Every week begins with Family Home Evening in our apt (at least until the “new” couple arrives next month!!). We had 21 who showed up. The Elders taught a lesson centered on the Olympics, training and accomplishing hard things and how that all relates to our everyday lives and the relationship we desire to have with our Heavenly Father. It was all in Russian but everyone seemed to be making the connections and in the end it was all good. Great job Elders. We served cabbage salad with a Russian flair, bread and Fruit for dessert. Everyone went home full except three of the young ladies who stayed and visited with Sister Webb until about 10pm or a little latter. Tuesday of course is our big staff day but we were able to get away a little early as three of young women (two recently married and one a little younger) came over in the late afternoon to have Sister Webb teach them how to make cinnamon rolls. If you are one of the lucky ones to have been on the receiving end of those cinnamon rolls you know why they wanted to learn how to do it. Well 4 women in a small apartment, baking, is no place for a male to hang-out (at least until it is time to sample) so I headed out to run a few errands for the office and of course I managed to return at “just the right time”!! The cinnamon rolls were just coming out of the oven and this was the best batch ever- must be the Siberian air. They all ate some (more than two) and there was still plenty for them to take a bunch home to their families. They stayed and played a game of Yahtzee (first time for two of them), visited a little more and left for home tired. They all had a blast and it was fun to have them in our home. Sister Webb said it was really funny how they took pictures of every little step in the whole process so it took a little longer to get things in the oven than usual because they were constantly stopping to take each other’s picture doing each step along the way.
Wednesday evening we did English Group again and this week we tackled some tongue twisters and went on a treasure hunt. It was a lot of fun and we so enjoy visiting with the people who come each week. We get group 4 who are all good English speakers so it is a real pleasure for us to be able to visit with these folks each week, some consistent attenders, some new faces every time. We learn so much more from them than they from us I am not sure it is even fair; but we make new friends every week and enjoy it so much.
Thursday was kind of a downer for everyone. First of all, President and Sister Gibbons were denied their permanent visas so that put a wrench in their upcoming travel schedule and plans. We scurried around and got things in place to get new 90 day visas for them which entailed sending our office elders as couriers to Helsinki to get the new visas. As it turned out the visas for the upcoming renewal trip by 22 of our young elders and sisters also had not been processed by Madrid (the registrar was on “vacation”). We spent Thursday evening typing new applications for all involved and having everyone come in to sign their papers so we could send the whole batch to Helsinki with our “couriers” in an effort to get them processed in time for the Aug 16th trip. We were at the office until after 10pm and now are just keeping our fingers crossed that it will all work out or else we will have 22 missionaries who will have to leave the country and not be able to get back in until things can be worked out again!
Saturday morning we went to our local Reenok to pick up some fresh fruit and veggies. It is so fun to visit with the local Babushkas (grandma types) who bring the produce right from their garden. There are dozens of them and they each have just a few things they have picked that morning to sell. Some have tomatoes and peas, some potatoes and cucumbers, others something else. We tried to buy a little from each of them. They are all so cute and want so badly to talk to and sell to the “Americans”. We stand out like a sore thumb you know. There is one little booth about 10ft long and 5ft deep piled high to about 10ft with stuff, everything you could possibly imagine. The best way to describe it would be – imagine all the merchandise in Clifford’s Hardware Store shoved into a 10wx5L x10h spot and there you have it.
Our dear friends from Colorado, the Huffakers, will be leaving this week, so as a last outing together we all went to the circus which is playing in town this month. We had a great afternoon together, the entertainment was amazing (the circus had some great acrobatic acts), but mostly we just enjoyed the time visiting and being together. We are really going to miss them when they leave.
We have learned to cherish friendships having been away from all of you and we will cherish our new friends as well. Friends and family are what life is about. Love and cherish yours – make a new friend this week.
|A little bit of everything|
See how many diffeent items you can find
|Orthodox church near the Circus Arena|
Sister Huffaker and Sister Webb
|A Balancing Act|
|Sign on the door to our Building|
It says the Hot Water will not be working from 10am
on the 13th of Aug to 10am on the 18th
Wish us luck