Monday, July 27, 2015

7/26/15 Sacrament Meeting, Silver Car, Flowers & Mission Call

Alma 26:36-7 .. blessed be the name of (our) God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land... we see that God is mindful of every people whatsoever land they may be in; yea he numbereth his people and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth.  We like this scripture -- certainly our Father has been mindful of us and we certainly are wanderers (and sometimes lost wanderers) in a land that isn't so strange anymore.  It is easy to see wherever you go, here and at home that he is mindful of every people.
 *   *   *   *
     Sunday afternoon we sat in the room in the "office" as the kids call it,  where the institute class is held.  The apartment building is below, we have 5 or 6 rooms on the bottom floor, you can see the lights on and also below is a closeup of the door...not sure if that is very exciting, but thought we'd send it anwyay.
  It had been set up to hold sacrament meeting for the seminary youth that were coming from the conference in Moscow.  We had nine young people there, fresh off a 19 hour train ride.  (Pictures of a similar train were in last week's blog.)  The small table with the sacrament, covered with white, brought in a spirit just because it is the sacrament and is the same and has the same blessings no matter where you are.  The counselor in the Engels Branch Presidency (on the left below) and our District Young Men's President,  blessed the sacrament which was passed by a couple of the young men there.  Then the youth stood and shared experiences and testimonies, of which we get an occasional word  or familiar phrase here or there, Mike much more than me.  But, as we sat in that small simple room in Saratov, Russia, what was amazing was the feeling in our hearts as the spirit bore witness to the truth of the testimonies they gave.  We were touched by the strength of those testimonies.  These young people are the future of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Russia, which was organized here in 1992.  
As we were coming back into Saratov from Solnechney last week, Mike took these pictures, another view that we've always liked but never had the camera up fast enough to get a picture.

We had been with the sisters in Solnechny (probably spelled different every time) at an Asian restuarant.  We sat out on the porch, second story, and enjoyed the view and the rain - and great food at a great price.  It was good to see lemonade on the menu, so we ordered it, thought they made a mistake when they brought us carbonated pear juice, but that is called lemonade here and is very good.
Walking home the other day we ran again into Liza.  She said Josh was working at getting a job here and also said that the people at immigration who had to send her home were very kind and worked with them so it would only take a year instead of the usual five.  She has to get what is called a wife's visa.  Had they not left the country, they would have been OK and it would have given them the time there to get the visa.  Josh had checked but they gave him incorrect information, not sure what else they could have done.  He has been doing some interviewing via Skype so they're hoping soon.  She is working temporarily for a friend.
We haven't ever seen a car like this before but since we took the picture most of the missionaries have seen it in our area.  Can't even imagine what it must look like in the winter.  
Craig may be able to tell us what kind of a car it is - the Elders thought it started with an A.  The sisters saw another car, an Audi TT that was this kind of shiny but purple.
And we are learning to read the ads - a lot easier when the English words are on the bottles.  We're doing orange floats (the Fanta was on sale) and chips/cheese for Institute Wednesday because it has been so warm... sounds quite nutritious , don't you think?  
 Closer up you can tell - Koka-Kola, Sprite (C is S, the next little sign is a P, and the P is an R ..) and Fanta (the line through the circle is F and the H is an N)
Back at the Post Office -we even needed less help this time.
They really do have shaded, nice walking streets now, did we ever say it was nice to not have to walk on ice.
Flowers are one of the favorite traditions here - these are flowers for everything.  This member is taking some to her aunt for her birthday, we saw her along the walking street ..
Remember this is the flower bed where they put all the dirt several weeks ago, the red/orange flowers are taller now than I am.
Interesting - sometimes I wonder who thinks of these things .. 
  Finally, to top of this evening, a group, including some investigators,  gathered at the institute building as one of our young men opened his mission call.  He will be going to Moscow "speaking Russian" :)  He is a "good boy" as Elder Bednar would say, active in the presidency of the Institute Council this year, and he will do well.  

With our son Taylor Lorum's permission, we're taking this week's scripture and thought from his weekly email:

"Recently one of my go-to scriptures is 1 Corinthians 10:12-13: 'Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.'

I think these verses capture a large portion of the human struggle. We all (at some point or another) rely too much in our own flesh, in spite of direct warnings to "take heed lest we fall." Additionally, we all (at some point or another) are taken by those temptations that are "common to man," whether that be greed, lust, idoltry, or the rest of the various ways we are tempted. I do think it's interesting that we want our sins to be different. That is to say, we want some justification that our sin is not as bad as the other guys (some circumstance that makes our choice harder). Finally, and most important, the promise that is also common to all; 'God is faithful' and has prepared a way for us to bear the temptation, to make the right choice."
It is an exciting time, we're grateful to be here.  


No comments:

Post a Comment