Sunday, October 28, 2012

Train to Omsk

Доброе утро всем, mы надеемся, что на прошлой неделе был большим для вас.

(Good morning everyone, we hope this past week has been a great one for you.)

We are making this entry on Monday morning, having just arrived by train from Omsk at 7am, an overnight run from 10:30pm to 7:00am.  This means of course that we also took this same train to Omsk on Friday night arriving there around 7am Saturday morning.  The train is a real experience here and we are now pretty familiar with the routine involved in that mode of transportation.  You never have to worry about the schedule for the train as they are always on time even if they have to slow down because they have been making good time – they pull into the station at the exact appointed time i.e. 6:53am – very dependable that way.  Pres and Sister Gibbons had gone to Omsk earlier in the week and I had to do some financial and record keeping training with the leadership there so we went this weekend and then travelled home with them.  While in Omsk we visited two of our sister missionaries who were in a hospital there with a staph infection which required some minor surgery.  They are recovering nicely and should be going home today.  Also, we attended church with Yulia who had worked in the office until just a couple of months ago and her husband and their new little son – Stepan.  It was so good to see them – we have missed Yulia in our office and were so excited to see the new addition to their family.  He is so cute. 

This past week we also had visitors from Salt Lake in our mission.  Sister Stephens from the Gen Relief Society Presidency and Sister Esplin from the Gen Primary Presidency, arrived Tuesday late evening.  Traveling with them were Pres and Sister Lawrence our Area President.  They all stopped in the office Wednesday and had lunch with us before going out to visit a few of the members here.  Wednesday evening they presented some training in a fireside meeting and then headed out on the overnight train to Omsk.  Thursday they spent the day in Omsk visiting and did the same training that evening for the people there.  They flew out Friday morning from Omsk for Moscow before heading home.  It was great to have them here and quite an experience for them to be in Russia as well.

It has been another awesome week, never a dull moment with constant changes and last minute details to handle.  It certainly has kept us busy.  There is much to do yet.  Coming up - Sister Conference this week, Couples Conference the next along with the big monthly visa trip for over 30 of our missionaries (1/3 of our total), then there is transfer which this month is split into two weeks as our new missionaries coming in have been delayed a week so they can process and receive their 3 yr. multiple entry Russian visas.  This is our first group to come with the new 3yr visa.  It will sure smooth things out a whole lot when everyone is on this new visa program.  We are really looking forward to when that finally happens.  Shortly after the new missionaries arrive we will head out to Kiev, Ukraine for our last visa trip.  Time is drawing short and in many ways it seems like only last week we were just arriving.  Time continues to fly by.  We love you all and look forward to seeing you all very soon.  Enjoy the week – they pass by so quickly.
Off to Omsk

Pres and Sister Lawrence, Sister Stephens, Sister Esplin
and "The Office"

Sister Webb, Yulia, Stepan and Yaroslav

Yours truly with Stepan and his parents

Leaving Omsk

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