The photo was taken by James Witt in Phoenix AZ - he calls it Phoenix rising.(for those of you who don't know, Lynnette grew up in Snowflake, Arizona, and attended Arizona State University for a couple of years before going to BYU -- so Arizona pictures always have the feel of home.)
Birthday in Saratov - The missionaries and the Institute youth made it a fun birthday, hand warmers, notes, pictures, a "don't sell my horse", and the tradition in Russia - always flowers, plus a shopping trip a couple of days later with Mike to find something of Russia for me.
Elder Larry S. Kacher of the Second Quorum of the Seventy is the new counselor in our Eastern European Area Presidency. He and his wife, Pauline, and Sister Carol McConkie, First Counselor in the YW General Presidency, and her husband, Oscar, were here to do a training for the branch auxiliaries. It was well attended and all four of them did a great job getting over the message and then they took time after each meeting to talk with members. Zhenia Markelov, our CES director did the translating for the general meetings. After the meetings, the missionaries helped translate as they each met with individual members. It was fun for us to have them here, testimony building as well as informative, and such a lift for the members.
The Kachers and McConkies had a full schedule. They flew in Monday afternoon (from another training) held a District FHE on Monday night, a Zone Conference for the missionaries on Tuesday afternoon, then Tuesday night was the Auxiliary Training. They left for Samara Wednesday morning for a repeat and also had one more series of meetings in Eastern Europe before they went home.
Oscar and Carol McConkie with Dixie & Anne's granddaughter, Sister Hannah Leavitt who is serving in our mission. Oscar is a first cousin to our friend Mary McConkie Donoho and the McConkie's daughter is married to Dixie and Anne's youngest son, Matthew. Such a small world. My dad always said you should take care how you behave no matter where you were because someone was bound to know your parents or a member of your family.
A couple of the moms held a little nursery at the back of the building so they could be there.
Mike wasn't supposed to take this picture, but since he did, thought we might as well share it .. I have a 2 kg weight (a whopping 4.4 lbs) in each hand. With my head on the stool it makes it just right for my "reps" whatever those are. We decided that part of my exercise is getting in and out of the chair - and it is good entertainment for Mike. I need to get him doing his sit-ups or push-ups on video, but he looks good doing his and I just look funny.
Note, this is American made Pyrex we have in our apartrment .. see the 8 oz, but above it is 1/2 pint - isn't 8 oz 1/2 pint? Further up is 16 oz and above that 1 pt. (although just now in googling this we found out that a British imperial pint is 20 fluid ounces compared to the American pint of 16 fluid ounces so maybe this is a British measuring cup.)
Family History - our Branch President's wife's lesson for Young Womens was on family history .. so she brought some of their engagement/wedding pictures. The Volga Bridge is behind them in the top one, and they are at Victory Park for the next one.
The pictures of their ancestors are fun to look at because it is such a different setting than what we are used to. Her great great great grandfather is in the middle. They call it gran gran gran grandfather.
Her father's aunt is second from the right.
From "The Plan of Salvation - A Flight Plan for Life"
by Elder Duane Gerrard of the Second Quorum of the Seventy: