Sunday, October 21, 2012

Back to Berdsk

A couple of months ago we told about our trip to Berdsk (Bared sk) on the Electriskee or electric train.  Today (Sunday, Oct 21) we had the great fortune of making another trip to that city only this time it was by car with President and Sister Gibbons and 3 of the Sister missionaries working in Novosibirsk.  Berdsk is a city of approx. 100,000 – 200,000 thousand and is much, much older than Novosibirsk having been established in the 1500’s.  Notwithstanding its size it has much in common with the little community of Entiat, Washington not far from our home in Cashmere.  Several years ago a dam was built on the river which runs past Berdsk and the original city was buried under water so the city was moved to higher ground.  Sound familiar to anyone from Chelan County, Washington?  Anyway, the city survived and is now growing.  It is about an hour northwest of Novosibirsk so the drive was quite beautiful and marred only slightly by the rain we had this morning.  Between these two cities is a beautiful “village” quite large in its own right known as Acadeemgoradok – I won’t attempt to spell it in Russian.  This is an interesting place which we visited once last winter and want so badly to visit again before we leave.  It is home to the best university in all of Siberia if not all of Russia and is one of the few “planned” communities in the country.  It has been said to be the “Silicon Valley” of Russia.  Originally, “built” by the Soviets as a community where their state of the art research facilities could be located (and isolated) without danger of attack from the outside it has become a premier academician and cultural community. 

Back to Berdsk – our trip today took us to the home of one of two active members and her husband (who is not a member) where we held Sacrament meeting with them.  In attendance where the seven of us from the car, the couple living in the home, the one other active member and joining us late, one of the couple’s sons who is also a member but not currently attending.  It was a very tender meeting, President and I administered the sacrament and each one in attendance shared a brief testimony.  We wish you all could have been with us.  The husband thanked us as we left for our visit and for “filling his home with the spirit.”  Today was one of those unforgettable experiences that you would like to have been able to share with everyone.  On our way back we talked about future possibilities in the city and perhaps even being able to locate a couple of missionaries there as early as the next transfer.

Yesterday we spent the day in training meetings as President Gibbons, Elder Gundersen and I provided training to the individual unit leaders (Branch Presidents) from all of the cities throughout the mission.  Sister Gibbons, Sister Gundersen and Sister Webb also helped in some role playing experiences as well as providing a “to die for” meal for everyone.  The training began at 10am at the mission home and concluded about 6pm.  It was a long day but very enjoyable.  Elder and Sister Gundersen stopped in on the way home and shared a little supper and we played a game before they left for home.

Also, this week we have had some great experiences as we have had lessons taught in our home.  We met some new and very interesting people, shared some wonderful moments together with them and had a great time with our “English” group on Tuesday.  Also, District meetings are “back on” at our apartment so we had 8 missionaries for a meeting and lunch on Friday.  This is really a highlight of each week and we have missed this special opportunity for the past month or so as District meetings were moved to the Branch Building without lunch being served.

We would be remiss if we did not publicly thank Heavenly Father for His special care of our family while we have been away and His many tender mercies in our behalf.  We know that He loves each of us and are so thankful for the many reminders He sends to all of us each day that He is aware of us and cares so much for us.  We too, love you all – thanks for being such wonderful friends and family.
Sacrament Mtg in Berdsk

Our training meeting
computer pic is our one attendee on skype

Taco Soup and Chips
Lunch after District Mtg

This little truck is Awesome
Got to figure out how to get one home!!!

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