Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lower Branch, Our Neighborhood, P-Day, Mall, Kaljonov dinner, Teaching

Lower Branch

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 group of young people came to visit us the Sunday evening after we were in the Lower Branch for Church the first time. From left: Sasha, Vasilisa, Tanya, Natasha, Olga, and Ilya. Tanya and Vasilisa teamed up to translate for us. Ilya is not a member, but has a baptismal date for June 13th. All the others are members of the Lower Branch. We enjoyed getting to know them better and they brought a delightful spirit into our apartment.

Our Neighborhood
We wanted to share some of the neighborhood area we live in. We walk past this rather rundown area to get to our apartment building.

This is the front of our apartment building. It's five stories and we are on the second level.

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!
This is the back of our building. We are in the apartment on the right, second level. You can see our balcony and the kitchen window is to the right. The lilac bushes were just beginning to bloom. We've enjoyed the spring with all the flowering trees and bushes. The fragrance is wonderful!

This is the back courtyard. The flowers are blooming more now. We would like to donate a bench for sitting out there, but since there isn't a gate on one side, it would probably not last long.

P-Day

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.

Shopping!

This is the Fantastica Mall. It's really a beautiful place and there's lots of shopping. If you look closely, you can see the Real sign in the back on the left. We do a lot of grocery shopping there. There's also a cleaners, a nice gift shop and a home center store.

Family Dinner

We 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.

Teaching
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.

1 comment:

SuzieBel said...

I'm so glad you finally have spring! Your area looks charming. Thanks for sharing.