You know you’ve been around too long when strangers know what floor to push for you in the elevator of your apt building. The other day a young lady stepped in the elevator with us, she greeted us kindly, pushed her floor (number 4) and without asking and before we could say anything she punched our floor (number 9) for us. Now how did she know that,one might ask? I know we thought it quite amusing that she would know what floor we live on without even the slightest hesitation. We have seen her around a couple of times over the past year but I guess when you are the only Americans and the only native English speakers in the entire apartment complex – everyone knows what floor you live on!! We got a real kick out of it for sure.
Another fun thing this past week was receiving our Russian Liahona. The Liahona is a Church Magazine very similar to the Ensign which is published in North America except in foreign countries it is called the Liahona. When we received this month’s magazine and glanced through it we found an article written by our own Elder Yuri Gushin (Area Seventy) on the “Wonderful Blessings of the Atonement”. It is hard for us to read the Russian of course but we are getting through it. Also there was a picture of all of us who attended the Young Single Adult Conference last August in Krasnoyarsk as well as a picture of President Gibbons baptizing the young girl from Kazakhstan in the lake at that conference. It was fun to recall and relive that special week last summer.
This week we also attended English Conversation Group where I had the story time and Sister Webb gave the spiritual thought. Our topic this week was Books and Authors so naturally the spiritual thought was about the Book of Mormon and the guiding principles it contains and the special testimony of Christ found within its pages. Sister Webb was perfect. We are now onto showing the Gundersens some of the office duties and routines and trying to cover the myriad of “impromptu” situations that continually arise. They will be filling in for the interim few days between when we leave and the new office couple arrives.
Once again we finished up the week in Berdsk. This week was not quite as wild as last week at our meetings there but we did have 3 investigators who came and participated with us, two women and the husband of one of our members. They were great and asked a lot of really great questions. Also, Sister Tatyana taught our Sunday School lesson, it was her first time to teach and she was pretty scared but she did a wonderful job. I think she was glad when it was over though – I know when I have to teach I am always happy when it is over.
Yes, we go home on February 22nd, getting excited to see our kids and our grandchildren, including one new granddaughter who we will meet for the first time! Our kids are spread throughout Washington, Idaho, Utah and California so we will be making the loop to see then as soon as we get settled. I think we are ready to go home, but it also is hard to imagine being home. So it will be a little adjustment for us maybe. We have certainly loved being here in Siberia, what a great experience, it will be so hard to leave President and Sister Gibbons and the wonderful missionaries and members. They are like our second family.
We looked all over and discovered we had taken zero pictures this week – sorry about that. I guess we have other things on our mind!! Thanks to everyone for the emails, the prayers, and the support. We love and appreciate everyone, our family and wonderful friends so much. We look forward to seeing you all in just over 4 weeks. Have a great week – we love you all.