Things were pretty hectic around here the last couple of weeks so here is a little flavor of what’s happening in our world – First of all I had to make a quick trip to Utah to escort a missionary who was sick and unable to travel alone. Left Novosibirsk on Friday (before Thanksgiving) arrived Las Vegas Friday night. We flew to Las Vegas as there was a big snow storm forecast for Salt Lake on Friday evening and they didn’t want to take a chance on the plane getting diverted some place strange. His parents picked him up at the airport and I spent the night there and flew out early Sat am to Salt Lake and spent Saturday and Sunday with Sarah, Jennifer & Steve & family, and Tyler & Harrison, who drove down from Idaho Falls. We went straight to Wal-Mart and picked up several things I had on “The List”, ate some American Fast Food, some good Mexican and some Salmon over the weekend and then hit the Salt Lake airport early Monday am for the flight back to Novosibirsk arriving here Wednesday morning at 6 am. What a trip. It was fun to see the kids for a few minutes and to touch down in the “good ol’ USA” for a moment. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the two young sister missionaries serving in Novosibirsk moved in with Sister Webb for the 4 days/5 nights I was gone. They had a great time. The Mission President didn’t want Sister Webb to be alone but I am not really sure who took care of whom. Well, I think we all know the answer to that. Those two sisters could hardly say goodbye as they packed to head back to their apartment. They held on tight to Sister Webb and each took their turn at a little cry. They really fell in love with her which I know we can all understand. All of this happening right before Thanksgiving.
We spent Wednesday (day before) cooking pies, making stuffing, and getting things prepared for Thanksgiving Dinner. We had dinner at the Mission Home with 23 people, President and Sister Gibbons, the Huffakers, whom we have mentioned before, us and 17 young missionaries (4 sisters and 13 elders). For those of you who know there should be an even number – refer to the above – so we are left with one “threesome”. The day started out with me sleeping in (recovering from the jet lag) and Sister Webb putting in our two turkeys to cook. Turkeys are great here. We got both of them into one (yes one) 9x13 pan. I think they were about 6 pounds each, maybe. They biggest we could find anywhere. Pres. Gibbons called and told us their water was off so we may have to move dinner somewhere else. A few hours later he called back, the water was back on and so was dinner. He came to pick us up and everyone began converging on the Mission Home. Dinner was wonderful, we visited, washed a lot of dishes, and watched a couple of movies (Bing Crosby in “Holiday Inn” and Disney’s Tangled). A great time was had by all!!! The missionaries had never before seen “Holiday Inn” so it was fun for them and they laughed all the way through the movie.
We are now back to our “normal routine” for a few days and will get ready for our visa renewal trip to Helsinki, Finland next Friday. We are looking forward to that and will let you know about our experience there. We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and took the time to reflect on all we are blessed with in our lives. We love you and miss you. May God continue to bless each of you in all you do.