Sunday, February 5, 2012

Friends & Food in the Frozen North

Well, here it is the beginning of a new week and time to check in with everyone.  The time just seems to fly by when you are busy every minute.  We reported last week on our trip to Krasnoyarsk and will include another picture for you this week.  We got home Monday morning and went grocery shopping for the week.  Tuesday we spent in the office, that is our day for meetings and planning with the Mission President, and Tuesday evening was our Russian lesson with our tutor from the Provo MTC (Missionary Training Center) by skype.  She says we are getting better but she is way nice and I think is trying her hardest to be encouraging.  Anyway, it is always fun to spend our 1 hour each with her every week.  It comes around fast and Tuesday night we must be ready again.  Whew!!  Wednesday evening we hosted about 5 or 6 Young Women and Leaders (mostly leaders) in our apt and they all made valentines, decorated valentine cookies and ate.  Sister Webb is pretty amazing and everyone loves her so much so I just try to stay out of the way.  I am not too good at that tho’ as those who know me might guess but in a small apt full of women I learned that the best thing IS to stay out of the way.  They all had a great evening.
Thursday evening 4 of the young sister missionaries came over for a late dinner and we had a wonderful time visiting with them before they left for home.  They were excited for the sister’s conference on Friday where all the sisters in the mission were getting together for a day of training and spending the day and evening at the Mission Home.
Friday Night we had dinner with the Huffakers (at Carl’s Jr – his favorite place) and met there with a women from Kazhakstan who wanted to see us again.  She loves to practice her English, is interested in learning more about the church and is simply a wonderful person.  She works 6 days a week 10 hours each day but is going to take a break on Monday eve and come to a family home evening meeting.
Saturday we took the day to recoup.  I know it doesn’t sound like we should have needed “recouping” but listen – it is hard to get around here.  We are still walking everywhere we go in 35 to 45 below weather and when you are out in that for very long it gets cold.  Not to mention that you have to shed about 10 layers soon as you hit the warm inside just to go to the bathroom.  And that in itself makes for some pretty close calls.  By recouping I mean we washed clothes (remember that process), cleaned the apt, cooked and this week had our district meeting on Saturday afternoon – so we had 9 missionaries for a 2 1/2 hour meeting followed by a late lunch around 3:30pm.
Today was church and we walked the 5 or 6 blocks in the super cold.  Sister Webb didn’t want to “mess” up her hair so didn’t wear her “shopka” (hat).  Her head ached for nearly an hour after we got there because she got so cold.  That is what stubborn does for you!!  This evening we had a younger woman over for a missionary discussion.  She is a very accomplished pianist and plays for the ballet and theater company at the opera house in Novosibirsk.  In fact, she is traveling to London on the 24th to audition there for the theater.  We had a great lesson with her and two of our missionaries.  She speaks very good English and is trying to learn it better so lucky for us most of the lesson was in English and when it switched in and out of Russian it was generally to better describe something a little better so we got some good Russian in too.  Although, now that she is gone I can’t remember any of the Russian we thought we were learning tonight.  Tomorrow begins another week and we start with a missionary discussion here at our apt on Monday and our young lady from tonight will be back on Tuesday.
It was a little warmer today (only 18 below) and they say (if you can believe any weather man) that it will start to warm up now.  Those who know (the natives who live here) though say that we have about 3-4 more weeks of REALLY cold weather THEN it gets warmer.  We shall see.
Everyone have a great week.  We pray for all of you everyday, our friends and our family.  God lives as does His son Jesus Christ who is the Savior of all mankind.  He loves each of us and wants us to be happy.  Follow Him and He will bless your lives.  
Hockey Stadium in the background

Decorating Valentine Cookies

Making Valentines

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