Monday, November 30, 2015

Russia - Week 1

30 November 2015

So it's my first week here in Russia, and it's been a lot to take in.  I was paired with Elder Riggs as my trainer.  He has been in the field longer than any other missionary in Vlad, so he is relied upon a lot by the President.  President Perkinson actually told me that he didn't know why we needed to be paired up together, but for whatever reason it was what the Lord wanted.  He told me that Elder Riggs basically organized a lot for this upcoming mission conference.  He said that my first week would be a pretty weird because Elder Riggs would be needed for a lot of administrative things.

My second day here with Elder Riggs, and he was needed to do some sort of task for several hours, so President Perkinson looked at me and at the other "greenie" (wish I knew who he was talking about!) who was paired with someone else he needed and said, "alright, good you two go out street contacting."  We were out there for like 2 hours not knowing where we were, and how to speak to these people, or what to say.  We had a few good conversations, and learned some Russian society rules haha.  It's been pretty fun.

His (Elder Riggs') Russian is excellent, and he knows the area well. We are serving in Churkin (outside of Vladivostok),


 which is historically a hard place to proselyte.  He actually had just opened the area with his last "greenie" who has been here for one transfer, then, right when he was starting to get a feel for things, he was switched out with me, and Elder Riggs basically had to start all over again.  It's been pretty crazy, and church was a lot to take in, but all in all it has been a good week.  That's about all the time that I have for this week, and next week is going to be weird too, because Elder Riggs will be going to Korea...yup....this is a strange way to train someone, but I was assigned by God to have it done this way, so I know that there is a reason why, and that I will be blessed because of this experience.  I love you all and will write again a week from now.

Love,
Elder Vincent

No pictures this week.  Hopefully next week!

TOUCHDOWN!

The "Thanksgiving 8" arrive in Vladivostok.  President and Sister Perkinson were there to greet them and help them get ready to Preach the Gospel in the Russia Vladivostok Mission!


 President and Sister Perkinson on the right.
Elder and Sister Anderson on the left.
"Thanksgiving 8" in between.
 In Vladivostok

The Golden Horn Bridge in Vladivostok
 Dinner in the Mission Home


We thought the MTC above the desk was pretty funny so we took our picture there!

We love you all and thank you for preparing your son to be an instrument in the Lord's hands to bring to pass many miracles here in Russia.

President and Sister Perkinson
Vladivostok Russia

Traveling to Russia - FINALLY!

Elder Vincent has been itching to get to Russia for a few weeks now, and now he is on his way!  
From Cectra Gish - Final Four of her District leaving the MTC
One last picture together!
 
All their bags are packed!
READY TO GO!
SuperMan Pose before they take on Russia!  Love the paisley ties!
Elder Turner and Elder Vincent
Think they are ready?
The "Thanksgiving 8" at LAX before leaving for Seoul.



 Thank you Turner Family for sharing this with us!

FlashBack To May 2015

I just recently found a bunch of pictures that Emily took of Sam in our back yard before he turned in his mission pictures.  Thought I would share them as part of his mission blog.










Thursday, November 19, 2015

The District Singing Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

18 November 2015

Thank you to Cectra Gish, one of the MTC teachers for Elder Vincent's District for sharing this!

video
 




Time to Leave the Nest!

18 November 2015

Hey so this week was a pretty exciting one.  We got our flight plans on Friday and we are all super excited to get to Russia.  We go through LA to Seoul then to Vladivostok.  We are all looking forward to finally making it to Russia, but its bittersweet, because we are all going to miss each others company.  It's all good though, we set up a group email so we will be able to keep in touch. We heard from Elder Kim B  Clark yesterday. He was the president of BYUI while I was a student there, so it was pretty fun to hear him speak again. He told a story to us that I had heard before, but I didn't remember who told it to me, and I didn't remember all the details, so it was good to hear it again.  We have gone through all of the MTC curriculum for the Russian language, so all that is left to do now is just to get out there and start teaching.  Kim B  Clark told stories about the gift of tongues, and how at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter the words that we say, but the feelings that we put behind our words. We watched an Elder Bednar talk, and he said a lot of the same things that I heard last night.  We took district pictures with our teachers, and that was pretty fun.  We have had a really fun time here at the MTC, but I think its about time to leave the nest and finally get out there and start teaching.  I will remember these days for the rest of my life, and I'm glad I was given the opportunity to be here as long as I was so that I could best learn how to be a missionary.  The next time you hear from me, I'll be in Russia, preaching the gospel.

Elder Vincent

They leave Monday the 23rd of November and arrive in Vladivostok the afternoon of Wednesday 25th of November. 

Staryeshena Vincent, Cectra Gish Staryeshena Turner
The District with Brat Oxbarrow and Cectra Gish
The District goofing off with Brat Oxbarrow & Cectra Gish
The District and the many faces of Brat Oxbarrow






Funny Conversation between Elder Vincent and his Step-Father Craig

    Hey so how is the Russian going? Are you fluent yet? You have such a gift for languages I would not doubt it. I hope you are enjoying the MTC. How is the food? Have you had a chance to eat two handed with two forks? Ribeye steak for din?
    You may be the only person in that mission that knows a little Japanese so don't forget that one either. Heavenly Father will give you the opportunity to use it there!
    And yea, no missionary jargon!
    Do they let you go outside to exercise?
    BTW, I am sorry to say you are missing the endless pasta bowl! Andrew just doesn't have that two handed eating down yet!
    Say hi to your friends.

    Craig

Not yet fluent, but all the other Russian elders and both of my teachers are telling me that it is going well. the MTC food is alright, but not really stuff you shovel in with both hands, except for when its fast Sunday.  I am the only one in my zone who speaks Japanese, and I sometimes speak a little to the Japanese Elders and Sisters, and totally throw them off guard.  I also speak to the Spanish and German missionaries too.  The German missionaries were way impressed with how well a Russian Elder spoke German and they didn't even understand half of what I had been saying to them....but what can you expect.  Actually there are like two native German speakers in my mission, so I've been speaking a little with them about things. I do get to exercise a bit almost everyday, so all in all its been good.
with love,

Elder Vincent

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Almost There!

11 November 2015

I am nearing the end of my MTC stay, and it's been pretty fun being the more senior district, because then the new elders look up to you and ask you for help and advice.  I am pretty sure this is going to be my last week as a ZL.  Today was the new districts first PDay so it was fun to see how everyone reacted to it.  I played a ridiculous amount of basketball since arriving here, and I can tell that I have at least gotten a little bit better at the game. 

Now that I am on the final stretch, I've been studying even harder than usual to try to prepare myself for Russia.  We taught a real Russian living in Russia through skype the other day.  It was fun to see that even though I didn't understand everything that she was saying, I could still feel the spirit of what she was saying.  We were still able to bring the spirit to her, and she was able to take away something positive from our lesson.  Yesterday we taught Ruslan, and it was the best lesson we have had so far, in regards to the Russian language.  I have seen a noticeable change in the way I speak from just the first lessons with him that were just a few weeks ago. 

I've been truly blessed to have the support of those in my district, and for my teachers.  My companion Elder Turner is fabulous, and is very patient with me, even when I'm not patient with myself, and I'm lucky to have him as my companion.  We heard from Elder Hugo Montoya yesterday for our devotional.  It was very entertaining, and I learned a lot as well. 

Not a whole lot of other things have been happening, nothing out of the ordinary routine, but every talk I hear for devotional has been pumping me up to go to Russia.  My feelings about the topic of arriving in Russia are pretty confusing.  I am a little scared, because I don't know the language well enough, but at the same time I am excited to start preaching the gospel to the Russian people.  They are kind of both being represented at the same time.  It's a little strange.  My knowledge of Doctrine, and the scriptures have never been better, and I have been reaping the promised blessings of prayer.  I could use all the help I can get. 

Oh, and guess what we had for dinner on Monday....that's right, the one thing I was pretty sure I was not going to have for 2 years....Chick fil A.  It was still free though, so that was good.  (Elder Vincent worked for Chick-fil-A for almost 2 years, and ate many many "free" meals.)

We are probably getting our flight plans in like 2 days, so I am super pumped to figure out how it is that I am going to make it to Russia.  The time I spent here has just flown by.  The first few days seemed to take so long, but now it seems like there isn't enough time in the day to get done with everything that I want/need to do.  Before you know it, a week has gone by, and its PDay again.  It's been one crazy ride so far, so I can only imagine how its going to be when I finally get to Russia.  The fire of my faith outshines my feeble fears.  Ha, I love alliteration! 

I know that my Savior lives, and I know that this is His church.  I know that I am not going to Russia to "plant seeds", but that I was called to Russia "to reap the harvest".  I am here to share the message of the restored gospel, not to sit around saying my mission is too hard, and no matter what anyone else says about Russia, it is ready for the gospel, and the people are eager to hear our message, they just didn't know where to find it. 

Say hi to everyone, and that I love them!

Love,

Elder Vincent

Elder Vincent and his goofy grin photobombing Elder Turner
Thank you Elder Foulk's mom for sharing this picture with me.  Elder Foulk is in Elder Vincent's District, and they share a room too!  Elder Foulk is going to the Russia Yekaterinburg Mission. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

MTC Week 6

4 November 2015

So this week has been really great. I am learning some pretty hard Russian grammar, but I am actually understanding it. Things are starting to fall into place, and I am able to speak with native speakers a little bit. This week we had something called TRC which is when we give lessons to members. We usually have it on Wednesdays, and they are usually RMs (return missionaries) from Russia. This week however, we started a new kind of TRC involving skype and actual native Russian speakers. Elder Turner and I were the only companionship to use an ipad for it while everyone else was using a computer. It was pretty exciting, but the person we were supposed to teach never answered, so we switched to a different person, and they didn't pick up either. Eventually our teacher came in and said we could teach one of her friends from her mission over the phone. The TRC leader said that would be fine for this one, because no one was answering. Our teacher then said that this friend is super inactive, and that just about scared me out of my suit. Understanding Russian over the phone is super hard. All the sh, ch, and v sounds made it sound like there was constant static. We started our lesson about 15 min late, so they had us stop like 15 min before our time should have been up. She said she liked the lesson, and our teacher said that she would talk with her about getting skype and us teaching her every week. The friend said that would be a good idea, and seemed to like the idea of helping out the missionaries. I pray for her, and hope that in some small way we will be able to help her come closer to Christ.

We heard from Elder Maynes yesterday. He was the 70 who spoke about the potter's wheel, and having a Christ centered life. He was spitting straight fire. He said to consider how Joseph Smith was the first investigator of this dispensation, and that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father were the first missionary companionship of this dispensation. They came to him when he was utterly engulfed in darkness, and then bathed him in light that defied all description, just like we will do to our investigators.

We are getting new elders and sisters today, and as Zone leaders, it is the responsibility of Elder Turner and I to help train them on how to survive the MTC haha. We are also singing again today. So we might sing to the missionaries that we will be training later today. All in all everything is going well. I am having lots of fun, but working hard. Just this morning, we started our laundry before going to the temple, so on our way to the temple, we rotated it to the dryer. There was a worker who was moping the floor, and came by. I started talking to her, and asked where she was from, because my laundry had another 2 minutes before it was ready to be switched. She said she was from El Salvador, so I started speaking to her in Spanish. She then told me that she was not a member of the church, so instantly one light bulb went off into my head and I entered into missionary mode, but she didnt stop there, she continued to say she wanted to know MORE!!! These are the days that I live for. I am really looking forward to hearing about how things go for her. I know that this gospel is true, and I have seen the blessings it has brought both into my life, and into the lives of others. I am so proud of my brother, and super excited about his opportunity to serve the Lord in Tempe AZ.

love,

Elder Vincent


MTC in the Fall


Celebrating MTC Hump Day with some Martinelli's

Elder Memmott
Elder Foulk
Elder Gehring
Elder Garner
Elder Palmer
These are some of the Elders in his district.