Saturday, January 24, 2009


These are most of our missionaries that serve in Moscow.  3 companionships had meetings :) and couldn't come to our "sloppy joe lunch/training meeting" that we had with them yesterday.  This was the 2nd time Dad scheduled this meeting with the purpose of telling them about the huge changes in our mission that would affect all of them.  But for the 2nd time the telling of the changes (which had been kept top secret for the last 3 weeks) had to be postponed because our area presidency hadn't gotten the word that the changes had been approved by the 1st presidency and the quorum of the 12.  We thought for sure yesterday everything would be in place--so sure that we bought all of the food.  Thursday night we found out that the approval wouldn't come until Friday night.  Dad decided to have them over for lunch anyway and tell them that the training materials for the meeting didn't come through.   They had a great time being together and loved the food.  I told them that I thought we ought to "DO LUNCH" more often.  They agreed.

back to front Elders:  Baxter, Aitken, Rosenhan, Whitney, Brandenburg, Armstrong, Jouttenus, Craven, Ficklin, Blatter, Terrill, Despain, Heath, The President, Westbroek, Malanin, Harker (poor thing--he had an accident when he went to get the juice out of our car.  We did our best to clean him up, but he had mud all over him.  He's a Canadian and a great sport)

7:00 last night Dad got the call from President Pieper.  These changes are now official:  the MWM will no longer have any missionaries in the city of Moscow, Podulsk, or Lotoshino.  We will keep all of our other outlying cities and pick up two more outlying cities from the Moscow mission--Nizhnigorad and Yurosloval--we will keep the country of Belarus and pick up another country-- KAZAKHSTAN.  
                                                                  Kazakhstan Flag

The only place there is a branch in Kazakhstan is in Almaty.  We do have a Sr. couple doing Humanitarian work in Astana.

We are very excited about these changes.  I am so grateful that my prayers have been answered and that we are able to keep every one of our missionaries.  I couldn't bear the thoughts of losing any of them.  Monday the changes start.  We will leave one of our missionaries in each area in Moscow to work with missionaries from the Moscow mission.  They will leave one missionary in each of their areas in Kazakhstan, Nizhni, and Yuroslaval, to work with one of our missionaries.  Then two weeks from Monday--on the 9th of February--the final switch will take place and both missions will have all of their missionaries back working in their missions. 

The Moscow Mission will consist of only the branches in the city of Moscow and Podulsk, Lotoshino, and Zeleningrad (which are on the outskirts of Moscow).  President and Sister Cranney will never have to travel beyond Moscow again. 

Dad and I will be on the road every Sunday.  There will be no branches in Moscow that belong to us.  It will definitely require lots of travel.  We begin tonight.  We are flying to Nizni late tonight to attend both of the branches in that city tomorrow.  President Pieper is going with us to introduce us to everyone.  We'll be back Sunday night.  

Life is full of surprises.  Life is good.  We need extra prayers from all of you as we make the transition.  I hope our new cities will love us.  I love them already.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


YESTERDAY was a great day.  First thing we did was go out to the airport and pick up two new missionaries.  One of my favorite things to do.  It was great to welcome Sister Vlasova and Elder Khosainov.  They are Russians but speak very good English.  We had a great dinner with them last night and enjoyed sharing our testimonies with each other.  They are going to be marvelous missionaries--just like all of my other missionaries.  I heart missionaries.

YESTERDAY  was a great day for another reason.  While we were at the airport, they came and fixed our treadmill.  Yippee!!  Dad and I hit it hard today.  We had a hard time surviving without it.  Exercise does the body and the mind good.  I know that for sure!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Dad is in Belrus with President Pieper today.  It seems so weird for me to be here in the apt. without him being downstairs in his office.  I miss him.  But he'll be back later tonight.  Our AP's asked for my help today in teaching Deneshe.  He is from India and speaks really good English. It's a pity that I don't speak Russian.  It's fun to talk to him about my experience in India. That was an amazing trip.  We taught him from #3 of PMG which is the chapter on all of the commandments.  We went over the commandments of fasting and tithing.  I got to share some scriptures about obedience and fasting and share the sweet experience of Hailey fasting for us while we were here.  I truly believe it was because of her fasting and faith that the laws that were going to make it so that our missionaries couldn't proselyte here were never passed.  I have a very strong testimony of the power of fasting and praying.  So many personal experiences that my confidence surely has waxed strong.  I hope you all have a great day.  I miss you.  ILYT oxoxox

Sunday, January 18, 2009


How cute is my little Love Bug?  One word---ADORABLE.  I can't believe she is already 8 years old and is going to be baptized on February 14th.  Happy Birthday Briley!  We are so proud of you for choosing to be baptized and for being such a good girl.  We love you sweetheart and we thank Heavenly Father every day for the blessing and joy it is to have you in our special family. 
Hugs & Kisses
MeMa and PaPa

Monday, January 12, 2009


I was talking to Ashly on the phone this morning before I went downstairs to tell these Elders good bye.  She couldn't believe that Elder Lundquist, Elder Salinas, and Elder Mills were really going home.  You see--Andrew, Ashly and Bennett were here visiting us when these Elders arrived.  They are such great missionaries.  We had the blessing of having all three of them in the office for several months.  Elders Salinas and Lundquist were our AP's and Elder Mills was the financial secretary.   Saturday night we had them over for shrimp and steak and a wonderful testimony meeting.  I can't believe they are gone.  I miss them already. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Russia Celebrates Christmas on January 7th.  So Merry Christmas from Russia.  It sure is a great excuse to leave your Christmas decorations out for a long time.  I love the Russian Christmas things I've accumulated over the years.  Aren't they cool?

Today is Kathy's (aka Kitten) birthday.  I have so many wonderful memories of growing up close in age with her and always being best of friends.  It was so much fun to have her come and visit me.  Happy Birthday Sista!  Love and Miss You.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


We're off to a great start for 2009.  We were blessed to have Oksana's baptism on Saturday.  Sister Novgorodova and Sister Bell (from Tucson) are our only sisters in Moscow now and they are amazing.  They teach 20 lessons a week and don't have time to go tracting.  That's a good problem.

We drove 4 1/2 hours each way to visit our Smolensk Branch.  This is a picture of the RS.

This is Masha (the RS Pres.) and her son Vladik.  She is a single Mom and we were visiting the branch the first time she went to church.  It has been great to see her accept and come into the Gospel.  She is preparing to go to the Temple.

The YW.  Proper go to church dress is still a challenge with not only the youth, but the adults in Russia.  Aren't they cute?  Gotta love them.

Sister Lena wanted her picture taken with me.  She is a teeny tiny lady that weighs about 50 pounds I think.  She plays the piano for the branch and comes and practices for hours before and after Sunday meetings.  We are so blessed to have these good people be a part of our lives.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


                         New Years fireworks over the Kremlin.  A beautiful sight don't you think?

snovooeem goedom is Russian for Happy New Years.  See it written in lights above our heads?

We and all of our missionaries wish you---our beloved family---a Happy New Year.  2009--bring it on!  We are all determined to work our hardest and make the most of our days left.  


Today we went on a cold winter's new year's day walk to Novidievichi and

we didn't see any ducks but these.  It looks like last year's unlucky ducky was lucky this year.

                    we saw a lot of families out enjoying being together on the frozen lake

                                                           a mother and son skiing

                                                 a little boy trying to stay on his sled

                                                              another boy ice skating

                                            kids and adults sliding on the ice in all positions

                  and this adorable Russian toddler.  Sure makes me miss all of my kiddies.