Friday, October 30, 2015

The Russia Bound Missionaries!

30 October 2015

Yesterday Julie DeSandre, Elder DeSandre's mom, shared a picture her son took of all the missionaries in the MTC headed to Russia.  In that group, 6 of them are going to Vladivostok!

Can you find Elder Vincent and his companion Elder Turner?

Thank you Elder DeSandre! And thank you Julie!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

MTC Week 5

28 October 2015

A friend of Elder Vincent's posted this picture on his facebook page.  I emailed it to him.  This is the picture he is referring to at the start of his email.

Elder Sam Vincent!!!! Whoop woop!!!!

That is actually pretty hilarious, I was laughing for a little while because of that one.

Everything is going great here, I think I have finally hit the point where my Russian takes a turn for the better, and everything starts making sense. Ok, so my district auditioned to sing during a devo(tional) last week and we were told that they would probably use us a few times. We are assigned to sing today for some missionaries coming in.

This week has been really crazy! 2 districts have left for Russia, making our branch like 3 or 4 districts now. It's pretty small and because of the missionaries leaving, we had holes in our leadership assignments. Elder Turner and I were asked to be the new zone leaders, and Elders Memmott and Gee were asked to be the branch's online media coordinators. We just found out last night the entirety of what it is that we are expected to perform. We got asked to be ZL's on Sunday so we are still trying to get a feel for it. If that wasn't enough, we heard from Elder Neil L Andersen of the Quorum of the 12 yesterday for our devotional. I was in like the 3rd row. It was really awesome to see an apostle that close. When he bore his testimony, it gave me goosebumps.

I have learned a lot here in just a few days, and its all kind of happening at once. With Russian too, everything is starting to fall into place and I am feeling pretty comfortable speaking in mostly Russian to my companion and my district. We are getting new elders next week and I am very excited to train them, because that is one of the roles of a ZL. The elders in the other districts didn't even know who I was until about a week ago, and now they all salute me when I walk by...its kind of strange.

Everyone in the district says hi, and passes on their love. Ive tried on the thermals, and as I said before, the Hanes ones work. Also I am a little worried about weight, so I am probably going to send some, or a lot, of stuff back home, because the books they gave me are more than just 12 pounds. Oh and I got some Ukrainian books from the elders leaving that I want to send home so i can learn some Ukrainian when I get back. That will be something fun to look forward to.

Hmmm, what else happened. Ruslan said he would be baptized and the date we set was for the first week in November. He has changed a lot from his first discussion, and so have we. We now understand most of what he says, and can convey most of what we want to say, but more importantly he is able to feel the spirit and understand what we are saying. Thank you for sending me those talks and information from the church.  I haven't had the chance to read all of the one about women and the priesthood, but it sounds pretty interesting.  Everyone looks forward to hearing those interesting things, and everyone is super excited about Andrew's mission call. I cant wait to hear where he is going too! They assign missionaries on Fridays, so if he hasn't been told that he has been assigned by the branch president he might not be until this week.

I pray for you all, and know that you will all be blessed, because an apostle promised blessings to our families for us serving our missions. I'm getting really excited for going to Russia. Oh today I met a guy who served in Vlad a few years ago who was working some construction outside of our doma (dorm?).  He said to be prepared for a culture shock and that its a lot to take in all at once, but that it will all come together one day and that its really fun when it does. I thank you for all the stuff you send me, and I know that you wont be able to send me things as often.

Elder Vincent

You sent a picture of a tree?
It's pretty and fall time so things are changing!

Everyone in Elder Vincent's District

On the ground are (from left to right) Elders Garnder, Hansen, Fredrickson, and  Palmer. Standing up behind them are (from left to right) Elders Foulk, Gehring, Memmott, Gee, me and Turner.

This is a picture he previously sent.  He says the gentleman in the middle is their Branch President.  But did not give his name.  Grateful for the small details he does share with us!
We were able to "email chat" and I was able to ask him a few more questions that were not in his email home.
 Anything my emails were missing?

What is your guess for Andrews mission?  Christmas wish list?  Any last minute things you still need before you go to Russia besides thermals?

Ya I still guess Thailand, and I did email G-ma, and as far as Christmas goes, I don't really know, but they don't celebrate Christmas till January anyways :P

Does that mean I get 2 Skypes for Christmas?  One for Dec 25 and one for Jan 7th or whatever day it is the Russians do Christmas?  hahaha

hahahaha, No, and hey, Im out of time, sorry, but hey you got to chat with me a little bit. Love you, and pass my love to the family. I didnt hear from either Sarah or G-ma this week btw.
Elder Vincent
I'll be sending a hand-written letter this week, I forgot last week, but Ill remember this week =)

Oh and did you hear anything about the music stuff?  I kinda want to get a box off to you next week with your voice recorder, ipod and other stuff.  Man there are so many good lds short videos out there, wish I could send them, like background vids to conference talks and stuff, but I dont want to risk it so I'm just bookmarking them under missionary stuff for when you get home :D

Da that would be ochen harasho. We have watched just about every mormon message out there since I came to the MTC. I forgot to ask :D love You!!!! Ya, but I'll ask about it on Sunday. The handbook just says it has to be something that invites the spirit.

I asked Ksenya Zabrovskaya who lives in Elder Vincent's Mission area in Russia what "ochen harasho" meant.  She was kind enough to tell me it means "very good".  Thank you Ksenya!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


21 October 2015

    I KNOW ITS MARTY DAY!!!!!! That's what the people in my district say today is.

Ok, so I haven't really told you anything about my district. There are 10 of us 6 in one room and 4 in the other. In my room we have Elder Gehring and Elder Foulk. Elder Foulk is the one that I met on the airplane, he is tall, thin and a ginger. His companion Elder Gehring is my height, louder than me, knows more about movies than anyone I've ever met, and is super thin. Me and Elder Turner. Elder Turner is taller and tanner than me. He is a way cool guy, but I think I've talked about him before. Then there are Elders Gardner and Hansen. They are both super athletic. Elder Hansen was on varsity soccer since freshman year and is thin and brunette. He is our current district leader and is always, always always smiling. Elder Gardner was a quarterback and receiver for football and is also a ginger. The 4 in the other room are Elders Palmer  and Fredrickson and Elders Memmott and Gee. Palmer is from Utah and is a huge ham. He is a pretty fun guy to be around, but for a while we didn't know much about him because he and Fredrickson(Freddy) were always off doing there own thing. Freddy is way athletic and is a two time state champ quarterback. he also started all four years for basketball, and plays competitive golf. He is usually pretty quiet and nice, but every now and then he gets pretty mean, but everyone has a bad day every now and then. Elder Gee is super smart and knows just about everything about star wars and a little bit about just about everything else. Elder Memmott is a character. He is always doing ridiculous things and always cracking jokes and telling funny stories. I haven't liked all of them from the beginning and they haven't always like me, but we all get along great now, and I'm really gonna miss these guys when we split. Turner, Memmott and Gee are all going to Vlad though so I'll probably see them when we have to leave the country for our visas.

I don't know if I'm allowed to have Disney songs, so I'll check on that and get back to you. I don't think they sell voice recorders at the bookstore. Thanks for sending me those conference talks they have been really uplifting. Also ya, I never learned how to solve a 4x4 Rubiks cube so I don't think that I am going to take that with me....that is also not a hint for you to give me a normal 3x3 that little devilish looking one that I got today from you will more than suffice. Everyone here loves you and collectively said that when I told them that line from the letter about them being your adopted MTC kids. Everyone really wants to meet you, so after my mission, that is something that we are going to put together, and you're gonna meet all my MTC buddies. So why don't we wait on the mp3 for a little while so I can get more information about what is and isn't allowed so I can give you a more accurate desired playlist. I'll try to see if I can send you pictures today (no pictures), I forgot my camera.....everything had been going really well so there is no reason for you to worry about anything.

In other news, another one of our investigators committed to baptism! Super exciting. My Russian is coming along just fine and everything is coming up roses. We might be doing a musical number in one of the devotionals coming up, and I'll tell you about it if we ever actually do it. Pretty exciting stuff. During gym time I usually play basketball, sometime volleyball. Today though, we played inter-district kickball, and ours dominated. The game that you have heard about is called spike ball. It's kind of like a mix between volleyball and wall ball but instead of a wall its a trampoline, I'm not too familiar with the rules, I have never personally played it, but I have seen it being played. (I had to google it to understand.  Here is a youtube about how it is played )
We have another TRC (Teaching Resource Center) tonight and I'm pretty excited for it. The last one was really good too. Oh! and that Sister who texted you said that our message was "the bomb . com" and that it was exactly what she needed. There are a few native speaking Russians that I have run into, and every time I talk to them all I think is "man I need to study more"!

Love you all pass on my love, oh I met this Tayson Hill or something like that and Chad...Williams???  One was the quarterback for BYU and the other was a receiver for the Eagles and made it to the Superbowl.   They had powerful testimonies and cool stories so it was lots of fun.


Elder Vincent

TRC (Teaching Resource Center) at the Provo Missionary Training Center is a place for volunteers to come and let the missionaries teach them.  It is an additional opportunity outside of their classroom work to learn how to teach the discussions.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

A Note from Mom - We Have A District Picture!

A big HUGE thanks to Madeline Turner, Elder Turner's sister, who happened to run into Elder Vincent's and Elder Turner's District at the Temple Wednesday.

Madeline Turner with Elder Turner and Elder Vincent's District

In case you are wondering, back row, from the left, Madeline Turner, Elder Turner, and then Elder Vincent.  Still waiting to know who everyone else is.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

3rd P-day!

14 October 2015

(Italicized comments inserted by Mom)

Today has been pretty good, but the whole week has just flown by. We have had some pretty cool experiences this week. Elder Gee has been sick, so we gave him 2 blessings in this past week. I helped his companion with the first one, then we gave him a blessing as a district. We had a devotional last night that was really uplifting, and it seems like this whole week has had a focus on not discounting how the Lord has prepared Russia for the gospel. We had a zone conference about how some of the elders were breaking the rules, don't worry, I wasn't one of them. The second part of the zone conference was stories about how we need to go into Russia not with the idea of "planting seeds", but with the idea of "reaping the harvest". It was really motivational and made everyone want to to just leave for Russia right then. We then had a devotional yesterday about the growth of the church in Peru as an example of how the gospel is spreading across the world. We then a district devotional afterwards, which are my favorite things to do here at the MTC. Our Branch President came in and commented on how 5 general authorities in the last 6 months that have visited Russia have said that it is going to be the next Brazil, and so I am really excited and I hope that because of something I do there that I too can be a part of that explosion of the gospel. Russian is coming along alright. Yesterday I stayed with Elder Gee while he was sick so I studied in my room. I know that the Lord blesses those who serve his servants, because while I was studying, I learned more about the Russian language than I had learned for the past week of having classes. I look forward to learning more, and the grammar all seems to be coming together now so I am getting really excited.


Elder Vincent

Well I don't really know how many names (names for temple work from his Grandmother). I know I can do at least another 5 names and there are people in my district how would be willing to do names too. So if she accounts for those like 5 other guys, we can do like 20 names or so, and if we end up going through more than that I can write before we run out and she can send more. Whatever kind of socks you gave me will work. Just tell her that kind....I never got the email from Sarah, but say hi to everyone for me. Ive told everyone here about Andrew going on a mission, and they are all praying for him, and everyone here wants to meet you all based on all the awesome things you guys do that I tell them about. I hope Ive given you enough information. Oh! don't send me that other soap holder thing, we are all good on that end. Thanks for sending me that message. Also tell Emily to give them (his former co-workers in the kitchen at Chick-fil-A) my email so I can hear from them, but in the meantime tell them Hola! Estoy bien, tengo muchos amigos aqui, pero nada somo ellos! Mucho te amo y yo quiero emails de ellos! Other music I would want is Beethoven and some Mozart. I also want the bogg mountain song, Andrew will know what that is if you don't. I really appreciate you doing that for me, but I don't really need anything else other than the music right now. I can buy lots of stuff at the bookstore, like everything that I need so really, if something comes up that I think I need I will let you know. I got my Hep A shot today, and that cost almost 80 bucks, but there is an insurance reimbursement slip that I'll be sending home for you guys, so expect that in the mail in the next couple of days. Russian is coming along alright just like I said in my last email. Its coming even better now. Turns out that Russian has even more in common with German than I thought. Also I am using all the languages I speak since coming to the MTC.  I'm able to speak with native Germans who are also going to Vlad, Elder Gee not included...but I do talk to him sometimes too in German.Everything at the MTC is pretty sweet. Thanks for sending me that testimony in Russian. I actually understood it (I actually copied what he had sent the week before asking him to translate it for me...guess he missed that, OH! that reminds me. When you write out the Russian Characters, through dear Elder, they end up looking like #124243 or some line of numbers like that so it might just be best to write it like it sounds in English, although that makes it harder for me to read, I can make it out better than 20938403 haha. I'm excited to hear about what goes on with everyone! When Andrew opens his call, don't just take a video, but take pictures as well so I can see them too!

Love you!..

Elder Vincent

Missionary Name Tag
Elder Turner and Elder Vincent at the Provo Temple

Elder Vincent and Elder Turner

Elder Vincent modeling his winter gear for Siberia!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Note From Mom

7 October 2015

After reading Sam's emails today, my heart was full, and yes, I was crying my eyes out.  I just wanted to hug that boy and tell him that I loved him too.  Then out of the blue, I get this.

Just what I needed.  To see his face, and see his smile, to see that he is happy.

Elder Vincent and Elder Turner
Старейшина Винсент и старейшина Тернер

Stareyshina Vinsent i Stareyshina Terner

(Cyrillic and Americanized Russian thanks to Google Translate!)

MTC Week 2

7 October, 2015

Hey so in regards to everything that gma wants to know. I just tried on the one pair, but it fits pretty well so those would work, it was the haines pair. Wool socks are cool if she wants to get me some, but I am a little worried about the weight but I would like some family names to do while I'm here at the temple, I also have people in my district who are more than willing and happy to do some names too. I and my district are praying for Andrew, and I am confident that everything will work out for him and all will be well. Samuel the Russkyite doesn't sound too bad. Anyhoo Elder Turner exaggerated my qualities a little too much, he just likes to flatter me. MOM! I LOVE YOU! after hearing Elder Hollands talk in general conference, I thought that you would be crying, and that I needed to express my love and appreciation for you and all that you have sacrificed for me. You made your life harder to make mine easier and I haven't always been very grateful for that, so I'm sorry. Oh, and for some news. Around here, you have sort of become a champion of the people. Everyone looks forward to your packages. I share with everyone, and they thought your conference jokes were funny. BTW there are 6 guys in my room, and you only sent 4 pairs of socks so it was a little tense over who got them.  That being said, they were all appreciative of you think about them. Everyone says your the best and how much they would love to meet you because of how cool you are. Its a common expression to hear "I love Sister Vincent" from one or more of the elders. They have never met you, but already feel an attachment to you. You are the coolest missionary mom, and I love how much you support me. I have gotten the hat, care package, thermals, candy that's green, scriptures and the ring. The ring is a little big, but I wear it on my middle finger so its all good.  I look forward to hearing about how everyone is doing and how everything goes. I love you and appreciate you. Without your support, I wouldn't be here now. Ya znayu shto eesoosa christa jeev e ya znayu shto knige mormona esteena e vcya ya deyevet harasho ez za tiy va eemya eesoosa christa ameen. That is some bad Russian and is spelled like an American would, because I don't have the russian keyboard on this so....anyway I love this gospel, and I love you.


Elder Vincent

more stuff

General Conference in the MTC is way cool, as long as you aren't in the bleachers, which are pretty much the worst chairs in the world. I have been enjoying my time here. You know its kind of funny, all the things that I think "oh I should say that in my next email!" and then end up forgetting. Oh! please don't send me any more candy. I have a lot, and I don't eat a lot. Also! when does Marty McFly get here, I dont remember the exact date. My companion and I are still getting along, but we butt heads sometimes. Its hard being around someone for 24 hours a day, especially when that person is me. I give a lot of credit to Elder Turner, he is a humble and patient guy. Our district is getting along pretty good. Sorry I didn't write more to you last week. Im not very fast at typing, so I have been cutting everyone's messages short so I can reply to everyone. Pass my love on to everyone back home. Im trying to remember things as I am typing....I appreciate the dear elders that you have been sending me and for keeping me informed about what is going on. I know you worry about me, but I promise I am doing fine here. Tell Sarah I love her. Tell Andrew I love him. Tell Emily I love her. Tell Craig I love him. Tell Missy I love her. Most of all though, I want to make sure to tell you that you were never a bad mother, I was a bad son. I love you, and I dont want you to ever think that all the times that you went out of your way to make me happy was for nothing. You are the best mom on the planet and I love you.

Your son,

Elder Vincent