This was an interesting week. Snow came yesterday morning, but then melted and turned into rain as the day went on. It is looking a lot more gray here as the plants are losing their leaves, and it stays dark for a majority of the day. It is still not extremely cold outside. Dad's news about the forecast feels as if it has been accurate. Here in Ufa, snow has not stayed, but sometimes the puddles turn into ice through the night. Our address is Levitana (левитана) 7, 2. It is in Dyoma (дема), which is about 20 minutes away from Ufa. I also know the church address. Bulevard Tyulkina (булварь тюлькина) 4/1 in the city Ufa. Maybe you can find that on the map. Mom, you said many of the houses look old. Many of them are old, and many look old. You do not often actually find a good looking home from the outside (those apartment buildings), but the inside in the rooms are completely different. Many people remodel, and it can look very nice. Our place is quite nice on the inside, and it looks very old on the outside. I guess you can't always judge a book by it's cover, but sometimes you can. The cover of the Book of Mormon for instance has a very powerful cover, and it is a very powerful book. Houses are often different here though.
I had a strange week. My companion had some problems on his visa trip, so I was in a different area for three days. I was with Elder Ray and Elder Kupaev. I really enjoyed the time there, and we had some good experiences. Elder Kupaev is Russian, and it was very cool to be around him and learn a lot from him. They are very good missionaries and motivated to do the work, so it was great to see little differences they do that I can work on. One thing that I really enjoyed is how much he loved and really shared a concern for the people. Of course he can communicate with the people easier, but he also seemed to love them and really care for them more. It was an example to me, and it is something that I would like to work on. If we become more Christlike, people will be able to feel our love for them. Our area book is something that you use to keep record of investigators, members, less actives, and potential investigators. Some of the papers are very old (10 years even since the last entry). The address on one was nowhere in the city, so I thought it was wrong. I realized that the address was misspelled, and that is why we couldn't find it. A few letter were switched, and we found the actual place. Although the lady was not interested, we found the place after no missionaries had been there in 10 years. Record keeping is very important, and it is great how you are doing that kind of work dad so that people can be found, whether or not they are ready for the gospel at this point in time.
Shane, I really enjoyed the pictures. Thank you. Great job, and congratulations on the baptism. That is weird that Forrest is back home. It feels like he just left, but I guess we can say the same things about ourselves.
Now for an interesting story that happened about 3 weeks ago. No one worry or be afraid, but it was just interesting. It had nothing to relate to my personal well being. Remember that one time a lady was in the bulk trash, I came into the house to tell everyone, and we went out to see that there was a woman. Well, my companion and I were walking, and in the alley, he thought he saw a body. We had to walk by the alley a few times, and we still were not sure because there were other people just standing, and girls had just walked by it. We walked by, and there was a dead body there. The people across the body were the police. We did not know what happened, and it was shocking, but it does make you think about life. Life is really a precious thing, and living the gospel really does enrich our lives and keep us from situations that might get us killed. We are taught to stand in holy places, and if we do so, we are promised blessings. Even the blessing of eternal life if we live the gospel and endure to the end.
Sorry to end on that note, but I just want you all to make the most out of life. Love big, and enjoy the time of life in righteousness. Despite what happens, having a good attitude in any situation only makes the situation better. I love you all. Thank you for your letters and support. Again, I love you. Bye. -Elder Larson.