We were able to attend two baptisms in our mission and teach many people this week. The highlight of our week is that our beautiful niece,Vanessa, was baptized on Saturday before Easter at the age of 15. She is an amazing example to all of us and reaffirmed why we are here is Russia helping to unite families together forever.
Back in Russia, we had a community service day on Saturday and were able to go to a beautiful monastery area and rake up leaves, clean up the garbage and make our community better. Our journey to perform this act of service started with a beautiful walk across the bridge on our way to the Alexander Nevsky Monastery in St. Petersburg. You can see it in the distance beyond Kathy and in the picture above and below. I included a link if you want to learn more about this historic landmark.
Walking across the bridge is always a wonderful experience to glance up the river and appreciate the beauty of the area we live, so we decided to share this picture. The temperature this week moved from the 30's into the 50's and will be in the 60's on Sunday into next week.
It was fun to see everyone out on this
beautiful day and we had a great turnout for the service project. In the Russian Orthodox Church, the people get their bread baptized for Easter and so there were a lot of people coming to the church where we were cleaning up the grounds. It was awesome because we were able to see a ton of people and everyone was happy because of the weather.
People from young to old joined in the cleanup efforts and it was amazing how much work we were able to complete.
We wanted to share the pictures of a couple of little kids still bundled in their winter attire. It is so cute that the parents bundle their kids up in winter snow/ski outfits to keep them warm during the winter months and into the spring. In these pictures you see these darling kids having fun next to the workers who are in short-sleeved shirts :-).
The people of Russia don't seem to do Easter egg hunts like we do in the United States, but they make this wonderful bread and decorate the top. The stores were extremely busy as everyone bought these little muffins for their kids and family. We snapped a quick picture to allow you to experience Easter in Russia with the Carters :-) We were going to buy one for each of you and send it home, but you will just have to settle for an air hug XOXOX. Ha Ha
I got a real surprise on Thursday when I went with a driver to take some missionaries to the airport at 4:00 am. When we came outside they had our mission van up on a tow truck. It is a new airport and they didn't have any signs saying we couldn't park. Instead of a Ticket in the US, they actually put your car up on a tow truck and you either pay off the driver and police on the spot or they give you a ticket and haul it off.
Then you have to take a taxi back home and arrange to go down to the city and get it out of the tow yard. Understanding the difficulty of the situation, I paid to get it back then and chalked it up to experience. It must be a real lucrative business because there were a bunch of tow trucks lined up to haul off cars just like taxi's waiting to pick someone up.
We also wanted to tell you that the mission got an easter present. Since all the missionaries work so hard on our mission, they decided to get us a new mission fleet of cars so we don't need to walk so far (not really). Kathy and I got to pick out the vehicles, so we decided to get these cool stretch limos to haul more people. Ha Ha. They use these Limos all the time for Russian weddings. As part of the wedding celebration, the wedding party travels all over the city and takes pictures. They travel in these stretch limo's and I don't know how they make the corners in the narrow streets.
Well, we hope everyone reading this blog had a wonderful Easter weekend and took the chance to remember the Savior's willingness to die and be resurrected. This allows us to repent and use the atonement to be forgiven of our sins and return to our Heavenly Father. This the true gift of Easter. Love Bob and Kathy