Monday, June 30, 2008


Zone Conference time in Voronezh again.  We leave tomorrow morning.  We are going to stay an extra day and celebrate the 4th of July with our South Zone Missionaries on Thursday.  We will be back in Moscow on Thursday night.  By then Dustin will be home from Chile--WOOHOO!  And the Larks will be on their way to CALI--LUCKY DUCKIES!   Safe Travels.  I'll miss you even more the next 3 days.  I love you tons.  oxoxoxoxo  


                                   Kyle and Hugh Howard
                                    Kristin & Blaine 

                                  New Elders:Millett Hunter Baxter Bowden Heath Vernon
                                  New Sisters:Bell and Zagladko

                                   Elders: Hansen, Lamb, Nuzman, Hopkins, Varley
                                   Sisters: Shesternevo, Aidarbekevo (she wasn't there)
                                   I MISS THEM ALREADY! 
                                   Zone Leaders' Council      
                                   Taylor Wright

This last week has been full of missionaries coming and going.  Busy, but fun!  First we had Kyle Howard and his Dad, Hugh  from LaVirken, UT come visit.  They also went to St. Petersburg and unfortunately Hugh got his wallet pick-pocketed in the metro there.  Blaine Hale was in Switzerland with his fiance, Kristin's family watching soccer games.  They are both from Alpine, UT.  They came to Moscow to visit.  She stayed with us and Blaine stayed with mission friends.  Kristin is so cute and I am so happy about their upcoming wedding on 08-08-08.  We got 8 new missionaries on Wednesday.  Hip-hip-hooray.  We told 7 missionaries good-bye.  Boohoo--seriously, this was the most emotional I've been yet.  I'm getting worse.  We had our Zone Leaders' Council and fed them lunch on Friday.  Taylor Wright from Kaysville, UT is doing a Russian studies program right now in St. Petersburg so he came to Moscow to meet his Dad who was here on business.  We had them over on Saturday night.  Taylor's girlfriend, Meredith, waited for him while he was here serving.  Now he is waiting for her while she is serving in Chile.  She gets home in December.   Because there was a meal involved with each group that meant a lot of cooking and cleaning up for Dad and I.   Tiring--but worth it.  I feel so blessed to  have these missionaries--old and new--be a part of my life forever. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


This girlio  loves animals, is adorable, loves to dance, says funny things, loves babies, poses up a storm, loves her cousins, entertains herself non-stop, loves her brother and sister, and sings beautifully---just to mention a few of the unlimited reasons that we are so grateful that she was born into our family 4 years ago.  She is a very popular girl because millions and billions of people celebrate her 1/2 birthday on December 25th.  Happy Birthday Lovey!  We love you tons and miss you like crazy.  

Hugs & Kisses
MeMa & PaPa

Monday, June 23, 2008


Going to the rinok to get fresh fruits and vegetables is more frequent since summer is here.  Even though it doesn't feel like summer because it is so cool, we are enjoying the great tasting summer produce.  I thought I would share with you our trip to the rinok today.  Don't worry---I would never allow President Collins to buy meat from the open-unrefrigerated counter, but I thought you might like to check out the butcher's cutting tool.  I had to get a picture of the fish and caviar that is so Russian and the wild mushrooms that missionaries are not allowed to eat because many people die from mushroom poisoning every summer.  We have made friends with many of the vendors, but this couple is our favorite.  I think they are from Tajikistan.  So nice.  I love to hear them try out their English on us.  After soaking everything in clorox and then rinsing them in filtered water we can enjoy eating our purchases.  YUM!  You can't believe how good fresh salsa is with these tomatoes.  Well--Ashly could.  After living in Budapest she knows what I'm talking about.  Have a good day.  ILYT oxoxo  Sorry there are two fish pictures (by the way missionaries aren't allowed to eat fish either).  One of the fish pictures was suppose to be of the open containers of spices, but I can't figure out how to delete just one picture and I don't want to redo the whole post.  Like Natalie always tells her kids---"you get what you get, don't throw a fit".  

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Today is Fathers' Day.  I can't let this special day go by without a special blog to the Fathers in my life.  I love and appreciate these great Dads to infinity and beyond.
 Big "R"--  Oh, how I miss my Daddy.  I think about him so much and have wonderful memories of him as my ever lovin' Daddy.  What a good man--the patience of Job and a great sense of humor.
President Collins--aka my burnin' hunk of love.  Not only a great father, but in my humble opinion, the best husband ever created among men!  He is my hero and when I grow up I want to serve selflessly just like him.  I'm grateful for the righteous priesthood leader he has always been for our family.
Dustin--Jackson--Ned--Matthew--Jonathan--Andrew--My kiddies are the lucky duckies to have such great Dads.  You Dads are not only fun loving, hard working, good looking, and oh so sweet, but great examples of righteous priesthood holders too.  Life is good---all of us working together to be a forever family.  NOM!  

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


                                                          South Zone Missionaries
                                         Elders:  McKay, Hubmann and Pollard
                                       Practicing contacting on the bus at Zone Conference
                                    Elders: Wheeler, Wagner, Salinas, Craven, Lamb
                                    Jones, Campbell    Sisters:  Arnett, Novgorodova, Zonova
                                    at zone conference.
                                                                     The Capeners
                                                           Sister Vasilachi in Minsk

Dad and I have been on the road or in the air a lot lately doing our zone conferences and going to Belarus to visit the branches and our missionaries there.  We had a special fast on Fast Sunday with all of our missionaries.  All the districts started and ended their fasts together.  We were in Voronezh and were able to be with all of our missionaries in the South Zone to end our fast with a simple, but yummy meal.  I think our unity was strengthen as well as our desire to be exactly obedient.  I know we will see the Lord's blessings in this area.

The Capeners always treat us so great when we go to Minsk.  They  have us over to eat with them before we have to leave for the airport.  We feel like we always just eat and run because we don't have much time after both Branch's meetings, but they always make us feel so welcome and every meal is delicious.  Sis. Capener surprised Sister Vasilachi with a birthday cake this time.  Her birthday was last Tues. OH,  how we need more Sr. Couples just like the Capeners.  We don't have any Sr. couples coming to serve here and 3 couples are leaving before Aug.  So sad for us.  

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Ashly has been after me to get some pictures of our trip to Paris up.  I told her that I would do that today after all of our zone conferences were done.  Paris was so much fun.  It rained every day, but we didn't let that slow us down.  We spent a day at my favorite flea market where I got a cool dark yellow ceramic pitcher--it is huge--and old metal letters from a butcher shop (boucherie). I also found a French Bulldog that was adorable at the market, but she wasn't for sale.  I'll have to wait until I get home.  Do you think Ruby will mind?  We lugged that pitcher in a cloth bag all the way back to Moscow.  It made it.  We ate wonderful food and tried a new restaurant which was recommended by Ashly--Au Pied de Cochon ( the feet of the pig) which was great.  It was Mother's day so I left with a sweet flower bouquet and a couple of famous french macaroons. We took the metro to the Bastille stop and ate at Bofinger one of our favorites.  We walked by the Louvre a couple of times in the rain.  We walked by the Louis store several times a day because we passed it going to and from our hotel.  I always thought about Andrew each time.  I love the French buildings.  Dad took a picture of a beautiful building that reminded us of the Flat Iron in NYC. We went to our meetings on Sunday and enjoyed the English Sunday School class and Sacrament meeting.  I cried when I sang the hymns in English.  That night we took a train to Versailles and heard Sister and Elder Uchtdorf speak.  I must be a true missionary because I have to say that was the highlight of the whole trip.  We felt so blessed to get to hear an Apostle of the Lord speak.  Truly a tender mercy from the Lord.