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Joey Carl Finishes Mission In Russia

Joseph Carl found that he loves borsht with cabbage, potatoes, shredded carrots, shredded radish and a dollop of  mayonnaise, but he still missed a good hamburger once in a while.  Joseph has just returned after living in Russia for two years and serving a proselytizing mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He started in Rostov na Danu, moved to Volgograd (Stalingrad), then Novorossiysk, and Krasnodar.  He said the people respond just like those in the United States.  As he talked to people on the street and at their doors, many of them were 'too busy' to hear his message about Jesus Christ and His restored gospel.  But those who did accept the message changed.  Life in Russia is not easy and the people are beaten down.  The members have a light of hope about them.  Life is still hard, but their lives are happier when they are living the Gospel.

Russia can also be a frightening place and the police are often the cause. Joseph said that he had only been in Rostov for two days, when the police stopped him and his companion. They had the young men empty their pockets and bags and then the police checked their papers. Joseph had his passport, but his Visa was with the registrar being processed. The police were giving Joseph a hard time and threatening to arrest him, but then they let the men go. However, they had about $6 of Joseph's change and his pocketknife. Joseph's Russian wasn't very good and he asked his companion to ask for the knife.   The police said, "It's not a gift for us?" They returned the knife but kept the $6.

Another time, Joseph and his companion were waiting at the bus stop when a group of men threatened to beat them up.  The missionaries just walked away.  It was nerve wracking according to Joseph, but the scariest time was when the police picked them up and held them at the station. They made fun of the missionaries and demanded money.  After 20 minutes, the police finally let them go.

Joseph said he knew the Church was true when he left for his mission, but during his mission he developed a deep conviction of its truth.  He said the stronger feelings developed through studying the scriptures and the gospel more.   I understood it better, I researched it, I prayed, and God just gave it to me.   If he could change anything on his mission, Joseph wished he had studied the scriptures better, prayed better and been bolder.
Editors note: After meeting with Joey, and feeling the Spirit of the Lord he has with him, I'd venture to say he probably did well in all areas!

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