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

12 December 2011

Burn Out Brighter

Well, I'm staying in my same area for my very last transfer of my mission just like Code is, and I'll still be with Elder Rasmussen. This will be a busy transfer. Christmas, New Years, vt for both of us, exit interview, etc... WEIRD! I just realized BP is going to be home this month!!!! What's going on?!!


You'll have to save the letter that President Clark sent to you this week, because I definitley want to read what he said! Ha ha. I'm really happy to have served my mission here in the St. Petersburg mission, and I will never forget all the friends and things that i've come to know here on my mission! I was thinking about that yesterday and I realized one of the biggest things that my mission has taught me is the importance of hopes, dreams, and faith. You can't live without hopes and dreams and goals. Heavenly Father wants us to choose to learn and grow and create ourselves, and what is important to us is important to Him. He wants us to build our talents no matter what they are, if they are used for righteousness. Among all of our personal, righteous goals should be centered the main goal of returning to HIM.

Tell everyone at home to please stop getting sick. That's funny  about Kallie's "emergency" though. She is getting big! Tell her that I'll be coming home soon and to save me that piece of her cherry pie that she can't eat. Yum!

I'll take Chris as an adopted brother. Ha ha. He was one of my favorite companions on my mission. Funny, down to earth guy.


The weather here is a constant light snow, with some days just above freezing, some just below. They say it takes a while for the weather to change here because of the humidity, and this year has been a warm year, but they say it will be SUPER cold soon enough, and not just cold. They keep telling me to not forget that winter really doesn't start until the 20th of December technically.

This week we saw probably the most success that we've seen this whole transfer, with respect to numbers and the Spirit. 2 investgators came to sacrament meeting and 1 of them is finally progressing in the Gospel. We received contacts actually from investiagators and former investigators. We got more members to help us on lessons with less-actives and investigators. In short, we're seeing success! I hope we can keep it up so I can "Burn out Brighter" on my mission.

I'm really impressed with our investigator Yuri, who came to sacrament meeting. He accepted commitments to read and pray everyday, and also come to church. He wanted us to call him everyday to remind him, and has been doing them everyday when we call.

We've made a goal to ask people for numbers while contacting, since we do a lot of it, eventhough we are getting more success with lessons and meetings, and we've gotten more numbers the past couple days and given out more Books of Mormon than we have the whole transfer. Something is going down in the mission!

Elder Ash is the only one to leave our district, which is a bummer. He's a really good missionary and we'll miss him. He is so fun to be around. He's rubbed off on Elder Rasmussen and I and we find ourselves saying Elder Ash quotes (especially "That's a joke!") We will have a native Russian elder here in his place, Elder Bogaretskiy who came in the same transfer as Elder Ash and was trained by Elder Loskutov. It will be a good transfer still though.

Elder Rasmussen and I have 2 Christmas trees in our apartment. We made one and his mom sent him one for christmas. Along with my stockings and tinsel, our apartment looks ready for Christmas. The landlord liked it too. ha ha.

I have a question. Who is the Presiding Patriarch of the Church? I've been trying to better understand the organization of the church as we are helping another do the same thing. I've read about Patriachs in Articles of Faith by James Talmage and now understand more about them, and know that the presiding patricach is not the President. So who is it?

Well, I've gotta jet! We'll be talking in 2 weeks on the phone! Tell all my friends and everyone in the family hi for me! Love you guys!

Keep Smiling. Be of Good Cheer!
Blake



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