Here’s a stark, crazy difference for you. Remember Siberia? Well, the Bald Kid got transferred to a whole new country…called…
Kazakhstan. Look at those crazy buildings–would you? It’s apparently a very modern place in many ways. Because it is considered a Muslim country, the guys aren’t allowed to preach or teach or even answer questions. In fact, do you notice something missing from this picture? NO NAME TAGS! Nope, they aren’t allowed to wear them either.
They are allowed to go to the activities that the small Branch puts on. This is a little campout they went to and seriously, it doesn’t look a bit fun. I don’t even see any sleeping bags and if those rolled up black things are their foam pads–all I can say is YIKES. What do you suppose is in that big, old steaming pot? I shutter to think. I mean, they eat horse meat in this place.
But back at the Couple Missionaries house, they were fed mug cake and ice cream. At least somebody is looking out for these guys stomachs.
My cute boy has always been fascinated by artistic graffiti–so imagine his excitement at finding these guys on the side of an apartment building.
He had to visit someone in this apartment–if you can call it that. Yes, those are bricks and rocks from the walls that are falling down in the stair well. Every time I see this picture, or think of people living like this, I walk around singing, “God Bless America,” for two days. This is insane.
And this picture means so much to me, because I remember when the Soviet Union broke apart and the country was in such chaos that people were standing in line for hours for spoiled apples. Look at the beautiful produce this sweet little Russian lady has. The boy was in Kazakhstan for about a month and had to return to Siberia to renew his visa.
Here’s what he said:
“I came back here to Novo and I had an amazing experience with the Fruit lady that sells her fruit right outside of the apartment Elder Topham and I were in. I got to walk by the same area during my time with Elder Vanner and the fruit lady and I (maybe you remember her from the picture I sent) made eye contact from down the street. As I got up to her she was just smiling, crying and saying, “Thank you God, thank you God! You sent him back!” and then my heart just broke open. She then explained to me that us saying hi to her every morning kept her going, happy and alive. She said she had been praying to God in order to see the “Russian-looking American” one more time and now she knew prayer worked. I love being a part of all this!”
Warms me to know that he’s happy and well but even more so to know that he is making a difference in this place.
So good for this mama’s heart. But I still miss him.
Be safe my boy, and do come home soon.