Women's Day is March 8. Eastern Europe, Russia and the old Soviet Bloc countries celebrate it. Over the years it has become a mixture of Valentines Day and Mother's Day. I imagine I will see a lot of action from the flower shop downstairs from our office that day. Anyway, today we enjoyed a wonderful Sunday with our ward family in Zelonograd- Tyeetzeeya (pronounced like) gave me a hug and a kiss when she came in the building. She is one of our babushkas in the ward. She was talking to me a mile a minute. In Russian of course, and of course, I missed most of it. She didn't seem to mind.
Slava came in about this time as well and came running up to me...."Baboola!" I enjoyed a nice hug from him and he enjoyed some tickles from Elder Sutton.
Our wonderul Elder Samuelson translated in the meeting today. It was fast and testimony meeting. This is the day set aside also for the blessing of babies and small children. We have 4 tiny babies in our ward now and little Alexandra was blessed by her father today. In the Church, small children are not baptised, but they are blessed and given a name. It was wonderful to see that the Church is the same the world over. Even though we can't understand most of the meeting, the programs are the same and the Sunday School lessons follow the same schedule and lesson material. Luckily, we have it in English and can read the lessons and stay current that way. Several people stood to share their feelings about the gospel and bear testimony of the gospel in their lives
.After Sacrament meeting was over, Natasha, a lovely young mother who befriended me shortly after we came to Russia, sat down next to me. She speaks some English and she told me that she and her family had been to UT in February where they had enjoyed some serious skiing in some of the popular ski resorts there, to include Park City. She said that they had visited with the Wrights, who were the mission couple about 4 years ago and that she had also seen two of the missionaries who had shared the gospel with her years ago. They had quite a reunion. Then, she said she had a present for me, She brought out a painted wooden spoon. She said she bought it in Siberia where her family is from. She wanted to give it to me as a gift for Mother's Day (International Women's Day.) She thanked me for my friendship (it was I who should have been thanking her!) It was very touching and I am looking forward to bringing this special spoon back to the States and finding a place of honor for it in my kitchen.
A young sister in her 20's that I hadn't met yet and who had only been coming for a month or two came over and introduced herself as Marina, a Ukrainian girl working here in Russia. She served a mission for the Church in Ohio and knows really good English. She helped translate in Relief Society today. In fact, I had Marina on one side and Sister Snyder on the other side. I was in good hands!
It was another bitterly cold day here but it was wonderful to wait only a minute for the bus taking us to Z-grad and the same on the way back. With the icy winds and icy walkways, it was good to be on the warm bus in record time.
THEN, once we got home, I put the finishing touches on the dinner I had made yesterday for tonight's dinner with our wonderful office elders. We enjoy them so much! After some homemade vegetable pot pie and homemade chocolate pudding, we asked each of them to explain a scripture that we picked at random for the Scriptures. We were well taught by these young men from the Doctrine and Covenants, a book of revelations through the prophet Joseph Smith. These revelations were given in the 1800's to our latter-day prophets and contain revelation pertinent to our day.
Now our day is drawing to a close and we are settling down together to have our own scripture study together, which we do every Sunday, reading from the Book of Mormon.
Tomorrow we are off on our last visa trip to Riga Latvia.
Dos Vidonya and good night.