Wednesday, February 27, 2008

OUT OF TOWN


This week we have been doing zone conferences here in Moscow with Elder and Sister Paul.  We are doing our mission tour with them.  They are wonderful people and we have all been uplifted and edified through their teachings.  Dad and I leave in a few minutes for the airport.  We are headed down to our South Zone.  Dad has a ton of interviews to do because the Patriarch is coming to  Russia and will go to Voronezh and Lipetsk to give blessings.  You have no idea how much these good people look forward to this lifetime opportunity to receive their blessings.  Elder and Sister Paul will join us for our Zone Conference on Saturday then we will all travel to Lipetsk on Sunday to go to their meetings.  We will fly back to Moscow Sunday night.  Do you know that I will miss you even more because I will be away from my telephone and computer?  It's true.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  ILYT  oxoxoxo  

Birthday Champ Porter






Out of all of the cakes to choose from Porter wanted the trophy cake for his birthday party today.  Of course--he is the Champion of all Champions Birthday Boy.  Happy Birthday Porter.  I can't believe that teeny tiny baby boy that I saw born is already 6 years old today. We are so glad you are in our family Doggie.  We love you tons!  Hope your birthday is the best one yet.  Have fun! 

Thursday, February 21, 2008

GOOD


Having McDonald's within walking distance of our apartment and sharing a cheeseburger, fries and a drink with my favorite companion.  See why I refer to him as my "burning hunk of love?" So so cute.  Why is it I would never go to McD's in the USA, but I look forward to eating there here in Russia?

BETTER


Getting to bust out my HOVENS to go on a walk with my boyfriend.  There is sunshine in my soul today and shining on my face too!  That is a rarity in Moscow for sure.

BEST


MY MISSIONARIES

Dad and I spotted our new (as of today) AP's Elder Salinas (TX), and Elder Lundquist (UT) with our same as before AP Elder Lamb (UT), across the street on our way back from McD's.  Aren't they adorable?  Love them!

We picked up 4 new missionaries.  Sister Jenson (UT), Elder Hiatt (UT), Elder Harker (Canada), and Elder Worthington (Alabama).  Love them already!

Monday, February 18, 2008

INTERIM MISSION PRESIDENTS SEMINAR

PEOPLE




We always look forward to the Interim MPS in Feb.--not only are we spiritually fed, uplifted, and motivated by our loving Area Presidency, but we have so much fun being with the other MP couples in our area.  It has been such a blessing to have the opportunity to know these wonderful people.  Their lives certainly "touches ours for good."

All of us "Sisters" in the group--all of the Area Presidents' wives, Area Authorities' wives, Mission Presidents' wives, and a couple of Sr. Couple wives.

One night we got to have a fun social event planned by Elder Gibbons.  President Cranney sang, If I Were A Rich Man.  He has a beautiful voice, but I'm sure your Dad could out dance him. Do any of you remember your Dad's version of that song?  It was amazing, but it was a few years back.  Elder Senkans, (Area Authority from Riga, Latvia) shared his talents and sang an opera piece.  Dad and I were on the winning teams for all of the games.  It was our lucky night.

The Class of 2006 picture.  The Harrisons who are serving in Rostov, Russia and the Bennetts who serve in Bulgaria.  We were the "new" ones to the Eastern European Area in 2006.  We are really close and have a good time together.  We love them dearly.  

PLACES


Sochi--the resort on the Black Sea.  Home of the Winter Olympics 2014.  The place where Putin has his private mansion and where he goes to get a tan.  The warmest place in Russia.  The place that snowed every day during our seminar.  Don't those palm trees look crazy with that snow?

THINGS




Dad and I saw this warning written on the side of the airplane as we were climbing those itty bitty steps to enter and find our seats.  Like I said (sounds like Nammie)--a wing and a prayer!

For you talented girls who are always looking for decorating ideas.  How about this unique column?  There were two of them in the room where we held all of our meetings.  They made me laugh.

Don't you love this scene at the airport?  Typical law abiding citizen.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

FOR MY SWEETHEARTS GALORE

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!  I know this is a day early, but we will be in Sochi tomorrow.  I will be thinking about each one of you and how much I love you--- tomorrow--and--- every day.  You are my sweethearts forever and that makes my heart smile.  Isn't my missionary companion the cutest thing ever? He was such a good sport to do this video for you--over and over again.   I still can't figure out how I was so lucky to get that man for infinity and beyond.  My delight :) ILYT ox video

Sochi

Dad and I leave early in the morning for the airport.  We are flying to Sochi for the Interim Mission Presidents' Seminar.  Sochi is the Russian city that won the olympic bid for the winter olympics in 2014.  It is on the Black Sea and is suppose to be warm at this time of the year.  They even have palm trees.  Dad checked the weather on the internet and we are suppose to have snow showers the whole time we are there.  WOE IS ME!  I was counting on warming up for a couple of days.  We will be back on Saturday. When I get back I hope to find out that all of my sick kiddies are well again. I'll be praying for them. We will have our cell phones.  I always miss you more when I am away from my phone and my computer.  But you already know that.  ILYT  oxoxox

Birthday Boy Bennett






One year ago today my Lover Boy Bennett was born.  I was there--it was truly miraculous.  What a blessing he is to our family--pure love and joy.  Happy Birthday Bennett!!  I hope you are feeling better and that you have a ONE-IS-FUN-filled day.  We love you tons and miss you like crazy. 
 oxoxoxo
MeMa & PaPa

Friday, February 8, 2008

THE UNLUCKY DUCKY





The other day Dad called and said that he had a break between interviews and invited me to go on a walk.  I never turn down an invitation like that.  The sun was even shining so it was a  special day for a walk.  We went over to the Novadievechie Monastary.  Doesn't it look different in the winter time with the frozen lake?  There is a rustic ice rink in the middle of the lake.  It brought back memories of Jonathan squeezing into Ashly's ice skates and skating on our frozen swimming pool in Massena.  What a nut!  The only other person around was this woman walking her dogs.  They were so cute and made me miss my Ruby Dog.  We mentioned how weird it was to be there without seeing or hearing the ducks.  The pigeons were still there of course and they loved eating some seed that some kind person threw out on the frozen lake.  Then when we were leaving I spotted him--the Unlucky Ducky.  He had gotten left behind.  He was all alone.  It stinks to be an Unlucky Ducky.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Following Promptings

One of the many blessings that I have been given while serving here in Moscow is on most days I have all the time I want to search the scriptures--including our modern day scriptures--such as conference talks. My love for the scriptures has increased so much--along with my testimony of my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. I feel like Nephi when he said, "For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them, and writeth them for the learning and the profit of my children".  I read Elder Ballard's talk from October 2007 and I feel strongly that I should share a couple of things with you.  He said this:

"...it was the Savior who said "by their fruits ye shall know them".  A church, or any way of life, should be judged by the fruits or the results that it generates.  Here are a few examples based on United States statistics.  But these would be similar throughout the world among practicing Mormons (by which we mean those who attend church and the temple regularly)".

Given this definition by Elder Ballard of what a practicing Mormon is---Are You A Practicing Mormon?  I know you attend church, but how about your temple attendance?  Is it regular?  Could you do better at making the time for the temple in your lives?  

Elder Ballard  goes on to mention some of the fruits of being a practicing member of the church.  "Second, those who are married in AND attend the temple regularly have a divorce rate far below the national and world average".

I can testify to you that the Lord will bless you individually, as couples, and as a family if you make going to the temple a top priority in your lives.  It has been many years since we have lived closed to a temple other than those few months we were in AZ.  I know what it is like to yearn for the opportunity to go to the temple regularly. I continue to miss it.  You are all living close to a temple.  I not only hope, but I (for years) have acted----I pray for you all to realize the importance of regular temple attendance and to commit to a plan that gets you there.

I love you.  I want us to be with each other forever living in eternal bliss.  NOM!

POOR PAPA


PaPa went to the dentist yesterday to get a pocket of infection in his gums above his front teeth cut out.  It had eaten away at the bone.  He had to get some stitches and it was pretty painful.  He loved the pain killers that the dentist gave him.  He has liked them so much I'm glad he only gave him 3.  Of course he wanted me to take a picture of his mouth so that you could see how bad it was.  As far as PaPa is concerned--sympathy is always welcomed.  All he could eat last night was a chocolate malt.  Today is better.  He had a hot dog at IKEA.  Yep--it was P-Day and we got to take off together for a few hours. We had fun.  Now he is back at work downstairs in the mission office.  He's da man. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

South Zone Missionaries




We had T-shirts made for all of our missionaries for Christmas.  They weren't ready when we had our Christmas Celebration with the South Zone, so they were pretty excited to get them this time.  Elder Moss ( Pennsylvania), Elder Peterson (Washington), and Sister Gunderson (Temeculah, CA).  A sweet lady from the branch made Russian food for us to eat after our ZC.  I've eaten a lot of borcht and this was one of the best.  Elder Booth (Wyoming use to be our AP), Elder Lamb (Roosevelt, UT our AP now) and Elder Aitken (UT), loved the borcht too.  Sister Gunderson and Sister Shesternova (Russian) are the only Sisters in the Zone.  Aren't they all amazing?  They really are. 

Zone Conference in the South


Isn't our church building in Voronezh cool?  They just finished remodeling the whole outside.  There use to be a hammer and cycle symbol at the top.  It was an old soviet theater.  It also has the only sports court of all of the church buildings in Russia.  Isn't that man standing in front of it handsome?  He is my best boyfriend and sweetheart aka the President--the best Mission President in the whole world.  No doubt about that.

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Wing and a Prayer




This ancient airplane is what takes us to and from Voronezh.  I'm pretty sure they used this plane back during WWII. Scary huh?  The noise from the engines and propellers wrack my ears for days afterwards.  See why we need your prayers?  Never forget us.