Well I thought blogging would be a sure way to stay caught up on journaling and keeping track of all that has happened to us this past few weeks or maybe six weeks. So I'm going to try and catch up and post some significant activities that we've experienced.
The Russians came and what a blessing it was to have them here with us. We sure love and miss them so much. They are truly a part of our family. Ivan lived with us during the time that we were living in Siberia. We are very thankful for that because it was nice to have his great Russian speaking abilities. But more importantly it was nice to have him with us. He is like a cross between a little brother and a son. He is a tremendous person and I learned so
much from him. He was dating the very beautiful Ksusha while we lived there. On Christmas Eve the night before we left Siberia Ivan proposed to Ksusha.
They have to get married in Russia first and then leave the country to go to the temple. Elder Beus was a senior missionary serving in Irkustk and Ulan Ude (I know you're having fun trying to pronounce all this Russian tee hee) who is from Kuna, ID a suburb of Boise. Ksusha is from Ulan Ude. But more importantly Elder Beus had such a positive influence on Ivan as well. Soooooo Ivan and Ksusha came here to BOISE to get sealed. It was a wonderful thing to be in the temple with them and to feel such an amazing experience. They will be such a huge blessing to the church in Russia.
They were here for a couple of weeks so we did lots of fun things. We took them out to the Beus' and they got to tour the dairy. They calves sucked on all of our fingers. That was weird but fun. We left the dairy and took them to my parents place. My dad was great and took them to shoot guns. Apparently the girls were sure shots. Ksusha LOVED shooting guns. We rode four wheelers, and fished, and had a barbeque. It was a tonof fun.
We went to Big Jud's and Daryl, Vitaly and Ivan ate the "Big Jud" which is like one pound of hamburger on a huge bun, a pound of fries or tater tots, and a drink. It was disgusting and total and complete gluttony. But they did get their picture on the wall.
Our 4th of July was spent shopping, shopping and of course more shopping. It was fun to help them find some good deals. Ksusha is a great shopper. Ivan says he will not go shopping for a very very long time. We ended the day with swimming at the Smith's and watching all the fireworks going on from there.
We went to Smith's cabin and taught the Russians to water ski and played on the tube and jet skis. We were able to get Vitaly, Ivan and Ksusha up on skis. Unfortunately the Smith's had to leave early and we really missed having them there. We are so grateful for their generosity and letting us stay there and to play with the boat and Jet ski's. It was a ton of fun. Even Daryl went on the tube.
Ksusha, Katya, and Brandi on the tube.
Ivan, Daryl, and Ksusha. Daryl is trying not to die and Ivan and Ksusha are laughing so hard they can hardly hold on. Good times for sure!
We finally got Ksusha up and it was fun!
Ivan was a pro one more day and he would've been ready for tournament...or at least one ski.
Vitaly was a quick learner too and did great. He tried to switch to one ski but we didn't get him up.
Truly the two weeks or so was really fun but my highlight was hearing them share their conversion stories and testimonies to our ward and friends. I feel so strengthened by them. I loved having them here and cried for along time after I dropped them off at the airport. I'm so thankful to know so many wonderful Russians and for the way they have changed my life. They are great people.
Okay I am now going to make a shameless plug....Due to visa requirements in Russian the church will not be sending any more young missionaries to Russia. Right now the Russian government is requiring that all missionaries leave the country every 90 days to renew their visas. They are sending them to Prague, Madrid, or Paris, mostly due to some requirement changes. It use to be every 6 months and they could go to places like Kiev, Estonia ect. Places that are closer and cheaper. sooooo what does this mean. One that we need to pray for Russia and the church is still allowing senior couples to go. If you know of anyone that is of senior couple age, this is a great opportunity to serve. They will be put to work and work hard. It would be an amazing experience for them and they would leave their heart there. I know that I did. Let me know if you have any questions we could hook them up with the Smith's or other mission presidents who could give them more information.