Monday, July 15, 2013

July 14, 2013

On our way to help at the garden, Sister H noticed that there was a fire in the trash can at the bus stop.  So she opened it up and found the cigarette and stomped it out!


While everyone else was working hard, I took photos!

We had a fireside at a member's apartment with Elder Neuenschwander.  He is assigned as the patriarch for our mission.  And, it was Mission President's and his wife's birthdays.  Our sweet sisters made an ice cream birthday cake for them.
Another first for Astana this week was the first patriarchal blessings given here.  Several of our members were able to receive their blessings.

On Saturday, the sisters had planned a game night activity for our English group.  These young people like to come and enjoy safe, fun activity with us.

And our friend shared his talent on the Kazakh instrument, the dumbra.


Astana Days

Astana Days is a celebration of the capital city of Kazakhstan.  It has been the capital for 15 years.  There are celebrations all over town for several days.  It also celebrates the birthday of their president.
Here are a few photos we took over the weekend.  You can tell we had some crazy weather.

This was a hip hop contest we passed on our way home from English one night.

Everyone was back in their jackets.
After we left the hip hop.  We got on the bus since it was sprinkling, and the bus was right there.  Then, Alan says, let's get off the bus.  There's elephants out there !!  Well, that's something you don't see every day!  So we walked back to where we got on the bus watching the elephants.
I said I had to get a photo of that or no one would believe that we saw elephants on the streets of Astana!

The next morning it was beautiful sunshine again.  This is a display of many traditional Kazakh costumes, music, art etc near Han Shatyr Mall in the background

Her dress covers half of the horse too!


This is how they make their beautiful rugs




These are the tallest Kazakh's we have ever seen.  They must be on the basketball team.
Oh, and the TV crew got us again!  I got invited to offer my congratulations to Astana.  One of our friends at English said she saw me on TV and that my Russian was perfect!

This is the new opera house that has just been completed

These cute kids are getting ready to perform.

And these cute babuski are getting ready to perform!

Independence Day at the Embassy

One of the many statues around town in anticipation of Astana Days

We went to help at the dascha.  This is Sister Vera's neighbor, Babushka Katia.  She has a lovely garden and shared the sweetest strawberries with us.  We enjoyed our visit to her humble home.

There was a particularly windy day recently.  We saw branches from trees all over the place.

Happy Birthday to Elder A at this Japanese Restaurant.  Even though we got off the bus at the wrong stop (and had to walk in the rain) we had a nice lunch.
We almost cleaned our plates!
This is the American Embassy in Astana.  We were able to attend the picnic there.

There are quite a few Americans in Astana

Lots of goodies to share

Our friends, the Morris' who have now moved back to the US