Monday, August 25, 2008

In Route to Kurgan...1st Transfer

Hey Everyone,

I have arrived at the Mission Office here in Yekaterinburg. We got in last night around 10:00pm. The bus ride wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. We left at 7:30am and arrived about 9:30pm…stopping every hour.

I was able to see a lot of the countryside, the smaller cities between Ufa and Ekat. This Country is beautiful.

I sat next to a mini missionary from Ekat. (A mini missionary is someone who fills in temporarily when there are an odd number of missionaries.) She was very nice. She didn’t know or understand much English so we both had our dictionaries out trying to converse back and forth. It was a lot of fun and great practice.

I slept probably a total of two hours on the bus. Once we arrived, we took our stuff to the AP’s apartment, had dinner around 11:30 pm, and then went to bed. They told me I could sleep until 8:00, which was great, I really needed it, and I slept pretty good. After waking up I studied for about an hour then took a COLD shower... oh well.

I will be here in Ekat until 6:30 pm and then I will catch the train to Kurgan. I am really excited and looking forward to my new area. It was hard leaving Ufa and all the amazing people there. I was talking to Elder S and he explained, that it is as if you are leaving part of your heart in each area you serve. This comment/thought stuck with me because it’s so true, I do feel like I’ve left part of my heart in Ufa. I love those members so much, and I’m really going to miss them. When transfers came, and I found out I was being transferred to Kurgan, a part of me looked forward to the change, but then it really hit me that I would be leaving all these great people that I’ve grown to love behind, I didn’t want to leave. Once I cleared my head, I realized that all of this, transfers included is what life of a missionary is all about…it’s all part of the work, being willing to serve anywhere at anytime in any circumstance...I'm looking forward with a positive attitude to the transfer and the opportunity to share the Gospel with the people in Kurgan. I have heard that this area in the Mission is having a lot of success and my new companion Elder D. is a hard worker, which is a huge plus.

My last Sunday in Ufa was hard. During church, I had the opportunity to translate for Brother Page. I also bore my testimony. After church, we had a FHE and a potluck at the Page’s where I had to speak. It was a lot of fun, but hard to say my final goodbyes.
Oh, I finally got my package, I haven’t opened it yet, because I wanted to jump on here and shoot you a quick email to let you know that I am in route and everything is good.

I love you all, stay solid.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pic's From Elder Dewey in Ufa..

Elder Dewey, Gulnaz and her mom

Hello Everyone,

Since I will be leaving earlier than anticipated, I decided to email you today. Included in my email are a few pictures, I will send more later.
It has been more difficult this week than I thought it would be. Saying goodbye to everyone is hard. I don’t want to leave Ufa, I've really grown to love this place and the people here. I have met some of the most amazing people and have made incredible friends. I know I have mentioned before how amazing the youth are here and what strong testimonies they have, but I can't emphasize it enough just how great they all are. I will never forget them and all they have taught me. I've gained so much more from being here than I've given back. It’s so difficult to explain what I am feeling. I don’t want to leave for fear that I may never see them again, which in reality, most likely will be the case. I had to say goodbye to all the amazing people in my English class as well. It really does feel like home to me, and I now have to leave. I will never forget Ufa, my first "Greenie" area.

I will give you a brief summary of this week. Monday, we went sight seeing. Tuesday, we had our English Club and then went to dinner at an older member’s home, and she fed us a wonderful meal and made this amazing homemade mint tea. Wednesday, we did our usual and had the opportunity to help carry this poor elderly women down the stairs from her apartment to the outside, she was going to her garden in the country. This poor elderly women hasn't left the inside of her apartment for nearly three years. It really made my day to help someone who really needed us. Later that day, we had District meeting. Thursday, we had dinner with the Pages, they are a new senior missionary couple here in Ufa. We also had a meeting with Gulnaz and her mother, and had another wonderful meal. Friday, we had FHE with all the youth where we played games and had a great time. It’s now Saturday, and I'm now emailing you early because I won’t have time to email on Monday.
My next email will be from my new area Kurgan. I hope everyone has a great week.

Elder Dewey

Elder Dewey and Brother and Sister Page

The best juice ever...notice my Mountain Dew...
Elder Dewey and VladimirElder Dewey , Gulnaz and Elder Taylor
Elder Dewey, Gulnaz's mom and Elder Taylor

kitchen and laundry...all in onemy bed...oh yeah...
what do elder's eat?
What's in the pot's?
Russian TiesOur dryer

Outside our dom

Leaving Ufa...

goodbye my friends in Ufa...I'll miss you!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Elder Dewey's First Transfer...Kurgan Russia

Elder Dewey will be packing his suitcase and headed for the Train Station next Monday. He is being transferred to Kurgan Russia. He has mixed emotions about leaving Ufa, he loved the people there, but looking forward to his new area and new experiences sharing the Gospel with the people in Kurgan.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Cucumber & Mayo Sandwich...testimony strengthened...

D & C 76:22

And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

Привет Каждый, (Hello Everyone)

Wow! It’s been an eventful week. My companion was gone on his visa renewal trip to Prague, so I spent Monday thru Wednesday with Elder’s M and A. in Chemikofka. They are awesome missionaries. It was great to go somewhere different and see another area of the mission. Chemikofka’s architect is different than in the center of Ufa where I serve. The building designs are much more European looking and painted in bright colors...very Cool. I had a great time. While I was there we went to the outskirts of Ufa to a small town (village) called Shaksha. My first impression of Shaksha was that it was very small and very dirty. I noticed a building with a spray painted mural of two gangsters representing Russia and Bashkortistan ...written in English next to the mural read... “Together Forever”. It was an awesome mural. I wanted to take a picture, but there were too many drunks, that we felt we needed to leave. It was a great experience and a lot of fun serving with these two great Elders.
On Wednesday, I went to the ZL’s area with Elder L. It was a great time. I noticed the dom’s (apartment buildings) that are being constructed look a lot like what we have back in the states, a little more modern than all the others I have seen.
Okay, so one of my awkward or kind of "had to be there"...moments for this week was when Elder L and I got on the bus and sat across from a couple of devchucks ( girls ). For some odd reason they kept looking at us funny and talking about us...kinda weird/funny. They continued talking, obviously thinking that we couldn't understand anything they were saying about us, this unfortunately would be true of me,( understanding small fragments) but not of Elder L. We pretended not to pay any attention and let them talk away, then just as the bus was near our stop, Elder L started talking to them in Russian...You should've seen the surprise look on their was pretty funny and awkward at the same time. I'm hoping some day very SOON I will be comfortable speaking Russian freely, with out hesitation. I am still hitting the books hard and beating my head with them, hoping that something will sink in sometime soon!! haha. It's coming, I'm understanding more everyday, and I pick up a lot by the way of conversation, but it's certainly not the easiest language to learn. It can definitely wear a person down...if you let it.
So, I have made a new discovery Russian yogurt. It’s great !! Now, for breakfast I enjoy something other than that dang grain junk that horses eat. I have also discovered... if a person is hungry enough you will eat just about anythingincluding (another new favorite find of mine)…cucumber sandwiches. I’m sure mom is not believing any of this, but I can tell you that my ability to adapt to a different culture and way of living is excellent!!! You do what you need to in order to surviveSo if there is nothing in the fridge besides cucumbers and is cucumber & mayo sandwiches we will be feasting on! Some of you asked me what food or restaurant I miss most, I guess I would probably say Arby’s, but now that I have my new favorite finds of Russian yogurt and cucumber & Mayo sandwiches, the thought of an Arby's "Big Beef and Cheddar" never enters my you believe that one?...haha! I’m really catching on to this Russian culture and food thing..I'm lovin Russia!

Okay... I know a few of you asked me if we really play DUCK, DUCK GOOSE in FHE. YES...we really play... DUCK, DUCK GOOSE!!! I know...I will never live it down. It's almost as competitive as "FOUR SQUARE" was back in the MTC. I don't know what is with these primary school games...first, a BIG RED RUBBER BALL and now, a DUCK and a GOOSE! But BELIEVE it or not, it's not such a childish game the way we play it. In fact, it can get pretty intense, running fast on a slippery floor ...people ALWAYS FALLING. I worry that someday someone is going to get hurt, but no serious injuries as of yet, so until then ...we continue on with our primary school games! haha! I love the youth here in Ufa, they are amazing people and a ton of fun!o be around!!

A few of you asked about our form of tracting. We actually call it “finding”. We do most of our ‘finding” on the street. We try and talk with people as they are passing by. It's interesting, to say the least. However, I've been told that in bad weather it’s a bit difficult, because people are in a hurry to get where they are going and to get out of the cold as fast as they can...not that I blame them. I haven’t experienced real cold -50 below weather yet, I can only imagine ... I am in for a ride! When the time comes, and I find myself standing like a frozen icicle on a snow covered street corner somewhere here in Russia, I will have to try hard to keep my mind off the memories of the warm winter weather back home in AZ. I will try and convince myself of how great a white Christmas with real snow will be... AND…while all of you back at home are outside with out jackets in the middle of December, enjoying the mild winter weather with plenty of sunshine, I hope you think of me... here in Russia on my lonely frozen street corner trying desperately to find someone who will stop long enough to let me share the Gospel with them in -50 below weather... (that sounds so crazy) I am actually looking forward to this craziness!...did I really just say that??? Anyway,, when this thought pops into your head, I ask that you might whisper up a small prayer on my behalf to the Big Guy upstairs. I’m sure by then I will need all the prayers I can get ... that time of year is soon approaching...Haha!
favorite part of being a missionary is having the opportunity to bear my testimony to others. This past week, while teaching a family I had a great experience which allowed me to bear my testimony and testify of the truthfulness of the message that was taught that night. This family would like to get baptized, all except the father, who is not the least bit interested, and is making it difficult for the other family members. It’s sad to see others get in the way of one’s eternal happiness.
Anyway, while we were there I bore my testimony in a way that is difficult to explain, except to say, that I was lead and directed by the spirit in what to say and in the manner of which to say it. I bore my testimony in the most sincere way, the spirit was incredibly strong. I could see they were really listening and could feel the spirit as well. I will never forget the feelings I experienced that night. I am grateful for moments like this, when I can truly feel the spirit within me, directing my thoughts and actions. My Russian was even decent, and delivered with a fair amount of ease. It was a great testimony building experience for me, one that I will always remember.
I would like to encourage all of you to bear your testimony more often. Not just in sacrament meetings, but with your non-member friends, neighbors and with people you work with. You will find your testimony will be sstrengthened with each opportunity. You will be helping others see and feel the light of Christ. I am grateful for the testimony I have and for each opportunity I’m given to share it others. It’s truly the most real and sincere part of me...It comes straight from my heart and the core of my soul…It's a gift from my Father in Heaven …a gift I can give to another…a gift that keeps on giving…my testimony is what I cherish most in this life, and I wish to share it with those that are willing to listen and receive it.

спокойствие покой, (Peace)
Elder Dewey

P.S. from Elder Dewey's mom...correction from the last post...a car did not run into Elder Dewey...Elder Dewey ran into a PARKED car! It was a little late and a little dark... His email was a little apology.

Monday, August 11, 2008

SOME CONFUSSION...Unnecessary trips to the TRAIN STATION...HUMAN (that would be Elder Dewey) CONTACT WITH A CAR...

~D&C 58:64~

64 For, verily, the sound must go forth from this place into all the world, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth—the gospel must be preached unto every creature, with signs following them that believe.

CПривет из России
I hope everyone is doing well and you all had a great week. It's been a bit of a CRAZY week here in Ufa. There are a few things that are happening here that will most likely create a few changes, but I will have to explain later…No worries, nothing to be alarmed about.
This past week was transfers, which filled my week assisting other missionaries to and from Ufa. We have made several trips to the train station in the middle of the night. We also have
been assisting those that needed picked up or dropped off for visa renewals. The train stations here are crazy…they cram in as many people as possible. We actually made a few unnecessary trips as well...haha...we got one of the dates wrong when picking up the Pages, a senior missionary couple. We were misinformed of their arrival date and showed up twice at 8:00 am on the wrong days, Luckily, it all worked out and we were able to pick them up on the right day at the right time and didn't cause them any confusion. On one of the trips, I was getting out of the taxi and just as I stepped out of the taxi, I turned to start walking and a car ran into me, no worries the driver wasn’t going very fast, so it didn’t hurt too bad, I'm just a little black and blue. It was dark and kind of hard to see, so I guess I must've ran right into him. I was way embarrassed, so I turned around quickly and just kept on walking! I didn't feel the pain until later. UGH!!! I think I told you in one of my earlier emails trying to maneuver in and out of traffic here is like playing the video game Frogger”. It just so happened that the other day, this Frogger was a bit unlucky! OUCH!!! Haha!! (I guess this is one of my new "finding contacts " techniques)
Mom, you asked me if I've heard much about the conflict between Georgia and Russia...we hear a little bit here and there but not a whole lot. Some people here including a couple of our branch members had to enlist in the Army and go over to fight. Hopefully, the conflict won’t last too long. So far, it has not caused any problems here for the missionaries. Just know that we are completely safe. However, if the US gets military involved it may cause some difficulty for us to stay. I guess we just have to continue to work hard and not worry about it until it becomes a concern, if it ever does.
The weather here has been rainy for the past week and a half, and I have been getting soaked from head
to toe, so I finally bought a good rain jacket to stay dry. It works great!! Speaking of the rain, we unfortunately have not been able to do a lot of finding. People don't like to stop and talk with us when it is coming down in buckets. We were still able to get a lot of work done and talk to some cool people.

The one investigator that we are currently teaching is a seventeen year old boy, he is a grandson of a bob. (older Russian women) His bob drags him to church with her. I finally suggested that we invite him to sport on Saturday and to FHE on Friday nights so that he is doing something fun other than being harassed by his bob and that way he may get a little more excited about the Gospel. I am excited to see where this might lead him. He is a great kid and has a lot of potential. I hope things will begin to

The best experience this past week was attending another baptism of this wonderful girl. She is so impressive with her knowledge of the Gospel. She knows the Gospel forwards and backwards. I am amazed at how much she has studied and now understands. The new members here are truly amazing examples to us all. They are so dedicated to learning and understanding all they can. I have learned so much from their example, often times I feel like I am gaining more from them than they are from me. My testimony has been greatly strengthened from being here and witnessing their great strength. I truly hope I can contribute more as time goes on. I really wish I didn't have a language barrier and they could understand EVERYTHING I say. If I could just talk to them with out the language handicap I feel I could significantly accomplish a great deal more. I know I need to have patience, but I just wish I understood the language better. I am still working hard at it and lit
tle by little it is coming, I just wish I would pick up speed and fast forward to when I will actually have it some what mastered. I am on limited time to get it all figured out, and time is going fast!! I am truly hoping for a Native companion one of these days. I feel that I would gain so much by having a Native. It would be a great help with learning the language. I guess I will have to wait and see.
FHE is every Friday night, which is great because it gives the members and investigators something to do on a Friday night rather than hanging out on the streets. We have a lot of fun. We always have a spiritual thought and then play games like Mafia, duck duck goose, or do you love your neighbor. It’s a
great time.
Sport was fun this past Saturday. It was muddy so we decided to play ping-pong, duck d
uck goose and some game that you had to switch shoes, and run in someone else shoes, like a relay game. It was hilarious with my monster feet, I had some tiny shoes that I had to try to run in…pretty funny!!! My monster shoes did not make it any easier for the other person. It was a lot of fun!!

Oh, and believe it or not…I am lovin the tea!! My favorite is the Mintmmm GOOD STUFF!! I never thought I would ever say that about TEA! haha!!

Well, that’s about it for this week. This next week should be interesting. My companion has his visa renewal so I will be with Elder M and Elder A until Wednesday and then Elder l until Sunday.

Hopefully next weeks email will be more interesting and I will have more to report.

Я люблю всех вас, (I love you all)

спокойствие, покой (Peace)

Старший Чад М Дьюи (Elder Chad M Dewey

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Britt and Chad...Emails

~ Email from Brittney to Chad ~

Chad,What's up? I am at mom and dad's right now. I came over to make some orange rolls, grandma's recipe. It is taking forever. How are you doing?You need to send some pictures so we can see what it's like there. What are you doing today. Your story about that birthday party you went to was funny. It sounds like you are doing really well! So have you come across any mafia yet?Not much going on here. I am going to take a few classes at MCC next semester.Well love ya and miss you! I hope you are having a good day and be safe!Love,Brittney

Date: Sunday, July 27, 2008, 11:35 PM

~ Email from Chad to Britt ~

Well, I would send pictures if I knew how, but right now I don't, and I don't even have my freaking camera, and... we were going to go sight seeing today so, I guess that's a "forget that", and so maybe I'll go buy a cool tie today. Russia ties are the coolest ties ever. I will send Dillon some when I send some home for BJ.

I have come across mafia, not like really dealing with them, but I have seen them. There hasn't been anything that unusal or scary that has happend since I've been here. You just have to be smart and not put yourself in a bad situation, just like anywhere else. So, there is no need to worry, I am safe and doing well...Especially since I am bigger than 99 percent of Russia. I am sure I can take care of myself. But hey, thanks for caring and thinking about me. Well Sis, thanks for the email, this week was rough, but hey I'm in Russia.

Peace, Elder Dewey

Monday, August 4, 2008

Ufa Zone Conference...Cold Cucumber Soup...Russian Ties...It's a Small World After All...

My favorite scripture for this week...D&C 18: 15 - 19 - 15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the
kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!
17 Behold, you have my gospel before you, and my rock, and my
Ask the Father in my name, in faith believing that you shall receive, and you shall have the Holy Ghost, which manifesteth all things which are expedient unto the children of men.
19 And if you have not
faith, hope, and charity, you can do nothing.

Привет Каждый,
Россия говорит, привет тоже,

Well, let’s see what’s happened in my part of the world this past week…I kept notes in my planner, so let me get it and start this email off good. I will begin with last Tuesday, which was last p-day. Towards the end of the day I went on splits with Elder M. to Dioma. It was a way cool change of scenery from Ufa with it’s tall buildings that I am used to seeing. Dioma is a smaller town on the outskirts of Ufa. There are a lot private small homes, which was a nice change of pace.
On Wednesday, we went to Avdon, which a small town outside of Ufa’s city limits of a population of 8,000 people. I was the tenth missionary who has ever been there. It is the furthest south area in the mission. We met with the nicest member there. She fed us huge portions of cold cucumber soup, (which I will get to in a minute) Macaroni, potatoes, and hot chocolate. Everything was so good except the cold cucumber soup, it was so hard for me to eat it, but I managed. She fed us a ton!! I normally don’t eat that much but she was determined for us to clean our plates and so we did. After we finished we had a thirty minute bus ride back. The buses here are just so crazy. It was a great day!
This past Wednesday was Zone Conference. President and Sister Allen both gave great talks as well as the AP’s. I and the other newer missionaries had to each speak for five minutes. After the talks we ate and had interviews. We had sub sandwiches, but unlike the usual sub with the Russian sausage, colbassa, these subs actually had real meat like we have back home. The conference was great. It was very spiritual and great to sit back and relax and just talk about the different aspects of missionary work.
~~side note – I spilt mayo on my new favorite tie that I got here in Russia especially to wear to zone conference. I was so bummed, but when I got home I filled the tub with cold water and soaked the whole tie and it is like new again!! The Russian ties here really are the best ever and so dang cheap. $150 ties in the states only costs $10 here. So yeah, anyone who would like me to pick them up some wonderful good looking ties just let me know.
One more side note...Sister Allen told me that my great grandmother Beus was her Sunday School teacher!! Pretty AWESOME!!! It's a Small World After All!!
After Zone Conference, I went on splits with one of the AP’s, Elder Johnson who is totally cool. He is a great Elder. He gave me some really great pointers on contacting people on the streets. He gave me some great advise on how to improve my language skills as well, so that was a great help.
Okay…just so everyone knows… the language barrier can play havoc when telling a good joke. No one here ever gets my jokes. I was informed by Gulnza (the member that always calls us) that the Russian members don’t like my jokes. UGH!!! They don’t understand or get when I am trying to tell my jokes…so yeah, not too funny. I tried to explain my jokes to Gulnza and she finally caught on after a very long time. She said because my language is still a little rough that I may not be using the properly vocabulary…OUCH!! I guess I have a long way to go with this dang language, but I still really LOVE IT!! I really am lovin the Russian people here. I honestly do. They may seem hard to get to know at first, but once you break the ice and get to know them they are the nicest and most loving people of all. The members are so strong and extremely humble, they are amazing and I feel grateful for being able to serve in such a great area.
The greatest part of the work for me is to be able to witness these people who have been struggling with their lives be able to turn it all around. You can feel their love and gratitude for the Gospel. In speaking with the members here, it makes me realize how lucky I had it growing up amongst all Mormons. It was the norm for me and I never realized what I really had and how fortunate I have been. Living here and working with the people truly is an eye opener. I love to see the youth here and witness their remarkable strength. Many of the youth are the only members of their families. They have so many temptations here; the members have to stay strong in order to survive. It's remarkable to see how they love their scriptures, if you look through you will see how marked up they are on every page. I love to see their faith at work. What an amazing people.
There was a baptism on Sunday. It was a great experience to be able to attend. I hope I can help people be baptized and help them be as happy as the members of the church are here.
Okay...well, this past Sunday was a fast Sunday so we had testimony meeting and this woman got up and chastised everyone because they were not talking loud enough. It was funny because she's a bob (meaning old woman) haha but she is very nice. It was just funny. I'm sure she is hard of hearing because of her age.
Well, I am running out of time and I need to respond to as many emails as I possibly can. Please don't feel bad if I don't respond to your email...the little time we get here makes it difficult, but please know how much I appreciate every single email I get.
A BIG SHOUT OUT GOES TO - Chanel, Ashley, Elder BJ Dewey, (my Bro in Idaho) Brother Whimpey, Colleen Dewey, (grandpa Dewey's new wife) Mom and Dad!!!!! Thank you for all your WONDERFUL EMAILS!!! IT MAKES MY WEEK!!!

I love you all and always remember the importance of doing the right gives you peace and happiness. Stay Solid!! I love this work with all my heart and I'm giving it all I can because I know without a doubt that the lessons we are teaching and the things we are testifying of are true. I love the gospel, I love the Lord, I love the people of Russia and I love all you back home. I miss you, but I know I am where I am suppose to be...doing the Lord's work. Believe me, it's HARD and it gets to your core! But as long as I am doing my Best I know the Lord will take care of the rest. I know the Gospel is true...what great happiness it brings!!

Мир Out, (Peace out)
Старший Дьюи в России (Elder Dewey in Russia)

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Elder Dewey's First Zone Conference in Ufa Russia.
First picture home from Russia

You can barely see Chad's eyes in this pic...look for those dark rim glasses way in the back. Chad needs to stand up and be noticed when pictures are taken since they are far and few between. Look at those yummy brownies...I wonder which missionary used their baking skills...OH! AND...there is that ever sooooo delicious juice Chad is always bragging about!
Chad looks like he is doing really well. Thank you President Allen for thinking of us Missionary Mom's in providing us proof our missionaries are ALIVE AND WELL...