Sunday, July 8, 2012
Today on our way home from church we had another "first" to add to our list of experiences. This was not pleasant. We knew that other couples and young missionaries had it happen to them so it didn't come as a total surprise. We were sitting on the bus and there was a man in his early 40's just in front opposite of us. His countenance was not pleasnt. There was a hardness and surliness about him. He looked back at Elder Sutton and was looking at his name tag which has says Elder Sutton in Russian and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He pointed and said forcefully Sersha! Sersha! Dave told the man he did not speak Russian and the man glared at him and said GO HOME. Sersha means to bring disgrace or to bring shame upon us. (we looked it up when we got home) There are those who do not want us or any Christian denomination or Americans here in their country. We have watched people's reactions as they see our name tags and we have seen curiosity, hate, indifference and others don't seem to care one way or the other. Our responsibilities as the office couple keep us in the Mission Office where we help the Mission President, order supplies, take care of finances (Dave) and assist the missionaries in numerous ways. We are not exposed to the same degree as those in humanitarian work or prosyliting missions as our young missionaries are as they take the gospel to the Russian people. I had one young missionary share the sadness he feels when the message he brings is rejected. One of the sister missionaries told me today she feels overwheleming sadness when someone they have been teaching for a while no longer wants to be taught. The missionaries learn to love those whom they serve. God has not been a part of the lives of many of the Russian people due to the official religion in the country for so long being aethism. Anyway, we are here until September 2012 at which time we will then go home and not until then. Until next time, dos vidonya.