Elder Nelson visits Russia

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve was welcomed to Samara, Russia, on Oct 23 with the traditional bread and salt ceremony presented by a group of members dressed in native costume while singing folk songs. He was accompanied by Elder Gregory A. Schwitzer of the Seventy and a counselor in the Europe East Area Presidency, and his wife, Jo Ann Schwitzer. They spent two days in Samara. Earlier, they visited with and addressed members in Voronezh on Oct. 20 (Please see Growth of Voronezh Branch is story of faith) and Nizhniy Novogorod on Oct. 21. (Please see Wondrous history)

In Samara, Elder Nelson met with the 70 full-time missionaries serving in the Russia Samara Mission. "Why does the Lord use a young man or young woman to teach the gospel?" he asked. "The Lord uses the unlikely to accomplish the impossible. That is His pattern," he said.

He left them with a blessing of health and safety, a desire to be obedient, to have joy in their work and rejoicing in the privilege of teaching the gospel to the Russian people and success in their labors.

Sister Nastia Bykuzina said, "I am the only member in my family. It will be nice to have a home of my own where it isn't unusual to have family prayer and have pictures of Christ on the walls of my house."

During a Saturday evening session of the weekend conference, Elder Nelson asked that the people of Russia have one night a week to have a happy family time, to teach the children to pray and to have family scripture study.

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