Sunday, April 1, 2012

Teaching English

English Club began a new 8 week session this past week and Sister Webb and I have been assigned to teach 3rd group.  We meet every Tuesday and Thursday evening for 1 ½ hours.  Our group speaks and understands English really well so our task is to facilitate conversations on various topics and answer any questions that come up.  It was quite fun and very educational for us.  Tuesday evening Sister Webb was on her own for the very first meeting as Elder Webb had another meeting to attend.  Then on Thursday we were both together.  We had a great time discussing family relationships and traditions.  It was as much fun for us as for the 8 students; we explored the similarities and differences as people from opposite sides of the word celebrate families, customs, holidays and traditions.  We learned a lot about Russian New Year and Victory Day and we shared with them Fourth of July and Thanksgiving.  A great experience for us and judging from the reactions of our students they had as much fun as we did.  One of the young women at the English class, Sophia, who has been meeting with the missionaries made an immediate connection with Sister Webb at Tuesday’s class so the missionaries brought her over Wednesday evening for a lesson at our apt.  She is a terrific person about 25 and was so concerned that we were getting along okay, wondering about our coping with the language barrier and whether we were finding everything we needed to be comfortable.  She offered to help us anytime with anything, proving once again that no matter where you are in this world there are wonderful people who are willing to help and serve in any way they can.  We are looking forward to visiting with her and the other students as well for the next few weeks.

We also visited our dear friend Italya whom we have mentioned before.  We went to dinner Saturday night with Pres. and Sister Gibbons and the Huffakers at the restaurant where Italya plays the piano.  It was a very enjoyable evening and Italya plays beautifully.  We listened to selections ranging from “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from the Nutcracker to “Bella’s Theme” from the Twilight movies.  She joined us at our table on her breaks and since we hadn’t seen her for a couple of weeks it was great to have a little time to visit with her again. 

We should mention that we talked to our granddaughter, Amber, this week.  She has been cleared by the doctors to return to her mission but since her visa has expired she has been reassigned to the Texas Houston South Mission and will be reporting on Tuesday.  We are so excited for her.  And speaking of visas.  This week provided a little flurry of excitement as we got word that 16 of our missionaries whose passports were out for visa renewals were stolen from the agency who handles all of that business for us.  They were in their safe and someone broke in and stole the whole safe.  They were after money of course so got a little more than they anticipated.  However, the police recovered about ½ of the passports the next day as they had been left on the doorstep of the church.  Still don’t know why they only returned ½ of them??  Anyway, the office has been busy this past week, filling out reports, cancelling passports, getting new ones reissued, etc, etc.  Quite a pain.  Inserted in there somewhere was a leadership training meeting which we attended and then helped to prepare food and feed about 30 missionaries who attended as well.

Breaking News – at our Church General Conference this weekend they announced a few new General Authorities.  One of them, Yuri Gushin, is from Novosibirsk.  We have talked about him before I am sure.  He is our driver and is in Salt Lake this month.  We are really missing him.  It was so exciting to hear his name announced as a new Area Seventy.  Conference can be viewed at for the next couple of weeks.  Saturday PM is the session they conduct all the business.  There were some great messages.  Hope everyone gets a chance to listen to at least some of it.

The weather is getting warmer every day and the days are getting longer by about 6 minutes on both ends as well.  It is light from about 6am to almost 8pm.  We are really enjoying the Sun and the Warm.  Everyone have a great week – we are going too!!  We love you all and hope life is as good for you as it is for us.  Big hugs to everyone.
A New Friend

Leadership Meeting

Friday Night Lights
From our Apt

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