Monday, March 30, 2009


 During our Pizza lunch break.  Elders:  Whitney, Kurth, Hunter, & Hiatt.  Sisters:  Bell & Hansen

                                   Senior Couples:  The McClellans, Lowrys, Gregorys, and Rasmussens

                     Elders:  Ellingson, Clark, Campbell, Ficklin, Armstrong, & Madsen.  Sister Uldanova

                                                                                    Sister Vlasova

Finishing off with PB&J.  Elders:  Millett, Gillis, Clark, Heath, Bowden, Woodland, Vernon, & Jouttenus (our Finish Elder)

                     The President and Elders:  Craven, Aitken, Ellsworth, Terrill, Gunther and Cannon

Thursday, March 26, 2009


March 22nd will always be a day of joyous celebration because it is the day our precious little Gwen came to this earth.  Isn't she gorgeous?  She weighed 6 lbs. 8 oz. and was 18" long.  A tiny little baby girl that is so blessed to have so many people love her already.  She is our 20th grandchild, our 12th grandaughter, and our 7th born since we have been on our mission.  The Lord truly has blessed our family with another precious baby.  I can't get enough.  I'm not going to lie---it is killing me to be so far away.  My arms ache to hold her and I would love to smother her with kisses.  She'll be 3 months old before I have that experience--but that sounds a lot closer than 3 years.  We love you Gwen.  We are so glad you are here all healthy and strong.  You are beautiful and oh so sweet.

MeMa & PaPa

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


                                                ELDERS:  Williams, Pringle, Pollard, Geels and The Wades 

The Wade's are a new Senior Couple that I met for the first time this trip.  They are from Rexburg, ID.  They are continuing on with the tradition of preparing a wonderful meal for us on Sunday before we fly back to Moscow.  Senior Couples are remarkable.  

Dad had me come out on the balcony of the building where we held ZC to see this very unique cat box.  He watched the cat climb out of the window and down the ladder to his spot on the overhang.  Smart cat.  No smelly litterbox for that cat owner.  Smart cat owner.

This was a new sign in the waiting area in the Minsk airport.  We get a kick out of the English translations a lot.  I thought it strange that they had this table right in the open of this waiting area not for the spanking of children, but for the changing of diapers.  But strange is normal these days.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Happy Birthday Jonathan.  I can't believe it has really been 29 years ago the secretary at Keller made the announcement over the PA system that Dustin Collins finally had a brother.  What a joyous day that was and every March 11th since--the day you were born--has been a great reason for our whole family to celebrate.  You are an amazing son, brother, husband, daddy, uncle, grandson, cousin, nephew, and friend.  We are so glad Heavenly Father sent you to us.  We are so proud of you and we love you tons.
Hugs & Kisses
Dad and Mom

Monday, March 9, 2009


Ryazan Branch:   It's hard to believe that our visit to Ryazan on Sunday will be the last time we see these good people.  That's just too sad to think about.  

                                                   Ryazan Elders:  Ellingson, Millett, Clark, Woodland

                                                                       A billboard coming into town

                       I liked the blue domes on this Russian Orthodox Church just outside of Ryazan


FRIDAY--Zone Leaders' Council.  After our morning of teaching we had lunch in our apartment.  They loved the BBQ pork sandwiches Dad made.  

WEDNESDAY--We welcomed two more Russian missionaries.  Elder Kruglyak and Sister Uldanova.  The blond Sister arrived with them.  Our driver, Sasha took her to another terminal to fly to the Samara Mission.

TUESDAY--We had dinner with a Sister 3-some companionship.  Sister Smith, Sister Novgorodova, and Sister Bell.  

After dinner and a testimony meeting, we had to tell Sister Novgorodova good-bye. I can't believe her mission is over.  She is the only member in her family--so strong, so committed to the Gospel and a wonderful missionary.  I miss her.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


So many people were disappointed that Lenin's tomb was closed during the Mission Presidents' Seminar.  After reading this article in the English newspaper, I know why.  Everyone should get a bath every few years whether they need one or not.  Don't you agree?