We celebrated several birthdays recently and have had fun calling and celebrating with all of you. Coming up will be birthdays for Dean and Lou.
We continue to enjoy our missionary experiences, and grow from the many varied challenges this brings into our lives. We are trying to meet the challenge of learning Russian by hiring Kate to teach us. I am sure she finds us to be especially slow with our learning and she is an English teacher, not a Russian teacher. She is Russian, but that doesn't necessarily make her a teacher, but she has elected to try to help us and we are indebted to her for the time she takes to prepare for us and try to help us. It is an especially trying language in that there are more ways to end a word depending on if it is a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, male, female, neuter, plural , a prepositional phrase, etc. etc. Most of this can be applied to just one word and how it is used. Easy!!! Right now I am trying to figure out the six ways to say "my" in the feminine and then the masculine and then the neuter and then the plural!!
We had an exciting lesson with a young man from India who speaks excellent English. We really enjoyed meeting with him and he in turn is happy to talk to anyone in English. He is here on an one year assignment with Intel. He is a project manager and apparently doesn't have to know Russian to do the job. His "Russian" is not much different than ours, however he has only been here for 2 or 3 months.
We recently traveled to Moscow, and had a great strengthing meeting there with our Mission President and his assistants, and our zone leaders. The trip is a bit exhausing for us 'old timers". We leave at 11:45 PM and get home again the next night at 11:25 PM. There isn't much rest, but the rejuvination we get makes the trip worth it. It is fun to visit with friends, and see people we don't see often. We are the town furtherest east of Moscow in the mission. Our closest mission town is Yaroslavl and it a distance northeast of Moscow, and there are two or three branches in Moscow in our zone.
We have recently been collecting information to give some humanitarian help to an orphanage, a kindergarten, and the red cross to donoate wheelchairs in our city. It takes a bit of doing to get the paper work done right, the credentials verified, and the pictures taken and sent, the story told. It is interesting work and a gives a huge feeling of satisfaction to be even a small cog in the workings of the process to see the help given where it is needed. The kindergarten opperates to serve about 125 children from the ages of 2-7 and has for years. There is no hot water supplied by the city to the 2 story structure. They are asking for hot water heaters. The kitchen, clean up, laundry, the showers and baths all need hot water and they have a very small and antiquated way to supply that right now. It is not very efficient and is very time consuming to do it the way they have done through the years. They also are asking for 2 clothes dryers They supply a bed for each child to sleep in and the sheets are changed and washed every day! The work is stagering and they still hang out the laundry. What a change it would be for them to have a few modern conveniences.
We have enjoyed our missionaries and we hope that they feel like they have someone to help them solve a few problems and be a support for them when they are so far away from home and from the mission leaders.
We don't really have any new pictures for the blog. but will try to keep up with some as we visit some and find new sites to see.
That is all for now.