Sunday, January 24, 2010


We attended two baptisms yesterday, January 23.

Svetlana is in the first two pictures. She is a wonderful woman! She has been attended her branch for 13 years but unable to join the church because her husband was against it. She honored her husband's wishes. A few weeks ago she awoke from a dream that her deceased parents were waiting for her to be baptized for them in the temple and then have them sealed together for all Eternity. She went downstairs in tears and explained her dream to her husband. It moved him so much so that he told her she could join the Church.

She is a valiant woman and shares Christ light to others. She has also given free yoga/pilates classes for the last 4 years to sisters in the area (in which I've taken advantage of and love it).

Nearly her whole branch showed up for her baptism show full support.

The last photo is a young man from Nigeria named Markus. He had heard the gospel from a couple of missionaries about 3 years ago but declined to hear further messages from them. He was catholic and felt he needed to keep that faith.

He explained that when the missionaries ran into some friends of his on the street corner that he was excited to see them because he had regretted not continuing the lessons. He had been confused about a lot of teachings from his church and what little teachings he had from the missionaries 3 years prior made an impact and he wanted to learn more.

There are several brothers from Nigeria and other parts of Africa attending the university here that have joined the Church. They are POWERFUL witnesses of Christ. In their actions and teaching.

Gospel life here has changed us forever. We have become more closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and the restored Gospel.

We testify that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ's Church and all the Priesthood keys have been restored to the earth so all of God's children can know the fullness of Christ's teachings. We Love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and know that through Prayer, Scripture Study and the teachings of the Prophets their divine Love for us is unwaivering. They will always Love us and help us to know how to return to live with Them after this life. They provide the Gift of the Holy Ghost to lead and guide us to happiness, peace and safety from this world of turmoil.

Websites to know more:

Wonderful messages can be found on YouTube under MormonMessages

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Russian/English Keyboard

Thought we'd share our keyboards from our computers. To switch between Russian and English letters we hit CTRL Shift.

The missionaries that serve in the office with us have a computer game that you play to help learn the Russian letters on the keyboard.

The only problem is when we type in English we sometimes mix up the keys! We have to remember what language we need to be typing.

We both are quite happy that we've mastered the Russian alphabet, sing the Russian hymns pretty proficiently (except the fast ones), and are mastering more of the language - at least enough for greetings, some small talk, and being able to ask for food in a small convenience store. The small convenience stores are set up where all the food is behind counters and you have to ask for it.

Winter Pictures


St. Petersburg has had record snowfall! They haven't had this much snow in over 130 years. It has cost the city nearly $33 million to clean up the snow to help keep the city functioning. They've been hauling snow out by the truck loads for the past several weeks.

The air is so cold because of the humidity. The temperature has been -10 to -15 c. for the past several weeks. We stay bundled up when going out. We are blessed to only have to walk about 30 feet from our apartment building to the mission office.

My sister Jill sent a box of hand warmers for the missionaries. I put them out in the office foyer and they were gone before weeks end. They were very grateful.

This past week when venturing out to the store the air has been so cold that it freezes everything inside your nose. The good part is we don't have runny noses! (until we get indoors)

A couple of return missionaries from Siberia had said the temperature is colder in Siberia but it feels colder here in St. Petersburg because of the humidity.

At home you could count on rain or drizzle every day - here you can count on snowfall. The "drizzle" here is light snowflakes.

The sun has been out more this past week, but for the last 4 weeks we hadn't seen it. Always gray, snowy clouds. Bad part is when the sun comes out, the temperature drops.

The snow may be treacherous, but it sure is beautiful.

Joe finally let me convince him to buy a "real" Russian winter hat. He bought me a fox fur hat in December but I couldn't convince him to buy one for himself. The temperatures convinced him otherwise.

The heating in our apartment is interesting. We have one wall heater in the living/bed room and one wall heater in the kitchen. Their is no heat regulator in the apartment, the tenant is at the whims of the building owners as to how much heat comes of the the heaters. (They have hot water heating.) Here recently our apartment has been very cold. We've been bundling up at night and wearing extra layer during the day.

Because I have difficulty navigating text with photos, I'm posting this description after the photos.

Local Newspaper

Publishing a website for our local newspaper "St. Petersburg Times."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

St Petersburg Mission Christmas Dinner

We had a really nice dinner and white elephant gift exchange with the missionaries. The mission president's wife, Sister Podvodova, cooked fajita's and Joe and I cooked enchiladas. May sound funny having Mexican food in Russia - but that's what we choose. Sister Drennan made lemon marange pies.

We had a lot of laughs at some of the gifts. But we had a great time!

Funny christmas carol

Two of our missionaries from St. Petersburg

Friday, January 1, 2010

Winter Pictures

We have a lot of snow! News reports have stated that St. Petersburg hasn't had this much snow for 120 years! The window shot is snow piled outside my office window, the Fontonka River frozen over (runs through downtown St. Petersburg), back yard photos from our apartment. It's very difficult to walk around now so we are having to use a backpack to carry our groceries home. It's too difficult to pull our carts.

We had a very noisy New Year's Eve. Neighbors started letting off fireworks at 9 p.m. and continued until 4 a.m. Russians celebrate Christmas and New Year from January 1 - 10. Joe and I were invited to have a day out with friends so we left our apartment about 9:30 a.m. Walking around the corner to our bus stop there were people drunk, others trying to talk to us but we have no idea what they're saying, bloody snow that we walked around, and when we used the ATM to pull out some money it didn't give us the cash, but it took it out of our checking account. It was very, very cold so we used these signs to forget our day trip and walked back to our apartment to stay safe and warm.

We had a very nice Christmas dinner with all the missionaries finished up with a very comical white elephant gift exchange, musical chairs, and singing.

We wish everyone a Very Happy 2010! We look forward to serving this year and for the Spring thaw to venture out for more exploring.