Monday, December 21, 2015

Who Goes Ice Fishing In Their Church Suits? Elder Vincent and Elder Riggs, That's Who!

20 December 2015

Lots of pictures this week, so this post is a little long.  Enjoy!

I appreciate the warm Christmas wishes I got from you.  Real fast, I will be skyping at 9 am here which should be 6pm for you guys.  So be on skype at 6.  I will be calling from the mission office here.  

Ya this week has been kind of crazy.  We got a few more investigators, and they were straight miracles.  We were walking down the street and we stopped to talk to this guy, and he was a little drunk, and at first he absolutely did not want to talk to us.  We kept asking him questions and eventually he started to warm up and laugh with us.  He told us that he had just had a super bad day and that life in general was just hard.  We then talked with him a little more and said how sorry we were to hear about all the things that were going wrong in his life.  Elder Riggs then told the guy that he thought he was a good person, and the guy started to cry and thanked us.  He said that we were good people too.  He then called his friend and told him that he was going to be running late, because he was talking to some really cool guys (that was us :D).  He then told us that he had just got off the phone with one of his friends and told them that he was going to quit drinking but he didn’t know how, and within a minute we had contacted him. He then told us that normally people just walk by you and don’t really take the time to talk to you and so he knew that we were good people.  He said that he could "see it in our eyes", and "by the way we talk".  He said he was ready to change his life around, and wanted to talk to us more about God, because he didn’t believe it was an accident that we met.  So we got his number and started to part ways with him.  He stopped us and said "I’m not going to tell you what I had planned on doing tonight, because it wasn’t good, but I will tell you that I am definitely not going to do it now."  We invited him to church, but he didn’t come.  We are going to call him later tonight though to schedule an appointment. 

We went to Russian Island (Russky Island) today, and went ice fishing on the frozen bay for our p-day activity.  It was pretty legit to just be sitting there with a hole you made in the ice trying to catch fish.  We unfortunately didn’t catch anything. 

This week has been pretty hard, but I’m still having the time of my life trying to tell people the gospel in a language that I can’t speak and answer questions that I can’t understand.  It’s just hilarious to hear me try though.  Lots of people actually stop to listen to me when I talk to them instead of when my trainer does, because they actually need to stop and listen to what I am saying to understand it.  They usually stop and give me a big smile because they can tell that I am trying, and they are almost secretly rooting for me it seems. That’s only when the people stop though.  It doesn’t always happen like that.  

Also everyone here seems to think that Elder Riggs and I are related, so I guess you were right mom, we do look alike.  Oh one time we were arguing about something, and Elder Riggs said "Also! I think your handsome! That’s a real compliment! I think you look like me".  It been very funny spending time with him.  He has many quotes that I have been stockpiling because they are always entertaining.  

The Bench of Reconciliation
The bench is bent inwards so people are forced to work out their problems

Tell everyone that I love them. It’s a real adventure here trying to preach the gospel to these people.  I really do love them, and love hearing their stories.  I don’t always understand what they are saying, but when I do I always learn something.  Hopefully we will have better success next week, and we will be able to do more to help our Russian brothers and sisters.

Love you, and pass my love on to the family, I can’t wait to talk to you all on Christmas...well its Christmas for me and its Christmas eve for you....time travel!  Love you all!

Elder Vincent

The Golden Horn Bridge connects the mainland to Russian Island
This is the building where the branch meets
Church Entrance (I think)
Google Translated It Reads: 

Religious Association
Church of Jesus Christ
Latter-day Saints in Russia
Local religious organization Church
Jesus Christ
Latter-day Saints
in Vladivostok
Looking out at Vlad from one of the Church's windows
Russian Orthodox Temple

Shopping Center (in white) Sickle Hammer (in red)
Signs pointing to Alaska, Artem, Khabarovsk, Japan and more
The top one says Moon, also signs for Moscow, Paris, and Beer?
Sign posts for Beijing, Phuket, Egypt and Vietnam among others
Taken just for Emily.  Adventure Time has invaded Russia!
Russian Batman?
 Since Elder Vincent gave no explanation for this, I had to look it up.  Google translate has it saying Special Forces GRU.  More googling tells me that this symbol is for a Federal Agency.  Main Intelligence Directorate, abbreviated GRU, is the foreign military intelligence main directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. 

Churkin Hood
Churkin is the area they just opened up.  This graffiti artist is all over Vladivostok, but Churkin is considered a "bad part of town", its a true "hood".

 These pictures I know were taken 2 weeks ago when they went to Ussuriysk on PDay to deliver the Christmas Campaign Cards.
The Oldest Carved Turtle

 Elder Vincent has a picture that talks about this carving in both English and Russian, but I don't have that picture yet.

I Love Ussuriysk

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