A wide variety of events kept us busy this week. Monday is our shopping day and this week we had plenty to shop for since the other Senior Couple serving here left Friday for a week (a long story). Anyway, they are the CES couple (Church Educational System) working mostly with the 18 to 30 year olds with an occasional seminary (14-18) activity thrown in there. This couple is the best and the kids absolutely love them so we have had some big shoes to fill. They have told us many times that CES really stands for “cook every second” and we now believe it. Seems like we have had something every day for which we needed to furnish food. They are a pretty active group and when you throw in the various missionary activities and meetings as well it takes a lot of food.
After stocking up on Monday the cooking began. But first we had Leadership meeting for the mission on Tuesday. This involved about 30 missionaries and all the Senior couples in the mission (there are two other couples besides the two couples here in the city). The Mission President decided to turn the evening into a mini Senior Couple conference so he took us all to dinner at the new TGI Friday’s which just opened in Novosibirsk. It was great to have a chance to visit with the two remote couples in our mission and I know they really enjoyed the time together.
Wednesday we had a two zone conference. There are only two zones in our mission so it turned out to be a Mission wide conference with all the missionaries and couples serving in Siberia. There were about 68 of us and we of course did some food for that lunch. We had some great training and enjoyed a great meeting and time together. That evening all the couples went to the ballet – Don Quixote. It was magnificent. We feel really blessed to have so many opportunities to enjoy such great entertainment.
Thursday evening was our last English group for a while so we made banana bread for that (more cooking) but had a great time reviewing with all our students some of things we have discussed and learned over the past 8 weeks. We handed out words and asked them to describe the word so the others could guess without using the word. One of the words was spoon. Think how you would describe this to someone and then catch this description which was given by one of the students – “something you use to help you eat more accurately”. They got it right off!!??
Friday brought with it our Missionary District meeting and since the other couple was gone the missionaries in their district decided to join our district meeting so we had 15 for lunch – more cooking. After our district meeting we had a missionary meeting in our apt with a young couple, Daniel and Anya they were really nice and although they spoke no English we had a great time getting to know them and helping with the lesson.
The missionaries had planned an “after English BBQ” for Saturday and we (of course) got the assignment to furnish and cook the meat and bring a salad or something. This was to take place at 6pm so we had plenty of time to attend the baptism being held at noon and take treats to that – still more cooking. The baptism was great, the BBQ was fun and well attended and Saturday ended on a good note.
Sunday, a day of rest, brought with it the CES fireside in the evening for which we needed to bring refreshments – more cooking. Monday evening we hosted Family Home Evening for the Young Single Adults (filling in for the CES couple again) – more cooking.
We are glad to have this all behind us. Actually, the cooking isn’t the worst, it is doing the clean-up and all the dishes so many times that wears you out. We had a great week though and it has been a lot of fun for us to see how much a little service is so appreciated. We should add that they turned off our hot water this morning for the coming week - we'll let you know how that goes next time. It was not good this morning so not sure how it could get better until Saturday when it comes back on.Everyone out there have a great week and take a nice hot shower every morning for us!!
|Getting ready for Zone Conference|
|The neighbors across the street|
Gardens are growing
The little tool sheds - are not!
No sewer hook ups here!
|Playing with the Pigeons|
(sorry for the shadows of you know who)
|This is only one of several libraries in town|
We did find time for a walk one evening
It was around 7pm but still lots of
people with their kids hanging out in the park