Saratov Post Office has a Carol/Sheila/Mary!! Wanting to get them sent, but needing to get to a meeting, we hurried to the post office with our stack of letters for the grandchildren, walked up the stairs and into a very long room with lots of stations and people waiting with numbers that would show up on the monitors when it was their turn. It looked like a long wait and we couldn't even figure out how to get in the queue. We stepped up to the lady at the information desk and showed her the stack of letters. She smiled, and speaking with some English explained with a chart that it was by weight, and to be sure all the letters were in the weight, she took them and led us to a desk where she quickly weighed them, had another lady get us the stamps and then both of them actually helped put them on. They were so pleasant and helpful, we thought we were back in Bunkerville. We'd have liked to take a picture but since some people here already think we are spies we didn't think a government building was a good place.
Forgot this picture from when we were in Balacova last week. We have wondered if they even have to water the flowers because you don't see drip systems or sprinklers or lines. Then we saw this big water truck driving close along the side of the median of the highway with the hose hooked up to the huge tank, pretty smart and it would be a long time before you would run out of water.
Our oldest granddaughter, Allison Dorothy Waite, Aaron Michael's oldest graduated this week. There isn't enough time or room to say all the good things about her.
Look out world, here she comes!!
We particularly enjoyed Skyping with all the family in Bunkerville where they gathered for our annual Memorial Day family reunion. It was just a year ago when we were together when we opened our mission call. Who ever would have thought we would be where we are today. These three turn twelve this year, but still don't think they'll mind us posting this cute picture.
New baby, lots of smiles and no teeth.
Taylor's youngest showing us that she is two.
The missionaries are told to give everyone an opportunity.
And it looks like it just might work.
It is hard to believe how fast things have turned green. You've seen pictures out of this window before, but with rain or snow.
It is getting warm here - we've had a couple of days that hit 90. Feels pretty good to me. President Schwab's letter to the missionaries last week included a reminder from the Eastern European Presidency of how missionaries should be dressed. If it is over 80 F they can take off their coats. We have two sets of Elders in our area, and this is a picture of the coat rack at the Institute building about 2:00 one afternoon. We do enjoy the missionaries.
A fitting close to this week's blog - a couple of quotes from Elder L. Tom Perry:
“We must be bold in our declaration of Jesus Christ,” Elder Perry taught in the Church’s October 2011 general conference. “We want others to know that we believe He is the central figure in all human history. His life and teachings are the heart of the Bible and the other books we consider to be holy scripture.”
One of his most well-known quotes came during the 1998 semi-annual church conference, when he said: "The almost universal gift everyone can develop is the creation of a pleasant disposition, and an even temperament."
Elder Perry is one who understands sadness and adversity. In December 1974, Virginia passed away; then in March 1983, their daughter Barbara died. He has also lost two grandchildren to death. During those dark times, his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ gave him hope; today he encourages others who suffer to put their trust in the Lord: “The Lord is very kind. Even though some experiences are hard, he floods your mind with memories and gives you other opportunities. Life doesn’t end just because you have a tragedy—there’s a new mountain to climb. Don’t spend a lot of time sulking over what you’ve lost. Get on with climbing the next mountain.”
We do miss home but that is okay; we are doing well and for now, we wouldn't want to be anywhere else but here and our family feels the same. Thanks to you all for your friendship, love and support.