Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hello Family & Friends

Sorry we don't have any new pictures to post, but wanted to let everyone know we are busy and doing well. We haven't had time to take any further tours of the area.

We've had beautiful, warm, sunny weather. It's just now getting a bit cooler, but no frost on the ground yet in the mornings. Jeanie has purchased a winter coat in preparation for the cold winter. We will be shopping soon for Joe's. We will be looking to buy those special Russian hats to keep our heads warm as well!

We have settled into our routines at the mission office and are really enjoying our service with the younger missionaries in our mission. They are very mature and work hard. We are proud to be serving with them.

Thank you to everyone that e-mails us. We enjoying staying connected with all of you.

Once again, please email us if you have questions about our experiences that we haven't posted or already told you about and we'd be happy to share them with you.

Our outdoor tours are probably over since the tourist season is pretty much over and the weather will probably be changing. But we will be posting snow pictures and any other pictures we will be taking on excursions throughout the winter. We plan on visiting museums, but probably won't be able to take pictures inside. We'll see.

We are enjoying our private time here as well. It's been nice to have our own place and get to know each other in a different way without other responsibilities that seemed to have taken up a lot of our private lives before.

We are being blessed by our Heavenly Father in so many different ways. We love Him and His Son Jesus Christ and are thankful we are serving in this part of the world. The gospel is the same here as home and the people here are firm in the faith.

With much love to all
Joe & Jeanie

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Walk to the Store

Here are some photos of buildings and the Neva River near our apartments. Also, the bridge we walk over to get groceries at the closest store to our apartments (about a 25 minute walk one way).

We don't know the name of the church in the background, but we are going to go there and find out one of these days.

The tall blue and white buildings are apartments we live in and where the church is located at. You can see the river is right next to the buildings we live in.

The weather is turning a little colder and the wind seems to be blowing a lot harder now. We're told the wind blows a lot right here near the river in the winter months - a very cold wind.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Church and Office Photos

Church Sign

Zone Conference photo

Joe and Jeanie with Mission President Podvodov and his wife

Church Entrance

Office photos

Office Elders, Jeanie & Joe

Walking around St. Petersburg - Various photos

We took these photos of random buildings and historical sites which we've indicated next to the photos below this blog. We found a "Chocolate Santa" on the sidewalk leading into the Chocolate Shop! And to my sister Jill and friend Patti, "Yes, we will bring home some Russian chocolates for you!" We will try to bring a little sample to others as well.

We have been busy in the office and haven't had too much time keeping up on our blog.
We have attended 3 baptisms since we've been here (3 weeks). The Russian people at church are so happy and it's a honor to be among them. They have such a love for God and Jesus Christ and are so thankful to have the knowledge
of His Gospel in their lives .

Joe and I have been assisting the elders and sisters in discussions of the gospel to their investigators. We have felt such a strong spirit of the Holy Ghost. Once we have put the worldly obligations and distractions behind us we have been blessed with a greater knowledge and understanding we ever thought possible.

Enjoy these photos and you might want to take time to Google these historical sites and learn more of the history. To get a more detailed view of the pictures double click on the picture.

Saturday, August 30, Walking Tour of Some of St. Petersburg Sites

Peter-Paul Fortress & Cathedral

Peter-Paul Fortress & Cathedral

This was the first island to be settled by Peter the Great and he begun building his fortress in May 1703. (It is directly opposite the hermitage and Winter Palace on the other side of the Neva River.)

(In mid-winter, people walk directly across the frozen river and it's been noted inevitable drownings when it starts to thaw.)

Its cathedral, with classical Dutch architecture and a needle-shaped spire, is, with the above ground tombs of most of the Romanovs on display, including those of Peter the Great and Catherine, is the Russian equivalent of England's Westminster Abbey.
This island housed the original imperial mint and was a notorious holding prison for famous revolutionaries like Lenin's elder brother (hanged for plotting the assassination of Alexander III) and political dissidents like Chernyshevsky and Dostoevsky.

Church on Spilled Blood

Church on Spilled Blood

Built on the spot where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated on March 1, 1881 by a
revolutionary group. His successor, Alexander III, had this permanent memorial built between 1883
and 1907.

The design was by Alfred Parland and Ignatiy Malyshev. (Also known as the Resurrection Church of Our Saviour)

Field of Mars

Field of Mars

These photos are only part of the field which also had walk ways lined with low lying arched design rod iron fencing. This was once a marshy area and was drained during the 19th century and used for military maneuvers and parades, fairs and other festivities.

It was named after Mars, the Roman god of war. It was landscaped and made into a war memorial between 1917 and 1923. The granite Monument fo Revolutionary Fighters (1917-19), by Lev Rudnev, and the Eternal Flame (1957) commemorate the victims of the Revolutions of 1917 and the Civil War.


Main Entrance of the Hermitage via the Courtyard

Extensive information on the Hermitage can be found on line. This is marked as one of the most famous museums in the world.

Catherine the Great was a lover of art. It is noted in travel guides, that between 1764 and 1774, Catherine the Great acquired over 2,500 paintings, 10,000 carved gems, 10,000 drawings and a large amount of silver and porcelain to adorn her palaces. However, there is a great deal more to be noted about this magnificent historic site, so we encourage everyone to study more.

Paintings by Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci are noted to be part of the vast art collections here. Joe and I haven't toured inside. We are going to later and we're sure we'll have more to share.

Palace Square

Alexander Column

Located in the center of Palace Square. The column celebrates Alexander I victories against Napoleon. The red granite pillar is balanced by its 600 ton weight, making it the largest free-standing monument in the world. It was designed by Auguste de Montferrand in 1829. It took 2,400 soldiers and workmen two years to cut and transport the granite. The column was erected in 1830-34 and is topped by a bronze angel, and together they stand 154 feet high.

General Staff Building in Palace Square

This square is the work of architect Carlo Rossi.

The arch has a sculpture of a chariot with horses called "Victory in her chariot" (1829), by Stepan Pimenov and Vasiliy Demut-Malinovskiy.

It's still used today for political meetings and rock concerts.