Sunday, February 2, 2014

February 2 - Sunday with Snow

We got a little snow last night (2-4 inches) and Kathy and I went for a nice 1.5 hour walk this Sunday morning. We walked over to a place called Smolny Museum complex, "The State Monument Museum Complex" St. Isaac's Cathedral and it is beautiful.  It is an old Nun’s Convent from  the time of Peter the Great.  There are beautiful buildings all over Russia (Castles) where the old royalty used to live and now they are government or public buildings.

The temperature is cold here, but not unbearable. You definitely need to be dressed for the cold or you would get frost bite. The wind just cuts right through you, but we really haven’t minded because we dress warmly. If you didn’t have gloves and a nice hood and hat, I think you would lose a hand from frost bite.  If we take our gloves or mittens off for a few minutes, your hand is ice cold and going numb.  If you don’t wear a hat when you go out, your face and ears go numb very quickly.  The nice thing is that Russia hasn't been as bad as I thought. The statistic we read stated that we would see the sun less than 20 hours per month. We don't  see it very often, however, it is light in the day from about 11:00 am to 6:30 pm. It is weird when you get up in the morning and leave at 9 am and it feels like midnight.

Our apartment is nice and humble, but our beds aren’t very good. We have two little twin beds, so we don’t sleep together L.  We just bought a new pad that we can put over the two twin beds to make a full size bed, but we haven’t set that up yet. I do miss sleeping next to Kathy.  The food is more expensive than in the states, but it has been good. There are big department stores that we can go to for food and the people are friendly. They don’t say Hi or acknowledge each other like we do in the states, but we have been able to get many of them to smile back. They are usually laughing because Bob is trying to talk to them in Russian.  The apartments are expensive and what they pay for a little studio apartment is what we could make a mortgage payment on a nice little 3 bedroom home in Utah.  

EVERYONE lives in apartments here in St. Petersburg. There aren’t any homes in the city and there are nearly 5 million people. Just rows and rows of 6 to 15 story apartments everywhere you go. That is how they put so many people in a small area.  We hope to get out next Saturday and take more pictures. 

We decided to work yesterday on our day off to learn more about what is required and to get caught up.
We have been fighting colds since we left on our mission and Kathy still has a bad cough and congested sinus. I have had a stuffed nose and little cough, but not nearly as bad as Kathy. We haven’t let that keep us down and we just figure it is all part of the Lord's plan to humble us so we rely more on him.  We had the opportunity to meet with a lot of people this week and participate in English Discussion meetings with Russians who want to learn English. We can’t teach English classes, but are able to meet together and talk. It is good for us to hear Russian and good for them to hear English.  Our sister missionaries had a baptism yesterday and we were excited for them. We couldn’t go because it was over 5 hours away. Hopefully we will have one closer in the near future that we can attend.

Ha ha, top sign.
I have been reading a lot in my scriptures and studying the core principles of the gospel. It truly makes you want to share what we know with everyone when you study it further. I thought I would share a couple core principles: 1) The Book of Mormon is truly a second testament of Christ and directly supports the Bible in the teachings of Christ. It is an amazing record of 1000 years of events from 600 BC to 400 AD in the Americas.  2) We can live together as families and the Lord provided a plan of salvation to allow us to live with him again. This is an awesome message for anyone who has lost a family member and needs to understand that we can live together again as families and be in the presence of our Heavenly Father, 3) There was an apostasy that occured many years after the death of Christ because of the wickedness of the people, just like we learn of many times before in the Bible. The Lord"s priesthood power and authority of God was restored to the earth again through the prophet Joseph Smith. Each of us needs to be baptized under that priesthood authority. 4) The next step is to prepare to enter the temple and be sealed for eternity to our families.  
Think about the happiness this message would bring the world if everyone understood this simple message and followed Jesus' example and used his atonement in our lives.

 For all our friends who are already members of the church, keep studying. To all our dear friends who aren’t, invite the missionaries over who are just like Kathy and me to share with you this message. J
Well, know that we love each of you and we plan to share more pictures of our journey as we go. We just didn’t have much time this week.  Bob and Kathy

P.S. the picture above is our apartment. It is the 10 story apartment left of the vertical bridge support. 


  1. Hope you two feel better soon and thanks for the update!

  2. Hope you guys start to feel better soon. It is hard to get better when maybe you are not sleeping well due to poor mattresses. Hope the new pads work.
    Glad the work is going well. Love to hear, read and see your pictures. I always forward them to Mark because he enjoys reading them too. If you could add him he would love that. His email is
    Well love you guys!

  3. Thanks for sharing! I think you'd be surprised how much you can influence all of us back home while you are serving the people of Russia.
    I am reading Clayton Christensen's book "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" and your blog helps motivate me to put it to practice. Keep up the good work!