Thursday, February 26, 2009


I told Dad that it was Porter's birthday today and he said, "How old is he---5?"  It seems like time should stand still while we are here, but of course it doesn't--our kiddies just keep growing up without us.  Before you know it, Porter will be a real missionary wearing his own official tag.  Happy Birthday to you Porter.  Can't believe it was 7 years ago that I was standing in the hospital room in Provo welcoming you to this world.  What a wonderful day that was. You are a very sweet, special boy.  We are so glad you are in our family.  Have a great day and a fun Bowling Birthday Party today.   We love you TONS!
MeMa & PaPa


                                     We told Elder Parker Jones (Taylorsville, UT) good-bye.  Boohoo!

                          We picked up our new Senior Couple, The Lowry's from Midway, UT--Woohoo!

We took pictures on Red Square during our Mission Presidents' Seminar--Sister Bennett (Bulgaria), Sister Harrison (Rostov,RU), Sister Senkans (wife of Area 70), Sister Dunn (Armenia), Sister Allen (Ekateringburg, RU) and Sister Pieper (Area President's wife)

We loved seeing our buddies--The Bennetts and the Harrisons.  We 3 couples came to serve in the Eastern European Area at the same time.

We were spiritually fed by these outstanding EEA Leaders.  Elder Manzhos (Area 70 from Ukraine), Elder Reshetnikov (Area 70 from Russia), Elder Paul (Area Presidency), Elder Pieper (Area President), Elder Gibbons (Area Presidency), Elder Senkans (Area 70 from Latvia), Elder Makulin (Area 70 from Ukraine)

We loved being with all of these good people at our Seminar.  We also went to a Ballet and toured the armory in the Kremlin.  A great time.  A great week.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Today is Natalie's birthday.  This birthday girl is one great lady.  We are so glad you are in our family and that Dustin was able to talk you into marrying him many years ago.  We hope your day is special and full of love.  We'll be thinking about you today over here in Moscow and sending you the best wishes ever.  We love you.  Happiest of Birthdays!
Hugs & Kisses
Philip and Tricia

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


It was great to see my missionaries that are now in Kazakhstan.  I've missed them.  Elders:  Despain, Harker, McKay, and Brandenberg, Sisters Jensen, and Zonova

After Dad finished their interviews, we decided to treat them to the Uzbeki restaurant.

The meat dish is horse and has some big flat noodles cooked with the meat in some broth.  This is the national dish of Kazakstan.  Sister Jensen had a hard time trying it, but she was a good sport and finally took a small bite.  The other dish is logman noodles.  It is a little bit like speghetti, but I like Dad's speghetti a lot better.  With the Elders as part of the group--you never have to wonder if there will be leftovers.  They made us proud.

                  We had a great time with our precious little lambies.  Aren't they so cute?  

The unbelievable time we had to get up Tuesday morning (this is Moscow time) to make our flight back to Moscow.  Makes me tired thinking about doing this again in a few weeks.  There is a 3 hr. time difference. I think we have a lot of jet lag ahead going both ways.  It will be worth it to see our missionaries again.  Have I ever mentioned that I heart missionaries?    


                                                                The church signs in Kazak and Russian.

Seeing Sister Aidarbekeva again was like a taste of heaven.  It felt so good to hug her again.  She was sustained as the RS secretary while we were there on Sunday.  

The Branch had their Valentine party on Friday night.  It was fun.  Of course my favorite part was the children's dance.  Here is the only boy in the group.  He is the branch president's son.

                                                       How cute is she?  Notice the handful of chopped up paper.

The woman with the big heart is the Primary president.  She was responsible for the dance.  So many kids.  I love it.   This is unusual in our Russian branches.

At the end of the dance, the kids threw their handful of paper up in the air over the heads of the audience.  You can see some of the pieces of paper in the air and the proud smile on President Pieper's face.


After our zone conference with President and Sister Pieper, they took us and our 2 Senior couples to lunch at this restaurant.

      Ashly, these trees reminded me of the AISB campus when it was in Chillibertz.  So beautiful.

Us, The Vincents, The Wellings, The Piepers.  The Piepers lived in Kazakhstan for 5 years and were instrumental in the Church being there today.  They have a deep, obvious love for the people there.  It was great to be on a mission tour with them--our first time to visit that country.

      Horsemeat anyone?  This is the horsemeat sausage.  I don't think Big R would approve of us eating horse.  Do you?

Our group in the lobby of the restaurant.  The Vincents are from SLC and they live in Almaty.  The Wellings are from Fielding, UT and they are the only members besides one Mongolian woman in the whole city of Astana.  These couples are amazing--truly pioneers.

                                             A beautiful quilt hanging on the wall of the restaurant.

                                                                       A unique lantern light.

                        Isn't the ceiling cool?  Notice the chandelier is made of several "I dream of genie lanterns."

                                              Our cute waiters.  The people are so warm and friendly.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Dustin, Natalie, Jackson, Amy, Ned, Erin, Matt, Brooke, Jonathan, Shelly, Andrew, Ashly, Hailey, Isabelle, Bryce, Maicy, Briley, Kiley, Porter, Paige, Lily, Rhett, Carter, Stella, Dodge, Annie, Bennett, Jane, Jude, Sawyer, and Scarlett-------you are our sweethearts AND...



                                                                HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY


I know--I know--My Lover Boy's birthday isn't until tomorrow, but Dad and I will be in Kazakstan so I'm doing his birthday post a day early.  Happy Birthday Bennett.  Oh what fun it is to be your MeMa and PaPa.  We are so glad you were born two years ago and that we were the Lucky Duckies to get you in our family.  We sure do miss you.  We love you tons!  Have a great birthday filled with fun and lots of love.  oxoxoxoxo  MeMa & PaPa

I picked Bennett's nickname because he was due on Valentine's day---Even though he didn't wait until the 14th to be born, it is perfect in every way.  Here he is living up to his name.  Gotta love that sweetheart.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Picked up our new office couple from the airport.  We are so happy the Rasmussens (from Pleasant Grove, UT) decided to serve with us here in the Moscow West Mission.  They are wonderful!

Told our precious Curbishley's good-bye.  They are both British but have lived in Mesa for 30 years.  You would never know it to hear them talk.  We look forward to seeing them again this summer.  We will miss them.

Took our AP, Elder Despain, to eat at the Starlight Diner.  He is now serving in Kazakhstan.  We included the office Elders and Elder McKay who is also in Kazkhstan.  It was fun and it felt like we were back in the USA eating those hamburgers and drinking those malts.  YUMMY!
Elder Despain, Elder Terrill (still our AP), Elder McKay, Elder Aitken, and Elder Blatter
Had a special meeting with our last missionaries to serve in Moscow.  As of yesterday they are in their new areas.  We no longer have any missionaries in Moscow.  How did we get blessed with the best missionaries in the world?

Welcomed two Russian missionaries to our mission.  Elder Khusainov and Sister Vlasova.  They are already working hard and doing great.  We fell in love with them immediately.  So life is good here.  Every day we feel so blessed to be here serving with these good people.  

Thursday, February 5, 2009


My heart is full today.  What a blessing you kids are to me and your Dad.  It is hard to express the love and appreciation that I feel for each of you.  Thank you for making the sacrifices you made to leave your spouses and kids, to make the drive to Safford (twice for you Jonathan), to show your love and support to JoAnn and her kids during this most difficult time of Sandy's death, and to plan and  do the funeral.  I know it was hard for JoAnn and her family to not have Dad there.  His whole family has always relied on him for anything spiritual.  But having all of you there to share your faith, strength and spirit certainly made things easier for all of them.  I am so proud of each of you for having a testimony of and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that enables you to strengthen others around you.  There is no greater joy than to know that our children are steadfast in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  You were in our thoughts and prayers all day long yesterday.  Dad and I even got on our knees at about 10 min to 9:00 pm here in Moscow.  We calculated the time so that it would be about the time that Amy was giving the family prayer before the casket was closed.  We asked the Lord's blessing on each of you and that you would be given help in praying, singing, giving the life story, sermon, and the dedication of the grave.  I'm sure you did a great job.   I'm glad that each of you are back home with your families safe and sound.  You married wonderful people who are great supports to you in times like this.  I love you---(even if you did stop at El Rey both ways)--with all my heart.  I am so grateful that I am your Mom.  I'm the lucky ducky---no doubt about that.  I miss you like crazy.   
Hugs & Kisses

Monday, February 2, 2009


Remember when Andrew had nose surgery?  He had the surgery done in Phoenix before he and Ashly were married.  He recuperated at our house.  Hailey and Maicy thought it was so cool to have their noses bandaged up too.  Of course Andrew thought of the idea and did the doctoring.  These little ladies of mine sure look a lot older today.  It was fun to go back and look at all of the pictures in this file.  Made me miss you all though.  ILYT oxoxo