Sunday, May 29, 2011

April - May Updates: Vyborg, Pushkin, Train Ride & Walking day in St. Petersburg

Joe and I have 30 days left on our mission and we keep commenting how quickly this mission has gone. We have loved everyday of it (not that some days were hard) but every day here has been worth it.
This posting is a little catch up of our activities these past several weeks:
These beautiful birds were on the train we took to Peterhof, Sunday May 29. Not something we see everyday on our Sunday travels to visit other branches.

Joe and I went to the Pushkin branch, Sunday, May 22, and afterwards visiting with Vladimir Boikov's family. (Vladimir is seated at the end of the table facing the camera). After enjoying music from his two daughters and a delicious meal prepared by his wife, he gave Joe and I about a 20 minute ride from his house to catch the metro. He drove us in style in his Rolls Royce. It felt weird for both of us to be sitting behind the wheel of a car again. We haven't driven in 2 years and not sure how it's going to feel to actually drive when we return home in a month.
It was quite a beautiful car and we felt like royalty!

Joe and I spent a good part of a Saturday with the new Office Specialist (the Andrus') and showed them around a part of St. Petersburg. It was such a beautiful day and all the flowers are in bloom now.
The statue of the rider on the horse is a replication of Peter the Great. During WWII the Russians buried this monument and it still stood after the war. They say that as long as this monument stands Russia will always prevail.
I took a picture of a bicycle taxi. Thought it was unique.

These monuments are near the metro station to go to Gatchina or Pushkin (two little towns outside of St. Petersburg.)
This was a war memorial for all those who died in WWII.

This picture is our group of missionaries in our district.

These two photos of Joe and I at a BYU performance. These students from Brigham Young University performed a fantastic play depicting the different Indian natives around the world. The concert hall was beautiful and the performance was outstanding.!

This is me standing with Sergey. He is one huge young man! He was a professional boxer until he lost one eye. He such a gentle giant. We enjoy visiting with him when we get a chance.

Joe and I visiting the Vyborg branch on April 24. This was our first and only trip there. It took us about 3 1/2 hours one way to get there. This was one of the first branches in Russia 20 years ago. It is also one of the largest branches today outside of St. Petersburg.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

March 19 Winter Woods Walk-About

Joe and I went to Svetlana's home outside the city for what ended up being a 2 hour walk through the woods. Svetlana is our yoga/exercise instructor. Every winter she invites her friends to come and exercise outdoors. We traveled a snowy path towards the gulf of Finland. Afterwards we partook of delicious Russian food. Svetlana made homemade mushroom soup that had potatoes and vegetables with the mushrooms. Included with the meal was homemade fruit drink from fruit she preserves from their garden every year. Also, was "pizza bread" and fresh fruits and vegetables. We all had a lot of fun.

Svetlana's home

Elder Hazlewood

Joe, Svetlana and their dog

Along the trail

The feast with friends

Svetlana and her husband Sasha

Train stop for Svetlana's home town

All the girls