Just when you think you have things figured out and plans fairly well set they start throwing curve balls. This past week we received a telephone call that did just that. Our Area President, President Lawrence, who oversees all the missions in Eastern Europe, called with a request. The Mission President in St. Petersburg needs to return to the States for about 4 weeks and they asked if we would be able to stay in Russia, move to St. Petersburg and fill in for him while he is away. The practical part of us said NO, this will not work, we have plans, flights and are ready to return home but our hearts, beliefs, and testimony had us saying yes of course we will help. SO –
We will NOT be home on the 22nd of February as planned – instead on the 16th of February we will move to St. Petersburg and will serve there as the Mission President for anywhere from two to four weeks. We are excited for this additional opportunity and will of course let you know, when we know for sure, concerning our return.
This week was transfer week so things get pretty busy around here with Elders coming in from the outlying cities, changing companions, greeting new incoming missionaries, etc. We received 4 new elders this week, one from the Tri-Cities. It was fun to have a chance to visit with him a bit as we did orientation for all of them. Two Elders went home – one to Utah and the other (a Russian native) to Moscow. It is always sad to tell them goodbye but we rejoice for them as well as they begin a new phase in their life having been prepared in the Mission Field. This one was doubly sad as we knew it would be our last transfer here in Novosibirsk.
After sending off our two elders and orienting 4 new ones we prepared for our District meeting on Friday. We will have one more of these meetings this coming Friday and then Saturday morning we will travel to St Petersburg. This week we will spend finalizing things in the office, packing, and trying to say goodbye to everyone here. We will write next week from St. Petersburg and fill you in on the details.
Friday evening we had dinner with President and Sister Gibbons and spent a wonderful evening with them as we reviewed many of the aspects and highlights of our time in the mission. Saturday we spent some time packing, working in the office and we also received some information on our new assignment from Pres. Clark of the Russia St Petersburg Mission. I think when that info came into the office was when the full impact of our new assignment finally hit home!!! We walked over to Elder and Sister Gundersen’s apt for dinner later that evening and then returned home to a little more packing. I think we are about there???
Sunday (today) was another tear jerker for us. It was our last Sunday in Berdsk and the people there (2 Elders and 3 members) made it very difficult for us to say goodbye. It was, however, a very sweet experience with them today. The people here are so wonderful, kind, loving, and patient (especially with our bad Russian skills). We have come to love them so very much. We know they have changed our lives forever.
|Elder Kelly - Going Home|
|Still room for a couple more pounds|
|Our Last Evening with Pres and Sister Gibbons|
"Parting is such sweet sorrow"
|The truck of my dreams. I want to take this home |
with me but haven't figured out how just yet.
Don't you just want one?!!