Monday, August 29, 2016

29 August 2016

Dear St. Petersburg Volunteers,

Alex  Hulka,
It is with great sorrow that I announce  the death of Alex Hulka.  As many of you know,  Elder Hulka entered the St. Petersburg Mission  two years ago, and had to return home early when cancerous tumors were discovered in his chest.  He underwent numerous cancer treatments,  but none were effective, and he passed away from the disease last Friday.  A week ago Sister Childs and I were able to Skype  with him.  He maintained his usual positive attitude, and greeted us with a smile from his sick bed.  This is a sad day for us, but a sweet day for him. D&C 42: 46 says: "And it shall come to pass that those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them."

Mission Fast
Last week I had you share your ideas with your zone leaders and sister training leaders on how to increase baptisms. We discussed those ideas in our MLC on Thursday,  and you will hear about them in your zone trainings this week.  However,  we decided to act on one idea immediately.  This Sunday, September 4, is Fast Sunday,  and we invite you all to join in a mission fast where we ask Heavenly Father to send us people to teach who are ready to accept the Gospel.

I also sent an email to priesthood leaders in the stake and the mission branches,  asking them to  invite the members to join with us if the desire.  I sent the email after the MLC on Thursday, but  I think that many members have not had a chance to hear it yet. Would you please personally invite as many members, both active and inactive, as you can to join with the volunteers in fasting on Sundayfor more baptisms. It will make a difference.

For your information, this is the email that I sent to the church leaders:

On next fast Sunday (September 4), the volunteers in the Russia St. Petersburg Mission will be fasting to ask the Lord to send us more people to baptize.   I invite you to invite your members to join with us in this fast, if they wish.  We teach our volunteers to do as President Monson has suggested (Ensign, March 2009):

Pray as though everything depended upon God.
Work as though everything depended upon you.

Молитесь так, словно все зависит от Бога.
Трудитесь так, словно все зависит от вас.

We invite the members of the Church in this mission not only to pray and fast with us, but to work together with us as volunteers to find, teach repentance, and baptize converts. I know that God has many children within our mission boundaries who will accept the invitation to come unto Christ and be baptized.  If we work and pray together, God will direct us to these people.

The recent Yarovaya laws have changed the way that missionary work can be done in Russia, but the Lord still expects us as members and volunteers to work together to find, teach, and baptize.  Elder Brent H. Nielson, the chairman of the Church Missionary Department, recently taught mission presidents that: “It is the Lord Himself who has commanded us, ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’  You and your missionaries have been called to fulfill that commandment throughout the world. Our purpose is the same in every nation. The commandment from the Lord is clear. Our purpose as missionaries is the same whether you serve in Brazil or Poland or Russia.”  (New Mission Presidents Seminar, June 2016)

Another topic we discussed in the MLC was the need for obedience.  Without our honest striving to be obedient, we will not have enough spiritual power to be true teachers of repentance.  I would like to share a pair of stories about obedience with you in this letter that we did not discuss in the MLC, but which have been meaningful to me and will help you prepare for the zone trainings.   Both of these incidents took place in Missouri in the late 1830's when persecution of the Church was very strong.  Both involve men who received personal counsel from the Prophet Joseph Smith.

John L. Butler
John L. Butler and his family were faithful Latter-day Saints who were living near Gallatin in Daviess County, Missouri in 1837.  Brother Butler had gone into Gallatin to vote in an election and found there a “furious mob” who had come to prevent the Mormons from voting.   Brother Butler was a strong man and took a vigorous role in helping to defend himself and the other Mormons by driving off the attackers.

The next day, Brother Butler rode into Far West, about fourteen miles away, to speak with Joseph Smith. Brother Butler recorded this conversation and the subsequent events as follows:

He [Joseph Smith] asked me if I had removed my family. I told him no, I had not. "Then," said he, "go and move them directly and do not sleep another night there." "But," said I, "I don't like to be a coward." "Go and do as I tell you," said he. So I started back again and got home about two hours after dark. I then said to my wife, "We must pack up our things and leave here directly, for Brother Joseph has told me to." My wife was very glad for she had been wanting to move for a long time. So we loaded up one wagonload and took it down to Brother Taylor's about one mile and a half and my wife and Malinda Porter, a young woman that was boarding with us, who was keeping school. They packed up another wagonload by the time I got back and we all started off just about the break of day.

Now about sunrise, or a little while after, Brother Gee saw in the distance a large body of men. He said that he thought there was about thirty-odd. He watched them come toward the house and surround it. He then ran down to Taylor to tell them that we were all killed, I suppose, and when he saw us, he said, "Oh, I am so glad that you are here for there are about thirty men around your house to kill you all." I then saw the hand of the Lord guiding Brother Joseph Smith to direct me to move my family away. If he had not, why in all probability we should all have been murdered, and I felt to thank God with all my heart and soul.”  (John Lowe Butler, Autobiography, 1808-c. 1858,

Jacob Haun
Jacob Haun founded a small settlement called Haun’s Mill in northern Missouri in 1835. Over 70 LDS families had moved to this settlement by 1838. When tensions ran high in northern Missouri in the fall of 1838, the Prophet Joseph Smith called for all the Saints to gather to Far West for protection.  On October  25,1838, Jacob Haun met with Joseph Smith at Far West. Recognizing the volatility of the situation, the Prophet told Jacob to abandon the settlement so as to not risk the lives of the Saints in the area. He instructed Jacob to inform the Saints who were living there to leave and come to Far West.  However, Mr. Haun did not deliver the message.  Instead, believing that he could judge the danger better than the Prophet  could, he lied and told the settlement that the Prophet said that “if we thought we could maintain the mill, it was Joseph’s council for us to do so.”

On 30  October 1838, a mob composed of more than 200 men from the surrounding area attacked the settlement of  Haun’s Mill. Fifteen Latter-day Saints were killed during the attack or died shortly afterwards. Two others died within a few weeks. Another fourteen were wounded.  None of the mob were killed. The mob then ransacked the homes and temporary shelters, taking household items and food and confiscating animals.

After the incident, the Prophet Joseph recorded in his history: "Up to this day God had given me wisdom to save the people who took counsel. None had ever been killed who [had abided] by my counsel" (History of the Church, 5:137). Then the Prophet recorded the sad truth that innocent lives could have been saved at Haun's Mill had his counsel been received and followed.
Baugh, Alexander L. “Joseph Young's  affidavit of the Massacre at Haun's Mill.” BYU Studies v38, Number 1 [1999].
Cowan, Richard, Encyclopedia of Latter-Day Saint History., s.v. “Haun’s Mill
Eyring, Henry B., “Finding Safety in Counsel”, Ensign (CR), May 1997, p.24.
Wikipedia, sv. “Haun’s Mill Massacre."

With gratitude for all that you do,

President Childs

Sister Childs's letter

Dearest St.Petersburg Volunteers,

President Childs has shared with you the news of the passing of our dear Elder Hulka. We will be forever grateful for the privilege of knowing and serving with this capable, willing, and dedicated missionary. No doubt he will continue to be in the Lord’s service forever. May I share with you a very profound lesson I learned from this humble, and faith-filled, Elder.  Through all that he endured during his battle with cancer, he was often asked how he was able to cope with the pain, the uncertainty, and the disappointment of not being able to do the things he had planned to do. With his characteristic huge smile, Elder Hulka simply responded, “I don’t focus on what I cannot control.” My life has been enriched by knowing and learning from Elder Alex Hulka.

I want to share with you some great news from Novgorod. Like each of you, Sister Johnson and Sister Everitt have been working diligently to find service opportunities. After wading through many potential projects, they received a positive response to their offer of service to an organization that helps blind children. This organization wants to create some fabric books that help the children learn Braille. The books have soft shapes of objects for the children to feel and a story written in Braille below the pictures. The organization was in need of help creating the books, and also with the needed materials to make the books. The Novgorod Sisters had just received the word that the Area Humanitarian office has been given instruction that service projects that are found by Volunteers have first priority in receiving funds from the Humanitarian office. The Sisters quickly called Elder and Sister Higley and they got right to work on getting approval for the project and the needed funds. This is the first Volunteer-found service in Russia to be funded by the Humanitarian office! (Way to go, Sister Johnson and Sister Everitt!) The organization will receive a sewing machine and fabric for the books, as well as the help from the Volunteers to create and assemble the books. What adds to this remarkable service opportunity is that this organization is nation-wide. We will be working with the Novgorod volunteers to arrange contact with other branches of this organization here in our mission, as well as throughout Russia.

This service project is a great example of the potential power of service in softening hearts and building the Lord’s kingdom in this area of the world. This seemingly small group of people who work with the organization helping blind children will share with others the positive experience they have had working with the Church. This information will continue to spread, building the esteem of the Church in all parts of this great country. Other projects are also in the works that will help us with positive connections across Russia. Small and simple things do bring about great things! (See D&C 64:33) What a blessing to be a part of this miraculous work.

I’m still in awe of each of you for the way you have embraced the changes in our work and have taken initiative to explore the many possibilities for doing this work in a manner that will make a significant difference in the lives of so many. Thanks to each of you for being such remarkable, quick-to-observe volunteers.

With profound love,
Sister Childs
August 29, 2016

Dear Mom/Dad/Family and Friends, 

Thanks for the updates and all the pictures!  That looks like such a fun trip, and I hope everyone enjoyed it and didn't bicker at all.  It's sad that I've yet to be to California.  I'm glad things are working well with Tambi caring for Grandma and Grandpa.  I love them so much, and I'm hoping that they are doing well.  I hope things are figured out with dad's dizziness and that it'll all work out soon.  Also, David said he was going to NYC, but since then hasn't filled me in on how that went!  That's so weird that the kids are starting school again, because I feel like my time as a volunteer is coming to an end super quick, but then it gives me peace that there's still a whole school year and some before I get back.  Weird that Spencer is starting his senior year!  Proud of him for biking to school, oh what I wouldn't do for a bike here in K-Grad, SO MUCH WALKING.  But a bike wouldn't be too helpful with all the potholes, weird roads, areas without stop lights, and cobblestone...maybe it's best to walk.

This week went a lot better than the previous week, because we finally found out some things that help us keep the focus a little more on our new responsibilities as volunteers here in Russia.  One of my favorite things about being a volunteer is that we get to do whatever we feel is best at the given moment.  Sometimes that's going to visit someone, sometimes that's doing things that need to get done to fulfill our callings in the branch at the church, sometimes that's making the cake that they asked us to make for the branch activity that we are going to have, sometimes it's sitting and talking to someone and just trying to make a true friendship and now how best we can help them, sometimes it's asking a little babushka if she needs help across the street after which she goes on to praise your parents and your parent's parents all the back to Adam, sometimes it's going on a run with your branch president to help him get into shape and blow of some steam.  Volunteer service is definitely far more diverse than what we were doing before, and it's a blast.  Sometimes I miss contacting and just being able to ask people if they're interested in learning more, you get a lot of no's but the people who say yes and who are open to possibly learning something new that will benefit their lives made it all worth it.  But now, we're able to more fully support the people in our little branch, really come to know them, and feel at the end of every day that we were able to strengthen them in some way or another, and that in some ways we're able to make more of a difference in the community.  People have been noticing our service and we definitely get kinder looks sometimes than what I was used to before.  

The other day I was reading a talk by Elder Per G. Malm who we got to know in Moscow and recently passed away.  He shared a quote by President Joseph F. Smith that I really liked and wanted to share.  It goes: "To my mind, it means entering into the knowledge and love of God, having faith in his purpose and in his plan, to such an extent that we know we are right, and that we are not hunting for something else, we are not disturbed by every wind of doctrine, or by the cunning and craftiness of men who lie in wait to deceive. We know of the doctrine that it is of God, and we do not ask any questions of anybody about it; they are welcome to their opinions, to their ideas and to their vagaries. The man who has reached that degree of faith in God that all doubt and fear have been cast from him, he has entered into ‘God’s rest’”“
This has lead me to ask the question of whether or not I have all doubt and fear cast away from me.  Honestly, I can't say that that's the case yet, but I know I'm in the right direction.  That with anything of a worthwhile nature, it takes practice and experience.  That every time I take a step of faith, I have a little more experience, a little more practice, and a little bit of a greater understanding.  I know it works that way for everyone, and that that level of faith is available to anyone who starts on the right direction and keeps going that way.  I'm excited for the day that I'll enter into "God's rest."

I love you all so much, and I hope you have a great week!  If you want to know about details feel free to ask me questions, otherwise I can't promise answering the questions you might have :).

Love you!

Elder Belnap

Monday, August 22, 2016

August 22, 2016

Dear Momma/Family/Dad/Friends, 

That trip sounds like so much fun!  First Mexico and now  the whole West Coast without me?  I'm teasing, that actually sounds like so much fun, (except for the rabbits and a snake... not so much).

This week has had a lot of service opportunities earlier on in the week, which were all readlly fun, I got to climb trees and cut down the really high branches with a hatchet, (none of Grandpa's really nice gardening tools here, if you want to get the high branches you've got to climb for them, plus there wasn't even a good saw!).  We also met with a couple of members, we've yet to get any real relationships with some of the Less Active members of our ward, but we're hoping that that will change this coming week.  We also had a return sister missionary with her whole family come back to visit which was super fun, I had met her once the day she left, and our whole congregation was excited to see her because she served her for a very long time.  Her mom was going to send you a picture mom, but I accidentally mixed up your number and David's (I said 7992 instead of 7702 or 7998).  Anyway, some random lady in NYC got a picture of me and responded with a very confused response to her, that's when I realized that I mixed up the numbers...oops.  

Being a volunteer there are so many things changing, and sometimes it's hard to make sure we are using our time the way we should be.  We've had to spend lots of time on the computer changing things that we need to be doing differently now, and so on and so on.  There have been times where it hasn't been exactly what I'd call "exciting" but I keep trying to think back to what President Childs said a few Zone Conferences ago, where he talked about making every day sacred.  He said something to the effect that you should be able to kneel at the end of every day, and tell your Father in Heaven through prayer, that you tried to do what you were supposed to that day.  Well, having to spend time studying or on the computer, or doing service, is all good and stuff, but I was having a hard time figuring out how to make that a sacred experience for me.  I finally came to the realization that a day is sacred if it's spent doing what the Lord expects of me.  Right now in Russia, it's doing service, getting things to be more effective for the next volunteers to come in, and really just coming to get a real relationship with all the people that I get to come across, in the church and through service.

There are days that are harder than others, but that's how it should be and that's how it'll always be.  But being able to kneel at the end of the day, thinking over the day, and over what I need to do better the next day, and what I did well, is such a valuable time for me.  I love being able to take the comfort that I receive through prayer, and come to realize just what I can do better.  I love you all so very much and I have a couple of really fun pictures to send!  Have a great week!


Elder Belnap
Actually, I lied about the other pictures, there on someone else's camera.  Here's real maple syrup that we got gifted to us!!!!  I'll send the fun pictures next week!

Monday, August 15, 2016

August 15, 2016

Dear Family and Friends, 

Fortunately, they found another  flight that didn't have to take us through Moscow.  Yeah, it is a round about way to go on a visa trip, but for various legal reasons, some of which I'm aware, and plenty of which I'm sure I'm not aware, we have to go from St. Petersburg to Estonia as a group and receive that all at the same time.  Yeah I got to gather with the MTC comps again which was a lot of fun, I love getting to see them, my MTC companion is currently in Novgorod, so we talked about things there a lot.  Yeah you can just say колодец for a water well, and cement was one of the few words I still had come with me to the MTC from my time in Russia.  

I do translations at church meetings for one man who is American, but decided to move to Russia a few years ago for various reasons, as well as translations from English to Russian for our senior couple on occasion.  Those ones are super hard, just trying to keep up with things as they're moving at full speed, it's a talent like any though, and with hard work it'll hopefully get better.  The language is a lot of fun, and I've had an opportunity to really dive in here in Kaliningrad, more so than at any other point on my mission which has been a really cool experience.  I conducted my first meeting here on Sunday, which was absolutely terrifying.  I've gotten over my fear of speaking at church meetings, but conducting in Russian was a whole new ball game (especially because the church procedure language was not stuff that I've used before, now I know though).  I was really happy because one member asked if I have Russian roots because usually the volunteers don't pick up this quickly, and the only ones who do are the ones who have some roots.  I just told her that I pray a lot, I work really hard to learn the language, and I also have a lot of fun doing it.  Three steps that have really made learning Russian click :).  As the 2nd counselor I also have access to the church material to help me fulfill my calling, and I just want to give a shout out to Uncle Dave/President Goff, Dad, and so many other wonderful examples in my life of people who take on such a heavy responsibility, with a full time job, and family responsibilities, and do it so very well.  You're all examples to me, and I don't feel nearly qualified to be doing some of the things that those very many examples in my life have done.  But the Lord qualifies him whom he calls (Jeremiah 1:5-9, are some of my favorite verses in relation to that).  

We've been trying to be busy this week, but we haven't been able to get meetings that we were hoping for, so we had a lot of time where we just had to try our hardest to be effective.  We're going to put a big push this week to find service opportunities at museums, parks, members, and anywhere where they will take us.  The Area Presidency has promised that here in Russia, what we need to do at this time is show them examples of Christ-like service, and it will soften their hearts and open them up to the message of the gospel.  I know that that promise is true so we're going to give it all we can.  

I love being a volunteer in Russia!  We're the guinea pig stage right now, so we're just trying to figure everything out, but things are going in the right direction, and I'm super excited to see the promise in D&C 123:17 fulfilled.

Love you all, have a great week!  

Elder Belnap  

Picture from the VTC (volunteer training center haha), turns out I'm the tallest in the mission right now ;)

Caught in a rainstorm, and the companion on his birthday (today!!!!  we're going bowling).  My companion is Elder Hawkins, from Utah, grew up on a farm, he's a lot of fun, we get along really well.  He's super funny, although sometimes we don't understand each other because of the very different upbringings.  I've been learning a lot about farm life though, and he's been learning a lot about city life.  Anyway, love you!

Monday, August 8, 2016

August 8, 2016

Dear Family and Friends, 

What a week!  We've been tossed all over the place, and just as we're getting settled in we find out that I have a visa trip this week that somehow slipped through the cracks, and so I got a last minute ticket that brings me through Moscow, with a long layover, following which I'll go back to St. Petersburg.  All the other flights directly to St. Petersburg were booked, so I'm flying  there on Wednesday afternoon and then late at night getting to St. Petersburg.  The adventures you have when you get exiled to the beautiful place of K-Grad ;).  

It actually is absolutely gorgeous here, it's been raining for a couple of days, but it's cleared up and for a P-Day activity we're going to fort with a couple of members which will be super fun, I'll be sure to send pictures next week (I forgot my adapter this week, sorry).  A couple of random things that I forgot to mention last week, I actually got quite the tan because we mixed cement on a rooftop up in Vyborg with some members the week before I left Sestroretzk (Vyborg is the city where we would go to to do companion exchanges with the other volunteers).  Anyway, the volunteer that I was on an exchange with, Elder Larson (by the way, he and I came to K-Grad together which got me super excited because we get along great) had to go fetch water from an actual well in order to mix the cement.  I didn't get a picture, but it was so much fun, never thought that 'water well' was a word I'd ever learn in Russian :).  

This Sunday I started work as the 2nd Counselor and it's a lot of fun.  This branch has about 40 people who come on a weekly basis, which is the most I've seen yet in Russia which was awesome to see.  It was really weird sitting up on the stand and being turned to to help solve problems.  It's been very humbling, and it's made me all the more grateful for those who take such a calling upon themselves as fathers, and full-time employees.  I'm really excited for this wonderful opportunity to serve and all the wonderful lessons of humility and service that will come from it.  It's awesome to see everyday just how doing something with a desire to help someone else just feels good.  It makes me excited to search out more opportunities for that when I get home just in everyday life, because having it be your one focus just feels so good.  

I'm also the one in an area that is now responsible for translating, as well as having the opportunity to conduct meetings, and even in the last few days I've seen my ability to speak and communicate increase more which has been cool.  The more I feel like things are far more than I can handle, and the more overwhelmed I feel, the more I realize that sincere prayer works.  I've known and felt that for a long time, but it's become a deeper understanding over the last couple of days.  I know God wants to help us and prayer is the medium by which we come to know his will, which is better than any plans that we might have for ourself, because he knows the whole picture, and more often than not all we're really aware of is what's going on in our lives right now.  I know that reaching out to God and reaching out to others in order to serve bring true happiness, something that isn't possible to gain in any other way.  When Elder Klebingot was here teaching us a few months ago he told us, "Whenever you're feeling down and looking down, thinking that you can't do this, look up, and go find someone else you can serve."  If anyone who is getting this email is having a hard time, I know that looking for someone to help who might very well be having a harder time will help you feel better.  Somehow, it works, and it's something I've learned from experience :).

Anyway, I  love you all, and I hope you're having a great week, and that if this week has been off to a rough start, that things will get better.  


Elder Belnap

P.S.  Hey could you send my friend mitchell's e-mail address?  Love you momma!  Glad to hear about the reunion, and that everything went well.  Glad that Tambi is moved in and that things will work well, well better now.  Pass on to Grandma and Grandpa my love for them, and how proud I am of them.  They're both such examples :).  

Love you!

PPS.  Hey momma!  Noticed you just sent something to me.  Hope you're having a good day and actually going to start writing me earlier so you can get some sleep :).  I'm flying to Moscow on Wednesday because my flight to have my visa trip got messed up.  Feel free to warn people that I'm going to be on home turf in the airport this Wedneday ;).  Just kidding!  I'll be sure to take a picture though :).  Love you momma I'll get started on my letter to you!


Elder Belnap

Monday, August 1, 2016

August 1, 2016

Yes the title of that email is true.  And no, there is no need to freak out, I'm not breaking any rules, we just have a big mission, and Kaliningrad is a part of that mission.  For any of you who don't know what Kaliningrad is, it's what Prussia used to be and I'm so excited to take off, although I'm sad I only got the one transfer in Sestrorezk.  It's beautiful here, the members are great, and 6 weeks is just not enough to get close to them.  Anyway, in Kaliningrad, I'll most likely be the 2nd Counselor in the Branch Presidency, and President Childs said that I can count on being there for a long time unlike my last couple of transfers, so I'm pretty excited for that.  Anyway, it's been crazy trying to pack again!  It seems like each time I'm getting ready to leave an area I have 5 more pounds of things that I want to take with me that I've accumulated in that area.  Here, it's more like 80 pounds, some volunteer a while back bought a whole at home weight set which has been fun to use for 30 minutes in the mornings.  

So, this week was interesting, because we're still not allowed to do too much, and almost all of our members are on vaction (10 out of the 15 are gone).  We had a lesson with the couple whom we are teaching, and they are progressing really well, we've noticed some lack of understanding about what baptism is, and so we focused our lesson on what baptism is, why it's important, and why it's not just a cool event that you do just for the experience of it.  They came out of that lesson with a much better understanding which was awesome to see.  We pushed their date back a little more just so that they can be ready for baptism, and they said that they're more excited now that they understand more of the why and what baptism enables us to do.  So although I'm sad that I won't be here for their baptism, I'm very happy that they'll be ready when they enter the font, and that it'll be a decision that they will be making to follow Christ, and now just one that they made because they really liked the Americans and they felt something good when they were talking.  So, I'm very very excited for them!  I'm also sad to leave my trainee Elder Ward, he's a little молодец, but I'm very excited to see how he handles his new situation with someone just barely more capable than him in Russian (it's fun because it forces you to learn!)  

Also, this Sunday since only 5 members were at church, President asked me instead of bearing a short testimony to give a full 15 minute talk right before the meeting, because one of the speakers was sick.  So, I'm getting ready to talk, and then all of a sudden two people from Novgorod walked in!  They were on their way back from Finland, and so they decided to stop by our ward for church and I was so happy!  It made me realize again, just how much these people you meet during your volunteer service become a part of your life.  They really just add to your family, and it just brought back so many fun and grateful memories about my time there.  It was so much fun seeing наташа  and маия, they're both awesome.  Anyway, I talked a lot about being a "light to the world" from Timothy 4:12, and what that means for us in this country more now than ever.  When we're examples to our friends and family of the faith that we believe in, it doesn't always lead to everyone joining the church, and that's not the purpose of being an example of what we believe.  What it does do, is create mutual understanding and respect.  I just want to give you a shout out mom for doing that over the years, you're not afraid to say what you believe in, you live your beliefs, and you've managed to make friends from all walks of life who respect you and what you believe in because you really do live it.  That was my challenge to everyone, as well as to remember the promise given in D&C 6:32 to them.  I know that as we live what we believe, that people don't have to agree with it, but they come to respect it and you can come to understand one another an a more personal level.  Because one thing that is common among all beliefs is that for the most part, people sincerely believe in what they claim to believe.  
I love you all, next week you'll be hearing from me an hour earlier, so make sure you get the email off in time Momma :).  I'm super excited and humbled for this new opportunity to serve, and it's going to be a blast.  Thanks for passing on the letter from Terri, that was fun to read, and I'm super excited for Ben too, that was awesome.  Anyway, I love you all, have a great week!


Elder Belnap