Within the Rostov – Russia Mission the Krasnodar Apartment is famous for being the best apartment in the whole mission.  Back in April Elder Addis filmed a wonderful tour of the apartment for us.  The highlights include seeing the inside of their fridge, the toilet, his loofah, the ‘watery’ lake, his BYU insignia on his shorts etc.



Visa Trip to Ukraine

November 20, 2008

As I mentioned in an earlier post due to Russia’s stringent visa regulations the foreign missionaries must leave Russia every 3 months to update their visas.  The video is from a stop they made while traveling back to Rostov from Ukraine.  Now if I’m not mistaken Ukraine no longer allows Americans to come to renew their visas so they have had to find alternatives.  Some missionaries travel as far as Spain (and stay at the MTC there).  Elder Addis’ most recent visa trip was to Prague in the Czech Republic.

Train Rides in Volgograd

November 20, 2008

When the DVD of pictures arrived home there were some interesting videos of Elder Addis on the train.  They give some interesting perspective as to what the landscape is like in Russia.  Take a look…

When we receive photos from Elder Addis a while back it also included several videos.  Sorry I’ve been a slacker in posting them.  These videos are from the day that Elder Addis and his companions went to see the Mother Russia statue in Volgograd.  I watch these videos when I’m really missing him – it’s so nice to hear his voice!  Oh and isn’t it weird to hear Michael speaking Russian!  Enjoy!

A couple of weeks ago in Elder Addis’ email he informed us that he would be training his first and probably only ‘greenie’.  His new charge is Elder Buscov and they’ve been companions now for 3 weeks or so.  Elder Buscov is a Russian native .  He joined the Church roughly two years ago and decided to serve a mission against the wishes of his entire family.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to serve a mission knowing that your family isn’t supportive.

But the coolest thing of all about Elder Buscov is that he is exactly the type of missionary Russia needs right now.  Some of you may remember that Elder Addis’ district was delayed in their travel to Russia due to visa issues.  Well in the past six months these ‘visa issues’ have only grown more severe.  American missionaries in Russia must travel outside of the country every three months to renew their visas.  This is costly and disruptive to the work.  So the Church decided that for the time being they will no longer call North American missionaries to Russia.  This is leaving many of the Russian missions understaffed.  The burden now falls on the native Russian.  There are wonderful stories of Russian members stepping up to the plate and serving full time missions.  Elder Buscov is just one of hopefully many!

I’ve never met Elder Buscov nor do I know much more about him than what I shared with you – but I am proud of him for serving the Lord and serving the people of his Homeland in a capacity that he can only accomplish as a full-time representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!

I’ll be sure to point out pictures of Elder Buscov when we get some (but don’t hold you breath – we don’t get pictures that often!)

Second Area – Krasnodar

September 16, 2008

From what Elder Addis (Michael) told us Krasnodar was a much more modern city.  There he lived in the ritziest apartment in the mission – still not much compared to US standards.  He did a video tour of his apartment but I’ll have to post that a little later.

Elder Hansen, Elder Johnson, Elder Addis, Elder Barrows

Elder Addis Taking Goofy Pictures

Skyline of Kranodar - They Tract in Buildings like the One Here

Krasnodar and Elder Addis' Face

Handsome Elder Addis

New Ties for Elder Addis' Birthday! Quite the Assortment

Look...the Whole Addis Family is in Russia!

P-day Playing Frisbee with the Youth

Church in Krasnodar

Church in Krasnodar

Well after much prayer and fasting (by the missionaries, families, and many friends), Elder Addis’ (Michael’s) district was finally on it’s way to Russia.  It must have taken 30 hrs or so of air travel to finally get there.  But they were greeted by President & Sister Harrison (all 19 of them – two districts arrived at once).  They didn’t have long in Rostov at the Mission Home before they were all shipped out to their first areas. 

Russia is a difficult enough lanuage to be immersed in after studing it for 3 months in the MTC but can you imagine studying it for 3 months, then speaking English for 4 weeks and getting thrown into total immerssion in Russia?  It was difficult to say the least for these missionaries.  Michael struggled at the beginning but now after being out about 15 months he’s speaking pretty well.  In fact he recently was paid a huge compliament – someone thought he was a native to the Baltics (Latvia etc).  Of course native Russians would never think an American could speak Russian that well!

Here are some pictures of his first area – Volgograd (I think it means the Red City) of course any reference to ‘Red’ in Russia is a reference to Communism.  But that’s another topic of discussion all together.  Enjoy the pictures.

Elder Addis Sportin' His New Russian Coat

Elder Addis Outside a Typical Russian Apartment Building

Elder Addis Posing for the Camera

Elder Addis at 'The Motherland Calls' Statue

Elder ?, Elder Hansen, Elder ?, Elder Addis

Branch Member ?, Branch Member ?, Elder Jones, Branch Member ?, Elder Addis

Missionaries and Branch Members in Volgograd

'The Motherland Calls' Statue - Erected in 1967

A Church in Volgograd

Photos from Colorado

September 16, 2008

Elder Addis (Michael) was in Colorado Springs from Sept 21st to Oct 25th.

Elder Addis & His Companion - Elder Keck

Elder ?, Elder Addis, Elder ?

Elder Addis' District in Colorado

Photos from the MTC

September 16, 2008

Missionaries called to Russia typically spend 3 months in the MTC.  Michael entered on June 20th but unfortunately due to visa issues they were not able to leave on time.  Eventually they were temporarily reassigned to other missions around the US. Elder Addis and several others left the MTC on Sept 21, 2007 for the Colorado – Colorado Springs Mission.

Elder ?, Elder ?, Elder Addis

Elder ?, Elder ?, Elder ?, Elder Addis, Elder ?, Elder ?

Elder Addis' MTC District and Their Teacher

Sis. Burnett, Elder Ortega, Elder Angel, Elder Addis, Sis. Sherman

Here’s a movie of Michael opening his mission call back in March ’07.  Allie and Caroline (his sisters) were able to be there (along with all his friends from Helaman Halls @ BYU) but the rest of the family was on speakerphone (hence all the cell phones you see in the video).  We are so proud of our Elder and the amazing work that he has been called to do in Russia!