Monday, May 21, 2012

Training, Tea Kettles, and Travel

Well it was another nice and busy week. Tuesday was leadership conference, Wednesday was zone conference, and this weekend we went to Kemerovo with President.

Leadership training went well. Elder Anderson and I together with the office elders did a nice long presentation about the new English program. The whole mission should probably start that in about a month. Wednesday’s zone conference was really cool. Every missionary in the mission was there and that was sweet. I conducted the morning session. Elder Anderson and I gave a presentation in the afternoon session about companionship unity. I think it went really well. The Webbs even told us that our presentation would help all the senior couples strengthen their marriages. President, Sister Gibbons, the zone leaders and also Elder and Sister Guschin (He’s the one who was just made an area 70) also spoke.

On Saturday the sisters had a baptism. We found out a few days before that they had turned the hot water off at the left bank building for a couple weeks and we didn’t want to delay the baptism, so we were going to have the elders fill up the font a day early, so that the water would have time to get to room temperature . Then Elder Anderson and I collected everyone in the cities chinicks. They are basically electric water boiling tea kettles that everyone uses here because they work well with the higher power output. So anyway we had about 7 of those and we were going to go a couple hours early and try to get the water heated up a bit. Then the problem came when the elders went over the day before and they had turned ALL the water off in the whole building. We were kind of scrambling to get a back up plan and we were about to rent out a sauna to do the baptism. But luckily the next morning the cold water was back on and we could fill up the font, the problem was that the water was freezing cold. I wouldn’t have cared if the person being baptized was a young guy, but it was an old lady. So we were trying as hard as we could to get as much boiling water as we could in there with these 7 electric boilers. We were also fighting the circuit breaker because we kept tripping fuses by having too many of them going at once. So we had to spread them throughout the whole building and shuttle them in when they were finished. So anyway, the water was still pretty chilly for the baptism but not near as bad as it started. The baptism went well. President Gibbons actually baptized the lady. Apparently they made great friends during their interview.

Right after the baptism we got right in the car with President and drove to Kemerovo. You can get there pretty quick in the car, it took about 4 hours. The car ride was sweet to be able to just chat with President and Sister Gibbons like that. I found out that they also have been going to the Shakespeare Festival every summer with their whole family. So we are missing out together on our families going there. Kemerovo is a really unique city. At church were the 4 elders who serve there, 1 family with 2 young daughters, and one old lady, so five members. Then about 4 investigators were there, so that was a very interesting make up. It’s a nice looking city, I think it's even bigger than Tomsk. It was really cool to go there, see the elders and work with them a bit and see the members there and the branch. I’ll send a picture of the branch building. They have a similar situation as Novokuznetsk; the landlord won’t let them take the sign that says “pharmacy” from off their building, so people come in often looking for a pharmacy. Once person came in during the sacrament and really loudly said, “What! This isn’t a pharmacy!”And left. I couldn’t help from chuckling. But it seemed like everyone there was pretty used to it.

Apparently the area presidency looked at the English book we made and said that they really liked it and that they thought we did an excellent job and that it is something that the whole Europe east area may need, so that was pretty cool. 

The Abou story was pretty sweet. The stuffed animal dog has always been there. His name is Frank. The only problem is that we recently discovered that Frank is a girl. He has a pink collar and eyelashes. So we are very disappointed.
In honor of Wiz Kalifa our black and yellow picture.

Elder A and I found out that we repeat ties a lot so we layed them all out with all their matches so we can not have to repeat.

Elder Jones and I in front of the branch in Kemerovo.

In the Kemerovo branch with a babooshka who needs to be baptized.