Notice posted on the door to our apartment building – “Hot water will be off 21 May to 25 May for work on water line” – or something very close. At least we got the part about no hot water for 5 days essentially correct. Remember we told you that our hot water is supplied just like cold water? The advantage is that you have a never ending supply of hot water. It is metered so you pay for standing in the shower all morning but hey some things are worth every ruble. Disadvantage – when they turn it off at the source you can wait for days to get a hot shower. And so it has been. This morning being the 26th we were all excited to get our hot water back. It never happened! Apparently, if they find that some repairs are needed on your line it could be many more days. I guess the notice is more like a minimum time the water will be off. We do have cold water and a teapot (chineek) so the morning routine has been interesting to say the least. Still no hot water tonite and who knows when we will get it back??!!
Also this week our elevator gave up the ghost a few times (both of the elevators at once) so we have done 9 flights of stairs more than once. No heart attacks yet but by the time we get to the top you begin to wonder. One day I pushed the alarm and a voice came over the speaker in the elevator, rattling off a bunch of Russian of course which there was no way I was going to understand, too fast, too loud, and coming over a scratchy intercom. I assumed they wanted to know why I pushed the button so I shouted back “Leeft net ra bo tat” or the lift won’t work. The voice hollered back something else (a question of some kind) a couple of times, then the lights went out ( for a few seconds which seemed like minutes) then the elevator whirred and buzzed and started working again. That only worked one time though. The other times we have not been so fortunate so have had to use the stairs. Sorry to “whine” but it was HARD.
We sent 25 missionaries (over 1/3 of our missionaries) out on visa trip this past week and this was nearly a catastrophe. As it was it turned out to just be a disaster, 2 of our elders and three sisters having to spend nearly ten days in Finland before we can get them home. Visa renewal problems again, they have a new guy in the Moscow Embassy in Helsinki who is now processing our visa renewals and he is causing us untold amounts of grief. We did manage to get everyone else home but for a moment it looked as tho’ they would all be spending the 10 days. Anyway, crisis resolved, as best that we could for now.
We leave for our visa trip on Friday and will NOT be going to Finland for this reason. We are excited tho’ because we will be flying to Prague for the two day trip. Pres. and Sister Gibbons will be going as well so we are looking forward to our time with them as much as we are to the two days in Prague. We will also be traveling to Kazakhstan in July sometime with them to meet the senior couples and missionaries from there who will be part of our mission starting the 1st of July and we look forward with anticipation to spending more time with them. We feel blessed to have these opportunities to travel and visit and learn from them. They are both just wonderful people and love and care for the missionaries so much. They are dearly loved by all the missionaries and the members as well. We know they are the absolute best and are heaven sent to lead this mission at such an exciting time.
A short recap of the rest of our week – we have participated in three missionary discussions (2 at our apt and 1 at the church), helped with a missionary fireside, attended the symphony and choir concert, hosted our weekly district meeting and spent Saturday attending and feeding 120 people at seminary & institute graduation. Now that was event we should tell you a little about. It began with grocery shopping for potatoes on Friday, enough for 140 (we needed some for our district meeting as well.) Trying to communicate my request to a local farmer was interesting. He couldn’t believe that anyone would want 140 potatoes to EAT, plant maybe, but eat never. I finally convinced him and he sorted out some nice ones for us. When we got them home we of course need to wash them all. They looked like russets to begin with but once washed turned out to be red potatoes so they were really dirty. Next we wrapped them all and put them in the oven (two layers on each of our racks). We left the oven door open and the kitchen window open, it is right by the oven so the potatoes would stay sort of cool overnight. Then we got up at 4:30am and turned on the oven and took our shower? (refer to paragraph 1) got ready for the day, did some other housekeeping, boxed up the potatoes when they got done (2 hours in our oven!!) and headed out for the church on the other side of town. Pres. and Sister Gibbons met us at the corner and we rode over with them arriving at 8am. I attended a District Council Training meeting for our new District Councilmen while Sister Webb helped in the Kitchen. Then it was 11:30 and the graduation began. A little after 2 it was over and the rush for dinner began. Ham, salad, bread and baked potatoes were served. Then clean up and an activity. Each of the cities put on a skit and they were all tremendous. Even tho’ we could only understand a little of what was being said we were still laughing so hard. We got a couple of great ideas that may come in handy some time down the road. Then we packed up and got home about 6pm. A very long and tiring 14 hour day but today is Sunday, we had a great night’s sleep, the sky is blue, the weather is warm, the gospel is true, we are all the children of God, He loves each one of us and life is good. Have a great week. We love you all.
Have to run - the hot water just came back on. Think I'll hit the shower!! Hooray!!
|Our Entire Mission|
2 Zone Conference
|Sun on the Mission Homes Two Towers|
"Eye of Sarron"?
|Across the street again|
Can you notice the blossoms and gardens
alot has grown in just the few days since taking the last pic of
|Symphony & Choir|
We were on the 4th row so I could only capture 1/2 the choir
and part of the Orchestra
Mezzo Sophrano facing front on left
She was amazing
Conductor just behind her also amazing