Thursday, July 23, 2009

Transfers, YSA Activity, President's Visit

Elder Worthington was transferred here and is the senior Zone Leader. He replaced Elder Nutt and is Elder Malanin's companion, who is also a Zone Leader now.
We welcomed two sisters into Nizhniy, both from Russia. Sister Uldonova, on the left, is from Ofa, the same town that Elder Kruglyak is from and the same mission (Ekaterinburg) that Elder Malanin is from. She has been out about four months. Sister Lavrenteva is a brand new "greenie" from the Novasibirsk Mission and will be trained by Sister Uldonova.
While we were waiting for the new missionaries to arrive, Elder Malanin and Elder Traasdahl taught Katia, on the right, with Irina, the Relief Society President of the upper branch. It was a good lesson and we felt the spirit.

Pictured above is President Smirnov of the lower branch and the couple who was visiting from Norway for three weeks.

YSA Activity
On Saturday afternoon, the 18th, we had a YSA activity at the lower branch. We grilled hamburgers and fed them first, then played some games that Anne had prepared. We had a water balloon toss, seen above. Rick is bending over the water balloon box getting another one to toss to his partner, Elder Smith (back right). Our APs, Elder Russell (with his back to us in the left foreground) and Elder Harker (background center of the picture) came up on Saturday morning to split with the missionaries before the President and his wife arrived. Elder Traasdahl is just to the right of Elder Russell with his head looking back to Elder Worthington in the background.
There were two teams (not including the missionaries) who passed the oranges under the chin, without using hands, to the back of the line and then back to the front. Here Deema looks on while Katia passes the orange to Leeda, another team member.
Here Alla passes the orange to Vasalisa.
We also took turns doing three-legged races. Elder Russell and Elder Smith are teaming up against Rick and Elder Harker.
After the race, we sang happy birthday to Elder Worthington and to show that he hasn't aged too much, Elder Harker and then Sasha jumped on his back.

New Mission President visits Nizhniy
We met our new mission president and his wife at zone conference on the 3rd. They are President and Sister Kenneth M. Woolley. They are on a two-week, whirlwind tour visiting all the 11 branches in the mission. They spoke in sacrament meeting at both branches on Sunday.
The president and his wife arrived on Saturday night a little after 7:00 after a 5 hour drive from Moscow. They came directly to our apartment where the missionaries were already assembled. Anne prepared a lovely dinner for us all and then the President conducted interviews with all the missionaries. Above the APs, Elders Russell and Harker, are playing around a bit while Elder Traasdahl looks on in the background.
Sasha, the mission driver, drove President Woolley and his wife here from Moscow and enjoyed the dinner with us. He also drove us from Yaro to Nizhniy when we moved in April.
President Woolley presented a fireside on the coming forth of the Book of Mormon on Sunday evening for the members, missionaries and investigators. Elder Malanin holds a first-edition copy of the Book of Mormon that President Woolley brought with him and passed around at the fireside for everyone to examine. He asked that we put on the white cotton gloves to protect it. It was wonderful to have them here for the weekend.


Matt said...

Do you think that the number of missionaries serving from Russia has gone up in recent years?

Rick McClelland said...

The number of missionaries serving in Russia from Russia has gone up quite dramatically since we have been here for the last year.