Monday, November 14, 2016


Hey All,

It has been one hot week in Rostov, honestly it has been like over 70 degrees but now we are back to cold and rainy. It was also the last week of the transfer and it was a bittersweet one! 

Last Monday was full of little miracles. All three companionships in Rostov center received online referrals of people wanting a Book of Mormon. I have never received an actual online referral on my mission and to have all 3 of us in one day,  was quite a miracle. Got to call our referral and he was a really nice, sincere man looking for the truth. Got a Book of Mormon sent to him! Later that night we happened to be right on Sister Ludmila's street when she called for us to come over and just pray with her to calm her nerves about the operation that should be happening this week. We are rarely ever over there! Then last but not least we were in a taxi going to Severny and I got talking to the driver who recognized our clothes and told us how he was once an investigator of the Church! The odds of that are also quite slim. These are just a few examples of the things we see daily! 

Tuesday I was in Severny with Elder Nelson for a split. We had a solid day together and got some good organization going for their member and area books, something we are pushing for as a mission right now. Volunteers do incredible work but if none gets recorded, it makes it hard for the future volunteers! We met with two less active members, one of which was a former branch presidency member who was so nice and seems ready to come back to church! It is always great to work in other areas and interact with all the different members. 

Wednesday we had a solid District Meeting, our last one all together. We talked a lot about how to know where the line is between making friends and our callings as set apart servants of the Lord. It has a hard line to be drawn but necessary!  
Most of our nights this week were spent out on the streets of Rostov looking for the less actives we are over, in our roles as volunteers, I have gotten real good at making cookies but unfortunately no one got to try them because all the ones we went to either moved, were not home, or did not want us over at that time. At times it got discouraging, but we have lots of valuable information now to move forward with and we ran into a couple of less actives on the streets while going around and were able to give them some cookies! We said lots of prayers to know what we can do differently to get in with these people and have received lots of answers! 

Thursday we got to meet with Sister Inkeles' husband, Anton, who is less active, with President Miner. Turns out Anton speaks English so we did not have to translate hardly at all but it was a powerful meeting! We learned a lot about him and he was really thankful that President took the time to come by. We hope we can continue to work with him and just get him the passion for the gospel that his wife has! 

Friday we had Mission Leadership Council via Skype and we talked a lot about getting members involved in the work. That was an answer to our prayers because we have been trying to do it all on our own. We need to follow the guidance from President Uchtdorf and find our Amuleks! President Miner was pleased to announce that we are back to teaching an average of 8 lessons per companionship which was our high before the law! The mission is moving forward with our new standards of excellence, we have learned what is possible when we just raise our expectations and our faith! 

Friday night was game night like usual but this week we had a great turnout. We talked as a district that we need to invite more new people and we did just that. It was great to see so many non members in the branch! We had a few really awesome people come that we hope to start teaching soon. 

Saturday we taught Bogdan and Nikita the first half of the Restoration. We are continuing to pray for them and they are going to ask their dad for permission to be baptized soon! After the lesson, they wanted to play soccer with us so bad but they do not have their own ball.. That night we got a ball for them and left it outside their door and listened as they found it and were so happy. They were very thankful, we love our little brothers! 

Sunday Bogdan and Nikita of course came to church with their Grandma and Great Grandma and asked if they could come with us to get the Inkeles boys for Church so they did and then they asked to sit with me during sacrament. Feel like a dad sometimes, but I love it. Just hope we can see more miracles with them and get them baptized! In that Sacrament meeting we had 100 people which was really awesome to see. There is so much potential in this branch and they really are doing a lot to improve and move forward! 
We got to teach Sunday School because we are the only teachers as of now and it went pretty well. Had a big class and they, for the majority of the time, were quiet and participating. Ever since we introduced homework and rewards for those that do it, the whole atmosphere has changed! 
After church we had a coordination meeting with the Relief Society Sisters and went through the whole ward list. They do an incredible job at visiting the sisters and so do we but we don't communicate. So it was so helpful to sit down and exchange information and know who is working with who- another answer to our prayers! 
Took the sacrament to Luda, she was pretty emotional that Elder Shumway is leaving. As we left, she just stood in the doorway and cried, just broke our hearts. We will be helping her this week as she prepares to get her vision back! 
After that we took a late trip in pouring rain to a city called Bataisk to give Sister Anderson a blessing. The Andersons just moved here from America, she is Russian and he her husband is American and they switch off where they live every few years so their kids learn both Russian and English. We gave Sister Anderson a blessing and had a nice visit. Our taxi driver to and from their house was so awesome and prepared for the gospel. He was a young, nice guy with a family, does not smoke or drink and even changed a song that was playing because of bad words. He wanted to talk about the church and everything of course we invited to Sports Night and we told him we will talk to him more there! There are prepared people everywhere, whether or not they choose to be taught or be baptized! 

Today has been sad seeing Elder Shumway pack up and go. It has been an incredible 3 transfers and I am going to miss him dearly. However, I did get to see Elder David today which cheered me right up. 
Tonight I am staying with the Assistants and my new companion, Elder Randall, gets here tomorrow. He has been in Taganrog all year which is in the Rostov Zone so I know him really well and I am excited to serve with him! 
Transfer #10 is officially under way! Thanks for all the prayers, love and support!!

Love you all! 
-Elder Tucker//Старейшина Такер
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Pictures - Final District meeting all together, District Selfie, The Dream Team, Cookies, Sunsets, Elder Boyer and Elder Norton, Elder David and Me, Goodbye to Elder Shumway, MLC Skype and Training

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