Monday, June 18, 2012

Stake Conference

Well its getting pretty hot here. and its a lot more humid than vegas, so dont be expecting much of a break from the heat when you come. A couple things i was wondering if you could bring when you come- 2 first aid kits that are soft and kinda foldable that zipper up and have belt loops smaller than a piece of paper, if thats possible- the guard at the central building is all about those and you cant get anything like em here, he wants them for his grandkids.

Congrats to Zanna on graduating, she was the only one that we were worrying about, so good thats out of the way.

Today we went up to sergiyev pasad-a little town known for a huge temple splatter inside a big wall. really beautiful place, but we talked to some priests and they werent the nicest when they found out who we were. we went with the whole district. i didnt bring my camera cord so ill send ;pics next week. tell Brent that i said hi and that i expect him to be engaged by the time i get home. just kidding.

well i sure hope that you guys get those visas, that would be a bummer if you didnt make it cuz of that! Everyone is way excited to meet you.

so this week was way cool cuz elder Christofferson came and spoke to us, as well as President Rasband, Bishop Stevenson, And our area authorities. we had stake conference and thank heavens an investigator came! President Lawrence gave a talk on tithing and Elder Christofferson commented on what he said, and after the meeting our investigator (she is a young babushka from kyrgysia) said that she had a few questions but one that she wanted us to answer right then was "how can i pay tithing?" she said that even though she doesnt have money she wants to give something! she is way awesome and probably our only progressing investigator at the moment. everyone else has dropped off for one reason or another. that just always seems to happen-back to square one aka lots of contacting! thats what we have been doing this past week mostly, at least the weather is nice for it and there are actually people outside.

I am grateful for great parents who taught me well and awesome sisters who are way smarter than i am. I am grateful for the Gospel and what it has done and continues to do for our family as we prgress in this life together. The other day I have been on my mission for exactly 2 years. Wow, thats a long time to not see your entire family and everyone you had ever known for the first 19 years of your life. I am grateful for the blessings of serving a mission and contributing to the Lords work in gathering Israel in this part of the vineyard. I pray that My time spent here will have blessed these great people in some way. I saw Vitaly's mom at stake conference and she thanked me for helping Vitaly. He is doing really well on his mission. I asked her about doing an excursion when you guys come and she was excited for that.

well i need to get going, but have a great week and we will talk to you next week. Tell Uncle Eric Hello from President Lawrence.

Love Elder Paul

There Really is Life After Death

The work here continues. Last week we had some good meetings. We invited Damian to be baptized if he comes to know that the church is true through the Book of Mormon. He agreed, but not to a date yet. He didnt make it to church on sunday unfortunately-he has been having some troubles with money and so thats why he couldnt make it. We made him some breakfast and brought it over to him and he really appreciated it.

Nelson doesnt meet in the central building, but you will definitely get to see him. I dont remember if i told you or not that Sokolniki ward got moved to the central building because the rent ended on the old building and the owner didnt want to extend. so now every ward that i have served in is in the central building! that was a couple weeks ago, but i cant remeber to save my life if i told you or not. that will make visiting church very easy when you come!

So this past week we had a hard time meeting with our most progressing investigators mainly because of exams, but now that is all rapidly coming to an end so we will be more able to meet with people more often.

We met a guy yesterday who met the church in Kyrgystan but im thinking it was definitely not our mormon church, but another mormon church. Really weird thing, we asked him if he had a Book of Mormon and he said no, the only thing that they had in Russian at that time was Pages of the translation and not an actual book...and that was in 2002, also i dont know that we have ever had missionaries in Kyrgystan. so we gave him a Book of Mormon, but have yet to break the news to him that he probably has the wrong church in mind. way nice guy though.

Its definitely crazy hearing that everyone is getting home now...have you heard anything from Brent? I cant help but think that there really is life after death, and that before i know it, ill be dead. With a month left, i still have sufficient time to help a lot of people and to do a lot of good here, and thats what i intend to do. Thank you for your help and support and motivation for me to work my hardest to serve the Lord. I pray every day for my family and it is no surprise to me that Heavenly Father answers those prayers.

Have a great week! Love, Elder Paul

An Accordian is Coming Home

Well well well, glad to hear the old famdamily is doin swell. good luck on the half! I'm crossing my fingers on the visa thing, but somehow i know there wont be a problem. All's well that ends well. This week was a really great week with 3 new investigators! We met this awesome guy from Nigeria whose mom is american and he is here studying the old rooskie yazeek. he is Catholic and an awesome missionary! he shares the good news with everyone and the whole dorm knows him in half a week he is half way through the book of mormon and he is stoked about helping his whole dorm building learn about Jusus Christ with our help! He couldnt make it to church on sunday, but we are hoping next week will work. I really want to introduce him to Nelson! Really good things are happening right now, my spirits are high and the weather is perfect. We most likely will not bump into Vitaly in Peter cuz hes in an outer city, so thats a bummer. Sister Ryazanova and anton are already preparing for us and they want to invite us to dinner on the evening of the 13th, i figured that would be perfect. As far as gifts, some good ideas might be mugs that say something with Las Vegas on them and putting stuff in the mugs. i dunno.

So I was thinking of what kind of souvenir i could buy that would be really awesome and i figured i need to get an accordian, to make a long story short, It turns out some elders up in Z-grad were given an accordian a couple years ago from the landlady and nobody claimed it because the couldnt get it home, so i asked about it and they are gonna give it to me. I figure between the 6 of us there should be enough space to bring an accordian home.

We are going to ride bikes in the park with our district today so thatl be fun!

The late Elder Lex was in moscow last week and we bumped into him on P-day in moscow and he is AWESOME! he has a girlfriend and hes just the greatest guy!! And his family is just perfect. he also is one boy with three sisters.

So im running short on time, but good to talk to you! enjoy your week and take a dip in the old pool for me. and win that race too!
Love Elder Paul

The Work Rolls on in Mitischi!

Well, as far as the coins, thats great and for las vegas souvenirs maybe like 10 but it depends on what it is, it doesnt need to be anything too costly. So the new transfer starts on the first of June. on the 16th of june i will have been serving for 2 full years. Thats a really crazy thought. I never had even thought that the time of my mission wuld come and now its already almost over. especially that my homecoming talk is already scheduled.

Today is a rainy day, but its nice nonetheless. Later today Sister Lawrence is doing a devotional on Spiritual Gifts which i am stoked about. there was a great section in the book The Infinite Atonement about spiritual gifts that i loved.

Before the devotional, President Lawrence wanted to meet with me and Elder Samuelson pertaining to language study, so that will be good to see him.

This past week we met with an inactive member who has been inactive for 3 years and we got him excited about helping us with missionary work on member presents, hopefully by having him help us with missionary work, he will see the importance of coming back to church. This is also a good way to get member presents on our meetings because its very hard in our area to do that. We have a few investigators with great potential who we are working with. Also this week we went to an english club of a lady who lives in our area and helped with that. we met some great kids and talked about future plans, something i have been thinking about a lot lately.
Well Im short on time today, but know that all is well here and that the work rolls on here in Mitischi!
Love you guys! ELder Paul

Monday, May 21, 2012


Congratulations to Delaney on state! I will be there to cheer her on next year when they take 1st. As far as the Visas go, that sounds like a pain in the butt, but im sure it will all be worth it! I have had a couple requests of things from the US, either in a package or just to bring when you come. Big Red gum and some of the presidents dollar coins. And some souvenirs from las vegas would be a good idea too. I cant wait to introduce you all to the wonderful friends i have made, members and non-members. This last week we didnt see any new investigators, but we have great potential for the future. we met with a few members out at the far end of our area, another 30 min from moscow a city called Pushkina. I went out there on a split with Elder Clawson, and while we were along the side of a forest, his foot fell in a black mud hole and we had to wash it out in a dirty little stream and try to mask the smell for a meeting that we had soon after that. It was a good little split and we are working closer with the members in our area now. Everyone has given me about a thousand recomendations of what to do when you guys come and there is no way thet we will be able to do everything, but Vitaly Donosov's mom offered to take us on a tour through the kremlin, as she used to be a tour guide there. so maybe that will work out. Today ina few hours we will be going to moscow to play frisbee in the park with a bunch of investigators. I have only really played frisbee once on my mission, so it should be fun. I think I will get some KFC for lunch here in a few minutes. here they call kfc "Rostiks" for whatever reason. I have been eating a lot of Mak Dak lately, so its time for a change. we live right next to this mall and theres such great food here that i would much rather eat here sometimes than making stuff. I dream of mothers home cooked dishes. chicken supreme has been popping up in my mind a lot lately. and italian sodas. America definitely beats Russia in the snack competition. Ive been craving some goldfish and cheeseits and cheetos and white cheddar popcorn and raisinets and so on. maybe its agood thing they dont have all that here so my wallet wont go empty and my health wont get any worse. We had an open house this week in our ward and we had 4 investigators there and overall there were maybe ten non-members, so that was good. This week we will meet with an investigator and her son in law and try to start working with him to help him stop drinking. I havent had too much experience with that on my mission surprisingly, as everyone here drinks, but I figure most of the people that have been prepared to recieve the gospel dont have problems drinking. But thats not always the case. We also have a great investigator named Timur and we are hoping to help him quit smoking and drinking. He is a great kid 20 years old who we met throgh english club and hes stoked about coming to church, hes been twice, and he wants to increase his faith. great sincere guy. well time is up, so good luck this week, cant wait to hear from you next week! Love, ELder Paul

Sunday, May 20, 2012

7 letters left!

Thank you to all who are supporting Mitch on his mission! There will only be 7 letters left! On the 8th Monday we (mom,dad, and sisters) will all be in Russia picking Mitchell up!

Sick Elder

Thats funny you metioned elder ellis, because i just had my last Visa trip a few days ago and I was in the same endowment session as him and we talked a little bit after. I have never bumped into elders from other missions in Kiev, so it was quite the coincidence. I cant say that i remember Elder Barnes, I was in the group before Elder Ellis, so i dont know that we met. but let him know that Elder Ellis is alive and well. In other news, right after the Visa trip i got sick and i have been sick for a few days now with a fever, headache, sick stomach. not too fun but i suppose it as bound to happen at some point . I should be better by tomorrow. News on the phone home. Im not going to be able to call you due to the fact that i will have skyping capabilities at the senior couple in our district. I will skype in to dewitt.paul at 7 oclock pm on sunday MY TIME. that might make it 9am sunday mrning your time but you will have to check. If something doent work with that send me an email before sunday and i will call you on my monday, but that should work. Im excited to talk to you! have a good week, I love you guys! Love Elder Paul

Need to Learn Piano

Okay, so as far as the phone home im thinking I will only be able to over the phone unfortunately, but we will see you soon after that though, so no worries. This past week was really good. two days in a row we met on the street Russian Orthodox members who were missionaries ofone sort or another. one was younger 23 and he showed up to church on sunday and seems pretty interested. his nameis Mihayil. Also we went and helped out at an english group that the bishop's wife and kids attend and there were about 15 of the greatest kids! and the bishops kids are the greatest kids ive ever seen! they were so stoked about getting the new triple combination. Onsunday i gave a smal testimony talk as well as Elder Samuelson and another new sister in our district. This morning we went for a littlee run over to a track and i ran four laps in 4:05. too bad it wasnt a mile! We are going to go up to a little town called pushkina and buy some psycho old russian souvenirs and i got your package but i havent been down in moscow to get it yet, so we aregoing down today. The apartment is all sorted out now and im sleeping real well. running today was really fun and im excited to get back into it. We have a lot of potential in this area, and even a couple of old investigators that want to be baptised. also, President Sorenson is fantastic! he had a trip to voronesh and talked to some guy on the way, got his contact and it turns out he lives in our area! way cool! A little more about elder Samuelson, he is musically inclined and plays a few instruments, he does not have a girlfriend back home, heaven forbid, and he has a good graspon the russian language already. One thing i need to do when i get home is to learn how to play the piano. but thats a long time from now. You guys are awesome and i tell everyone about you and share pictures with everyone, so most russians already know you. hope you have a wonderful week and ill let ya know next week when i will call you guys. Much love You Know Elder Paul Here are some of the latest pictures frm Mitch : )

Friday, May 4, 2012

Lots of Potential!

Alright, so heres the deal, the new area has been up and going for about 3 days now. My new companion Elder Samuelson is a great guy from Sandy Utah who is ready to learn. He is already a great missionary. He is half Peruvian and his dad is a scientist. The new apartment is a little underfurnished. no iron yet, so ive worn the same shirt for the last 4 days. hopefully we will pick up an iron today. this area used to be a part of another area in our district, but it was underworked because of its separation from the metro. its about 20 minutes on a train from the station komsomolskaya and we live on the station perlovskaya in what is called Mitischi, and region in the moscow oblast. We have been contacting quite a bit, but havent seen a whole lot of success yet. It seems like the people here have a slightly different attitude and are seemingly less willing to talk. I am sure however, that with the help of the Lord we will find those who the Lord has prepared. This is and will be the hardest area of my mission i think, and it will be a great opportunity to rely on the Lord. We have about 10 members in our area and one of them is active, who is the bishop and his wife. We dont have any of the records yet, we are getting them from the other Elders today, but from what it sounds like, there will be some opportunity to work with inactive members. Everything is completely new. Instead of going to the central building for church, yesterday we went to Sokolniki metro station. our ward is a bit smaller than rechnoy or arbatski with about 60 or 70 at church on sunday as opposed to 100 to 110. There are very few youth, but it turns out that i already know quite a few of the members just from meeting them at the central building, but none of the ones I know are in our area. So thats pretty much whats happening here. I am focused and working hard. Today sister Lawrence is doing a devotional on the tribes of israel, which i am excited for. I love you guys and am excited to talk to you in a few weeks! when is mothers day anyway?? Well, congratulations Katrina on graduating, for a second there i didnt think you were going to make it. Молодец as they say here. Love Elder Paul

The New Area

Alright, so heres the deal, the new area has been up and going for about 3 days now. My new companion Elder Samuelson is a great guy from Sandy Utah who is ready to learn. He is already a great missionary. He is half Peruvian and his dad is a scientist. The new apartment is a little underfurnished. no iron yet, so ive worn the same shirt for the last 4 days. hopefully we will pick up an iron today. this area used to be a part of another area in our district, but it was underworked because of its separation from the metro. its about 20 minutes on a train from the station komsomolskaya and we live on the station perlovskaya in what is called Mitischi, and region in the moscow oblast. We have been contacting quite a bit, but havent seen a whole lot of success yet. It seems like the people here have a slightly different attitude and are seemingly less willing to talk. I am sure however, that with the help of the Lord we will find those who the Lord has prepared. This is and will be the hardest area of my mission i think, and it will be a great opportunity to rely on the Lord. We have about 10 members in our area and one of them is active, who is the bishop and his wife. We dont have any of the records yet, we are getting them from the other Elders today, but from what it sounds like, there will be some opportunity to work with inactive members. Everything is completely new. Instead of going to the central building for church, yesterday we went to Sokolniki metro station. our ward is a bit smaller than rechnoy or arbatski with about 60 or 70 at church on sunday as opposed to 100 to 110. There are very few youth, but it turns out that i already know quite a few of the members just from meeting them at the central building, but none of the ones I know are in our area. So thats pretty much whats happening here. I am focused and working hard. Today sister Lawrence is doing a devotional on the tribes of israel, which i am excited for. I love you guys and am excited to talk to you in a few weeks! when is mothers day anyway?? Well, congratulations Katrina on graduating, for a second there i didnt think you were going to make it. Молодец as they say here. Love Elder Paul The "proud father" of two "sons"!

The Race is on!

Alright so it looks like sister blomquist is probably going into the moscow west mission and then a couple transfers later it will morph into the new and improved Moscow Mission. cuz i didnt see her on our list of incomers. sounds like Delaney is doing pretty darn good, i would die to go to some of her meets. Holy cow phoebe is getting married!(Phoebe is Mitchell's cousin) thats nuts, but i suppose i still have a chance to beat her to it. or at least i can be the first to give Grandma and Grandpa a great grandchild. SO! this friday is transfers and everything will change for the last time. Also, i was thinking about Kyle Barnett the other day, hows that guy doin? maybe you could give me an update on him and if you get the chance, tell Stacy i love her. We met this way cool armenian kid this week and he came to conference and is lovin the book, so thats awesome! it is finally spring here and the weather is perfect today. no coats is on the menu up quick. Im thinking of running in the mornings next transfer with elder samuelson. Everything is just perfect and i will finish off these last two transfers stronger than all the others. I have told a few people that you guys are coming and they are excited to meet you. I will check on the visa thing but i dont think there is a problem with it. I love you guys and pray for you every day. Hows the Grandparents doin? welp love you all, Elder Paul Oh yeah and i saw conference and it was awesome. Probably one of the main topics was Home improvement and it got me way stoked about the family! I think you guys did a pretty good job at raising us kids, or maybe you just got lucky with really easy kids, except for me of course. well have a good day. You Know

All is Great!

This was a pretty good week, we were especially busy with meetings and other stuff this week so we werent forced to contact outside of metros too much this week, so thats a nice change. We spent some time with president this week and had Zone leader Council at his place and sister sorenson, as usual, made an incredible meal! we were actually fed pretty well the whole week, 4 days in a row we were fed dinner for one reason or another, so that was another nice change. So it looks like i can probably tell you whats happening at transfers on the 20th. i will be training my last to transfers. As of right now his name is Elder Samuelson. I will be in Mitischi where we bought an apartment not long ago, little did i know i was picking out my own apartment, i suppose i should have been a little more picky! just kidding the place is great, ill let you know more about it later. we dropped two suitcases of mine off at the appartment today and we are writing home from the mall next to my new apartment. later today we will be in moscow and this way cool kid Dima is gonna show us some of the sight of moscow that we havent yet seen. Later tonight we are going with hopefully two new investigators to the senior couples place for a family home evening event thing, so that should be awesome! I am really excited for the work right now, everything is really picking up and the mission as a whole is doing much better. so all is great! I love you guys and I love this work! Love, elder Paul


so pretty big news, but its not even news yet, but chances are i will be transfered on the 20th so new things are afoot. Im excited for conference we will have it here in 2 weeks so on the 14th and 15th im guessing cuz of easter. I didnt even know it was easter next week. crazy. Yesterday at church i met this guy from armenia who is here for work. he knows Elder Watterson really well and when mike found out that this guy, Ara, was going to moscow he gave him my number and told him to call pretending to not be a member and want to get baptised. every missionary's worst nightmare. But its too bad for Mikey i met him at church before he had the chance. Its way cool that me and Mike know a bunch of the same people and are in the same mission area. Today we are going to the museum of modern art with the district, so that should be nice. last week we got a couple new investigators, but nothing showing a whole lot of potential for baptism right now. the mission as a whole did a lot better this week, so i hope we keep it up. I still have a good chunk of time left to make a lot of good things happen and am excited to be an effective missionary in the Lords hands now at the end of my mission where i have a good grip on the language and lots of teaching experience, not to mention the huge spiritual growth ive harvested. well my dear family and friends, keep being great! all you need is love. Love Elder Paul

Sunday, April 1, 2012

More Apartment Work and Meeting the Suttons

Well, Im in the office right now cuz we had to get some papers to close on another apartment that we just found this week. There will be a new area next transfer in Mitishi. not that that means anything to you, but this apartment has been a lot easier than the last one. we are old pros at apartment hunting in Russia now. Anyway, I met the Suttons here and they are doing fantastic, they are great people and Sister Sutton delivered a hug from Nana, so that was nice. I sent the picture of us to Nana and Papa. This week we had a couple new investigators, but really the prooblem right now is getting people to come to church. i have never really had a huge problem with that before on my mission. Next week we'll get em for sure though! I would go into detail on our new investos, but time is constricting me with his vicious vice. As for the buddies on the Mishies, this is for them. BROSKIS!!! The mission is PSYCHO! and so are you guys!! Heres the deal Boyos, im roundin the old hump and ill be back home by july 20th so whoever is home at that time qualifies for a lunch date with yours truly at IN-N-OUT!!! YEAH! live it up while you still got the chance boys, the mission is for me very very incredible and the blessings be a flowin'! Crack down and keep on crackin' up! Love Elder Mitchell Paul!!!So thats for the boys around the old world.Also i forgot to inform you last week that i got all your packages and they were fantastic and i actually think im gainin the old weight! holy smokes i might even be fat!! so no worries, my metabolism aint what it used to be i guess.I love you guys but i love the Lord more, so dont go gettin a big head, especially you Papa.

LOve Elder Paul

Monday, March 19, 2012

Conference Time!

Holy your a running machine. the whole family is running psycho and im only getting slower inhaling about two packs of secondhand smoke a day. The only person in the family i dont have to worry about being faster than me when i get home is Dad! ha ha This past week we had our mission conference and presiding was President Schitzer of the area presidency. He is a really great man with a large reserve of spiritual concrete. We had interviews with him so that was cool! He gave us his ten points of leadership that i found extremely interesting and i bet you would too.Its about time to start finding an appartment in Mitishi, in the moscow oblast where we will open up a new area next transfer. so that means many hours of time wasted being businessmen. but its really not wasted cuz we are expanding our borders. so its kosh.I went on a split this week with my son elder foster and we had a successful day contacting and inactive member searching. some members let us in and we invited them to general conference.speaking of general conference, thats coming up! Im STOKED! heres the deal, when i was back home i was stoked for general conference cuz that ment i got to sleep in and eat general conference coffee cake as a layed on the couch and fell asleep in front of the tube! I was way missing the mark, but now im stoked to here the words of our church leaders and Prophet so that i can improve in all facets of my life and recieve personal revelation that applies to me right now and about what i need to do after my mission. I enjoy reading over my notes from last conference, whereas before my mission, i didnt even have notes from last conference.Vitaly Donosov's mom sends out his weekly email and i made the cut. He is doing great and loving his mission and the area in which he is serving. that guy is awesome!well lots of other stuff happened, but time has once again evaded me. When i read Katrina's and Zanna'z (palindrome), and Delaney's letters i realize how spiritually strong they are. my sisters are spiritual giants, and if i had not served a mission, my spirituality would have been dwarfed in comparison to theirs. what a great thing to have all of my family members so strong in the faith. I love you guys and thank you for your example.
Elder Paul

The Pool is Not Dry

Well, another good week. We finished everything in podolsk just in the nick of time. after transfer meeting we met the elders down at the train station at the same time that we met the realator to go over and sign the contracts and rent it. Psycho story. this lady, the land lady is the nicest lady you could ever meet. what a lady! and she is offering us tea and bisquits and stuff and we are just lovin it and then i find myself looking at the books in her bookshelf and WHAM! theres a book of mormon just sittin in there! way crazy! I told the other elders who were going to be living there and they freaked out. We didnt bring it up to the land lady though because we were signing documents and handing over huge sums of money, but they are going to ask her about it the next time they see her! so who knows, maybe there was a reason that the first appartment fell through.
Back to our area, we met with the coolest people ever, Alex and Dasha who are good friends living at the south border of Moscow in his parents house who are in the US right now working in the ballet entertainment business. his dad was a famous ballet guy in his youth and was an actor in some movies too and they have a real house! their neighborhood looks lkike some place in america and they have four stories. So we started the first lesson with them. they have a desire to learn more and to find answers to their questions, so i guess they met the right people! they will hopefully make it to church on sunday. Victor is doing well, he hasnt made it to church yet but he is really busy with work right now. this week we met with him and finished the plan of salvation. he said that we introduced a lot of new ideas that interest him a lot. So thats great. of course we are always working on finding new people to teach, but at least the pool is not dry.
Thats awesome that Katrina will be in the same complex and that delaney and Zanna seem to be doing well in track.
I have seen a lot of miracles this week and am grateful for the great opportunity to serve for two years and then for the rest of my life. there were a lot of things that i didnt understand before my mission. I thought i had it all down and everything was good, but how wrong i was. I love the people among whom i serve here and the members are so incredible! I have a lot of great friends who are members here. Vitaly sent me a letter through the missionary in the MTC with him who came to our mission. He is now in St. P being a psycho missionary! man i love that guy!
Well i love you all, enjoy your week, dont forget to read the scriptures!
Love ELder Paul

Back to Square One

So this week was rather eventful. remember that appartment we were getting last monday? well to make a long story short, we got it, Elder started moving in, landlady pulled out, we pulled the luggage out, and last night we officially terminated the agreement. which means we have wasted more than half the week in podolsk and have gotten nothing from it. so the process begins again today as we make our way down to podolsk to look at 5 or 6 potential appartments followed by another hlf day agreeing on one. so these are most of whats we have been occupying time with this week. we also met the two most awesome new investigators at the american center! they are perfect-alex and dasha and they are all about the good ord. they are not married but live together, but they arent in a relationship, so its all good? they invited us to their place tomorrow! bingo bango!In regards to your question of which junk food to send, beef jerky is exquisite as well as 100 grand and butterfinger and a good idea of stuff to hand out to people is those fun size packs of hersheys chocolate, or hersheys kisses. and swedish fish are fantastic.Also BIG NEWS! Finally the new russian translation of the book of mormon D&C and POGP is completed and the first russian triple combination is now available. we will probably be supplied with a standard 3 dollar edition but i was wondering if it is at all possible for you to rder me a leatherbound gold page edition? Apparently it will be faster for you to order it and then send it to me. im not so sure about that but it would be quite the wonderful thing to have. its about 20 bones from what i can tell. If you dont want to gety it, no worries i can get it when i get home and it wont make a big difference heres the deal, this transfer is almost over and then i only have 3 more transfers. thats the worst. But the work keeps going and i notice more and more miracles in this second half of my mission. I love you all and thank you for everything!mom congrats on running pretty good for an old lady.You
Elder Paul

Last Birthday in the Field

Well, had a good little birthday. We went down to podolsk apartment
hunting. we had several meetings set up with relators and so we
hussled around the thriving town of podolsk looking at potential for
next transfer opening an area so we will soon have elders and sisters
in the old Dolsk. along with that, in a couple hours we will be
heading down to close the deal on the place and lay down a whole
briefcase full of money. thats an exageration, but not a huge one.
Other news this week, we met with Victor again and he loves it,
howevwer he couldnt make it to church on sunday because he was working
through the night. and Also this guy Vadim is incredible! he is all
about telling everyone he knows about the church and we are going to
meet with him with some of his friends who are interested this week if
we get any time! travel is a kick in the butt too it seems like have
the day we are just travelling, but theres really no other way i
hats off to Scott Halvorsen he is the man! i miss that guy and cant
wait to see his beautiful self and family.
Katrina sent me all of the facebook notifications for my birthday so
that was nice to see that a few people still remembered me thanks to
the electronic reminder that facebook provides.
Im in the office right now cuz we had to get a whole bunch of money
for the appartment and so i would send pictures quite easily but as it
turns out i just changed my card in my camera and i have no photos. so
your out of luck.
well i love you guys and am grateful for your support and love.
Elder Paul

Monday, February 20, 2012

Family Lovin and a Golden Investigator

dear family and friends.

highlights of the week:

bought a new suit last p-day for less than 90 bones.

went and saw dead lenin for the first time in my history/

got 2 new investos. one of which is the most golden investo i have ever seen!

we had a training at zone conference

Well you guys. Im getting really excited about you coming,but its still a few months away. and im getting way homesick all of a sudden. it finally hit me i guess, but i way want to hang out with you guys and stuff. I thought about it and we outta just open up a family restaraunt on the east coast and give food to the world. mom can do all the cooking and interior design and deal with all the documents and all the technicalities and dad and I and all the girls can enjoy the food and good company and income. sounds good huh? yeah i thought so too.

the funny thing is im not even kidding.

also, along the lines of our new investo. His name is Victor and hes the coolest guy ever!

oh speaking of the coolest guy ever, vitaly donosov is in spain right now in the MTC and it was way awesome because i happened to be in the building when he got set apart and then the stake president came down looking for missionaries with oil cuz he couldnt find his and we went up and helped witht he blessings and vitaly asked that i give him the blessing, so that was a real honor. man i love that guy!

So Victor is 41 and he is so prepared. 4 examples

He knows that its importand to find his ancestors and there is a link between him and them but he cant figure out why.

when he read moroni 10 3-5 he said that he felt an incredible feeling when he read it.

he told us that he has been looking for something for a long time and he thinks he has found it.

He texted us at 1 in the morning telling us that he is reading the book and he loves it.

He says that when he gets into a book he doesnt stop reading so we are thinking he will be done in a couple days.

only downside is he doesnt live in our area, just like everybody else!

well i gotta go but i love you guys and cant wait to show you my life for the past two years. I have come to a greater knowledge on my mission of the question WHY.

Love Elder Paul

Some Pictures

Faithful Members in Lovoshino

Holy smokes what a week, as you already know from presidents letter we had the opportunity to go out to Lovoshino yesterday, by far the smallest branch i have ever been in! 3 people. the branch president, his wife and their son! he has been fired twice for being a mormon and he is currently out of work. they are the most faithful and righteous members i have ever seen probably and it was an incredible and spiritual experience to be there. I had the opportunity to bless and pass the sacrament with elder clawson and we also bore our testimonies in the meeting. I wish that i could serve out there so bad! it was a dream! President Sorenson is fantastic, i swear his russian is better than half the missionaries in the mission and he is just the most spiritual man!

Also we got an area change that is effective about 11 days before i die. moscow west and moscow will be combined. I have little emotion devoted to the boundary change because i am not effected by it at all.

I got the packege with the stuff in it and i read Elder Victor Hemsley's blog, it sounds like he is doing awesome! Im way jealous that he gets to serve with natives! reading about his experiences and his miracles inspires me to work harder and be a better missionary.

We have a few progressing investigators right now, but the work is a little slow. Its gonna take some serious concentration and pure concentrated power of God to reap the blessings that the Lord has prepared for us.

I came to the realization this week more than ever before that there is an end. I remembered the time on my mission where i had 9 months remainin g and how determined i was for so much to happen before the end of my mission, and now it is 4 months from that time! 4 months!!! its gone! i blinked!! GONE!!!! and now your sending me pictures of where im goin g to live fall semester!!!! (by the way that place looks way nice! we neeeeeed to make sure sterling and Mike whittle and whoever else are there that a possibility??)

gotta go but i love you guys ill send pics next week!!!

Love ELder Paul

Gather Israel

hey so for housing that all sounds real good, anywhere it doesnt matter as long as its relatively close to campus. how much is it per month on average for an apartment? i dont even have an estimate. as far as my weight, its a serious problem. i am always hungry and i always eat and i am losing weight. I need less healthy food i think. and more exercise, but thats not happening in the next 6 months. so basically its a lot colder, but me and elder Clawson are doin real good. just keepin up the work its hard to do so many things at once, but we are taking care of it for now. I have a visa trip tomorrow and it will be my second to last visa trip most likely. time is escaping me real fast. it seems the colder the temperature the lass people want to talk. all the more reason to work harder.

Its hard to believe that im almost 21 and in no time i will have a job and be paying for my own food and clothes and barely gettin by and then getting married and having a bunch of kids and stuff...i realize that my life really starts after the mission. I guess i will need to figure out what i am going to do, and in the meantime gather Israel...actually the other way round. Gather8ing israel is top priority. well i have minimal time, but i love the heck out of you guys!

Love Eder Paul

4 Transfers Left

All of the sudden it got cold. finally. its now about -18c but still a lack of fresh snow, but give it a couple days. So we have a baptismal date! with sasha! he is a way cool kid and the date is for the 17th of march. we put it off a little cuz he is going out of town for a couple weeks in feb. also nelsons baptism is this saturday, and on the 31st (mike watterson's bday) i have a visa trip to the old kieve. transfers are on thursday the 26th and im sure plenty of other things are going on..oh yeah a rechnoy ward party for the departing missionaries on the 28th, and vitaly donosov's birthday on the 5th of feb. also sashas birthday is on the tenth of feb, but he is leaving town on the 2nd. From the 16th of january to the eleventh of march we have a goal to get, in the mission, 175 new investigators preparing for the confrence by president Schwitzer on the 13th i beliveof march. also, President Lawrence was at our ward on sunday and i saw him earlier this week and he asked me to say hello to the poulsens from him, if you could pass that along. How time flies. It turns out that i have but 4 transfers remaining and its time to kick into gear. we are seeing success out our ears, so thats nice.

This past week elder Potter finally made it to russia a transfer late as he was stuck in england. The Aps were sick so me and Elder Palmer went with him to red square and contacted. He is a stellar missionary and will be great he is in Arbatski district so i will see him when i move districts. the arbatski ward meets in the central building, so so far my whole mission will have been in the central building.

Yesterday at church the relief society president had heard that i got a transfer and she gave me a small knit angel christmas ornament and told me thank you for serving and that that ornament was a relic that when i look at i will know that russia loves me. then she told me to say thank you to my mother who raised a good young man. I dont know if you remember but the last time i was in this district me and elder ablett went to her and gave her roses and she kissed us. thats the relif society president, she is the greatest!

Also two baptisms in our ward took place on saturday and they were confirmed on sunday. two girls that the sisters have been working with, so that was awesome and should be a good boost for the ward to get more excited about missionary work.

im runnin out of time, but well see ya later

Love Elder Paul

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Thank You to SH Ward!

So it turned out that nelson is actually getting baptized on the 28th, so we are really excited about that. as far as the housing thing, i dont know where the best place is. maybe katrina can do some research and figure it out, but if you can get ahold of some moms or something that would be real nice, i just dont wanna miss the chance and end up homeless.
so this week sasha and ed came to church. ed is the guy who lived in LA as a kid and he is the funniest guy ever. I would make a fantastic member. and sasha is excited about getting baptised, next meeting we are going to set a date with him. unfortunately he doesnt live in our area so a pass will be involving itself here soon.
In other news I found out transfer for next transfer. it will be on the 26th thursday and i will be AP with Elder Clawson from Spanish Fork i believe. he suffers from Chronic Sleep-walking and is known as the funniest elder in the mission. I am going to have a really good time serving with him. Its going to be really sad leaving Elder Palmer and our area as things are going so good. recently i have seen more success than ever before in my mission. also it will be sad to leave rechnoy finally.
By the way i got the package from you with the ties and vest and i also got the ward stocking, it was fantastic! tell everyone in the ward that i sorely miss them and cant wait to see them all, except for rondi, tell her i could wait a little longer to see her! and then give her a wink from me.
I also got a packie from sister watterson who hooked me up with just the right stuff! I am working on a package for her right now, hopefully i get it out soon. I will get one to you guys too asap, but i have a list of about 10 people to write letters to and only about an hour or two every pday of spare time. oh well, que sara sara.
Its been real good knowing you guys.

Tell Mark Taylor thanks for all his great ties, they are koshe! and tell a special thnk you to the morrisons for the cd and the Gublers for the Quaerters and the book. We sure have some nice people in our ward, dont we?

I love you guys and miss you. keep working hard!
Love Elder Paul
that last one is a picture of me and elder clawson at a dacha over the summer, he was my District leader when i went back to rechnoy

A Mild Winter and Nelson Entering the Waters of Baptism

Alright, so no i havent gotten any package from the ward, so that ill be soon i bet. You guys dont stand a chance learning the language cuz you procrastinated the day of your repentance...but try your best anyway! This week has been nuts and we have a lot of hard work ahead of us this year, some good goals to reach. I woke up today and cut my hair myself, im kinda partial to it, at least until i grow it out and braid it...but thats later. today we went ice skating on red square!! I am quite partial to the art of figure skating, and thats something im going to keep up when i get home. maybe go professional or something. so we have about 7 progressing investigators right now and success is nipping at our noses...unfortunately the ice cold wind isnt. this winter has been mega week we can still see grass in most places.

Also, I am growing very fond of rechnoy ward and ive been here a long long time. my whole mission. I only have four transfers left and in order to get in the swing of things when i get home i will need classes set up, if you cvould do that katrina, that would be prime. (Oh, my little brother, you are lucky I love you! – Kat)

also, tghis saturday NELSON is getting baptized!! in case i havent told you, Elder Palmer and i found him and taught him the first lesson and passed him to international. he is from cameroon, english speaker, came here to be a physics professor but it didnt work out he has the greatest smile ever and hes 30 years. so its gonna be way cool to see him get baptized, ill send you guys a pic next week. a few other that we are working with are close to baptism, but some of them are gonna take some time. workin hard, loving life, reppin the Lord. I miss you guys and am excited to see you...i was thinking of buying a new suit with the christmas money-about 90$ whatta ya think? mine are stanky.
love you guys and thanks for all that you do to me. My eyes have been opened by the atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Love Elder Paul

Progressing Investigators

Holy cow, tell dad to keep up the good work with the russian. and thats awesome that Abe is home, I am going to have to do that hike with him in august, so make sure he knows its no joke, its happening.
So new years was really great, we went to the walkers(our district) and we ate great food and watched the fireworks, literally some were shooting off of every rooftop and some were really close to the windo of the apartment. also we watcherd a few movieds-Tron, Tangled, and kung fu panda 2. pretty good movies, but by the end i was way sick of watching movies.
also our investigators are progressing and we are seeing greaat success. I am currently reading the infinite atonement and i am deeply impressed. Earlier on my mission I began to understand the importance of the atonement, but i didnt specifically study it, and whilst reading this book i feel my eyes being opened, sometimes literally, to the magnitude of the infinite atonement. Taking the sacrament on sunday i thought about how important the sacred ordinance is for maybe the first time in my life. We cant even comprehend fully the absolute necessity of the atonement and the roles that we are playing right now in the last dispensation, and perhaps the roles that we played in the preexistence.
I made some new years resolutions and I have it in two categories, during mission and post mish. Its really crazy that i need to start seriously thinking about what will happen after my mission, while remaining focused on the work here.
Abe is a great guy and I cant wait to talk with him. He is a great example to all of how we should treat eachother and serve the Lord diligently. I sometimes tell my companions stories of when we went on those hikes together, and i remember his charisma and great example.
I have to get going but tell everyone i love tham and am loving my mission and those who i am serving. I am seeing all of the good that people have to offer, and it is great.
Love Elder Paul