Monday, March 7, 2016

3/6/16 Performance, Cement Truck, FHE, Buds, Architecture

 This will be short because we will be gone Wednesday through Sunday with our CES director to Institute activities in Toliatti, Izhevks and Kazan - the pictures from that we will do next week.   
 Mike just discovered the panoramic setting for picture on his iphone - this is his first try.
 Second Try. This is the main performance hall in one of their big cultural centers - huge building -  where we attended a performance of a friend who teaches at the deaf school, we have mentioned her before.  She and one of her students competed - it isn't actually a competition - they are given ratings according to what they do and how well they do it.
  The building is more than 100 years old and although maintained and used, the walls and floors do show the age.  They simply do not have the money to make these kinds of repairs.
The chandeliers and moulding are beautifully detailed and ornate
 There is even detail on the ceiling above each chandelier.
The doors are the original ones. They are tall, wide and made of thick, solid wood, and although they show the wear of time, they are still are very impressive and the locks large and intimidating.
 Not sure why, but our pictures came out without details.  We'll put in a couple so you can see the costumes.  There is a wide variety of the traditional Russian songs and you get that variety in a recital like this one.  One young girl sang with her father accompanying her on the accordion.  These two were in traditional costumes and sang a capella, beautiful voices and beautiful song.
 A young brother and sister singing and dancing like professionals.
This very fun number was like a Russian Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy - two young girls in costumes like the women's military uniforms. 
 This is Alyona's deaf student competing, he is signing and actually lip syncing the song.  
 Alyona, her student and Sister Waite.
 We don't see these on the road very often - the cement truck you see just over the top of the white van made us think of Sunroc, Fred and Blake and all the others.  At least over here they don't have to worry about the cement setting up too fast because of the heat.  The closest "batch plant" is about two hours away in a city called Volsk. 
 On our way with the sisters to visit a home evening
If there is anyone who could be considered a saint, it is our Russian sister below with Sister Reed. She is firm in the faith and a peacemaker when those contentious times come.  If she is at an activity, and she is at almost all, whether she is in charge or not, she is helping.  She laughs and loves easily.
The trees are starting to bud -- early this year
Another beautiful and interesting and old building
 You can see the two dancing in the detail at the top, and the oldness of the building shows more.
Elder Lynn G. Robbins talk in October 2014 conference, Which Way Do You Face? - "Trying to please others before pleasing God is inverting the first and second great commandments. ...When people try to save face with men, they can unwittingly lose face with God....While it certainly takes courage to face perils, the true badge of courage is overcoming the fear of men.  Courage is not just one of the cardinal virtues, but as C.S. Lewis observed in The Screwtape Letters "Courage is ...the form of every virtue at the testing point ... Pilate was merciful till it became risky."
Elder Robbins goes on to say that although Christ was confronted by scores of accusers, he never once forgot the way He faced.  "I do always those things that please the Father" John 8:29 and
 "I seek not mine own will but the will of the Father which hath sent me." John 5:30
All that to get you to his interesting observation - "Between 3 Nephi Chapter 11 and 3 Nephi Chapter 28, the Savior used the title Father at least 150 times (we counted 164) making it clear to the Nephites that He was there representing His Father.  And from John Chapters 14 through 17 the Savior refers to the Father at least 50 times.  ... He was so perfect in representing His Father that to know the Savior was also to know the Father
It is a fun read to go through those two references.  One of the many things we are grateful for here is our increased learning and love of our Savior.  The whole gospel plan is more than amazing and the love our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ have for us is incomprehensible, and we are more than grateful.

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