Monday, February 6, 2017


Hey fam and friends,

It has been a busy, stressful week and probably a busier, more stressful week coming up! Not a whole lot to report this week because we spent a good amount of the week in the mission office making plans! This past week was the last week of the transfer so we worked with President Miner to get transfers sorted out and on top of that we have the entire mission coming to Rostov this week for Mission Conference! So we had to plan where everyone will be staying for Mission Conference and had to carefully plan that,  so that after conference everyone can get to their new areas with their new companions as quickly and smoothly as possible! Transfers in and of itself are usually a lot of work and to combine it with the first ever Rostov Mission Conference was pretty hectic but it has all worked out with some divine help. Not to mention, this transfer is affecting every single companionship except for two so we had about 8 pages typed up of everyone's instructions to travel in for Mission Conference and to get to their new areas! 

By Friday night we had all plans made and done, but then President Miner called on Saturday morning and told us after not sleeping all night, he had made some inspired changes. Sadly, Elder Norton will be leaving Rostov to go to Krasnodar as a Zone Leader. We had never even discussed that as an option in our weeks of discussing transfers, but the Lord needs him down there and he is going to do incredible things. It has been a privilege to serve with Elder Norton, I think he is the best of the best and I look up to him so much. Learned more and saw more miracles in this one transfer with him than any other time on my mission. But with that unexpected change as well as some others, we were back in the office changing and finalizing all the plans for the week coming up in regards to travels! It is all planned, we will wait and see to find out if it all goes according to the plans.

Tuesday I got to have an interview with President Miner which is always something to look forward too! President is the most humble man I know and I know for a fact that he has been called by God to preside over this mission. It should be noted that President Miner is not only over all the volunteers and the work we do but also over all the branches since there is not a stake here. Although he does not speak Russian, he fulfills his responsibilities in an incredible manner that simply would not be possible without the Lord's qualifying hand. I am so grateful for President and Sister Miner! 

Thursday was a full work day and I was on a split with Elder Williams who is one of our newest volunteers while his companion was on a visa trip. Thursday night we met with Zhenya who called us earlier in the week and shocked us when he asked if he could help us out on lessons! They apparently had some talks about it at Church last Sunday and it inspired him to help us on lessons and of course we were pretty excited to hear that he has the desire to share the gospel! We talked to him about missionary work and how every member is a missionary and he told us how all his friends know he is a Mormon but usually when it gets brought up he just pushes it to the side with a joke but he said he needs to take advantage of those opportunities to share the gospel! 

Friday we had Mission Leadership Council over Google Hangouts. I conducted the meeting and we had a pretty good discussion but after talking to the Zone Leaders after, we learned that most the time they could not hear/understand what was going on. It will be good to get everyone together in person this week! 

Saturday we got to go to a lesson with the Miners that Sister Miner actually set up with a girl she has become good friends with. Turns out she is a former investigator and has an incredible 14 year old son who speaks English pretty well and reads the Bible every day! They fed us some soup and we just got better acquainted before Sister Miner shared the Bible story of the Samaritan women and how we, like her, have received testimonies of the Savior and we are going around to share it. After the lesson, the Miners took us to dinner, mostly for Elder Norton's last time, it is a big blessing to be able to spend so much time with the Miners! 

We met a couple times with Aleksander this week, a less active member. He has started reading and praying again, and says that every time he starts, everything in life becomes easier. We had a great lesson with him about the Sabbath day and the Sacrament, he has a great understanding of the Gospel. He came to all three hours of Church yesterday and after Church he said his kids didn't come because they don't understand the significance and he said he wants to teach them! Saturday and Sunday we got to call every companionship in the mission to tell them their transfers and their travel plans, it was pretty fun to hear their reactions! This next transfer will be a solid one! 

Sunday was a powerful fast and testimony meeting in the Center Branch, they are usually all special but Sunday's was more powerful than usual. There are so many genuine testimonies in the hearts of the Russian Saints and when they share it, it is hard not to feel the confirmation of the Spirit that they are speaking truth. Sister Ludmila was able to come and bear her testimony again. As she walked up to the pulpit I could not help but think of the Ludmila we visited weekly back in the Summer who was completely blind and had not even left her apartment for years. Now she is testifying in Sacrament meeting about how it is all thanks to the Savior. One perk of being in Rostov already for 7 months is to see the progress and miracles the come with time. Most of the time you plant a good seed or start something good and then get transferred before the harvest comes, but I have been able to see both the seed planted and the harvest while serving here, which I have been so grateful for this opportunity.

After Church we had a two hour branch council to set goals for the year and although the council was all over the place, we got good goals set and they were talking about specific people that they can focus on to bring back to activity or get to the temple, etc. If we reach the goals that were set, the Rostov Center Branch will be in good shape by the end of the year! 

Well that is it for the week! Crazy week coming up with Elder and Sister Nelson coming in from Salt Lake and the whole mission coming in, lots of prayers will be needed! Thanks for all the love, support and prayers!!

Much love, 
-Elder Tucker//Старейшина Такер
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Pictures - Transfers, Volunteers

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