Monday, March 30, 2015

3/29/15 Volga Thawing, Talk, Cell Phone in Church

"We're not lost, I just don't know where we are." Mike's comment as we walked back from the Volga last week.  He is getting so he can get us back home from lots of places, even though the sun sets in the East for him over here.  The ice has started to break up although you still see some fishermen closer to the Engels side of the river.  There are more people out walking now and the young ladies are changing from tights to nylons or bare legs, not a favorite change for the Mission President.
One interesting thing is that right off the bank where you can see down further into the water, there are ice chunks up on top, then water and down deeper is another large section of ice.  The swimmers are glad now they don't have have to chip out the ice before they swim.
         We went with the elders Monday night to visit a member who lives with his parents.  His dad is about Mike's age and is retired from one job, but working at another.  He fishes in the summer, but only from the bank and he's excited to take Mike fishing this summer.  I'll watch.  He said they catch fish to feed to their cats.  The Volga trip was our best weather this week although it is actually colder since it has warmed up because of a very cold wind, but at least now, instead of always blowing in our faces, it sometimes is at our backs.
One more picture, taken on our way to a baptism in Engels - you have to cross the bridge to get there.  You can see where the river is running and beyond the bridge more ice.  
We have seen crews out on different projects, but this was the first real dump truck.  It will take quite a few more loads to fill the hole which has been so full of ice you couldn't tell how deep it was until the thaw - then a virtual mud hole.  It is on our way from the bus stop to the church
The mission president's wife couldn't come to the women's conference here, so they asked Mike if I would do it.  He assured them I would be very happy to accept that assignment.  We have a friend who translated for me. The subject was forgiveness and we were talking about why and how, etc.  One sister stood up and was making her comments (they always stand when they share).  I was smiling and nodding, assuming that what she was saying was very good when Anya, my translator, quietly told me that she was telling us that her home burned down, someone had choked her chickens and that gas prices were going down.  I hope they thought it was the gas prices bringing my smiles and nods..   

Hope I can tell this story good enough that you can picture it.  At church today we met together the third hour for the 5th Sunday, there were probably 50-60 in attendance.  Our branch president had finished his comments, we had the closing song and the lady giving the closing prayer was up front, arms folded and head bowed.  The congregation the same.  She was just ready to start when a cell phone went off - one of those rings that plays a favorite classical, but snappy tune.  It was fairly loud and everything paused while the sister, probably late sixties, finally and unfrantically, searched through her large purse, found the phone and fished it out.  She held it up, we all thought to turn it off, but she held it up to her ear/mouth and answered it - and in an only barely hushed voice -- "Aa-lo."  Most started laughing, but the sister behind her leaned up and indicated to turn it off, which she did, but not until after she said what she had to say.  It was quick - probably telling them to wait until the prayer was over.  It was hilarious.
Image result for picture of older woman talking on cell phone
This is Sister Palmer - she has been here since we got here and has taken good care of us.  She is the one, with her companion of course, that has gone with me to my hair cuts/colors/ etc.  She is a delightful personality and a hard worker, was able to get us into homes of active or inactive members and investigators.  We will miss having her here, but glad for her new adventure in Samara.  
Here are a couple more pictures from the work of the lady from last week who is amazingly talented in so many areas of sewing.  She made the jacket and did the decorations .. she is teaching a class for relief society work meeting, she specifically invited me so I'm attending and have started a picture .. somehow I don't think she will have to worry about me taking any of her business.  :)   I'll post the picture of my creation next week.

So, closing for now with a couple of quotes on forgiveness, since that was my subject for the talk:  

From one of Elder Hollands talks -  - “ to harbor anger and not forgive is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. 

President Uchtdorf: Brothers and sisters, there is enough heartache and sorrow in this life without our adding to it through our own stubbornness, bitterness, and resentment.  We are not perfect.  The people around us are not perfect.   People do things that annoy, disappoint, and anger. In this mortal life it will always be that way.  Nevertheless, we must let go of our grievances. Part of the purpose of mortality is to learn how to let go of such things. That is the Lord’s way.  Remember, heaven is filled with those who have this in common: They are forgiven. And they forgive.  Lay your burden at the Savior’s feet. Let go of judgment. Allow Christ’s Atonement to change and heal your heart. Love one another. Forgive one another.  The merciful will obtain mercy."
     And from President Gordon B. Hinckley:   If there be any within the sound of my voice who nurture in their hearts the poisonous brew of enmity toward another, I plead with you to ask the Lord for strength to forgive. This expression of desire will be of the very substance of your repentance. It may not be easy, and it may not come quickly. But if you will seek it with sincerity and cultivate it, it will come. And even if the one you have forgiven will not accept that forgiveness or if they don’t stop what they are doing, you will know you have done what you could and there will come into your heart a peace that cannot come another way. That peace will be the peace of Jesus Christ who said:  “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you: “But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”        
  Hope all is going well with each of you !!  

1 comment:

  1. Loved your thoughts on forgiveness. I gave a similar talk Sunday on holding a grudge. I used the story of the cream and Thomas B. Marsh. It takes a long time to give a talk when you have some one translating for you. Have a great week Love the Mikkelsen'w