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Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Thanksgiving is such a great time, especially for me as a missionary. Holidays in the MTC are so great. (That's the rumor at least.) There are a few special meetings that are on the schedule that are stirring a lot of speculation and rumors, its pretty exiting. Its a good thing I know how to get through the rumors and make friends with the people who really know what's going on. Its supposed to be a secret, but it only matters in the MTC I'll let it out. The questions we submitted a few weeks ago that we would "ask an Apostle" are going to be answered this Thursday by Elder Holland. He is one of the most loved Apostles by Missionaries everywhere. It is going to be one of the coolest experiences ever. I'm so excited.

As I begin the countdown to when I'll be no longer in Provo, but flying to Russia it is neat for me to look back on the great amount of growth we've all experienced while we've been here, in only month and a half. Its incredible to me to see the hand of the Lord so clearly in so many ways. The days that we only speak Russian are still a little rough, because there are so many things we wish we could say...but we just can't. But we are having more and more of those. After today we will only be speaking English 3 more days before we leave to Russia. How insane is that? I love it though. Good times.

Its really great to have the new districts of Russian speaking missionaries here. I feel like an older brother, its pretty sweet. When I find a free minute Elder Kildew and I will often go to one of their rooms and just kind of coach them through whatever it is that they're learning. Its great.

There are a lot of missionaries in the MTC now that I knew before my missionary-life. Its neat to see them in this different capacity. I had the priveledge of helping Elder Kirk this week as he came in to find his rooms and get his books and things. Elder Milne lives on the same floor as me and has class just down the hall. Elder Petersen is going to Brazil, he was the Section Chief after me in the Order of the Arrow. He was supposed to go straight to the MTC in Sau Paulo, but because of their visa situations he's here too. I love seeing friends!

So a really neat part in the Book of Mormon that I would recommend to anyone to study would be Alma chapters 4 and 5. I don't really know why I put that in here, but check them out...they'll change your life. Its true. I know that as we study and pray about the Book of Mormon the Lord will bless us with more joy and success in life according to His will.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and has a great time for me. And don't forget to thank the Pilgrims for giving us a reason to have a sweet holiday in November. I think I have an ancestor who was on the you can thank them for that too. You'll have to check with my Grandma to figure out which one though...good luck with that.

Best of Holiday wishes and all my love,
Elder Fife

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Could life get better? ...only in Russia

So this week has been great. We're getting all ready to welcome the new group of missionaries who will be learning Russian, (they come in tomorrow) and there are three native Russian sisters who will be here ometime tonight. I'm really excited for that. It will be good to have some new faces in all the places we go. Maybe I'll even be able to teach them a thing or two. (Pretty good joke huh?)

Tomorrow I'll be there ready and waiting at the curb when new missionaries arive so that I can show them around and help them find their dorm rooms and classrooms. It takes a big chunk out of our class and study time, but it will be good to help missionaries start adjusting to life as a Representative of Christ. It should be a good time.

So on there is a place where you can "ask a question" about the Church, and chat with Church Representatives. You can also call in with questions or to request free Books of Mormon, Bibles, or videos produced by the Church. For an hour and a half on Friday mornings...that's me on the other end of the line or chat. Its a really good time. We've had some amazing experiences answering questions about the Church. One of the men Elder Brightwell chatted with one of the first weeks we were here is being baptized next week, and Elder Brightwell was his first contact with the Church.

This week I had a fun time taking calls and chats. The first call I got was from a nice Baptist woman from California who thought she was paying a bill...she had no idea what was coming. Haha. You know how
I am? What could have been a quick "Wrong number. Sorry, bye" conversation ended with her having the missionaries on their way to her house to deliver a Book of Mormon and answer questions that she might have about the Lord and His plan for us. I really hope that she has a good experience learning about the Gospel and makes the decision to come to Christ and follow His teachings. What a great opportunity!
Good times!

So watch out when you try to pay your just might be calling the Mormons. I think we're only 1 digit off of the Direct TV helpline...That's a big blessing for their customers. :D And its a good thing too, because everyone needs the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their life. Nothing else brings joy like following the Lord and learning from living prophets who have continuing revelation. Try it, you'll get hooked.

Well my time to write is almost up. Thank you to all those who wrote me this week. Letters are wonderful. If you want to know just how good they are to me take a look at Proverbs 25:25. They're THAT good. :D Solomon knew what he was talking about.

I decided that I'd include in my letters (until I get bored of it at least) a short quiz about Russian culture...or whatever other fun things I decide to include. So the first person to get the answer to me...wins. What is the prize? Lots of...satisfaction. jis a prime way to write with your answers and'll make my day everytime.

So the question of the week....Which of these things is appropriate to do in Russia
A. Sit on rocks
B. Shake hands through a doorway
C. Say "Be healthy" as a greeting
D. Set books on the ground

Good luck in everything you're doing, send my love to everyone you see. Pray for me, do what's right, be good. :D

Elder Sam Fife

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Это Я!

Hi all,
Another week has come and gone. Time is really flying now. Its so odd to me that the older group of Russian speaking missionaries are all gone now. (The last group flies out tomorrow morning at 4 so guess they're not ALL gone yet.) Tomorrow marks my half-way point at the MTC, it is going by so fast.

The group of missionaries I guess I have to feel a little sorry for is those going to Brazil. They are supposed to go to the MTC in Sao Paulo, but none of them are getting visas for a very long time (I've heard both February and April as the next time any of them will be able to leave) So until then they are learning Portugese here and then serving here in the United States until they are able to get a visa to go to Brazil. That would be SO frustrating. I'm really glad that isn't me.

There's a lot of hype today about the possibility of an Apostle coming and doing a Q/A of some kind tonight. All of the missionaries in the MTC were asked to "submit a question they would ask an Apostle" to their Branch Presidency by this afternoon. It could be really neat. I'm excited to learn from whoever it is that give the devotional tonight.

This week I unlocked one of the best kept secrets at the Provo MTC. I guess its ok to spread...but make sure that it doesn't get too out of hand. The secret is this: Senior Couple Missionaries. They are so great! Elder Kildew and I have started making sure to be where the senior couples go so that we can meet them. We usually share a spiritual message with them in Russian and they teach us a lot of neat things that we wouldn't be able to get anything else. So there it is...the secret of secrets. I think it even tops the secret things hidden in the walls or ceilings (yes I've found many of those...may have left a few too) or the matrix or lightsaber pictures, even though they are pretty epic.

Tomorrow we are having our first english fast. That is where we go an entire day without speaking any English. Its amazing to me that in only 5 weeks we know enough Russian to be able to spend the day without speaking english. We haven't spoken english during lunch for a week now. Tomorrow night we will also be teaching a 30 minute lesson on the restoration of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth (in Russian of course.) Hopefully we won't make too big of fools out of ourselves.

I'm so thankful for the letters I've gotten and all the great things that you're doing in your lives. Sorry I haven't been able to send any pictures yet. I'll see if I can figure out how to do that during the next week. Its amazing to me how fast time goes and how much I am learning every day. Please continue to pray for me and help me to make something of myself. I know through me the Lord will bless many lives in Russia, and hopefully I'm helping some of you who read my letters with something or another every now and again. I'd hate to be a useless friend.
I love you all and wish you the best,
До свидания!
Старейшина Файф

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Я люблю вас всё!

Hi all!

Life is so great. I really can't think of much to say this week, everyday seems to be about the same as the day before...only with more and more Russian.  Its weird to me to be one of the old-timers here at the MTC now. All of the missionaries who are english speaking who came in the same time as me are all ready gone, some of them have been gone for a week already. Only a month and a half to go for me! Haha.

The more I study the more I realize that I still have to learn; both in Russian and in the Gospel as well. But its great to see the blessings of the Lord coming into my life and helping me to do things that I would never be able to do without Him.

The other missionaries in my district are great guys. Elder Liljenquist is from Tennessee, Elder Brightwell from Salt Lake, Elder Hughes from Omaha, Elder Field from Aberdeen WA, Elder Sodja from Latyon, Elder Thelman from Joseph City AZ, and my companion Elder Kildew is from Yorktown VA. Its really a pretty diverse group, but the Lord definitely put us together for a reason. We're learning a lot of great things with, and from each other. Everyone other than Kildew, Thelman, and myself are going to Novosibiersk, in the heart of Siberia; while the three of us are going to Vladivostok, on the eastern coast.

Last week's devotional speaker was Elder L. Tom Perry. He has so much love, you can tell just by looking at him. He is the 3rd most senior Apostle in the Church right now, and is just a great speaker and man. It was great to sit and listen at the feet of an Apostle, and hear what the Lord wants us to know as Missionaries. He told us that we are the greatest group of missionaries the Lord has called in this dispensation; I'm still trying to fight off the pride from that statement. Just kidding...but seriously.

For Halloween we learned a valuable lesson...don't drink too much applejuice at once. Friday night we drank 63 glasses of apple juice between the 8 of us at dinner...and a few Elders weren't feeling very well so they didn't drink much. I did my part by drinking 10 glasses...bad idea. So if anyone ever challenges you to drink a large amount of apple juice in a small amount of time...tell them no. You learned from Elder Fife that its not worth it. Lesson learned.

A week from now I will be in the oldest district of Russian speaking missionaries at the MTC. That's a weird thought. I'm still a newbie! It feels like yesterday that I came in! Good times though.

Pray for me, write me, and may your faith in Jesus Christ continue to grow. As it does share it, bless the lives of others all around you. Your life will be better for it, I promise.

Love you all,
Старейшина Файф

Бог жив. Я знаю ето истина!