Thursday, December 29, 2016

Merry Christmas

December 26, 2016


Привет всем!

Hey everyone, this week has been pretty great! We had an incredible Christmas activity this Saturday, and were able to see a tooon of less-actives show up that members here have been working with to bring back! The primary kids acted out the nativity, and then we ate a bunch of food, and it all worked out so much better than we expected it to! 

We were also able to make it out to the mission home this Friday with all of the other volunteers in the Rostov zone for a Christmas devotional with our mission president. We were able to sing pretty much every Christmas hymn we have in the hymn book (in English, which was a bit of a change for us) and talk about the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I just want to testify, as I always do, of the reality and truthfulness of that story. Christ was born, He lived for us, and He died for us. He lives today, and thanks to Him, we may all become clean again. We need not worry about who we were in the past, what me may have done wrong, or any of the other imperfections or shortcomings we may have, because Christ, our brother, overcame them all. The only thing He asks of us, the only thing, is to take advantage of it! Use it! He's given you the opportunity to live with Him and your Father, and your family for eternity. All He asks is that you come unto Him, and bring unto Him the sacrifice of your broken heart, and your contrite spirit. He loves each and every one of you more than you can possibly imagine, and He is ready to do whatever it takes to lift you up from wherever it is that you have fallen. 

I love you all, and hope that all is well with you! I hope you all were able to feel the Savior's love for you this Christmas season, and hope that you carry that love with you into the new year, and throughout the rest of your lives!

Love,

Старейшина Кемптон

P.S. Shout out to my new nephew Logan that came into this world last Monday the 19th. I'm grateful that I was able to say hello to him over skype this last Sunday! Here's a picture of him, he's super cute and has tons of hair! Congrats again to Wyatt and Brooke! Love you!




Preparing for Rostov Branch Christmas Program 


Освети этот мир!

December 19, 2016,

Привет всем!

This week has been pretty good! We were able to take the sacrament over to Sister Toma this Sunday for the first time in a few weeks, and it was a really spiritual experience! We had to run from the center branch all the way back over to our apartment in Selmash to get a jug of water for her. She has one small faucet in her house and water had frozen at the very bottom of it, and the handle to open and close it was frozen in place as well. I grabbed a knife and broke the ice apart in the faucet and then gave the handle a couple of good pulls and it broke free as well, so now she has water again! She was super grateful, as she always is, and showered both of us in complements. I was able to get her TV working for her again as well, and she showered some more compliments on me. 
The greatest part though was the actual ordinance of the sacrament, and the spirit that we always feel there when we're with her. She just emanates the light of Christ at all times, and you can just feel the strength and conviction behind her testimony even though she is slightly insane! We're still meeting with Alexander, and he still hasn't committed to a concrete date to be baptized, but he's still studying and sharing the gospel with his friends.
 We're still working with the Kirakosyan family, and they're all doing really well. Lina, their oldest daughter, said that she wants to invite one of her friends from school to church, so we're helping her with that! Marina, their mom, just received a new calling as Sunday School teacher for the Doctrine Principles class, and she's really embraced it! She was telling me that she needs the phone numbers of all of the recent converts and other attendees of the class so that she can get them all coming on a regular basis. I think it'll be a really great blessing for the branch to have her leading those classes every Sunday! That's pretty much all that happened this week though, things have been pretty slow here lately, but they'll pick up! 
Love you all, hope all is well!
До следующего раза,
Старейшина Кемптон



Monday, December 12, 2016

Оттепель

December 12, 2016

Привет всем!

This week has been full of really cool experiences, especially our trip to Stavropol this Sunday! We got there and it turns out that pretty much all of their snow has turned to something in between ice and water, and it goes without saying that I chose the wrong pair of shoes for that kind of terrain(I'm going to buy some boots today that will hold up a little better). We had a really spiritual testimony meeting sitting around a small conference table at a different hotel than our usual. The saints down there are really so incredible, and I just hope that they'll some day be able to enjoy the blessings of weekly partaking of the sacrament, even if it means that they need to move away. There still seems to be a lot of potential there. 
We found an entirely inactive lady that has received her endowment and has been a member of the church for over 15 years now. She has some sort of illness, and rarely leaves her home, and even though her daughter lives in the same apartment building, she rarely receives visits from her. When she saw us there she burst into tears, and told us how happy she was that we had come. As we blessed the sacrament for her and as she renewed that covenant with her Father in heaven for the first time in what was most likely a decade, the spirit was so powerful. We were then able to lay our hands on her head and give her a blessing. We called a couple of other less-active members that knew her when she was active, and when they heard that she was still living in Stavropol, they got really excited and said they would come make visits to her. Hopefully we'll see them next month at our little sacrament meeting! 
We were able to meet with a member that we've noticed has slowly been becoming less-active, and I think she really appreciated that we came and reached out. We all talked about our favorite verses in the Book of Mormon, and how the scriptures have helped us in our lives. It was a really great opportunity for me to reflect on how much of an impact they really do have on me every single day. Overall I'm really grateful for this gospel, I honestly don't know what I would do without it! I know that Christ lives, and that He loves each and every single one of you more than you can possibly imagine. I love you all, and hope that everything is going well for everyone!
Until next time,

Старейшина Кемптон

Зима пришла!

December 5, 2016


Привет всем!

This week has been pretty good! We've had a few meetings with our investigator Alexander, and he's doing really well! He doesn't feel like the 10th is the right date, but he still really wants to be baptized! He thanks us every meeting for taking the time to talk with him, and is continuing to grow and learn! It's really incredible to be able to see that in him, and I'm so excited for the day when he feels it's right to make that step and be baptized! He told us that he doesn't want to make the trip alone though, so this week we sent 3 copies of the book of mormon down to him so he could share them with his friends! He's going to give all of them our phone number so they can contact us when they're interested! We're excited for all of them down there, and are praying that everything will work out! 
We were able to make contact with a less-active named Nadia this week! I called her and just got to know her, and then out of nowhere she just started speaking literally perfect english, and it took me by surprise a little bit! By the end of the conversation she told me that she really wanted to serve a mission when she was younger, but for some reason decided not to. She told me about all of the consequences of that decision, and how she felt that she just wasn't happy anymore. I was able to testify to her that she could be happy again, and all it required was for her to reach out to Christ, and ask for his help. I gave her a chapter to read in the book of mormon that I felt would help her, and committed her to read it, and share what she learned with me the next time we talk! She was really grateful, and seemed like she was pretty set on reading the chapter. She works pretty much 24/7 though, so it's been hard to get back in touch with her, but we'll keep trying! 
That's all I can think of that really happened this week! It's been a bit slow, but I'm sure it'll pick up next week! I love you all, and hope you're all doing well!
До следующего раза,

Старейшина Кэмптон

I'm out of Ideas again for a subject line!

November 28, 2016


Привет Всем!

This week we had a lot of cancelled appointments, but where still able to stay busy, which is really great! We had a couple of really awesome spiritual meetings this week though! On Thursday we were able to go over to the Kirakosyani household and help the kids with English! Afterwards we got the whole family together and had a spiritual thought. All of the kids were able to somehow calm down and listen for a little while as we shared a few verses with them and discussed how they could apply it in their lives. Their mom, Marina, bore the sweetest testimony about her family, and decided that she wanted to commit herself more fully to her family. The spirit was tangible as she spoke, and we all felt the spirit. Their son, Simon, raised his hand in the middle of the lesson, and asked how he could feel the Holy Ghost. We were able to help him find that answer for himself, and towards the end he recognized a time when he had felt the Spirit strongly, and told us that he was now 100 percent that it was the Holy Ghost. All around it was just a cool experience to see him coming to those realizations. 
Other than that, we were able to make it out to sister Mikhailuts again this Saturday, and had another powerful lesson with her. We decided to talk about the atonement and the plan of Salvation with her because we just felt that was what she needed. Her mother, who was living in Italy, recently passed away and it's been a really hard time for her these past couple of weeks. She shared some really incredible stories from her youth, and some powerful spiritual experiences she had that brought her to the knowledge that God exists. Elder Burwell did a great job of asking inspired questions, and we were able to help her understand a few principles a little better. Most importantly though, she felt the spirit, and is finally starting to make small steps back to activity. Although she still hasn't made it back to church, I'm confident that she'll return if we continue to meet with her and help her on that path! 
This Sunday we made another less-active run out in Aksai, but this time we brought a member with us! Sister Basileva knows pretty much everyone out there, and had a list of people she wanted to visit. None of them were home, but when we called the domaphone(I honestly have no idea what these things are called in English, but you dial an apartment number and it calls a small phone inside of the apartment so they can open the door for you to let you in) of the last member we wanted to visit, her father answered and told us she was at work. Sister Basileva wasn't ready to go home with out talking to at least one person, so we hopped on another bus and stopped by her work! We ended up finding her, and had a good conversation with her, and invited her to our Christmas activity! We'll stop by again this week if she's got time, and we'll hopefully see some progress with her as well! 
That's about it for this week though! Love you! Hope all is well!
До следующего раза,

Старейшина Кэмптон

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Зима Пришла

November 21, 2016


Привет всем!

This week has been nothing short of incredible! This week we have been blessed with a lot of tender mercies from the Lord. To start with, we were finally able to meet with Alexander, our old investigator from Stavropol. We asked him if he had been able to continue studying the gospel in the time that he had lost contact with the missionaries, and he told us "Of course!". He's read the book of Mormon in it's entirety, and began again. Right now he's in Alma 42, and shared a few of his insights from reading there this past week. We talked with him about baptism and asked him when he would be able to enter into that covenant with the Lord. Without hesitation he said "Right now. Let's do it tomorrow!" We told him we would be in Stavropol this weekend to bless the sacrament, and that we could organize a baptismal service then if everything works out, but he couldn't make the trip up on such a short notice. He committed to the 10th of December, and we're working with the members down there to get everything organized. We're really excited for him and the progress that he's making! 

This Saturday before we left for Stavropol we were able to make it out to Tolik, who lives over in Bolshoi Log(just outside of Aksai) and meet with him and his sister Olga. We shared a few verses with them from Romans chapter 8, and focused on the phrase "suffer with Him". In the course of discussion, and after asking a few questions that clearly must have been from God, Olga broke down and told us that she feels she doesn't have a testimony of this church. We then asked her if she wanted a testimony, she paused and thought for a moment, and said she doesn't know if she does. I asked her then, what it would mean for her personally, if this church was true, what would come as a result of that. She thought for a moment and then listed a few of the blessings that would come as a direct result of this church being true, and that she does want to know. We committed her to kneel in prayer that night and ask for that knowledge. We'll stop by as soon as their work schedule permits to see how it went and continue working with her. If she returns to activity, it very well could mean the return of her entire family to activity, and we're both really excited to see the blessings they're going to see as they make their way back. 

I'd just like to testify again that the Lord knows us, and He loves us. He is there for us no matter how far off we may have drifted, or how many mistakes we may have made. All that He asks of us is to walk with Him, to take up our cross and follow Him. It may be a difficult task in the beginning, but the beauty of it is that He will be with us every step of our journey, and that alone is enough for me. Overall I'm just glad to be here. I'm grateful for the fact that the Lord sent me to this particular part of Russia to work with these people. I feel such a strong love for every single one of them, and hope that I can play even a small role in their personal progression back to our Father in Heaven. I love you all! Hope all is well!

Until next time,

Старейшина Кэмптон


Transfer week!

November 14, 2016

Привет всем!
This week has been pretty great! We've had all kinds of fun experiences, but I'll start off with transfer news! Unfortunately Elder Boyer is heading out to a town called Novorossiysk, and I'll be getting a new companion, Elder Burwell! I'm honestly pretty bummed that we got split up so fast, but I'm excited to get with Elder Burwell and keep the work going as well as it is right now! 
We had our visa trip this weekend to Armenia, and that was a bit of an experience! For some reason all of our flights were booked pretty closely together, so we had just a little over an hour in Moscow and a little under two hours in Armenia. Due to poor weather conditions in Moscow our plane got delayed significantly, and by the time we hit Armenia, we had missed our flight by 10 minutes or so. 
We scrambled, made some calls, and got some tickets for a flight to Moscow for a few hours later, waited another few hours in the airport for our connecting flight back to Rostov and got home at around 3 in the morning! Almost 24 hours of traveling, but we've got our visas so it was all worth it! Other than that, this week has been filled with a lot of cancelled appointments from non-members, and a good amount of meetings with active members! 
That's pretty much all I can think of for this week, sorry it's so short! Hopefully I'll have more to talk about next week though! Love you all! Hope all is well!
Until next time,


Старейшина Кэмптон


Thursday, November 10, 2016

It Snowed!

November 7, 2016


Привет всем!!!

This week, like all weeks, has been incredible! I'll just start off with a couple of really awesome meetings we had! 
Earlier in the week we went over to a less-active member that recently was really offended by another church member, and she decided that she wouldn't go to church anymore because of it, but wasn't against meeting with us. We've just been coming over and talking with her for a bit and letting her vent, and then sharing some points from Come Follow Me, or just a spiritual thought that would help her recognize that the church is true regardless of the imperfect people that it consists of. The first couple of times we met with her, she talked a LOT about how she was offended, and really just complained, but by the time we met with her this week, she made one brief mention of the other member in passing, and seems to have just gotten over it! We'll hopefully be able to get her to church this Sunday! 
We were also able to go over to the Kirokosyani's home this week to follow up on some referrals they had mentioned. When we showed up, a bunch of their extended family was there, and they invited us to stay for dinner. While they prepared a few things, we helped the kids with an assignment for Sunday School, and shared a spiritual thought with them, and then ate dinner. We were able to answer a few basic questions for those that weren't members(it was all according to the law, don't worry, haha!), and then Pavel and Marina(the two members) started answering as well, and testifying of the truthfulness of the church. It was a really cool experience, and everyone there said they would come to church the next day to see what it was all about. Only a mother and her daughter showed up, but she seemed to really enjoy it, even though she slipped out before we were able to catch her and teach her a lesson. 
Some more really exciting news this week! An old investigator of ours, Aleksander, from my time in Stavropol fell off the face of the earth when we left. He lives out way south east of here, and we met with him over skype, and when the area got whitewashed they just lost contact with him somehow. I'm not really sure how, but earlier this week he managed to get a hold of the elders serving in north Rostov and tell them that he wanted to meet with us and get baptized. They passed his information over to us today, and we'll be meeting with him throughout this week! 
The Lord really is preparing people for us, just as He has in the past. I'm so humbled to play even a small role in this work, and rejoice in the fact that there are so many people here ready and willing to partake of our Savior's atoning sacrifice. I love you all, and hope you're all doing well!
Until next time,

Старейшина Кемптон 

Hey Everyone!

October 31, 2016

Привет!

Hey everyone! This week has been super awesome! We've seen some amazing miracles over here in Selmash! A recent convert family we work with over here has been reaching out to some of their friends and said that they have 2 people that are interested in learning more about the church, so we'll hopefully be meeting with them this week, which is incredibly exciting! 

We were out in an outlying city called Aksai again and were able to get a meeting with a less-active over there who is probably one of the coolest people I've ever met! We're looking forward to continuing to work with her and help her come back! We had a big cook-off this week as well, and the turn out was pretty great! It was just a great opportunity to get people together and bond over soups and desserts! 

That's pretty much all that I've got time for this week, but just know that everything's great over here! Love you all, hope all is well!

Until next time,


Старейшина Кемптон




I'm out of ideas for Subject Lines!

October 24, 2016


Привет всем!

This week has been so awesome! I really have no time at all today so I'll try and fit in as much as possible as quickly as I can! 

To start with, we were blessed with the opportunity to meet with a general authority this week at our zone conference! Elder James B. Martino from the area presidency came and did a mission tour! It was a really incredible experience to have time to be taught by a general authority in such a small setting, with only a handful of other people there among us. We talked a lot about the work we're doing out here, and set some new goals for exactly how and what we will be doing in the future. We're all really excited for the goals we've set, and I am confident that we'll be seeing miracles and incredible growth in the following weeks! 

This week me and my companion have seen a lot of miracles! This saturday we made a trip out to a city called Aksai and visit as many less actives as we could. We made just about a hundred cookies, grabbed as many liahonas as we could, and hopped on a bus for about an hour or so and started knocking! Most of the people didn't answer, and a couple of them accepted the cookies but didn't let us in, but after a few hours of running around, a member finally let us in! She fed us dinner and we were able to share a thought from the most recent Liahona with her! She was so grateful for us being there and has so much to potential to return to activity! We'll hopefully be able to work with her a lot more often in the future, so I'll keep you all updated! 

Another small miracle was last night at a recent converts house. We had finished teaching a lesson to him, and as we were leaving he told us we should drop in and say hello to his sister, whose husband isn't currently a member. She was super grateful to see us and told us about how much she wanted to help her husband. We're fasting with her and her family this week that God will help us find a way to reach out to him, and we're all really excited! 

That's really all I have time for, but I love you all! Hope all's well!

до следующего раза,


-Старейшина Кэмптон



Back to Stavropol

October 17, 2016

Привет всем!

This week has been all kinds of fun, even though pretty much all of our appointments ended up cancelling on us last minute! It's all good though, we were able to keep ourselves pretty busy with whatever free time we had! We went and dropped off some flowers to a recent convert that's been struggling with some things recently, baked cookies and dropped them off to some less-actives and active members, and started sifting through all of our records to get to know some of the inactive members a little better! 

I've sort of been putting off writing this in my weekly e-mail home for a while now, but last transfer the branch in Stavropol got shut down due to our only priesthood leader moving to Moscow. It was really sad to see those saints have the privilege of weekly partaking of the sacrament taken from them, but the Lord knows what he's doing. This Saturday me and my companion were able to take an 8 hour night train down to Stavropol, rent out a small hotel room and hold a sacrament meeting for them there! While only 4 saints were able to be in attendance, the spirit was tangible as we sang a few hymns and bore our testimonies. I really am so grateful to have been born in a place where the church was already established, and to have enjoyed all the blessings that come as a result of that. I just realized that I'm running a little low on time, so I'm probably going to cut it off right here, but just know that I love you all, and hope you're all doing well! 

Here's a few pictures as well, because I don't really send pictures out in these mass emails very often! 



Until next time,

Старейшина Кэмптон

Pictures:


 We made Borscht this week
 In Stavropol
Getting ready for winter - my new coat!



Another Great Week

October 10, 2016


Привет всем,

This week's been super great! We were able to head out to this small town way outside of Rostov to go meet with a less active young man named Толик(Tolik). His older sister ended up being there because "she didn't know we were coming over until 2 minutes before we showed up", and she didn't seem too excited to see the missionaries. We were able to have a really awesome meeting with them, and answer a bunch of questions that she had for us! 

When we got home we realized that we still didn't know a whole lot about who they actually were and where they stood as far as ordinances go. It turns out that Tolik is actually a melchezidek priesthood holder, and that both of his parents have been endowed, and are sealed together. It's so crazy to me that this family has sort of just fallen off of the map and been forgotten about, and that they're all so close to returning to activity! It's so cool to see that there are still people here for us to help every single day, and that the Lord is just continuing to send them to us! This is probably all the time I've got for today, but I love you all! Hope you're all doing well!

до следующего раза,


Старейшина Кемптон



Watching Conference with his District 

Selmash Week 2

October 3, 2016


Приветик!

Hey there everyone! This week has seriously been so incredible! We've got so many people to work with over here in Selmash, and it's a bit overwhelming when we see how much needs to get done, but it's just super awesome that we have so many lives to bless and people to help! 
We stopped by a family earlier this week to help their daughters with English, and had a really awesome meeting with her! She shared her testimony with us about how much she appreciated the church, and everything that it does for her! It always gives me so much hope seeing the rising generation being raised by faithful parents. While the church may not be the largest over here, the saints are some of the strongest, and I am amazed almost every day by how incredible everyone is! We've also been working with an 11 year old preparing to get the priesthood, and he's way awesome as well. His mom isn't a member, but he still comes to church every week, and is always ready to help us however he can! 
There's just a really strong sense of unity between all of the members here, and we're hoping to bring a lot of them back! This week has really just been so awesome for me, and I'm not 100 percent sure why, but everything just seems to make sense right now. We've got a bunch of lessons planned for this week, and hopefully I'll have some more awesome stories to tell you all when I get on next week! 
That's pretty much it for this week though! I hope you're all doing well! I love you all!
Until next time,

Старейшина Кэмптон


Reunited

September 26, 2016

Привет всем, 

This week has been way awesome! We got transfer calls a week early, because it was just easier logistically with missionaries that are leaving. 

I got reunited with my companion from last transfer, Elder Boyer, and we'll be serving together in a small district of Rostov called Selmash, working with some less-actives there. I'm also going to be the district leader here in center, which should be fun! Unfortunately, due to all kinds of running around today, I seriously have just about enough time to say hello and let you all know that I'm doing fine! Hopefully I'll have more time next week! Love you all!

С уважением,


Старейшина Кемптон

Another Week Down!

September 19, 2016


Привет всем!

 This week has been pretty uneventful, but also way fun! We were able to stop by a less-active member named Toma this week! She's paralyzed on the left side, so we help her pretty frequently, but this week we went by and had the Sisters cut her hair, while we cleaned up some stuff around her house for her! She was super grateful, like always, and it was just a good morale boost for the week! She was so happy with her new haircut that she wanted to take a picture with me so that she could remember how great she looked, and so that she wouldn't forget us volunteers!

Last night we went and visited an active member named Kostya. He's pretty much one of the coolest Russians I've ever met! He served a mission in Ukraine, and speaks pretty much flawless English. He pulled out his guitar while we were over there and started playing some songs by Depeche Mode and Erasure, and it was seriously one of the strangest things ever. Those were pretty much the last two groups I would expect somebody to know over here, haha! 

Other than that, not a whole lot has happened! The work we're doing here really does have a huge impact on the lives of those that we're serving! It really is a blessing to be given the opportunity to play such a big role in the lives of these Saints over here! I love you all, and hope you're doing well!

Until next time,


Старейшина Кемптон

Another great Week in Rostov

September 12, 2016


Здравствуйте!

Hey there everybody! It's been an absolutely fantastic week here in Center Rostov! We've had a whole lot of way awesome experiences with some less actives, and our investigator Sasha, but I don't really have time to tell you all about it! Rest assured that it's been fun though, and filled with all kinds of way awesome spiritual experiences! Hopefully I'll have a little more time to tell you all about it next week! Know that I love you all, and pray for you often! Hope that all is well!

Until next time,
-Старейшина кэмптон

(Staryeshina Kempton)

Rostov Center Week 8

September 5, 2016


Здравствуйте

This week has been awesome(like every week)! We've had a bunch of different service opportunities and activities this week, and it's been super fun! We went and helped out at a local orphanage, and moved a ton of furniture up and down stairs, which was way fun! The people there were all super nice, and seemed pretty appreciative of all of the help that we gave. There were probably around 20 people there, including all of us volunteers and the elders quorum in the Severny Rostov branch! 

We've also been stopping by a member in the branch that's paralyzed on the left side, and has a hard time doing a lot of things. Her daughter usually helps out most of the time, but she's on vacation this week, so we've just sort of taken her place. We've picked up groceries for her, helped her prepare some food, clipped her fingernails, and all kinds of other small things. Every time we would come over, she just got the biggest grin on her face, and just showers us in compliments telling us how great we were, and how much she appreciated us for doing all these small things! 

We also had a way fun game night with some members and some non-members. We played the game "mafia", which was ridiculously confusing for pretty much everyone involved. There were a few students from Africa there that didn't speak the best Russian, so we had a few translators at different places to help them along, but even then it was still pretty rough. It was way fun though, everyone seemed to enjoy it! Then later in the week we had an institute kick off for the new semester, and most of the youth from the Rostov district were there. They served this drink(I can't remember what it's called) but it was basically just hot, melted jello, it was super tasty, but super weird at the same time. Other than that, not a whole lot has happened this week! Hope all is well with everyone! Love ya!

Until next time,
-Старейшина кэмптон

(Staryeshina Kempton)

Talent Show

August 29, 2016


Здравствуйте

Hey everyone! This week's been way awesome! I'm just having a great time serving people, and helping out the members here! This week we had a branch talent show, and it was seriously one of the greatest activities I've been to so far on my mission! There were almost 50 people there (which is a LOT of people compared to regular activities), and a good amount of them participated in the talent show! I got to play the guitar with the senior couple and another volunteer, which was super fun! It was just really cool to see everyone come together and have a good time with each other! We're hoping to have activities like this more often, just to help everyone become a little closer as a branch! 

We also were able to go down to that animal shelter again, and help rebuild some dog houses! When we showed up there was another 20 year old guy there that we hadn't met before, so we started talking to him. It turns out that he just showed up to help out. He said that he usually volunteers at different places that seem like they could use some help in his free time. He was honestly one of the coolest people I've ever met, so we all decided to take our dinner block at the top of this hill with a giant statue on top and eat some ice cream with him! He showed up to the activity and had a way good time! It was just really awesome to meet someone that cared about others and was so willing to give up his free time to help them! 

Other than that, not a whole lot has happened this week! We're still looking around for places we can help out on a more regular basis, but we haven't had a whole lot of luck as of yet! We're still hoping and praying that we'll find something though! I love you all, and hope everything is going great for ya! 

Until next time,

-Старейшина кэмптон
(Staryeshina Kempton)

Talent Show!





Transfers!


August 22, 2016


Здравствуйте

Hey everyone! It's been a way exciting week over here in Rostov Center! We got transfers this week, and I'll be staying here, but my companion and I are getting split up. He's headed over to another section of Rostov called Сельмаш (Selmash). There are a lot of less-active members over there that just need a little more attention so President decided to send an additional pair of missionaries there to work specifically with those members. There used to be an entire branch for that area, but it closed down awhile back. The church still owns the building though, so they'll be using it to hold branch activities for the members there! It should be way exciting! I'll continue to serve here in Center with my new companion Elder Macabee, who will be our new district leader! It should be a fun next transfer, and I'm looking forward to all kinds of fun stories!

This past week has been way awesome as well. This Thursday we flew out to Armenia to renew our visas, and it was awesome as always. I can't remember if I mentioned it last week or not, but we've been volunteering at a local animal shelter here and it's been a great experience to help these people! We made a ton of progress last time we went, and it was all worth it to see how grateful everyone there was for everything we'd done for them, even though it really didn't seem like much. 

We were also able to help out at a branch activity here this Saturday. We organized a Luau for the youth in our district, and held it out in a forest in the middle of the city! It was so fun, and everyone seemed to have a great time. That's pretty much all that happened this week though, hopefully I'll have more to send next week! Love you all, and hope you're doing well!

Until next time,
-Старейшина кэмптон

(Staryeshina Kempton)


 Boat Ride on the Don River with Elder Kempton's District.


Hi Everyone

August 15, 2016

Здравствуйте!

Hey everyone! Sorry this email is coming so late(actually, it's probably at a reasonable time in the morning over there, but it's like 7p.m here). I don't have a whole lot of time to email today, so I'll keep this email pretty short! This week has been way awesome! We've been having all kinds of way fun service activities! 

One of the members here, Kostya, called us and asked if we could help him tear up some concrete for him, so of course we said yes! We showed up expecting some sort of power tool or something like that to do it, but when we got there he literally handed us a giant metal pole that was somewhat pointed on end and flattened on the other and told us to go to work. I don't know what it's called in English, but in Russian it's called a лом. It took way long, and by the end we had some pretty sweet blisters on our hands, but we got the job done! The guy we did it for is actually a teacher at an English school here, so we were able to meet with him and he helped us a lot with our Russian, and gave us help with our accents! 

We also went down to an animal shelter and helped some people out there unload a big truck full of wooden planks, and hopefully next week we'll be coming back to build some dog houses! Other than that, not a whole lot has happened this week, and I don't really have a whole lot of time left to write, so I'll just call it good right there! I love you all, and hope everything is going great with you back there in the States or wherever you may be!

Until next time,
-Старейшина кэмптон

(Staryeshina Kempton)


Dustin's hands after doing concrete work!

Dustin has been enjoying cooking.  He is really enjoying it and is trying all sorts of new things!

Service

August 8, 2016


Здравствуйте!

Hey there everyone! Another super great week here in Russia! We're still looking all over the place for service opportunities, and trying to figure out how to adapt to all these changes that are taking place here, but we're having a great time doing it! We were able to head back to that same house where we got to use the scythe, and continue working on her yard! Her yard looks about 100 times better now that we're done with everything over there, and she's super appreciative of it. 

We also went over to a less active named Toma this week. She's super awesome, and has a firm testimony of the gospel, but she's paralyzed on her left side, so she can't really walk anywhere. We cleaned out a bunch of stuff in an old house on her property that's pretty much only held up by a stick and a couple of poles. 

We've been doing a lot of indexing here lately when we have absolutely nothing else to do, and I've been doing it in Russian, which has been pretty interesting. I've learned the older Russian alphabet used before the most recent language reform, and have pretty much gotten used to reading the cursive, which has been pretty fun! On the tops of all of the baptism, birth, and death records in Russia they used the really old alphabet, which looks pretty unrecognizable at first, but I've pretty much figured out all of the letters! That was pretty much our week though! Love you all, and hope all is well!

Until next time,
-Старейшина кэмптон

(Staryeshina Kempton)


The Moratorium is Almost Over

August 1, 2016


Привет!

Hey there everyone! This week's email is going to be pretty short as well, as we've pretty much been inside all week minus a few experiences that I'll explain later! But today is the last day of this little "freeze" so I'll hopefully have all kinds of way awesome stories to tell you all come next Monday! 

We've still been able to do some service though, which has been way fun! We went back to that house we were at last week where I learned how to use a scythe and finished everything up there, and it looks way awesome! We're hopefully going to plant a garden or do something there to make it look even better, because we have all kinds of time to do that now! 

This week we're also going over to a member named Toma, who's pretty much the coolest person ever! Every time we talk to her she tells us how smart we are, and that we're the best missionaries ever(which is what she says to everyone) but you always feel great after visiting her! Her house needs some major cleaning up, so we're pretty pumped to help her out! That's pretty much what's going on over here though! The work is still moving forward! We've got tons of baptisms lined up mission wide, and we'll only continue to have more! I love you all, and hope everything is going great with all of you!

Until next time,
-Старейшина кэмптон

(Staryeshina Kempton)

Volunteer Work

July 25, 2016


Здравствуйте!

Hey everyone! This week has been pretty uneventful, as may have been expected seeing as we're basically on holiday lockdown over here until next week! It's been a really awesome time to get a lot of things done that I usually don't have time for though! Our phone and area book are super organized, and we did a deep clean of our apartment, so everything is just awesome! 

I've had a lot of time to do some extra language study though, so that's been pretty awesome! I've got a stack of 125 new words that I wrote down this morning that I'm gonna try and learn today just to see if I can do it! Haha, other than that, not much has happened! 

We've had a couple of service opportunities this week that have been pretty entertaining! We went to do some yard work for a lady, and we she handed me a scythe and told me to go to work cutting down a huge field of weeds in her yard! It was pretty entertaining, and actually went pretty quick! Also, this week our zone leaders had me prepare a lesson on the history of Russia, and gave me a whole bunch of stuff to read and study, so I was able to learn a lot of really cool stuff about the culture here, and then share it with everyone else! To make it better. I showed up to teach it, and they had a Dr. Pepper with them! For those of you that don't know, Dr. Pepper is pretty much impossible to find over here, but apparently they know a place where you can buy some, and had heard that I really enjoy Dr. Pepper, so they bought me one! That's pretty much been this week though! I love you all, and hope everyone is doing well!

Until next time,
-Старейшина кэмптон

(Staryeshina Kempton)




Sunday, July 24, 2016

Все мы доброволцы (We Are All Volunteers!)

July 18, 2016



Здравствуйте!

Привет всем! This week has been all kinds of exciting, with all kinds of changes! I'm now here in Center Rostov with Elder Boyer, and we're just having all kinds of fun! We're on the 15th floor in an apartment building that seriously looks like a 5 star hotel, and we have an elevator, so I'm incredibly grateful for that! 

For those of you that aren't aware, there is a new law that will be in action starting the 20th that will be changing the way we do missionary work over here. It is not my position to comment on all of the affects this law will have on us, or my personal opinions of it, and we still do not know all of the implications right now, so I'll keep commentary to a minimum in these emails. What we do know though, is that we will from this time forward be called volunteers, and not missionaries. It's going to be a bit of a strange transition, but all is well! We will still be able to work with members, and do service, so we'll be shifting our focus to those two activities more than everything. Street contacting, and speaking with others about religion outside of our church building will be prohibited as well. For the next 2 weeks as well, we will not be able to meet with any investigators except for those with a baptismal date as an additional precaution to protect us from any legal complications. 

There are other missions in the world with many similar restrictions as us, and they have similar baptismal rates, so there is nothing to fear! We'll just have to adapt and get creative! Other than that, not a whole lot has happened this week. We've been on the streets as much as humanly possible to build up as large of a pool of investigators as possible before the law hits, and today is our last day of contacting, so as soon as we finish e-mailing we're going to hit the streets again! 

I just want to let you all know how much I love you all, and that I really do pray for you often! Hope all is going well!

Until next time,
-Старейшина кэмптон

(Staryeshina Kempton)


View of the city from Elder Kempton's new Apt. in Rostov

Transfers and other News!

July 11, 2016


Здравствуйте!

Hi everyone! I'm gonna have to keep this e-mail a little bit short, we don't have a whole lot of time! This week I found out that I'm getting transferred to the Rostov Center branch which is super exciting! It'll be a pretty dramatic difference, seeing as there are 100+ people there(maybe more, I'm not sure)! It's going to be great! 

Other than that we received some news about a law that was passed just the other day that will have a bit of an impact on the way we do missionary work over here. Shortly, the law restricts us from speaking to people about religion on the streets or in there homes, so the only lessons we will be able to have will have to be at the branch. The church has issued the following statement on the matter, "The Church recognizes a new law will take effect in Russia on July 20, 2016 that will have an impact on missionary work. The Church will honor, sustain and obey the law. Missionaries will remain in Russia and will work within the requirements of these changes. The Church will further study and analyze the law and its impact as it goes into effect". 

While we are still waiting for more information on what we will be doing in the future and are not sure quite what this will mean for us, we know that this work will go forward. In closing, I'll just leave you with a quote from Joseph Smith, "The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done." I know that these words are true, and that God will not forsake His children in this land. I love you all, and pray for you often! Hope all is well!

Until next time,

-Старейшина кэмптон

(Staryeshina Kempton)

Friday, July 8, 2016

Six Months Gone Already!

July 4, 2016


Здравствуйте!
Hello everybody! It's crazy to think I've already been out on my mission for 6 months, but I just hit that milestone a few days ago! Time is seriously just going way too fast! 

This week has been full of all kinds of really awesome experiences! We were finally able to meet with our recent convert вика(Vika) this Saturday! She's been super sick lately, but we were able to meet with her and give her a blessing! She seemed to really appreciate it, and said that she's been feeling better, which is just a small miracle for us! She's made so much progress over the past few months, and is now planning on making it to the temple the next time our mission is scheduled for temple trips! We're both just really excited for her and hope that she can continue to improve and stay strong! 

President and Sister Miner also made a pretty unexpected trip down here to Stavropol this weekend, which was super awesome for our branch! They were able to teach everyone how to give talks and prepare lessons, which is much needed for all the members in our branch. Everyone in attendance are converts, and most of them have never been to a bigger branch to see an example of what a talk should look like, or what a good lesson consists of, so everyone was really thankful to get some pointers on that, and hopefully the quality of our meetings will improve and get people more and more excited for church on Sundays! 

Ilgar is still doing well! He's still not been able to kick his smoking habit, but we're working with him every day to help him overcome it, and as soon as he does he'll become a baptized member of the church and be able to start helping us in greater capacities. 

Other than that, not a whole lot has happened over here this week! We're still having more and more lessons every week! We ended up as a mission teaching 302 lessons the week before last, which as an average of 9 lessons per companionship! It really is incredible to see the work going forward week after week! I'd just like to end with a humble testimony of the reality of Christ's atonement in our lives. I've seen the changes it has made, is still making, and will continue to make in my life, and in the lives of others, and I bear solemn witness that it is real, that Christ lives and cares deeply for each and every one of his children. 

I love you all, and hope all is well!

Until next time,
-Старейшина кэмптон
(Staryeshina Kempton)


Looks like Elder Kempton found the camel that wanders around the city


Trying out hats!



Stavropol looks so green and pretty!




Hurrah for Israel

June 27, 2016


Здравствуйте!
Hi there everyone! This week has been really awesome! This last monday we were able to meet with Ilgar, and when he came in he told us he's been going on a lot of walks lately to get away from everything and really pray and think about getting baptized. He told us that he feels very strongly that this is the decision he needs to make, and told us that he wants to be baptized as soon as possible. He's still struggling with cigarettes, and nothing he's doing seems to be working for him. We've given him a blessing, and fasted for him. He seems to be really sincere about it, and he really is trying to rely on Christ. He'll get there soon enough, and as soon as he does, he'll get baptized! 

This week we received permission from our mission president, and a member of the area presidency to baptize Alexander! He won't be able to make the trip up here to Stavropol until the 23rd of July, so we have to wait just a little bit, but he's just super excited and super ready to enter into the covenant of baptism! Another cool thing with Alexander, is that me and Elder Dayton will be teaching him for the rest of our missions, just switching off every week if we get transferred. It's not too often that you get to meet with an investigator once a week or every other week for your whole mission! It'll just be really awesome to see things get started down there! 

Other than that, not a whole lot has happened here this past week! The work just keeps going forward! As always, I'm so grateful for this opportunity to give 2 years of my life to the Lord, and help so many of his children the best way we know how. I know that Christ lives, and that he is at the head of this church. We are so blessed to be living in such a unique time, with the true church of Christ on the earth, with it's accompanying blessings. We really are privileged to see the fulfilling of so many promises made to people in the scriptures. I love you all, and hope all continues to go well for all of you!

Until next time,
-Старейшина кэмптон
(Staryeshina Kempton)


A Week in Rostov

June 20, 2016

Здравствуйте!
Hello everyone! Another incredible week over here in Russia! This week we had zone conference in Rostov, and then I had a few things to get done up there, so by the time all was said and done we ended up getting back into Stavropol on around Saturday!  All is well though, zone conference was awesome! We focused a lot on improving our teaching skills, and making better use of the scriptures. We'll be applying a lot of what we learned throughout the next few weeks and we're hoping it's just what our investigators need! 

Even though we spent a lot of our time up in Rostov, we were still able to get a lot of stuff done back here in Stav. We were still able to have 4 lessons, and they were all pretty awesome! Ilgar is still doing everything he can to find out that our church is true. While we don't always understand why God holds back and waits to give people their answers, we know that He has a plan for each and every one of His children, and we just need to be still and know that He knows better. 

Church was pretty awesome this Sunday as well. We ended up having 17 people there, which is a lot for our small branch! It's exciting to finally see some growth, and see members coming back from inactivity! We're currently looking for a new building, because we only had 4 free seats during sacrament meeting, and it just doesn't leave that much room for growth! 

There just seems to be a bit more life in our ward than usual, and we're hoping to keep that going! Every day over here really is such a blessing, and I know that this truly is the Lord's work. It is only from Him that we see these miracles every day, and the change that this gospel makes in the lives of these people! 

Not much else has really happened this week, so that will probably be all for this week! I'd just like to bear my testimony again, that I know that this church is true. I know that God knows us all individually, and knows exactly what we need. He will never place before us a challenge we cannot overcome, a trial that we cannot survive. He knows our potential, and will do all that is in His power to help us achieve that. We need only trust in Him, and His plan, following the advice given us to "be still, and know that [He] is God"(D&C 101:16). I love you all and pray for you every day! Hope all is well!

Until next time,
-Старейшина кэмптон
(Staryeshina Kempton)