Sunday, September 23, 2012


Monday and Tuesday passed by rather slowly as we kept our normal routine; Wednesday, Sept 19, the day for which we had been waiting for over a month, seemed like it would never arrive.  Then it was here!!  We arose around 3:30, showered (yes, we had plenty of hot water that day), got ready and met our taxi (mini van) out front at 4:30 for the ride to the airport.  We walked into terminal for arrivals shortly before 5:30 and after a brief wait – there THEY were.  Elder and Sister Gundersen had arrived!!!   It was great to see them – it still seems a little surreal to have such good friends from home serving in the same mission and in our same city where we will see them frequently.

Well they hit the ground running.  We picked them up got them to their apartment, showed them where things were, generally, and then left them to get a little rest.  It is about 20 hours on planes and 16 hours of layovers to get here given the mandatory stop in Moscow to secure passports at the US Embassy.  It was back to the office for us where we tried to work in spite of our excitement waiting for them to rest up a bit and then call, which they did around 3pm.  So off we went over to pick them up, show them the metro system and how to get to the office, got them registered in the city, went to dinner, and then at 6:30 took them to week one of our new session of English where we meet with any people who wish to come and learn and/or practice their English.  We had 45 people at this session so we are really excited for this 8 week session and another opportunity to meet new people and help them in their efforts to learn English.  After English was over we all stayed around for a while and visited with some of the people and then we took the Gundersens back to their new home.

Thursday, they explored a little and then ventured out to the office on their own arriving without incident.  We had a little dinner and then it was off to their first Institute class (Thursday evenings at 7pm).  The kids were excited to see them and greeted them by signing a traditional Russian folk song with costume.  It was pretty fun and of course they wanted to know all about the “newbies”.  The kids warmed up to them right away and are looking forward to some FUN TIMES with the Gundersens.

Friday we were back over to see them and attend a baptism and Saturday they had a Seminary training meeting all day.  Sunday after church, they attend with a different congregation on the left bank while we attend on right bank, they came over to our “Dom” for Sunday dinner.  We had planned to attend the CES/YSA Sunday evening fireside at 6:30 but since it was cancelled we took advantage of the time and just visited.  It has been quite a first week for them with all the activity mixed in with trying to get unpacked and settled in to their Russian home.  It is so great to have them finally here.  We have had quite the time catching up on home and planning out what to do in the coming days and weeks.

The work continues to move forward here and we are really enjoying working with the missionaries, meeting the people they are teaching and participating with them in the many baptisms and activities they are continually planning.  Our next such activity will be Mexican Fiesta Night on October 6th.  

We have been hearing quite a bit about all the smoke back home from the many fires all around and we sure hope things clear up soon for everyone.  We think about you often and remember you all in our prayers every day.  Have a wonderful smoke-free week.  We love you.

Friends from Home
Serving together

At Institue Class
with a few of the Young Single Adults



  1. Okay. I have really been out of the loop lately, but I'm so glad I read this post!! I had NO IDEA the Gundersons were serving a mission let alone the VERY SAME mission as you!! That is absolutely amazing. And exciting! And wonderful. :) I'm so happy for you! Keep up the good work. As for me... I just got called to be our Stake Young Women's President. Fun and exciting. And busy!! Love you lots.

  2. I could feel the excitement in your post. How very fun for you to have good friends like the Gundersons in your mission at the same time.
    Today was a very clear day after several weeks of smoke but I hear things will continue being very smokey in the next day or two. Met in the new chapel on East Street for the first time last Sunday. Really a wonderful building and considering everyone was trying to find out where to go as far as Sunday School, Young Mens and Young Womens etc., it was interesting in the hallways!

    Take care and enjoy the blessings you have of working with the great Russian people.

  3. So Happy for you All! Exciting to hear Gundersons are in Russia with you~friends from HOME! Paul & I are enjoying being home from our Mission~we were released a month ago. We did not serve for as long as we thought because Paul finished his assignment in 12 months & one day we would like to go back to do more for the same mission! At the end of our Mission we traded our Toyota & 350Z in for a Ford450 & a fifth wheel(Home on Wheels)& are leaving this Thursday to do some traveling (church history) & visit with family & especially the grandkids in Utah! We are staying in St. George for the winter & plan to return to Wenatchee in the spring! Happy for you & enjoy reading your posts ~ Hugs & Kisses Chris

  4. It seems weird to see the Gundersens traveling in some exotic country without us! We are so happy you have them there to feel not quite so far away from home.

    Thanks for the blog posts that share the joy of missionary work with all of us. Prepare for some 18-year-olds in the not too distant future. How inspired!--Mike & Kristi