Thursday, July 22, 2010

Okhtinsky Picnic

We had a lot of fun playing games and celebrating with branch members and missionaries. We had relay races which consisted of 3-legged race, human wheelbarrow, walking with a spoon in your mouth holding a ping pong ball, then your team standing in line with cups of water and passing them over your head to the person behind you to fill their cup until it reaches the end and you see how many cups of water you can fill before the other team in a specific time period. Joe's team won (they were called The Moon's and we were called the Ninja's). Joe's team also won the tug-o-war game.
We also played frisbee, soccer and water balloon toss.
The food was good. No picnic tables in the parks though so they lay out plastic table cloths on the ground surrounded by thin cushioned pads for people to sit on.
The weather was so cooperative! It had been in the 90s the entire week prior to the picnic and on the day of the picnic it was overcast all day and in the mid 70s with a wonderful cool breeze. The week following the picnic it went back to very hot weather. We all felt it was an answer to our prayers to have the weather be cooler. We were able to be outside without the sun beating down on us and enjoy a cool breeze as well.
The park was about an hour ride taking the underground subway. We switched to two different lines. There are 5 different tunnels (or lines) that you take to get to various parts of the city and outside the city.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

20th Wedding Anniversary

Joe and I will be celebrating 20 years of marriage this July 28!
Joe wrote a poem to me prior to our wedding. It reads:

Come Away With Me Now

Come away with me now to a path by the sea
Where we can relax and let our spirits be free,
Where the sun in its glory is shining above
In the warmth of its rays we'll share our love.

We can walk by the shoreline for hours on end,
Exploring what lies beyond the next bend.
At night by a fire in your loving embrace,
I'll watch dancing shadows at play on your face.

We can plan for the future. I'll chase away fears
Of what lies ahead in our future years.
Come away with me now so we can explore,
The path that meanders by some distant shore.

Now 20 years later and living in and serving as missionaries in Russia he has added to this poem:

Where the Path has Lead
You accepted my offer to walk by the sea,
Willing to share your life with me.
For the past twenty years you've been at my side;
My companion, my friend, my cherished bride.

Now the path has lead us to a distant land,
Where is spoken a language we don't understand.
Far from our home and the ones we miss,
Longing to hold, or give them a kiss.

Yet, the blessings are greater than any we've known,
Through service and faith much closer we've grown.
May we always continue to walk and explore,
That path that meanders by some distant shore.

We are so grateful for each other and I'm grateful for Joe's special gift of writing poems. We are also grateful for the gospel in our lives that teach us with our temple marriage we can be husband and wife for all eternity predicated on our faithfulness. We are not married for only "until death do you part." We strive daily to strengthen our testimonies by prayer and service to learn the ways of the Lord and the knowledge on how to return to live with our Heavenly Father. We are grateful for the priesthood being restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith to enable us to make eternal covenants in the temple.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Managing the Storm!

We were walking along the Neva River when this very thick, dark cloud appeared. When it began to rain we huddled behind the cement wall that separates the river and the walk way because the rain and wind were coming from the river so we had a little bit of protection. However, that was short-lived as the wind start moving in all direction and it began to hail and rain harder. We had no protection because we forgot our umbrellas and no cover nearby. We continued to huddle close to keep each other warm. Fortunately, the storm passed in about 15 minutes. We were soaked though and we still had a 25 minute walk to get home.

The speed boat continued to speed around the river throughout the whole storm! It's amazing they didn't have lightening hit them. Crazy!!!