Sunday, December 30, 2007

From an email sent to the family Sunday, December 30...

Yes, our mission call is to Astana, but we flew down to Almaty with Bro and Sis Balls on Christmas Day to finish our training and country registration. We are now registered and hopefully they won't throw us out. Our luggage arrived the day after Christmas because Svetlana had it forwarded here. WE are very thankful to have an extra set of underwear and fresh clothes!! The Balls were having as much trouble getting out of here as we were getting in so we didn't get in as much training as we would have liked. Hopefully, we can figure things out on our own or with the people here and in Moscow. WE haven't been able to get our computer programmed to function in this country yet, so we are still relying on the Vincents, who are the leadership couple here, with using their laptop. They are from Salt Lake. He was a lawyer and a former member of the Seventy. They have treated us royaly by feeding us and taking us sight seeing. They are also hosting us and the three sets of young missionaries for a New Years Party from 12:00 noon until 12:30 midnight when the Mission President says we have to go home. WE don't think the phone in our apartment here in Almaty was working and we are sorry if any of you tried to call us. Until we get back to Astana and get registered on Skype, email may be our only means of communication..
We are fine. Getting used to the culture has been interesting if not difficult. They are wonderful friendly people, but their lifestyle is certainly a great deal different than ours. We went to an outdoor market with Svetlana and the Vincents. (Svetlana is our legal representative, a returned missionary and only 29 years old. She is very helpful and we could not function without her. If there are any problems we call Svetlana.) Anyway, back to the market; the only way to describe it is to say that it somewhat resembles 8 rows of narrow metal quanset huts side by side with steel shipping containers 2 high inside and each shipping container is it's own store. No heat and no sun and freezing cold!!! WE about froze our feet off trying on boots!! As you enter the mile and a half row of shoes the word carries that you are coming and what size you wear. Svetlana told us to stick by her because if we got lost we would never be found again!! It was totally unbelievable. We are talking 1 to 2 miles of nothing but shoe stores on both sides!! And remember that this is just one aisle!! We did find our boots and so did the Vincents and then on the way out we went to the row for hats and found one to fit Roy to keep his ears warm! Now we both look like Russians. Anything that you could ever want to wear was found in this market along with thousands of people. Across the road on the other side was anything dealing with housewears, decorations or furnishings. It was unbelieveable!! WE nearly walked for a mile to get there after we parked the car. Did I mention it was freezing cold???? And Almaty is 20 to 30 degree farenheight warmer and Astana.
Today we went to church here in Almaty. The services were completly in Russian. The missionaries translated for us. They have a nice branch and wonderful people. You can not believe the quality and testimony of the youth. The Gospel Essentials class is taught by a 17 year old girl and an 18 year old young man. The youth teach Seminary classes twice a week in the morning and Svetlana teaches Institute. The depth of their testimonies and knowledge of the gospel brings tears to your eyes. Two of these young men have their papers filled out to serve missions, another 17 year old has his application in to go to BYU. They are the future of the church in Kazakhstan. They are extremely humble, wonderful young people. The missionaries can now openly wear their badges but we still can not in Astana.
New Years here is a big deal. They don't celebrate Christmas at all but they celebrate New Years from the 31st to the 2nd of January. We can't get a flight out until Thursday, so we should be in Astana Thursday night. Hopefully, we can get unpacked, settled in, and start finding our way around the paperwork and reports.
WE were awakened this morning with an earthquake which was pretty scarry because these buildings look like they can't stand much!!
We love you all very much and we miss you too. Don't have too much fun without us. We probably won't be emailing again until next Friday or Saturday, hopefully from our apartment in Astana.
Roy and Anne

Christmas in Kazakstan

Email message Christmas Day...

We are now in Almaty and can't get the Skype hooked up. We are dong fine. In Astana it is 30 degrees below zero and the wind has never stopped. Its is so COLD!! And of course we don't have our luggage and our warm clothes but we are surviving. WE love you all and hope you have a Merry Christmas. WE will call you as soon as we can and that may not be until after the first of the year. We won't be going back to Astana until the third of January. We love you all! We are trying to get the DSL up and going and we don't know when that will be but we'll keep in touch with you by email, and our blog. We have spent all of our time in training and are still so lost we don't know what we are doing. There is an avalanche of paper work.

Roy & Anne

Saturday, December 15, 2007

In the MTC

We survived our first week at the MTC. We have been enjoying everything especially the food! We know why you all gained weight in the MTC.

Here we are pinning our badges on each other. We are now officially missionaries!! It was a great feeling. And here we are standing in front of the big map. Remember when you all did this? Everyone asks where is Kazakhstan!!

This is a picture of all of the Senior Couple Missionaries. We have made such wonderful friends! We have met missionaires going to Brazil, the Caribbean, Turkey, Kenya, Canada,

South Africa, Panama, England, Phillipines, Austriala, Chilie, Singapore, Hong Kong, and all over the United States. And then there is us going to Kazakhstan. This teachers here said they have never had a group that has gone to so many different places.

These are our Russian tutors. There names are Yulia Phelps from Belarus and Jonathan Snow who served a mission in Moscow. We love them both very much and they are very patient with us. We are not studying very much because we don't have much time. But we do love the language and are still excited about learning it.
We have gained a testimony of what we are doing and we love it! The spirit is very strong and we have gained so much greater insight about what we already knew. It is truly wonderful to be here with all of the missionaries!! We love you all. Keep your testimonies strong!
Elder and Sister Welling

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

MTC - Provo, UT

We made it to the MTC! Gavin & Kara took us down on Monday morning. Gavin showed us around & gave us the tour. It was late night & we were very tired from packing. We made it & we are very excited about serving our mission!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Thanksgiving - Christmas - Farewell

It was great having all of our children and grandchildren here for Thanksgiving. Somehow we managed to feed 36 at our Thanksgiving feast and sleep 32 under one roof that weekend! The grandchildren helped us decorate the house and Christmas tree on Friday. Saturday we cheered for our favorite teams and then celebrated Christmas together, what fun! We appreciate all those who came on Sunday to support and wish us well.
Go Utes! Go Cougars!

Our Family
We will sure miss our grandchildren.

Ryan, LeAnne, Gavin, Michele, Aaron, & Megan

The Christmas Celebration

It's time for us to go - Gavin will be taking us to the MTC today (Dec. 10th)

Saying good-bye isn't easy, even though we know that serving the Lord is the right thing to do. We will miss you all. We will try to post updates here each week and look forward to hearing from you.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fun in Arizona

On Oct. 11 we went to see the Woods for Newell's baptism. The first night we were there we went to see the Diamond Backs play the Rockies in there first playoff game. The D-Backs lost but we had a great time. Friday night we went to the Organ Stop Pizza for a night of good food and our favorite music. Saturday was the baptism and we had a picnic afterwords. It was a wonderful day and we are proud of Newell. Later that night we went to see Don and Jana Shelley. We had a good time catching up on what has been happening with each others families for the past several years. We flew home on Monday to try to get a few more things ready for our mission.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Conference Weekend

Gavin and Kara, and Ryan and Tiff came for the weekend. We had a good time listening to conference and visiting. Rhoda and Grant and Muriel came Saturday afternoon and stayed for lunch and the guys all went to priesthood while the gals visited. We were all excited about the new General Authorities and had a good spiritual uplift listening to the talks.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


Here is a picture of the grandkids from the 4th of July Party this last summer.

Northwest trip

We went to Prineville OR and Richland WA the end of Sept. We spent one night with Debbie and Bill and left Roy's mother, Rhoda, with her while we went on to Richland to see Aaron and his family. We spent three days with them and had a great time sightseeing and playing with the grand kids. We then went back to Deb and Bill's to spend another night and get Rhoda. We drove back home the next day. We had a wonderful time. Thanks to Aaron, Kim,Deb and Bill.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Welcome to our Blog!

We are adding a map of Kazakhstan. We are excited to go on our mission. We are currently learning Russian.

Add us to your links! Kara is helping us keep this updated. Let her know of other links to add to this page!