Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cowboys and Indians in Russia

Kathy and I have been very busy this week but were able to slip away one evening and take the metro out to a park by the new soccer arena they are building in St. Petersburg. It was a beautiful area on an island and definitely high end. The park had an amusement park like Lagoon, but you could walk around without paying if you didn't ride the rides.  Kathy and I decided to escape reality for a couple of hours and take a mystical walking journey through the park and wanted to share that story with all our friends :-) We hope you get some laughs from my depiction of our mystical journey mixed with the wonderful spirit of our journey here in Russia while serving the Lord. 

 ..... As you can see from above, we began this mystical journey around the park because the marshall stood over me and ordered Kathy and I to join. He directed us to head to the marshall's office to get our badges and official cowboy and indian uniforms, which you will see later in the story, to help us fight off the enemy and teach the people along this journey. 

He wrote down some brief instructions on the side of the truck and said the map was posted on the wall of the metro. Kathy and I were worried that our mouths weren't large enough to pronounce the large and mysterious Russian letters and words. The picture above on the left shows Kathy trying to pronounce the word on the side of the van while I studied the map of the metro to the right.  

On the first part of our journey we passed by the friendly lion and tin man headed to see the Wizard of OZ. I stopped to teach them about the gospel and give them a Book of Mormon, as I figured they could share this with the Wizard who would be a great member of the church.  We had a great conversation about courage and I gave them a book that will help them find their way back to where it all began.

As we headed toward the jail to see the marshall we encountered a deadly dragon that didn't want us to pass. Kathy and I each explained to one of the heads that we were on a very important mission and had an important message to share with the people of Russia. It took a while to explain the first discussion to all three heads and then we headed onward to the mystical ice area.   

In the Ice Forest we were detained by the Queen of Ice and she definitely gave us the cold shoulder when we tried to give her a pamphlet and invite her to English Conversation this week. She  
informed us that she was in charge of her life and didn't need anything else.  We told her that we understood how awesome she was as the Ice Queen, but that our message could bring her further light and knowledge of how to return to her Father.  She agreed to meet again next week to learn more and we headed on our way through the field of dreams.

As we walked through the field of dreams we thought it was snowing as white stuff dropped from the sky. As we looked up in wonder, we quickly noticed that it was the home of the pigeons who quickly landed at our feet. We explained that we are guided by our Father in Heaven in all that we do and our message is very important to all the people of Russia. They pointed us in the direction we should go and we fed them some bread, thanked them for their guidance and headed to the Metro.

The metro was a very dark place after travelling through the mystical forest. As we navigated our way through the dark pathways, we stopped to reflect on the beauty that we saw on the wall. Many people were busy and missed the magnificence of the art as they rushed to catch the next metro.  I realized that in our lives we get so busy with our journey that sometimes we forget to stop and see the beauty and learn more about the Plan of Salvation and find the true pathway back to our Heavenly Father. 

Once we arrived at the office we spoke to the marshall who instructed us to quickly get into our armor of God, as the work was moving forward among the children of men.  We had a specific role to support the local members and the wonderful warriors who had been assigned to this beautiful area of Russia.  Just as we were ready to ride off and take on the world, I woke quickly and realized I had been dreaming.

It was actually Thursday morning and Kathy and I were preparing to help the ward do a large open house in our stake center in Russia.  I realized our armor is our mission nametag and the priesthood of God, and the message we share with all who will listen is the Plan of Salvation.  We had a wonderful day helping in the open house and talking with lots of people. Our week finished off with two beautiful baptisms today and the opportunity to teach an investigator who also committed to baptism on my birthday in May. I pray that the Lord will watch over all of us as we continue on this amazing journey.  Next week we get the opportunity to travel to an area on the outskirts of our mission. We will take lots of pictures and share the beauty of the country in Russia as we travel from St. Petersburg.  We love and miss you all very much and ask that you always keep us in your prayers. Love Elder and Sister Carter 


  1. Looks like you guys had a Wonderful day!

  2. What a cool adventure you've had! I really enjoyed reading this post and seeing pictures. You are so great. And that park is one of my favorite places in St. Petersburg!