Sisters

Okay okay okay to start off this week. We balled out this week. Literally balled. Elder Tate and I are out here getting more W’s than the Warriors after they copped KD. We started off this week with 0 investigators. We are white washing a new area, therefore we showed up here to Dnepr with 0 investigators. Now we have 10 investigators. WE FOUND TEN NEW INVESTIGATORS THIS WEEK.

We actually set a new mission record and now President Sullivan is gonna take us out to a steak dinner hahahaha. Here are their names: Zhenya, Ayvas, Royal, Aiten, Niyar, Dasha, Ferrier, Oleg, Misha and then another Zhenya. Pray for these people. They are awesome. We found most of them through basketball. President told me to ball in order to find people and therefore I’m ballin.

We get these big games of ball going at this public court and then we drop lessons on them after. We call them Sermons on the Court hahaha. Now we just gotta get them all to roll up to church.

I had a super super scary experience. So Elder Tate and I were just doing our thing Friday night. We had just got done balling with our investigators when we get a call from the sisters. The sisters had been stuck in their apartment all day because one of them was sick. I answer the phone and I was like YO! like I always do. Sister Kane says Hello? and she sounded like she had been crying.

I got pretty concerned and asked if everything was ok, and she was like no, everything isn’t ok, freaky stuff has been going on in our apartment can you guys come over and give us a blessing? Now it was already 9 so we tried to call President but he wasn’t answering, then we tried calling the AP’s but they didn’t answer, so we just decided to take things into our own hands.

We sprinted to a bus stop and hopped on and rolled up to the sisters place. By the time we get there it’s like almost 10, we see the sisters and they were all crying and I was just thinking what the heck has been going on here. As soon as we walk through the apartment door the most dark and evil feeling came over me. I start to look through the place to make sure everything was ok.

Everything seemed normal until I walked into the living room, and there it was so dark and soooooooo whack. We gave the sisters a blessing and as soon as I started giving Sister Kane her blessing it got super hard to breathe and it was weird, I was FREAKING out. I’ve never felt like that in my life. But I couldn’t freak out because the sisters were freaking out so Elder Tate and I had to keep it together.

After that they haven’t had any problems with any of that stuff. I can’t even describe what I felt there…. it was so crazy. It was really freaky. I’m really glad that we were able to help the sisters and none of them got hurt or anything. But now everything is back to normal. I’m not gonna lie, when I first got called to leave Zap and come up to Dnepr, I was so sad. But I’m finding a lot of joy here, of course I still miss Zap!!! But I’m making lots of new friends here in Dnepr. And now we have tons and tons of work to do.  Tell everyone to have a great week! I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Larkin

Dnepr

Man, this last week started off rough. Probably the roughest part of my mission honestly, leaving Zap was SOOOO sad, I can’t even describe it. It was like saying goodbye to all my friends back home all over again. But a little worse. The people there in that branch and all the friends I made are some of my closest friends and ugghhhhhhh it really stinks because I have no clue when I’ll see them again.

But I’m doing a lot better now, I’ve made lots of friends here already, and the branch out here is super super cool. Dnepr this time around is 1000000x better haha and my companion is super cool!! His name is Elder Tate, he’s from Missouri and he’s awesome. We get along super well. I liked the talk by Elder Maxwell. Selfishness gets you nowhere but sadness, and I think it’s super interesting how he puts sinning and selfishness together. We are selfish when we are disobedient.

Anyways, I’m trying really hard to be the best Elder Larkin ever and things are good here in Dnepr. We’ve already found a bunch of people to work with so I’m super pumped about that! I met the best girl basketball player I’ve ever met in my life haha and she has a lot of potential to be a member. I miss Zap of course, every night I call one or 2 of the members down there. They’re honestly amazing.  I think I will miss them forever.

But…..I am up to the challenge in Dnepr.  Tell everyone hello and that I miss them a lot.  Emails and letters are great!

Elder Larkin

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Saying Goodbye

Transferred?!

Yeah, I got transferred back to Dnepr, and I’m sooooooooooooooo sad about it. I know it’s the will of God, but man it seems like God just likes to crush a young guys heart haha. I’m actually in Dnepr right now, and on the brightside I’M CHILLIN WITH ELDER MARKS TODAY!!!!!!!!! 

It’s been so good to see him. SO GOOD. We’ve been reminiscin (Idk how to spell that stuff) about the most legendary 3 transfers this side of Ukraine has ever seen. 

I just don’t understand why I have to leave Zap. This morning I said goodbye to Andrei, Lena, Rita, Arina, Mike, Kay, Valentin, Kostya, Vlada, Veronica, Vlad, Julia, the other Julia, and of course Sister Harvey and all the other missionaries. I probably won’t see Sister Harvey until I get home. ugghhhhhh sayin goodbye to all them was so sad. 

But I guess that it’s the plan to be here in Dnepr so I’m gonna do it with a good attitude:) I haven’t met Elder Tate yet, I’ll send lots of pics next week and stuff. I don’t have tons of time, so I’ll get you guys a longer e mail next week. I love you so much!!!! Have a good week!!!!

Elder Larkin

New People

So last weeks took us a while to post.  I promised this weeks would not take a whole week to get it on the blog.  A couple of notes…He is talking about Mikah Hansens upcoming wedding in Oklahoma, which we are thrilled for.  We are glad he is not thinking about being ready for marriage but we weren’t ready to hear about “dropping a rap album.”  Once in a while we are not quite sure where he came from….But we love him and miss him and are so incredibly proud of him!

Hey Everybody!

I still cant believe that Mikah is getting married. What. the. heck. This is how I know I’m getting all grown up, all my friends are talking about marriage and finding their wives but I’m is just steady wanting to baptize people and drop a rap album. My heck. Marriage is scary stuff.

Anyways, haha I feel you for the dog days of summer. Everyone here is out of town, Andrei is in Kiev and all of our investigators are on vacation. Jk not all of them but a pretty dang good amount. So we are focusing on finding new people and dang we are finding some awesome new people. I’ll talk about that later though. OK so I’ve been feeling super good lately, I’ve been taking the Herbalife and pro biotics and yes it’s soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo hot. But I’m feeling a lot better and I’ve been putting on some weight. So yeah I’m feeling better.

This week was good. It was honestly just a pretty chill week, we just focused on finding and it went super well. We found two new investigators, Vadim and Alex. Alex is an older guy who just loves his fruit and we went over to his house and helped him pick fruit and it was sooooooooo good. The fruit here in Ukraine doesn’t even compare to the fruit in the states. Doesn’t even compare.

Vadim is a 30 year old guy who is married and is just a baller. He’s just the coolest guy ever. We gave him the restoration lesson and he really liked it a lot so we’re gonna ball out with him tomorrow. Same with Alex and the young Alex. Young Alex was out of town for a while but now he’s back and we’re gonna try and get him on date!!! Yeah that’s all that’s really going on out here. HAVE A GOOD WEEK EVERYONE STAY BALLLLLLLLIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNN!

Elder Larkin

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Listening to President Sullivan with Vlad

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The Zaporozhye Elders
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Lunch with the Sullivans and all of the Zap missionaries

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Best Week Yet

Hello Everybody!

One year later…..finally baptized someone!!!! All worth it. Worth getting sick, worth all the homies not getting baptized for stupid reasons, worth all the tears, worth all the super bland food, and worth not listening to any rap music for over a year. All worth it. I’m starting to feel a lot better these days but I’m still losing a little bit of weight. But I’m in eastern Europe where all they eat is borscht and potatoes and I’m out and about all day every day so it honestly makes sense that I’m losing weight.

Elder felt and I are going to start going to the gym and doing herbalife so hopefully it helps. Abby e mailed me and told me her apartment was ghetto hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha she has no idea. I literally live in a concrete block the size of our kitchen back home. You flush our toilet with a bucket and our kitchen is about the size of my closet back home. But it’s ok because we are ballin and I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else but here in Zaporozhye Ukraine. Literally the coolest city on earth.

The Lord has blessed me so much and I’m so grateful!!!! What a time to be alive in Ukraine. So this week we had Zone Conference and it was super good!!!!! I learned some new stuff and I’m ready to go out and continue doing good things. And of course we had the baptism this week which was sooooo cool. A family got baptized, Natalya, Dioka and Diana and I baptized Diana!!! It was so cool. I’m so grateful for that opportunity it was so awesome.

So now we got 3 new members in our lit little branch.  Our investigators are doing super good too, Alex, Dennis and Arthur are staying true so far. We don’t really teach Vlad anymore, he’s not progressing at all and we need to be productive with our time. It’s sad because I love the guy but I got the Lords work to do out here. I love the missionary work out here and I absolutely love my district. We have a new elder named Elder Kotlyarov and he’s HILARIOUS I love him. Everybody be good, HAVE A SICK WEEK.

Elder Larkin

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Asleep on the bus…thanks sisters!
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Andrei and I at a members house
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At the river for FHE
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Branch at the Baptism
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Beautiful sight
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Making sure the water is clean and warm
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The font
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Best day yet!

Pictures

This is Gavin writing.  We received some pictures today and wanted to share them.  They come from Gordon Gurr, who is in Zaporozhye, and is from Parowan.  Interestingly enough, he is also a relative of Elder Larkin.  Elder Larkin’s grandmother is Leslie Rae Gurr Jennings.  Her father was Kenyon Gurr.  This man and Leslie share the same grandfather.  What is interesting to you in the family is how much Gordon looks like Kenyon.  Maybe it is just me but to me there is an incredible resemblance.

So the story is that he introduced a family to the missionaries and this family is the baptism that is coming up for Elder Larkin.  There is a grandmother, her daughter, and her granddaughter.  The only one I know the name of is the 13 year old granddaughter, who is Diane.  Gordon sent me the following text today:

“The sweet daughter, Diane, is 13 and loves the gospel. She gave a sweet prayer over her grandfathers bed as we knelt around before I gave a blessing for his critical health. She has a budding piano talent and was in piano competitions in Yalta before the Russians took over Crimea and their own region and literally their own home, to house their troops. After three years of a kind of almost exile, Diane feels delight to play piano again, and feels a unity with Elder Larkin, his energy and kindness and shared piano interests. I think there is talk of a duet in church and at the upcoming baptism. She is pleased to play after a 3 year absence due to the refugee situation, losing their home and piano in the village taken over by Russian soldiers, not many miles from where they are now enjoying the peace and love of the gospel. There is also a thrill to learn Elder Larkin and I are related, as I have become close to the missionaries through introducing the family to the gospel and to the missionaries.”

So to make a long story short, it is a little insane that this man from Parowan is a relative and introduced a refugee family from Crimea to the missionaries and one of those happens to be Elder Larkin.  In the pictures below you can see the missionaries talking after church to some members and non members.  The church is on the second floor of the building.  The first floor is a second hand shop.  In the last picture you will see Gordon (who again, reminds me ALOT of Kenyon Gurr) and the grandmother, daughter, and granddaughter who will be baptized next week.  What a great update from Ukraine!

Gavin

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Baptism

Hey Everybody!

That’s so awesome that you guys went to Flagstaff that sounds like so much fun. Haha I can already see Jens and Dad freaking out up there lol, dang that sounds like a blast!!!! I wish I could be there with you guys. So yeah Vlad is still taking the discussions but we aren’t focusing on him really right now. He doesn’t really have a real intent so we are going to focus on finding new people and teaching the ones who are progressing.

I AM SO EXCITED FOR ANDREI TO GET HIS CALL!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait. And yes we are still teaching Michael but he’s going back to Nigeria for a few weeks but he’s coming back and says he will keep going when he is back so who knows.  I think it’ll be good for him to have a little break and realize a few things. While he’s in Africa he wants us to Skype with him and his family and I’M SO EXCITED TO MEET HIS FAMILY. It’s gonna be so cool. He’s sooooooooooooo close. He just needs something small to change.  I still believe he will come around.

Oh AND WE ARE FINALLY GETTING A BAPTISM. I’m baptizing this adorable little girl named Diana. I’m so pumped. This week was pretty lit but also a little sad. Here’s what happened.

I woke up on Saturday morning to a phone call from President Sullivan and Elder Peterson is getting transferred. It’s so sad, he’s probably my favorite comp so far. He’s getting transferred because there was a missionary in Dnepr who got his visa to Australia so now he’s going there to take his place. So sad. But now my next companion is Elder Felt!!!!!! He’s a homie so I’m pumped.

We found a new investigator this week who has a TON of potential. Her name is Anya and she knows like no English but my Russian is honestly pretty good. She’s super super interested in the church and we are gonna have some lessons with her this week!!! It’s bumpin.

I’M GONNA BAPTIZE MY FIRST PERSON THIS WEEK. We’re baptizing this family that is just GOLDEN and I get to baptize this super cute little girl named Diana. I’m so pumped!!!!! It’s going to be on July 8th.  A mom, her mom, and her daughter.   Me and Sister Harvey found a bunch of Africans that wanna chill w us. I rapped for them (obviously) and we are going to meet with them tonight.  So it was a great week and a sad week all together.  I am seriously going to miss Elder Peterson.  But I cannot wait for the 8th.  Stay Lit!  Love you all!

Elder Larkin