The lower branch building is owned by the Church. It's a beautiful two-story building and has a large chapel and a baptismal font.
It even has a spire on top. We visit the Lower Branch every third Sunday and have English Club there on Tuesday evenings.
The grounds are kept immaculate and there is a lovely garden area in the back with flowers and shrubs.
This is a old wood structure across the street from the apartment building. There is a little "Producty" (kind of like a 7-11 store) on the corner.
Looking out our back windows in the kitchen and on the balcony, we see the courtyard and this very old dilapidated house. We were surprised one morning, after it had rained, to see a little old woman come out the back door with a pail of water, empty it and then go back inside. We really didn't think anyone lived there, but we were wrong. Our hearts go out to the people who have to live in these conditions. An egg would not stay on a table in that house!
P-Day with the missionaries is always a highlight of the week. Here they enjoy a game of "Phase 10" and some "munching." Beginning in the forground left: Elders Kruglyak, Traasdahl, Rosenhan, Jeremejev, McClelland and Michaelis. Elder Terrell is hidden.While the others play games, Elders Malanin and Baxter write home and enjoy letters from family.
Family DinnerWe invited President Kaljonov and his family for dinner. Their two oldest sons know English well and their youngest son is taking English in school now. Their oldest son, Mesha was married three weeks ago to Natalya. From lower left: Kostya, Natalya, Erina, Anne. Back left: Deema, Mesha, President Kaljonov and Rick. We fixed a Texas-style meal with barbeque chicken, potato salad, fresh fruit (including canteloupe which they had not had before) and Texas sheet cake. They enjoyed it all very much.
One of our favorite experiences is having the missionaries teach investigators in our apartment. Elders Kruglyak and Traasdahl (back right) taught Lilya, her daughter, Enna (front right), and Marat, back left, who is a friend of Tanya, sitting next to Anne. In the background, you can see the "kissing" dolls we bought for our 41st wedding anniversary.