Monday, June 15, 2015

6/14/2015 Chipped Tooth, Graduation, and the Bus

First, the picture from last week.  Our ceilings are a thick white reflective soft plastic.  When you touch them they kind of ripple.  You can see the top picture is a reflection of the picture underneath. 

Just some information about the circus in the last blog that is interesting.  The circus we saw has been taken care of by pretty much the same people and their families for the last eight generations.  Lena Markelov's mom, who was here visiting from Idaho where she has lived for seven years, told us that it was the parents of the ones who were in this one that did the circus when her children were young, and their parents did it when she was young.  The children start young in their performing and also the animals are born and trained into it.  I hadn't noticed, but Mike said that quite a few of the ground crew were also the performers.  They travel throughout Europe every year.
It is nice that the best ice cream bars we have found here are are also the least expensive.  They are just  vanilla ice cream covered in chocolate on a stick like we have at home.  They get pretty hard in the freezer and Thursday after lunch I bit into one and chipped my front tooth.  We tried to get a picture, but this might give you an idea.  First how the tooth looked although it was more jaggedy.
Image result for picture of a chipped front tooth
and then close to how I looked - or at least felt like I looked
Image result for nanny mcphee
 I wish I could explain the myriad of feelings in the next few minutes or so .. pretty sad and teary, recognizing we were a very long way from home and the TLC and competency we are used to from dentists and orthodontists we have known for years, pictures flashing through my mind of the dentist office of my youth, the old loud tooth grinder and shots that hurt, questions of root canals or caps or a false tooth and worry as to where a dentist would even be.  Always grateful for the comfort and peace of prayer and a blessing.  We sent an email to the mission office to see if they knew any missionary who had served in Saratov who had to have dental work done.  Within twenty minutes, a tender mercy, Elder Harrison, who we know well and who goes home in a week, called to report he had gone to two dentists, the second he liked very much and was only about a ten minute walk from us.  The office is called Master Dent, and the dentist's name in English - El Boo Boo Mohammed Malamud Mohammed Achmad. 
 We called Zhenya, the CES director, who was at the office, another of a series of tender mercies, stepped down to him.  We had the wrong number, but he found the office on the internet and called and made an appointment for the next morning at 9:00.  We called the zone leaders who are always good about helping, and met them the next morning at the MasterDent office.
 Always our trusted and pleasant help, the missionaries, this time  Elder Call and Elder Graf, whose father is a dentist and who is planning on being a dentist.
The door opened into a state of the art dental office,
Toys for the kids, sugar free candy and tea - they often have tea wherever you go.  The Elders carry the herbal and fruit tea with them, and there is a book you sign and leave comments, even in English.
Front Desk
They only allow one person to be with you, so it had to be an elder who could speak the language.  Elder Call came with me.  [As a side note for those of you who would might know - Elder Call's father grew up in Taylor Arizona and later came back and taught seminary in Snowflake a few years.  He knew Dad , Beaulah, Uncle Lynn, Spud, Glen and a lot of other people we know, is a year older than Glen Stratton's Kent. Elder Call's grandparents still live in Taylor.]  Went from here back to an examining room where they took x-rays and Dr. El BB checked and made the diagnoses.  Careful and thorough and very nice, another tender mercy.  The picture below is when were leaving and he stepped out to show us the book to sign and is telling  us to be sure to have some tea and candy.  As a side note -  he's much bigger than he looks in the picture We'll bring home one of Russia's quick-water-boil pitchers and Bishop Dr. Pollock can fro his hair, sport a goatee and start serving herbal tea.
 Upstairs, then to the dental room, equipped with the newest equipment, where I got my pretty much pain-free filling, plus out the window, a beautiful view of the trees and green outside
This is the doctor who fixed the chip, another tender mercy.  She did a great job, took time to make it smooth and even, and they guarantee it for a year, but recommended that I be careful what I bite.
                                                          The girls at the front desk
 Everyone was extra helpful and treated us great -- we took a plate of homemade treats back that afternoon on the way to one of our shopping trips to pick up the food we needed for Institute/Seminary Graduation.  Heaven spent extra time that day sprinkling us with lots of tender mercies - within less than 24 hours and without being scary, the tooth was fixed and we were back in time for our district meetings.
 * * *
So now to Institute/Seminary Graduation.   Mike helps with the planning and set-up, my assignment pretty much the food.  He does always offer his help - but is probably relieved when I don't need it, but he does go shopping which is the best. It is always a bit frightening because I worry they won't like what we fix.  Our Stratton and Waite mothers probably have to work overtime from heaven at times like this - and they do an amazing job.  Seems like things turn out as they should.  Mike had his English gospel study class right before (these are a couple of the young people in the class. They brought us back from the baptism.)

  I didn't think I'd have trouble making the sandwiches (with our homemade Costco chicken salad) and getting the plates ready.  Sisters Leavitt and Hansen showed up just as I was starting and helped during part of their dinner hour -- and it's a blessing they did.  I'm not quite as fast as I thought I would be.  Those who were there liked the food, it looked good on the plate, and Mike found some good candy wrapped in the colors we needed.  Another blessing was that because of some complications we decided on chips instead of salad and because we only had fewer than planned, we'd have had lots of salad left over - chips keep better and we had found several kinds of the Lay's and they loved them, you can see them in the bowls at the top.  Mike was the one who had the idea of doing quarter sandwiches and two different kinds of bread .. maybe he'll be a chef when we get back...and maybe not.  He sole culinary fame in Saratov at this point is his buttermilk pancakes and his good choice of ice cream bars and candy for the candy dish he keeps filled.
Angels in disguise -- maybe not in disguise, maybe just angels.
The juice over here is the best we've ever had, especially since we figured out which was the 100% juice.  The peach-apple is a bit thick, we don't like it much, but everyone else does.
When we were talking our Sunday walk, this lady was sitting on the side of the walking street doing this pencil or charcoal drawing - pretty close to the way she looks.  We will check again next week to see if she is there during the week too.
  As we were coming home from church yesterday on the bus, I was sitting next to a lady holding a baby - girl, seven months - she kept reaching for me and the mother didn't stop her.  She climbed on to my lap, played and laughed and sucked on her hand - it was fun!
 The mom even left her with me while she went up to the front of the bus to pay so she could go out the larger side doors with the stroller.  Mike gave her one of our "priglashenyas" - the tri fold that the missionaries hand out.  
A scripture we've seen many times, but it stood out this time and we talked of those in the Waite and Stratton families who have served before and are serving now in a lot of different places: 

Mosiah 3:20 - And moreover, I say unto you, that the time shall come when the knowledge of a Savior shall spread throughout every nation, kindred, tongue and people.

and we'll close with parts from another favorite as it briefly outlines what has already happened in the restoration of the church, especially the last verse - D&C 128:

 19 Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth;
 20 Glad tidings from Cumorah! Moroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfilment of the prophets. A voice of the Lord in the wilderness of Fayette, Seneca county, declaring the three witnesses to bear record of the book! The voice of Michael on the banks of the Susquehanna, detecting the devil when he appeared as an angel of light! The voice of Peter, James, and John ... on the Susquehanna river, declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fulness of times!
 21 ...the voice of God in the chamber of old Father Whitmer, in Fayette, Seneca county, and at sundry times, and in divers places through all the travels and tribulations of this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! And the voice of Michael, the archangel; the voice of Gabriel, and of Raphael, and of divers angels, from Michael or Adam down to the present time, all declaring their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little, and there a little; giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come, confirming our hope!
 22 Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? 
Go forward and not backward. 
Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory!
 Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. 

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