From Russia…With LOVE…

I live for Tuesdays. For on Tuesdays, circa 5pm Pacific Standard Time, I get the weekly e-mail report from our Elder Garrett Burton Gee who is serving a voluntary LDS church mission in the Russia Vladivostok Mission. If you have no idea where Vladivostok is, don’t feel bad. Neither did we, until Elder Gee received his mission call. But now, I can tell you what time it is in Vladivostok–no matter where we are; I know the country code, the city code, and how to get there, should I ever be permitted to go there that is…since Elder Gee made me promise not to accept any assignments to Vladivostok while he is serving his mission. 🙂 But just in case you’re still wondering where it is–If you board the Trans Siberian Railroad in Moscow and ride it across the entire Russian landscape (about 5,000 miles) until you reach its most Southern Far East tip–that’s where the train will come to its final stop–that’s Vladivostok!

Here’s an excerpt from a recent e-mail Elder Gee sent during the Thanksgiving Holidays. I am sharing it in its original form–with English language errors, typos and all. He has served in Russia nearly two years, and is so fluent in Russian that his English–well, not so much. We are so happy that he has put all of his efforts to be the very best missionary he can be…in every regard. It seems that all those years that I dragged Garrett from country to country during his youth taught him tremendous resiliency! We might have to turn off the water heater for a while when he returns home to help him acclimate. 🙂 Well, here is his love letter to our entire family:

Well family let me tell you have grateful I am for everyone of you. You give me so much pride and honor and confidence. I love hearing about all the wonderful things you do. I thank you for not sending anything on my Birthday. I need to majorly cut down on the amount of things I have and I ask you to please continue to not send anything.
I am very grateful for the things I have learned while I have been here. Not just the facts that I have learned…and not just the doctrine… I am greatful for that. Yet I am especially grateful for those special truths from God that have come into my life in so much realness that I will never be able to doubt or deny their excistance. The realization of the realness of it all, and it’s working in my life is a testimony that I will forever hold on to and grow.
I have been shown weaknesses that seem to be weaker than all others. I am constantly fighting pride. I am constantly fighting selfishness. And my English is constantly getting worst. I humbly thank God for showing me these scary weaknesses of mine and it is my prayer that I’ll be humble and strong enough to conquer.
I love my parents and acknowledge them as the source of so many blessings. Thank you for your many hard works, sacrifices, and prayers on my behalf mom and dad. I love you.
Elder Gee junior

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