|ELDER AND SISTER NELSON|
President Kosak invited Brian and I to atttend a Moscow District Leadership meeting on September 2nd, just a week after we arrived in Moscow. Elder Russell M. Nelson was the visiting authority. We hadn’t received our callings yet but President Kosak asked us to be there. The meeting was the central building which is in downtown Moscow near Red Square. Henry gave me and a few others a ride there where I met up with Bri who came straight from work. Just as we got into the building Bri was roped into singing a song with a quartet. They didn’t have a lot of practice and I guess it didn’t go too well. I wouldn’t know because they split the Priesthood up from the sisters before the meetings even began.
Elder Nelson came in and greeted the sisters, said a few words and then the meeting was turned over to the Relief Society District President, Sister Wendy Nelson, Sister Schwitzer (Area President’s wife) and Sister Sorenson (Mission Presidents wife). All three sisters spoke and gave great messages where I learned a lot. Sister Nelson taught for about 45 minutes but the time went by quickly. She is a powerful teacher whose words were very inspiring. I felt as though she spoke directly to me with her words and I learned so much. Actually it felt more like I was remembering so much. I took lots of good notes. All the sisters in the branch were so kind to me and I felt a very strong kinship with them even though I had only just met some of them.
Here is an interesting side note that kind of explains Russian culture. Anja, a secretary to President Kosak, whohas served a mission to Japan and speaks very good English was asked to translate for the sisters who spoke. I’m certain she did a very good job even though I don’t know Russian. After the meeting she received a note from one of the Russian sisters that told her she did a terrible job. Mind you this is a member of the church feeling the need to be critical of another sister’s efforts in translating a message of which she had no prior written information to translate. I cannot understand the need for someone to be so unkind or just plain mean.
After the meeting we were invited to have dinner at Starlight with a group of couples from the branch. Starlight is a favorite for Americans here because it is a burger and shake joint. Bri got a hamburger and we both got a shake. The shakes were $10.00 a piece but at least they were very, very good. I have found that most things here cost at least twice as much as in the states. We had a wonderful time getting to know the Lockheads, Rusts, Butterfields and of course spending more time with the Kosaks. Henry did a great job, as we drove through the city, telling us about the different buildings we passed by. The city center is really beautiful at night. It took us over an hour to get home and yet it was only 20 miles away and traffic is supposed to be lighter in the evenings. We didn’t get home until 11:00 and the kids were already asleep so I didn’t get to see much of them today.