Monday, March 31, 2008


Saturday was a fun P-Day. We couldn't get the good AZ Mexican food that you kids were enjoying last weekend off our minds so we went downtown on the metro and had a late lunch at our one and only Mexican food place La Cantina.  Jonathan--even Russian Mexican food is way better than the Massena NY junk.  We have finally figured out that the food tastes so much better when we bring along our own El Pato sauce.  You gotta love "the duck".  I even love the American flag on the can.  All I have to do is get a can out of my pantry when I get homesick for my flag.  God Bless America!  By the way--no that isn't food on the side of my mouth.  The Easter Bunny brought me a case of leprosy ( Ashly remember our leprosy check in Budapest? How could anyone forget that traumatic experience?).  This is a week old and it is still awful.  But not as awful as my case of leprosy I had when I took Amy to the Stake Merrie Miss Activity.  The things I did and continue to do for my beloved children.  ILYT oxoxo

Sunday, March 23, 2008


 "I know He lives
   This I am sure of
  I have been taken by the hand
  And shown His pure love
  This I know
  This I know
  I know He  lives"
It is my greatest desire, my hope, and my constant prayer that you and your children know too!

Friday, March 21, 2008


Dad and I leave for Voronezh early tomorrow morning.  He has some branch business to take care of on Saturday and then we will drive to Lipetsk early Sunday morning to switch out our missionary branch president, Elder Moss, who goes home on the 3rd of April.  We will be back on Sunday night.
Dad is always so sweet to buy flowers for me.  You know how I love flowers.  The tulips sure opened up big didn't they?  They look like two different types of flowers.  He  bought the daffodils for me yesterday in the middle of a snow storm. Even though it is still winter outside (just check out that snow and the temp on the thermometer)--my daffodils make it feel like Spring in my kitchen.  Hip Hip Hooray For Spring Flowers!!!!
Have a good weekend.  I'll miss you even more while I am gone---you know why!  oxoxox ILYT

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I hate getting on the treadmill (every day I have to talk myself into it)
I hate running inside.
I hate not having the desert smells and especially the orange blossoms this time of the year.
I hate not having the sunshine
I hate not seeing the never ending blue AZ skies

I love how I feel after I am done (stinkiness and sweatiness included)
I love my sweat rag that covers up the obnoxious lap lights and seconds ticking off
I love the blessing of having a body that is able to run even if I am an old lady
I love the feeling of conquering "the natural, lazy man (or woman)" in all of us
I love these adorable 18 faces smiling at me as I put one foot in front of another
I love the hope that I have of--if I keep this up then that means I will get to enjoy being a part of each of these amazing kiddies of mine lives for a few years longer.  That makes it so worth it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Patriarch

Brother Browning left this morning.  What a great spirit he brought into our lives.  He is so soft  spoken, meek, and gentle.  Reminds me of Brother Turley in Mesa whom most of you received your blessings from and also Brother Davidson in Montreal.  The Patriarch that Ashly received her blessing from.  For Home Evening Monday night he sat and shared his thoughts, feelings and experiences pertaining to fulfilling his calling as a Patriarch.  67 more saints in our mission now have blessings to strengthen them, guide them and provide them with hope.  We are so grateful for Brother Browning and his example of service. He was a great secretary too.  He had left a note for us Sunday night when we returned from Minsk telling us that Amy, Erin and John had called. It was great to meet him and to get to know him.  I hope we have the opportunity to be with him again.  

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

We're back

We had a good trip to Minsk.  Poor Sister Paul is allergic to smoke.  What a country to be called to serve in with that problem. Our general authorities and their wives are such good people and are so committed to serving with all of their hearts, might, mind and strength--no matter the sacrifice.  Great examples.  It was tough finding a place to eat, but we could always count on good ole McD's.  Amazingly, it is non-smoking.  Here are our cute Belarusian missionaries, Sisters Wood and Arnett with us in front of McDonalds.  It was a holiday on Sat. and there were a ton of kids there.  Since I've been away from my kiddies, I always love the opportunity to be with kids.  Belarus has more children than Russia.  It was a good weekend.

Friday, March 14, 2008


We leave today for Minsk, Belarus for our last visit of our mission tour with the Pauls.  Belarus is a communist country and our missionaries aren't allowed to wear their tags, participate in any way in meetings, or proselyte.  No foreigners are.  It is their District Conference this weekend and one time Dad was able to get  permission from the government to talk at the Sat. night meeting and on Sunday.  Well, we asked for permission for both Elder Paul and Dad to teach and preach at the meetings this weekend, but the government denied them permission.  I noticed that the US ambassador was asked to leave Belarus last week.  They must be mad at the US about something.  Another disappointment was we had asked permission for Brother Browning the patriarch to go to Minsk to give the good saints blessings and they denied that request too.  I feel bad for those people who have been wanting their blessings for years and who still don't get to receive them.  Dad has been really busy the last few days interviewing for blessings here in Moscow.  Brother Browning will stay here in our apartment starting tonight until he leaves on Wednesday morning.  We will be back on Sunday night.  I hope you all have a great weekend.  I always miss you, but I will be missing you even more since I will be away from my  phone and computer.  ILYT oxoxoxoxoxox    Oh-- Sisters Khachatryan & Novgorodovo are in the picture with us--they are great missionaries that serve in Tula right now.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Guess Who

We had a very enjoyable evening with the Millers this week.  We ate at the Blue Elephant which was great Thai food.  The Millers are great people and we always have a good time with them. We need to see them more often.  They told us that Dale and Linda are coming to Moscow in April and Jenny and Andy and their girls are coming in June.  I was so glad that JD called Dad and put our "night out" together.  Isn't Christy's  yellow purse from J.Crew so cute?  I was kind of coveting it all night.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Jonathan Philip Collins

Today is my baby boy's birthday. Isn't he so adorable? Happy 28th Birthday to you Jonathan.  I'm so glad I get to be your Mammacita.  Your life brings me so much love and joy--ALWAYS has--ALWAYS will.  I hope your day is the best birthday yet!  I'll be thinking about you and thanking Heavenly Father for you all day long.  I LOVE YOU TONS!  OXOXO Mom

Monday, March 10, 2008

Love This Girl

Sister Nikitina  faithfully finished her mission and is now home in Lithuania.  I miss her already. She was well known throughout the mission for being able to eat a lot, for being strong--(she hauled two 100 lb suitcases plus several Bob(ushska) bags which are plastic shopping bags that the grandmas always have with them) around with her, and for being an excellent teacher/missionary.  She is the first missionary to go home that Dad and I welcomed at Sheremetova airport. So from here on out our missionaries have been with us the whole time they have been out.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


                                  EVERYBODY IS SO HAPPY!!!!                                                                                                                                                     
Of course getting a baptism is like the icing on the cake in the mission field.  We were so blessed to get two baptisms on the same day.  The Gospel changes lives--no doubt about it-- we've seen it happen over and over.  Sergei and Yulia are both from our Arbatski Branch here in Moscow.  Elder Lamb found Yulia and started teaching her and then turned her over to Sister Odinokova & Sister Gundersen to teach.  Sister Gundersen was transferred to Voronezh and Sister Zonova became Sister Odinokova's companion. BUT the sweet mission president let Sister Gundersen make a trip to Moscow for the baptism.  Elder Lamb (our AP) baptized her. Elder Lundquist and Elder Hubbman taught Sergei.  Elder Lundquist (our AP) baptized him.  How sweet it is to be involved in bringing souls unto Christ.  I love it!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Passenger Seat Car Window
When we travel to our branches on Sunday this is what I see out my window along the way.  The Russians love their ice fishing.

My Apartment Back Window
How cute is this Babushka (grandma) joining in on building giant snowballs?

My Apartment Front Window
After school futbol (soccer) game.  Notice the one boy in the short-sleeved shirt and shorts?CRAZY!!!