When we went to the playroom today, the caregiver said that Silas had been asking for his Mama and Papa since 10am that morning. It was nice to know that he wanted to see us and spend time with us. Silas really unleashed his personality today – he was on the go and revealed a stubborn side to us. When the caregiver came in to take Silas to eat lunch, she asked him to put the toys away. He didn’t want to help so he threw himself down on the floor and put up a fight. Silas ate more raisinets today, but wouldn’t try a Russian fruit snack that Tyler bought for him. We watched some baby Einstein and he enjoyed it when I blew raspberries on his tummy. He also liked being tickled and we got some cute video of his belly laugh.
After the orphanage, we went back to our apartment. Incidentally, the street we live on is called "Cold Street" - funny, huh? It is still around -7 degrees outside. I think that I am acclimating to it more now since we've been here over 2 weeks. I made more chicken strips and warmed up the macaroni and cheese and peas and we took a 40 minutes taxi ride down to Lower Nizhny Novgorod to visit with Misha and Natasha. Natasha just gave birth to their second son, Viktor. They have a one year old named Sasha. We talked and laughed and ate - she made blini and we ate it with sweetened condensed milk - so good!
Me, Viktor, and Natasha - isn't she beautiful? And Viktor is so cute - he looks more like a one month old rather than 2 weeks old.
Tyler couldn't get enough of holding Viktor. The group picture is Sasha, Misha, Tyler & Viktor. We played some baby einstein on our iPad for Sasha to watch. Their cat took a keen interest in it, as well. :)
After a few hours, we took a taxi drive to the church building in lower Nizhny Novgorod. I normally don't have much to say about a taxi ride - but this guy was so odd that I need to share. I don't know his name - his picture profile is above - but he was SO tickled by the fact that Tyler & I were from America. He kept laughing over and over and over - and smiling at us constantly. I felt like I was royalty by the way he was treating us. At one point he asked if we were here in Russia to use drugs. We assured him that we do not use any type of drugs. Although, by the way that he was driving and behaving, we wondered if he was using them.
We went to the church because there was a meeting tonight with Elder Bennett, a general authority from the 2nd quorum of the 70s of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For those of you not familiar with that title, Elder Bennett and three other men are responsible for the leadership of the church in Eastern Europe. About 60 people attended, many missionaries included. We got to see Elder Bitner who we met last year in Nizhny Novgorod. He is about to finish up his mission and go home next month. Elder Bennett spoke about Jesus Christ knowing us personally and how we don't come to church because we are perfect - we go to church to work on our imperfections. It was very uplifting and I felt the Holy Spirit very strongly. What a blessing to be here in Russia at this exact time.
We spent one month in Russia last year and we've only been here for over 2 weeks now, and yet I feel so close to the members of the church here in Russia. It's such a small world when you're a mormon. I love that I can go to church here in Russia and they are singing the sames hymns and learning the same lessons as back in Florida. It is amazing. And the members have reached out to us and they accept us and genuinely love us. In fact, I got a text today from "Sister Ukraine" that said: I love you very much and I hope everything goes well on Thursday! And I've only known this sister for less than a week. The gospel of Jesus Christ is such a beautiful thing that binds us together.
We took a taxi drive home - not nearly as exciting as our prior one - and I made some potato medallions for a late supper. Sister Foutz made them for us last Sunday. You wash the potatoes, slice them thinly and cook in a little bit of oil. Then you layer them with Lambar cheese. Oh my goodness! So good!
Lambar cheese. It is SO incredibly good. Does anyone know if they sell it in the states? I almost hope that they don't because I just paid $13 dollars for this big hunk of it!