Sunday, December 2, 2012

Blessings in Berdsk

We just returned from Kyiv, Ukraine on our last visa trip.  We now are holding our last 90 day Russian visa and must be out of the country no later than 25 February 2013 – 87 days but who is counting??  We travelled to Kyiv on Monday arriving there in the early evening after spending the entire day flying or in airports plus gaining 5 hours in the process.  Needless to say we were pretty wiped out so sleep came easy.  Tuesday we had the day in Kyiv so we went to the Kyiv Temple and spent some time there doing temple work as well as taking in the three major cathedrals in the city, St Sophia’s, St. Michaels, and St. Andrew’s.  These were amazing to see and learn about.  We didn’t have much time as this was a quick visa trip but we would definitely love to return to Kyiv someday and see the rest of this beautiful city, the cradle of Christianity in Russia.  We hope you enjoy the pictures we included .   We spent the day Wednesday flying home, losing the five hours we had gained, arriving at 6:00am on Thursday morning.

It was then business as usual back at the office on Thursday, District Meeting on Friday and Saturday was spent preparing for our first official organized church meeting in Berdsk on Sunday.  We had many supplies to gather and items for the Senior Couple apartment to procure before making the trip to Berdsk on Saturday afternoon.  That afternoon we spent in District Meeting with the 2 Elders assigned to Berdsk, planning our upcoming meetings for December and reviewing the work being accomplished in the city.  It looks like we will be having a few lessons taught in the apartment there on Saturday evenings and Sundays after church.  Everyone is anxious and excited for Elder and Sister Beck to arrive the middle of January so there will be a Senior Couple in the city 24/7.    

Church on Sunday was simply the best.  Sister Webb played the piano (an electric portable keyboard), Elder Bunnell led the music, I conducted the meeting (mostly in Russian) and Elder Leonhart and Bro Vatalie administered the sacrament.  All seven of us bore our testimonies during testimony meeting and Bro Vatalie taught our Sunday School Lesson.  We then shared a light meal after the meeting to “break the fast”.  The three members attending were so warm and appreciative of being able to attend church in their own town and not having to make the long and expensive trip into Novosibirsk every Sunday.  Everyone had a very uplifting afternoon as we traded stories and shared experiences before, during and after our meetings.  Sister Webb and I made it back to Novosibirsk safely by evening.  It is a little over an hour to Bersdk from here so it is a bit of a trip in the winter.  It was easy to see why the members were so thrilled to be having church so close to home.

Pres. and Sister Gibbons have been in the Kazakhstan part of the mission these past few days so we look forward to their return this week and getting back to a state of normalcy if there is such a thing.  Everyday seems to bring new and exciting challenges and experiences making serving here an unbelievable part of our lives.  Everyone have a fantastic week, stay warm, work hard and know that Heavenly Father knows who you are and what you desire.
St Sophia

St Michaels

St Andrew's

LDS Kyiv Temple

-19c & Snowing
Siberian Zeema is HERE

Kite Boarding on Mora Ob (Ob Sea)
Actually a lake
If you click on the pic I think you can see the sails?

First Meeting in Berdsk
Big things are about to happen here!!

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