Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Arrivals!!!

(photos from the McEvoy's blog)awesome...

[front row] Elders Gillming (Yuba City, CA), Cutler (Draper, UT), Sister Mezinets (Ukraine), Elder Steiner (Sandy); [back] Elders Stanley (N.Ogden,UT), Haag (Bountiful UT), Smith (Spokane, WA), Cooper (St. George, UT), and Heuer ( Highland, UT).


Monday, September 28, 2009

zone conference...staying in Dyoma this new greenie...

Hello everyone,, I know I need to send pictures of the baptism.  The internet here is not the greatest.  I will some how try and get a few sent sometime this week.
I am going to begin this week’s email with a thought that I’ve had stuck in my mind for a while now as I have been reading the New Testament. I came across a verse that never made much sense to me until recently, or maybe I should say I never gave it too much thought until now. It is found in Matthew 16:24-25. It talks about whoever is looking for his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for the Lord will find it. For some reason this verse has been lingering in my mind for a while until something clicked. This is the thought that followed. –

I thought about the experiences I’ve had thus far into my mission and how it is all about losing your self completely in doing the Lord’s work. While I have been out now for a year and half, I can honestly say that I am not the same person I was when I first arrived here in Russia. I feel as if most everything about me has changed. While serving a mission everything changes, we don’t do the same things we did at home, we don’t act the same way, and we don’t dress the same way, we basically give up our whole selves. I am convinced that the life I once knew back home in Mesa will be completely different to the one that I will return home to. Honestly, I am looking forward to the change. Much of the “the not so good” stuff in my life has disappeared, some of it right away, and some of it over time. I would be lying if I said it was easy letting go. I knew that many of my friends will have moved on with their lives, and the life I knew before I left will no longer exist. And, the best part is...I am okay with that.  Deep down, I was aware that these two years would bring about the changes necessary for me to progress and move forward in this life. And, I recognize the Lord's involment with the changes that have occured. I have been emotionaly and spiritualy challenged on a level I never knew before exsisted and from this I learned a lot about myself.  I have learned a great deal while serving a mission here in Russia. I believe the biggest lesson I have learned is that of  humility, which can be difficult and tricky at times. I have also learned to practice faith as I have come to rely on the Lord when faced with uncertain moments. Those lessons helped build character and strengthen my testimony! It has become much easier now that I am no longer looking back… only forward. I am excited to what is ahead. I look forward in making the last seven months of my mission count as I have done through out my mission. I look forward with excitement for the bright future that’s a head. I know for certain that I will never fall back into the same boring pattern of premission life, but will continue to serve others well, work hard to get through school, and find joy in the journey. My mission has taught me many important and valuable lessons that I will never forget. I love my mission here in Russia and the wonderful people that I have had the opportunity  to serve and get to know. I can’t imagine serving any where else. I know this is where I am suppose to be. My mission has been the best part of my life thus far and I am grateful for this experience.

Okay, on to the happenings of this past week. There was a lot that took place, but I am running short on time so I will just give a brief outline.
On Monday we went bowling for a p-day activity with a bunch of the youth, which was a great time. I didn’t do that great though. I am getting a little rusty on my bowling skills… my highest score was 150ish, I think.
Tuesday, we went to Avdon to visit our amazing member Valentine. She fed us as usual, but we did remember to bring juice, which seemed to make her happy. After our visit with Valentine, we took a bus to Ufa to meet with Tanya. The meeting with Tanya went really good, she is a really great new member. We talked about Missionary work and more about the structure of the church. It was a good lesson. Wednesday, okay now this I am sure wouldn’t seem too exciting to some of you, but the most exciting thing that happened that day was... no…we didn’t find a new investigator, but we did find the most amazing cake I have ever tasted in my life!!! It’s called Honey cake. It’s kind of a honey flavored cake with a billion really thin layers, it’s the most an amazing thing I have ever tasted in my life!! Friday, at zone conference, I found out that my greenie that I have been training will be graduating and moving on to Perm and I will be training another new elder. We will be living in a foursome with elder Shreeve and Holden. It should be a great time. We will need to stay focused on helping the branch here in Dyoma continue to grow. My new greenie was supposed to arrive today, however he is having a few visa problems. I guess he is Norwegian/American or something like that. I am really excited to train again. It’s important to get these new guys trained because  many missionaries have gone home and we are now in need of fresh blood.
Saturday, we played sport, and got news from Elder Shreeve that he wants us to find a new apartment for our foursome to live in that isn’t falling apart. haha! So, that’s my side project for today. Elder Shreeve and Holden get in this Wednesday so I don’t have a whole lot of time to find a place. My new comp hopefully will get here in the next few days and I will most likely go to Ekat to pick him up. Yeah, more travel for Elder Dewey. Haha.
Well, that’s all for now. Thanks for all the support and love.

Elder Dewey
Note from mom - I received a short email from Elder Dewey today. He mentioned that the internet wasn't working and if possible, he would try to send an update later. He also mentioned briefly that he was staying in Dyoma for this next transfer and training another greenie. He seemed excited to have the oppportunity to continue to serve in Dyoma for a while longer. Elder Matthews will be transfering to Perm as a ZL.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Meet the Gray's... click here to be linked to their family blog.

Kevin, Natasha and baby Yeva are a cute young family who live in Dyoma, the area Elder Dewey is currently serving.  They are wonderful to the missionaries, and even better to their parents...they will send you pictures like these!  Kevin will even go on early morning runs with Elder Dewey and Elder Matthews.

Thank you Natasha for the great're the BEST!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tanya's experience...

Hello Everyone,

This past week has been an interesting was a week full of hard work, and great memorable experiences, but not with out a few worries mixed in there as well. I am not exactly sure where to start, I guess I will begin with Monday...
We went bowling on Monday for pday, and we also met with Tanya to discuss her upcoming baptism. She also had her baptismal interview, awesome.
Tuesday morning we went running with Kevin and just about froze our bums off!! It's freezing in the early mornings here!! You have to be a die-hard and a dedicated runner when it is so dang cold outside…not sure if I love it that much! Ugh! However, since my companion is a cross- country buff by nature, I join along. And, it’s worth it in the end…so what can it hurt. We had a few meetings - we met with Nina, an older lady who is very nice. It was a good meeting. We also met with Fanilya, which went well. However, I feel as though she may be taking a few steps backward, which is a concern. We will continue to work with her. I hope and pray the best for her.

We had a great meeting with President Lushnikov, Tanya, Kevin, and Natasha on Wednesday. We also played Settlers…in Russian! President L won though, but of course, I wasn’t playing my besthaha. Since it was in Russian it was a bit more challenging, but a whole lot more fun! We finished the day with another meeting and contacting. The weather is chilly now, which makes it perfect for contacting, as long as you keep walking to keep the blood flowing, awesome.
We had to make a trip to the church on Thursday to get some documents sent out, which took a big chunk of our day. When we returned, we had our regular planning session. We also met with Katya. After our meeting, we helped Katya replant a tree from another neighbor’s garden to her garden. Yeah, so I am getting used to doing yard work in the good ole' missionary attire.
Friday... a few more meetings and a whole lot of contacting, awesome.

We had an interesting and fun day on Saturday, which included a sports activity and a service project at the church. It rained most of the day, which caused everything to get muddy as heck! By the time we completed the service project we were covered with mud. We of course didn’t bring a change of clothes, so we had to go home in our muddy clothes. It was pretty funny… we actually had to pay the taxi driver an additional fee because we were so dirty. Ha!
We had an amazing Sunday!!! It was the best day of this week!! Here is a little more detail-
We arrived to the church building around 10:30ish to prepare for Tanya’s baptism. While we were preparing, we realized the font was not filling up fast enough, so we were a bit nervous. We finally had them turn it up higher to fill faster.
When Tanya arrived, she looked a little nervous, so we sat her down and explained exactly what would take place and how everything was going to happen. I have to admit, I was somewhat nervous as well.
It was great to see the entire branch from Ufa and our branch from Dyoma there… It was amazing! Hands down the coolest day and experience yet!
Well, I need to run. I’m sorry for the internet problems today. I was hoping to send a few pictures from the baptism, but I will have to try for next week.
Love you all and thank you for all your love and support.
Elder Dewey

Monday, September 14, 2009

A few questions for Elder Dewey...

1. What is one of the funniest experience you've had this past week?
Hmmm, let’s see... a funny experience... The only thing that I can actually think of at the moment that was somewhat funny was when we were walking home to eat a quick lunch, we came across a gang of goats (about 10 or 12 goats) walking down the road. When the goats reached a intersection they got all confused and started fighting with each other. The people at the bus stop started freaking out and swearing at the goats was pretty funny. Yeah, I’m sure you don’t ever see goats walking the busy streets back home. Haha!

2. Can you tell us a couple of interesting facts about Dyoma..
Well, here in Dyoma there is a different language called tatarian, (a weird language many Muslims speak here in Ufa) it means thief. Also, Dyoma has a railroad stop and a huge half a mile bridge that we run over in the morning when we go running with our Americanitz (that’s what we call him) Kevin! It’s beautiful when the sun is coming up. I will have to take a picture and send to you.

3. What has the weather been like this past week?
This past week the weather has been mostly warm except today. It is now super foggy, but I kind of like this gloomy weather… haha! it just matches with Russia (the structure of the buildings and culture here.) Actually, the gloomy weather is not so gloomy to me. I guess I’ve gotten used to it.

4. Who was the most interesting person you talked with this past week?
The most interesting person in the spiritual sense I would have to say was Tanya. We have been talking to Tanya a lot about preparing for her upcoming event. Her excitement is so cool to watch. I have seen a huge change in her in such a short period. There is nothing better than to see how the gospel changes people completely. It’s been a great experience for my comp and I to have the opportunity and privilege to teach her.
Now for a funny/interesting one...While walking around Dyoma the other day, we happened to run into a guy that was quite the character. He turned out to be drunk. It was pretty humorous as we watched him try to to get this very small concoction of a motorcycle started...something you would’ve had to be there to appreciate! Haha

5. What is missionary work like in Dyoma, and is it different from in other areas you have served ?
Dyoma is very very different from every other area in the mission that I’ve served in. We have to travel about an hour to attend church, and it’s somewhat difficult for everyone to take a bus every Sunday. I also miss not having an English club. But, all in all… everything is great! When life hands you lemons make lemonade!

6. What is one thing about the Russian people and culture you hope you will never forget?
I hope I will just never forget the people and how they are real and not fake at all. They tell you exactly how it is and how things need to be. I appreciate honesty in people and in knowing where they are coming form. They are a real people, I just hope I never forget the relationships I’ve made in all my areas.

7. What has been the most satisfying experience you had this past week?
The best experience of this past week was meeting with Tanya. It was a good meeting and she is progressing a ton. It’s difficult to pinpoint just one, there is always good things happening in missionary life!

What is the one thing that you hope the people you've had the opportunity to know remember you for?
I hope they remember me as a person of trust. Someone that they could always trust and rely on. I think that’s one of the most important things for the people here, is that they trust you. I hope they remember me for just being their friend and missionary and that they could always trust me.

9. What is one thing you hope for, for the members there in Russia?
Well, if I had one wish for them...actually two, it would be that they would someday have a stake here in our mission, and one day a temple. this would really strengthen them. Sometimes I wish they didn’t have to experience as many hardships as they seem to have. However, when I think like this, I am reminded that it’s the difficult times that help us to grow and become strong.

Well, I love you all and thanks for the support. Next time I will give more details and hopefully a few pictures!

Love you all,
Elder Dewey!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Elder Dewey's stand in...

Glad to have Elder Dewey join us for the BIG 50th CELEBRATION!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Back from Finland...

At St. Petersburg
Elders Isenbarger, Campbell, Sergeeve (who just returned home to St. Peterburg a few weeks ago.)Dewey, Murphy and Dial.

(picture by the McEvoy's)
Hey Everyone,

I don't have a lot of time ...places to go and people to see... I am going to cut this one kind of short. I had an amazing trip to Finland. We first started our visa trip with a sixteen hour train ride in which we slept most of the time. Once we arrived to Ekat we had a small window of time so I wasn't able to visit with all the people I wanted, but maybe next time. Friday morning we flew out to St Petersburg which was amazing. We did a bit of sightseeing, and saw some amazing churches and other sights. I would love to take my family back there someday. After sightseeing, we stopped at Carl's Junior!!! Yes...this was a highlight for some of us and probably the best tasting food we've had since being here in Russia. Honestly!!! We finally arrived to Helsinki Finland. I spent very little time sightseeing in the city and more time at the favorite place to be!! It is a great (the best) place to mediate and receive answers to one;s questions...I'm sure you would agree. Elder Campbell and I also found Ben and Jerry's Ice cream and that was amazing as well!!! I arrived back to Dyoma this morning. After my trip, and the opportunity to attend the temple, I feel refreshed and energized and ready to get to work!!
Thanks for all the support I get from everyone! I love you all I hope you all have a really good week. Once again, thanks for the support! Next week I will try and send some additional pictures. Gotta run... running out of time!

Elder Dewey