Dneprodzerzhinsk

Hey Everyone,
That’s so sad that Brother Hare died, I’ll send a note after this e mail for Sister Hare. Here’s what happened this week!!!! This week was awesome, I have not come down out of the clouds yet.
THIS WEEK WAS LITTTTTTT. There is no other way to describe it. OLEG AND VALENTINA GOT BAPTIZED. I baptized Oleg and Elder Tate baptized Valenetina. They are literally the most Russian people ever hahaha but they are sooooo cool and so kind. They had us over to their house and they actually have a sick house. It’s way nicer then our apartment haha.
They’re so strong and have incredible testimonies. I got to go to Dneprodzerzhinsk which is a city not far from Dnepr, its where our homie Dasha lives. While we were there we got her on date!!!!!! She said she just needs an answer from God that this church is the true church. So we set a date for the 25th of November. Then Sunday rolls around and we got to give Oleg and Valentina the holy ghost! So incredible. Valentina started crying and she kept thanking us over and over for bringing her to the church. So sick.
Elder Tate and I were just chillin in sunday school when we got a text from Dasha. SHE TOLD US THAT SHE GOT HER ANSWER AND THAT SHE WANTS TO BE BAPTIZED TWO WEEKS EARLIER. When we saw the text we ran out of the class room and started running around the branch building outside in the rain. I jumped up and hung on the rim of the hoop we have outside hahaha and then President drove up in his car and I really hope he didn’t see us haha.
But we told him about Dasha and he was sooooooo excited. Dasha is soooooooo excited, almost like bubbly. This branch needs youth and she’ll be so good for it. Her dad also wants to be baptized!!!!!! So in Dnepropdzerzhinsk there are no members. DASHA AND HER DAD WILL BE THE VERY FIRST MEMBERS THERE!!!  Can you believe that? So, so, so cool.
We had Zone Conference this week.  I will attach some pictures.  I would rather be out working than sitting in meetings but it’s all good.  It is cool to see everyone.  Have a great week.  I am not sure it will get better than last one but we will see.  Love you all!!
Elder Larkin

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Oleg!
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Oleg and Valentine!
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Saturday Elders Larkin and Tate baptized Oleg & Valentine who are from Belarus. Today they were confirmed. Another family has come unto Christ. (From Sister Sullivan)
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Zone Conference
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Zone Conference
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Eating!

Contacting

Well, what a time to be alive in Ukraine. When I got my transfer call to come up to Dnepr from Zap, I was super sad and mad. Little did I know that this transfer would be the greatest thing ever. We still got Oleg on date and on Thursday we had a super lesson with him. He’s so cool fam and he’s so willing to come unto Christ. I’ve never had an investigator like him.
Our other people are doing pretty good too, Misha has been progressing well and so has Olya, Dasha, Other Dasha and Igor. This has been a transfer of growth for me, and it’s really made me appreciate the Lords work even more. Also it’s helped me appreciate KFC a lot more gosh dang I love that place. I don’t want my time to end here!!!! Love it.
Elder Tate is one of my favorite companions so far, we are doing good work, life is just good my friends. Oh my gosh a few of my friends from zap came up and visited me this week!!!!!!!!! They couldn’t stay for very long but it was so good to see them. Zap and Dnepr are where it’s at. Love em both.
So I have retired from the rap game but I had the opportunity one last time last night. So every Sunday we do a family night in the park, and towards the end Elder Thornton and I go around the park and do what we call “babe contacting.” Not because we are trying to look or anything but because if we get cute girls coming to activities, then we get a bunch of guys coming to activities as well. And before you know it BANG you got an Elders quorum and a priests group. I’m telling you, girls are the key.
Long story short Elder Thornton and I found a huge group of girls and they asked if I like rap music. Ha. Yeah you could say I like rap music. And then they asked if I rap and I was like Ha. Yeah you could say I rap. And then I rapped for them, the sisters are about to get 6 new investigators. That’s my last rap…haha it was a good one.
Everything here is great.  Lots of people to teach and we are seriously in a groove.  Love you all.  Oh yeah, in the pictures, the one with the sombrero is Andrei.  He is seriously my favorite human alive.  The Zap branch had Mexican Night and that was his costume.  So so so funny.  He leaves for the England Leeds Mission in about 6 weeks.  What a man!
Elder Larkin
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English Class
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P Day with Thornton, and Peterson
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Andrei the Great!

Dasha

I’m glad that everything is going good back home!!!!!! I heard that Avry got called to England!!!!!! I told Andrei he needs to find her talk to her about St. George Andrei is by far my favorite person I’ve met in Ukraine, I talk to him like 3 times a day haha love the kid.  Things out here are super good right now. Here’s what happened this week.
Everything is just bumpin in general these days, we are finding lots of people, playing lots of ball, getting people on date, things are lit. We’re finding lots of investigators every week, we are averaging 5 a week right now. We just need to get them on date, Oleg is already on date for October 7th, we are so excited for him.
OHHHHH my gosh Vlad and Julia came up to Dnepr and visited me it was soooooooo good to see them again. Vlad is hilarious as always and yeah it was just so good to see them. Also Elder Tate and I got taken out to lunch by President Sullivan. We ate at this super nice restaurant. So. Nice. Easily one of the best meals I’ve had on my mission. It was super fun to talk with President haha he’s such a cool guy. Love him to death.
We’ve been seeing a bunch of miracles these days, we taught two new investigators who just rolled up to church on Sunday and asked to be taught. Unreal honestly they are super super prepared. They’re actually super cool and nice too, I’ve never had an investigator who has come to me first haha. There names are Dasha and Igor.  We literally have 3 investigators named Dasha these days my heck. I can’t keep em all straight.
We are super busy and are finding like crazy.  I miss Zap of course but am loving the branch here.  We seem to really be in a groove with finding, lots of good things are happening.  Love you all!
Elder Larkin
Sister Sullivan posted the following picture and caption.  We copied and pasted it here.  Love it when we get pictures, Elder Larkin does not like to send them to us!  Thank heavens for other people who understand that we need to see our Elder!  We also love her caption below the picture.  
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Elders Tate, Larkin and Thornton. Elders Larkin and Tate have been making friends and finding investigators by playing basketball. One came to church today, eager to learn and attend all 3 hours. A young man who is educated, eager to learn and well spoken. The Lord blesses us with talents which can bless the lives of others. Even though this scripture was referring to spiritual gifts we find missionaries are given and have developed talents that can bless the lives of others.  “To some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby” (D&C 46:12).

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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