Tuesday, January 17, 2012

MTC Week 11!The Final Stretch!

Hey! So I sent that letter with all of your questions on Monday, so you should be getting it today. And the dictionary name I referenced in it is called Katzner by the way, I think I misspelled it in the letter. Please let me know if and when you receive the letter and my responses in it and what you all think so I know what's up. Okay so my travel plans!!! Assuming I get my Visa (The Ukrainians and one Russian in the other zone got their Visas denied apparently) I will be flying from SLC to New York JFK on flight 1606 on Delta, it departs at 8:30AM and arrives at 3:05PM, I'm assuming this is all local time, they don't tell you on the travel plans, and then from JFK I depart at 4:25PM and arrive at Moscow SV airport at 11:10AM on flight 30 on Delta. We weren't told what happens after that so I'm guessing we probably fly to Rostov after that but we'll see what happens, I think if you email the mission president he will send you a picture of us when we arrive from what I've heard. We don't know for sure on our Visas until this Friday I guess, I talked to the travel office and they said we should be fine but if not I will email you of course asap, but if not, assume that I received it.

So I don't intend for these emails to be a request type of letter or anything, it's just lately in the last two weeks I want to be sure I have everything haha. I want to thank you all for helping me so much, especially Mom for sending me all this cool stuff and I love all of your letters of support, it really makes a difference, I read them all. I love all of you so much and miss you, and I can't wait to talk to you all very soon!

Okay so awesome story, when I took my guitar to Vicki, there were two other people working in that office area with her, she works in the senior missionary scheduling office. As she was talking to me about going to Russia, one of the other people in her office looked up from his desk attentively and called over to me and Elder Wimber. He asked us if we were going to Russia, and we said yes, and then he told us that he had been looking for 2 Russian missionaries, he then told us a story about two senior missionaries that were converts to the church, and they got their call to Russia in July or August of last year, and about a month after they got their call their home burnt down along with 1600 other homes in Texas. They were warned of the approaching flames and were told they had just a few minutes to get out of their homes or they would probably lose their lives so they packed everything they needed for their mission and left all of their other valuables behind, and around 10 minutes after they left, their home and all of their possessions were destroyed, they had nothing. So when they came to the MTC they only had what was in their suitcases. A few days before their scheduled departure, they were told about their daughter who had contracted a very serious illness and was in the hospital, so they had to go see her and they got their departure delayed for who knows how long, so when the scheduling office told them this news, their response was so inspiring. They gave the travel office 2 Russian Book of Mormons that they wrote their testimonies in and explained that those were all they had to give and they wanted 2 Russian missionaries to take them to Russia with them. So they gave those books to me and Elder Wimber, and I could feel the spirit as I read the testimony in the one I received, these people's testimony is remarkable, when they lost everything, they still had an eye single to the glory of God and missionary work, I'll be sure to keep that book with me, and it will be interesting to see how this story will end. I hope I can maybe find a way to contact these two senior missionaries and the mission and let them know what happened, hopefully I can write them a letter or something. It was an awesome day.

So to answer your Dear Elder questions, first of all, don't worry about the Katzner dictionary, maybe you could send it sometime after I get to Russia. I am traveling with Elder Sandoval and a Sister from our district. Also, the travel office said to make sure you take a lot of money with you when you travel in case you have baggage fee issues, because they don't know for sure whats going to happen in Russia and sometimes the airlines are difficult to deal with, I have 200 with me but I guess they said to make sure you have more than that, I'm not sure exactly how much I need but they don't want you to use the 200 dollars you need in emergency funds and they said you'll need to make sure you bring 200-300 dollars with you just to be safe, otherwise they might just take your baggage. I hope this isn't an issue, what do you think? So I'll be out of shampoo and soap by the time I'm gone, but it shouldn't be an issue because I think I can get the shampoo in Russia I think but can you send bar of soap to take with me? What are your thoughts? Well my time is about up, but I love you all and wish you well! I hope I get to Russia safely and I'm way excited! I'll be sending you all hand written letters today, but you won't be able to respond to them through dear Elder unless you submit it by Friday morning. Will you let everyone know that they can email me and I can read their emails and I'll write them a letter back, especially when I'm in Russia, because Dear Elder isn't going to be practical. Tell Lori Pathakis that I'm so grateful for her letters and that her encouragement is so helpful and I wish Elder Pathakis well and I'm glad he is doing good! All is well here and the Church is true! Well, the next email will be interesting haha. Peace!

Elder Skene

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