Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ice Palace II 1/27/09

Ice Palace 1/27/09
Weather, Wind: Calm

Clear Skies Temp -26C

The visiting Elders, our Elders, and our Sisters went to the Ice Palace today, Wednesday, because it is Preparation Day and tomorrow is Zone Conference and then they will go back to Kemerovo and Novokuznetsk. This is where we went last Saturday for an hour and a half with Sister Olga and froze ourselves severely. They are going there for a longer time and sliding down the ice shoot in their suits.

Here are Elder Gardner, Elder Harper, and three other Elders who have come for Zone Conference.

What you have to picture is ten or so Elders in their shopkas, heavy coats, and suits, taking their whoopee cushions up the spiral stairs to the top of the castle, sitting on their whoopees and sliding down this trough of ice into a snow bank 150 yards down the hill.

They said it got pretty cold, but "it was way fun." For the uninitiated, "way" is used as an adverb that the missionaries habitually use to express some degree of "wow"; "They were way ready to hear the Gospel", or "It was way cold today". I once heard an Elder trying to demonstrate the uses of "way" to his English Club, something like, "way, wayer, wayest". I could hardly contain myself, listening to this description of American slang as if it was standard usage.

That was until I heard Sister Cindy say it was "way cold" on the "way" to the office. I decided at that point that correcting this use of "way" was too deep a well to empty. I had better and more productive windmill to tilt in Siberia.

Here are some of the pictures the Elders gave me of their adventures at the Ice Palace. In this sequence, there are five missionaries, each sitting on their whoopee and locking legs. They said that they got joined one at a time, and with each that was added, the first tipped over the "falls" a little more. When Elder Bradshaw (6'2" and 245 lbs) hooked up at the end, it was like getting shot out of a cannon. Here they are at the botton of the first shoot, heading for the straight-away and the hard left turn that will take them into a snow bank at the end.

Here they whiz past the reviewing stand where the startled "first" guys are realizing that they have 800 lbs of missionary behind them at the moment of impact when they get to the bottom. I'm sure that they are hoping that the "last" guys can somehow stop before lodging themselves in the persons of the front guys and have to be surgically removed. You can see the angle of the hill at this point and they are traveling at high speed, headed for a hard left turn that will threaten to toss them of the right edge of the ramp. You can see that left turn here in the distance.

Here, Elder Gardner is contemplating the snow bank and calculating the gross weight, plus inertia, of the missionaries behind him at the moment of impact. The report was that the five accordioned into a ball of laughing missionaries with no long-lasting injuries. They had a great time and the suits came out without a seam damaged.

Finding fun in a frozen land is a piece of cake for the missionaries. They are an interesting combination of spiritual strength and fearless boys. That is why they survive this place. Everything is an adventure and a challenge.

What fine young men and women. What fun to watch them work and play. What a country.


Trisha said...

Way cool. Wish that my kids could do this. It was way fun reading all about the adventure.

Shannon Simmons said...

I am laughing. That is soooo fun! Its true- Sarah (my friend here in the HB) were just talking about missionary boys -"elders" yesterday. They are a combo of spirituality and straight boy! How fun!

Jeanne Morse said...

Watching those boys coming down tbe ice 'chute' must have been lots of fun! I'm too old for that, my bones would not take the pain or pressure.