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.


American Players on the Russian basketball team!

Finland Temple

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 

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