Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday, May 21, 2017 

I haven't posted now in four weeks because I was waiting to post Victory Day pictures.  Then so much has happened since then and we have been so busy at work, we haven't had time.  But we will soon. 

Since our Facebook posts look like this is some kind of extended field trip, I thought I might make a list of the good and hard things going on, so it looks or sounds like a real mission.  I see why now a mother has to have her kids home for some time, even up to years, before she hears some of the most honest stories about what it was like.  You are not going to have to wait that long from me!

Good things:
Victory Day, often called the May holidays in Russia, were on Monday, May 8th, and Tuesday, May 9th.  They were very interesting. Russians are very patriotic and members tell stories of the strength of the Spirit of Elijah at the marches that are held where people hold up pictures of their ancestors.

We went to see some famous Folk Dancers and they were excellent.  

We got to babysit some little kids in our ward while their parents went on a date.

I bought a sewing machine!!

We are starting to be seen as members of our Russian ward, now that we have been going there since February 1st.  It takes awhile. The people are very kind to us.

The young volunteers in our ward are so fun to know and love.  They translate the meetings for us.  

We are learning Russian--we are up to four words!! (Spa-cee-ba THANK YOU) (Pa-jail-sta YOU'RE WELCOME) (Da Da Da- YES) (Choo choo Peruskie--DON'T SPEAK TO US IN RUSSIAN AND THINK WE UNDERSTAND ANYTHING YOU ARE SAYING!)

There is NOTHING in this world like a hug from a real live babushka!!!

Russ loves working with the young volunteers and they need him very much.

Our geraniums are on reaching Paris heights!

The subway here is amazing.  It is so efficient that millions of people depend on it every day to get around this huge city.  Some of our colleagues at work travel between 1 1/2-2 hours one way to come to work. The wifi on the subway helps them manage their life while commuting.

Planted a tomato plant.  It's growing too.

AND Michelle is here from Zurich for she and Russ to go see Aerosmith on Tuesday.

Challenging things:
Learning how to be a good lawyer while needing to be an excellent one already because making mistakes could cost the Church a bundle is a challenge.  Dreaming about one's legal work doesn't count as instruction for how to do it well. 

My fish at the office--Cosmo--died over the weekend about a month ago b/c apparently they turn off the cooling on the weekends.  :(. Good thing Baby Cosmo, my fish at home, is doing well.  

Russ and I have both been to the doctor's for different reasons, resulting in procedures and more fun than should be allowed!

The noise in the subway is so loud it is a wonder that all Moscovites are not deaf! 
 Transporting the most people on any system in Europe each and every day is no easy task--I get that.  But.....the pushing and shoving, the smells, the noise......I could go one, but I won't. A new pair of headphones is limiting my ear damage.

If the noise on the subway won't kill us, the cramming on to the bus to get up the hill might.  It's a 1/2 mile ride up a hill and the bus comfortably holds probably 50 people.  That doesn't stop 75 of them from getting on.  When there's a free 4", two more people (perhaps ex-linebackers from BYU--and that's just the women!) get on.

I bought a pair of shoes (paid twice what they would have cost at home) that felt good in the store, and hurt as soon as they were paid for (we walk so much here that feet issues are emerging) 

AND the plate from my broken leg 2 1/2 years ago is starting to hurt at random times, but usually when I am walking.

Sooooo......just in case you thought we won the lottery, and ended up in Russia (which we did) solely on a pleasure trip, it's a challenge too.  But we are grateful to be able to serve and are hoping it is making a difference.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Wednesday, May 5, 2017

Happy Cinco de Mayo! (A non-event in Russia) Especially since we are in the middle of the May holidays--May Day and Victory Day--a very happy time in Russia. Pictures to come about these days on Sunday.

But that's not why I posted today.  I want to call this post:

What a Difference a Day Makes (or in this case, THREE MONTHS)!!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Don't read this if you won't believe what I am going to say: It's 75 degrees here today!! The trees and the bushes are budding out.  All our windows are open and we slept all night that way.  Spring is coming!!! 

We had a good week this week.  Easter was lovely and we found two pictures we really were moved by. The first one is by our friend and neighbor, Liz Lemon Swindle.  I am not sure who painted the second one.

Russ continues to talk to the young volunteers every day.  He has to write notes on the calls afterwards which takes about 20-30 minutes.  Some reports are for the local leadership and some goes to Salt Lake.  Like all professions, there is a  lot of paperwork.

I closed several cases this week, wrote a proposal for a scholarship program, and compared the laws about independent contractors in Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Turkey.   I made a beautiful chart out of the information. Not sure if I have ever mentioned: I love a chart!!! It is really interesting to compare laws of similar topics across countries.  There are many more countries I could do apparently.  We'll see what other countries I will be assigned to evaluate. Here is a shortened view of the chart. Good times!

This week the senior couples went on a Moscow River Boat Cruise & Dinner on Tuesday night after work.  About 20 of us were there and I took lots of pictures of the lovely Moscow architecture and parks.  The beautiful buildings remind me of Paris.  Enjoy!

Today the first third of the year has passed.  It seems like we've been gone forever.  But the time is actually speeding by.  In one more third of the year, we will need to start shopping for Christmas!! (Ouch! That's for those of you who HATE to hear my Christmas countdowns! Haha!) 

Family Update: 
Michelle is coming back so that she and Russ can go see Aerosmith here in Moscow. 

Scott is settling into his UM job in Athletics.  

Sarah's new job is going well.  

Hannah started rolling over and now is trying to crawl.  If she's awake, she won't lay her head on her Mom's shoulder--too busy trying to learn everything about this world! Mark and Hannah and Stevie D. had conjunctivitis last week.  Mark hates the eye drops! (Me too, MM!) 

Tomorrow is Missionary Maddie's 20th birthday! Happy Birthday, Maddie! We're proud of you! 

End of year concerts are coming up for Jeremy and Ammon.  

Ben and Lori's house is being built quickly in Kansas.  

Ava played the part of Balthasar in Romeo and Juliet at Maeser School.  

April graduates this weekend fro Utah State after two LONG years of studying weekends and holidays and nights after work.  

Nathan's family got to go to St. George for a vacation while Nathan worked.  

Keith ran a half-marathon and Satchie ran the last mile with him.  Buggie and Mom and Dad redecorated her room in a beautiful light blue.