December 4, 2016




Elder Wilding

Transfers: Headed to Sakhalin!

On Sun, Dec 4, 2016 at 6:02 PM, Gavin Lawrence wrote: ​​​​Hey everyone!
We've got a flight to catch today, so our P-Day's cut a little short! I don't have a ton of time, but just a quick update; we learned about transfers on Tuesday! I was 100% expecting to stay in Khabarovsk with Elder Gee, (President hinted at that when he was here) but nope! I'll be heading out to Sakhalin this transfer, with Elder Wilding as my companion. I'm super excited!!
Elder Taylor, the other Elder here from Saint George, spent the coldest part of his first winter in Sakhalin, too. I think President Perkinson (who's from Arizona) feels some pity for St. Georgians and our complete unpreparedness for cold. Sakhalin is by far the warmest area of the mission! It's at around 35F right now during the day (compared to Khabarovsk, which is like a solid 0F). Also there is (are? I'm losing English.) 12 feet of snow (12 FEET) in the city right now! Pretty crazy.
Elder Wilding is awesome! I got to meet him briefly when I first came into country, he's super funny and the Elders who know him have only good things to say about him. I read his blog (Many are Called but Few are Frozen) before leaving on my mission, which is a little crazy! I never even thought about the fact that we could be companions.

Sakhalin is one of the strongest branches in the mission, which I'm excited to experience! There are also 3 American member families there!!! Shell, the gas company, has an outpost on the island, so a lot of Americans live out there. Apparently a bunch of American food gets shipped in, too, which is exciting. Elder Wilding's blog says that he speaks so much English that he's worried he's going to lose Russian, so we'll have to make an effort to be speaking Russian as much as we can.
We're flying out to Vlad tonight, and tomorrow we have a zone conference (The whole mission is coming because of some complications with the West zone's visa trips) which I'm super excited for! I get to meet everyone in the mission, which is a huge blessing. After that I fly down to Korea to do my first visa trip, which is going to be a ton of fun. I get to go to the temple!!! I'm SO EXCITED TO GO TO THE TEMPLE!!!! I just miss it a lot, after living so close to one in Saint George and then being able to go once a week in the MTC. After that, we fly back to Vladivostok and then straight to Sakhalin! Lots of flying, but that's par for the course in the world's biggest mission.
Update on Denis and Eugene:
We've been having a bit of a strange week with Denis. He texted Elder Gee last Sunday, and told him he wouldn't be able to make it to church that day. We tried to get in touch with him every day after that to make sure we were still going to meet on Thursday (which is when we normally meet every week) and we got no answer. Thursday came and went with no sign of him. We still haven't heard from him as of today, but we're praying and keeping our hopes up! His phone goes straight to an English (not Russian) answering machine whenever we call it, so we're hoping he's just having some phone problems or something of the like. It's a little discouraging right now, but we're doing everything we can and praying and hopefully everything turns out ok. I'll keep getting updates from Elder Gee while I'm in Sakhalin and I'll let you all know how everything goes!
On the bright side, Eugene is doing incredible! He comes to as many church activities as he can (which is basically all of them), and even shows up early just to talk with everyone beforehand! When Elder Perry asked him about it, he said "I come to everything because I love it here, and I want to learn as much as I possibly can as fast as I can. I just want to make sure I'm doing everything right." He is just a miracle.
Thanks for all the support from everyone! I love you all!
Elder Lawrence
(Time-lapse we took of the street outside our apartment; I just learned my camera can do this. They're very fun, so expect a lot more)​" style="display:inline-block;overflow:hidden;white-space:nowrap;text-decoration:none;padding:1px 0px;border:none;width:100%;"> DSCN0623.MOV​


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