Sunday, April 12, 2015

We’ve been asked to leave … Was it something we said??

It has been another amazing period of time working in the St. Petersburg mission office, but the Lord needs us to go somewhere else now. Our mission has been anything but ordinary for a senior couple. We will have been to all the areas within the mission and served in 3 different areas (twice in St. Petersburg) during our 18 months in Russia. 

Unless there is another need that we don’t know today, we will finish out our mission in a city called Pskov. It is a smaller city about 250 miles south of St. Petersburg.  We are training one of the other senior couples to take on all the responsibilities within the office, and we should leave on Thursday.

It has been an honor to serve in the office with all the missionaries, office staff and with President and Sister Childs, our mission president and his wife.  

Life in the office is never dull, and we have also met some wonderful people we are currently teaching! It will be very difficult to leave them, but they are in good hands with the missionaries. 

We pray that they will continue in their learning and progress toward the next step in God’s plan - baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.

It is only two months until we return to America so my mind is turning back to providing for the family. It has been an amazing learning experience for Kathy and me to step away from the world for one and a half years. This is Kathy's favorite and only Chinese Restaurant :-)

When we left, we had just enough money to serve a mission and three months of extra money to find a job, if necessary, when I returned.  We are confident that the Lord will help us go in the direction that He wants for us.

(Above is a mosaic mural in the metro. Each stop has something beautiful and unique!)
With the strength of the dollar over the past year, it has helped with our mission budget, so we used the extra money we saved each month to have more people over for dinners and teach them the gospel. :) 

What an honor it has been to have the wonderful people of Russia experience Kathy’s (Sister Carter to them) wonderful food.  She is an amazing cook and has shared many recipes with the people we love and support. 

She is actually making cupcakes for the missionaries today because we are going to watch our church's bi-annual General Conference. It takes a few days to translate the conference talks into Russian and make them available, so we watch General Conference a week after the actual session.

We have also had fun watching the release of the latest movie we were involved in, FREETOWN. It just hit theaters April 8th and we encourage all of you to see the movie. Kathy and I were involved as executive producers, and Garret Batty, Adam Abel and others have done an amazing job with this film. It is a true story of six missionaries who were caught in the civil wars in Africa. One of the missionaries was a member of the tribe that was being exterminated. The other missionaries vowed to stay together and travel a long distance to Freetown so that they could teach the gospel without the fear and danger of the rebellion. It was 100 percent shot in Africa, and in today's world of civil wars and unrest, it is a fitting story with adversity, adventure, hope, laughter and faith. It is important that people get out to see it this opening weekend so the movie can continue its nationwide release. You can get more information on the movie and see the trailer with the following links;  List of Cities and Theaters

We also had a ton of birthdays over the last several weeks and wanted to give a shout out to all our wonderful family members. It is hard to miss family events and our beautiful grandchildren. Kathy also had her birthday the end of March and we spoiled her rotten here in Russia. 

With this being our last weekend in St. Petersburg, Kathy and I got up at 5:45 a.m. this morning and went for a long walk along the Neva River outside our apartment. I shared with you a couple of the pictures we took while enjoying the beauty we will leave behind. St. Petersburg is absolutely beautiful and majestic, and we are honored to have two different periods of time to serve in this great city.  

We had our stake president and his wife over for dinner with the missionaries last night and they are both amazing people. He is a neuro-surgeon and is a true leader. He loves the gospel, and his conversion story when he chose to join the church is amazing. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Russia has many people who are strong in their faith and committed to the gospel. They are the future strength of the church in Russia. 

We close this blog today by wishing each of you happiness and joy in your life. Our granddaughter, Mya, had her birthday party last night with her cousins, Clara and Adley. In two months we will be able to experience this joy again in person.

We know God lives and loves each of us. Through his atonement we can be forgiven of our sins, and it is never too late to seek forgiveness and follow his plan.  Everyone reading this blog has shared in and impacted our lives in some special way, and we thank you for that influence. I pray that we have touched your hearts in some way as we have truly loved serving the Lord and sharing the message that families can be together forever.  
Love Bob and Kathy

P.S. As a note for your calendars, we will be speaking in church and having a homecoming on June 28th at our church building in Bountiful. Then please join us for some food at our house after Sacrament meeting. The only difficulty with this wonderful reunion is our church starts at 9:00 a.m., so you will need to get up early. :)