Monday, June 22, 2015

6/21/2015 A Scripture, Shopping, Birds & Faith

           A scripture that took a different meaning for us this week - Mosiah 4:24-5 - where basically he is saying to those who don't have means to give to the poor - "I would that ye say in your hearts that I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give.  And now, if ye say this in your hearts ye remain guiltless.." Being away there is comfort in knowing that our children and grandchildren are promised blessings because we are serving, not that life would be without challenges, but that they would be blessed.  The Mosiah scripture stood our this time because it seems to also apply to serving a mission.  We recognize what a blessing it is that we are able to serve, especially when there are many who would if they could, but, for whatever reason, cannot.  It seems to me that the blessings to the children and grandchildren of those who would serve full time missions if they could 
and who serve and sacrifice wherever they are and in whatever capacity they are needed will be as great as for those who are able to serve.  I have a hard time thinking that the Lord would not bless them all the same.

This is the temple bulletin board Mike put up at the Institute building - the main one as you come in. He also does the other two bulletin board that are pictures of the Young Single Adults (and baptisms of this age) and the Single Adults.  His artistic talent comes out, they are good.
Behind Mike you can see the outdoor market where we go for our fruits and vegetables coming into  a shortcut we just found.  This is the first time he has ever worn short sleeved white shirts, but the temperatures here have been in the 90's - which in Saratov is higher than usual for June -  and it is more humid here.  Still, we really can't compare to  Bunkerville which, according to the weather page, has been hotter than Las Vegas or Phoenix.
  On the bus on our way home from shopping at Ashans, a very small-scale Sam's Club.  Here is just one more reason I'm not interested in equal rights for women -- he always carries the two heavier bags and I carry the lighter one.  
 Maybe the warm feelings come from the Mary Poppins song  - Feed the Birds - but there is always a tender feeling for these babushkas that feed the pigeons.  She was very careful to make sure that they all got some and she was there several minutes with plenty of bread that she broke into small pieces.  We tried to get them flying around and kind of swirling around her, but the pictures were either blurry. or birdless. :)
Some time ago we posted a picture when they were bringing in lots of dirt for the flower beds.  This is how it looks now.  You can see the light behind me with a white marshrutka (like a very large van) parked at the bus stop there.  That is where we get off the bus to walk back to church, about a 5-10 minute walk depending on how clear the sidewalks are.  That is also where we cross to catch the bus going back on the other side, just past the buildings on the left, where you can see another white marshrutka.  We haven't tried one of those, because they cost more and we're not sure exactly where they go.  The buses we know and also, no matter how far you go unless it is out of Saratov,  it is only thirty cents apiece each way.
We are enjoying the work, the missionaries and the saints in Saratov.  We have talked recently of miracles and patience and faith, so this thought:
 "Men and women desire miracles because of their beneficial nature. They often come with a timestamp reading, “Please grant immediately.” But part of the principle of faith needed for miracles is trusting in the Lord’s timetable. Sister Susan Tanner, then Young Women general president, said in the April 2008 general conference, “I delight in the Lord’s mercies and miracles. I know that His tender mercies and His miracles, large and small, are real. They come in His way and on His timetable” (May 2008 Ensign, “My Soul Delighteth in the Things of the Lord”)
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We'll close this week with a story that Sister Nelson told at the devotional held in Moscow a couple of Sundays ago that was broadcast throughout the Eastern European area speaking of the twelve tribes of Israel.  She said she was at that same pulpit in Moscow on a different assignment about a year ago and, as she named off the twelve tribes of Israel, she asked those of each lineage,  given in their patriarchal blessings, to stand.  Every tribe was represented except Levi.  The next day she was in another city and when she walked into the meeting, a young man stepped up to her and said .. "and now you have Levi."   Then one of the missionaries told us that in the Ukraine a couple of years ago, when patriarchal blessings were given, all twelve lineages were represented.
Hope all of you in Bunkerville are surviving the heat - sounds like you are hotter there than in Las Vegas or Phoenix.   We are in the nineties here, hotter than usual this time of year, and it is humid, but evenings and mornings are OK.  That is by way of report, not complaint.  :)

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