Monday, September 16, 2013

"The End" September 16, 2013

Dear Family 

  Well indeed the end has finally come to my stay here in Russia.  These past two years have been the most difficult,rewarding of my life.  I think the greatest feeling is knowing that you have accomplished everything that you wanted to.  I have no regrets and that is what makes me so happy.  
  So I will be coming home Wednesday night.  Please everyone pray that my bags wont get lost on the journey.  Especially the bag that I call santas present bag ha.  It should be a good time to reflect on my mission and remember all of the good times because honestly I don't remember the bad, difficult times.  The happy memories and the fun times out number the difficult times by a 100.  I am excited for the journey home.  Time to finally relax and kick the feet up...Oh wait I probably wont be flying business so looks like no feet up ha.  To be honest I am utterly exhausted.  Relaxation is something I look forward to a lot.
  So saturday we had a little get together with a lot of people at Sveta's house.  We had a little going away party.  It was really fun.  To be honest I don't like saying goodbye to people.  There are going to be a lot of sad people on Tuesday morning.  We have really grown close to a lot of members, investigators and just people.  Elder Wimber and I were quite the dynamic duo.  I love Tyumen.
  I want to talk a little about my companion, Elder Wimber.  This kid has changed my life. We have cryed a lot together and have been through a lot.  We have seen cloudy days where it just seems that nothing is going our way and that the world is against us.  We have also seen glorious sunny days.  I will never forget the life lessons that I learned with Elder Wimber.  He has become my brother and we have grown so close.  Mom looks like you are going to have to add another son to the family.  Trust me he isn't a trouble maker ha.  I wouldn't have asked to end my mission anyother way then to end in Tyumen with Wimber.  It sure has been a ride.
  Sometimes I find myself comparing my mission to Lord of the Rings.  Frodo is the main character and he always has Sam by his side.  No matter how hard the journey gets Sam stays by Frodo's side.  I have had the privilege of having many great companions by my side.  They have been ministering angels that have been miracles to me.  Growing up I never had a brother but now serving a mission I have so many.  No matter how hard the journey got there was always one goal in mind.  For Frodo it was to destroy the ring.  For me, my end goal was to become a better person then I was when I went into the mtc on Sept 28 2011.  I have wanted many times to become the son of God that my Heavenly Father sees in me.  I know and I testify that only through selfless service can I reach that.  I have so much more progress but with tears in my eyes I can surely say, feel that my Father in Heaven is proud of me.  That is the only thing that  matters to me.
  Family and everyone else who will read this email.  Please know that God loves all of us and sees in us our true potential.  Never live short of your potential.  As written in the bible "with God all things are possible".  I know this to be true and I testify that with God on our side we will see miracles and we will live up to our royal potential.  I love you and see you all on Wednesday.
Elder Flitton

Monday, September 9, 2013

"The Last Week" September 9, 2013

Dear Family

  Don't be alarmed.  I still will have one more monday to email you all.  So this isn't the last one.  I will be leaving Tyumen next Tuesday on train to Yekat and then spend the day at Presidents, have a devotion and then my exit interview and then off to the airport the next morning.  
  It is so unreal that this is my last full week of missionary work.  Unfortuntately Serafima isn't ready for baptism.  It has been hard for Elder Wimber and I but we are getting through it.  Our other investigator Masha was in Kurgan for a week.  While she was there she went to the branch there for a baptism.  She said that she cryed the whole time.  Last night when we met her at the bus station she told us that she wants to be baptized and wants it soon.  So we are really happy for her.  She asked me to baptize her when she does get baptized.  Too bad I am going home next week ha.  She is so awesome.  I sure am going to miss these wonderful people.
  Last week was a tough week for my companion and I.  We were really sad that Serafima wasn't ready for baptism.  We did a lot of talking.  But we both came to the conclusion that we need to accept the timing of the Lord.  We don't want to drag her to baptism.  We also don't want her to get baptized just for us.  So we both feel that when it is the right time she will be ready.  She is so awesome.  She came to church yesterday and is still praying and reading.  We love her and know that she has changed a lot.  We also came to the realization that for someone to change their life is not easy and we must accept that.
  Yesterday we got transfer calls early.  President will be in Moscow this week so he did calls early. Unfortunately Elder Wimber will be leaving Tyumen and going back to the office for his last transfer.  President is pretty desperate for help in the office ha.  Wimber has been there before and President needs some experience back in there.  It will be good for him to go back there becasue he is a really smart guy and is super good with that office stuff that they do in the office ha.
  So this week we have a lot of things planned to do.  On Wednesday we will be going on splits again with the other elders.  We just change companions for a day.  Also on Thursday I have to take a bus down to Kurgan to conduct a baptismal interview for someone.  Saturday the youth are having a farewell party for me.  I am super excited for it.  I love the people here in Tyumen.  They are so great.  Mom you need to email Sveta and tell her that she is so awesome.  She really has helped us out so much here in Tyumen.  She has become our best friend.
  My last three transfers here in Tyumen sure have gone really fast.  It makes me sad that it has to end so soon.  Don't get me wrong I am excited to come home but it is going to be really hard to say my goodbyes to people here.  The last part of my mission I have really understood what the word Love means.  When you constantly think about someones welfare and just always wanting the best for them you truly understand what love is.  I am so thankful that I have gotten a little taste of what love really is.  The kind of love that our father in Heaven has for each and everyone of us.  I am so thankful that I have learned how to be someones friends.  Someone that can be trusted.  Someone that listens.  I am so thankful for all my companions because they truly have changed me for the better.  The mission has been a miracle for me.
  Family I love you and can't wait to see you in a week.  Good luck this week with shcool and work. Love you.
Elder Flitton

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September 2, 2013

Dear Family

  Well September is here and August is gone.  The weather is getting quite cooler lately.  The other day Elder Wimber and I were walking down the street and I turned to Elder Wimber and asked him where did Summer go?  We realized that there was no slow change of the weather it just got really cold and wet really fast.  I hope that I don't have to pull out my coat.  I have already packed that puppy away.
  So last week as I explained in my letter we had Zone Conf.  It was really good to see everyone there.  Serving in Siberia you are kind of out of the mission.  Most cities have 8-10 missionries...We have 4 ha.  I like our little zone here in Tyumen.  We have gotten pretty tight.  This week we have planned to do splits so it should be fun.  
  Last week we met with Serafima multiple times.  She is still struggling with keeping some of the commandments.  So unfotunately we are going to have to push her baptism back.  We came to the conclusion that it would be better to have her ready than to just drag her to baptism.  She is so awesome though.  Elder Wimber and I have gotten really close to her.  We are super excited for becuase she is willing to make some big changes in her life to line her life up with how God wants it for her.  She has such strong faith.  We know that she is making really big steps and we are so proud of her just like her Father in Heaven is proud of her.
  The other day I was reading and I learned something that really means a lot to me.  For those who have studyed,prayed, fasted, and done everything to recieve and answere stop worrying.  What you need to do is that you need to thank your Father in Heaven that He trusts you in making deciscions.  God trusts us to do things.  We don't need his voice in telling us "yes that is right" or "this is your answere".  We can pray to Him and let Him know what our desires and wants are.  He will let us know though if it isn't the right thing to do.  I am so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who cares for all of his children.  I know that God lives and that He wants the best for us.
  Family I love you and want you to know that I can't wait to see you in a couple of weeks.  Have a great week.
Elder Flitton

Thursday, August 29, 2013

"Busy, busy, busy" Aug 28, 2013

Dear Family

  Wow this first part of the week has been very busy.  Sorry that I wasn't able to email everyone on Monday.  There was quite the line at Presidents for the Ipad ha.  Well summer is gone here in Tyumen we think.  It feels very fallie outside.  The weather changed super fast.  Now people have already got there winter coats out...
  So on Sunday I had the opportunity to conduct church again.  It is the second time in row.  Our branch Presidency has been gone and the branch President wanted me to conduct.  So I have been in charge ha...I am suprised that things haven't gone too crazy around here yet ha.  Hopefully this week someone from the presidency will be here so we can do some financial work on MLS.  My companion got called to be the branch secretary a couple of weeks ago.  So we stay after with the branch president to do financial stuff.  But since he has been gone we haven't been able to do it sooo we really need him to come on Sunday.
  This week we had MLC and Zone Conf.  We had a member of the area presidency come.  It was really an awesome opportunity to be apart of it and learn from him.  His name is Per G. Malm.  He is the second councilor of the Area Presidency.  He came to council on Monday and talked to the leadership of the mission and counseled with us.  There is a reason why he is a general authority, the things he said were so powerful and when he taught he taught with power.  He really did help the leadership of this mission understand there true potential as leaders.  We have a lot of young leaders so it was really good for them.  It was also really needed for me as well.  I got to interview with President Malm on Monday.  It was a really good interview.  He knew that I was going home soon so he talked to me about a lot of stuff after the mission.  He gave me a lot of great advice and council.
  On Tuesday so yesterday we had Zone Conference.  This was my last conference on the mission.  It was so good to see old companions and friends.  That is what I love most about the mission conferences is seeing everyone.  I am so thankful for all of the friendships that I have made here.  Conference was good.  We talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and how we can use it in our missionary work.  That is Presidents focus right now is using the Book of Mormon in every missionary situation.  After the Zone Conference it was really hard to say good byes to some of the people there.  This mission truly has made such a difference in my life.
  I have been so blessed to be able to preach the gospel to the world, especially here in Russia.  Something that I learned the other day is that this mission was never meant to be a sacrifice.  It has been a privilege.  God has chosen me and put me through "His University".  He has told me "Look, you don't have to worry about work, school, paying bills, getting a car, and the social life.  I am going to teach you what is important that will bless you the rest of your life and all that I ask you is that you serve me with all of you heart, might, mind and strength.  I will give you a full ride scholarship into my university that will give you the best education every possible.  Are you ready?"  My mission never was a sacrifice for me.  It has been a privilege that I will always be thankful for.  The great thing is that God invites everyone to come to "His University".  So for those thinking of serving a mission please consider the following.  I promise you that you will never regret the decision to serve.
  Family I love you and I am so thankful that you send your love to me so much.  Thank you to the Primary class in the Millcreek 8th ward age group 4-7 for sending me your letters.  It meant so much to me.  Thank you to everyone that has ever taken the time to send me something whether it has been an email, letter, package, a prayer or even a thought.  Thank you so much.  I love you all and can't wait to see you in less than three weeks.  Until then be safe and remember that I pray for all of you constantly.  
With Love,
Elder Flitton

Monday, August 19, 2013

"Big 21" August 19, 2013.

Dear Family

  Well I am  21!   Thanks for putting some money on my account.  Good thing that clubs here in Russia are pretty cheap to get into...Jk For my birthday we went to the restaurant Don Julios.  The only mexican restaurant in Tyumen ha.  It was really good but doesn't compare to LaPuente or Cancun Cafe.  Also it was pretty lame because they don't do free chips and salsa...I kind of complained to the waiter that this isn't a real mexican restaurant if you don't do chips and salsa ha.  I Invited Sveta and also our investigator Serafima to dinner with us.  Serafima gave me a birthday present...She got me a model ship ha.  I have no idea how I am going to get it home.  She is so awesome.  I will talk about her more in this email.  Just want to say thanks to everyone for wishin me a happy birthday.  It was really fun and i will always remember it.
  Last week was a very eventful week with my birthday and also a lot of other things.  On sunday I had to conduct sacrament meeting because the branch presidency wasn't there ha.  It was kind of nerve racking but it went smooth and all of the people that were supposed to give talks showed up so I didn't have to stand up and give an emergency talk ha.  Our branch presidency took vacations.  Except our 2 councilor... he is kind of Less Active, he is also our mission corrdinator ha so it kind of makes working with the branch difficult but oh well.  
  Last week Elder Wimber and I blew our breaker box ha.  Our hot water has beeen shut uff for the last month so we have been using our hot water heater so we don't have to take freezing cold showers in the morning ha.  Well it uses a lot of electricity and it blew our breaker ha.  Our landlord came over the next day with the electrician and kind of fixed it.  They will be coming back this week to fix the whole thing.  We went with out electricity for a day and it was awful ha.  We are so blessed to have electricity.  I don't know how the pioneers did it.  
  I guess the biggest news is that Serafima has a baptismal date for the 7th of September!  Last week she accepted it.  We are so excited for her.  It was such a great lesson.  She has a lot in front of her but we know that the Lord is on her side.  We just have to help her out and guide her the best we can.  Please continue to pray for her.  She needs it.
  I can't believe that i have exactly a month left.  The time sure is counting down really fast.  Next week is already Zone Conf.  President Malm from the seventy is coming.  It will be on Tuesday and on Monday we have Mission leadership council.  I am really excited.  this will be my last Zone Conf.  It is just crazy to think about.  I sure have enjoyed this mission.  It has brought me so much joy.  I still have a month left and this month is going to be teh most eventful.  I am excited.
  Family I love you and everyone else that reads these emails.  thank you so much for everything and all of the support.  your love is surely felt here in Siberia.  Love you all!  
Elder Flitton

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 12, 2013

Dear Family

  Another week has come and gone.  Everyone here in Russia is starting to get ready to go back to school and everything.  The first day of September is called "day of knowledge".  So that is coming up quick and everyone is buying new school clothes.  The kids in elementary school have to have suits the first week of school.  So all these little guys are getting suits.  It is cute. 
  Sounds like this is happening also back home.  Back to school is here.  Where did summer go?  I can't believe that time has flown by so fast.  Today in Tyumen is a very chilly day.  It is 11oc right now.  Everyone on the streets is dressed up as if it is winter haha.  So to fit in with everyone I pulled out my little fall coat ha.  
  Today before internet elder wimber and I and the other elders went bowling.  We have made it a tradition now.  We have been bowling for pday for the last three weeks.  I have come to love bowling ha.  The only thing is that the first time I pulled a muscle in my butt haha.  My body has gotten very rusty.  I was very embarrassed ha but all is well.  Now every time I go I have to stretch.  It isn't fun getting old hahaha.
  So our investigators are doing very well.  Masha has been reading from the Book of Mormon regularly.  She is doing great.  She soon starts school so we are trying to meet with her as much as possible before she is super busy again.  Also Serafima is so awesome.  We had two meetings with her last week that were so good that she started to shout for happiness haha.  We nailed it pretty good.  She is definatley progressing very well.  We hope this week to invite her to be baptized.  She is so great.  She has brought me so much happiness.  She is such a great example of showing love to others and just being a true friend.  She is very special.
  I can't believe that my birthday is already here.  The big 21 ha.  I guess now I am a real adult...kind of scary.  I am not expecting a big change on the 17th ha.  I think the big change will come when i return home ha.  It is a very weird feeling that in a couple of weeks I will be packing up and coming home.  It is a very strange feeling.  I just still can't imagine myself coming home so soon.  It hasn't hit me yet.  It probably wont hit me until I sit down with President in his office and then get on a plane headed to NY.  I have been studying lately what it means to endure to the end.  Luckily I have some experience with this.  As you all know I played football for Murray High and they aren't quite known for their football ha.  Sometimes I wanted to quit but my Dad was always there telling me to finish strong.  Right now I can still hear him in the back of my head saying finish strong.  I am so excited for these next 5 weeks.  God has some big things in store for Elder Flitton.  I can't wait to see what it is.
  Family I love you so much.  I am so thankful for everything that you do for me.  Also I will probably go out to a restaurant on Saturday so if the money is on by then it would be great.  I love you all so much.  Thanks for all the Birthday wishes.  I will definately be celebrating this birthday. Also Russians love to celebrate birthdays....And everyone knows that it is my birthday so I am sure there will be a party ha.  I love the members here.
  Love you all! Have a great week.
Elder Flitton

Monday, August 5, 2013

August 5, 2013

Dear Family

  Good to hear from all of you.  It sounds like Youth Conf was a huge success.  It sounds really fun.  So transfer week is indeed here.  I got my transfers and I will be staying in Tyumen with Elder Wimber.  I am actually really glad that this is how it is going to end.  I really do love this city so much.  The members are so awesome.  If you could just see the testimonies that they have it is undescribable.  I can really call this place my home.  I am also very happy that I will be finishing my mission with Elder Wimber.  We have become best friends.  We have some great goals for this transfer and also goals for after mission... I love him so much.  He is like a brother to me.  I never had a brother but serving a mission I truly have felt what it is like to have one. 
  So this week is transfer week.  Elder Hill will be training.  He is the other elder that is in Tyumen.  He just got done being trained so he is very nervous to train.  He is stressing a lot so could you please keep Elder Hill in your prayers...Thank you.  
  The mission is getting very young and also changing really fast.  For my first time on the mission we have a Russian missionary as a assistant.  President C wants to have the Russians in leadership positions.  It makes sense because they are 100% going to be the leaders of the church here in Russia in the near future.  I am glad that Elder Gladkov is now the Assistant.  Me and him are pretty good buds.  I think the world of him and have total confidence in him.
  So now I am the oldest in the mission.  It is really weird to think that.  My mission has truly benefited me so much.  It is crazy to think how much I have progressed in the Gospel and in general life.  Russia is a great place.  I am so thankful that I have lived here for the last 21 months of my life.  I really want to come back in the future.  The people here are truly special.  I have seen so much here.  Here it is 100% different than what it is like in the safe enclosure of Salt Lake ha.  I am glad that I have had the opportunity to see how the rest of the world lives epecially this part of the world.  I am so thankful that the gospel is going to the whole world.  Only the gospel will bring true happiness to the world.  Only through the Gospel will we have peace one with another.  The world is getting worse but the gospel and the church will never change.  Those who live the gospel have no need to worthy.  I testify that Christ lives and that He loves all of us.  I testify that Joseph Smith was a uneducated farm boy that was called of God to lead and restore everything back into its perfect order.  The Church is true.
  Family I love you and hope that you have a great week.  Thank you so much for everything that you do for me.  Enjoy these last couple weeks of summer.
Elder Flitton

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August? July 31, 2013

Dear Family
  I can't believe that July has come and gone.  It felt like it was just yesterday when Elder Wimber and I were going to get BBQ for his birthday.  July has been a really great month.  It has been a really fun month as well.  I have really enjoyed my time here in Tyumen with Elder Wimber.  We have grown pretty close. 
  I was able to get an email from Cameron.  Sounds like he is doing great.  He shared an experience when he had to teach his investigator in spanish the first week.  That brought back some funny memories of me trying to say a couople of words in Russian to our investigaor my first week of the mtc.  Also is he in Provo or is he already in South America?  I don't remember.
  This week has already been a very busy week for Elder Wimber and I.  On Sunday we took a bus to Kurgan and then on monday morning I got on a train heading to Yekat.  I got back to Kurgan yesterday and then today got back to Tyumen on a bus.  I am exhausted right now from all of the traveling.  This is my Pday so after this I am going to take a little nap ha.
  Mission Leadership Council was really good.  President Christensen is a great leader.  We did a lot of practicing teaching and all that other fun stuff that missionaries do.  It was really good to see everyone.  A couple of my really close buds are headed home next week.  It was kind of sad to say goodbye to them.  It is really weird to say good bye to someone that you have grown so close to and especially if you served with them.  This mission is changing a ton.  I am kind of at an akward age on the mission.  My group is the next set of missionaries to go home.  This is my last transfer... Isn't that weird.  I kind of had a slap to the face by reality last night.
  Our investigators are doing great.  Serafima is doing well.  She is kind of difficult to work with sometimes because she just has so many different beliefs but we are being very patient with her and letting her accept it in her own time and the Lord's time.  Masha is doing really good.  Last week we talked to her abou the plan of Salvation.  She loved it.  Both of our investigators have been coming to church every week so things are just going great. Thanks for all of you prayers and faith.
  The other day I was reading a talk by President Uchtdorf.  It is my favorite and you all probably have read it but it is called Forget me not.  My favorite part of his talk is when he talks about the story of Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory.  This is one of my most favorite movies.  I love the story line and also the meaning of it.  Pres. Uchtdorf talks about the doctrine of gratitude and living your life to the fullest.  I remember reading this talk at the beginning of my mission and reading it now at the end of my mission I really have come to appreciate enjoying the small aspects of life.  We all know the story of charlie and how he loved so much the simple satisfaction of the taste of chocolate.  He cherished opening the wrapper and eating the chocolate.  When Wonka decided to have his competition we know that people ignored the simple satisfying taste and just wanted that golden ticket.  Now I know that everyone is guilty with this.  For example "I can't wait until I become a owner of a company, then I will be happy", or I can't wait until I graduate, then i will be free.  I have found myself thinking and saying this.  When I look back an can truly see the simple joys.  I wish that I could always take a situation and make the best of it.  The cool thing is, is that it is possible.  Enjoy the journey and enjoy the time.  I will never forget the rides to Cali and us children would always say, " are we there yet" ha.  The Lord has given us this life to enjoy it.  Take every minute of every hour of everyday and enjoy it.  Last of his remarks that I love is don't forget to be patient with yourself.  Don't be to hard on yourself.  We are all mortals and we make mistakes.  All we need to is just get back up from our falls and dust of our knees and keep walking forward.  God loves us and I know that with all of my heart.  He is patient with us so therefor we must be patient with ourselves.
  Family I love and miss you so much.  I hope that you all have a great week.  Remember that September 18th is going to come really fast...So enjoy the time that you have before I get home haha. I love you.
Elder Flitton

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer days. July 22, 2013

Dear Family

  It has been a great week for Elder Wimber and I here in Tyumen.  The weather is nice.  Every day the sun shines and then in the evening a big thunderstorm rolls in.  Thunder storms are kind of scary here.  For some reason they are really loud.  Also there are great lightning storms as well.  But this last week we have been trying to stay out of the rain.  We make sure to bring our umbrellas with us every where we go.
  This weekend we had President and his wife here.  On Saturday we had Zone meeting.  It was kind of nerve racking because I am the one who plans it ha.  But it went really well.  We talked a lot about how we could help the branch here in Tyumen grow bigger.  President Christensen is a really smart guy.  He had a lot of really good insights and suggestions.  Also on Saturday night we had a little Fireside at the branch.  The Christensens wanted to get to know the members by showing pictures of their family and talking about them.  It was a really good turn out.  We pretty much had all of the active members come it was great.  President Christensen has a really nice house BTW ha.  He lives in bountiful and his back yard is an over look of the Bountiful Temple.  Everyone was super jelaous.
  Sunday was a very busy day.  I was translating for President all day with interviews and all that other stuff that Stake Presidents do.  I felt like during that time I was with him we were able to grow closer.  I love him so much.  He has such a loving heart.  He was the perfect guy to fill the seat.  I respect him so much.  I also got to have my interview with him.  This was my first one.  I really enjoyed it.  I am bummed that I don't get to serve with him longer.  This mission is definately heading in the right direction.
  I can't believe that July is wrapping up.  It kind of scares me how fast the time has gone during this month.  On Sunday Elder Wimber and I have to take a bus to Kurgan and then on Monday morning I am taking a train to Yekat for Mission leadership Council.  The time is going way to fast.  So I won't be emailing on monday.  I am too busy so i will probably be emailing on Wednesday or Thursday.
  Our investigators are doing alright.  Serafima isn't doing that well.  We are giving her a little break.  She needs to understand the reason why we are meeting with her.  Her situation is difficult and I don't feel like writing through a email.  Just pray for her.  Also our other investigator Masha is doing great.  She is from Kurgan but she is studying here.  She has so many questions wich is awesome.  She is so awesome.
  Well my time is up.  Thank you for your love and support.  I love you... Talk to yoiu next week.
Elder Flitton

Monday, July 15, 2013

Busy Week. July 15, 2013

Dear Family

  This last week has been a very busy week for Elder Wimber and I.  But it is so cool that everything went well with Cam and Garett's farewell.  Sounds like things got a little shaky but everything turned out.  I am glad to hear that.  Also I hear that the talks were really great.  That is so awesome that you two are already speaking with the spirit.  That is going to be the most important thing for you to do on your mission.  Good luck my brothers.
  So last week I finally got to meet my mission President.  He is so cool.  He is pretty important back in the state of Utah.  He told us so many storys from his life.  Oh ya he is best friends with Elder Bednar.  He is so cool that Elder Bednar calls him to go golfing....kayyyy.  Also he gets courtside seats to every jazz game.  So in my exit interview I am goiong to ask him for some tickets haha.
  But in all seriousness he is a very spiritual guy.  I am so impressed how ready he is to take this mission and lead it.  He has some great ideas for this mission.  He is a very good business man so he knows how to run things.  His wife is so sweet.  This mission is in very good hands.  Also he is trying really hard to learn Russian.  He is actually pretty good.  He will be going out on splits with missionaires and working more in the field.  We are actually going to be having him come down this week to Tyumen.  We are really excited.
  Also when we got back to Tyumen on Thursday we went out on Friday to meet with the member that lives in the village.  We took Sveta and her friend Evan from America.  It was about an 1 1/2 bus ride out there.  I died on the bus.  They don't have air conditioning on busses here so it was probably at least 105f on that dang bus.  I have never sweated so bad in my life.  When we got to the place we ahd to take a taxi out to the village.  So we found a taxi and he tryed to take us out to the viallage.  But he got us lost... Also it started to rain really really bad.  He decided to take a left turn on to some random road and it was a dirt road.  So we just slid and did a 180 in his car.  We were stuck in mud... So we tried to push it out but it wasn't moving.  So we had to flag some guy down.  He was driving his jeep and herding his cows haha.  Luckily he helped and pulled us out.  Unfortunately we werent able to visit our member.  But is was definately an adventure.  You will have to ask Sveta when she comes about all of our fun adventures ha.
  Ok a little about Sveta.  She speaks perfect English.  She served a mission in St. Petes a couple of years ago.  She is really good friends with the old senior couple the Schows.  Sveta has been to America before.  This time she is going to visit friends and travel a little.  She is awesome.  Tell her when you see her that she is the best member.  She really has helped us out so much.  She is awesome.  
  Some words about our investigators.  Serafima is doing great.  She told us that she loves to pray now. We have been sending her every day scriptures to read.  She is progressing very well. We are really excited for her.  I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to teach her.  I am so thankful that God has trusted me to be the missionary to guide her back to the fold.  I really do love her and want the best for her.  She has become a great friend.
  Things are going great for Elder Wimber and I.  We are having so much fun together.  We have become like brothers.  One of my most favorite things about the mission is the relationships that you have with companions and other missionaries and members.  I have some pretty great friends here and I am so thankful to God for that.  I love my mission so much.  I have learned so much and have changet a lot.  I thank you for your love and support.  Have a great week!
Elder Flitton

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Miracle week. July 8, 2013

Dear Family

  I want to start off by saying that I am very jelaous that everyone had so much fun with the 4th of July celebrating.  Just to let you know Elder Wimber and I tryed to celebrate it.  It was my companions birthday on the 3rd so we went and got Shashlikey(shishkabobs) that was the closest thing to a BBQ.  We then later that night had a birthday party at a members house for my companion.  Also an American by the name of Shawn Hoops came.  Sounds like he emailed you.  He is a pretty cool guy.  He was in Mo-Tab for like 20 years.  He was cool.  But we tryed our hardest to make the 4th a good one.
   I think that is so cool that you all gathered at Grandpas Wendy's house.  I miss going over there and mowing his lawn.  Also sitting with him and watching football.  He always had the most funniest comments to say.  That house has so much great history.  That is so cool that whole family tryed to get to together and celebrate Americas holiday at his place.  Dad I tip my hat to you.  Way to put it on.  I didn't think you had it in you to plan party's.  Maybe you can take that up when you retire haha.
  So as you can see the topic of this email is "miracle week".  I can say that it indeed was a week full of blessings and miracles.  
1.  Our investigator Serafima prayed for us.  We have been working with her for the last three weeks and she always told us that she wouldn't do it.  But on our lesson she said out of no where " I am ready to pray!"  I was shocked and sat there with my jaw open.  I had no idea what to say ha.  We then, all five of us knelt and had a kneeling pryaer.  It was so spiritual.  After the prayer we sat there in silence and then we invited her to be baptized.  She didn't know what to say.  She then said that she wanted to think about it.  So know she is thinking about baptism on the 4th of August.  I am so thankful for all of your prayers that you have said for her.  I know without them she wouldn't have progressed and showed her faith.  Please continue to pray for her that she will recieve and answere to be baptized on the 4th of August.  Once again thankyou so much!
2.  Elder Wimber and I found 2 new investigators this week!!!  We are so excited for them.  Pavel and  also Masha.  Masha is actually dating a member that is from Kurgan but is now living here in Tyumen.  Yesterday we met with both of them and she told us that she wants to know more!  Also we met with Pavel two times last week and he told us that he wants to learn more.  He also prayed to know if this is true.  We are so excited for our two new investigators.
3. I don't know if I have talked about August.  He is a recent convert from the Ivory Coast(africa).  He got baptized in January.  He has been living in Russia for about 5 years now.  He has been going to school here.  Well this last week he finished all of his schooling.  He got a +5 which is like a A+.  Yesterday he bore a sincere testimony of the truethfulness of the church.  The church helped him pay the rest of his schooling off.  He has such strong faith and he is so converted to the gospel.  If all were like August this would be a better world ha.  
4. Yesterday we were able to meet with a girl who is a member but hasn't been to church for awhile.  It has been really hard to get a meeting set up with her but we were eventually able and yesterday we had a great lesson with her.  Sveta(girl coming to amercia to visit) helped us out on the lesson.  We had an awsome experience with her and she said that she will come to church.
  These are only a couple of miracles that have happened last week.  I know thanks to your prayers I am seeing a lot success.  I know that the Lord plays a big part in this work, for it is His work.  I am so thankful to be apart of it.  I know that mircales happen today.  Through faith miracles are wrought.  I know that the prayers of the faithful are heard by a loving Father.  God is mindful of each and everyone of His children.  I know that God lives because I know Him.  He manifests Himself only to those that call out to Him.  So give it a shot and call out to Him.  If you do so with faith and a humble heart I know that He will anwsere back.  This work that I am doing is the most important work that is going on, on the face of this planet.  The stone has been cut out of the mountain and it surely is rolling forth to every nation and every tongue.  The time when the Saints will return is soon approaching.
  Family I love you and hope that you have a great week.  I have mission leadership council this week so hopefully I will be able to get some mail.  Also it will be the first time I meet my mission President.  I am really excited.  I love you!
Elder Flitton

Monday, July 1, 2013

New Man in the chair. July 1, 2013

Dear Family

  Wow sounds like the weather back home has heated up a lot.  That is crazy that it has been 100.  I am sure that our front lawn is destroyed...ha.  Just have Anna go out and water it everyday.  It is not like she is doing anything.  Give her some jobs around the house.  It will help her :)
  I can't belive that the twins will be leaving in a couple of weeks.  That is crazy that they will be giving there farewell talks in  two weeks.  Did you guys get all of your neccessary shots.  Got to watch out for those zombie dogs that attack people.  Good thing that you guys played soccer so hopefully you can out run them.  If you want some practice just go down to my house and take your shoes off and shove your toes in Rosies mouth...I think then you will be more than ready haha.
  So last week President Rust hopped on a plane back to America.  I think they are really excited to go back to their own country.  They have been in Russia for like 14 years.  That is a really long time.  I think that Sister Rust was really ready to go home and see all of her grandkids.  They are two very special people.  I have really enjoyed having the opportunity to be able to serve with them.  
  The big news on the streets is that we have a new mission President.  I haven't met him yet unfortuntaetly.  I guess he invited all of the missionaries serving in Yekat over to the mission home.  I heard that he is pretty awesome.  I guess he has to be, being the former owner of Energy Solutions and part owner of Frankling Covey ha.  I am kind of nervous to meet him.  But in about a week I will have the opportunity to.
  This last Sunday we watched the broadcast of the church leadership training.  We had to watch it in Russian but it was awesome because I understood everything.  It was awesome just to hear the words in Russian and in the same time feel the spirit.  I honestly cryed when they showed those little movie segments.  Gave me a lot more motiviation as my mission winds down.  Also I don't think that our mission will enforce those new internet things yet.  We will be a little later.  But that was a pretty cool announcement.
  Last week Elder Wimber and I had the adventure of our lives.  We got a call about two weeks ago from a member in the city of Surgut.  They don't have a branch there because not enough people.  So all they have is a group.  But the leader of the group called us and said that there was a member that lives in the Tyumen county and was wondering if we could go visit her.  I told her yes and she gave me her address.  Well I got my map out and checked out where she lived.  She lives 2 hours out of the city of Tyumen in a village called Bobylova.  So this week Elder Wimber and I and the greatest member in Tyumen went out and visited her.  BTW the best member in Tyumen, her name is Sveta, she is awesome.  So we had to go to the the bus station to buy bus tickets.  We then hopped on a bus for about two hours.  We finally got off in a very small city in the middle of no where and then we had to take a taxi for about 30 minutes to the village.  It was so awesome.  We finally got to the village and had a meeting with this member.  She was so happy to see us.  She started to cry when we walked up to the door.  Our meeting was so spiritual and she invited her husband and her neighbor to hear us teach.  Let's just say that we are going back next week to teach them.  When we left she started to cry.  Gosh it was so awesome.  I will never forget that adventure.  
  From that experience I was able to strengthen my testimony.  I am so thankful that no matter where you are in the world, God the Father of our spirits is there to watch over you.  The spirit can be felt anywhere.  I am so thankful that I was able to help this member feel the sweet spirit again. I know with all of my heart that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world.  He is a God and He was the God of the Old Testament.  He created worlds and universes but He decided to come to this world and perform the most loving act ever thought of or ever imagined.  The Atonement is perfect and it happened.  I love my Saviour and my Redeemer for that single act of love.  
  Mom or Katie or Anna, whoever knows how to send pictures through email.  I have one favor to ask of you.  I noticed that I don't have a picture of our family standing by the temple.  Could you please send me a picture of us as a family standing by the temple.  I want to put it on my study desk.  It can be old or new I don't care just please send me one through email.  thanks
  I love you all and hope that you have a great week.  Steven Daniels HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! you sure are getting old.  Also everyone enjoy the 4th.  If you want you could barbeque me a hamburger and then just give it to maggy.  And then barbeque me a hot dog and then give that to Rosie.  Ha I am so jelaous I won't be home for the 4th.  Well enjoy it!  love you all.
Elder Flitton

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hello summer. June 24, 2013

Dear Family

  As you can tell by the title of this email, summer is here in Tyumen.  I think I have lost at least 5 pounds from sweating.  Wearing a white collar shirt with a tie and black slacks is the best way to loose weight if anyone is interested.  Just put on the missionary attire and walk around with a back pack full of books and you will definately loose weight.  Ha jk don't try it.  It isn't that pleasing.  But seriously I don't know how other missions do it where it is a constant blazing sun everyday.  Garett asked if I would choose a hot mission or a cold mission.  I am going to have to say a cold mission.  
  So last week was quite the eventful week.  Elder Wimber and I were able to meet with our investigator Serafima.  On tuesday after email we had a meeting with her.  We watched the Restoration film and then talked about prayer.  The spirit was super strong and so we invited her to give prayer a try.  But she told us that she wasn't ready.  I was kind of bummed because I had some high hopes going into that meeting.  But is just goes to show that we have a lot more work to do with her.  Today we are getting dinner with her and then we will talk about faith. Please pray for us.
  All of our investigators like Bulat and Vitalie kind of just fell off the map.  We think that Vitalie left to St. Petes early so he won't get back until like September.  Kind of a bummer but I will still probably be here by then so that is good.  We have a lot of potential investigators.  I am really excited about this one lady that I talked to on the street.  She actually invited us over to her house.  So probably tomorrow we are going to go over.  Things are going great here.
  Also last week was Zone Conference.  It was President Rusts last Zone Conference.  On Wednesday we took a train to Yeakt and then I had my last interview with him.  It was a really good interview for it being my last one.  I am so glad that I as able to serve with him.  He really has taught me so much.  I am so thankful for all of the lessons that I have learned from him.  I think that is awesome that you are going to go to his homecoming talk.  Mom give him a big hug for me.  I love his hugs.  Just think I just hugged him and now he is hugging you ha. So it is like a hug from me.  He is such a great guy.  I am going to miss him.  They leave the 29th and we will have a new man in the big chair by the end of the week.  
  The Zone Conference was all about faith.  President did some great teaching.  He talked about Light.  It was really interesting to learn about how faith is connected to light.  When we are obedient and we live according to the gospel we recieve more light.  We recieve more knowledge.  I am so thankful that God has given us the opportunity to recieve more knowledge.  It is so great that he wants us learn as much as we can.  I love light and knowledge.
  So this week is the start of a new transfer.  I only have 1 more after this one.  I am really enjoying my time here in Tyumen.  This city is great.  I am so thankful that I have had the opportunity to serve in this city. I know that there are people out there waiting for me.
  I hope that everyone has a great week talk to you next week.
Elder Flitton

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

All is well. June 18,2013

Dear Family
  So sorry that I wasn't able to write yesterday.  We found out yesterday that our internet place got shut down.  So yesterday we wanted to check out if the library in center was opened.  For some odd reason it is closed on Monday so now we probably will be doing internet on Tuesday for now on.  The library is the nicest building that I have ever been in Russia.  I feel like I am at some kind of state capital house or something.  Today we got our cute little library cards with our picture on them and we are now sitting in a really nice room doing interent.  Lets just say that we scored big time here in Tyumen.
  Sounds like everyone had a very eventful week last week.  I am super jelaous about the Moon lake trip.  It looks so fun just to be out on the lake fishing.  I hope by the time I get home we can plan some kind of trip and go fishing out on the lake.  Also I can't believe that Anna got her licsense.  I congratulate you ha.
  So last week we found a new investigator.  Her name is Cerafima.  We met with her a lot last week.  We have become like best friends.  She is so funny.  We met her on a bus two weeks ago.  She actually came up to us and asked us why we were matching (white shirt, tie, slacks....we kind of stick out).  We then had a great conversation with her and now we are pretty good friends.  She is so great and I am so happy that I have the opportunity to be able to teach her.  After internet we have a meeting with her and we are going to ask her to be baptized.  Keep your fingers crossed:)
  This week we will be having Zone Conference in Yekaterinburg.  I am really excited for it.  This will be probably be my last one.  This is Presidents Rust last Zone Conf.  So this one is going to be really good.  It is so crazy that in two weeks I will have a new mission President.  I am kind of bummed that I won't have my exit interview with President Rust.  But I'm sure that President Christinsen will be great.  It is going to be a new change here in this mission.
  Our investigator Vitalie has gone MIA.  He told us last week that he was leaving for a couple of days.  Well it has been a week and we haven't heard anything from.  I am kind of worried for him and hope that all is ok with him.  He is probably just taking some extra time wherever he is.  Also our investigator Bulat has kind of taken a dive.  He hasn't been to church so we won't have a baptism service for him this saturday.  It is kind of a stink but every one has there freedom to choose.
  So I read the other day the talk by President Monson.  The talk that he gave during the Priesthood session.  I want to share with you a couple of things that I really enjoyed.  President Monson said "Young men, I hope you appreciate the sacrifices which your parents so willingly make in order for you to serve."  I just want to take the time and notice you, Mom and Dad.  I know that you have sacrificed so much for me.  You have put so much out on the table.  In which I will always be indebted to you for.  If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be here.  I wouldn't have had the experiences that I have.  I wouldn't have found the people that I promised in the Pre mortal excistince that I would find.  Most of all I wouldn't have changed and become the Mel. Priesthood holder that I am today.  So thank you so much for this.  Also Grandma and Grandpa.  Thank you so much for your unending support and love.  Your prayers in my behalf are felt every day.  Every morning that I rise I feel a new refreshing and a drive to get work done.  Thank you so much.  Aunt Jen you are the greatest Aunt.  Your emails every week make me so happy.  Thank you so much for everything.  Once again you are helping me with something that I couldn't do by myself.  I love you.
Now the list of people could go on and on.  But I just wanted to make sure that those people knew the love and gratitude that I have for them.  thank you!
   President went on to say "Their labors will sustain you, their faith encourage you, their prayers uphold you.  A mission is a family affair.  Through the expanse of continents or oceans may separate, hearts are as one."  I am so thankful that eventhough oceans and lands divide us we are still united as one.  That is the only thing that I ask.  That as a family we remain unified.  NO matter how hard the storms hit, no matter how far away we are from each other, we will still remain unified in love.  The sealing that has been placed upon our family is real and it works.  ONLY if we are all unified as one with one specific goal, which is to live in the presence of God TOGETHER. 
  Family I love you so much.  thank you so much for everything that you do for me.  I miss you.  Please know that my prayers to you are constant and that your prayers for me are felt.  I need your support and faith especially right now as the end draws near.  Thank you.
Elder Flitton
D+C 88:63 (from now on I am going to do a scripture of the week)
mom make sure that you email my emails to Matt's mom

Monday, June 10, 2013

June 10, 2013

Dear Family

  Hello family!  Sounds like last week was quite the week for everyone.  That is a good thing that school is out and summer is here.  The weather sounds so nice back home.  Lately it has been raining and just gloomy and cloudy.  Soon summer will be here ha.  I keep tellingmyself that.
  Katie that is so awesome that you have graduated.  Was it what you thought it would be like?  Where did you go out to dinner.  That is pretty cool that you went to bear lake.  I am really jelaous.  I miss swimming so much ha it isn't funny.
  That is pretty funny about Cam and Gar.  Did the family just notice?  Are you guys getting all ready for your mission.  Your time is counting down!!! I am sure that it is hard to sleep at night because all you canthink about is your mission.  Little bit of advice.  Enjoy sleep right now.  Becuase you are going to want to do it a lot on yourmission.  There is no such thing as nap time onthemision ha.
  So last week was a very busy week.  On Monday night Elder Allred and I were taking a bus to Kurgan.  As we were leaving the city we got hit by a car... Nothing serious but it delayed our traveling.  We waited for 2 hours for another bus to come and pick us up.  The next bus was already super full so I had to sit with a grandmother who had a baby with her.  I swear kids are attracted to me.  The 5 hour bus ride was me trying to entertain a baby.  If I didn't the baby had a temper tantrum.  So it was quite the ride.
  So when you travel especially in Russia it is required tohave your passport.  To get on a train you haveto show your passport.  Well I forgot my passport back in Tyumen.  I had to sweet talk my way onthe train.  Luckily I got on and we made our way to Yekat.  When we got to Yekat I said goodbye to Elder Allred and I headed to the mission office for Mission Leadership Council.  It was at the mission office because the mission home is being remodeled.  So had council at the office.  It was really good to see everyone.  There are a lot of new zone leaders.  For dinner President Rust rented out a restaurant and we all ate there.  It was pretty awesome.  President likes to spoil us.  
  After council I got on a train back to Kurgan and then the next day Elder Wimber and I took a bus back to Tyumen.  This last week was a lot of traveling.  We got back on Thursday.  I was so tired.
  Elder Wimber is doing great.  We have been pretty good friends throughout our missions.  He is a transfer younger than me so we were in the mtc together.  We also were in Perm together.  We are pretty good friends.  He is from Georgia but his family moved to Oregon while he has been on the mission.  His mom actually knows Uncle Greg.  Her name is Jennifer Bagnell.  Small world... Maybe Uncle Greg remembers her.  But Wimber and I are doing great.
  I have been so grateful for the opportunity that has been given me to be able to serve here in Tyumen.  I love this place so much.  Lately I have been thinking about the purpose of my life.  I can look back and see a lot of things that I have accomplished.  I canalso look back and see things that I wish I would have done different.  Life has such a more bigger meaning than just living and working and playing.  I feel so bad for people that think that life is the end.  That we come here and die and that is it.  Really we are given this opportunity to live and to become perfect each and every day.  To be a little better than the person we were yesterday.  I am so thankful that God has given us a path.  It is a bummer that most people have wondered off the path.  I am so grateful for all that have stayed on the path.  Remain because the path really does lead to happiness.  Life is to short to be mad and angry.  Live your life with a smile and be optimistic and you will truly understand the purpose of life.  
  Family I love you so much.  Thank you so much for everyhting that you do for me.  Grandma, Grandpa and Jen that would be great.  Just let me know when my dad has it.  Anything you want???  I love you all!
Elder Flitton

Emergency transfer? June 3, 2013

Dear Family

  Well you might be wondering what the title means "emergency transfer".  Got a call from President on saturday night.  It is always a nerve racking experience when you see that you are getting a call from the mission President.  So the reason that President was calling us was to say that we are going to have to do a quick transfer.  He told us that he needs to do this for a missionary and that it would be very appreciative if we could help him.  So ofcourse we said yes and he said that Elder Allred needs to come to Yeakaterinburg and that my new companion is going to be Elder Wimber.  We were in shock.  This was unexpected.  After the call Elder Allred and I looked at each other and then threw a temper tantrum haha.  Not really but we were sad that we were getting split up.  These past three weeks with him have been so fun.  I have really enjoyed serving with Elder Allred.  He has taught me so much and he really has mastered his Christlike attributes.  He is so patient with everything.  Elder Allred and I were able to become best friends.  We are like brothers.  It is really hard to be able to move and try to get used to living with someone you don't even know.  But with us it was so smooth.  Right from the very beginning we had unity. It is so awesome.  I am going to miss Elder Allred but I am excited to serve with Elder Wimber.
  This last week we have been really busy.  We met a girl on the bus last monday and we talked to her for an hour.  She was so nice.  Her name is Serafima.  On tuesday we met with her and talked to her about the gospel.  She is so excited to continue to meet with us.  Also we have a new investigator named Vitalie.  He came to church last week and that was his first time.  We met with him on Monday and found out that he doesn't really believe in God and that he doesnt believe in Jesus Christ.  We met with him  4 times last week and it has been so awesome to see him start to believe in Christ.  I am so thankful for faith and that anyone can truly know that Christ is our Saviour.  The gospel is so true.
  So this week is Mission Leadership Council.  This is the first council that we will have that will include sisters.  It is going to be different but it should be good.  Alot of my good buds on the mission are now zone leaders so it will be good to see everyone and talk with them.  The month of june is a very busy month for this mission.  We have council this week and then we have Zone Conf and then after is transfers and we get a new mission President... That will be a huge change.
  Tonight I get to take a bus to the city of Kurgan!!! I am so excited to go back to that great place.  That place is the beginning.  I am so thankful that I got to serve there.  In the morning we are taking a train to Yeakat for council.  A lot of traveling this week.
  One day I was in the bathroom and thinking to myself about my mission.  Have you ever noticed that when you have a roll of toilet paper and when it starts to run out it goes faster and faster.  I feel like that is my mission.  The time is going too fast.  It baffles me that President Rust goes home at the end of June.  The roll is running out.  I am so thankful for time.  I know that we really do take advantage of time.  Sometimes we say to ourselves, "gosh I wish this day was over", or "I can't wait for when this is over".  Time is given to us by God.  The time on earth that we have is very precious.  It is our time to change(repent) and become like God.  Each one of us is going to experience death and it really shouldn't be that scary.  We prepare for that day when it does come by trying each and every day to become like our Saviour.  But if we aren't prepared then it is going to be scary.  Like when you realize on the toilet seat that you have no toilet paper.  I am so thankful for the scriptures and that they really do let us know that time is precious.  I read the other day that if you are still talking about yesterday you haven't made the present worth it.  Today is the day when we can choose to change and become a little better than the person who we were yesterday.  God surely does love us.
  Well family I love you.  Good luck with everyone graduating.  Hope that is a smooth process for everyone.  Also stay off the streets...hehe (anna has her license).  I love all of you and am so thankful for your love. Have a great week.
Elder Flitton

Monday, May 27, 2013

The power of enduring. May 27,2013

Dear Family

  As always it sure is a treat to get so many emails.  Thank you so much for all of them.  They really make my day.  Sounds like school is ending and summer has come.  This is probably my favorite kind of weather.  Is the pool up in the back yard? Or did Dad throw it away? he he he.  By the time I get home could you please take the pool away so that I can play basketball in the back yard.  Thank you.  Also I hope that everyone has a great memorial day.  Thanks to my family calendar I know when there is a holiday back home.  Hope that the family BBQ is a good one.  
  So I am starting to get settled intoTyumen.  I am also starting to get acquainted with the streets and everything.  Tyumen is a really beautiful city.  The center of the city is so nice.  It baffles me that I am still in Russia ha.  It sure doesn't feel like it here in this city.  Yesterday at church we had about 30 people and we had about 5 at priesthood.  The branch here is very small.  I will probably have to give a couple of talks while I am here.  I really love the branch.  They are really great people.  One of the members is actually from Kurgan and when i was serving in Kurgan we got to be really good friends.  He is in Tyumenstudying at the college.  So it is really great having Andrei here.  He is such a strong member.  He was definitely the strongest member in Kurgan when i was there.  He is only 18.  He is a stud.  He will definitely be a branch president in the near future.  I love him.  Also I was able to attend the Branch Council.  It was crazy.  I think they need to read in the red handbook about ward council meetings ha.  As small as Tyumen is President Rust has asked us missionaries to help the Priesthood leaders with there callings.  So looks like my companion and I will have to sit down with the branch president.  BTW the branch President is so awesome.  He is the perfect man for the calling.  
  So I am going to write a random paragraph and answer some questions that have been asked.  First I didn't feel the earthquake.  That would be really scary if I did.  Good thing that Russia is the biggest country in the world ha.  Also summer is starting to knock at the door.  It has been getting warmer and warmer each day.  We had our first summer thunder/lightning storm yesterday.  It was awesome.  A little about my companion.  His name is Jacob Allred.  He grew up in Spanish Fork UT.  He was a lifeguard at seven peaks in Provo.  So that is something cool we have in common.  He played football and loves all other sports. We get a long very well ha.  He has a twin right now serving in Madagascar...Unfortunately that is something we don't have in common.  He looks a lot like Taylor Capson ha...Um what else... Oh he loves tacos, so I have gotten pretty good at making tortillas and all that other good stuff you need to make tacos.  That is my companion.  I love him so much.  We have really grown close and we really know how to have fun with the work when it gets tough.  I am so blessed to be with him.  Alright Katie I did get your graduation announcement.  You are so dang beautiful.  I put it in my photo album.  If someone needs ideas for stuff to put in a package.  I need pictures of me ha.  I noticed that I have no picture of me in my photo album.  Someone yesterday asked "where are you?" ha so that would be great if I got like 4-5 pictures ha.  Also I would love some Reese's candy.  And last but not least I would love a Dr.pepper.  I have been craving one so bad haha.  That is all that I can think of.  
  This last week was a very long week for Elder Allred and I.  We were out on the streets for the majority of the time.  We just don't have people to teach.  So we have been out finding.  Here in Tyumen it is very difficult to find out on the street.  This being a very wealth city not many people really want to change their lives.  I have been rejected so many times that when someone actually stops when we stop them I am amazed.  The first part of the week I was doing pretty well but as the week went on and we were getting zero success I started to get down on myself.  I started to get frustrated with people.  I thought to myself.  This is the true church and the restored gospel really is the best thing on this planet right now... then why aren't people getting baptized left and right.  Why isn't the church growing like it is in South America right now.  Or why is it so hard to get people baptized if it is so easy in Africa.  Elder Allred said that his brother averages about three baptisms each week.  Why is it so slow here?  The main question was why is missionary work so hard?  On Saturday night as I layed in my bed thinking about the week and just feeling like everything failed I got a feeling that I needed to turn to my Father in Heaven.  I got on my knees and just offered a simple prayer.  I asked for His help. I asked that he would bless me with the spirit so I could not get down on myself.  After my prayer I once again layedon my bed and eventually fell asleep.  Sunday when I woke up I was still not feeling any better.  When we got to church there was a guy sitting down in the chapel.  We went over and introduced ourselves and he said that his name is Vitalie.  He said that he met the missionaries on the street and that they invited him to come to church.  So he came.  He stayed all three hours and after we were able to set a meeting up with him for today.  Also later that day we had a meeting with one of our investigators.  He has been one for quite a while.  We taught him about the commandments and told him that baptism is a commandment.  We invited him to be baptized but he declined.  We then testified to him and read a scripture with him.  We asked again and he said yes!  There is going to be a baptism on the 29th of June for Bulat.  Yesterday was an answer to my prayers.  I knew that the Lord had given me a trial and wanted me to grow and become like Him just a little bit more.  I know that when we have hard times if we just do our best and try a little harder and give our best effort the balm in Gilead will come.  That ministering angel will be sent from above to give us that aid, that extra help.  Why is missionary work so hard here? Because if salvation was never easy, why should missionary work be easy?  When I think about other places in the world that are exploding with baptisms, I remember that the Lord wanted me here in Russia for a reason.  Success isn't measured by the number of baptisms that you get. Success is measured by how you choose to react to certain situations.  We can choose to be happy or sad.  We can choose the right or choose the wrong. We have the choice to become successful or unsuccessful.  Success comes when you become a little better than the person who you were yesterday.
  Thank you everyone for all of the support. I love you so much.  Hope that all have a great week.  BTW I would send pictures but I don't have the device to be able to send them.  So I will have to buy one.  Next week there will be pictures.
Love you all
Elder Flitton

Monday, May 20, 2013

The good life May 20, 2013

Dear Family

  Well I have made it here to the city of Tyumen.  It was a very sketchy traveling situation but hey I made it.  The city of Tyumen is so nice.  It is definately thee nicest city that I have served in yet.  All of the buildings are just so beautiful.  The streets are so clean and there are so many nice parks.  Also not to forget to mention that we have a mexican restaurant outside of our apartment called Don Julio ha.  We haven't tryed it yet but I promised Elder Allred that we would go there his last week.  I am just so baffled how nice this city is.  It is civilized ha.  This city really does feel like true Europe and not a Russian Europe.  This is going to be a great city to end in...
  So about the traveling situation.  Our investigator Brother Bryan is a taxi driver and he insisted that we have him drive us to Yekat for transfers.  He said that it would be a lot cheaper than taking a plane and it would be a lot more easier with transportation/moving missionaries.  So Elder Young and I asked President and he said that we could try it.  So when we got transfer calls I found out that I was leaving and so was another sister.  Therefore we had his wife, brother bryan tag along with us.  So when Wednesday came I woke up at 2:45 
and took a shower.  Also they shut our hot water off.  Not only was it cold water but it was freezing water for some reason.  It was so cold that I got a headache.  So after my awful shower experience I got ready and waited for him to show up.  He was about 30 minutes late.  He finally showed up and we headed off to Yekat.  As we were pulling out of town he stopped to get some drinks for the drive.  As he was coming back a huge fight started next to our car.  I'm pretty sure that Sister Robins and I witnessed a murder.  It was an awful scence...but luckily brother bryan was in the car and we were able to drive off and not get involved in it.  As the drive continued we made a couple of stops.  We had a nice little lunch off the side of the highway ha.  I have come to hate Russian roads.  They have awful pot holes and every 5 seconds you have to slow down so you don't destroy your car.  When were about 2 hours out of Yekat, brother bryan started to get a little drowsy.  We found out that he had only gotten 2 hours of sleep the night before.....  So the windows were rolled down and the music was blasting.  The good news is that we made it to Yekat.  I had sister Robins call President when she got to her apartment and tell him about the situation.  Then as we were driving to the train station to drop me off and pick up the new missionaries to head back to Ufa he got a call from the assistants.  He was told that he had to get some sleep before he took the other missionaries back to ufa.  Luckily he agreed and got some sleep.  But the rest of my journeys were very smooth.  After a 6 hour crazy car ride I then got on a train for another 6 hours.  We got into Tyumen at about midnight.  I will never miss all the traveling that I have done here on my mission ha.
  My new companion Elder Allred is great.  We have gotten so close already.  It usually takes a couple of weeks to get used to a new companion but Allred and I have grown so close in just a small amount of time.  It is so great!  We really don't have a lot going on (investigators) so we have been out on the streets for the majority of the time.  We have talked to a ton of people.  I pray that we will be able to find some people to teach the gospel to.  It really helps to have a companion that you get a long with.  I have never served with him but it feels like we have served before.  
  My area is so nice.  We are in the center of the city.  We also have the area that is across the river.  We live right next to the circus.  It is a really nice building.  And also there is a huge park with a McDonalds.  I am so happy that there is a mcdonalds in walking distance.  Also the church is about a two minute walk away from our apartment.  Church yesterday was a different experience.  The building in ufa was so nice.  The one in tyumen isn't that great.  Also there was only about 30 people at sacrament.  It was a big adjustment but I feel like I will get used to it pretty fast.  The members are really awesome.  There are a lot of little kids.  The funny thing is, is that they are all little girls.  There isn't one little boy ha.  They are really cute.  The members are so humble and they are so young.  I amso thankful that I have the opportunity to serve among them.  Our branch President is a great guy.  He is about 30.  He has a little girl that is so cute.  My companion is actually the branch secretary so we had to do some financial stuff after church.  It is pretty awesome to be able to help out with all of that stuff.  The MLS system is so great.  When my companion leaves next transfer I might have to take his spot...That is werid to think, my first calling in the church ha.
  Yesterday during priesthood we talked about going to the temple.  It was pretty cool to hear the Russians experience when they went through for the first time.  Most of them have gone to Ukraine, Switzerland and Finnland.  Some of there stories were so spiritual.  I remember when I went through for the first time I honestly had no idea what was going on.  One part that really means a lot to me is when Grandpa told me when we were leaving that Jesus Christ visited the Prophet Lorenzo Snow in the very same hallway that we were standing in.  I just remember this overwhelming feeling come over me as I wondered how it would be if that happened to me.  I am truly so thankful for the temple.  The temple is like our little taste of what Heaven is like.  I am so thankful that around the world there are houses of God.  The temple is a beacon for us Saints.  When we have a problem, trial, or even a question that is where we go to get a clear connection to God.  It is also the house where families are made to not only be happy in this life but in the life after this one.  How awesome is that.  Young couples kneeling at the altar and being sealed together for time AND ALL ETERNITY.  Parents coming and being sealed to their children.  Saints going and doing the neccessary work to be able to be with those who have passed on.  Goodness the temple sounds to me like the happiest place on the planet.  And they are in multiple parts of the world.  Truly this is the Lord's true and only church.  How could it not be...It just doesn't make sense.  What other church in the world can compare to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?  Families truly can be together, and that is the special gift given to man ONLY in the temple.
  Family I love you so much.  I am so thankful that I get to serve my Lord and Redeemer.  There is no greater work than this going on in the world right now.  I am grateful to be apart of this massive army of missionaries.  The rock cut out of the mountain truly is going forth to all the world.  I love this work.
Elder Flitton

Monday, May 13, 2013

May 13, 2013 "Great Mother's Day"

Dear Family
  Well it sure was a great day yesterday to be able to talk to you guys.  You all looked so great.  I am so amazed how much Anna and Katie have grown up.  They look like women ha.  I am so excited to get back home and see how much you two have changed.  I love you.  So Mom and Dad thank you so much for the support.  I am so grateful for you unending love that I feel everytime I see and talk to you.  Thank you so much for being the greatest parents.  Chan thank you for being there.  I am so excited that you passed your Proxi thing and also your chemistry.  Never would have thought you could do that looking back 3 years ago haha jk.  Good job.  Also it was so good to talk to Gram and Gramps and Jen.  Sorry that it was really hard to understand one another.  It was good to hear your voices.
  So this week is transfers.  On Wednesday morning Brother Bryan will be driving me to Yekaterinburg with Sister Robins.  A little akward but is should be fun.  I then meet my companion at the train station and then head to Tyumen on the train.  It is going to be a crazy week.  The first week in a new city is always strange but luckily this will be my last time ha.  I am so thankful for my time here in Ufa.  It truly feels like time has gone so fast.  I feel like it was just yesterday that I got here.  Ufa is really a great place.  I was so blessed to be able to serve here.  Not every missionary in this mission gets the lucky call from president to serve here in Ufa.  I will always remember this place.
  Yesterday was really hard saying good bye to all of the members.  Luckily I have today and tomorrow.  I made sure to schedule meetings with the people that I have grown closeset to ha.  Today us elders are going to play basketball.  We played last week and lets just say that my body felt like I just got done with 3 a days.  Hopefully this time it wont happen.  Alsotonight we have a FHE with the Rashie family.  They are a very special family that I have grown very close to.  It should be really fun.
  So everyone told me that summer in Tyumen is the greatest.  I am so thankful that I don't have to be in ufa during the summer.  It is one of the warmest cities during the summer.  I will be in Siberia so the summer will be perfect.  Also Tyumen is the richest city in the mission.  There are a bunch of oil companies there.  So the city is very clean.  I am really excited to be able to end my mission there.  I also will be a lone zone leader becuase the zone is so small.  There will only be 4 elders in the entire city.  Also there are only about 25 members that are active in Tyumen, so it will be a very big difference.  Means that I will have to prepare multiple talks ha.
  One thing that I will really miss in Ufa is the big soccer games that we play here.  I really have gotten pretty good at soccer.  On saturday we had a final game with all of the members, most of the youth but it was so fun having all of the missionaires.  It was just really fun to get together with everyone and have a good game of soccer.  Also it is nice because I get some cardio in ha. 
  At church yesterday I had the opportunity to bear my testimony at sacrament.  As I was bearing my testimony I felt such a overwhelming spirit come over me.  I felt the inspiriation to talk about how God our Father in Heaven is with His people.  I am so thankful for all of the many scriptures that reveal to us that God is with His saints.  I love in DC the example from the early saints and how they showed faith when trials came upon them.  Joseph Smith constantly reminded them that if they have faith in God, He will be with them.  I know that today God is with us.  His church has been returned to mankind.  The gospel of our Saviour and Redeemer was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  Miracles surley have not ended.  There are miracles in our lives every day.  I am so thankful that we Saints have the knowledge that we all can become like God.  I know that God loves us and he wants us to become like him and to share the glory with him.  God lives and His son Jesus Christ made it possible for us to return to them.
  Family I love you so much.  Thank you for the support and love that you give me.  These next four months are going to fly.  But as they always say, time flys when you are having fun.  My whole mission has been like that.  I am so thankful for all of the memories that I have made.  All of the friends that I have come to know.  I can't wait to tell you everything when I get home.  I love you and hope that you have a great week.  Anna HAPPY 16 BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!! Have fun at katie's seminary graduation.  :) Will be fun ha.   Love you family.
Elder Flitton

"Just some boys getting dirty and playing in the mud trying to take out a tree."