Monday, September 28, 2009

Real Missionary Work 9/29/09

Real Missionary Work 9/29/09

Thunder storms, hail, heavy rain, sun, cloudy, sun, heavy rain, overcast.
And in the afternoon it was . . . wel I guess you get the picture. Changeable
Temp High 48 F Low 37 F Wind, Heck yea--big time;

Our son Brian commented the last time I talked to him on SKYPE that I don't write much about our real missionary work. Well Brian, we do precious little of that. Our days are spent in the office trying to keep our staff and their Moscow bosses at an uneasy truce while we get some of our own work done.

About 3-4 nights a week we feed missionaries and their investigators, provide a place for them to have a discussion, sometimes involving us, and cleaning-up to cook another meal for the next set that will be coming in.

At these firesides we have met Dasha and Donna and Pyotr and Vincent, Lenna and Leon and Olga and Olya. (That sound like the roster of Santa's reindeer) Here Donna and Olga are looking at a book during a Monday night Family Night activity at our house.

Last night at the YSA fireside we had another Dasha and her mother and baby sister. They are some of the less-actives that are being fellowshipped and she could be a real asset to our little choir at right, below, (you remember the choir don't you?) for our District Conference debut and the Holiday Concert being planned for the second week in December along with an open house at the branch.

While at the office we try to keep focused on our work and help the Elders stay on task. Here, Elder Rainsden is working while eating lunch of Raman noodles, bread, and a bag of Skittles. Elder Petersen, at the far end of the desks, is trying to make the umti-umt change in the mission calendar before the Mission Presidency meeting.

We occasionally get a chance to bear our testimonies or ask thought-provoking questions at dinner but for the most part, we are not involved, invited, or really wanted in these discussions. We understand that anything we do is limited by our lack of language skills, but it would be nice to at least be sitting there when the investigator asks a pithy question.

We have gone to several baptisms and have supported them whenever we know about them. Here is the third generation to be baptized in a family. First the grandmother joined more than 10 years ago. Then the married daughter was baptized just a few months ago. Now a week or so ago the granddaughter was baptized after a huge life-style change. That was quite an event for both the grandmother and mom.

We just don't get to do much of the active teaching, but we make sure that the elders and sisters have what they need to do the job. Some are sowers and some are reapers. We are the plowers before the sowers, and by the time the seeds get tossed. we are long gone, but that's OK. It is the measure of our creation in this job. Sorry there isn't more Brian.

What a mission. What a country.


Trisha said...

It is still one of the most important rolls. helping to prepare the way. No learning can be accomplished in chaos. You bring peace and a place of love.

Bob Steed said...

Sounds like the "work" part of missionary work. Thank heavens you are both willing, able, and capable. Can you imagine how the program will change next year when it is time to come home?

I know you are not complaining; just describing. Let's take this train of thought to it's final destination. It aint always pretty, but being the literal fulfillment of the prophetic descriptions of how the Lord's work will roll forward ("line upon line" and "by small and simple things, great things are brought to pass") is an honor. Besides, one day when language is not a barrier, I think you both will hear a slightly different version of your influence on conversion.

Andrea S said...

That all sound like missionary work to me. You may not be the ones talking to investigaters everyday but the missionaries couldn't do their work without you.

Lelia said...

I can tell you that Doug is very modest in his account of their mission work. This past July I had the fantastic opportunity to witness this mission at work. Doug and Cindy are very busy 24/7 and seem to exist on minimal sleep. They host the choir every week, host the young people's group almost every week, they prepare meals at least three times during the week, they attend the church services, baptisms, meetings, and whatever is scheduled.

Personal activities like washing clothing is more involved than here at home with all the conveniences. The clothes dryer is a series of lines and fold out drying apparatis. The washing machine is like my mother's "Easy Spin Dryer" where everything is manual except the dash/washing. The cleaned wash is then manually placed in the spinner to spin the excess water. This wash/spin is one step away from the wash board and the hand wringing - my mother was in heaven with the "Easy" because her hands were full of arthritis from hand milking cows, doing the laundry, and all the chores that go with farm wifery.

While the task of grocery shopping is very like that in the US the cleaning and prep is a full night's job. I could also go into detail about the nine story accent to their appartment because to get to the elevator is a three flight set of steps so everything must be carried that distance to have the convenience of elevating it to the floor of home.

Doug and Cindy are saints, they seem to enjoy this work, Doug beams when talking about the choir he is working with. I heard the rehearsal, the harmony is wonderful, the voices are melodic, the members are loving the experience.

Mission work is part of using one's talent to share the word of God and Cindy and Doug have "pulled out all the stops" and are putting their talents to work in Novosibirsk. I shall always cherish the time I spent there with them. It will be in my top ten wonders of the world for me to see them at work and share where I could in the short time I was there. I wish all those who read Doug's blog could have gone to Novo to have the experience I did with them.

samnarene said...

You are sharing your talents and love of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a special way that is making the lives of others better. We enjoy your thoughts and pictures and thank you for sharing them on your blog.