Last night as we walked up to the chapel for the baptism, I saw a couple ahead of us, with missionary name tags, whom I did not recognize. They introduce themselves and Elder and Sister Royer. They are in Riga for their visa work (every 3 months Russian missionaries from other countries have to leave Russia and go to another country to have their visas renewed). They are serving in Siberia! And they are from LaGrande, Oregon and, formerly, from Dayton, Washington. (My friends and family from Walla Walla know where those cities are.)
They are serving a 23-month mission and have been there about 14 months. They are proselyting missionaries and he is serving in a branch presidency. They have 3 branches in Siberia. One branch is 26 hours by train, from where they are serving. The 3rd branch is 12 hours the other way. There are 3 time zones in their mission.
They have 10 children and 21 grandchildren. It is so wonderful to meet the good and faithful Saints who have chosen to serve the Lord for 18-23 months, in their senior years. And they are so needed.
Those serving in Russian have unique challenges and experiences. For one thing, this every 3 month trip they each have to take. One couple went to Spain and ran into problems there and have been delayed in returning to Siberia We have 3 more couples coming to Riga for visa work on Wednesday.