Monday, March 25, 2013

March 2013

March 4, 2013
Dear Family

  Thank you for all of your emails.  Sounds like the weather back home is starting to get better.  The weekend here was non stop snow.  Buttttt today is nice and sunny which means that it is really cold.  It is about -15c right now.  But is is better than -25c.  Last week was the first week of Spring here.  That day it snowed all day ha.  But the sun is out and verrryyy slowly the snow is starting to melt.  Sometimes I feel that the winter is never going to end and that it is never going to be warm.  I have forgotten the feel of sweating and wearing a short sleeve shirt ha.  But I remember last year that it gets really hot in July and August here.  So I am just hoping that the sun decides to shine a little more here in the Mother Land.
  This last week has been a very busy week for us.  We were able to get a total of 14 meetings.  That is a lot of meetings for us here in Russia.  We have a film called PMG of a bunch of missionaries in America.  It showed that they get about 5-8 meetings a day ha.  They had dinner appointments every day and a car.  I am not feeling bad for myself but I feel like the work that the missionaries do around the world is very different in each country that they serve in.  But the cool thing is is that we all teach the same thing. I love how the Gospel is so simple and that a person can understand and know that it is true if they just have a sincere heart and faith in God.  I am so grateful for the kind of missionary work that we do here in Russia.  It is really hard.  We don't get dinner appointments every night and have people giving us referrals every day.  We work hard and spend a lot of our time out on the streets finding people.  This is the work that is perfect for me.  I feel like i have grown so much and that the hard work has really shaped me into a better missionary/person.  The work here in the Yekaterinburg mission is the greatest work ever and I am so grateful that I am apart of it.
  So I have some really sad news.  The four sisters in our zone went to Yekaterinburg last week for training.  On there way back to Ufa on the train they had brought with them some mail.  Well they got off the train and then realized when they got home that they left the mail on the train... Sooo no mail for Elder Flitton.  I don't know what mail it was all I know is that there was something from Chandler.  I am really sorry about this.  It is a huge bummer becuase there is nothing we can do about it.  Let's just say that some of the Elders weren't to happy with the sisters ha.  But they made us cookies to make us feel better.  Sorry for the inconvenience.
  This week we have a pretty busy week.  We have Zone Leader Council tomorrow and then on Thursday President Rust and his wife are flying into to Ufa for Zone Conference.  We have a lot to do so that all is in order when President comes.  It is really difficult because we have to order him a taxi everywhere and make sure that everything is running smooth.  Please pray for Elder Young and I this week that everythign will run smoothly for Zone Conf.
  Brian is doing alright.  He didn't come to church but we have a meeting with him tonight.  We are still trying to help him understand the importance of Church and the word of wisdom.  He still has a lot of work to do. But his niece is getting baptized on the 16th so hopefully that will help him in his decicsion to be baptized.  I am so grateful for the progress that I have seen in him.  I don't know how many prayers I have said to my Father in Heaven about him.  But I know that my Father in Heaven is anwsering my prayers.  I am so grateful for the power of prayer.
  Things are going great here in Ufa and I am loving it here.  There is a family that we are teaching.  They are members and one of the sons isn't a member and the father.  So we are teaching the son.  We have had a lot of great lessons with him.  He has two younger brothers that are so funny.  One of them loves Michael Jackson and he loves to dance like Michael Jackson. It is awesome and we have become really great friends.  He is teaching me some dance moves beacues every one knows that I have no dancing talents ha.  But I am just so grateful for all of the friendships that  I have made here and are making.  I love my mission!
  I love you family and I am so thankful for everything that you do for me. Love you
Elder Flitton
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! 21 you are kind of getting old.. jk Hope you have a great birthday, you have something coming your way, it might take awhile but it is coming. HAPPY BIRTHDAY

This is Reshat. Elder Flitton helped him receive the Mel. Priesthood 

March 11, 2013
Dear Family
  This last week has been quite the week for Elder Young and I.  On Tuesday morning we flew to Yekaterinburg for zone leader council.  We were at President Rust's for about two days.  As always it was really great to see all of the other zone leaders.  It was especially nice to see Elder Latimer there.  He just got called to be a new zone leader so now I get to see him every month.  I have really grown close to a lot of Elders here in this mission.  I am so grateful for the friendships that I have made here on my mission.
  This last week was also Zone Conference.  President Rust and Sister Rust flew to Ufa Thursday morning.  Sister Rust has been having some eye problems so we got her into to see a eye doctor herein Ufa.  This eye clinic here in Ufa is pretty Prestiege.  You have to be invited to get in and be treated.  But there is a member here in Ufa that is a really good business person so he pulled some strings and was able to get Sister Rust in to see a doctor.  So Elder Young and I were at this eye clinic for about 4 hours translating for sister Rust. It was reallly fun becuase I got to be around President Rust.  I am so grateful for an awesome mission president.  We recently found out who is going to be the new mission president in July when President Rust goes home.  His name is President Christensen.  I guess he used to be the owner of Energy Solutions... Maybe free jazz tickets haha.  But it is weird to think that President Rust is going home in July.  I love my mission president.
  So I finally got the calendar and the music.  Luckily they didn't give the siters packages.  Thank you so much for the calendar.  I think it is one of the greatest things that I have been ever been sent.  A calendar comes in to big help as a missionary as we are always planning stuff.  Thank you for it once again.  Also I love the music.  Don't be shy sending me some more music.  I have really come love music on my mission.  It is one way that I feel the spirit.  I love it.
  So transfers is next week.  Can you believe how fast time is going.  It feels like just last week I got with Elder Young.  I hope that I stay here in Ufa.  I love this city so much.  The members are so close to me and I am so close to them.  I have really gained a love for the people/members in Ufa.  I am so grateful for the Gospel and that it really can bring people close together.  That is what the family is for.  If you teach the gospel in your home the closer you will be to your family. I love it.
  So I have been studying lately the importance of going to church.  I am so grateful for the services that we are able to attend on Sunday.  We are so blessed to be able to partake of the Sacrament every Sunday.  Some people have the mind set that church is for them when really it is the other way around.  Church is for our Heavenly Father.  We go to church to show our love to Him.  I look back to when I went to church when I was younger.  The main reason was because my friends went and that my parents made me ha.  I really wish that I would have known the true reason for going to church.  There is a reason why God rested the 7th day from His labors.  He sanctified that day and made it his day.  We work throughout the week and then we have Sunday.  We either go to church or we dont go.  I know that the Lord has given us our Free Agency and that we have the choice to go to church or do other things on Sunday.  I know that when we go to church we become more spiritually/phsyically prepared for the next week.  Now some people might say that church is boring.  Well that is there own fault.  They go to church not trying to get something out of it and just go because it is habit.  Church can be so spiritually uplifting if we make it.  It is like practicing for a big event.  How ever much you put into something is how much you are going to get out.  If we go to church with a firm determination to learn and be uplifted then that will happen.  If we go to church to make it a social gathering and sleep block than that is what it is going to be.  Next time you are driving or walking to church say a little prayer in you heart to Heavenly Father that He will guide you and uplift you at church. I know that it works because I have done so.  I am so thankful for Revelation because we all can recieve it.
  Family I love you so much.  Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support.  I couldn't do this alone.  I love you and pray for you everyday.  Thank you for letting me serve. I love you.
Elder Flitton
ps we got a new emailing rule.  We can email family, friends, priesthood leaders, and other missionaries.  So if you write me you can expect an email once  in awhile. 

March 17, 2013
Dear Family
  I just want to start of by saying thank you so much for the emails this week.  I think loading up email and then seeing that you have so many emails to read is the best feeling.  Thank you so much for all of the support and love.  I know that I say that every week but I am really so grateful for it.  It would be impossible to be 100% in the work if I didn't have support.  Thank you so much everyone.  I love you!
  Well Spring is coming...(knock on wood).  The snow is starting to melt and the roads are filling up with slush.  The streets are so bad.  I think I might have to put plastic bags over my socks so me feet aren't sopping wet ha.  Jk I wont do that but seriously it is crazy how dirty the streets are.  I will take a picture of it next week.  I don't know how the cars here handle it.  Think of all the snow that melts and there are no water drains so it just fills up.  It absolutely destroys the streets. I don't know how the Russians can save there cars.  But spring is on its way and it is starting to get a little warmer.  Today it is supposed to be 8c.  That is a miracle for us.  We are going to the big monument in Ufa today with the other Elders. Yay we can actually do stuff on Pday now.
  So this last week was a very great week for Elder Young and I.  Bryan our investigator told us that he quit drinking black tea.  He told us that he went to the store and saw that they were selling a new tea and he picked it up and was about to put it in the cart but then remembered that black tea is not allowed.  He then put it back on the shelf!!!!! He has made so much progress.  Yes it is very slow but he is definitely doing great. I am so thankful for him. Please keep him in  your prayers.
  This Saturday we had a baptism!  Mariana... her uncle is Bryan.  She got baptized and so many people came.  It was so great to see all of the support.  After the baptism we had a big activity for the women in the branch.  On the 8th of march it was Women's day.  But we had Branch Conf so they had to push it back.  It was a great time to mingle with the members and build trust with them.  If I haven't said it before I will say it now... I love the Ufa members.  I have grown so close to them.  There are two families especially that I have grown to love so much.  They are both from Armenia and are the strongest members.  I really do just having the chance to teach them and just be great friends.  We are actually teaching members of there family that aren't members.  It is so great.  Ufa members are the greatest.
  So I was reading the other day in the bible about the Prophet Jeremiah.  The first chapter is just so awesome.  The Lord calls Jeremiah and pretty much tells him that he is going to prophesy against the Jews and all of the other tribes.  They at this time are really wicked.  Poor Jeremiah didn't want to do it and he definitely didn't feel like he was adequate to do it.  I want to focus on this word, Adequate.  Everyone has felt the sickening realization that they are inadequate for the calling or a job or a captain or whatever it may be.  I know that I felt very inadequate when I was told that I was going to be a zone leader.  I remember saying "Why me".  Just like Jeremiah said I can't do this, I can't speak.  I questioned the Lord and questioned his judgement.  Well that was a huge mistake.  Whenever we receive a calling, new job, or anything we should always remember that the Lord has qualified us.  We are sons and daughters of a King that knows everything, that has created the heavens and the earth, he has created every living creature and he is able to comprehend EVERYTHING.  But He knows us personally.  He has qualified each and every one of us.  We qualified ourselves when we decided to come to this earth.  We can do anything, and we can achieve everything because we have a loving Heavenly Father.  We can do hard things.  If we didn't try to do hard things we couldn't progress, we couldn't learn, we couldn't become like God.  Like Michael Jordan said "I can accept failure but I can't accept not trying."  yah I just quoted MJ.  But it is so true.  So when there comes that moment of feling inadequacy remember what the Lord said to Jeremiah (read Jeremiah 1). We can do hard things.
  Well family I love you so much.  And yes mom I am eating.  Ofcourse I am pale because the sun doesn't shine here in the winter and it is too cold to be out when it is shining in the winter.  Spring is coming so don't worry I won't look like a ghost.  But thank you for worrying about me ha.  Thanks to all that send me emails.  Hope everyone has a great week.
Love Elder Flitton

March 24, 2013
Dear Family

  So sorry for no informing you about transfers.  I am right now still in the city of Ufa and I am so thankful for that.  I am also still with Elder Young and we are doing great.  We are having so much fun together.  I love the city of Ufa so much.  This next transfer is going to be a long one so that is great.  It is going to be 8 weeks.  I think after this transfer i will be getting moved to another city.  And that next city will probably be my last one.  After this transfer I only have three more left.... Time is going way to fast.  But I hope that I can work my hardest this transfer.
  Well next Sunday is Easter! Can you believe it? I can't.  It was pretty funny yesterday as we attended branch council they asked Elder Young and I if we have church activities back home for Easter.  Honestly I couldn't remember.  We told them no.. so there will be no Easter activity in Ufa ha.  If there was one we missionaries would have had to plan it.  Good thing we said no.  But here in Russia they celebrate Easter on a different day then the rest of the Christian world.  They celebrate two weeks later than we do.  The Russian orthodox church just wanted to be different than everyone else.  For Easter here they make this weird looking cake that is way dry, I bought onу last year in Kurgan and didn't really like it.  The orthodox church makes them.  They also die eggs like we do but they have these little wars, where they smack them together and the persons egg that doesn't crack wins.  I like our tradition better, going and finding eggs that have candy in them.  
 General Conf is also coming up in the next couple of weeks.  We will be watching it on the 13th and 14th of April.  I have never been excited for GC as I am right now for it.  Lately in our apartment we have just been listneing to GC becasue we got bored of listnening tothe same music.  I love conference talks.  I can't wait to watch it.  It feels like I just watched the one in October.
  So Brother Bryan is doing great.  So we call him Bryan because it is the english equivalent.  He is from Armenia so it isn't a usual last name.  His name is Edward Bryan.  Lately he has been having a "problem" so haven't been able to meet with him.  But he has been reading and we arу planning to meet with him on Tuesday hopefully.  Also another investigator that we have is Aleexan.  He is 18 and his family are all members but him and his dad.  His mom really wants us to work with him because she wants him to be baptized.  They area  really great family and we enjoy every time going over there.  He is 18 so it is kind of hard getting him to stay focused and interested.  I probably would have done the same if I was in his shoes.  But he is great and we are pulling out the big guns next lesson with him.
  Some news that I haven't informed you about is that we are getting a new Senior Couple in Ufa this weekend!!! We are so excited for them.  There name's arу the Smith's.  Lately Elder Young and Ih ave been trying to find them a really nice apartment for them to live in.  We haven't really had any luck so looks like we might be moving in with the other elders until we find them a new apartment.  This thursday we are getting on a train to go and pick them up at Yekat.  We then will be taking a train back with them to Ufa. We will be with them for the next couple of weeks showing them how to live in Russia.  How to buy groceries, how to use transport, how to do everything pretty much.  I am way excited.  When there is a senior couple in your city the work is just increased and the branch gets 100% better.  I am very excited.
  Today during my studies I was reading the story of the samaritan woman at the well.  I love this chapter in John, I believe it is chapter 4.  But I love it when the Saviour comes to her and asks of her to fetch him some water.  Now back in those days the Jews despised the samaritans.   This lady was so suprised that a Jewish man would ask a woman like her to give him water.  I love how Jesus takes the opportunity to teach this woman.  I'm sure that he was really thirsty but He took this moment to teach her a lesson.  I love how He responded to her.  That if she only knew that he was the Messiah, that he was the creator oа all things she would have asked him for the "living water".  This woman was puzzled and out of pure curiousty asked Jesus if he was better than their father, Jacob.  Christ then anwsered her with the words that only he could have gave. He/she who drinks the water that I give him/her will never thirst but the water shall be in them as a fountain springing up into everlasting rightousness (goes something like that ha).  I really have thought about those words and how the gospel and everything relating to the Gospel is that water.  Christ truly can give us this "living water".  I love at the end of this chapter when the samaritans meet him and then they tell the woman that they have believied in her testimony but that they have their own testimony that this truly is the Messiah.  Our testimonies truly do lead others to action.  When someone acts they recieve experience/truth.  Christ stayed with the samaritans for a couple of days and ministered unto them.  Christ is the perfect teacher and I am so thankful that he realized a perfect teaching moment.  May we find those moments and share our testimonies to others.  So that people can surly say, "this truly is the Messiah".
  Family I hope that you enjoy your Easter celebrations.  Remember the true reason of Easter.  I am so thankful for the Ressurection of our Saviour.  I love you all and hope that this is a great week for all of you.
  Elder Flitton
Ps mom I bought a new suit.  President talked a couple of weeks ago that we need to be well dressed.  My gray suit has fallen apart.  I have a huge hole in my pants and also the lining in my suit is shredded.  I will take a picture of it ha.  Thanks and love you

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