both got a shocked look on our face for a second, then told him that he needed to repent and come back to church to be able to do that. He said, "Okay, call the branch president. I'll meet with him tomorrow" and now he has started the repentance process! I don't do this story justice, but it was a true miracle to see!

The next day before we left we cut wood for a Babushka- Grandma, and that was really fun and eventful. Poor Elder Sherman almost cut off his finger- not good! The Babushka's neighbor had a chocolate lab that really wanted to play, so I got my dog fix. ha ha.

Lots of people agreed to meet with us this last week, and then dogged us or didn't want to later... I'm trying to find a way to achieve our goals, but it is really hard when your goals are dependant on other people's schedules, and their desire to meet with you. We aren't letting that stop us though and we are working hard, especially with less active members, as we don't have many investigators... yet. 

I was on a split with Elder Rasmusen from St. George, and he is a really cool Elder! He's had some hard things happen to him in his life, but has a great testimony and he works hard. He's pretty brave! The way he contacts people on the street makes you think he has been out here for a while. When I was with him we met with  a new investigator, and a less active. He is doing really good and will become a great missionary!

I don't know how to help one less active member who I have been working with for the pass 3 transfers. He loves the missionaries, and he knows the Church is true, but he doesn't want to come to church. He says he has other interests and that it is boring to him sometimes. Yesterday we had a meeting with him and both Elder Loskutov and I felt the Spirit very strongly and this less active said he did too. But he still didn't want to come back... Any ideas? We've talked with him about everything it seems.

About the date that I am going to go home on, I have decided on January 26th.  I can honestly say that I have worked hard on my mission, and I've put in the effort. I feel that the Lord will support whatever I decide, and He wants me to make the decision. Also, I think if you served your mission right, then it never really ends, you continue to serve throughout your life, just the type of service changes.

I've been sleeping better lately, and I'm doing well. :)

Did you get my card yet? I sent a card a little while ago, but never heard if you got it?

Glad to hear that the Code man is safe! Faik has been keeping me up to date with everything in New York, as he knows that Cody is serving there. That's crazy! Signs of the times! Sounds kind of exciting actually to be serving in New York right now... 

Meleea, I pray for you every night for your health and for you to have the strength to deal with the problems you are experiencing lately. I know the Lord is blessing you, and that it's because of your faith and the faith of others who pray for you!


Days are pretty rainy all the time now, and getting cooler. Don't see the sun very often, but it's not really cold yet. If it is like last year, it will just get really cold all of a sudden.


Haven't got much mail recently, but it's probably because I haven't written people much the last few transfers. Just NO time, especially as Z.L.!

I'm really glad to be serving my mission. I've learned a lot. I've come to understand better that this life has a silver lining, the promises of God are golden, and our potential is priceless, I love you all, and hope that you know this for yourself!

Gotta Run!  Peace!
Blake




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