Tuesday, October 27, 2015

10/25/2015 Russia, Volga, Construction, Field Trip

A little over a year ago today,  October 14, 2014,  this was our first view.  We've said this before .. who ever would have thought we'd be serving a mission in Russia.  What a blessing it has been.

 we'll add this picture left over from our Volga trip a couple of weeks ago - one of our attempts at a panorama shot - gives a wider view of the island as you are coming down the stairs.
Here you can see the "island" - not so very big and covered with people during the summer.  It continues on about half again what you can see in the picture.
Related image
We took another walk to the Volga -- can you see the baby buggy - no matter the weather they are out walking the babies - and it can be the mom, dad, babushka or dadusha .. 
 Closer shot of the baby buggy .. 
 This is a big boat, and we probably have sent pictures before when it was iced in.  They store boats on the top and have this big yellow crane thing - you can see it - that moves back and forth and picks up a boat and then moves it over to the water.
We've wondered about this one .. it is actually fastened by ropes to the boat and to the wharf, makes you think that if either is unfastened, it will go down and they don't seem to worry that someone will steal it - probably works better on the ice than in the water.
It is hard to tell by the picture, but the structure closest is old, the bricks at the bottom are falling away and the walls, etc. are gone and the metal there is rusted and broken.  The shorter building behind is newer, the one at the back, newest.  There is a lot of the very high-rise apartment building construction going on in the Volga area  
 as you can see in the picture below.  Interesting though, they build the buildings and people buy the apartments, but the buyer has to put in the plumbing and electricity, plus do the decorating.  We have friends here, long time investigators, who, along with some others, paid the builder for the plumbing and electricity to be put in - he didn't do it and then skipped with everyone's money.
Bucket of concrete.  It is in the center of the picture, the bottom of the bucket almost even and just left of the peak of the roof.
 Look at the top of the crane below -- the right end has a big slab of concrete to balance the big bucket of concrete that is being lowered which you can barely see in the picture above.    At the other end of the crane (just above the wire) is a little enclosed cage where the worker is that gets everything where it is supposed to go.  Not a job either of us are applying for any time soon.
 We were walking on the walking street we've talked about and passed these school children out on a field trip.  The one little girl was fascinated by the Americans.
 Looks like home .. just a little more bundled.
Alexander is the second counselor in the Zavadskoy Branch Presidency.  Mike works with him because he is the Branch Clerk in the Zavadskoy Branch.  We actually are members of the Volzkshi Branch but the other branch didn't have anyone they could call.  They meet in the same building and we go at 10:00 a.m. to Zadskoy Sacrament meeting and then Mike works in the clerks office until our Sacrament meeting starts at 12:30.  Our block is over at 3:30.  Alexander was getting ready to leave and put on his hat, which looks cool, so I asked if we could take a picture .. we took the picture, then he smiled and put the hat on Mike's head so we got another pic.  He is also plays the guitar and sings.

We've posted pictures before of the lady who does my hair.  This is with Sister Leavitt who you have seen in pictures on the blog before (l).  She only has about six weeks left.  This is Sister Howe (r), from Las Vegas.  She has been out a week.  Another set of sisters and of elders are coming into our area.  We're grateful we don't have to set up apartments like Cecil and Carol have to .. we think it is probably as cold there as it is here, especially if you're running around putting together beds.
We are always excited to hear the conversion stories.  In 1995 Nikolai joined the church a couple of years before Tatiana, his wife, did.  They had not been married long.  The missionaries met them on the street and came to give them the discussions.  She was at work when he had the discussions, and her mother assured her that Nikolai would lose this passing interest in the American religion.  He didn’t and after two years Nikolai and his wife were traveling together on one of the buses or trams when an attractive young lady boarded and enthusiastically greeted them.  Nikolai replied, calling her Sister ___, and she addressed him as Brother Nikolai.  The three of them visited as they traveled, then after the pretty girl got off with a cheery “See you at Church Sunday, Brother Nikolai,” Tatiana pondered for a few minutes before she asked her husband about this sister of his that she knew nothing about.  So, partly to defend her home front, she began going to church.  She said she wanted to find out who this "sister" was.  She soon joined and these noble souls have been faithful church workers for twenty years.  They have served two temple missions, h was the first temple sealer in Russia.  They are loved by young and old, were one of the couples that went with the youth to the seminary age youth conference this summer in Moscow.  They have been extremely kind to us.

This is one of the scriptures the missionaries like to use.  We like it.
D&C 58:42 “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.

Until next time, stay safe.  .

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