Oh, how lovely was the morning!
Radiant beamed the sun above.
Bees were humming, sweet bird singing,
Music ringing through the grove,
When within the shady woodland
Joseph sought the God of love.
Those are the words that kept coming to me as we drove to our District Conference on this Sabbath morning. It was a beautiful spring morning here in Moscow, with clear blue skies, a gentle cool breeze, a rainbow of colors from the various flowers in bloom, deep rich shades of green from the variety of trees and the light of day was glorious.
Around 1,175 faithful Russian saints, missionaries, leaders, and investigators gathered to witness the formation of the Moscow Russia Stake under the direction of Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve. Also in attendance were Elder Gregory A. Schwitzer, President, East Europe Area and Elder Dmitry Marchenko, Area Seventy. It is the 2,926th stake of the Church. The following men were called:
President Moscow Russia Stake - Yakov Boiko - a young man with a wife and two small
children who has been a member for 9 years and was serving as the District President.
1st Counselor - Vladimir Astashov - a young man with a wife and two small sons
and was serving as 1st Counselor in our Mission Presidency .
2nd Counselor - Viktor Kremenchuk - a young man with a wife and one small son who was the
Branch President of the Arbatski Branch.
Patriarch - Vyacheslav Protopopov - a great man with a wife and family and was serving as
the 1st Counselor in the District Presidency.
Words can't totally express the feelings of gratitude, love, reverence and joy of this long-awaited blessing that the Lord has given the people here.
I will write more and include a few pictures in a few days but I wanted to post this much today - June 5, 2011, the day Russia got its first Stake.