Monday, January 4, 2016


Big Happy New Year from Russia!

First things first, Welcome Home to the other Elder Tucker. Cannot believe you are at home! Wednesday night as I was going to bed, I could not help but think, of all of you reuniting at the airport. Luckily, Sister Miner happened to call that night to check on our winter clothes and she always boosts my spirits. If anyone knows the feeling of sacrificing family for missionary work, it is my Savior Jesus Christ and the Miners. I am really lucky to have them!

Speaking of winter clothes, Russia winter got real this week. It has been between -10 and -15 all week and let me just tell you, it is cold. However we take advantage of the cold temperatures by sliding on the ice like the Russians do. We also have been setting a cup of water outside the window and within minutes we have some tasty ice water. 

New Years was pretty crazy! We of course went to bed at the normal time, but I was woken up shortly after midnight to a sky full of fireworks. It sounded as if there was a constant thunderstorm outside. There were fireworks everywhere, quite the site! 

On New Years we had Goals Night! I have a new obsession with goals and a New Year is a perfect time to set them. I have spent multiple hours creating a goals contract for myself including year long goals, plans to achieve them, who I am accountable to, etc. I wish I could share them all but for the sake of time I am just going to share my vision and motivation. My vision for this year is encompassed by Matthew 25:21. My motivation is that this is the most important year for my life. 2016 is my one and only full year as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints here in Russia. These are a sacred 365 days in which I can become the missionary, disciple, child of God that He wants me to be. I've been given the blessings to reach my God given potential- this is the year to recognize and improve them. This is thee year! 

As you can tell, I am pretty pumped for 2016.  It should be a great one!

We have a new investigator named Monsal! He is from Africa, so his first language is English but he has been here forever, he is married to a Russian, and owns four pharmacies so he speaks flawless Russian as well. He is a great guy, he even bought us McDonalds the other night, and is anxious to learn more. We got him a Book of Mormon and will be meeting with him this week hopefully, he is super busy! 

Fast Sunday was great! I honestly cannot believe I have already had 3 fast Sundays in Russia- time flies. I have a new appreciation for fasting and look forward to the opportunity to do so each month. I was able to share my testimony about the true meaning of Christmas because it is Christmas here on Friday! We had the District President with us and he is the best. He taught Sunday School and he just has such a powerful testimony and so much Church knowledge. He also brought his 4 year old son who shared a memorized verse as his testimony and I had a good chat with him as he taught me how to say the different colors in Russian.
As far as Russian goes, I have felt the Gift of Tongues so much this week! I have been less afraid to talk and make mistakes, in fact I love making mistakes and learning from them. I am understanding more and more and able to speak more each day. Obviously still have so much work to do but it has felt good to see and feel some progress! 
I just want to end by saying how much I love Russia and my mission. Even if I had all the time in the world on Mondays I could not even begin to fully explain this magical place. You just have to see it to believe it. And just know these weekly reports are missing lots due to me typing in a hurry but that I seriously see miracles every day and my testimony is strengthened every single day.  Love you all!!
Merry Russian Christmas this week! 
-Elder Tucker

Pictures - our new hats and scarves, and the sign says Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

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