Elder Angelo's Birthday
Elder Angelo turned 21 and we were able to celebrate his birthday on his birthday, it was a P-day. Anne made a marble cake for him. He said he had never had one. We have had a hard time finding birthday candles, so we have to conserve by using 2 for twenty and 1.
We took a picture of the district at Elder Angelo's birthday when Elders Smith and Jenson were on their visa trips in Spain. Elder Angleo, Sister Gorina, Sister Shavyeko and Elder Keifert.
We are allowed a "culture" night once each transfer. Transfers are every six weeks. This time it was the sisters turn to pick the activity. We went to a hockey game on our last culture night as you may remember. They decided to have us go to a Russian theater here in town. The Volkov Theater is the first one ever built in all of Russia, a distinction we were surprised that our city had. It is currently being restored throughout the interior. The molding around the stage is all carved wood and the curtain drop had an oval hole with a backdrop to give a 3-D effect.
The ceiling had eight of these chandeliers with gold-leaf decoration around the whole thing. It was very beautiful.
It was, of course, all in Russian. Our missionaries said it was high level Russian and they only understood about 40% of it. On the other hand, we understood only a few words and picked up the general story line from the gestures and actions on stage. The set revolved so that there were not scene changes. It just turned to where the next scene was set. It was very well done.
End of Provaslavny Service
Last week was our last time for service at the Pravaslavny Church. We finished painting the floor. It took us three sessions to finish it because we kept running out of paint. Each week we came back to paint floor, we had a different color of red (crahsney in Russian). Father Alexander asked to meet with the sisters. In their first meeting he showed them a DVD prepared by his church on our church. They said it was about 50% correct in what it said. They have agreed to meet with him again, but this time they will show our DVD on the Restoration of the Gospel.
Anne felt sorry for all those whose birthdays had already passed or were after they were going to be going home. So we decided to have an unbirthday for Sisters Shevyeko & Gorina and Elders Jenson & Keifert. There were 22 special candles on the cake. Special because they were the relighting kind. Each tried to blow them out, one at a time without success.
Then, they decided all four of them should blow. Those candles put off a lot of smoke. Lucky (?) for us we don't have fire alarms in our apartment. They finally got them out by dropping them in water.
This picture was taken at our last district meeting, the day before transfers.
Elder Angelo and Sister Shevyeko were transferred. They are the last two from the original district which was here when we arrived. It was hard to see them go. Sister Shevyeko is holding a "goody" bag that Anne always makes for our departing missionaries to help them through the 4 hour train ride to Moscow.
Here we have our new missionaries arriving at the train station, along with our returnning mini-missionary, Masha. Masha is in the red jacket. She spent the last 6 weeks in Moscow serving with Sister Brown (former Yaro missionary). She got to help teach and see baptized one of their investigators. We filled out her papers for a full-time mission just before she left on her mini-mission and she is waiting for her call to come from Salt Lake.
Elder Terry is the fourth from right. He came to replace Elder Angelo. Both Elder Jenson and Elder Terry are now designated zone leaders. Yaro has been designated a Zone for some time with only 6 missionaries in it, but we had a district leader. President Cranney decided to make Yaro a full zone this transfer by appointing these two as zone leaders.
Sister Vostrykova (Dasha), in the black and white jacket, came to replace Sister Shevyeko. She is from Neegzny-Novgaroad and is on a mini-mission for 6 weeks. She turns 21 next September and wants to go full-time then.
We finally got the 2nd package sent from home. It was so big it was hard to get up to Yaro on the train. When Elder Keifert came back from Spain on his visa trip, he brought 3 other smaller packages that had arrived for us. This one would have been impossible to drag around Moscow. This big package was sent a month before the other smaller ones he brought up. The big one took 2 months and the smaller ones took 4 weeks.