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

Special Spirit Bore Testimony of The Savior's Love For All of Us

Well, Zone Conference was really good. We talked about Faith, Hope and Charity and I got to talk to a few people that I haven't seen for a while. I was asked to tesify along with Elders Wilde, Way, Ul'yanov and Sister Parker. These are all the people in our zone right now who will be going home before the next Zone Conference. Hard to believe we are going home! 


Last week for Thanksgiving we did service at an investigators dacha cutting firewood with the other Elders. We then came home and I baked a chicken in the oven while we talked and Elder Rasmussen made some potatoes. Simple but nice. I'll try to send a picture, but usually  the computers here doesn't let my camera send things... Elder Rasmussen and I have had the Christmas Spirit last week and we made a fake tree in our apartment from Christmas lights which I got last year, and some string that is suspended from the ceiling in the shape of a cone like Christmas tree. It's as close as we'll get and we love our tree. :) Sounds like Meleea is getting ready for Christmas too. Ha ha. She would go to Target on Black Friday. :)I bet the bike will work for KB. She is tall for her age, and she'll grow into it.

Our house and yard are going to be SO different with all the changes and hard work that is going on there... Do you have pictures of anything you've done so I'll be prepared when I go home? ha ha.


The weather here is crazy and bipolar. It has been raining this last week instead of snowing, but it's super cold. No snow and muddy everywhere and wet. Everyone says that this is reallly weird weather for Petro, but guaranteed January will be a super cold month, they say... OH YEAH! Bring it on!

Well here was my week:
We had a really good meeting with an investigator this week. He had a baptismal date once, but it fell through, so we read with him in 2 Nephi 31 and talked with him about it. He said that baptism is scary for him, but wouldn't tell us what is scary. We continued to read the chapter with him and had a really good talk about repentance. Maybe he is scared to repent of some things. We challenged him to talk with Heavenly Father about his concerns to find out more about them, because he says he trusts in the Lord. We also met later with this same investigator and talked with him about revelation and how to understand when we receive it. Read the story of the brothers Nephi and Lehi, and how when the people heard the mild, yet powerful voice. He really enjoyed it and was deep in thought. We can see his desire to change, but it's hard to get him to do commitments. He's so shy and scared... But he is opening up to us.

We also had a great experience this week with an inactive member. We had called this family at the first of the transfer and the daughter answered and said they didn't want anything to do with us. A few days ago, Elder Rasmussen was calling people, and not realizing that it was the same family and called them again. The dad answered and said that he wanted to meet, and so we went over to their house yesterday after church. We got to know him, and while we were talking to him, the daughter came in and said, "Don't know why, but I want to listen too." Through the process of getting to know him, he opened up to us that he doesn't go to church now because he feels like he doesn't believe in God anymore. He had a hard divorce a while back and slowly lost his faith. The Spirit took over our conversation and through Elder Rasmussen and I, bore a testimony to this family that God lives and loves them, that they've just forgotten that, and He's waiting for them to come back. Through His Son, we can return and know God again, and we can feel the JOY we once felt, and learn from our pains we experienced. We testified that Christ knows exactly what they went through, and is just waiting for them to chose for themselves to accept it. Probably one of the most spiritual experiences of my mission. The daughter was bawling her eyes out during our conversation, and the dad also shed a few tears. When it was time to go, their countenances were changed and they said we could come back anytime. We left the meeting very grateful that we could have that special experience. We quickly found a quiet place to thank the Lord in prayer, that we were able to be a part of that experience... The Church is True!

Those were the highlights of our week. The rest was us working with less actives, and trying to meet with investigators who wouldn't show up to our meetings.This week we will be going to Peter... again... after a split up here with the Zone Leaders in our area. President Randall K. Bennett, Second Counselor in the Europe East Area will be here for a conference Saturday and Sunday. It will be a good opportunity to hear from a member of the Seventy, but it's a pain to leave our area again. Usually it's not this way, but the 2 transfers that I'm here will be that way due to conferences and Christmas. I think I sent you President's letter about all the details, so you'll know. 
Well, I've gotta jet. Thanks for everything! I love you guys!

Love
Blake



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