Thursday, July 17, 2008

7/17/08 Serching for the News

First, the weather report: HOT! Film at 11.
Actually, the digital thermometer we inherited in the apartment, glued to the outside of the left window in the living room, says it is 40 c degrees outside and 31 c degrees inside. That translates to 81 f degrees inside and 104 f degrees outside. The inside is probably pretty accurate but the outside is in the sun and I'd guess its about 92 c. The sky is cloudless and the wind is totally still. We get a little cooling late at night (about 12:30 am when Cindy reluctantly agrees to go to bed since I've been standing next to the turned-down bed in my garmies for longer than she knows) from the river as long as there is any air movement. What an interesting place; 90 degree summers and -40 winters.

Now to my subject for today, Searching for the News. Actually we are searching for English television so that we can keep up with world events, the Hilary & Barack show, and the Olympics. We have instructions to stay informed because I am the Mission Executive Secretary and basically in charge of the office when the president is traveling. If anything occurs that impacts the safety of our missionaries in the president's absence, I have to be prepared to act under his direction and according to the emeergency plan.

We started asking about cable TV possibilities shortly after we arrived and had gotten nowhere . We discovered that our tv could get the 8 local channels, including a news program, but it is all in Russian. Here, everything goes through the landlord so we kept asking sister Olga to ask ours about the possibilities and she finally reported last week that, "It is very expensive". THAT'S IT! That was the report, period. By this time we are ready to call the cable company ourselves, but Olga says we cannot because it is the landlord's business. I think that means that it will be in her name and she will pass the charges to us. Quite a system, huh? The landlord is the only one who knows what the actual charges are.

Well, we sent Olga back again for the specifics and she finally reported that the installation would be about 22,000p (roubles or $950) and the monthly would be about 1,200p ($50) a month. I started to look on the internet for alternatives so at least we could see if her numbers were close. However, there are no listings for packages like yo find in the US. They price everything by the piece (dish, responder, descrambler, connector, etc.) and it was impossible.

Here is the insight I want to show you...Cindy was talking to Olga about this search and apologizing for putting her in the middle all the time. As she said, "We americans like choices." Olga looked at her somewhat forlornly and said, "Some of us want choices and can have choices. Some of us want choices and cannot have them." That, my dear friends, is the difference and that causes people to do things they might not do in other circumstances.

Last night we hosted a meeting that Elders Bressler and Hoopes had with an investigator names Serge. He's about 50, 5'2 or 3 and slim. During the discussion he related some experiences during the Soviet period where good people were required to steal and cheat to survive and he said just that; to the effect that good people had to do bad things to survive.

We are still Searching for the News and we will get it. Others will do without if because the cost in time, money, and sacrifices is too great. Thank God every night for your choices and keep your lamp shining to light the world.


Mec (Mescal) Taylor said...

Ok - this is my 2nd attempt. Did you get 1st one? We have registered several times. Mec

Mec (Mescal) Taylor said...

I see that the 2nd message is posted so I "assume" that this comment will go through also. I have finally taken the time to get caught up on your journal. Doug, you are getting so much experience, I am sure Cindy will want to continue with the routine when you return home so you will not loose your talents! Thank you so much for letting us experience your mission also. I imagine that some days it is an effort to also do the journal but I know that we all appreciate and enjoy it. We have commented several times but I do not think they came through. We are getting ready to go to Utah for our family reunion. We are the coordinaters for this year and next time I would rather do it all my self, it would be easier and would get done. We have missed you both at our functions and talk about you often. We pray for your good health and success. Love Mec and Don

Marilyn said...

I can just hear Cindy saying, "we Americans like choices". We miss you both, and talk of you often to "the friends". People keep asking me how to get to your blog and I keep giving instructions. Everyone who can make the computer work (as you know, not everyone is computer literate) are enjoying your news and even report what an excellent writer you are. Keep the news coming. I think of you waiting for Cindy to go to bed, standing by the window getting a bit of breeze. I guess Cindy will never get to bed early, no matter how early she has to get up each day. The next time I watch Fox News I'll think of the two of you with no DISH. Marilyn