Interesting Easter that one of sister missionaries was telling us about that is kind of fun, thought you'd be interested: "In Russia, for the Easter day everyone says "he is risen!" and then in response you must say "truly risen!", interesting and kind of funny at the same time because sometimes friends do it like 10 times in progressively louder increments and whenever someone walks in to a room or gets on a bus and proclaims that he is risen, the whole bus or room responds. Pretty great stuff. And everyone was just in a good mood, it was a nice refresher."
So, after our nice walk in the relatively nice weather in our medium coats, we came home and moved our heavy coats to the back of the closet. This morning we woke up to this but it is pretty much gone now.
Thursday we walked over to pick up the Bibles for the primary (they only stock them 3 at a time so we have to wait a week to get the next ones) We pass this old building very often (you can see the 1914 and 1915 in the first picture below) which it is a huge indoor market running a full block with lots of individual shops inside: food, clothes - almost anything you can get here you can find there. We have wondered what is originally was for because it is such an impressive building. We have an investigator couple that comes to a lot of activities so we showed him the pictures. Big Surprise - the second picture gives you the name - City Renock which means City Market - so clear back then they built a more than very nice covered building for people to sell their wares. Pretty impressive. The bottom floor now has the elite stores, lots of what they call "fine" jewelry, considerably more expensive than the individual small shops on the floors above.. The orange DNS signs you see in the bottom picture - DNS is an electronics and supply store. That is where we got our thumb drive and the ink for the printer.
When the ice melts you see lots of groups cleaning up the parks on the sides of the walking streets, actually seems like everywhere people are cleaning. The Saratov District which consists of 8 branches, met last Saturday and did our part. It was fun to get out and work.
Mike and a couple of our Elders.
As we were walking home last week, we saw a lot of dark grey smoke coming up between two apartment buildings (second picture), then just a quick glimpse of the fire, which was already being contained. Two fire engines were there already, and at least one, maybe two more came. Even though, on that August day in 2006 when our home burned, we felt no great fear or anxiety or despair, and since remember most, with gratitude and tenderness, the great outpouring of love and support and help from so many; still smoke and flames and fire engines bring a burst of emotions and a quick pit to our stomachs. Fortunately it was a tree in between the buildings and there was no damage to buildings and no injuries.
You can see how close the buildings are, and the one on the left is more wood, so had it spread, it could have been really bad.
When we have our fruits and veggies washed and spread out, we cannot help but think that one of the evidences of God's great love for us in this amazing world of ours is the variety of color and taste and uses of all of these and how sensible and useful the way each is put together, not to mention meats, milks, eggs, spices - the list is endless and miraculous - certainly you wouldn't want a tomato to peel like banana, or an orange like a coconut, and the very thought that a small teaspoon of soda or baking powder will cause what you are making to rise when it cooks -- pretty wonderful. D&C 59:18-20 - yea all things which come of the earth in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and gladden the heart, for food or for rainment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul; And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man;
Our days are busy and good. Mike goes every morning except Sunday to the "office" where we hold institute and all activities and cleans, that is actually part of our assignment. President Markelov's office (He is the CES director for Samara and also second counselor in the mission presidency) is also in the part of this building that we lease. When he doesn't have to chip the ice it doesn't take as long, we'll see what their summer brings. I went at first, but we have found it easier for him to take care of that and I take care of home. Cooking, washing, ironing, those things are the same wherever we are. And pretty much everything is from "scratch," they don't have mixes here. Grocery shopping we go together because we have to carry home what we buy.
Days include scripture study and language study (Mike spends more time there than I do.)
On Mondays the missionaries come here - companionship at a time and we have two, sometimes three - to write their letters home. Monday night we have someone here or go visit someone - always with one of the companionships so we have translators. We take treats, they do the lesson.
Tuesdays Mike meets with President Markelov on CES and young single matters; Tuesday night we have Young Adults. We take some sort of treat to that.
Wednesday night is Institute and we always have something fixed for them to eat before Institute because many of the kids come from work and school and don't have time to go home. Thursday Mike has District Meeting, treats for that too.
Friday we have two district meetings and then Game night at the institute. The missionaries bring investigators.
Saturday is when they hold baptisms and activities. Also Mike has started an English "club" for some of those who are studying to pass the pathway exam. He teaches English using the scriptures and Liahona and other church materials. Surprise - treats for that too.
Sunday we go to both Branches because Mike is the clerk in the branch we don't belong to so we have to go to that one too.
We're grateful to be here!!
Lots of good sayings over here:
|Аво́сь да как-нибу́дь до добра́ не доведу́т.||Draw not your bow till your arrow is fixed.|
Literal: Maybe and somehow won't make anything good.