Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them;
and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain,
and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. Jeremiah 16:16

Monday, February 19, 2018

Derek: Captin's Log Week 15: intercambio

ok, i’m going to make this quick because i was halfway done writing this email and it just got deleted. and it won’t let me use capitals.

so as of now i have been on 8 exchanges. that’s one for every week i have in the field. and that’s not good because i’m not supposed to go exchanges unless its with the district leader. and i like to serve in my area. i also think my comp wants to just get rid of me. for example, i am currently on a trio right now and i’ve been on exchanges since early friday morning until this tuesday afternoon so my comp can go watch a soccer game with the zone leaders. that’s 4 days. and he doesn't even know who is playing in the game. i already had plans for p-day but he completely threw that out the window. i guess i’ll just use the advice he always gives me every time i beg to go contacting," just wait 4 more weeks".

ok, sorry for venting there. well 3 of the baptisms we had for this week backed out. one says she has classes every saturday and sunday for a little while, but its been a month and she has no clue when it ends, so my comp thinks she is lying. her friend refuses to get baptized or even go to church if her friend dosen’t go. and her mom just doesn’t go to church. but we should still have 2 baptisms this saturday. we have 3 more for the 10th of march. i feel really good about as well as some new ones that may work out later as well. but as for this 3 its pretty much whenever they get their act together. this is our second time moving their date.

other things that happened this week: i learned braille, learned how to solve a rubik’s cube, had my first real bucket shower, contacted for my 2nd time ever, showed off my zipper tie, and finished alma in my spanish book of mormon.

sorry for just venting the whole time, i just dont really have an outlet. but don't worry i’m actually pretty tranquilo.

Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I havebeen called of him to declare his word among his people, that theymight have everlasting life. (2 Nephi 5: 13)

no pics this week. i’m in a third world country, sorry.

dang, my younger bros are studs. i love your pics mom, congrats.

Dylan: Horrible and Sacrilegious


So today has been a wild day because we had to drop off my Russian companion and we were helping a babushka all morning so it is currently 8pm over here. 

Destroying all church materials: This week we had the task of getting rid of every church book in the church building. We feel horrible and sacrilegious, honestly, as we have to get every book, and pamphlet, and handout, and tear off their covers and pages and in pieces. We have to destroy everything except we can keep Liahonas within 2 months, and the Book of Mormons, and missionary lesson pamphlets as long as they all have a certain stamp and are signed. But we basically emptied out the church and had to throw it all away and make it so it is destroyed so nobody can use it and we don't get caught and have to pay the fine. It's really, really heartbreaking, and the members were really distraught when the news was given to them about family history. 

We also lost the keys to the church and our apartment this week, so it's somewhere in the snow we think on the other side of area where we lost it. That night we had to go all the way to Center to our landlord to get the keys and didn't get back until very late; I will not state how late it was.

Infested: The living conditions for a lot of Russians is so sad, we helped clear out a I.A. woman and her daughter's one-room apartment so a member can spray it all down with bug spray, and you could just see 100s of cockroaches coming out of the walls, ceilings, and furniture. 

We went ice skating and I can witness that Russians have to be the best ice skaters there are anywhere, I saw tons of little kids 6 or younger doing flawless jumps and spins and so fourth. There were Russian children ice skating before they could walk. 

I have a lot more I want to say but I am out of time. I love you all. 

Elder VanBuskirk

Go Caleb, such a stud!

Wow I remembered when I played at the date festival. Go Luke! Caleb with the weak silver... Gold’s not to bad Luke. Good job bros.

WOWWWW! THAT’S AWESOME MOM! CONGRATS!!!! 2 FIRST PLACES! I LOVE that Christ painting.  I’m so glad it won! I can't believe Caleb's face got first and my flip got HM haha, still awesome, I love your ent

Monday, February 12, 2018

Derek: Captain's Log Week 13: 'Vaina'

 28 Wherefore, labor ye, labor ye in my vineyard for the last time-for the last time call      upon the inhabitants of the earth.
(D&C 43: 28)

I was going to start this by venting on how much I hate Spanish. But the thing is I realized that they don't even speak Spanish here, they just speak Dominican. Ready? This is how you speak Dominican. Step 1: Speak normal Spanish. Step 2: Take out evey ‘S’ you should say. Step 3: Make up words as you go along. Step 4: Talk really fast so people don't know that you don't know Spanish. Step 5: Throw grammar out the window, it's too overrated anyway. There, you are now fluent in Spanish and Dominican. For example, instead of saying the word "cosa" which means "thing" , in spanish, a Dominican would say "vaina" which literally means a "sheath", like for swords. Or they have this phrase here "Tamo heavy" which is supposed to mean "We are cool". But it's not Spanish; it's half bad Spanish and half English. I have this fear that I'm going to go home and not be able to communicate with any real Spanish speaker.

Ok that's enough venting. So back to the good stuff. This week I had my first Zone Confrence. We talked about the importance of repentance and about how agency is one of the most misunderstood and wrongly-taught principles in the gospel. So I’m trying to spend a good part of my personal study time each day studying it. It got me even more excited to serve. I also spent some time this week buying things to send home in my first package. And I finally got to met Dorisbell!!!! She is a progressing investigator that has been out of town for the last 8 weeks!!! We talked with her and gave her a fecha for the 10th of March. I really love my investigators they are all super cool but the definitely need to go to church more. One of our biggest problems with one of our investigators right now is that she said that she will only go to church if her friend does and will only be baptized if her friend does. So we are going to help her realize that she needs her own testimony. But she doesn’t read or pray or even go to church so its really hard for her to gain her OWN testimony if she isn't willing to put in her own work.

Today, to celebrate one of the elder’s birthday, we went to the batting cages. It was super fun and super cheap. I totally killed it and caught one of the balls that was launched at me single handed. But what was super funny was that 4 of the kids that were going to come were super late because they had a riot right outside of their house: police, burning tires, broken glass, and all. The cops shot a mustard gas grenade at the apartment right below the elders’ and they got a little tear-gassed from it. They even said that a women ran out of the building with a infant having a seizure. 

Anyways the mission is great, the church is true, and that’s it.

The b-day boy hitting a few balls.

 Elder VanBuskirk

Hi Mom. 

So this week I learned Braille and how to solve a Rubic’s cube, I was wondering if you can send me a book on how to do origami when you have a chance. I can’t find any here. Also a pocket US constitution. 

I gotta go right now. Love you

Dylan: Miracles, Bungalows, and Sad Stuff

Dear Fellow Americans (and Johan), 

This week has been insane: some really sad news, crazy miracles, and interesting and fun experiences. 

First the really sad news: So Russia is shutting down the FamilySearch in all of Russia. We have to destroy any FamilySearch computer, and any pamphlet or book or anything that has the logo on it. We also have to destroy and shred a lot of other Liahonas and books and other pamphlets and so fourth. They really want to make sure we don't have anything to hand out to people. The government making FamilySearch unaccessible is more hard on the members than on us; they now will have no way to do genealogy work for the temple, and it will take away one of their inspiring desires to go to the temple, which is already a very challenging task for them. Nevertheless, it is amazing to see that whatever the adversary may do and whatever forces and power it has, it will never stop the work of the Lord. His work will always press forward and He will never abandon these saints in Russia.

SPLITS: I went on splits these week 2 diferent days in 2 different areas. So one of the zone leaders and I went to mid-center town and brought groceries to this poor old woman (who is not all the way there). She lives in a little tiny bungalow or hut that is like handmade and probably a century old. It's the size of a small room and has one moldy toilet with and stove on top and a small moldy fridge. Her house is the most disgusting place I have ever seen; the place is practically rotting, and the stench was so bad it smelt like the was a farm herd of dead cows in there. This woman had a ton of cats and kittens running around. She also had a stroke awhile ago and is physically not able to get out of her house, so she spends her whole life in there which is just heartbreaking. When we took out her trash we noticed there was a tail sticking out. Under her diapers there was a DEAD CAT that has been in her trash bag for over a week!

We went to another bungalow, where this older gentleman has 16 cats. He has one light dwindling lightbulb and no source of heat besides his oven that is heated by firewood. His house is freezing cold, so he crouches down next to the oven for heat. He wants to get baptized but won't commit to paying tithing because he barely has enough to survive as it is. It is really sad to see. 

Fun stuff: We played football (soccer) Saturday morning with some members and a bunch of random kids kept showing up and playing with us. It was just awesome to realize that I was in Russia in the mist and cold, playing in the mud in a sketchy park surrounded by the tall gray buildings. 

We also went to a RUSSIAN BALLET which was actually way cool! It was a classic one and it was amazing! Another thing I found which was sooo weird, is that when Russians applaud they all clap on the same beat, the whole audience! Which sounded so weird cause they have no way of expressing how enthusiastic they are, it's just one rhythm and expression. Their culture is super interesting and like complete opposites of the US. 

Here is a crazy story, kind of long though, but the details are important:
Soooo last Friday on the way home from game night in Center I was having a quiet conversation with Sweeney about what we can do to help our investigators as we were speaking in English/Russian and there was this young woman who came in the marshrootka later and was sitting right across from me. Elder Sweeney and I were sitting by the driver and the marshrootka was really full so a lot of people couldn't reach to him, so they would hand me the money and I would hand it the driver. Anyways, she kept looking at us, so when I was finally about to say something it was her stop. Then instead of her just handing the money to the driver, which would have been just as easy for because of where she was, she handed it to me and told me in English to please pass it up to the driver. I got so excited and tried to say a few things back, and when the driver handed back the money to me to give to her I dropped all the change. In a hurry I tried to pick it up for her and was only able to give her some of it before she had to run off. So I got the change and put in my bag hoping I would see her again. I knew right away that I messed up and God gave me a person to talk to that I didn't even try talking to until it was too late and I knew I messed up, so I prayed all week that if God would give me a second chance I would take the opportunity. And what do you know? Exactly a week later, not even in our part of town, in the huge city of Rostov, out of ALL the marshrootkas and buses we get into a marshrootka after a rather dissapointing day to go to our apartment and I'm standing there and I notice that the same girl with 2 friends is sitting right behind Elder Sweeney in the back! I couldn't believe my eyes I had to examine that it was her because it was so unreal. I got my way to the end of the Marshrootka and as soon as I opened my mouth she laughed and said that she was the same person, and I handed her her change that I had ready to give that whole week, which she and her friends were so surprised that I held it for her thinking I would see her again, and it got us on to a good start and we all had a great conversation. If anything else comes out of that or not, It is just awesome to see first hand how the Lord really does answer prayers and how even if you mess up the Lord is patient with us and gives us many chances. We just have to seek for them.

Elder VanBuskirk

Monday, February 5, 2018

Derek: Captin's Log Week 13: Pelota y Fútbol Americano

Captin's Log Week 13: Pelota y Fútbol Americano

That the fullness of my gospel might be proclaimed 
by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the 
world, and before kings and rulers. (D&C 1:23)

This week was the DR's version of the World Series, and it was insane. It was the Águilas, my team, vs  Licey. It got insane, and I don't just mean the game. They were back and forth, all 7 games. And the Dominicans, of course used this as a reason to get drunk. So now picture this; a bunch of drunk, gangster Dominicans with nothing better to do then take baseball way to seriously. Every street we walked on this week all had 20- 40 Dominicans standing in the street watching the games at the comadas. There were always arguments, and literal fights. Most were with their fists, but some used upgrades, like sticks. That was super crazy but what was worse was after the last game. We were on our way home from a member’s house when the Aguilas won, and of course the the other team didn't have a chance. There where people crying on the streets, other people were driving their motorcycles around with things tied to the back. My comp got hit by this plastic blue chair that was tied to a motorcycle. It was practically a riot, not really, but practically.

Ok now to the good stuff. We have 5 fechas, or baptism dates, planned. We have 4 for the 24th of this month and 1 for the 10th of March.  The investigators for the 24th are; Gaberela, Cealingy (her daughter), And Germany (her friend). They where planning on getting baptized a few weeks ago but needed more time. So we worked with them to help them read. But they are not reading on their own or attending church. Next we have Eliangy. She is this young girl. I really like her. She always reads more then we asked, attends church and even goes to seminary even though she isn't even old enough yet. We are trying to teach her family too, but the parents can't get baptized until they are married. Then for the 10th we have Rafael. He is a 17 year old kid who attends church and seminary regularly for the last 3 weeks. We asked him to be baptized on the first lesson. He is super cool and I just found out he has a twin brother. I want to try teaching his brother too, because being a twin I couldn't imagine what it would be like to have the Gospel in my life and if Dylan didn't.

We plan on leaving some more fechas this week, including Yalianny for the 24th. She wanted to get baptized a few weeks ago, but her mom made her back out. She said it was because the mom was out of town that day, but we haven't been able to talk to her mom yet. Then the 10th. We all also going to leave a fecha tomorrow with the mystical Dorisbell. Apparently she is a really good investigator but I wouldn't know. She has been on vacation every since I’ve been here, but DK she is going to be back in town tonight. We also plan on leaving one with Gercalda, the aunt of Germany. She reads every thing we give her and likes it a lot but hasn't attended church yet. We also plan to give one to the sister of Karen and Kathy, the girls we just baptized. She seems excited; she told her sisters that she wanted to learn from us. She doesn't live with Katy and Karen, but with their mom. The lesson we had with her was crazy because the mom has 7 little kids, and of course isn't married. It was super hard to feel the spirit in the lesson because the kids were freaking crazy. Picture this; I'm in the middle of reciting the first vision by memory and the youngest kid, who was wearing nothing but green underwear, goes up to his brother and pees on his leg. It was freaking insane. So my comp and I came up with this great idea of teaching her at Karen and Kathy's house. Then we want to leave one with Alexis, but his is more of a long term goal. He has had almost all the lessons, believes, and attends church but he isn't married. He lives with his girlfriend but they can't get married until she gets divorced first. She said she wants  to but marriage is expensive and divorce is double so. My Comp wants to leave a fecha for early July, which is right before he gets home. This is good because it gives them a good time limit to work for. 

So last night was the Super Bowl. My comp made plans with some rich members in the ward to go to their house all day with the Zone leaders, and 2 other missionaries, to play pool all day and then watch the Super Bowl. I told him that if he wanted to watch it I wouldn't stop him but I wasn't about to waste a whole day of work to watch the Super Bowl. Plus have never watched the Super Bowl because it was on Sunday, and I wasn't going to start on my mission. So right after church I made him drop me of with other elders so I can work and the Zone leaders were his companion for yesterday and today. I am currently in a trio right now but I'll be back in Villa really soon. 

Also this week was transfers. My district got the one new white kid in the mission. I ran into him at the MTC the day I broke my glasses. He seems cool and looks like a really hard worker so that's great. We also got this one kid I met at the botanical garden that I thought was cool so this is good. 

I also bought a zipper tie this week that everyone is jealous about so that's pretty cool.

Elder VanBuskirk

Dylan: Putin is in Rostov!!

Friends, Family, and everyone in between, 

I actually have nothing to say about Putin in Rostov, besides that he is in Rostov. I just needed to get your attention because this has been the most WONDERFUL MIRACULOUS WEEK EVER and we got our FIRST BABTISM!!!!

 Alsooooo, if you are going to email me it has to be my account because I'm not allowed to use my myldsmail one. I hope all of you are doing great, I miss you all!

Tuesday: We went to a babushka's house and she had us sit down to eat as soon as we got there and the whole time she was just bring back more and more food. There was plates filled with tomatoes, cucumbers, bread, eggs, and we each had our own block of cheese! There was a gigantic thing of compote (that we were forced to drink all of), 2 cups of tea for each of us, bowls filled rice and sausages, soup, bakery desert bread and the list goes on and on! And every time we take the smallest bit of food or drink she would go back to the kitchen and get more and fill it back up to the top. I think we ate every crumb in her house, I ate more that day than all of my Thanksgivings combined. This was by far the hardest thing I've ever done on my mission, we all felt so sick, but what kept me going is when I looked up she had 40+ pictures of Jesus covering her room on the shelves and the walls, and the best part was that most of them were just the paper handouts they would give out at chruch. She explained how we were messengers of God so she gave us all she has, and treated us like kings. Anyways, after the endless meal we gave her a healing blessing, and during it a thought came to my mind of the feelings that Christ will feel when he sees this sweet faithful lady again. I was struck so hard with the spirit that tears rushed down my face and I felt so much love for this sweet woman, it was a remarkable feeling.
...And then we headed over to another Babushka's home...

Wednsday: So we dropped off a batch of brownies and a sincere note to the awesome hairdresser lady because we forgot to pay (but I think God had us forget so we had an excuse to give her brownies and this note), we told how we hope she can smile again and a few other things, and she sent us a text later that day (which also means she saved our number the other day!) and told us how she was on the verge of tears. She is so wonderful!

Thursday: We went and visited this wonderful golden investigator single mother and her four children and played games, ate, and taught a lesson about baptism and asked them to be baptized, but she doesn't know yet and will pray about it with her family. But I love that family so much, she has 3 girls and a son all ages 9-14. They are such a miracle and filled with so much joy and love. It's rare to find a family that big in Russia. 

Friday: Soooo that 19 year old I met on the bus and got my first contact from, but who never picked up or answered for almost 2 weeks, but I still had faith that I would find him and prayed desperately everyday that we would see him again - THE LORD  DELIVERED! We went to the game night in center because our lessons fell though, and he was there!!! Some other missionaries invited his friend and he brought his friends, and one of them was this guy! I couldn't believe it when I saw him - we talked with all of his friends and planned to play football (soccer) on Tuesday! The lord is awesome and really does answer prayers! And you can run from the missionaries but you can't hide!

Saturday: OUR FIRST BABTISM!!!! This was a wonderful day! This man has been working with missionaries for 10 -20 years. He his a very humble sweet man. His wife, who was against baptism, died a little less than 2 moths ago, and he threw everything out about the church, but came back and prepared to be baptized within that time. His baptism was very spiritual. He was so happy (even though the picture looks other wise, but that is just what Russians do). After he said his testimony and many new recent converts came and they bore their testimonies and so did he. It was such a sweet experience, especially because of how rare a baptism is in Rostov and how he has changed and been preparing for so long. I am so grateful the missionaries never gave up on him, and I feel extremely blessed to be there for the sweet conclusion. I wish I could show you a picture.

Sunday: He received the Holy Ghost and it was amazing! We had 36 people at church, which is like twice the size we usually get for our small branch! Also I gave my testimony with my very horrible Russian (but it's getting better) and when I finished some of the children in the branch started clapping, it was so funny. 

So this has been an awesome week, my favorite on the mission so far, and I feel things are only going to get better! Also it's been a month now out in the field!

Elder VanBuskirk

Hello mom! Sorry I don't have time to read you email this week right now, but I willl print at the church and read it later. But I want you to know I love you and think and pray about you everyday. Thanks for the letters; you were right, I guess when you are on the mission you do appreciate it ;)

 Also this awesome family I am teaching with the single mom and 4 kids, she wants to be baptized but she believes it is very important, which it is, and she wants to make sure she really knows and is really ready to be baptized, even though she is more ready than anyone I know, and she feels that the decision is too big for her kids to make at that age. I had a thought that I think if you can send me a short brief testimony of baptism and your experience and for your 6 kids, it could have a good affect on her coming from wonderful mother of 6 and all instead of by a young man. I'll have my Russian companion translate it and write it in Russian for her. Thanks if you are up for it. Love YOU!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Dylan: Lots of Haircuts Coming

Before you exit out of this email, I'll put the exciting news on the top! We had zone conference this week and President Martino was there (not the president of the MTC, but ironically his brother, who is the general Seventy over all of Eastern Europe) and they gave us the exciting news of how the Samara Mission is conjoining with our mission June 30! That's so exciting because our mission will be twice as big and we will have over 60 volunteers, and also I know some awesome missionaries over there that I am excited to work with! So I will have the rare opportunity of having 3 different mission presidents throughout my mission!

So on the way home from Zone Conference I got super pumped and while I was standing and talking to one of the Crimean sisters, in half part English and part Russian, a young man squeezed into the marshrootka and I notice he was paying attention to our conversation so I looked at him and said "Zdrastvooyte" and he said "Hello, how are you? " I got so excited! We started talking in half Russian, half English for the rest of the ride. He is 18 and is very cool and fun guy. I invited him to play ping-pong at the church with us and he was so excited. I even was able to get his number! It was my first contact so I was stoked! I tried calling him and texting him throughout the week, but he never answered. But it's ok He went off on our stop where our apartment is so I have faith we will find him again. 

So on Saturday we went to get a haircut, and I know haircuts are for P-day, but this wasn't for the haircut it was a finding activity! So we got a haircut from this nice lady in her little shop about a week ago and she told us how she had a BOM! So all of our lessons that morning got canceled so we thought it would be a good idea for one of us to get a haircut so we could have a good conversation with her. She cut my hair and the whole time I had no idea what they were talking about, but I knew the conversation wasn't at where we needed, so as we were leaving I said in my very bad Russian if she need help with anything, which got her confused but than reminded her that we were volunteers and that lead to a great discussion about hope and happiness, and Elder Isa even told her she should try reading her BOM. We left, walked all the way to the church, and realized we were so into our conversation we forgot to pay her! We called her right away and told her we were on our way back to pay her, but she insisted that we are fine and the conversation was enough. She even said she could be the volunteer to the volunteers, haha! We are going to drop off a thing of brownies and a nice note at her barbershop though, today or tomorrow, for what she did. She says she is already set in her church, but also says she has no hope in life and she once as happy and always smiled but once she moved to Rostov no one smiled and pretty soon it got to her too. But I am confident that God sent us to her barbershop because she is ready. We just need to soften her heart. We didn't intentionally try to go to her shop in the first place; we tried going to another one, but they were full. So we ended up with her. She is awesome, we are going to all just keep having haircuts at different times so we have an excuse to meet and have a good conversation with her once a week. We are always going to have some sharp hair.

It's always fun here in Russia, saw a few bizarre things on the streets, but you got to love it, never gets old! It's crazy how Russia fulfills all of it's stereotypes. 

Alma 37:6-7  Now ye may say that it is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.

Elder VanBuskirk

Hello family, I use a very sketch computer gamer room to email, and we have a timer on the bottom of our screen, so I never have time to do my President email, group, and all of you, so I’ll copy and paste part of my mission president's email I want to share with you. With other stuff. First off, I love you all so much I think and pray about you every day. Also I need Grandma Wilbur’s email, I don't have it! And also mom if you can send me a list of fun clean young single adult games, because you are creative and you also have the internet ;) This week was awesome! It started out with a zone conference where President Martino ,the general Seventy over all of Eastern Europe spoke with us all day. It was awesome! Except I don't think I'm going to be able to get a better zone conference than that. We had the zone from Crimea (which is just Russian volunteers) and the zone with Sochi and the southern cities of our mission come up so it was a party! 

I am loving this area, the members and investigators we have are great. Ivan has passed his baptismal interview last night and we planned his baptism with him so we are super excited and he is even more excited than we are. He has been through a lot, so I am really glad he has gotten to this stage. Aleeyeca is having a really hard time right now. She is pretty stressed out. I believe she got a new job that she works 2 days on 2 days off. But we went over to her house anyways just to drop them off a thing of brownies with a picture, scriptures and a note. Then we knocked on the door and ran away only to be caught by one of her daughters outside. All 4 of her children showed up to church on Sunday so that was great! She didn't have enough money for her to make it to church though, she only had enough money to get her children there. Urie is also having a bit of a hard time, but he faithfully comes to church every Sunday, and afterwards we always have a lesson with him, where he asks us many questions that he never lets us answer becuase he has to much to say. We are trying to help him that he doesn't need to know the details of all these other things to gain a testimony of the BOM and quite frankly for his salvation. However he has told us how his mother is coming into town and he wants to discuss with her about the gospel, which could be awesome if she looks into it and supports him, because he is getting no support from his family. Alena and Lubea , inctive mother and daughter that we have been working with, showed up to church this week! 

I love my companions we are all fun and happy people so we are always having a good time.  We are really having a problem with finding people so we tried to come up with a few activities we can try. We want to have an English game night to try to sell it to the English class we help at that has 4 17-year olds. So we are going to try to figure that out, but we want to make sure it is good. 

Studies are great. I am on track with all my goals. I am going to finish the BOM, Penguin, Sila (probably twice), other scripture marks and studies, flash card system and  few other things by the before the end of training. 

I hope all is well, I love you family and Derek I hope you are enjoying the warm days and the easy language ;)

WOOOOOWWWW I also forgot to tell you!! OUR MISSIONS OUR CONJOINING WITH THE SAMARA MISSION!!! IT IS HAPPENING JUNE 30, AND THE SAMARA IS SUBMERGING INTO OURS SO THE MISSION HOME WILL BE IN ROSTOV STILL. So during my mission I will have 3 Mission Presidents. They said they are going to mix us all over the place so we are excited to hopefully experience some real Russian winters! And they are happy to get to the warmest part of Russia, which isn't that warm haha. They have about 30 missionaries to so we should have just over 60 missionaries when we conjoin.