Already week 3 what??????? The time flies like crazy! I love the devotionals that we have every Tuesday and Sunday nights! They are so uplifting! Last night we got Elder Spencer J. Condie of the 70. He kinda looked like President Hinckley but more stern of a face. When he talked he was about the funniest speaker I've ever heard! Completely surprised me! He talked about Joseph Smith and the first vision. What a powerful testimony that man has. He knows of a surety that the gospel is true and that God the Father and the Son appeared to Joseph. He quoted President Hinckley a few times and every time he would do it he would impersonate him. If I closed my eyes I would have thought Gordon B. Hinckley was there because of how good he was impersonating him! He told a story of how some preacher from another church said to President Hinckley, "That's very egotistical to say you're the only true church." President Hinckley said, "I didn't say it, God did. I'm just quoting Him." He also told of an investigator question the truth of the first vision and he told them, "We have witnesses! Ask God, he was there." He phrased it a lot better than I did just now but just an inspired man!
So for the 4th we had a special devotional! The speaker was very good! He told a cool quote that one of the prophets said, it was more or less, the day Christ shall come back, I firmly believe the stars and stripes will be flying. That promise is amazing! I wish I would have wrote down exactly what he said and which prophet it was, too bad. After the devotional we all went outside and watched the BYU fireworks from a certain area in the MTC. Only problem was that there were a lot of tall trees in the way so you couldn't see the fireworks very well. Still an awesome experience to be able to celebrate this nation's holiday while in the US for the last time in a while! We got to go to bed later then 10:30! I think the fireworks ended at 11.
So the Russians celebrate Christmas on a different day than we do in America. I'll get to wish you happy birthday Dad! They celebrate it on January 7th! And that's when I call home instead of the 25th. I guess this could just be a rumor but some of the elders going to Saint Petersburg said that on New Years everyone gets drunk and goes crazy in the streets so it's dangerous to go outside. They said that we can watch Disney movies on New Years! Just to keep us from going out of our room. Apparently it's pretty wild for about 3 days after. I really hope we will get to do that! Everyone here always asks me if I've seen Anastasia. A Disney movie about a princess in Russia. I haven't but maybe that's a good thing because I heard the Russians hate that movie.
I am so grateful for my call! Russia? What a place to experience! There is this crazy counselor who works at the MTC and goes around to different branches sacrament meetings and church meetings throughout the day. He spoke in sacrament and he was talking about the Siberian tigers in the woods. Haha he was excited about it it was awesome! Taylor, I meet a teacher here who used to live in Sao Palo or however you spell it. He served in Brazil and then moved here to go to BYU. Anyway his name was brother Alves. Don't worry Bryce I asked him and he said he is not related to Dani. Anyhow his brother served in Belem and got home like 5 months ago so that would be cool if you served with his brother. He is really an awesome guy!
It's a privilege to serve! I only have 2 years to bring as many souls into salvation as I can. I love it in the MTC! It's a extremely spiritual place! It's kinda weird there's some people here that I feel like I have know before we meet in the MTC. Haha it seems like everyone here is either home-schooled, goes to BYU, or was in band. Haha my companions are cool though! Brother Clark who served in Vlad told us to buy mittens so we get skin to skin contact. He said he would have his hands in his pockets moving his fingers around all day because of the cold. I started singing "I'm leaving on a jet plane" and it has really caught on in our dorm. We have all agreed to sing it at the airports because will be always be flying with each other because we will need to renew our visas at the same time. Maybe in a bathroom or something because we probably shouldn't do that in public!
Thanks for everyone's prayers and thoughts! I love being out here! Best job in the world! I had this amazing quote from a Russian person but I can't remember it. Wait now I do. "If anyone could prove to me that Christ is outside the truth, and if the truth really did exclude Christ, I should prefer to stay with Christ and not the truth." That's from Fyodor - whatever his last name is- I sent you a different quote of his last week but this one is my favorite! Love you all!!!!!!!!!!!
The packages are awesome! One request is send more of the mini starbursts! Those were gone the night we got them!
|Light saber in hand upside down!|
At the Fireworks
|Elder Barr's Aunt is amazing!!!! She sent us an entire meal! |
Me with Tanforce
|With Elder Dallin|
|Our room decorated for the 4th * With Jordan * The view from my room (sheep) * The MTC gets to some people|
|Elder Dallin and Elder Robinson|
|The Russia Vladivostok Mission includes much of Siberia and some of the harshest weather on the planet, including Yakutsk, the coldest city on earth. Their average daily temperature in winter months is -37 F!|