Serving the Lord in Russia

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Spring and Summer in Moscow - Part 2

We continue to have great missionaries arrive from the MTC and in August we received six elders and two sisters.  We love them already!
When we visited Yaroslavl we had some time to do a little sightseeing of the city.  Yaroslavl is about a four-hour train ride northeast of Moscow and is a beautiful city.  We had a wonderful time with our missionaries, members, and seeing the city.
This is where the Volga and Kotorosl Rivers meet.
Buying a t-shirt in Yaroslavl.
We attended the YSA Conference last weekend that was held just outside of Moscow.  Young Single Adults from the Russia Moscow, Russia St. Petersburg, and Russia Samara Missions were invited to attend and there were around 182 who came, plus the leaders.  This is the only picture I have of the conference so far, but I will post others in my next blog.  This picture was taken at one of the dances that was held.  We had a great time with our young single adults.  They are the best! 
Here it is September now and summer is over.  It is actually cold here (last night the low was 40 degrees and the high today was 58) and some of the leaves on the birch trees are turning yellow.  They are predicting an early winter in Moscow this year, darn.  I'm looking forward to the beautiful autumn days so I hope winter will stay away for a while.

Spring and Summer in Moscow

Yes, Stephen and I are still alive and doing great here in Moscow.  It has been such a busy spring and summer for us that I was terrible about trying to update my blog.  But, here we go...

Late spring and all this summer have been beautiful and exciting here in Moscow.  Stephen and I have had some fun p-days, a new grandson was born, and on July 1st we became a new mission.  The Moscow West Mission and the Moscow Mission were consolidated and we now have their nine Russian cities and about 45 new missionaries.  We are so excited and are looking forward to this wonderful change.  Here are some of the things that we have been enjoying.

Cruisin' the Moscow River on a beautiful spring everning.

The Grand Kremlin Palace, the Annuciation Cathedral, and the Assumption Cathedral.

The Hotel Ukraina, now the Radisson Royal Hotel (one of the Seven Sisters buildings) in Moscow.

The Olympic Stadium that was built for the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

Missionaries arriving at the Mission Home for our May Zone Leaders Council.

Mother's Day at our Sokolniki Ward with our missionaries.

Becky, John, Brooklyn, and our newest grandchild, Jake Stephen Mortensen.  He was born on June 1st and I was able to go to Salt Lake to help for about 12 days.  This little guy is the best baby ever.

Sister Sorenson holding baby Jake (it was a little slice of heaven).

Lindsey, Hannah, Jack, and Kate on Grandma's "magic carpet" that I bought in Istanbul, Turkey, when we attended our Mission Presidents' seminar in February.

I was so happy to visit with my mom a few times while I was in Salt Lake.  The day I left to fly back to Moscow she fell and broke her hip.  She is a strong one and is doing well after the surgery.
A summer afternoon with Becky holding Jake, Brooklyn, Grandma, Sophia, and Misty.
June 14, 2012  The Moscow and Moscow West missionaries meeting with Elder & Sister Christofferson, Elder & Sister Rasband, and our Area Presidency and their wives.
Farewell luncheon in June for Sister Stapley, Sister Woolley, and Sister Schwitzer.  Sister Lawrence and I are grateful to remain in Moscow for a while longer (one more year for me.)
June 20, 2012 at 10:15pm....this first day of summer in Moscow at the mission home.  It finally got dark around 11:00pm.
June 21, 2012 at 4:45am.  The morning skies were actually getting light around 4:00am.
President Sorenson and President Woolley - the passing of the pants presser.
Our new Russia Moscow Mission!
July 4, 2012  Lunch with our leaders after our Zone Leaders Council meeting at the mission home.
One of our former missionaires, Elder Larsen, and his mom were visiting in Moscow and invited us and President and Sister Boiko (our stake president and his wife) to dinner at a lovely restaruant here in Moscow.
July 2012  We came out to the airport to greet our new missionaries and ran into two friends from home that are serving missions in the Yekaterinburg Mission.  They were on their way to Finland for their visa trip.  This is Elder Brinton.
And this is Elder Christiansen.  What a wonderful surprise that was!
These are our great ten new missionaries who arrived that day.
We were able to visit the nine new Russian cities that we acquired from the Moscow West Mission during the month of July and the first couple of weeks in August.  Our new cities are:  Kaluga, Lipetsk, Nizhny Novgorod (two branches there), Ryazan, Smolensk, Tula, Tver, Voronezh, and Yaroslavl.  We love our new branches and members in these wonderful cities.  We now travel to them by planes, trains, buses, and cars. 
On the train to Smolensk.
The prop engine on the small plane to Voronezh.
Here are a few pictures of our new branch buildings.  I will try to remember to take pictures of our other branches next time we visit there.
Our Kaluga Branch building (we meet in two rooms on the third floor).
Two of our missionaries in front of the building of the Tver Branch.
We use a few rooms on the first floor here at the Smolensk Branch.
A couple of our missionaries in front of the Lipetsk Branch building.
We have this whole beautiful building for our Voronezh Branch.  This building was a theatre during the Soviet Union years. 
We are on the steps of the Tula Branch building with our friends the Brintons, who were visiting us from Kansas, and Elder & Sister Bradshaw who are the senior couple in Tula.
We now have four zones in our mission and below are a few pictures at lunch time during our different zone conferences in July and August.
President Sorenson and Elder Hamp's birthday celebration with our office staff on August 7th.
It's always hard to say good-by to our departing missionaries because we love them so much and will miss them.  However, we are proud of them and the great work they accomplished.  We had missionaries who went home in June, July, and August. 
Just the elder in the middle, Elder Dannenburg, went home.
I have so many pictures posted on this blog that I can't download any more.  So, I will have to close this one and then open up another.
To be continued...