Monday, November 24, 2008

Great week in Kurgan...

. In front of our apartment

lmers in Tyumen Siberian Zone Conference at the Pa

Elder Dewey and Elder Bassest

November Zone Conference held at the Palmers apartment.

Hey Everyone,

Although this past week was long and somewhat tiring, as it progressed, it became pretty amazing.

Monday (p-day) we hung out for a while then ventured off to a cool mall that reminded me of being back in the states. Everything seemed to be a bit expensive. We also ended up doing some much needed apartment cleaning.
Tuesday ended up being a slow day. We had a church member that just moved here from Africa that attended English, which was very cool. It’s crazy because he only speaks English and knows absolutely no Russian. He seems to be a real nice guy. We are going to help him learn Russian, which will be a rigorous and long process.
Wednesday was a great day. We had district meeting, and was somewhat of a challenge because we spoke all Russian and used NO English, but I felt it went pretty well. The language has darmatically improved. Denis, another member, joined us (making him that fifth person). We discussed activities and different ways we can help the branch grow and become stronger. The sisters here are the coolest. After English, we had an intense meeting with a less active man. I felt bad for him, he just seemed depressed, but by the end of the lesson he agreed that it would be a good idea to start reading the Book of Mormon again. It was amazing because it honestly felt like we were fighting a battle with him, but the spirit won like it always does. He is a really nice guy who just seemed to have lost hope. I know we can help get him feel the spirit again and get on the right track by meeting with us and reading the Book of Mormon. Hopefully he will come to realize that he needs to make reading the scriptures a daily practice.
Thursday we hopped a bus for a four ride to Tyumen to attend zone conference. On the way we watched Beauty and the Beast in Russian, the sisters started crying, which was really funny. Since it was in Russian, I had to think hard and really concentrate instead of just being able to sit back and listen. Once we arrived in Tyumen, we made our way to MACDONALD'S! It was so tasty…way better in Russia! We stayed at the Zone Leaders and I got about three hours of sleep at tops.
Zone conference was great! It was held at the Palmers apartment. The Palmers are an awesome senior couple in Tyumen. It would be awesome to serve in Tyumen because it’s only the Palmers and the ZL’s that serve in that area and so the Palmers baby the ZL’s. So yeah… Sister Palmer made Mexican food that was AMAZING! I love Mexican food! I miss the food in Arizona.
Friday night we hopped another bus for the four-hour ride back to Kurgan. Elder Otis and I sat on the back row with three other HUGE RUSSIANS guys. It was the most uncomfortable 4 hours of my life!…no big deal, I survived.
Saturday we had a few meetings that went well.
SUNDAY the best day of the week!!!! Church was great. We watched General Conference (in Russian), the quality was not the best, but it’s the effort that counts right? THEN after church, we met with a guy named Leonid who has been to church now 4 times ALL ON HIS OWN.. So we asked him to meet and he now has a baptismal date set for the 13th of Dec. It’s going to be AMAZING and a huge help to the branch. It's just so weird because he seems too easy to teach, it makes me think I’m in Mexicohaha! No offense Chase and everyone else serving there! haha.
So that’s my week!
Love Elder Dewey.

Building across from our apartment in Kurgon

Pack of wild dogs outside our apartment

Sunday, November 23, 2008

November Siberian Zone Conference

Dear Families,
We have just returned from the Siberia Zone Conference in Tyumen, Russia. We enjoyed trainings by the missionaries, zone leaders, assistants, and President Allen. Elder and Sister Palmer honored us by having the zone conference in their apartment, where we enjoyed Sister Palmer's chicken enchiladas for lunch along with the homey feeling of being in a home. Sorry, I didn't get a picture of them eating--they were pretty crowded hovering over the food in the kitchen at the time. Elder Thompson is still on his visa trip in Kazakhstan--we are anxious for his return. Thank you for the support that you give your missionary. We love and appreciate each one. Our best,President and Sister Allen

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Santa arrives early...

This picture is from the McEvoy's blog (senior missionary couple working in the mission office. I hope they don't mind me swiping their picture, but I just loved this one...) Here is Elder McEvoy with a PILE of packages that just arrived to the mission office. I'm certain this will make for some HAPPY Elders!!! I have sent at least four possibly five packages (I've lost count.) that 's taking their sweet time getting hopefully, with fingers crossed they will be in that pile somewhere.:) JOB WELL DONE SANTA!!! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A work in progress...

This is a cool sign that says "Glory to the Heroes of the People" and a cool babooshka (older woman).

This is a view of the city we live in. I'ts a lot bigger than it looks in this picture. We live on the outskirts.
This is a road of mud my companion and I had to walk along. Kurgan is a very mudding city, but not all roads are like this.

Hey Everyone,

Things are going great here in Kurgan. Elder O and I are now on our second week and things are well.

The following is a run down of this past week.

Last Monday for & pizza...can't get much better than that! haha! We found the movie Wallie on video, which hasn’t come out yet in the states. We decided to get a little creative with our pizza skills and experimented with palmeni topping…not the best idea. Palmeni is like pasta with some type of meat inside. I’m not so sure it would've won any prize, but it actually wasn't too bad...hungry missionaries will eat just about anything...soup with fish eyes and now palmeni pizza!

Tuesday, we did some contacting and then English, which was fun. After English, we had game night. We played some game where you had to name famous Russian People. The Russians ended up owning me because I knew very few famous Russian people. Next time we will try naming famous American people and see who comes out on top.

Wednesday was an interesting day; it turned out to be an eventful, disastrous, and amazing day wrapped up in one. I had my first district meeting with the Sister’s and because it was just my companion, the two sisters, and myself we needed a fifth person to join us in order to have an odd number. The member that normally joins us, Sister Masha, happened to be in Finland at the temple. As District leader, it’s my job to find that fifth person. After being turned down due to work schedules or sickness, I decided to ask this one member who just so happens to be extremely talkative. We began the meeting with a spiritual thought given by Sister K. As she was finishing, this member started in at her, tempting her. For some reason he seemed to have his own agenda and proceeded to talk extremely negatively about the branch organization and just wouldn’t let up. I knew by what was happening that the best thing that I could do in this situation was to cut the meeting short and end it. I didn’t feel like the meeting would be productive or that the spirit would be with us when there was such a negative tone. After our short meeting, sister K asked if I would give her a blessing. I was somewhat nervous because I‘ve never given the long part in Russian or in English for that matter. She was my first experience in which I have blessed anyone. She said I could do it in English, but because she is a Russian native I wanted it to be in Russian, in her own language and easy for her to understand and remember. So I just prayed in my heart that I would have the ability to give her the blessing that she needed and that would comfort her, and then I proceeded. Afterwards, Sister K said it turned out good and I didn't make any mistakes with the language. Sister K was in my first “Greenie” area when I was still struggling with the language. After her blessing, she told me about how it is so cool to see the progress I have made since she was in my Greenie Zone. This experience was one of those spiritual, uplifting, and faith building experiences I will always remember and be grateful for. The rest of the day, we had contacting and a meeting with Vacya who is a member that wanted to meet with us, he is always interesting and fun to visit with.

In our weekly planning on Thursday we decided that the hours we spend contacting is not the best use of our time, so we decided to get a little more creative in our approch. We are going to come up with different and creative ways to find people, other than just the norm and see if we can increase our numbers.

Friday wasn’t one of our best days, we were both sick. I’m not sure what happened, but we both were not feeling too well. We had a meeting with Stac, an investigator, which turned out great. Stac is a Russian Orthodox, who is really searching for the truth. He has been reading the Book of Mormon and is intrigued by how much it talks about Christ. He also really likes our new church building.

On Saturday, we ended up wandering around in the mud, in the middle of nowhere, again trying to find a former investigator, it was actually a lot of fun. We did some additional contacting and had a few meetings with members and less actives.

Sacrament meeting was the best. Sister K gave an amazing last minute talk about member missionary work and did a great job! We had Leonid, an investigator there with us. After the meeting, Leonid asked how he could become a member of our church. We explained to him that we would need to schedule some additional meetings with him and explain how he can do just that!! Honestly, it was a miracle. I am so excited. He seems like a very sincere and solid guy. After our meetings, we did some contacting and then made the most
amazing tacos.

This transfer has been the greatest transfer. Elder O is such a cool guy, easy going and a hard worker.

I hope all of you at home are doing well, living right, and enjoying life. Although it’s cold here in Russia and this AZ kid is freezing his bum off, there is no other place I would rather be than right here serving the Lord.

Have a great week.

Elder Dewey

Monday, November 10, 2008

"Великая работа Старший Дьюи"

~~Latest Pic's from Russia.~~
(scroll down after this post to find pic's)

He's been spotted! (you can run but you can't hide)
Hello Everyone,
This "Big Ole" email will have to suffice for this week. It will be a short one with pictures attached, in effort to try and keep a few people back home happy. So for you whiners back home, (mom...haha) suggesting that it's been a while since I've sent pics home...THESE PIC'S ARE FOR YOU! Sending the few pictures I have will most likely take up most of my Internet time, given the fact the equipment in the local Internet Cafe here in Kurgan is not the fastest or easiest to work with. So for you whiners this short email will be in exchange for a few pics. Fair enough...
Monday, was somewhat uneventful, the usual grocery shopping and then back to the apartment. We had been going back and forth between the bokzal or train station and were just tired out of our minds.
Wednesday, I received a surprising call form the Zone Leaders and President Allen, they decided to make me the District leader here in Kurgon. I was a little surprised, being that I am a super duper young elder, but it's cool though and I'm so grateful for the opportunity. It's not a big area by all means so everything should go smooth. I call the Zone Leaders and Sisters every night for statistics and all that jazz.
Thursday, we had a pretty good turn out for English, which always makes it fun and interesting.
Friday we had a meeting with a former investigator who said, he wants to meet more often. He has a daughter that is a member and just moved to Ekat. We are really excited that he seems to be on board. He is really cool, but just kind of not wanting to do anything, complacent I guess is a better description of him. We are trying to help him all we can to find a desire and reason to search for the truth. It's interesting to see so many people too content living their lives with out a real sense of purpose or meaning. I don't know how anyone could be content or happy living their lives that way. I wish they could see the other aspect called "Eternal True Happiness" and growth. Its just hard sometimes to see these great people that really need the Gospel in their lives choose to live with out any religion at all.
Saturday we had a branch activity, which was a lot of fun. We made Russian pancakes... very tasty. I was so tired that I could hardly eat. I 'm not sure why I was so tired, but it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Sunday, Elder Otis and I went on an adventure looking for some less actives and former investigators. We walked all around, in the boonies, out of the boonies, we walked for miles...haha, seriously it was a ton of fun though! Elder Otis is a really awesome guy we are going to be a Power House here in Kurgon, just what it needs!

Enjoy the pics. I love you all, but I gotta run!

Elder Dewey
До тех пор, пока на следующей неделе ... находиться рядом с Господом и помнить его на все, что вам делать.

Привет из России

Me in front of an old church here in Surgut.

Alonia and I (she is a member in Surgut, and also helps us with learning the Russian language)
Yura a cool kid from Surgut. We taught Yura and his mom twice while I was in Surgut. They are amazing members.

Elder Dorman and I with the Nazaravi family in Kurgan.

A train in Surgut

Me, Elder Otis, Elder Dorman, and Ilya and his wife Olga - (the coolest people in kugron )

Trying to get warm by the heater to the side of me.

My Russian tie collection.

Elder Sorensen, Zhenya, Me, Aliona, Olga, and Lucia.Same group but added the other Alonia.

The Surgut Branch

English club in Surgut and our Russian/American tea party. Me, Aliona, Lucia, Elder S, and Aliona...leaving Surgut. I loved Surgut the short time I was able to serve there. Great People in a Great City...

Me and the two Alonia's...they came to see us off at the train station.

Leaving Surgut...I will miss it here.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Big Shout Out to the McEvoy's...

Thanks to the McEvoy's Blog we found a PICTURE of Elder Dewey! Thanks McEvoy's for the picture, you've made one missionary mom very happy...yay!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


A note from Elder Dewey's mom...

I'm not sure what it will take for Elder Dewey to send a few pictures home. My frustration increases each week as I anxiously await for at least one picture to be sent via email. I know he is adequately equipped with the proper accessories. My wait continues as his emails are sent picture-less...haha. I envy those missionary mom's that delight in the pictures they receive each week from their devoted missionary son's.

(My hope is that this small plea will guilt Elder Dewey into action. lol :))


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Great to be back in Kurgan...New Comp, Elder O...

Hello Everyone,

This week was a crazy crazy week, to say the least. Now that the visa trips are out of the way for a while we can get back on track here in Kurgan and get some good missionary work done. It will be great to get back to normal. Since we have been gone for a while we will need to pick up the speed.

I spent Monday on the train... headed back to Yekaterinburg to pick up Elder M (the elder from St. Pete's). I arrived at the Mission Office in Yekaterinburg Tuesday morning. I had a great time visiting with some of the missionaries coming in and out for transfers, it was cool to see them again and catch up. I believe we have some of the best missionaries in our mission here in Yekaterinburg Russia.

Tuesday night Elder M and I headed back for Kurgon. We had a few obstacles to overcome... - The cell phone and the keys to our apartment just happen to be in Sweden with Elder D! So, the office Elders gave us some money, smiled and said, " good luck". We arrived in Kurgan at 1am. We found a nearby hotel, which was a real ghetto, but at 1:00 in the morning one can't be too picky, you just want a place to hang your head. The next day we hired a guy to pick our lock to the door. Once we got inside the door ...guess what we found... another set of keys ! So everything was all good.

The next morning Elder M asked me, "do you run in the mornings?" and I replied, "it's pretty dang cold outside right, no". And Elder M said, "well, now you do, let's go". So we ran in the freezing cold. After our "nice, brisk, refreshing, FREEZE your BUM off run," we went contacting. Elder M didn't want to work with our current investigators because they were mostly all women. He called the Sister Missionaries to schedule meetings with them, which was a disappointment, because Elder D and I have seen some true progression. It's not easy to hand them off for someone else to teach, especially since we have established their friendship and gained their trust.

Church on Sunday was AMAZING!!! We had 30 people show up!!! Wow!!! The Last Sunday, before I left for Tyuman we only had 15, so it doubled in size! Kurgon is on FIRE! (, it wasn't because I was least I don't believe it was...haha!)It's wonderful that these great members here in Kurgan have a nice church building to meet in.

Elder O, my new companion arrived this morning around 1:00. He is way cool and we are going to be a POWER HOUSE here in Kurgon!!

Oh, Halloween came and went...Haha I forgot all about it! I was the only American in Kurgon and I didn't even remember. I was bummed, because I wanted to put on an activity for the youth here, oh well ... there is always next year.

Well, that's it for this week. I love you all! Have a good week.

Elder Dewey.

P.S. The language is coming along great. I love it!