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

10 October 2011

Loved General Conference.


Dear Everyone!
I'm doing good here in Nevskiy Branch with Elder Ash, and we are slowly seeing more and more success. My jaw is alright. Don't worry. I just have a scab on the inside of my cheek now, and it doesn't hurt anymore. We did have a little bit more of the story happen to me on my birthday though. We looked around the Center Reenok (like an outside store sort of thing) I bought a big Russian Shopka (hat) and we went to lunch with some other missionaries where Elder Andersen paid for me and they gave me a tie and a birthday card. I'm pretty sure it was all Elder Andersen's idea. I'm grateful to have him in my district right now. He is a good friend. 


While at dinner, President Clark called and asked if I could come to the office, because the mother of the person who punched me called the phone that he dropped. Sergey, who helps with legal stuff in our mission, had the phone and talked with her and explained we would like to meet and tell her what really happened. She said okay and Sergey, Elder Ash, me and President Clark, went to talk with them. It was in a town outside of St. Petersburg. Sergey talked to the father and explained what happened and said that we want to talk with the son so he can say that he was sorry, and I could say that I forgive him. The father said he would come out and talk with me because his son wasn't home. But he didn't really believe Sergey and you could tell. He came out, but changed his mind when he was at the car and said that he didn't believe us and this would be better if we just went through the police... We were all sad that they didn't want to talk with us or listen to us, so I had to write out a testimony about what had happened so they could work on it with the police. Let's just say it was one of my most interesting birthdays yet.

Elder Ash and I get along really good. No problems whatsoever. He is really funny and hard working. The only thing that I'm not used to is that he doesn't speak much Russian, so I have to translate a lot when he doesn't understand and I have to talk a lot more than usual. But he is learning really quickly, so thats okay. He is positve and really tries to get to know everyone the best he can.

We are seeing more success if finding situations and having some cool experiences on the street. We found a couple people with whom we could share the message of the Restoration and give them Books of Mormon. We would sit down and just start talking with them, not really about our message necessarily, but just talking and they would open up. We met a lady named Ina who was really sad, as she was having problems with work and housing. She had been living in France, but had problems with her visas and was forced to come back home and she was really sad, actually crying. We came and talked with her when we saw it and testified that God loves her and is helping her. He wants to help her.

I loved General Conference! It was really uplifting and probably the best one I've ever heard. I really like the talk by Elder Russell M. Nelson, especially because I WAS AT THE EVENT THAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT, AND KNOW SISTER EFIMOVA. She works with the missionaries to get us apartments, and all the mission apartments are under her name. If they talked about it earlier in conferences, I never noticed that they talk about Russia so much. Maybe Russia is the next "Brazil" ha ha. I also got a really strong desire to do more temple and family history work when I get home. It is really interesting to me right now, but we just can't really do it on our missions...


When is Lee's Hawaii trip (potentially) Sister Hazelwood told me yesterday at General Conference that she won that. ha ha.
Hope she will be alright to fly? This is a conern. 

Well, sorry that this letter doesn't have a lot in it, as it is hard to chat online with you, write this letter, and a letter to President all at the same time, but I want you all to know that I love you very much and I love my Savior. He is the reason we have hope in this world and hope for a better life in the world to come. He gives us the strength to overcome all obstacles in life, help others to overcome theirs, and to see the divine potential in every single son and daughter of Heavenly Father. He helps you to focus on the good, until you've focused on it so much, that the bad disappears from your life.

Be of Good Cheer! Keep Smiling!
Love
Blake!


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