Last night after phone calls are no longer supposed to take place, both of our phones started ringing constantly. I ignored them for a while and then begrudgingly got out of bed to answer. The message was that missionaries are under lockdown for Thursday. We are to stay in our apartments and not go to the mission office, Church-owned buildings (such as the Central Building) or chapels. We were instructed not to go out in public and wear our Church name tags, but to stay in for the day. It appears that there are some demonstrations which may occur at the church buildings themselves going on which could cause some problems.
The Church avoids confrontation at almost all costs.
This request came down from the Area Presidency and included other Eastern European missions as well - Vladivistock, Samara, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk as well as the Moscow Mission.
It really comes at an inconvenient time. Today was supposed to be North and East Zone Conference. Missionaries from these zones, which include some of our outlying cities had been brought in my train (or were going to come in early this morning, traveling through the night). There is expense involved in the transportation and of course, time. Needless to say, the North and East Zone Conference was canceled and has not yet been rescheduled. The two other zones, Voronezh (9 hours away) and South Zone have already met.
SO, what does this mean? It means that the pile of shirts that needed to be ironed have been ironed (most of them anyway and the refridge got cleaned out). DAvid was able to get the budget done and assist in helping some missionary sisters find a new apartment to move into and he also checked up on some of our missionaries. We also sang happy birthday to Sister O. who's birthday is tomorrow. We are enjoying a relaxing day here in our apartment and will probably get together with the Naegle's later to play games. They live in the next building over.
The word lockdown is scary, but we are not in danger, we are safe. We just need to remember that things aren't handled in Russia the way they might be at home and added precautions are needed to prevent confrontation.
Anyway, I think I can squeeze a nap in before dinner! It has been a day off for us.
Life in Russia is certainly interesting!!