Monday, September 14, 2015

9/13/15 Fortune Cookies, Work, the Volga

Our children and grandchildren will be glad to know that fortune cookies can be found for Krishelle anywhere.  The first one on the bottom left says - "Today everything is a possibility for you." which is a good prediction for the journey Craig and Krishelle (our daughter and son-in-law for those of you who don't know) and their little family begin as Wednesday they leave Bunkerville, Nevada, their home for 11 years. to go to Utah valley where Craig will be working for BYU. 
The elders said the next saying on the bottom right also has a good message, but it doesn't translate into English very well.

 It is getting cold here - and an older gentleman across the way has been spading up the ground in "his" area.  People here often will adopt an area in front of or close to their apartment building and take care of it, weeding, often planting flowers or plants and just fixing and cleaning up in general.  When he pull weeds, he lays them out in nice straight lines and then when he is all finished he makes neat little stacks and picks them all up.  There is a great lesson in the meticulous care he takes of that little piece of ground that is not even his.
 Sometimes on the walking streets we will see the same thing, either an area around a certain tree or a strip here or there that is faithfully taken care of - usually by a babushka or daedushka (grandpa and grandma aged people).  They keep the leaves raked or broomed up and dig around the trees and bushes.  There is something about working the earth that appeals to us all.   This actually is a couple of younger women who were spading and planting.
This is the first recycling area we've seen - obviously for cardboard.
We do enjoy walking to the Volga.  The end of good weather is close, the air has a different feel and   the river even seems to take on a different look .
The sun's sparkling effect on the water is, well, sparkling is probably the best word to describe it
They have cleaned the ribbons from the statue of the two faces so you can see it better.    
 We have sent a similar picture before, but the weather is better in this one and the new ribbons still bright.  We always like seeing the bridge in the background.
We won't leave the Volga this time without giving you proof that many of these older men swim every day, this at least is one day's proof it is true.  It isn't warm outside and we suspect the water isn't  warm either; but they all say it is healthy.
These pictures have been painted on the wall that runs alongside the wide walking area by the river.   Each picture is probably about 10ft x 14ft .  These are just a few of probably 25 or 30.  We're not sure how long they have been there because the paint is still good, the colors bright.  It is the first time we've walked along that section.

It is something about coming back - most often in any group of paintings there will be at least one if not more that are about the war.  
Wish we could tell you more about what is going on - but we didn't think this was Columbus  :)
Something about the cat wishing it could be as loved as the dog is.
The walk back up from the Volga, but it is good exercise and being down there is worth it.
Elder Francis M Lyman – 1903 – As a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Lyman was encouraged by President Lorenzo Snow to extend the blessings of the restored gospel to Russia.  On July 24, 1903 he dedicated the land and prayed earnestly for the well being of those “in whose veins the blood of Israel flows generously, as well as the Gentiles.”   In the English Gospel Discussion class that Mike teaches on Saturday,  three of the tribes we don't see much lineage of in America are represented:  Dan, Asher and Naphtali.  We both enjoy that class - they all speak English pretty well and understand even more.  They are fun personalities and it is nice to be able to communicate.  They are fiercely loyal to the church and speak of its importance in their lives. 
     We have another member, now the District YW President.  She was telling about her early days in the church and how she saw some who were so strong fall away and she worried she would lose her testimony.   She decided she would always keep the Sabbath day holy, she wouldn't shop and she wouldn't let it become part of her work week.  She testifies that the strength she gained from that has helped her keep her testimony strong and active.   She loves the youth and the youth love her and her encouragement for strict Sabbath day observance and her example of that strengthens not only them and us, but all she works with.  We know the blessings that can come from the keeping of that commandment.
    This is transfer week and in our zone only two companionships remain as they are.  In the Saratov zone we have 20 missionaries, not counting us (one of our greatest blessings is that we don't and won't ever have to change companions.)  Of the 10 companionships, 6 will have new trainees on this cycle, 2 had new trainees last cycle, so we don't have the language strength we have had in the past. However, fortunately, our Father is in charge and who He calls, He qualifies, so we know all will be well.  As always, we are so very happy to be here.  Our Father has taken good care of us and our family and we are grateful much beyond words.  


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