Friday, June 20, 2008

MTC 6-19-2008

Thursday June 19, 2008
Thursday, our last full day at the MTC. We ended up (pardon the pun) going to bed at 1:15 am because we (Cindy) kept thinking of people we needed to call and things we needed to do on her computer email. I'm learning to be a good sport about this, but I'm getting really tired about 2:00 in the afternoon.

A few days ago we bought another clock, this time a battery powered digital because the wind-up one from Rite-aid would run for only about 30 seconds and Trisha returned it. We couldn't fund another mechanical clock at the MTC/BYU Book Store. We took it home and found that it would not work either. I returned it and got another that we tried out in the store.

After two nights using the new clock, Cindy said that she did not relate to the clock. About 1:15 am I suggested that she have the clock on her night stand instead of on mine so they could get acquainted. She said she didn't want to get acquainted with it, but after 10 minutes of "yes you should" & "no I won't" she finally gave in. Then in the dark she asked what time the alarm was set at. I wanted her to learn how to tell for herself and answered, "I don't remember". After several minutes of looking and talking we decided it was set at 5:45 am so we could be on time for our ride to the dentist. S0 she could not go to sleep until I set the alarm on my phone as a back-up. She didn't trust the new clock that she didn't yet relate to. Fun huh?

We had our last office training sessions today and learned mail-merge and other computer functions to keep track of the office. Cindy is really being brave, learning about making news letters and correspondence that are very important for the mission. This is way-way outside her comfort zone, but she's making a big effort to get it right. I know she will be fine after a few weeks.

We had our "last meals" tonight in the cafeteria and they must have known it was our last. Cindy got to have macaroni & cheese for lunch and chicken fried steak for dinner. I had a steak sandwich for lunch and salmon for dinner. Both were our favorites. We also had our last root beer and fudge cicle/dream bar and felt very blessed.

We talked to many young missionaries heading around the world. Some young men were headed to up-state New York where the Formans were heading tomorrow by car to live in Brooklyn at the Bishop's Storehouse. We met some sisters heading for Chile, one going to the mission where the Masons will be the office couple. Next we talked to a young elder named Payne from Carmichael Stake. He was involved in the Sacramento Temple open house and remembered Cindy as the sister over the shoe-covers. He wasn't sure about me. His dad worked for Bishop Summers and did a lot of the graphics for the Temple materials and he worked in the prints shop producing the stuff. We also met several of the mission presidents who had come a little early for the Presidents' Conference next week. Great people.

We SKYPE'd Brian & company this evening and watched Hannah dip her food in "ketchup" and lick it off without eating the food. She recognized us and talked to us a little. We called Scott and talked to him for a few minutes about his new job downtown. Trish, Chris, and the girls came for one last goodbye, carrying Baskin Robbins ice cream cups for each of us. Trish has been such a great help during our stay. We would have struggled a lot without her. We called the Johnsons, the Salways, the Wilberga, the Frangels, the Larsons, and the Lunds called us. We've done about all we could do.

Finally, as we a
re about to "jump off" into the darkness of a new adventure, I have a few reflections. First, we are not afraid. We have traveled enough to know a little about it and most of the do's and don'ts. We have been in Russia twice and found the people good and the place interesting. The darkness comes from not knowing exactly what we will be doing on a grand scale and having no experience in our roles. Our living quarters are a mystery, the food, water, streets, people, customs, weather, police, mafia, are all a mystery. It's not the hardship, it is the not-knowing what the hardship will be. We are not afraid, but we are aware of our ignorance of what lies ahead and that is darkness to us.

Second, our faith, and our knowledge is that the Lord sent us to Novosibirsk and will support and protect us. Our faith is that the Holy Ghost will light our path one step at a time and tell us the truth as we walk our path into the mysterious darkness and we will see just far enough ahead to know what to do at the time. Our faith is that that light will continue to light our path for every step we take along that now mysterious way and we will accomplish our mission with joy and rejoice in the knowledge that we are about the Lord's errand. We love Heavenly Father and know that we are his children. We trust our Savior Jesus Christ now just as we did when we accepted Fat
her's plan for the our time on earth he said that he would come to earth and be our savior and atone for our sins. We know Him, We trust Him. We serve him. We were commissioned by Him. We are loved by Him.We are blessed by him. It is as good as it can get.

See you in Siberia.
Elder Doug


Trisha said...

What a great example you are. I wish that I would have been like that on my mission. However I do know that it is where you are to be. We love you.

Mike and Deb said...

The depth of your testimonies has always been felt deep in my heart when I listen to you. I have missed so much the Sunday dinners and the talks of are such an example to me/us. You will be in our prayers everyday and there is no doubt you both will truly touch the lives of those you meet in Russia.

The blog looks great by the way! Mike keeps ours going too, much better than I can. Travel safe and I am excited for the play by plays!
Deb Malone

Kathy said...

Hey Cindy & Doug!
My parents forwarded me your last email from the MTC! SO EXCITING! I almost got tears reading some of your blog. My first night in Argentina, I cried because I was so nervous at what was ahead of me, which, to me, seemed out of my character. But that was my first time out of the states.

Anyway, you seem so excited! Good luck! You'll be great missionaries! I've put your blog on my list of blogs that I always check, so you'll be hearing from me every so often.

Good luck again! Sure love you!
Kathy Brooks

Robin and Scott said...

Hello dear friends; love the blog. Of course Scott asks me when we are going to have one. He's the idea man, then I get it done. Loved your experiences in the MTC. I felt of the spirit through you. We thought about you these past two days as you travelled to Siberia. They are so blessed to have you. Love, Robin and Scott

Diane Keys said...

The story of the clock is a classic metaphor for married life and the adjustments/accomodations we make because we love each other. Thanks for sharing!

Dave and Courtney said...

Hi Bro & Sis Simmons! Thank you so much for emailing us your blog address. We are so excited to hear that you guys are on your way to Russia for your mission! In 1998 I was touring the Russian missions with a BYU performing group called Synthesis and we spent a few days in Novosibirsk. Make sure you check out the obelisk in the middle of the city square that delineates the geographical center of the Russian Empire. I found it very interesting. When we were there we had an amazing experience in a city called Kemerovo. I have always wondered whether the Mission President ended up putting missionaries in that city. We were the first LDS members to ever visit this city and we had the most incredible experience with the people in that city. It was the best performance we had given on the entire tour - 26 cities in 28 days with over 35 performances and Kemerovo was #1. 3 Standing Ovations, 3 Encores, and almost 2 hours after the concert spending time with the locals. When we reached our hotel in Akademgorodok, outside of Novosibirsk, President Galbraith inquired about our experience. When asked whether he should put missionaries there, we all answered with a resounding "YES!" I have many other stories from our time in Novosibirsk because the members of the church in that region on the Lord's vineyard really touched me. But, I have always wondered whether or not the church had grown in Kemerovo. Any info you could share about the city or the mission would be greatly appreciated. The Great Russia Novosibirsk Mission is greatly blessed to have you both in their mission and I know that you will be blessed for your efforts there. Our prayers go with you for your protection, health and success! - Dave & Courtney Cashdollar

Shannon Simmons said...

I am always so excited to read your blogs. Thank you for continuing to share your love and example. You have great things to accomplish and I am excited to hear about your success and as mom says "learning experiences."
I have been thinking and praying for you as you travel to and arrived in Russia. I am looking forward to hearing from you once you are settled. Keep the faith and know that your family (and many, many friends) love you, pray for you and are anxious for your success.

Keith & Irene said...

Thanks for the blog info. We will keep in touch and pray for your success and health.

Keith & Irene Benton

Anonymous said...

Hope you are all still alive! How about a blog entry, email, or something?

Belva said...

Every day I have been looking at your blog to see if you have arrived in Siberia. I hope that you have not gotten lost. We are so use to hearing from you that we are suffering from "CINDY and DOUG News Withdrawal." I am sure when you get settled you will let us know what it is like to be Elder and Sister Simmons across the sea.
Until then, We love you and are praying for you to find comfort and happiness in your new home away from home. Love, Belva