And so it begins – 2013. It hardly seems possible. Each year brings its own special set of blessings and challenges and then passes on more quickly than the one before. 2013 will certainly follow suit. As everywhere in the world 2012 went out with a bang and 2013 entered in like fashion. There were fireworks going off all around us – in an overabundance – from 6pm on the 31st until after 5am the next day and then it started up again in the evening on New Year’s Day. It is a holiday from the 31st to the 13th here so we imagine there will be plenty more fireworks throughout the next few days.Monday, New Year’s Eve Day, we made our weekly run to the grocery store and since everyone was preparing for the next day it was more crowded than usual and the traffic was pretty insane. So we took a short cut to the store and drove down the tramvai tracks (pic included). It worked out pretty well but we were all a little nervous that the tram would come barreling over the hill at any minute.
New Year’s Day was a little slow – the financial and business world is closed and all the government offices so there was not much going on in the Mission office either. We took some time and went to the Ice Sculpture Park with Elder and Sister Gundersen then out for dinner before returning home. Most businesses try to stay open through the Holiday, however they operate with just a skeleton crew but it is nice to be able to navigate the icy sidewalks without all the people so we had a very enjoyable afternoon and we were the only 4 people in the restaurant. We chose Fennimore Cooper’s, like in James Fennimore Cooper the author and although it was a little expensive it was quite unique. Some of the décor included a Colonial US flag, Indian teepee, Cowhide and Bear skin rugs, and numerous early American Indian artifacts and pictures. Sister Gundersen went for the Moose Sashleek while Elder Gundersen, Sister Webb and I settled for the Wild Australian Turkey steak. It was really quite fun.The rest of the week has been slow but pretty much business as usual for us. The mission office seems to always present a few issues each day which need some sort of resolution. Then there was English on Wednesday evening, District meeting on Friday and we were back out in Berdsk for Saturday afternoon and for Church on Sunday.
2013 seems to be off to a great start and we are excited to see what the year has in store. It is quite exciting to think that we will be home in less than two months, 47 days to be exact but who is counting? And we are very much looking forward to our daughter Sarah’s visit the week before we return. It will be great to have her here for a few days as we make preparations to return.