Natasha Borina has been in a part of the Yaroslavl branch for about 2 years. She had not been baptized because it was against her mother's wishes. In early August she gave a talk in sacrament meeting and the next week was called to a position in the branch. The next week her mother told her she could get baptized if she wanted to. We held the baptismal service on the banks of the Volga River near the picnic site, depicted in an earlier post. Above, she and Sasha Yartsev, who baptized her, are shown with Elders Pierce and Barney. Sasha was baptized last October in a different river. Elder Barney confirmed Natasha the next day in sacrament meeting.
Here is Natasha with Sister Brown and Sister Shavyeko.
Here they are in the water. Sasha and Elder Pierce gave talks at the service and Brother Vaneev, the first counselor in the branch presidency, conducted the service and welcomed her into the branch.
There were 8 investigators, 7 missionaries, and 10 members there. (Elder Angelo was in Spain on his visa trip.)
Afterwards, we had a picnic on the beach beside the river with lots of fellowshipping by members and missionaries. Eventhough it was overcast most of the day, during the baptism and picnic, the sun was bright and warm.
Here is a hovercraft-type boat that passed by after the service was over.
A large barge pushed by a boat also passed us. This river is a main cargo transportation route in Russia.
Anne invited many of those attending the baptismal service over Saturday night to celebrate Rick's birthday. His birthday was the day before, so the two of us celebrated by going to dinner together to a Swedish buffet restaurant. Rick is half Swedish on his mother's side, so he was anxious to try the buffet.
Elder Pierce and Sisters are Transferred
Elder Pierce, on the left, went home the next Friday. He really had a hard time and didn't want to leave the mission field. He felt he had more to accomplish here. He went home a few weeks early because of the way visa trips had to be coordinated. He will be missed, but has left a lasting impression on those he taught and worked with.
The sisters were also transferred out of Yaroslavl. Several members and some English Club members came to the station to say goodbye. We now have 4 missionaries here in addition to us. We hope to get sisters back soon.
Elder Smith Arrives
Elder Smith, the one in the center above, arrived that evening at the train station. He is Elder Keifert's companion and will be a great asset to the work here.
On the way back from the train station the morning after saying goodbye to the sisters and Elder Pierce, we walked back to the branch building. On the way, we walked through a beautiful park that is right across the street from the branch.