Thursday, August 4, 2011

From the Mission Home

From: Siberian Battalion
To: "Parents, Topham Andrew"
Sent: Thursday, August 4, 2011 6:27 AM
Subject: your son has arrived
4 August 2011
Dear  Parents:
We just want to let you know that your son has arrived in the Russia Novosibirsk Mission safely.  He has arrived in great shape despite the  approximately 36 hours in transit. 

The process includes leaving the MTC around 5:30 AM on Monday morning, leaving the Salt Lake City Airport, flying through New York or Atlanta to Moscow, spending 12 hours in Moscow applying for a second passport then boarding a Russian airline at 10:30 PM for a flight arriving in Novosibirsk at 5:30 AM Wednesday.  Keep in mind that we are 13 hours ahead of Utah  in the city of Novosibirsk.

He has been met by President and Sister Rolfe, our interim mission president,  (the Gibbons arrive tomorrow)  fed breakfast, and been put to bed for a few hours, oriented over 2 days and sent to his assigned city.

The Novosibirsk Mission is larger, in area, than the United States.  We have missionaries in six cities and transfers involve  long  bus and train rides.  Because of the difficult conditions and incredibly long distance from their mission president these faithful missionaries serve in, this is known as a Green Beret mission and requires “outrageously obedient” missionaries.  We are so grateful that your valiant son has been sent here to join this work.  In your letters to him will you remind him of the honor it is to serve in such a mission.

Here is how the mail gets to your missionary.  All mail comes to the office and although this address is slightly different from what may have come in their missionary packet, this is the address suggested by Olga, one of our Russian office staff.  Russian addresses go from the largest entity to the smallest.

Russia 630102
46 Kirova Street
Russia Novosibirsk Mission
The name of your missionary

The mail collects here until either zone conference, once every 6 weeks, or until someone is heading that way for transfers or other meetings.  If something is very urgent, you are better off using email that they get to check on their Wednesday P-days, usually in the morning.  They only get an hour on the internet to receive and to send and they are allowed to only write one letter for family and one to the mission president.  It is suggested that others send via pouch mail to Salt Lake(single sheet tri-fold) or send to the office address.  Please be sure that you write weekly emails to your missionary and then as an added bonus, packages and letters.  Be aware that packages can take 2-2 ½ months to arrive at the office and then it can take 6 weeks to get it to the missionary depending on where they are serving.  Be sure to plan ahead for Christmas so think of sending in  September or October.

The first missionaries to serve in Russia arrived on 26 January 1990.  The first official recognition of the Church in Russia was granted to the branch in Leningrad on 13 September 1990 with republic-wide recognition being granted on 28 May 1991.  The Russia Novosibirsk Mission was formed July 1994 so it is 17 years old.  It is a fairly young mission and it is exciting to work with members that are very strong in spirit and small in numbers.

Thank you for your son.  We will take good care of him.

Attached are pictures of him and President  and Sister Rolfe and the picture that will go on the “Wall of Fame”, pictures of all the missionaries since the mission began.

Sister McCauley
Russia Novosibirsk Mission Secretary