Sunday, August 12, 2012

HHH - Huffakers Head for the Hills

After spending the past year becoming very close to new and now dear friends, The Huffakers from La Jara, Co, exploring the city, attending Sunday Evening Firesides, Monday evening FHE, numerous activities, or just a rare quiet evening together visiting or playing a rousing game of Yahtzee, the final day arrived!!  The Huffakers are GONE.  We are sad and miss them already, but are so excited for them to arrive home with their family.  It was amazing for us to have this special opportunity to serve with such a wonderful, loving couple.  The people here will truly miss them.  As we returned from the airport with Elder Gushin and Sister Gushina they both commented on how hard it was to say goodbye to the Huffakers – we agree.

The week seemed to be filled with parties and well-wishers as everyone wanted to gather in one place or another to say their goodbyes and get their final hugs from two people who have left an unforgettable mark in Siberia.  As we would walk through the neighborhood with them their neighbors would bring friends up just to see the cattle ranching couple from America.  These two have become “epic” in the capital city of Siberia, Novosibirsk.  Everyone in the city has heard of or knows the “cowboy from Colorado”.  We had an FHE farewell on Monday evening, dinner with the Mission President on Tuesday, office celebration on Wednesday, dinner with the Area Seventy (Elder Gushin) that evening, “surprise” party with the members on Thursday evening, a couple of quite hours on Friday afternoon (just the 4 of us) and then it was off to the airport early Saturday am.

 Saturday afternoon we took the metro to the last stop, hopped a bus for about a 30 minute ride to the edge of the city to visit Sveta.  It was her birthday and we had been invited to come celebrate with her at her Dacha.  She is a very special young lady, a little challenged mentally, but very sweet and so friendly.  She lives with her mother and a cat in some pretty dire circumstance and she was absolutely delighted that we would come to visit and celebrate her birthday.

Our first Sunday evening fireside tonight without the Huffakers, we were poor substitutes but they ate all our treats so in the end it was all good.  Next week will be busy – first there is the annual budget to prepare and submit by Tuesday afternoon and then we are off to the YSA conference in Krasnoyarsk on the Tuesday evening overnight train.  We won’t be back until Monday morning so our post for next week may come out a little late.  It should be a fun and exciting week.  We love you all.
A few revelers at the Office Party
Huffakers on the right

One of Sister Webb's famous "CandyBar" posters
They had never seen such a thing- it
was quite a hit.
Huffaker's Last District Meeting

At the Novosibirsk Airport
Headed Home
They look pretty happy!
Birthday at the Dacha

Hadn't seen one of these since my mother
ran her finger through the one in
our basement when I was a kid
Some of you should know what this is
or are we just older than we think!!
My favorite of the week
Sister Webb getting her "Granma Fix"

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