Always great to see the moon with the wispy clouds, and know that somewhere all of you are seeing the same one but maybe without apartment buildings. The world often provides these "please the eye and gladden the heart" moments.
We have discovered another culinary skill of Mike's - more than just the great pancakes that everyone here loves. Don't you think he shows a chef's touch in stacking bread on a plate.
and they have very fun napkins - this is my favorite:
The keys here are very interesting - like the old ones and they have fun nicks and cuts. There probably is a key maker somewhere in every block.
In church, the Markelov's little Andre was looking at these flash cards. Eskimo is eskimos so that one is pretty easy ..
We posted one of these before - she is a really good Sunday School teacher, fun pictures and always good discussion. This time she drew a car going off the road .. the question being how do we keep from going off the road of the gospel. The times we most wish we could understand is when they tell a story and everyone laughs.
While the weather is reasonable there are workers out painting the curbs -- 99% of the time those particular workers are women ranging from middle age to older.
And next week we'll report on our CES Trip - about 1250 miles of beautiful scenery, a walk through the Kazan Kremlin (below is the Golsharif mosque), and three Institute opening socials with the missionaries and the young people, numbers ranging from 25 in Samara to 1 in Izhevks. Those times touch our hearts as we meet those that have been in the church from several years to several months. We went to church Sunday morning at the small branch in Izhevks where we had 19 attending - that number including us, President Markelov and four missionaries. With the members the seeds have been planted and now it is nourishing and strengthening - with those investigating it is getting them to accept the seed of the gospel and then nourishing it. We are constantly amazed at these young missionaries and the work they do here, home in America and all over the rest of the world.
We are so very grateful for our testimonies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and for what Christ and Heavenly Father have done for us, and hope not to take it for granted. We liked this thought on that from M Russel Ballard, Pure Testimony, November 2004
I recently returned from an assignment in Asia where we met with faithful Saints and missionaries. One meeting was in a metropolitan area where we have approximately 14,000 Church members living within a population of nearly 21 million people. If that same ratio were applied to this meeting, in the Conference Center we would have only 13 members of the Church scattered among this congregation of over 20,000.
This experience impressed upon me how deeply grateful we must all be to know that after ages of darkness and apostasy, Joseph Smith beheld a remarkable vision of the Father and the Son in the Sacred Grove. Clearly, in our world today it is a rare and precious thing to have a testimony that God our Heavenly Father lives; that His Son, Jesus Christ, is our Savior and Redeemer; and that priesthood authority to administer the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored once again upon the earth. The profound blessing of having a testimony of these truths cannot be measured or ever taken for granted.
Personal testimony is the foundation of our faith. It is the binding power that makes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unique in the lives of its members, as compared with all other religious denominations of the world. The doctrine of the Restoration is glorious in and of itself, but the thing that makes it powerful and imbues it with great meaning is the personal testimonies of Church members worldwide who accept the Restoration of the gospel and strive to live its teachings every day of their lives.
Thanks always to each and all of you!!!