Kathy and I were able to get out for a long run this morning and it was beautiful. It has snowed and been cold most of the week. So other than a good run on Monday, our exercise consisted of push ups, situps, resistance bands, running stairs and a lot of walking each day. Today we actually slept in until 7:30 and were able to get out into the sunshine and a balmy 29 degree day. We ran across the bridge and along the Neva River for about 3 miles. We passed Smolny Cathedral, that we wrote about when we first got here. Smolny is an amazing place and always a beautiful site sitting right on the river as seen in the picture. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smolny_Convent . The river is about ¼ mile wide and had ice flowing down with the current.
The wind was light at our backs and the water in the river was so smooth Kathy yelled, "Throw me a water ski!" J We didn’t see one other person along the 3 mile stretch, except for some birds following us along our run to a beautiful park in the middle of the city. As we ran along the river, the birds would fly about 50 feet in front of us and wait for us to get next to them and then fly another 50 feet. They were obviously having a good time like we were and enjoying the beautiful morning.
Once we finished the 3 miles along the river we ran about 1 more mile into the city to a beautiful park called Tavricheskiy Sad Таврический Сад (You can enter this into google maps and see the location and fun summer pictures of the park). You can see the many pictures of the park, as Kathy and I ran through the various parts. Once we were finished running the park we ran about 2 miles back to our apartment.
Wet took a wrong turn and went a little farther than expected, but that is always part of the adventure. Ha Ha. I hope you enjoyed some of the pictures and sharing our journey
because this week was another wild ride. It was awesome because we had three more baptisms in our mission and two were the girls that we had taught with the missionaries! We had to go to the US Consulate to conduct some business for the mission. One positive was that we found a Papa John's Pizza Parlor along the way and treated ourselves. We also had the sad opportunity to take one of our missionaries to the airport, and it feels like one of our kids is leaving.
It is always sad to say goodbye to the wonderful missionaries and this was the first time Kathy and I had to take one to the airport. Needless to say that outside of saying goodbye, it was a difficult time navigating the airport speaking very little Russian. We actually had a little more time in the evenings this week to study Russian and get caught up at work. One morning we had an early morning teaching opportunity with the missionaries. We left the house by 7:30 am and were ½ hour into the metro journey when we got a call that the investigator got called into work early. Oh well, Sister Carter and I just got off the metro and had a good long walk back to our apartment. We just laughed and said we needed some good exercise anyway.
As with every week it is exciting and a journey. These young missionaries are amazing in their diligence to the rules, dedication to the Lord and love of the people of Russia. They set examples for us and allow us to share in their journey. The gospel is true, Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and restored our Heavenly Father's true church on the earth today. We are led today by a modern day prophet , Thomas S. Monson and there is no greater gift we can give to our family, friends and the people of Russia than the light of the gospel. We know that families can be together forever and when we die our journey continues to the other side. This knowledge truly changes peoples lives and we know it can change each of yours as it has changed ours. Thanks for sharing in this journey with us and know that we love all of you and keep our friends and family in our prayers. Love Bob and Kathy.
P.S. From Kathy: I have a big office, two computer monitors at my desk, a cleaning lady, my own two office elders (my assistants), a good-looking financial secretary (Bob) in the office next to mine, I don't have to clock-in, can't get fired, can take more than an hour lunch if I want, and have a stash of candy in my office drawer. If I make a mistake, all I have to say is, "I'm not a professional!" Who says work isn't all it's cracked up to be!!