Monday, March 23, 2015

3/22/15 Missionaries, Falling Ice, Classroom

From one of our companionships: "About three months ago, we found a teaching record for a 10 year old girl from eight years ago.  It said that her older sister was an investigator who always brought her little sister with her to church.  Of the little sister the record reported very little, only that she met with the Elders once, loved church, and liked reading the Book of Mormon picture book.  We went to the address listed to try to find her but it turned out that the lady who lived there didn't know her and slammed the door on us.Then, about five nights ago, we had the craziest evening.  To make it short, we got on the wrong bus by accident and so were in a place we normally don't contact.   So we were like "well, we wonder what they Lord wants us to do here tonight."
      We began walking and passed this young couple.  After they had walked past us for a while, we both had the impression we needed to talk to them. We turned and hurried, caught up with them, began talking to them and it turns out that the young girl is the girl we were looking for, now 18.  She  is interested and she is amazing.

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The top picture of the over-hanging ice on the roof  - three stories up - was taken 5 days before the second picture.  The building sidewalk was blocked off with caution tape when we took the first picture - we had to walk out in the street.  You can see why they had it blocked off in the second picture when the ice finally fell off the roof.  Even though they try to block off these kinds of spots, the local people tell us there are several each year who are injured by the falling ice.  This is by where we take our dry cleaning; here and throughout the city, sidewalks on the least sunny side of the streets are still icy.

I went with the Elders to visit a Sister who was baptized in January.  Mike was at the District Meeting.  Her favorite pet is a hairless cat, which I had never seen before and was a bit of a start at first, because instead of seeing hair, you see wrinkles and lines and skin and very cat eyes.  But it has a pretty cute personality, climbed right on to one of the Elder's shoulders.  Grateful it was him instead of me.

She is very talented, works as a seamstress and also does pictures making leaves, flowers and whatever she needs to make her picture.  The picture itself is on the medium weight canvas type material and she adds the three dimension look with the accessories she makes from ribbon and whatever else she needs.   They are pretty amazing.  The one below she did for the Elder that baptized her.  What was so great and I wish I had taken a picture of, was her sewing corner.  There, the two sewing machines she uses stand side by side - her grandmother's old treadle machine, still going strong, and her new, modern serger.  There was a prom type dress she was working on, plus she had done her curtains and table coverings - they look very professional.
 Letters on her fridge for her grandchildren - just like we do except there are some different letters and/or they make different sounds.  The red "y" in the middle says "ooooh" , the orange ^ sign closed across the bottom in at the bottom is a D.  The red circle with a line through it at the very bottom of the picture is the F.  The funny looking yellow letter right above says "zha."   The P at the left of the F is the R and the B to the left of that "says Va".  The H above the P (that is really an R), is an N .... enough of that!!

We got to go into another area of Saratov for a humanitarian project   The homes are more stand alone and larger than we usually see - you'd think you were in Utah.. or close.

The TB children's hospital we visited there had all sorts of learning aids in the classrooms- kind of fun to see them in another language.  The head doctor met us at the top of the street, shook the men's hands and then bowed and kissed mine . was kind of fun.  They are very protective and respective of older people here.  
More than just math, we have found we are alike in a lot of ways.  

The kids will like this phonic chart.  The top right picture is a dolphin - the letter is D 

And this is one of their classrooms.  The church does amazing things for so many differnt organizations all over the world.

The doctor even had an old phone on his desk .. from back in the 50's .. that doesn't sound so long ago to me.
There was a huge bird nest in the trees just to the left of the building where the children stay .. you could see the bird and it was big and had a long tail .. it would come and go so don't know whether it is making the nest or taking care of new little ones.
This is the building where the children stay and they go down to another building for classes and another building for meals.  It looks like it will be beautiful in the spring.  The nurses wear the white coats and hats.

They have projects for the children-here is a picture they made out of teeny pieces of napkins rolled up.
 And this is the one he gave to Mike & I as we were leaving.  The doctor and all the staff are so nice and so very appreciative of what the church does.  The yellow bird is good luck for a happy day.
Everything is thawing so it is really muddy - you can see by this car

Lots of pictures this time - it has been a busy week and we're started into another.  There are little miracles every day.  We are grateful when we are able to find what we need at one of the local stores, grateful that we have hot water and good pressure, grateful that even when it is cold outside, our apartment is warm, grateful that when we do fall we don't come away with anything broken, grateful when the bus is right there those times we have heavy bags to carry, grateful the institute is so close to our apartment, grateful for those times when, although we thought we made more than plenty, it looks like the food won't go around but somehow it does, grateful for boots and hats to keep us dry and warm, grateful to be here together, and the list goes on and on each day.  We're grateful for prayer!!  We are grateful for health to be able to serve when we have good friends (like Jimmie and Angie Hughes and DeLos and Julie Perkins) who would like to be here but because of health, can't be.  They serve their missions from home, lifting and touching lives there.
     More miracles - We "just happen" to run into someone we needed to see.  Situations you think won't work out "just happen" to fall into place.  And it may seem a little thing, but I worry much about my cooking here and it is big to me that we have been blessed so much on that.  Doors are opened and hearts are softened with meals and treats. We have become friends with our little old oven and we are grateful for that.  Our hearts are touched and our testimonies strengthened by the people here as has been true in our lives wherever we have been - your examples strengthen our testimonies and your love and care has blessed our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren..
   So closing for now ..
 “If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… we’ll always be with you.” 
The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne

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