Sunday, June 15, 2014

Fathers Day in Russia

Happy Father’s Day to all the great men that we know and especially my father! Kathy’s father passed away several weeks ago and we send our love to him in heaven. We also send our love and best wishes to the many other men and fathers in Utah, Philadelphia, throughout the United States and now into Russia who have impacted our lives and the lives of our children. 

We consider all of you our extended family who we love and respect very much. Our Father’s day Sunday was spent in Petrozavodsk (a town five hours north of St. Petersburg by train), where Kathy and I both gave talks in church today and then had an early dinner with the missionaries before catching the late train from Petrozavodsk to Sankt Petersburg.  

During our trip to Petrozavodsk we took a Friday afternoon off and took a 1-hour boat ride out to Kizhi Island. The pictures in this blog will reflect this wonderful trip and I will talk more about the island later in the blog.

We had a great and very busy week in the office and had the mission President and his wife over for dinner on Wednesday evening. They had to move into a small apartment so a remodel could be completed on the mission president’s home in preparation for the new mission president. He arrives with his wife on the 27th of June. 

The incoming and outgoing president only get a few hours to share information.  I also had a language lesson on Thursday with my teacher, Lena, and she gave us a matruska doll that tells a fairy tell. I included a picture of Lena and me holding the doll.

Kathy and I have been working very hard to get everything ready for the new president’s arrival and our current president’s departure. Needless to say this is a tough emotional time for the mission as we have a wonderful president and his wife currently serving.  

We hear the new president and his wife are awesome and it will be fun to make new friendships and experience changes that come with a new leader.  Kathy and I might also be assigned out to one of the remote branches, as there is another couple coming into the mission who is currently designated for the office couple job. We would really miss the action of the office, but know the Lord will send us where he need.” J  

We took the train up to Petrozavodsk on Thursday night to spend the weekend teaching with the missionaries in that area. As you can see from the picture we had an amazing view out of our hotel window.  

We have told you about the time change in Russia and white nights, so I also took a picture that shows my watch just before midnight and you can see how light it is still outside.  It makes it really nice when we teach late and then walk home in the light.  

We get back to Sankt Petersburg tonight at 11:15 and then have about a 30-minute walk. It will be nice to do that in the light.
During our trip we had hoped for a baptism on Saturday, but we met with the young man on Friday morning and he wasn’t ready yet. 

We had a good lesson with him and he has a very strong testimony. He will be a great member of the church when he gets baptized in the next couple of weeks.   

Kathy and I attended a language study class with the missionaries on Saturday morning and then split with the elders and sister missionaries to visit the investigators and less-active members and invite them to church on Sunday.  

We spent most of the evening walking the streets and visiting people, but they had record attendance at the church on Sunday. It was an honor to shake all of their hands and tell them how much we love the people of Russia. 

Kathy’s talk was amazing and she sure looked beautiful up on the stand giving her talk. What an awesome Father’s Day present to have a wife that is willing to serve the Lord and the people of Russia. She is patient with me and we make a great team.  We are on the train right now and driving through an area that is filled with trees, lakes and small homes. It is absolutely beautiful. 

I wish we could have several weeks with all of our friends here in Russia. You would be amazed with this country and the people. They were doing a lot of fishing on Kizhi island and I imagined my boys and friends floating in a boat with our fly rods nailing the fish, telling jokes and laughing at each other’s stories. 

Those are the great memories I have that my kids gave me for Father’s Day.  They set the example by each serving a mission and also sharing my life to the fullest. I am the luckiest man on Father’s day, because I not only have three awesome kids, I have their three spouses and my two beautiful grandchildren. 
We have been on our mission over 5 months now and will return home a year from June 26th.  

It is still a long time, but we have learned a lot and time goes fast when you are working hard.  Russia has been way different than we ever thought and there is so much beauty everywhere we go. It reminds me a lot of my time in Canada.  

The Kizhi Island was inhabited back into the 1200’s and there are wooden temples on the island. You can see more about the island at the following link.

We had beautiful weather all day on the island and were caught up in the beauty of the surrounding area. 

We did a self-tour around the island and were able to see old wooden windmills, grinding mills, homes as they were back in the day, temples, fishing boats and experience a true peace and joy. We hope the pictures we shared in the blog represent the beauty and peace we experienced.

We will close the blog this week with our happiness in the service of the Lord. The Lord never said our time on earth would be easy, but well worth the journey. We have seen the blessings of our service in the lives of our family and friends. It has also been awesome to see my previous company doing well, as they helped support me at the time of my departure.  Thanks for your time each week to share in our journey and I pray that our thoughts, pictures and time bring a peace and joy into each of your lives. Love Bob and Kathy.


  1. Thanks so much for sending your blog to us this Fathers Day. Wow what wonderful experiences and what fabulous pictures of beautiful things there. We had no idea! Your missions are busy and exciting and now with a change of guard in the mission a new time of experiences will come. I remember that change well! We are so glad you are able to have this time there, even though it is a very busy one--it is so fulfilling and strengthening and will be a wonderful memory later. Dan's brother Guy and his wife went on another Public Relations mission in the South Pacific (New Zealand) and have been there six weeks. Amazing. I'll write more to you later on......We love you! Is there anything we can do for you? Love, Jill & Dan

  2. So beautiful! You and Kathy make your ward family proud. Thank-you for sharing your experiences and allowing me to enjoy Russia vicariously. Love, An Bradshaw

  3. Elder and Sister Carter, you're so great! Thanks for sharing all this, and for your significant service in our mission, you're always there to help and serve and share the Gospel and make people around you so happy! <3
    p.s. I stole the picture with the matryoshka, I hope you don't mind ))