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

It’s Been Awhile

Holy Cow,
This week was INSANE. I’m so sorry you guys worried so much!!!!!!!! I feel really bad. The spinal tap thing was honestly awful. Honestly the most physical pain I have ever been in. I know a lot of the miracles but I’m sure there are ones I haven’t heard. It is so good to be home again.  I love Zap and the people here. IGuess what?  ANDREI’S PAPERS ARE GOING IN TOMORROW. And MIKE IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS WEEK. Been out for a year, and I will finally see a baptism. Worth it. Worth all the sickness and the Spinal headache sent from hell. All worth it.  I forgot to bring my camera again. I have tons of pics tho I’ll send them all next week!!!. Things are good!!!!! Sorry this is short not a ton happened this week. I was just trying not to die. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!! Tell everyone thanks for the prayers and fasting. Talk to you later.
Elder Larkin
That letter was from today.  Here is the letter from last week after he felt better and was able to email a little.  
Hey dad!!!!

Just letting you know that I’m feeling TONS better. Sister Sullivan is letting me get on for a little. Things are super good, my headache from the virus is pretty much gone, now I just gotta get rid of this spinal tap stuff. Things are super good though!!!!! I just sleep and eat delicious food haha it’s quite the life style. The mission home isn’t even a home it’s seriously a palace. I’m so lucky. I’m going to make Sister Sullivan some brownies when I get back to Zap. So ya things are good!!!! I love you!!!! Tell everyone I’m grateful for their prayers and that I love them!!!! Talk to you soon
Elder Larkin
And a few pictures from Sister Sullivan
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Saturday waiting for CT scan
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Finally feeling a little better
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Heading back out to Zaporozhye

Small World

I’m so glad that Kirtland was fun!!!! I bet grandpa and grandma are ballin. The way they do missionary work in the states sounds SOOOOOO different from here. Here we’re told to do whatever it takes to get in with people, which means LOTS of ball and LOTS of going to university and trying to talk to people on the campus. Sometimes it doesn’t really feel like I’m on a mission. Haha for example this last week Zaporozhye threw one of those huge color fests, and we went with like 12 investigators and some members. It was SOOOOOOOOO LITTTTTTTTTTT.  I had a members son on my shoulders the whole time, and we would go into the mosh pit and just TURN UP.

Dad apparently got a bunch of pics from Sister Shulga but wow it was so much fun.  The things is too, IT WORKS. We have found SO many investigators every week. Like as a district we get like 8 to 10 new ones a week which is completely unheard of here in Eastern Europe. President Sullivan loves how we do work down here.

Michael is still on date, but we took an L with Yevgenei. We had a super good lesson with him, and we were going to move his date up so he could be baptized THIS SATURDAY. He was down, but then he got a call from his boss. His boss told him he needed to leave Zaporozhye, go to Odessa, then go to Kiev, and then go to China. Freaking china. He was about to be baptized. He left to Odessa right after our last lesson. And now he’s in China. For 9 freaking months. So yeah we took an L. He was so down to be baptized too.

We still got Michael tho so we are really looking forward to that. So this next week we have zone conference and today we have our interviews with President. So yeah those will be fun. THE CRAZIEST THING HAPPENED. So my boy Vlad was in L’viv all week on vacation. And guess who he ran into on the street?? Mark Abraham. No lie. Vlad saw the missionaries walking and he went and stopped them. It’s a small world, Vlad sent me a pic of them together so I will attach that.

I am having the time of my life….I hope you are too!  Have a great week!

Elder Larkin

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Color Fun
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Sister Shulga and her son
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My friend Elder Abraham in Lviv with my Zap friend Vlad. Amazing!