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

28 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!


Sitting next to Codskii on the plane?! Cool beans! That's going to be super exciting! Thank you to our mission presidents for arranging that time we will have together. I will be flying for a very looong time, but that's enough of that "trunky talk." ha ha.

You know Mom, the only reason I became who I am today is because of the way you and Dad brought me up, so if I am anything special to you, it's because you did something special with me. Also had some wonderful siblings :) Thanks, Mom and Dad, Meleea, Cole, Cody, and even Kiddo. :) 
Happy Thanksgiving!!!

That was crazy to get those pictures of all the missionaries there together with the Lunas. Too bad you weren't able to see them because of all the crazy stuff at the house. I know that you really wanted to meet Jeanie and Joe Luna in person. (It's weird to hear you call them Jeanie and Joe!) I wish that the Lunas could have gotten to know President Clark. They would love him. :) You'll be able to meet Chris! That's crazy... He is a good friend... Even if he is going to BYU. ha ha

 Is Meleea feeling better though? I hope so!


Well, right now Elder Ash is with Elder Svirskiy here in Petergof, as last Saturday we were doing a sports day to try to get people to learn more about the Gospel and Elder Bradford hurt his knee. He had bad knees already, and twisted it wrong. When we went down to Peter for Zone Conference, he stayed there so he could be close to the doctors, and Elder Svirskiy took his place. Do you remember Elder Svirskiy? I served with him in Avtovo for a week before I went to Pskov. He's a good missionary.

Zone Conference was really good... and it was my last Zone Conference?!!!! AHH! Can you believe that? We talked a lot about Faith, Hope, and Charity and the importance of these and other Christ-like qualities for missionary work. It was really good. I felt the Spirit really strongly and just felt how God really has faith that we can do the things He sent us here to do, that He hopes for us to become like Him, and He loves us with perfect love (charity) no matter what we choose, and He is always ready to help us.

After Zone Conference we had an exchange with the Zone Leaders and I was with Elder Tekulve from 
California. We've talked about him before. Love that guy! They didn't have a meeting set up yet, and so I called up one of my favorite people in the world, FAIK! He was happy to hear from me and said I could come over anytime. He's been sick with stomach problems, and just a couple weeks before had a blessing and was feeling better now. He hasn't really been able to do much he said, not even go to church, but he said he should be up and at 'em now. I really will miss Faik. He said, "It's always a pleasure to see you, Brother Larsen," as I was leaving. We ended our exchange with a meeting with a new investigator named Pasha, who we gave a Book of Mormon and testified about it. He said he'll start reading immedieately.

It's kind of a pain to go to Peter, because since we are so far away, and they don't want us doing night trains anymore, it always takes up at least 3 days of our schedule. We didn't really do much in our area this week, but we did some good in Peter. :)
What kind of souvenirs do you all want from Russia? Any requests? ha ha. I've already bought what I wanted, my Russian Shopka. :) What do you guys want? I got your Halloween card, but never got the Birthday card you sent... Thanks for the Halloween card! Elder Rasmussen and I have gone to that area we went to on Halloween that looked really scary and we have named that part of the city "HalloweenTown." We have names for all the parts of the city. "Sketchtown" "Diagon Alley" "The Shire". We find ways to make each other laugh all the time. Elder Rasmussen is hilarious, but knows when to be serious too. Really hope that Elder Ash and Elder Rasmussen are in my district next transfer before I go home... WEIRD that I am going home soon!

Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa for the money  for my birthday and Christmas! You are all too nice!


It's a lot colder in Petro than in Peter. Peter doesn't even have snow yet, just cold rain. Here in Petro there is a skiff of snow everywhere, but it's ALWAYS below freezing and we already wear our winter clothes everywhere. It'll be really cold here, I have a feeling.

I've learned how to bake a chicken, so Thursday we will be baking a chicken for Thanksgiving!!!!!... I know it's no Turkey, but it's as close as I'll get, okay? ha ha.

Well, I love you all. Thanks for everything. Don't worry about me here in Petro. Things are going good, and they are on the Up and Up. We're realizing what we are capable of more fully here in the mission, and we are trying to be better versions of ourselves for our sakes and for the Lord's sake. I've had my favorite song stuck in my head all day, "Burn Out Brighter (Northern Lights)" by Anberlin stuck in my head today. "Live. I want to live inspired. Burn. I want to burn out brighter. Brighter than the northern lights. I want to live to feel the daylight. The more I live I see that this life's not about me." It's about everyone! Its about us! It's about the Lord! It's about how the Lord is helping us to become like Him and return to Him someday. Remember that!

Keep Smiling! Be of Good Cheer!
Love,

Blake

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