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

07 December 2011

Conference was Very Cool!

Wow! 102 winds there? We heard that it was only in Davis county too. That's crazy! How is everything there now? You said that nothing happend to the house other than a tree and that you still have all the shingles, roof and power restored, but anything crazy happen there at home? And I thought I was in the place with crazy weather! Wow...

Coming to the end of the transfer now and sadly we pretty much know that Elder Ash will be leaving our district, as he has a v.t. next week and they told him to bring his stuff with him. I have a feeling that I am staying here my last transfer, maybe with Elder Rasmussen... Hopefully Elder Ash won't become the next Elder Gillett and move every transfer... almost... We'll really miss Elder Ash in Petro... Look at me. I act as if I know I'm staying... Better say something now before I jinx myself.

Well, this week was busy of traveling again! Serving in Petrozavodsk I've learned that you become a world traveler all over again. Ha ha. It was good to go down to St. Petersburg and hear from President Bennet, both at the meeting with the missionaries and especially at the conference for everyone in the district. I really learned a lot about how close we are to getting a stake here in St. Petersburg! Number wise, concerning priesthood holders, we need 8 more actives! ONLY EIGHT. They are making sure that it will be a strong stake and they are reorganizing things to look more like a stake here, but I have a feeling that not too long after I leave from my mission we will have a stake in St. Petersburg, RUSSIA! The St. Petersburg District is now a preparatory district/spiritual stake.

On Saturday in between meetings for the missionaries with President Bennet, I went on an exchange with Elder Davis from Ogden, Utah and we had a cool experiece talking with some Africans. They only spoke French and Russian, but were fluent in both of them and spoke a little English, so I could converse with them well. I felt really happy talking with them and they said at the end of our discusion and after giving them a Book of Mormon, that they were both so happy that they could talk  openly about Christ with someone. I don't give myself the credit for anything though. It was the Spirit!

The thing that stuck out to me the most this week was something that we talked about during the conference that reminded me of what my dad told me about a year into my mission. He said that the Lord wants YOU to do the work and to do it with YOUR personality. He sent real people to be His missionaries, not robots dressed as missionaries. They talked about how the Lord prepared the people here in the Church to help those in this area of the world to bring the gospel to others. They encouraged the members to help bring in people, because they know that they can do it because God is helping them. I can't explain it very well due to lack of time, but it was cool!

The conference put it into perspective about how long I have been here on my mission. I hadn't seen many people in a while, so Elder Rasmussen and I were walking around everywhere, I was saying hi to people or they to me. I've met so many wonderful people here!!!! And a lot of them I didn't even get to see. Elder Rasmussen asked me how I knew so many people. I told him he'll understand in 2 years...

On Monday we had a great meeting with a member who was baptized a little over a year ago. It was a follow up lesson about the Priesthood as we had talked about that with him a week before, and all of a sudden he is SUPER interested in the Priesthood. He has the Aaronic and wants to understand all the things about the Melchezidek, so he can get it soon and go to the temple. I think we'll have another Priesthood leader here soon. !!

Earlier this week before the conference, the Zone Leaders came up on an exchange and we did service at an investigators house. She really appreicated the work we did cutting wood and bringing water from the well. Elder Rasmussen and Telkulve went to meet with an investigator while Elder Shirbeana and I went and gave service to a less active family whose husband is sick, bringing them firewood, water and also giving blessings. Humbling. 

A lot of traveling this week! Well, running out of time. I love you all and miss you! NO time!
Love,
Blake

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