Monday, June 25, 2012

Elder Flitton goes to Perm.

"Travel Master"
June 4, 2012


Hello everyone!

     Well I am not writing to you in the city of Kurgan but now in the city of Perm. Wow this city is so much different that Kurgan. I am going to say it. I feel like I am back in the world ha. There are so many people here. There are so many American restaraunts here and everyone is driving a really expesnsive car. This is no Kurgan. I love it here though. This is a really big change for me. It will take me a little of getting used to being here in this huge city. I am so excited to be able to serve here.
     Well last week I sarted my travels on a bus to Tumen from Kurgan. I stayed the night at the zone leaders and then in the morning at 5 took a taxi to the airport. Elder Holbrook and I then flew to moscow where we met up with the other Elders. After we all met up we decided that we wanted to go to Red Square in Moscow. Probably one of the coolest experiences on my mission. I actually made it to Red Square. I was able to see the gigantic city of Moscow. Honestly with all of those people there I felt that I was in New York. We took the Subway and holy cow there were so many people. It was about a hour and a half from the Airport to Red Square. We were there for about an hour and then we had to go back so we wouldn't miss our flight. Red Square is so awesome. There is so much history there. You know in the movie Get Smart where Steve Carell is on the bridge... Well I was on that bridge. It was so awesome. I was also able to see the big memorial for Lennin and where his body rests. It was just a great experience. I took a lot of pictures but the only problem is right now is that I have no cord to put into the computer. So you are going to have to wait for next weeks email. Sorry.
     After Moscow we flew to Finland. Finland is probably the most beautiful country in the world. It is so green and everything there is just so fresh. It was so great to go in the spring/summer time. The temple grounds were so beautiful. Grandma you would have loved all of the beautiful flowers there. We really do live on a beautiful planet. I was able to do baptisms at the temple and it was very spiritual. I love the Finland temple. After the temple we got on a flight back to moscow and we ate at TJI Fridays. I have fallen in love with the strawberry milkshake. They are so good, I got two of them.... At about 1 am I got on my flight all alone to Perm. It was really weird traveling alone. After the trip I was so tired. Visa trips kill you. Once we got home I was out for a couple of hours.
     When I got to Perm I was able to meet my new companion Elder Oneill. It was really good to see him. He is a great Elder. He and I have a lot of great work to do here in Perm. We are way excited to be companions. He is from Pleasonton California and loves to play basketball so we have a lot in common. And there is a little basketball court next to our apartment. Booya.
     Yesterday I was able to meet the branch. There is about 100 people in the branch. My mind was blown when I saw all those people. The members here in Perm are great. I am so excited to work with them and get to know them. This next transfer is just going to be great. I cant wait.

Question time:
Grandpa. How is your apartment?
Oh my goodness where do I begin with my new apartment. Lets just say that I was in the worse apartment in the mission and now I am in the nicest apartment in the mission. It is so great.

Well thanks all for your emails. I love you all and just want to say thanks again for all that you do for me.
Elder Flitton 



"PERM"
June 11, 2012


Hello Everyone,
     How is everyone? Hope that summer is treating you well. Perm is great. It is definately summer here. The weather here has been so great. This last week Elder Oneill and I have been out on the streets a lot. I have quite the Missionary tan ha. This week is a huge festival in the city. It is called White Night. They have a huge fair kind of thing and it is a big thing. I guess on the 24th or something of June the sun doesn't go down. It stays light the whole entire day. Really interesting I know. I am excited to witness this.
     This last week we have been working really hard. We are so exhausted at nights when we come home. I have never loved my bed so much than I do now. Sleep is so great. We have about 4 investigators. The one closest to baptism, his name is Slava. He is about 24 and he is really funny. He has been taught for about a couple of months and his baptism is at the end of this month. We are way excited for him. Our next investigator, her name is Alexandera. She is 84 and she is the sweetest lady that I have ever met in Russia. She is so funny. We went over to her house with the Pocoks last night and had a little lesson with her. She loves the Pocoks. I love the Pocoks ha they are so great. We use them a lot and we live close to them. They are so awesome. I am so blessed to have a Senior couple in my area. They gave me a hair cut last week and it was so great. It was the first time in the field where someone else gave me a haircut and not myself. It looked a lot better than what I do ha. Well got on a tangent about senior couples sorry but back to investigators. Our other investigator, her name is Natalia. She is great. She left this week to visit her daughter though so we don't know when she is going to be back. We made sure that she took her Book Of Mormon. Our other investigator is a nigerean. His name is Clinton. We have only had one meeting with him. He is really hard to meet with becuase he is so busy. He is so great though. Please pray for Clinton everyone, he needs it right now.
     This last week was a very tiring week. On saturday we helped one of the members here do some service. We had to carry some huge cabinets/closets out of his apartment and load them on the truck. I was so tired ha. After we went to the Sport activity that the ward holds every Saturday. We played soccer and I about died. I am so terrible at soccer but whatever the members got a laugh from watching me play it.
     So lately I have been thinking a lot about the people that we are teaching,especially Clinton. He voiced the concern that he is tired of doing the religion thing. He feels that God doesn't anwser his prayers and that he is living in this world alone. He said he wants to give up the religion thing. When I heard that my heart was torn in half. I felt so bad for him. I wanted to do all that I could for him. The only thing that I can get someone to do is to read the Book of Mormon and have them pray for themselves and to ask God if the Book is true and that Joseph Smith did actually restore God's kingdom on earth. I can't force anyone to do anything. It takes them to show a little faith and do the things that we ask them to do. We are kind of like a guide for people. We can give them encouragement and help but we cant recieve there anwser for them. I can tell someone all day that the Book of Mormon is true but that is not going to do anything for them unless they pray and ask God if it is true. So when people don't do what we ask them to do it is really sad, it hurts. God loves all of us and he made the gosple simple for all of his children so that they could know of Him and return to Him. All that he asks us to do is to show some faith and ask Him wether or not the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith really did restore this church. Then he will give us an anwser. These anwsers come in so many different ways. I have recieved an anwser in a way that I wasn't expecting but I recieved an anwser. Clinton is a son of our Heavenly Father and he needs a lot of help. I have only met him once and he is so important to me. I want to see him recieve his anwser and I want to see him Baptized.
     Well I just want to say thanks for all of your emails. Dad happy fathers this week. You are my hero and I look up to you so much. Thank you for everything that you do for me. You have such a strong spirit and it helps my spirit. Thank you Dad. Hope that this Fathers Day is a great one for you. Also Katie happy birthday! Don' party too hard haha. I love you.


Question time:
Chan:
Have you gotten used to permyet? No but slowly I am.
Birthday Package? I would love the book "10000 most used Russian Words" and some pictures:)
P.S Tell your Mom and Dad that I say hello and that I miss them. Tell them not to have to much fun this summer without me. Thanks

Grandma:
When I went to the temple we were able to do baptisms. We do it in Russian
I did get your package last week. Thank you so much. I love starbursts. They are already gone. I always snack on them during studies ha. Thank you.

Grandpa
Any american rest. We are going to Mc Donalds right now ha I am way excited.
I am running out of time for email but just want to say thanks for everything.l I love you all. Oh mom Btw could you send my retainers:) haha I have been noticing my teeth are starting to move. So ASAP would be great. Love you mom.
Elder Flitton

"Week Three in Perm"
June 18, 2012
Hello Everyone,

     How is everyone? Sounds like in your emails like summer is treating you all well. That is so cool that Cam and Gar are on a soccer team together and Uncle dave is there coach. That sounds so fun. Also good job Mitch with soccer. That is always a good sign when the coach comes up and asks for your name. Keep up the good work. Also I love the picture of Coleman with the plate of goodies. Thats my boy haha. Katie happy 17 birthday!!! с днём рёждение Happy birthday. I cant believe that you are 17 and that you went on a date the other day ago. How did dad feel? ha. Also fam have fun at girls camp. Be safe and don't get involved with the bears ha. Did you know that the bear is the country animal. They love their bear's. Grandpa I am going to tell you the truth when we get home at night and we are done planning I grab the broom and practice my swing...so no need to worry. Jen sounds like quite the vacation. I am so jelaous of these little trips that you go on. Especially when you went to wrigley field. Oh that is my dream to go see a baseball game in Chicago. Also that is pretty funny about the missionaries in the airport. That will definately be a joyous day when I come down the escalator. Im expecting a big celebration at the airport haha. Sorry this is a big rambling paragraph but I just want to let you all know that I do get your emails and I love them. Grandma thanks for the quote. I loved it. That is exactly what i needed to hear. I do have a bottom retainer.. please find it but if you cant that is ok just send the top one. Love you. Chan I love the pictures. Your dad is so great I love the picture. Tell your parents that I say hello and also Kace and Jordan. I love the picture of the ultra sound. Kace is going to be a mommy!!! Love ya kace.
Cindy thanks for your last email. It means a lot to get one from you. Tell the family that I say hello and that I love them. Thanks Grandma cindy... :) Well I think that is everyone. I love you all.

     Well a little bit about my last week. We worked our stinkin butts off last week. We were outside all the time talking to people and sharing with them the good word. We met a lot of great people. Last night we met this nigerean named Benny. He said that meeting us was no accident. He was way excited to see us and he wants to meet with us. It was so awesome. I felt last night that Heavenly Father guided Elder Oneill and I to where we needed to go. We were able to give away a lot of Books of Mormon. Last night was a great night for Elder Oneill and I.
Investigators-
1. Slava- Has a baptism date for this saturday. Has a interview with zone leaders. We feel like he isn't ready and that he needs to be taught more so he can be prepared for Baptism.
2.Alexandera- We were over at her house and her daughter came by. Her daughter is a minister in the Russian Orthodox church. She wasn't happy to see us and she kicked us out of the house and threatend to call the police. None the less Alexandera is 84 and can make her own decisions and still wants to meet with us. We are very grateful for her and she has a baptism date for next month. She is a peach.
3.Clinton- We weren't able to meet with him last week but we were able to get a hold of him and he says that he wants to meet this week. We are way excited for that. Thank you everyone for your prayers and faith. It means a lot.
    Those are our main investigators. We met a lot of great people last week so we should be able to get some new people to begin teaching. All this hard work is starting to pay off. Like you said grandma only in the dictionary does success come before work. It is so true. Not just as a missionary but life in general.

     This last week I have been trying really hard to be able to build my testimony of the Savior. It says in PMG that when we have a strong testimony in the Savior and the Atonement we will have more desire to share the Gospel. It is so true. On Friday my companion was so sick so we stayed inside that day. While he was sleeping I watched the movie Finding Faith in Christ, in Russian. I felt the spirit so strong and I knew that my Savior really did die for me and everyone else. He experienced everything that we experience. Watching it in Russian and feeling the spirit so strong was exactly what I needed. I know that the Gift of Tongues really does exist. I have seen it in my mission and I know that it exists. Christ really is there for us. He love us and he wants to bless us so bad. We just have to show our faith to him. I love my Savior and I know that He lives.

Q and A
Grandpa- Gone to the River yet? Yes I have. It is huge!
Freeways in Perm? Nope... Traffic can get really bad sometimes.
Can a missionary drive in Russia? Nope to dangerous
How big is the apartment building? It is huge.. Luckily we live on the second floor. I will take a picture of it.
Brown water.. how often do you drink water? We have to drink a lot of water. We have a huge water filter.
Grandma Restrictions on food? Yes we arent allowed to eat berries or any fish from the river or lakes. They have to be from the ocean. And mushrooms are not allowed.
Is there something that you really want to have? I really would like the book from Deseret book or Segull book called "Drawing on the Powers of Heaven" By Grant Von Harrison. Thanks :)

Jen- Have you heard from Ivan? No i haven't but this week is zone conf in Yekaterinburg so I will be able to see the elders who serve in Kurgan right now so I will be able to ask them how he is doing. way excited.
The thing that I am most proud of so far on my mission? The way that I have grown to love this people, my companions and especially the Lord.

Mom- HOw is the apartment? It is the nicest apartment. I love it. My bed is really small but Im fine with it. ha
Dad- Do people dress up to go to McDonalds? Yes the dress up for everything. They love Mcdonalds. It is the place to hang out. It is like a 4* restaurant here. I love it.

Chan- How is the weather? It is great. It has been a little cloudy lately but I enjoy it. It sure does get hot sometimes. And a little about White Nights. They have this huge festival for the month of June on the main squre in the city. Our apartment is right next to it so it is quite loud sometimes ha. But they have a lot of fun little festival things. They have a sand castle competion thing. You should see some of them. they are so cool. I will take some pictures.

Well just want to tell you all that I love you and that I really enjoy your emails. Hope summer is great for you all. Talk to you next week.

Elder Flitton


"Week 4 in Perm"
June 25, 2012


Dear Family,

     How is everyone? By the sounds of it you are all having a great summer. Sounds like camp was a success and that all went well. Sounds like Yellowstone was a lot of fun also. I love the pictures thanks Chan. Callie way to go with soccer. Ms Allstar...

    Well last week flew by. We got on a train last Wednesday and went to Yekaterinburg for Zone Conf. It was really fun. I love zone conf and seeing all of the other missionaries. The train ride was great. Our train was like the Hogwarts train ha. When the lady came buy and asked if we wanted anything I said "We will buy the cart" She had no idea what I said... My interview with President Rust was the greatest. He is so great, he really is called of God to lead the Yekaterinburg mission. I am so grateful for my Mission President. The theme at zone conf was Obedience. It was exactly what Elder Oneill and I needed to hear. We are now going to be 100% obedient. In everything we do we will obey with exactness. We are really excited for this. We know that the lord will bless us so much and that our companionship will be the best. We know that it will be hard but we are willing and wanting to do it. Blessings only come from being obedient and I challenge all of you to be obedient so that the Lord can bless you.

     Well we got some news today that in the sisters apartment they will be doing some remodeling so the sisters will be kicked out of their apartment for ten days. So that means that they will be staying in our apartment and we will be kicked out of our apartment and will be staying with the zone leaders. So we are going to be moving this week, it should be quite the experience. Also this week we will be having a baptism. The other elders in Perm have a baptism on Saturday. We are really excited for this. Our investigators Alexandera and Slava still have a lot more work to do. But none the less we are still working really hard with them. We have a meeting tonight with Alexandera. We have a lot of hope that she will be baptized. She is a great lady.

     Well I cant believe that this transfer is almost over. I have learned so much these past four weeks. I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father and I know that He really is there. He is there for all of His children and He loves them so much. He cares so much for the ones that aren't in His fold yet. All we can do is have hope and faith and follow Christ with all of our hearts and the ones that we love will soon come around. I know this to be true, with every cell in my body I know it to be true. I am so grateful for my trials. The Lord gives us trials becuase He loves us. They are the only way that we can grow. God loves all of us and he knows us individually. I love this Gospel and I love my Family. Thank you for everything that you do for me.

Elder Flitton


Q/A

Grandpa- There are 10 missionaries in Perm. We are serving in the Parkovy area. It is in the middle of the city. We live on Pooshkina next to a animal store ha. Also we love to go to KFC. It is really better than in America. And yes I have gotten used to Perm. I can get around without a map.

MOM- Yes I need my retainer. And yes I need those black extra comfort nike socks. Make sure they are all black. I love you. I loved the pictures of the family. I am so jelaous that you went to the Roof.

Dad- There are about 50 missionaries. We are loosing a lot of them though. We are a very small mission. We never have dinner appointments. That is frowned upon here for missionaries because members just don't have the money and food to feed us. We are asked not to have dinner at members. Only if they are well off.
The River in Perm

Red Square

He is a big dreamer...

Red Square

Where Lenin is buried.




I don't know about you, but these photos are pretty impressive!! They are the places that come up on Google Images when you search "Russia". How lucky and blessed is he to be able to be surrounded by so many beautiful people and places.

I am grateful for this experience and for Elder Flitton's willingness to share his own with all of us.

"Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds."
     President Gordon B Hinckley




Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Catch up with Elder Flitton!

"Livin the life in the BIG city of Kurgan"
April 9, 2012

Hello Everyone,

Well last week was a very busy week. We had the missionaries from the city of Tumen come down and have zone class. I was able to go on splits with some other missionaries. That was a fun experience. On thursday I got to go on a split with a native missionary from Ukraine. That was so awesome. I learned so much from him. I learned that the Russian language is so difficult ha. I was also able to go on slpits with a minnie(only serves for six weeks) missonary who is from another city in the mission. He didn't speak a lick of English, so that was a very interesting experience. It was a way good experience, I learned a ton from him. I wouldn't mind getting a native companion. I feel that my Russian would improve so much better. I went on three splits this last week, due to the fact that my companions passport was stolen in Finland. So he had to do some traveling this last week. But all in all this was a great week for missionary work. We are going to have a solid baptism date for Galena on the 19th of May (that one is for you Anna), we are way pumped to have a solid date for her. Hopefully she can be well enough to come to church. This week we are going to teach her about the importance of a prophet and then invite her to come and watch Conference at the branch building on Saturday. We will see how that goes.
Yesterday was Easter, thank you everyone for your emails. I can say that I had a great Easter Sunday here in Kurgan. President Rust came down on Saturday with his wife and the assistants. We had a apartment check....my first of the mission. So Elder Weber and I cleaned it up for like an hour before it went down. Let's just say that our apartment passed inspection. Sister Rust asked us if we always keep the apartment this clean. I couldnt lie to her so I told her that we cleaned the kitchen really well and took out the garbage ha. She was very impressed of how clean it was. President Rust wasn't a fan of the apartment. He said that we need to talk to the landlord and get some things fixed in it. For example the dry wall is coming off in the bathrooom right above the shower haha. He said if the landlord doen't get that fixed we are moving out and finding a new apartment. So we are going to have to give our landlord a call.
Sunday was really nice. Evan the guy I baptized passed the sacrament for his first time. It was so awesome to see. He is making so much progress in the gosple. I love him so much. After church President Rust talked to us missonaries and told us how grateful he was for us and our service here in kurgan. He told us that we werent forgotten being here in Kurgan (kurgan is kind of out of the mission). He told us that Kurgan is a very important place for the mission to flourish. He has a lot of faith in us missionaries here in Kurgan. I love my mission president. After church Elder Weber and I headed back home where we did some weekly planning and then we made a Russian dinner for Easter. We made Plov. I'm not quite sure how to explain it but it was good. After Plov we decided to make some Chocolate chip cookies. We found a really old reciepe book in the apartment and we were going through it and came upon "The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie reciepe", we had to try it out. They definately werent the best, maybe due to the fact that missionaries made them but they were good. I had cookies and milk for breakfast this morning. I will probably have them tomorrow also haha. We doubled the recipe...Ooops.
This Easter was so awesome. Elder Weber and I had a really good time. I will never forget this Easter. I am so thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ that he suffered for all of us so that we could return back to Him and the Father. Through Him, He has given us the oppurtunity to be joint heirs of the Kingdom and Glory of God. I know that Christ has done so much for me, and that I will never be able to repay Him, but I can do all that I can to show my love for Him and His children. I am so thankful for this oppurtunity to serve a mission, to be able to serve our Lord and Redeemer.
Thank you all for your emails. I love reading them every Monday. Keep them coming.
Love,
Elder Flitton



"What a week!!"
April 16, 2012

Hello from Russia Everyone


Well this last week was a very busy one. First I will talk about all the missionary work we did. We met with our investigator Galena. She is progressing very slowly but she is progressing. She went in for surgery this last week so that we wont see her for another week or so. We are going to give her a call this weekend and see how she is doing. Hopefully she will be well and ready to come to church. Elder Weber and I talked to a lot of people this last week. We met a lot of interesting people. We got a lot of numbers so we are going to give them a call this week and hopefully get some meetings set up. We could use a new investigator. Last week we had a meeting at one of our members house. She had a friend over that wasn't a member. So I looked at my companion and gave him the nod...Its time for the first lesson, we are pulling in the big guns ha. We taught this lady about the Restoration and we talked about Joseph Smith and the things that he did. We invited her to read the Book of Mormon. She said that she would read it and pray about it. Elder Weber and I didn't plan on teaching the first lesson, but the Holy Ghost prompted me to do it and I did it. We learn from President Monson, never hesitate to act on a prompting from the spirit. This week we will try to meet with that woman and beging to teach her the Gosple of Jesus Christ.
This last week was transfer calls. My companion, Elder Weber will be leaving Kurgan and going to the city of Perm. I am staying in the city of Kurgan and getting a new companion. His name is Elder Eliason. I don't know much about him, but what I do know is that he is from the state of Indianna.... Maybe you know him dad ha. He has been serving in the office for the last 3 transfers so hopefully he will be ready to get back to missionary work. I am excited for the chance to be able to work with him. I am glad that the Lord wants me to stay in Kurgan a little longer. I have a lot more work to do here before I leave. I hope that I will be able to find those who are ready to come back to there Heavenly Father.
Last weekend we were priviliged to be able to watch General Conference. We watched it on the computer in the library at the Church. It was so awesome. The talks that were given were so great. That is direct revelation from God, therefore we need to follow there counsel. When President Monson walked to the pulpit the spirit slapped me right in the face(in a good way). I started to cry for some reason. The peace that I felt and the comfort that came to me is undescribable. We have a prophet that is called from God. Just like Moses, Abraham, Alma, Nephi and Joseph Smith were called, President Monson is called. He leads this church with the help of his Apostles. This church is built upon prophets and apostles. Why is this church flourshing and growing by the thousands? This is the Lords kingdom on earth. This is His church and He is at the head of it. Doesn't that bring comfort and peace knowing that we are on the right path to return to Him. From the words of Elder D. Todd Christofferson and I am paraphrasing.. Those who are not of our faith... come and find out for yourself, become of our faith. I am so grateful for this oppurtunity to serve the Lord here in Russia. I know that my Redeemer lives and that He loves each and every one of us. We need to do our duty as President Monson said. How will we respond when duty calls? I want to to serve the Lord with all I got because I know that there are people here who are ready to change and know their Redeemer. I love my Heavenly Father and I know that He is there for all of us.
Today I found about my Grandpa Wendy's death. I was so blessed to have known him. I remember when I was a little kid and I went to his house and made a cradle with him. He helped me make it and I still have that cradle today. I will never forget all the times that grandpa, my dad and I would go over to his house and watch football games. He sure had some funny commentary. I will never forget when he would sing to all of us as we sat around him. He is one of my heroes and I am so glad that he is home with Grandma Ann. It is comforting to know that he will be here in Russia with me, helping me out and cheering me up. I love my Grandpa Wendy.
Alright so with the emailing rules. Anyone can email me, but I can only write one email to my parents. So I will try to respond in the emails. Thank you all for your love and support. It means the world to me. I love you


Elder Flitton


"First week of the transfer"
April 22,2012

Dear Family,


Well this last week was the first week of the transfer. It was really hard to say goodbye to Elder Weber. We have been serving together in Kurgan our whole mission. We were way lucky to be companions also. I learned so much from Elder Weber. We have been out for about the same time, he has one more transfer than me but we did a lot of great work in Kurgan. Elder Weber taught me how to see success in ways that the Lord wants you to see them. We had a hard time finding a new investigator but we did a lot of work with Less Actives. We were able to reacitivate one of the members in our area and we were able to meet with a lot of families. I really enjoyed my time with Elder Weber. Wednsday we got on a train to Yekaterinburg where we met our new companions. I really enjoy my new companion. His name is Elder Eliason, he is from the small city of Laurencberg Indianna. He has been out for quite a while. On Wednesday we went to Burger King in Yekaterinburg. It was so satisfying to eat a whopper and a large cup of coca cola. The burger king is so nice there. I felt like I was in a 6 star restaurant. I hope some day I will have the oppurtunity to serve in the city of Yekaterinburg so I can have burger king all the time....
Well we got back thursday morning and got straight to work. We did a lot of contacting this last week. We got a lot of numbers and we ahve a couple of potential investigators. Elder Eliason has been serving for awhile so he is pretty good at the language. I am so grateful for the chance to be able to learn from him. He has already taught me so much. I am very excited for this transfer. Good things are in store for us.
We had a lesson last week with Vera. She is the grandma that we saved from the ice a couple of months ago. We taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ and then we invited her to be baptized on the 19 of May. She said yes! We then invited her to come to church and she agreed. She came to church yesterday with one of the members. It was so awesome. We still have a lot of work to do with her but we are having a lot of help from one of the members in the branch. I am so excited to see her progress and be prepared to be baptized on the 19th. That is going to be a great day becuase we have already two scheduled baptisms and it is Anna's birthday. I cant wait for that day.
Well I guess I will give an update on the city of Kurgan. It is starting to warm up very fast. President is still making us wear suits, so we sweat a ton. Some days are really warm and other days are really cold. The trees are starting to grow wich is awesome and the grass is starting to turn green. I havent seen green grass in forever. It is so great ha. I have really enjoyed serving here in Kurgan. The missionary work here is booming. We take a lot of buses to get to different places and we also do a lot of walking. Right now we spend most of our time finding and just talking to people on the street. We have met a lot of great people.
Thank you for all of your emails. I love reading them every pday. I love you all and miss you a lot. Oh yah I finally got my package!!! thank you so much. Tell the young mens thanks for their letters. Thanks mom again for the package. You are the best.
Love,
Elder Flitton


"The experiences of Elder Flitton in Kurgan"
April 30, 2012

Hello Family,


How are you all doing? This last week has been a very busy week. We made it a goal to visit all of the little towns(villages) in our areas. We have a lot of little towns in our area. So every day we went to these towns. The funny thing is that we met more people and talked to more people on the journey there, then actually being in the little towns. It was a very different feeling going to these little villages. There was no one on the street. It is very hard to go and knock on doors becuase people have fences and in the yard they have very large dogs. Dogs here in Russia are really big. They look like the dog Kujo. Luckily I haven't had any run ins with big dogs...knock on wood. But the journeys this last week were really fun. We went to a place called clean field and we had to walk awhile and we met a man who was herding his cows and sheep. It was a very interesting chat with him. He was atheist and didn't want to know anything about God or Jesus so he started talking to us about America. He asked us if we had cows in America. I tried so hard not laugh but I lost it. We told him that we had a lot of cows in America, we told him that the cows in America are a lot bigger than the cows in Russia. This guys cow was very sick looking. He was baffled that we had cows and sheep in America. The guy got a new name that day. It is now the "Cow Master".
We met a lot of great people this week. We talked to a ton of people also. Elder Eliason is starting to adjust to life in Kurgan so that is good. We had meetings this week with our two investigators, Vera and Galena. They both went really well. Vera was earlier in the week, she has made a lot of progress. She says everytime that she really wants to be baptized. We still have some work to do with her but she is definately on the right path to baptism. She is so awesome. Our second lesson this week was with Galena. We haven't seen her for awhile becuase she went to get surgery. It was really good to meet with her. She is doing a lot better. Her health is improvign a lot wich is great. This means that she will be able to attend church. She promised that she would come yesterday but she didn't becuase she got really high blood pressure. We were really bummed. She felt really bad and she told us that she would come this week to church. Both of our investigators are doing very well. From the looks of it right now there will be a baptism on the 19th, I can' wait.
Things here in Kurgan are great. The weather is getting warmer very fast. It is very different because I am so used to wearing a big coat and extra socks. Now we are just outside in suits. It feels really different. The sun definately got to me last week. It isn't the best feeling to be sweating in a suit with a tie. President made a rule that we have to wear our suits. It will be a nice day when we are allowed to be outside without a suit. This weekend it rained a lot. I love the rain. I miss the smell of rain back home. The rain here has a very different smell and I'm not that big of a fan of it. The weather is improving and it is great to see. I love to see green grass and leafs on the trees.
So I want to throw a shout out to someone really specieal....
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CALLIE!!!!! Hope you had a great birthday! Sorry that it is a day late. I can't believe that you are 12 years old. I love you so much!


Just want to say thanks to all for all of the emails and all of the support that you give me. It helps so much to have a fan club back home cheering me on. I love my family so much. I am so thankful for my parents, sisters, grandmas and grandpas, aunt and uncles and cousins. I am so thankful that we can be together forever. I love the song Families can be Together Forever. I love to sing it in Russian also. I am so grateful that our Heavenly Father has given us the oppurtunity to live with our families for eternity after this life. I am so grateful for the temple. I miss the temple so much. I cant wait to go to Finland again. I love you all so much, thank you for everything that youdo for me.You mean a whole lot to me.
PS So mom mothers day is coming up. I really want to skype so make sure it is up and running. I will make an account and fill you in with more information next email. I love you!
Elder Flitton



MAY 7, 2012

Hello Parents,

Well last week was quite the week. Elder Eliason and I were very busy. The zone leaders came down from Tumen and we had zone class. We set some really great goals for the Siberian zone. We decided that we need to be more happy. We need to enjoy this work more. So everytime we see someone with a mullet we have to tell a miracle that we have seen to our companion. For some reason there are a lot of mullets in Russia, especially in the city of Kurgan. I might rock the mullet when I get home. We also got the new Russian Translation quad. President Rust bought us all one. It is so great. I am so grateful that I can read from the Book of Mormon in Russian and learn and feel the spirit from it. I love the Book of Mormon in English and Russian.
Last week we met with Vera and Galena both. We had some great lessons with them. There baptisms are on the 19th and that is coming up really soon. So that means that Galena had to come to church. She said that she would try to make it but she wasn't making any promises. So that night I pleaded with the Lord that Galena would come to church on Sunday. She came and my prayer was anwsered. I know that my Heavenly Father is there and that He loves His children so much. When I saw Galena at church my hear was comforted and I knew that my Father in Heaven heard my prayer.
This week we had some visitors from Moscow. Elder and Sister Huefner. They came to Kurgan to do an Audit for the branch. They came also to train us missionaries on how to do MLS program. They arrived on Saturday and they took us to the only restaurant in Kurgan. It was really good, I got a little taste of America. It was really weird to walk out of there and feel like your back in Russia ha. The food was great. I haven't been to a nice restaurant for quite a while. After dinner they trained us missionaries on how to do the MLS program. It is the church's program for records and all that fun stuff. They don't have a lot of Melchizedook priesthood holders so the missionaries with the branch president have to do the tithing. President wants to call a second counselor and clerk. Those will be missionaries being called to serve in those spots. It is really sad to be in a really small branch. There is just no acitve men to do this. So the responisibility falls on the missionaries.
Alright so I want to anwser all the questions that people have asked me.
Aunt jen's questions
1.How often are transfers? They are every six weeks.
2.Are Russians politically active? Very.. most russians don't like Putin though. A lot of Russians care about politics in America.
3.New investigators? We have been searching a lot to find new investigators. We have about three for potentials. We just have to set up meetings with them which is the hardest.
4.Do I need anything? I would love some simple multi vitamins
Love ya!

Grandma
1. How is the language coming along? The language is definatley coming along. I understand a lot and I can speak well. I still have a lot more to learn but I am making a lot of progress.
2.English club? Yes we do have English club. They are wanting to shut it down becuase we only do it to find new people to teach. Most missions aren't having success with it so they want to shut it down. We simply speak english the whole time and we do little activities.

Grandpa
1.What is new in Kuran? Nothing much, people are getting ready for the warm weather. A lot of people have little cottages in the countryside so they go there and spend time. The weather has been cloudy and rainy. It has been really cold lately.
2. Suits everyday? Yes we have to wear our suits every day. When it gets warmer than 22c we can take off the suits.

Mom
1. How are you? I am great mom thanks for asking.
2.Have you ran into the cow master? No
3.How is elder Eliason? He is doing great, he is a stud.
4.Are you getting along? Yes we are.

Dad
1.How are you Eating? I am eating a little to much...
2.Have you adjusted to the food well? I have adjusted quite well.
3Do you have to be careful in what you eat and Drink? Yes, we are only allowed to drink filtered water. We aren't allowed to eat fish here. Meat is cautioned ha.
4. Members invite you for dinner appointments? THere is one member. She is great, that is where we have the traditional Russian food.
5. How is the Kurgan branch? They are doing well. They are hanging in there.

Chan
1.Next time to go to Finland? My visa trip is scheduled for the first week of June. I can' wait.
2.Do you go somewhere else? Nope it is Finland every time.
3.Are you excited to talk to your family? :)

Well I hope I answered all of your questions. Thank you so much for all of your emails, I love to read and get caught up what is going on in Utah. I cant wait to call home on Sunday. I will be calling at 7:30pm Kurgan time. It is a 12 hour difference so sorry that it is early in the morning. Mom I sent you a request thing for skype. It is called the kurgan branch so just accept the request haha. I hope this all works out. I cant wait.
Oh and one more little Russian culture thing. This week is Victory Day. It is the second most celebrated holliday in Russia. We are goin to be inside all day on Wednesday so that should be a great time ha. One more reason for Russians to get drunk ha.
Well on that note I love you all. Talk to you on Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your son,
Keat


"GREAT WEEK"
May 14, 2012

Hello Family,


It was really good to see and talk to you guys last night. You all look so great. After the skype session it felt really weird that I had just seen and talked to my family. I really enjoyed that hou;r though. Thank you for all of your love and support.
Well last week went by really fast. It is already the 5th week in the transfer. It isso crazy to think that this transfer ends in two weeks. It feels like it just started. But last week was a great week. We have a baptism service this saturday for our investigator Vera. She had her interview with our district leader yesterday. She was really nervous, especially when he called President Rust. She didn't want to talk to president Rust because she was so scared/nervous to talk to him. But she did and she loved it. She loves president Rust now haha. I have really enjoyed teaching Vera. Shehas made so much progress in the gospel and it has been so awesome to withness it. She is so funny.Ilove having meetings withher because she just makes me laugh the whole time. She is such a gem.
Word about Galena is that she isn't ready for baptism. It was really hard when she told us that she wasn't ready. We will still be working with her though. I am really anxious to see her now and see if she will do the commitments that we give her. I know that someday she will be prepared and she will enter the waters of baptism. It has been a great blessing teaching Galena. She is so kind and loving.
Last week we had a in-day. It was the longest day of my life. The great thing about that day is that I got to take a very long nap. It was such a huge blessing ha. I needed one really bad, I was out for quite awhile. That night Elder Eliason and I bought some coke and we went outside on our balcony and sprayed it everywhere for the celebration. I almost felt like I won the world series spraying bubbly everywhere,but it was coke and I was on a balcony in Russia. Oh well.
This week Elder Eliason and I went on a journey to the northeren reaches of Ribkovo(a city in our area). We stood face to face with a huge Birch forest.... We decided that we would say a little prayer and bless the area for missionary work. We were probably the first missionaries in that area. It was really awesome. After we went into this birch forest and explored. There was a little neighborhood next to this forest and we decided to talk to some people but no one wanted to listen. We had been contacting for awhile and it felt like no one wanted totalkto us. It was kind of discouraging but we decided to goand knock on some doors. The first ten doors no one anwsered. So we knocked on the very last door and this lady anwsered. She was so interested in what we had to say and she said that she would come to church. Elder Eliason and I had just experienced a huge miracle. This lady was so prepared to hear what we had to say. We are so excited to talk more with her.
The weather today is so nice. Today is my first day in just a white shirt (short sleeved). It feels so great. Im about to get my "tan" on. I sure do miss working at the pool and getting a great tan. Now I get the missionary tan...I cant wait. Russians love the warm weather. They love to just be outside. Warmer weather brings out less clothes. I have seen some bizzare outfits. We defiantely stand out in our ties and white shirts. Love it.
Well it is time to anwser some questions now


Cameron
1. what is your favorite part of your mission? I have not a worry in the world. Every day I get to serve the Lord and do His work here in Russia.


Aunt Jen
You didn't ahve a question but I loved your attitude thing. It was so awesome. Thank you.


Mom
What did you think of Skyping? It was really awesome. It was kind of akward talking into a computer but I really enjoyed seeing you guys. I love you.
I cant wait for christmas.
Were you suprised to see Chan? I had a feeling that she was going to be there :) it was so good to see her.

Chan
How was the rest of your night and day? It was really strange feeling after skype. I cant believe that I talked to you guys. It was awesome. I was on cloud 9 as well. Today is great. It is pday so I am really excited for what this day is going to bring.


Thanks familly for all of the great support. It was such a blessing to talk to you guys last night. I cant wait for christmas. I love you guys so much. I will definately take a lot of pictures of the baptism on saturday. I love you.
Keaton

"Great week in Kurgan"
May 14, 2012

Dear Family,


Well this last week was probably one of the best weeks on my mission so far. We were able to come into contact with a former investigator and she is wanting to hear the lessons again. She is really excited to hear about the Plan of Salvation. We are really excited to meet with her this week. Our last meeting with her she had a lot of great questions. She also prayed for us for the first time. It is such a spiritual experience to see someone pray for the first time and to ask Heavenly Father to give them an anwser to know if the church is true. It is such a great thing to witness. She is really excited for the second lesson. We are too.
Well the baptism on Saturday was so great. She said that she couldn't be baptized if it was in cold water. So us elders had a tea party before the baptism, we filled the font with hot water. It was a really long process but it worked. The water was warm for her. She came an hour early to try some of the baptism clothing on. She didn't know if she wanted sleeves or no sleeves. She asked for my oppinion and I said that she would look great in both of them ha. She then went and changed into the clothing and when she walked out of the changing room she looked like an angel. She was smiling and she looked so happy. She even did a little dance for us ha. It was so great to see her in white clothing. During the service we asked Evan to give a talk. It was so awesome to see him talk about baptism. He was only baptized 4 months ago and he is giving a talk. I was so proud of him. He has made so much progress. His talk was so simple that it was perfect. He bore his powerful testimony about his conversion and his baptism. It really touched my heart. Evan is such a great person. I was so blessed to be able to teach him and to baptize him. I love him. After his talk we went to the font. I helped Vera down into the water. She was really nervous. I reassured her that everything was going to be ok. As I raised my arm to the square I then said the prayer and baptized her. As she came out of the water she was smiling so big. She gave me a big hug and thanked me for all that I did. She then said that as I was saying the prayer that she felt so calm and peaceful. She then started to cry and gave me another great hug.
I know that this church is true. Here is evidence that it is the only true church. Vera is just another piece of evidence that I know that this church is true. I have seen her progress and come closer to her Father in Heaven. Her life has become so much happier. That is what happens when we choose to follow Christ. Our life becomes better and happier. I know with all of my heart that this is Heavenly Fathers church on earth today. Look at all of the great blessings we recieve everyday. Everyday try to find little miracles and I promise you that you will see and feel the presence of our Saviour and Father in Heaven more. I am so grateful for this chance to be able to serve here in the city of Kurgan. The church is world wide. The gosple will spread everywhere until it has reached every land, every home, every person. This is the Lord's work and I am so grateful for the oppurtunity to be a part of it.


Now question anwsering time....


Juliann-1 What area are you serving in? Yekaterinburg Russia (Kurgan)
2 When do you come home? I have got a long time before that... But around September 2013
Grandpa-
Do you know the Pocoks? I have met them once. I think they are serving in the city of Ufa but im not sure.


Grandma
Did you take any pictures of the village? No but I have pictures of other little villages.
What is Galenas last name? I don't know...ha I will ask her though.
Yes...:)
Have you got the package? NO i havent gotten it. Hopefully next week I will.
Chan
When do you know if you will serve in a new area? I believe I will get a call from my mission President on Saturday.. That is if I get transfered.

Well next week I will be going on my visa trip to Finland. I am really excited. I think while we are in Moscow we are going to go to Red Square. I am so excited. Thanks everyone for all of you emails. Thank you for all of the support. I love you so much.
Love you all
Elder Flitton



"Goodbye Kurgan"
May 28, 2012

Hello Family


Well this last week has been a very busy week. The biggest news from last week is that I will be leaving Kurgan. I will now be serving in the city of Perm with Elder Oneill. I can't believe that I am leaving Kurgan. When President Rust told me that I was being transfered to Perm, I was silent. I had no idea what to say. It was a very weird feeling. But I am way excited to go to the city of Perm. I am pumped to be able to serve with Elder Oneill. We were in the MTC together for a little. He is a great Elder and I am so excited for this next transfer.
Last week Elder Eliason went on his Visa trip, so I got to hang out with Zone leaders in Tumen. I had a great time up there. That is a very beautiful city. It is so different compaired to the city of Kurgan. When Elder Eliason got back from Finland we got on a bus back to Kurgan and made it just in time for the baptism that we were having. Our second counselor in the branch presidency baptized his daughter. It was really great to be there and see that. I know that this branch will grow and I really enjoy this oppurtunity to help with the progress.
Yesterday I was given the oppurtuntity to bear my testimony in sacrament. I really had no idea what to say when I got up there. I paused a little bit and just said a little prayer in my heart and asked my Father in Heaven to help me with what to say. The things that I wanted to say in my mind were being spoken, it just flowed. I know that my Father in Heaven heard my little prayer. He helped me out a lot and I was able to bear powerful testimony. I expressed my love for the branch and how much they helped me. I have learned so much here in Kurgan. I have learned so much about the gosple and about myself. I know that I was called from God to serve here in the city of Kurgan. This small little city in this huge country of Russia holds a special place in my heart. I will never forget the people of Kurgan and especially the people I have been given the oppurtunity to baptize. I have really enjoyed and cherished my time here in Kurgan.
Last night I was able to meet with Ivan, Vera and Sister N. She cooked a great Russian dinner for us and prepared a great dessert for us. After the meal we had a little testimony meeting. This meeting really touched my heart. I really do love this people. They are so special to me. I will miss them so much. When Ivan bore his testimony he just kept thanking us for all the great work that we did. He told me that he will never forget me and that he wants to visit America when I get home....:) Vera shared with us that she has started to share the gosple with her family. She started to cry when she said that she wants her daughter to be baptized. This work that I am doing is truly our Heavenly Fathers work. The gosple of Jesus Christ is so great. If people would just give faith a try and ask Heavenly Father for an anwser, I know that they will get one. They will get the anwser that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that Joseph Smith saw the Father and the Son. That through Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ restored His church on earth. Once they know that this church is true and they are baptized there lives will become so much better. They will have purpose in life. They will find true happiness. They will get happiness that the world can't give but happiness that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ can give. That is true happiness. I have been blessed to feel this and I want everyone to feel it. I want my family to feel it and I want all of my friends to feel it. Just give it a try. If it can work with a 70 year old бабушка (grandma) who lives in a little city of Russia, it can work for anyone. I promise you that.
Tonight I will be getting on a bus to Tumen and then tomorrow morning will be flying to Moscow then Finland. I can't believe that it has already been three months since my last Visa trip. I am way excited to go. I love traveling, I hope later in life I can do more traveling. I am so excited for the chance to be able to go to the temple. Hopefully I will be able to have some time in Finland.
Well I just want to thank you all for your emails. I love you so much. Thank you for all of the great support back home. Thank you Mom and Dad for giving me this oppurunity to serve. I love you so much and I want you to know that you are great parents. Katie and Anna thank you for your emails. I hope that you have a great summer. BTW Happy Birthday Anna. I love you so much. I will send you somethin special. Love ya. Grandma and Grandpa thank you for the love and support. I love reading your emails every monday. I cant wait to get back and go golfing with you grandpa. Jen I love you. Thanks for being the greatest Aunt in the whole entire world. Chan thanks for the emails and the videos. I love them. U da best. And Garett you are a stud. You are going to be a great missionary when the time comes. Love you bro. Thanks again everyone.

Elder Flitton


And there you have it. The progress he is making and the work he is doing is more than any of us expected this quickly. We are so proud of his diligence and love for missionary work.

We love you, Elder!!

"Not one of you has thrown away your last chance. You can change, you can come back, you can claim mercy. Come unto the only One who can heal, and you will find peace."
        Elder Patrick Kearon 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Zone Conf.

       This last week was such a blessing. We Kurgan Elders got on a train on Tuesday morning and headed to Yekaterinburg for Zone Conference. I really enjoy train rides to Yekaterinburg. The Russian country side is so beautiful. There are a lot of tiny forests and a lot of hills. They don't have mountains like we do in Utah. When I show people pictures of home they see the mountains in the back ground and they think they are so awesome. I miss the mountains back home. We got to Yekaterinburg at about noon and we headed over to the branch building. It was nice to see all of the other missionaries. I was able to see Elder Hronek and catch up with him. I was able to see some of my friends from my district in the MTC. It was good to see other missionaries. My interview with my mission president wasn't until 5 so I had a lot of time to talk to the other Elders.
        Finally my time came to meet with President. When I saw him, he gave me a huge hug. That was the best hug that I have ever had in a while. My mission President is the best. He does so much for this mission. This mission is going in the right direction because of his dilligence and wisdom. My interview went great with him. It was exactly what I needed. He gave me the wisest counsel. I know that my mission President is called of God. After my interview we made the trip to MC Donalds. We dont have a MC donalds in Kurgan so the taste of a Big Mak was heaven on the tongue. Maybe it is a good thing that we dont have a MC donalds in Kurgan. Oh ya the taste of fries gave me chills because they tasted so good ha. After MC D's we stayed the night at the Assistants house. There apartment is so big. I am way jelaous.
The next day came and we had Zone Conf. The main topic was on the Book of Mormon. The teaching was inspiring and the testimonies that were shared, strengthened my own testimony. I know that the Book of Mormon is the words of God. He loves us so much that he gave us this Book. I know that if you lay the Book of Mormon in front of you and kneel and pray to Heavenly Father and thank him for this book, and ask him for help with anything. You can open it anywhere and start reading from it and find your anwser. I have tried it and it works. I know with every cell in my body that this book is true. It is the only book on this planet that can bring us closer to our Heavenly Father. I say to all READ THE BOOK.
Zone Conference was exactly what I needed. To finish it off we got mail. I got my package from Tracie Nielsen finally. Thank you so much for the package. That will definately come in handyhere in Siberia. The Starbursts are gone also haha. If someone wants to send me a package I am not against Starbursts haha
We got back from Yeakterinbug and got back to work. I had my first lesson in English with a new investigator. Her name is Dasha. She speaks really good english and wants to help us with English club. We wanted to teach her but she wasnt very interested. We somehow got to talking about the Restoration. It was one of the most spiritual meetings that I have had. She agreed to everything that we were saying. I know that she felt the spirit. We invited her to read the Book of Mormon and she declined. My heart was broken. I thought without a doubt that she was going to want to know more. I came away from that meeting kind of in the slumps. When I got home I opened up the scriptures and started to read. My heart was calmed and I knew that my Heavenly Father was giving me comfort. Not everyone will accept Christ. They need to do it on there own time, when they are ready. The Lord prepares people to hear and accept the gospel in very different ways. I just hope that one day Dasha will call us back. The Lord knows and it is our responsibility to follow Him and His counsel.
        Last week was so great. This week is Easter. I am going to miss going to Chandler's Grandmas house and having a Easter Egg hunt. You are never to old to go on a Easter Egg hunt. I am making Elder Weber hide eggs for me to find... Im being serious. I Love Elder Weber.
        Well just want to thank all for the emails and letters. All of the Ward members from back home. Thank you so much for your letters. They really mean a lot to me. Thank you all for your love and support.

     Elder Flitton

"I know that our Heavenly Father is loving, understanding, and patient. His Son, likewise loves us. They render help to us through Their prophets. I have learned that there is great safety in following the prophets."
         - Jose L. Alonso

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Whole lotta love from Russia.


Here is how Elder Flitton has been doing the last month in Russia!!

March 5
Howdy do


Wow what a week. Well I found out last week on Tuesday that I wouldn't be going to Finland that week to get my new visa. I found out that I would be going this week to Finland with the group that I came in with. So my companion went to Finland last week and I went on splits with my zone leaders in another city. I leave tonight for my Visa trip. We have to take a bus tonight to the zone leaders city, their city is a lot bigger and a lot nicer than ours. I will fly out in the moring tomorrow by myself to Moscow because my companion already went to Finland. So that should be a fun experience. I then meet up with my group in Moscow tomorrow and we fly to Finland. They said that we will have time to go to the temple so I am way excited about that. I am also way nervous because when my companion went last Wednseday the temple was closed. So hopefully when I get there it will be opened. I am way excited to go, I heard that Finland is way beautiful and clean haha.
Well we got transfer calls on Saturday night. I found out that I will be staying in Kurgan and my new companion is Elder Weber. Elder Weber is from North Carolina and I know him very well. He has been serving in the other area of Kurgan and he was also in the MTC when I got there. We are both very new missionaries but I am so excited to work with him. We have so much to do and I can't wait to get to work when I get back from Finland. Elder Hronek will be going to another city in the mission. I have really enjoyed my time with elder Hronek. He is a great missionary and has taught me a lot. I am so glad that I am staying here in Kurgan. I love this city. We have a lot of people that we are working with and we have a baptism date with one of our investigators at the end of March. The work is exploding in Kurgan.
We didn't have any meetings this week because we have been traveling so much. This mission is so large that missionaries are required to travel a lot. I am so excited to go to Finland tomorrow and then get back and start to get to work with Elder Weber. I will send some pictures for sure next week.
Elder Flitton


March 12


Hello all


Well this last week has been a very busy one. I was able to go to Finland for my visa trip. Elder Hronek and I left for Tumen last Monday and we stayed the night at the zone leaders apartment. I flew out at about 5:00am to Moscow from the city of Tumen. I was the only one so I got to fly to Moscow by myself. It was really different not having a companion. I got into moscow at about 7:00am and met up with my group. Our flight to Helsinki didnt leave till about 2pm so we had a lot of time to kill. We walked around the air port for awhile. The Moscow basketball team was there. That was way cool to see them. There were some Americans on the team and I went over and talked to them. It was so great to be able to speak English for once. And to make it even better they were black so we talked about the NBA. That was the highlight of Moscow. After talking to them our group went to TJI Fridays. The best meal that I have had in 5 months. I got the Jack Daniels burger and some fries and topped it off with a milkshake. I have never been more satisfied before in my life haha. After TJI's we waited at our terminal. I got bored of sitting so Elder Lattimer and I decided that we would go and talk to people and do some contacting. We talked to this lady from Austraila. She was traveling around the world and she stopped in Moscow to see some church. That got me thinking and I decided to tell her about our temples. I told her to check out LDS.org and look at the temples and if she had time in Finland to go see the temple. She was all for it. I didnt have an american book of mormon with me and all of my proselyting material was in Russian so I could only write down the address for her. She was way nice. We then went and talked so these two nice girls who had a souvenir shop. We talked them for awhile and we gave them a Book of Mormon and some brochures. It was great. Our flight finally left and we got to Helsinki. Finland is so beautiful. It is like a huge Park City. When I stepped of the plane I was able to take a huge deep breath and breath in fresh air. It was so nice... that is something they lack here in Russia. Also the water is like 10x better than Figi bottled water. Yah it is possible. It was nice to take a drink of clear, good tasting water and not brown, merky water ha. I love Finland.
The temple was so great. I was so blessed to be able to attend it and to be able to do baptisms and a session. There was a group of Russians there so I was able to help them and baptize them and confirm them. It was one of the most spiritual moments on my mission so far. To see the Russian people doing work for their family. I will never forget that feeling that I felt. The session was all in Russian. Luckily they had recorders with English. All in all the temple was so awesome. I was so blessed that I had the chance to go.
We flew back to Yekaterinburg at about 11pm. We got dropped off at the AP's apartment and we were given the chance to sleep. It was the best sleep that I have ever gotten. We then went to the train station where we met up with everyone. I met up with my new companion Elder Weber and our train left at about 7:00pm. We then headed back to Kurgan. I really enjoyed my visa trip. It was very tiring but it was a great experience.
Now my new companion. I love the guy. We were together in the MTC for a little. He served in the other part of Kurgan so we know each other pretty well. We are both very new missionaries. He is from North Carolina. He is awesome and I am so excited for this chance to be able to work with him. We have a lot of work to do here in Kurgan and I am ready to get back to work.
Well that is about all that has been going on these last two weeks. The traveling is over and it is back to missionary work. I am ready to get back into the swing of things.
Shout out to Kacey and Jordan Close. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Love you guys.

Keat




American Players on the Russian basketball team!


Finland Temple

translation??
TGI Friday's Meal.

Finland Temple
A temple near where the Czar of Russia was killed. Any Anastasia fans???

March 19


Hello Everyone!


Well Elder Weber and I are getting back into the swing of things. It is so nice to be able to get back to a regular schedule. Those weeks when I was traveling all the time it just felt different. It feels good to be back in the city of Kurgan. The city is great. It is starting to get a little warmer and I feel people are opening up more when we talk to them on the streets. People aren't that much in a hurry anymore to get out of the cold. It is still cold here but it isnt -37c anymore. When I see pictures from back home of warm weather and pictures of St. George I start to cry a little ha.
We only have one progressing investigator right now. Her name is Galena. She is the grandma that told us that she doesn't want to be baptized in cold water. I asked my mission president if the branch building had a water heater. He told me that it doesnt that we have to boil water and put it in it. So that should be a fun experience. Unfortunately we moved her baptism date back. We feel like we still have a lot to teach her and she still needs to progress a lot more before we go ahead with the baptism. Our next lesson is going to be on tithing and the word of wisdom. We heard that she has been taught before by the missionaries but that was a long time ago adn she had a problem with paying tithing and keeping the word of wisdom. So we will see how that goes. If she has true desire and a sincere heart to be baptized then she will accept what we have to tell her. I love Galena, she is such a sweet lady. Her father and uncles were killed in the war and she tells us a lot about the war and what life was like during the war. I want to do all that I can for her.
Funny story of the week. Elder Weber and I were out on the street talking to people and we stopped this kid about 16 and I said to him "do you speak English" he gave me a weird stare so I took that as an anwser that he didnt. So I invited him to English club and he was way thrilled. I then asked him if he would be intrested to learn about the gospel. He said no but that he was intrested in learning English. He then asked me if I was American and I told him yes. He then pulled out his camera and asked Elder Weber to take a picutre of us. I really enjoy talking to people on the streets... you never no what u goona get. Thought I would throw in some Forest Gump.
We worked a lot last week with Less active families. We stopped by at one less active family and had a great lesson with them. She told us that she feels good when we are at her house. She told us that she feels peace when we come over. She then set up the next lesson which is on Wednesday. We need to work a lot with the less active families here in Kurgan. There are a lot. We need them to come back and build the branch. That is our main focus right now is working with Less actives. We are also looking for a new investigator. We are in dying need of one. We have talked to a lot of different people and we have knocked a lot of doors. I know that we will find someone.
News on Egor and Evan. Egor and Evan got the Aaronic priesthood last Sunday. One of the greatest experiences on my mission. They are both coming to church and are active. We still are teaching them the follow up lessons. They are staying strong wich is so great to see. Egor told us the other day that he wants to serve a mission. I was so pumped to hear that. He is a stud.
Well things are going great here in Kurgan. General Conference is coming up and that means that i have been serving for half a year already. The time is going so fast. I feel like it was just yesterday I got here. I have been very blessed to see the things I have seen so far being here. Being on a mission is the greatest experience that I have ever had. I have learned so much about the gospel and just about life. I enjoy so much being able to serve the Lord.


Elder Flitton

Jen, any translation??

Professional Pancake flipping skills.


"Old people love their pigeons."



A School behind their apartment. 

March 26

Greetings from the underground bomb shelter where we do internet... ha


Well this last week was a very long week. It was a good one though. We have focused our time on finding a new investigator. We did a lot of door knocking this last week and we talked to a lot of people on the streets. I was able to meet a lot of different people and made some new friends. Living in Russia and espcially a small town like Kurgan and having two 19 year old Americans knock on your door is very out of the ordinary. Most people don't know what to think and they slam the door and then there is the people who only want to talk to you because you are from America. Then there is that very small amount that want to talk about the gospel. Those are the people that we search for everyday. Those are the people that we looked for last week. We met a lot of different people and we gave away quite a bit of Books of Mormon away. We haven't seen anything come out of it yet but we know that we are planting seeds and inviting people to know.
But for some success we did meet someone at English club that wants to talk to us. She speaks really good English and she wants to help us with English club. She stayed after English club for the spiritual thought and she seemed interesting and told us that she had some questions. Hopefully they are about the Gospel and not about English club. Her name is Dasha. I am really excited how things will turn out. I haven't had the oppurtunity to teach a lesson in English so that will be nice if we are able to meet with her about the Gospel. She called us yesterday and set up a meeting for this Friday so we will see how that goes.
This week we have Zone conference in Yekaterinburg. We leave Tomorrow morning and have a six hour train ride. I have an interview with President Rust. I can't wait, I love my mission President. I have a lot of questions to ask him. I also get to see all of the other missionaries in the mission. It will be good to see some of my friends. Being in Kurgan you are kind of shut out from the mission because you are so far away and there are only 2 sets of missionaries in the city. This zone conf will be very nice.
About watching General Conference I have no idea. I think they burn a disc for us and then they send it to us. So I will watch it a week later. Kind of bummed about that but oh well. We will probably watch it in the church.
We had a couple of lessons with our investigator Galena. She accepted the law of tithing and said that she would pay tithing after she is baptized. The lesson went really well. But we had a lesson with her yesterday about the ten commandments and praying to idols/icons. She didn't take it to well. The Russian Orthodox church has a lot of symbols/icons. She was baptized 40 years ago in the Russian Orthodox church and she said that she wouldn't give up her Icons. This is very tough for us... The only thing that we can do is keep working with her and show her our love for her. She wants to be baptized but she just doesn't have that true desire to become a member. We have a lot of work to do with her.
I just want to thank everyone for there emails. It means a lot to me. It is nice to have people back home who care and support me in what I am doing. It would be very hard if I didnt. I love you all and hope that everything is going well back home.

Elder Flitton



March seemed to be a pretty snazzy and productive month for our Pasha, didn't it??
In about one hour and 7 minutes from this moment it will be March 28th which means it has officially been SIX MONTHS!! WOOHOO. 
I think I speak for all of us when I saw, THAT FEELS GOOD!!!

Happy Spring Everybody!



"Your needs are great and varied. Each of you is a unique child of God. God knows you individually. He sends messages of encouragement, correction, and direction fitted to you and your needs."
       -Henry B. Eyring 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Work is Exploding.

Funniest thing...
On Sunday, Christy and I were talking about how Keaton always mentions how the work is "exploding" in Kurgan right now. Lo and behold, he puts it as the subject of his latest email. It made us both laugh.

Elder Flitton has quite the week ahead of him!! 
Here is the family email:

        This last week was a great week. We were able to have a lot of lessons with investigators, Less Actives, and recent converts. We were able to baptize Igor on Saturday. I got to talk on the gift of the Holy Ghost. His baptism went very smooth. Our branch president showed up for it so that was nice. Elder Hronek baptized him and it was just a great service. Yesterday we were going to give him the Holy Ghost and the Aarronic priesthood. But our branch president didnt come to church so Elder Hronek and I confirmed Igor and we are going to wait till next week to give him the priesthood becuase he has to be interviewed before he recieves it in priesthood. Sometimes it is really frustrating when President of the branch doesnt come to things. We missionaries always have to be prepared to preside and to give talks if he doesnt come. Being here in Kurgan has really taught me a lot. Kurgan is the smallest branch in the mission of Yekaterinburg. There are only about 5 melchizadek priesthood holders and that is the missionaries and Branch president. The branch is slowly growing but it is growing and that is all that matters.
         One of our investigators, her name is Galena and she is an older lady. She got eye surgery last month and we have been helping her and buying her groceries. We also have been teaching her lessons. Our first lesson she told us that she knew that the Book of Mormon was true. We were really suprised to hear that because that was our first meeting with her. But we have met with her like 5 times and she wants to be baptized. We still have a lot of work to do with her but she is definately progressing. She told us that she wants to be baptized but she wont be baptized in cold water... made me chuckle and she picked her own date because the month of March is when the symphony comes into Kurgan. We decided that we would set the date for the 24th of March. I love Galena, she is so kind. She reminds me a lot of my Grandma Chris. She loves Egypt. She has been to Egypt three times and she wears shirts that are from Egypt. It is awesome. She has also been to Jerusalem. It is really fun to talk to her about her experiences.
        This week I am going to Finland to get my new Visa. We will fly into Moscow, I am way pumped. I will definatley be taking a ton of pictures. We have training in Yekaterinburg tommorow so this week will be very busy. We fly to Moscow on Wednesday and then to Finland. Hopefully I will be able to attend the temple in Finland. I really miss the temple. I will find out this week also if I will be staying in Kurgan or leaving. I will be also finding out who my new companion is. This will be a fun filled week. Im excited.
        Being here in Kurgan has taught me so much. I have met so many great people. I hope that the Lord has more work for me to do in Kurgan. I love it here. I have made so many great friendships here. The joy that you have on your mission and the love that you devolp for people is so awesome. I have learned so much being on a mission.
      Oh yah one thing..... It is finally getting warmer!!!!!!
                     Elder Flitton
Igor's baptism!!

Gotta love that fur hat and bluesteel face! 


Happy 5 months, Elder! Crazy to think he is almost to the quarter mark of his mission! Is anyone else sort of surprised that it has already been 5 whole months?? No complaints here... 

"If we diligently keep the commandments and ask in faith, answers will come in the Lord's own way and in His name."
         -Barbara Thompson 


Monday, February 20, 2012

Feb. 20th Update!

Hello from Kurgan

       Wow what a week. So many great experiences and so many lasting memories. A lot better week than the one where I was sick. It is so awesome how Heavenly Father works. I was really stressed about stuff two weeks ago and I felt that nothing was going the way I wanted it to. I decided that I would read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. It says in PMG to do it so I thought that I would give it a try. Nothing happened right away but a couple of days later I had an experience that re confirmed to me that the Book of Mormon is true. We had a meeting with Galena who is a older lady and got surgery on her eyes, so we have helped her get groceries. We decided to have the firstlesson with her and we brought a member with us. His name is Andrei. As we were teaching her we asked him to bear his testimony of the Book of Mormon. He bore the most sincere testimony that I have ever heard. He is only 17 and he bore his simple testimony. I felt the spirit so strong. It doesnt take impressive words, you dont have to be eloquent or anything, all you need is a firm faith in Jesus Christ and the spirit will prick the hearts of others that hear you. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I promise you that if you read the Book of Mormon and you ask your Heavenly Father if it is true he will give you an anwser. Hey I even recieved an anwser so that means anyone can get one.
        This week we were able to visit Evan our newest member in Kurgan. He lives in very humbling circumstances. He lives in a hospital for people that cant live on there own and cant pay to live. We were able to go in and see how he was doing and teach him some follow up lessons. We decided that we would buy some waffley for him and some juice that we could chow down on. We walked into the hospital and all of the people that lived in there came out to greet us. A man walked out with a huge accordian and started to play it for us. He was really good and he even sang along with it. Yah that is on camera. We also had a poetry contest where Evan shared his poetry that he writes. It was awesome. We shared all of our treats and shared all the juice with everyone. People were so happy to see us there. It really touched my heart. Shaking all of there hands and just being a friend to all of them. I know that those people in the Hospital know nothing about the Book of Mormon or the LDS church but what they do know now that missionaries from the LDS church are genuinely nice people and that is what our church is all about. Being nice to others and loving all people. I felt that Jesus Christ showed his love for those people through us. I am so grateful for having this oppurtunity to represent Christ here in Russia.
        News on Igor. He came to church yesterday and he will be baptized on saturday. We had a great meeting with him a couple of days ago and we feel that he is ready. He is keeping all of the commitments and he told us that he wants to serve a mission. We will be preparing him for the Aarronic Priesthood. Igor is my hero. Being young here is tough becuase so many people drink, smoke, and have sex. To change your life, to give up your friends for something better is what Igor is doing. He really is prepared for baptism and to take upon him sacred covenants of baptism. I have seen him progress a lot. It is so great to see. Victor our other investigator has fallen off the face of the planet. We have no idea where he went. We pray for him that he will give us a call someday.

        The work in Kurgan is exploding. Transfers is coming up in two weeks. I will be done being trained and then I will be flying to Finland to renew my Visa. I cant wait. These past 11 weeks have flown. I have come to love the people of Russia. They are the greatest and most friendly people ever. I was able to have dinner at a members house the other day. That was very intresting. I was fed these weird meatballs that I have no idea what were in them. This very weird mushroom/fish salad.... Chan you would have passed out. I ate it and held it down haha but it was very difficult. I also was able to try some different kind of fruit drink. Let's just say that it was an experience.
        Oh yah I got my package from my grandparents, felt like Christmas opening it. I got a letter from Jullian also and then a letter from Melody my neighbor. Thank you so much for the letter Melody, it meant a lot. That was all. Im sorry if I dont get your mail, it is difficult to get mail here in Russia. Thanks again Grandma and Jen for the package and everything was in it.
        Chan ofcourse I want the video clip ha. Love the pictures also... I do have a lot of compition.
Well the work here is booming. In five years there will probably be a stake here in Yekat. Can't wait. Thanks for all of the mailand emails everyone.
Elder Flitton


-What a turn around from the last two weeks, right?? Just goes to show how blessed we are when we put our full faith in our Savior.
-Isn't that so exciting to hear about how well Evan is doing, and the progress Igor is making??!! Can't wait to hear about his baptism next week. Just keep them in your prayers that they will all stay faithful and get to experience such a special moment next week!
-What about that trip to Finland?? Lucky guy :)
-Man oh man is he right when he said I would have passed out with that mushroom/fish salad...what a trooper.

I sure do love this missionary!
Can't believe it has been almost 5 months down!!


"Yes, faith is a choice, and it must be sought after and developed. Thus, we are responsible for our own faith. We are also responsible for our lack of faith. The choice is yours."
      -Bishop Richard C. Edgley