I am surprised that I haven't written for so long. I wanted to wish Hannie and Hyrum a happy birthday on the 9th and 10th. We did get to talk on the phone to both and it was good to hear how they were celebrating their birthdays. Hannie was working, and Hyrum took the day off school to celebrate and to be with his friend who was visiting from Canada. Anyway here is another HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!! We love you both.
Since our last post we have pictures of our grandson, Coleson Paul Foutz.
He shares the name Paul with his cousin Gideon Paul Foutz who is two years older. They both share the name with my father Wayne Paul Gaertner who died in 1980.
Our spring has finally sprung!! The first two days were even summery, mildly humid and warm into the night. We have since then had more springlike weather, but once the weather broke, it has never turned to freezing in the night. The nights continue to get shorter and shorter. We have it fairly light now until 8:30 PM and the sun rises around 6:00 AM a big change from last December when we had only about 9 hours of light. We walk to church in the light both ways all evidence of ice is gone. We still see piles of snow around in corners where the sun never shines that still are slowly melting. It does feel good to have it sunny again.
We have been involved in teaching some of our people and it feels so good. We sometimes have people who speak English and we need no translation, but most of the time that is not the case. We have told
the missionaries that anytime they want to come to have a home cooked meal, just bring someone over whom they are teaching. So last night we had the elders and a young man over who is very interested in listening. He is a good young man. We were involved in as much as we could be. He said he liked my first attempt at borscht (Russian soup with beets). We liked it and he said it tasted like it might be american style. So far I haven't had any luck to get the ladies to share with me their recipes. Maybe later. Mine didn't stay very red. He is actually a Ukrainian and misses his really red Ukrainian borscht. He didn't offer to teach me, don't know if he knows how to make it.
Since last writing we have had a visit from President and Sister Woolley. That weekeend President called our driver Andrey as the new branch president. He will be a very good one, and his wife, Olga, will be a great support. They both help us a tremendous amount. We are working with Olga, to do some humanitarian work here. It will take time, but we feel confident that we have some good projects. While the Woolleys were here we visited Gorodyets with them. They got to see 2 museums and lots of the countryside. It was good to be with them again. It will be good to go there again when the trees are in full leaf, and the flowers are blooming. It is a pretty little town.
We continue to visit both branches, and they are doing well. We have one more baptism scheduled and maybe another one soon after. The branch president in the lower branch and his wife are expecting their first child, a girl, in the middle of July. They are so happy, it is fun to watch them.
It was good to get a whole envelope of letters from our empty nesters group in South Jordan. What fun it was to get them and we enjoyed every one. Thank you so much Joe for heading up that project for us. Write again anytime!!! We can get letters, and cards with envelopes through the following address: Elder Jerry and Linda Foutz, Russia Moscow West Mission, Muravskaya Street, Bldg. 1 Floor 3, Moscow 125310 Russia. This requires overseas postage. If you write on a single page, writing only on the front, (NO ENVELOPE) then fold it in thirds, taping the two shorter ends, and put the address on the back, you can send this in the pouch for regular mail price at the following address: Elder Jerry and Linda Foutz, Russia Moscow West Mission, POB 30150 Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150.
Someone asked if we are affected by the mission boundry reassignment in the Moscow Mission and the answer is yes. We will be part of the Moscow Mission as of July 1 this year. Our mission president will be going home after a 3 year assignment and the present Moscow mission president will be taking the orphan groups in Russia over. Our mission is presently made of groups in Russia, Belarus, and Kazahkstan. I don't know if that spelling is right the way they spell it here is different because of the cyrillic alphabet. Anyway, we will be one of the furtherest outlying groups in the Russia Moscow Mission
We have ventured out a bit more since we don't have to watch for ice and it is fun to see the architecture on the buildings. We were always watching for the ice and didn't look up that much.
We are slowly getting a bit more of the language, it is a difficult one in which you have to know parts of speech and then rearrange the words to work better in the language. I haven't done much with grammar, I am struggeling just with memorizing sentences for which the grammar is already situated. There is a specific accent on each word and it does matter which vowel you accent!! Since the written Russian doesn't include the accent marks you have to get pretty comfortable with the language to read out loud! We have a teacher who comes over once a week and struggles with us to help in this matter. Oleg is very patient but insists that we do it right and there is one sound that I haven't mastered yet, it is written as 'bl' but it doesn't sound like it is written. It is a cross between 'ee' and 'uy' and is more gutteral than we are used to. He just shakes his head and then is surprised if I get it close, but of course I can never repeat that one time it is close!! Oleg is a young college student, not a member, but loves to serve others. He likes to spend time with us speaking english to improve his skills. He is scheduled to go to Texas this summer on a work permit for about three months. He is real excited to go to the U.S. and hopes he will be understood. His english is pretty good and he won't have any real problems communicating. We hope he gets more serious about the church.
Oleg is going to Galveston, Texas, so we got on line and played him Glenn Campbells version of Galveston! I don't know if he liked it or not but now he knows a bit about Galveston fame.
Transfers were this last week and one of our sister missionaries completed her mission and returned to St. George, Utah. We have a new Elder from Shelley, Idaho, a sister missionary who will serve 2 weeks, and Sister Francom, who was here before has returned to finish the last six weeks of her mission here.
We are doing well and feel blessed to be here.