Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
-Isaiah 12 2-3

Monday, June 4, 2012

June 4, 2012

06-04-12 Just a small town Elder Hey there! My goodness, I'm just going all over the place, aren't I! I'm in my new town, Marks (or Marx, it's named after good ol' Karl Marx) which, in all reality, is like a big country town.The town itself is probably as big as my first area in Zavodskoi and is a quaint little place, with a population of about 40,000 people. All the people here like to say that Marks is "an excellent place to rest". Good stuff! As for how I got here; we have a driver in the mission who picked us up from Ulianovsk on Monday and dropped us off in Samara a few hours later. I worked there for two days while Elder Stoddard and and his companion came by train to Samara from Saratov. Wednesday night we boarded a train back to Saratov and that morning we hopped on a 2 hour long bus from the trainstation down to Marks. And now.. I'm here! Like I said, my companion is Elder Stoddard, who is the same cycle as me, and we already knew each other pretty well before I came here to Marks. He's been here for nearly 5 months now and loves it a lot, as do I! All the youth here in Marks know Elder Stoddard and we're all buddies, which is good! The branch is pretty awesome; number wise about the same as Ulianovsk (15 people came this past week, woo!) and the members are teriffic! The Branch President here is incredible and knows the Gospel well and has already been really dang helpful on the couple of lessons we've had in the past few days. It's gonna be great getting to know these members over the next few weeks! One of them stuffed me full of plov and bline the other day with delicious fruit tea, so needless to say, I've had a warm welcome here in Marks. Kind of a random comment, but I started keeping a study journal these past few days, and it's made me study a ton better. Reading scripture is way good, but writing down your thoughts and questions and so forth makes it just that much better. One of the coolest things I read this week was from John 16 when Christ is washing the feet of his apostles. Christ always is such an example of humility and love, and He showed by service just how much his disciples meant to Him. Makes me want to focus on how I can serve others here and help them feel God's love more. May sound cheesy, but it was a nice feeling I had when reading and thinking about that this week. There's really not too much to mention about this week since I was in transit between Ulianovsk and here what with trains and buses and whatnot. We've got Zone conference coming up this next week, so that'll be good and fun! I'm glad to hear that Mom had a good birthday! And it sounds like Dsineyland was a blast, as usual! :) There are some sweet cherry trees that apparently grow here in Marks (we saw some kids holding a big old branch and eating cherries off of it while walking down the street the other day) so I'll be on the hunt for those! Lots of people have their own little gardens here, so it'll be exciting to taste even fresher fruits and veggies while I'm here. I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this, but Russia has so much better fruits, veggies and breads than in America. I'm most definitely going to have to nab at least a bread recipe before I head on back to the states :) Thank you, by the way, for getting the message delivered to my friend :) Well, that'll wrap it up for now. Ya'll have a good one now, ya hear? And Mom, happy belated birthday :) Eat some cake now! With love -- Elder Peterson

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