On March 1, our district of 10 travel to Gorogyets (Городец). I am just beginning to pick out the new alphabet. We have the computer key letters overlaid with stickers that include the English and the Russian letters. No they are not in the same order and that makes it a slightly bit more complicated for me. For example the T is in the N place. The M is in the V place and the O is in the J place. Instead of an I we have the ш (which says sh). And on we go. I personnaly have no problem with the letters but the hardest ones to learn to read, are the ones that look like the english letter but say something different: H is for N, C is for S, P is for R, and B is for V. Reading and typing have become a difficulty but not insurmountable. Any way I digress form my narrative.
Городец: A beautiful city on the bank of the now frozen Volga river, up river from NN. It used to be in a strategic spot and was surrounded by a high wall. It is a city of about 30,000 and is very quaint and delightful spot. The houses are traditional 1800's Russian archeticture. The 5 museums we visited were painted nicely and had been mansions or wealthy merchant dwellings. As wealthy as they were the dwellings seemed not to be very substantial and not very richly decorated. This may have been lost over the years though.
We saw a museum that is particularly dedicated to the showing of artifacts that have been unearthed from the 1300-1400's in the site where the town now stands. A lot of war impliments and several items of clothing from the era. There is a room of stuffed animals native to the area, and a room that shows the cathedral complex that once stood on a hill in the city. Some farming instruments and also war impliments. One piece showed the schrapnal taken from the eyes of soldiers (ugh). There were also several carving displays that had been used in the decoration of houses and windows previously.
One of the museums was a 2 year old building, made in the original architecture style of Old Russia. It had many of the same types of displays with the addition of a type of childrens whistles, and a display of clay pots.
Another showed more childrens whistles. Children were believed to have been given these in the day when they believed in evil spirits. As the children blew the whistles the evil spirits were driven away. We all got to make one!! They were made in the form of an animal of any sort. They were then painted in beautiful colors.
Another was a mansion that displayed art work, clocks, books, clothing, and several irons, balance weights, early working tools of all kinds.
Lastly we saw a beautiful merchant home that displayed tea urns. The tea urn had two parts. The water was stored in a outer chamber and inside this chamber was placed a central tube to hold live coals to keep the water warm. They put the tea leaves in the water and then dispensed the ready tea through a spiget to a cup for chilly patrons who would pay for a warm drink. It was an old fashioned type of thermos, and worked very well. They were very popular and over the years they were improved and improvised. There were several urns there that were non operable because they were only decorative. Some were absolutely gorgeous.
We recenly had a baptism that was really a wonderful experience. We have had the visit of our mission president and his wife who came to teach, inspire, and see the branches and generally be of support. They achieved all their goals as far as I am concerned. They both travel extensively and are rarely at home in Moscow. He does all the missionary conferences, all missionary interviews, and then all the interviews for the branches, nine in all in 3 countries. None are very close to the other so it is a major time consumer just to get around to all the missionaries each 6 week period. He has duties in the office, meetings, and newsletters, and general challenges to help solve. What a great team they are and are enduring well.
We are currently helping with the missionary effort by visiting and generally helping the young missionaries. We enjoy it and are happy to be here.
We will be sahying good-bye to the other senior couple serving here. They are in their 18th month of service. Since we are all on a 3 month visa and theirs runs out on the 20th they are leaving here the 19th and we will miss them. They both are talented and have given much to the growth of the lower branch. We will try to take up some of the duties they have been involved in and hope to help keep things going in both branches. President Woolley will be back 14 April again to conduct some branch business and missionary interviews.
|Whimsical wood carving of a hunter and his faithful dog.|
We liked these a lot and they show the gifted
talents of the locals.
|One of the delightful decorative tea pots on display|
in the museums at Gorogyets.
|Plaque showing the happy family listening to the|
recording of societ propaganda. See how
engaged they all are and how it
adds to family life!!!
|Helmet unearthed in the Gorogyets area.|
The owner is unknown but this is the most valuable
piece in the museum. Helmet has silver and gold
overlays and is believed to belong to a prince.
From the 1300-1400's. Nose protector is missing.
|Close up of the cathederal model that once stood on a hill|
overlooking the Volga river and all surrounding
country side in Gorodyets.
|Beautiful lace work shown in a work done to|
show the CCCP revolution. (USSR)
|Intricate wrought iron work in an archway of a building.|
|Detail on the east side an 1800's merchant home which|
now houses the tea urn display.