On Monday night, we went to Arena 2000, the home of the Yaroslavl Locomotive, to see a hockey game. This was our cultural activity for the month.
The Locomotive is one of the best teams in Russia. They won their league two years ago and were 2nd last year.
Elders Smith, Keifert, Barney and Angelo really got into the whole experience. Elders Smith and Keifert are sporting their scraves and Elder Angelo is wearing a jersey. The bought these before the game started.
It was an exciting game. With our help rooting them on they won 3 to 0. The arena was full during the game, but during breaks, it emptied out.
More Service at Provaslavny Church
We returned to the Russian Orthodox church and painted the room we cleared out the week before. Anne and Elders Smith and Angelo are starting to paint the wall. You can see the small cans of paint on the floor. They were a little larger than quart size. We were all provided brushes to paint with. If we had had rollers or a paint sprayer, we could have done the job in a fraction of the time it took us. Having some Kilz would have helped also.
Here is a shot of the job we did. Elder Barney used the ladder shown in the corner to paint the upper wall on the left.
After we finished work, we were treated to lunch by the Priest, who is seated at the head of the table. Last week, after our service, we experienced our first authentic Russian meal. This week, we had a vegetable soup, a cabbage and carrot salad and a beet salad which was much like Borsht without the liquid. Of course, this was accompanied by great bread, fresh fruit (apples and plums) and a fried vegetable of some kind that was very good. The room we are eating in is one the missionaries helped clean up and paint several months ago. It looked like the room we have been working in, which is adjacent to it.
Dinner at Chernikovs'
Elder Angelo had heard a lot about a special Kazakhstan dish called Bish Barmach from the missionaries in our mission who have served there. The Chernikovs are from Kazakhstan and Sister Chernikov spent the month of August there with her parents. Her mother came back with her to Yaroslavl and will be here when their baby arrives in December. The Chernikovs invited all the missionaries over to their apartment and served us this special dish. It has beef and pork along with potatoes and onions and a unique noodle-like substance. All of it is boiled in separate pots and served on a tray. In Kazakhstan they eat it with their hands and wear big bibs. We, fortunately, used plates and forks. The noodle-like dough was laying on the beds on cloths waiting to be boiled when we got there. It was about 24-30 inches in diameter and very thin. It was then folded and boiled.
Here you can see Elder Keifert sitting at the table in the left foreground that we ate on. In the background you can see President Chernikov with his two youngest children; Karina and Maxim, who is looking through a Book of Mormon.
Transfers and Pierces arrive
On Friday morning, we saw Elder Barney and Masha off to Moscow. Elder Barney was transferred there and Masha started another mini-mission for 6 weeks. She took her full-time mission papers with her and only has her dental exam to complete while there. Two English Club members joined us at the train station.
On Friday night, back at the train station, we welcomed Chris Pierce (center with white hat) and his parents (his Dad is behind him to the left) and Sister Shavyeko (on the right), Sister Gorina (next to Shavyeko) and Elder Jenson (on left) to Yaroslavl.
On Saturday night the branch had a social for the Pierces. One of the things we did was to pass an apple around the big circle of about 25 and each of us told one thing we loved about Elder Pierce. When the apple completed the circle, Chris had to light the matches and try to get them all to burn with as few re-lights as possible.
Family History Center
Here is a picture of our Family History Center. If you double click on the picture you can see a car parked under the trees. It is parked just outside the door into our FHC. The Church actually owns the back corner of this building. It contains two fairly large rooms, one small one, a storage room and a restroom. We rent the building where we have our branch meetings. We must own a building in Yaroslavl to be officially registered as an organization here. If we didn't own this building, our missionaries would have to travel back to Moscow every three days. You can see the graffiti all over the lower level of this building. It is rampant here. We are expecting a contractor to come paint over it and make some other improvements. We have been expecting that for over a month now.
Another reason I took this picture was to show the grounds around the building. Very seldom do you see any upkeep on the grounds around the city. The parks and squares are cut, but almost everywhere else things just grow wild.