Sunday, September 7, 2008

River Walk +

Marcia Sperry Visited Us
We were excited to have Marcia Sperry visit us for a few days. She had been with a tour group and stayed after they left to spend three days with us. She was a hit with the missionaries and members of the branch. While she was here, she got to sit in on one of the missionary lessons being taught to an investigator in English. Marcia speaks Russian quite well and also was able to converse with a member who enjoys speaking French.

English Club

This is a picture of some of our English Club students. Starting right front, Pasha, Alexi, Rita, Ilya, Tonya, Larisa, and Rooslan in the back. We love teaching each week and enjoy getting to know each class participant as they share their lives and their work with us. We teach the conversational class. We can only do that because it is all in English. Marcia helped in the beginning English class because one of the elders was still on a visa trip.

River Walk
We took a three-hour walk one morning along the Kotorosl River. It was a beautiful day and there were not many people around that early. There is a lovely walkway which has steps leading down to the lower level, closer to the river. The Kotorosl empties into the Volga.
This view looks back toward the area where we live. There is a large marina at the bend with lots of boats and yachts. We see people out boating when we cross the bridges to go shopping. At this point, we have walked about halfway and if you double click on the picture, you will see a little red sign on a distant building. That is the Carousel store we went to after we finished the riverwalk. We were tired for two days!
This picture is the Savior-Transfiguration Monastery built in the early 13th century. It is now used to house the Yaroslavl Museum-Preserve of History, Architecture and Arts. Notice the point where the paint stops. We could see the crumbling bricks. They will probably finish painting it before 2010 when the city will celebrate it's 1,000th year anniversary.
This soccer/tennis court complex was near the end of our walk. It had rained the night before, so they were brushing the water off the surface and a group of young men were playing in the far end arena.
This is a picture of the "Summer House" or "Temple of Love". It was built in 1840 and has become a tradition for all newlyweds to have a picture taken there on their wedding day.
This is a WWII memorial at the far end of the sports complex. In the center is an eternal flame (which is hard to see in the picture). The left side depicts a Russian soldier and the right side a woman waiting for her soldier to return. We have learned that there were more Russian people killed during WWII than all those killed in all the other nations added together. Every town and city has a WWII memorial.
This picture is the Church of the Saviour on Town. While we were walking past, the bells were chiming and echoing across the area. If you double click on the picture, you can see an icon picture under the large lower dome. There were flower gardens around the base at the front which were really lovely.
We wanted to include this picture because it represents the enormous amount of reconstruction and renovation that is taking place in Yaro. There are many churches and government buildings being worked on. It's wonderful to see this preservation taking place.
After our long walk along the river, we needed to finish our grocery shopping. This is the Carousel store we shop at for things we can't find closer to home or at Real or Metro. It takes us about 25 minutes to walk one way. If we have a lot of items to buy, we take our little rolling cart and fill it for the trip back. The store is kind of like a WalMart, but the departments are in separate little shops. They have shoes, clothes, garden, jewelry, etc. If you double click, you can see the top of another church in the background.

Elder Keifert Quote
We had to include a picture of Elder Keifert this time. He has a quick wit and always makes us laugh. This picture was taken at the bowling alley on Sister Brown's birthday. But, we wanted to share a cute thing he said while Marcia was here. We were talking about everyone's favorite holiday and how they celebrate here in Russia. Elder Keifert said he liked Halloween the best. We were surprised and asked him why. "Oh," he said, "the mission lets us dress up for Halloween. It's totally fun. Last year my companion and I traded clothes all day. We even wore each other's name badges!" Well, we all had a good laugh. But the thing we appreciate is that even though they joke around and have fun, when it comes to teaching the gospel, they are totally serious and in tune with the spirit. We Love Our Missionaries!!


SuzieBel said...

I never imagined how beautiful Russia could be. The people must love seeing things with your fresh eyes.

AMY said...


I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday!

Member of the Vernier Family said...

I have been out of town and just saw this blog with all the fantastic pictures of the ancient churches. What beauty - and the countryside is so pretty. What a wonderful education you are getting in addition to your spiritual experiences. I'm curious, do the Russians know about Halloween and what is their take on it.