Saturday, September 3, 2011

First Sunday church in novo

We just returned from our first Sunday meetings. The branch here is much bigger than I thought, about 80 people. It was the primary program today, they have a very small primary, about 10 kids. They had several adults speak as well as several Of the primary kids and they did an amazing job. Did we understand every word? No, but we understood some, and the translator understood about as much as we did, but it was all good. They sang several songs, and we enjoyed it. Then I played the piano in our ss class, and I played the piano for relief society and Randy said he played for priesthood meeting. In Relief society the women all speak at once much of the time. I was fortunate to have sis. Trottier beside me and she translated for me. The lesson was about family history work and there was great discussion about that. The branch building is quite new, and very nice. A chapel, RS room, primary room, a small kitchen and several classrooms. The branch president is very young, just returned from his mission in June, and is getting married this weekend. So we will get to go to a wedding. Russia requires a state legalized wedding in Russia before they can go to the temple, so I think the wedding will be in the branch building.
Tonight we are giving a fireside to the young single adults, introducing ourselves and talking about our family. We are going to try to do some of it in Russian, so we will see how that goes.
Yesterday we went to the local reenik, which is huge public market part indoor, part outdoor, that literally has everything. A big butcher area in one part where they have whole animals being butchered, whole rabbits with just the fur left on the feet, amazing vegetables and fruits, many kinds of mushrooms, dried fruits and nuts, cheeses, breads, and then little shops selling clothes, household goods, anything you are looking for. We enjoyed the shops, then learned how to ride the metro subway. We are slowly learning our way around the city.
Our apartment is very modest but homey and comfortable. There are three doors you have to unlock before you actually get into the apartment. The first two doors are about four inches thick each, we are told that apartments were built that way to keep the police out. Whatever the reason, we feel very safe here. We have two bedrooms, one bath, a small kitchen, and a nice size living room.
The McCauleys have been so good to us, and have shown us so much in the short time we have been here. We have had two long days of office training and meetings, have been learning how to schedule travel for transfers, visa trips etc. This is probably what we will spend most of our time on. There are visa trips almost every week.
when we walk down the street most people totally avoid looking at us. I noticed on the subway that everyone reads our name tags, but if you try to smile and say hello they look the other way. Most people look very serious and not too happy. Maybe we can bring some light into some people's lives.
The missionaries here are very strong, spiritual young men and women. They are teaching many people, especially young adults. We want to help them in whatever way we can.
We love all of you and miss you, and hope that all is well with you.

Location:Sept 11, 2011 Sunday


  1. Thank You Sue for the updates. I look forward to hearing your stories/adventures each week! It is the way I treat myself for doing a good day/weeks work. :)

    What is a VISA trip? Does that mean you are traveling into the country side? Do you have to have special papers to go outside the city?

  2. I hope you're able to post pictures of your Russian adventures some time soon!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Goodness gracious, I was told that you two were housed in ice-caves and that you had snow tunnels to get around from camp to camp, Iam so relieved to know that this is not so. My prayers are with you daily along with the other missionaries serving throughout the world. Bro. Peek Leavenworth Ward