We have Institute youth who take classes at the Saratov Music Conservatory so we attended two concerts last week. One girl plays the accordion - practices 4-5 hours a day so we don't need to tell you how good she is. Last Tuesday evening at their performance, there were 9 accordion students who each played one or two numbers. Then, at the end, all nine played together - very impressive and fun to listen to. A miracle that day, there were quite a few concerts going on and we "just happened" to get there at the same time as members we knew who were going the same place. They made sure we had the right tickets and went to the right room. The Conservatory is huge - four floors with sings and stages and classrooms and practice rooms and practice areas. We might never have found it until it was too late.It is an old, stately building, very historic and the inside is nicely done.
We especially like the doors.
Our second concert was choirs - starting with young children, some really fun songs. They are quite animated as they sing and very good. Many of the older groups sang a Capella (looks funny to me too, but I looked up the spelling.) Our young friend from the Institute was in one of those older groups. We have pictures of other groups but they are closer and you can see faces, so we can't post them. You can watch and listen to the videos when we get home. We didn't see an organ, but there are pipes at the back of the stage so they may just bring it in when they need it. You can see part of their very beautiful grand piano, quite an amazing sound.
My best pictures are in gowns and masks.
Mike has to do the initial visit report which covers the project, the facility and those who work there. The girls at Valley-Leavitt will be glad to know that he gets every single bit of information, we have never had to go back.
Mine -- Get your orders in early before the rush .. I'm sailing right along .. Wish I could say it looked better in real life. I think this is going to be like the chevron single crochet afghan I made years ago for my sister Trudy - my first and last.
Mike has been keeping a list of cooking projects the last 6 months. There also, little tender mercies along the way that are very much appreciated. Saturday I tried a new chicken receipt for Mike and I - Waikiki Beach Chicken from the Samara Mission cookbook, but decided to cook all the package (gratefully they do have the boneless, skinless) so we could have some for Sunday. Turned out our little Angolan sister came early for her appointment with the sisters so we had plenty to feed her and then we found out late Saturday night that the Steele's, a Senior Couple that are on an audit mission covering Eastern Europe, were staying for our church Sunday so it was great to be able to invite them without having to do some extra preparing. That may not seem like much of a tender mercy to some, but it certainly was to me. That would add one more dinner to the list below.
Cooking Projects at 6 month
- sit-down dinners - 14
- batches of cookies - 13
- pans of various kinds of brownies - 19
- batches of cupcakes - 7
- muffins (apple & bran) - 8
- evenings or mornings with pancakes - 20
- large crockpots of soup - 18
Now, a very tender story from yesterday in Relief Society. Dixie & Anne Leavitt's granddaughter, Hannah, David's daughter, has served in the Samara Mission, starting at the MTC July 1, and is now in Saratov. She came into Relief Society yesterday to translate for Sister Steele and I. (This is a picture of Sister Leavitt by her birthday greeting to her younger brother. She is a fun, talented young lady and a great missionary.
When testimony meeting started, Olga stood and told how last week she had fallen asleep without taking her seizure medicine and was dreaming that one of her friends, Tamara, put her hand on Olga's head and insistently told her she needed to get up and take her medicine. This was about 3:00 in the morning. Olga said her body felt heavy and it was hard to get out of bed, but Tamara was insistent and realizing that an episode was coming on, Olga prayed hard and finally had the strength to get out of bed and take the medicine. She expressed her gratitude to our Heavenly Father and to her friend Tamara for taking care of her.
The second she sat down, her friend, Tamara, who is the District Relief Society President and a fun, kind lady, jumped up out of her seat, very excited. Then she told Paul Harvey's "the rest of the story." Tamara had awakened about 3:00 a.m. that same morning because she was dreaming that she had a extremely painful toothache. She went - dreaming still - to the doctor but when she walked into the room nobody was there to help her and the very real, increasing pain woke her up. She had no toothache, but a driving feeling that something was very wrong with one of her friends, she had no idea who. So she knelt by her bed and fervently prayed to our Father and asked that whoever this friend was that needed help, would He please help her. Now she knew it was her friend Olga, and knew that our Father had helped. It was pretty touching to watch them after the meeting as they embraced and talked and laughed. And we were grateful Sister Leavitt was there because we haven't had a missionary in to translate in Relief Society very often.
To close - this on prayer from the Bible Dictionary: Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.
and from Tennyson -