Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dinner With Olga & the Drachyov family, 11/23/08

Dinner With Olga

Clear skies
Wind 5-7 mph
Temp a tropical +0.5c. The Siberians are wondering where winter is in Novosibirsk. It was -20 in Angarsk and -11 in Krasnoyarsk earlier this week.

I LOVE THIS INTERCHANGE. Wow, are you people sharp. First, Emily, you are 50% correct, but I give you the other 50% for creativity, and no, you can't say that on a missionary's blog, but I will give you absolution on that because of your general good nature.

Trisha, I should have guessed that your answer would have something to do with country music. Have you given up on Mozart? Anyway, that was not my message, so you missed the mark, but you get 50% for thinking that I could write music for ANYONE.

Marilyn, I see that your loyalties as a wife have overcome your participation in the inter-thought. OK, but try to get back into it when you feel stronger. Give Grant my love.

OK, let's put it together. Antebellum can have either of two meanings; before the war or against war. The term is often used in relation to events or buildings before the Civil War. That's why Emily scored. That also relates to Trisha's country group as a pre-war lady.

Antimony is an element in the periodic table and is usually in the form of a salt or a metal. It's early uses were as part of a flame-proofing material because it is a poor conductor of heat and electricity. Its current use is in the making of electronic parts like LED's (light emitting diodes), you know, those little points of light in the traffic lights and some new flashlights.

Antebellum Antimony could be a type of fire extinguisher that puts out war or a pre-civil war LED. That was fun.

Let's try one more before we all loose interest. This one I know intimately. It is, n-alkyl-dimethyl-benzel-ammonium chloride. See what you feel about this; no googling now.

Sunday night we had Sister Olga and the missionaries for dinner and a lesson after the patriarch's fireside for the members. He is Patriarch Rogers, a professor of Russian literature and language at BYU who is going to each of the regions in the mission, giving blessings. The process for selecting who would get the blessings was tricky.

Anyway, we had a nice dinner and gospel discussion with Olga, Elder Robertson, and Elder Watson. Each of them have a companion on the current Visa trip so they are companions for the week. Everyone loves Sister Olga and it is a sort of contest as to who gets to fellowship her, but we end up being the home base for these events.

We had a family in for Family Home Evening last night and it was a treat. I do have to say that we did not "kid-proof" the apartment very well and had to rescue the candles and the plant on the coffee table, but all in all, it was a great evening.

This is the family of Alexander (Sasha) Drachyov, the first counselor in the Novosibirsk Mission presidency. He is also the CES Director for the eastern side of the Eastern European Area. Here are three of his four children; Sasha (3 1/2), Paulina (11), and Anna (8). They also have a year old girl whose name I forget. The momma is Yulia. They are a lively, delightful family, full of energy and willing to do anything fun.

I conducted the family night and the missionaries gave the lesson.
Sasha insisted on giving the prayer and did a creditable job; except I couldn't understand his Russian any more than I understand the missionaries when they pray. After the welcome and announcements, typical of Family Night, the missionaries taught a lesson about service and told a story about a fireman who rescued an entire family because he was thinking of them more than about himself.

The girls sang a familiar Primary song for us. Maybe you know the words in English and can sing along.

Our activity was centered on snowmen and to start off, the missionaries taught the children the snowman song. The video is their third try through it. Notice their English. President Drachyov has encouraged them to learn English and they have a good ear for it.

Sister Cindy then took them into the kitchen to make snowman cookies with sugar-cookie dough cut with different size glasses and decorated with real icing made with real powdered sugar from the US. They then decorated with coconut, sprinkles, and candy corn. Some were a little bizarre, but they had fun. While the cookies baked I had an activity.

My part was to show them an internet site where we could dress a snowman with various hats, scarves, eyes, noses, mouths, and arms. Lots of fun for the kids. Then I gave them paper and cotton balls to make snowmen with Q-Tips for arms and yarn for scarves. Some were very creative. Yulia enjoyed this too.

The evening ended with Sacha again giving the prayer, followed by his father; Boy is he insistent. We then sent them out into the Siberian winter night armed with cookies, a new song, and a closer relationship with the missionaries and the American бабушка (babushka) and дед (Dyed).

This is a lovely family, full of love for one another and for the Gospel. They are part of the generation that will "Reverse the Curse". This is the phrase used by the patriarch to describe the roll of the missionaries, to do what is necessary to get light and truth into Russia and get rid of the darkness that has cursed the land for so long. Each of us is lighting one little candle and handing it to the members who are holding them high.

What a country.


Lelia said...

What delightful videos of the children and the party. Those young ladies are full of music and fun. I am praying for you and the light you are bringing to darkness. As for your hyphenated word to guess I think it is a firecracker - sounded explosive to me. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. How will you celebrate?

Emily said...

I'm going to guess some sort of ice melt- sounded salty.

I will tell you that telling me not to go google it made me want to do exactly that.. which I will do as soon as I submit this comment.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

I like the integration of some Cyrillic. I chuckled when you said you had the missionaries over for dinner. You ARE the missionaries. Our missionary program is going well right now as we have a couple of baptisms coming up. We are having one of the families over for FHE next week.

Shannon Simmons said...

That was fantastic to hear the kids singing. I have been missing fhe since i close each monday night, but it was nice to hear about yours...I am with Emily for the googling- I really wanted to google, but restrained myself. I am focusing on the fact that you know the item intimately -- that makes me think of bleach tablets. I was going to say fizzy water, but I think that would be a shorter proper name. Final Answer: Bleach tablets.

Trisha said...

Science Science. What are you thinking. How am I to know this one. I wasnt even close on the last one. But here it goes A melted snowman. Anyone anyone. I am so lost. Science where is Bill Nye the science guy when you need him.