Monday, June 25, 2012

Splits with the ZL's!

Hey! So I named the title splits with zone leaders because that's the only thing that happened this week. We did some cool stuff but I forgot my camera so I'll have to send them to you guys next week I guess. But honestly that's about it for this week, this letter's gonna be short, I don't have much time to write and there really isn't much to write about but this week have nothing scheduled so hopefully we can make something happen, and then next week is zone conference. The work is pretty hard down here lately, but we are still trying and managing to get over 10 lessons a week now if we try for it. I hope the package you guys sent comes soon. It'll be cool to see Brad and his family this week though, maybe we can do something fun with them. Don't worry about me though, I'll live, I love you guys, stay safe!
-Elder Skene

Monday, June 18, 2012

Practically Arrested!

Hey! I'll get to the title in just a second because I'm sure your wondering what I mean haha. But before I do Ill just wrap up everything else that happened this week which is honestly the standard stuff except we surpassed our goals in lesson on the street, which is awesome, and that's about it haha, but things are still running smooth though, and I'm so glad to hear that you guys are doing good after those health concerns. I'm attaching a photo of us with the branch here in Novo, another of everyone in our zone at last zone conference, and 2 more of a hike we went on this week with a member and some investigators, we climbed the highest mountain in and surrounding Novo, its not too high though but it was a wild climb because there's no trail haha. Here in Russia everyone just goes up the mountain anywhere they see appropriate haha, but it was a good time though and we had an awesome view and we got to see a trench line dug by the Nazi's when they invaded Novo in WW2 and some other cool stuff.
So by practically arrested this is what I mean. The assistants the the president came down to Novo for splits this week, and they were bringing down some supplies for our branch here in a box with them on the train, and they accidentally left the box in the train wagon, so Elder Jacobson and I went to go get it back and after being tossed around from person to person at the train station to try to pin down the packages location, we finally got referred to our local friendly Russian police officer who referred us to a building where we where interrogated for like an hour because they thought the box was a bomb, so they made us list everything that was in the box, which was just sacrament cups and water filters, and then fill out some affidavit type of thing, all while being interrogated in a room by the Russian police with the classic one light bulb above us a room with a sheet of glass you can't see through, it was wild, all with a warning on the wall with a picture of prison bars with the phrase, "You Can't Hide" written in Russian on it. It was truly a trip haha, but all in all we got out fine with no lasting problems and got our box back with everything in the end, but I guess it's in interesting story to tell! Well I gotta go, stay safe, until next week! I love you!
-Elder Skene

Monday, June 11, 2012

I feel like a Missionary in Mexico!

Hello everyone! So about the title of this weeks email, when I say I feel like a missionary in Mexico, it's because the yesterday we had 2 or 3 people just walk up to us on the street that weren't crazy or drunk and seriously wanted to know about the church and wanted invitations! It's way rare in Russia for something like that to happen, and the stereotype among missionaries is that it happens in Mexico and Spanish missions all the time, apparently it's actually true though from at least what I've seen stat wise and from talking to people who served there. I guess when I get home I'll be able to relate at least one experience now to Elder Pathakis haha. This week we also played some Basketball for family night with Brad and his friend Nick, Nick also works for chevron and is from America, it was awesome, I haven't played though in like 5 months though and I was already a bad player to begin with so you can imagine how that went haha. But none the less it was still a competitive game though, because well to say in an alluding way, basketball didn't start in Russia.
I'm attaching the mission photo, a photo of yesterday when President Nechiporov visited our branch to say goodbye, and a photo of my new Elder Travis nametag. Other than all that though this week wasn't super eventfull other than we met some cool people though some investigators and members, and we just had a standard week contacting wise, I haven't sent my package yet but I'll be doing that soon, I have the box and nearly everything ready though, and I'm making sure there are no mistakes by having one of the members here help me and double check everything, I don't wanna get ripped off, as you can imagine, the public opinion of America and Americans in general usually isn't that warm, and if that's with the people, imagine what the government is usually like. This week the AP's are coming down for splits and later in the week we are going on a hike up in the mountains with some members and investigators, so that should be fun. We also took a branch photo yesterday, I'll send it when I get it from the branch president here. Well that's about it for this week, I love you guys, stay safe! Send my love to everyone at home for me!
-Elder Skene

Monday, June 4, 2012


Hey! So I will stay another transfer here in Novo, 4 transfers, I'll almost see every season, I'm not sure how I feel about it yet but to be honest I really wanted to get a transfer and experience something new in the mission, but that's not gonna happen for at least 5 more weeks. Anyways, we went to Krasnodar, then to Rostov, and then back down to Krasnodar this week for Elder Belnap's Visa trip, the entire mission was down in Rostov, except for 2 missionaries who were at the police station in Taganrog near Rostov because they got attacked a month or so ago, but we took a huge mission picture! Huge as in all 30 of us Elders were in it haha. Well other than that there isn't much to report, other than I'll be giving brad my clothing when he leaves this week, I'll give him your phone numbers so he can get a hold of you. Just set the clothing in my room and lock it up, it's some of my favorite DI classic shirts, hopefully they can remain intact and unused while I'm still here. I'm attaching a picture of a bucket of fresh cherries that Andrei and Artyom picked for us from their trees at home. They taste great! Russians are pretty good about growing there own food here. I'm also attaching some photos of the trips back and forth that we had this week. There's one with Elder Roberts and I, and one with Elder Sprouse and I, they are 2 of my favorite Elders in this mission, they are both serving in Sochi together, Elder Srpouse is the one with blonde hair and Elder Roberts is the one with brown hair. I'll attach another one of a huge Provoslavnic (Russian Orthodox) temple we visited while we were in Rostov. But that's about all for this week, the new President comes this transfer, so we'll see how that goes, he sounds pretty cool though, another Elder in our mission was set apart by him I guess? Anyways, I love you guys, stay safe, and may the Force be with you!

Elder Skene