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Posted 29 Sep 2001   For week ended September 28, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 27Sep01

By Rosemary Pollock

115 Attend Russian Single Adult Conference

NOVOSIBIRSK, RUSSIA -- In the cold northern area of Asia, commonly known as Siberia, the Russian Novosibirsk mission gathered for a two-day young single adult conference that not only strengthened the 115 members in attendance, but demonstrated the growth of the Church in an area where the first missionaries entered in 1993. Siberia is a region larger than the United States with vast distances between branches. Eight young people attended from the city Tomsk, where missionaries have served for less than four years and a branch serves approximately 56 members.

An additional six members from Barniul, a city south of Novosibirsk, also attended representing their branch of 30 members. Thirty-two young people attended from the three branches in Omsk along with 33 from the three branches in Krasnoyarsk, a city east of Novosibrisk. Eager to attend the conference the young people decided to walk the mile to the meetinghouse, luggage in hand, instead of waiting for public transportation. Along the way, the young people befriended many by singing songs and sharing testimonies.

"When I am at the conference I can spend time with my friends," said Julia Penegena of Omsk. "My real friends are in the Church. They are my family." A skit was performed by the young women from Omsk depicting the challenges facing a young woman seeking advice. Different contemporary sources of influence were acted out through music lyrics.

"The conference has been wonderful, said Dima Startsev from the Barniul Branch. "It has filled my heart and I have found joy here." "I am happy when I see and am with other members of the Church," said Angelina Krevoruchko from Novosibirsk. "The conference helps me build my testimony."

After bidding farewell to their new friends, three members from Ulan Ude, a Russian city west of Novosibirsk near the Mongolian border, joined the others. "We have a small branch, many kilometers from any other members," said Nikola Ivanov, who is preparing for baptism. "We wanted to meet and talk with the youth of the mission. We wanted to make new friends and have a good time."

The first missionaries entered Ulan Ude in January, 2000. The branch now has 25 members and is steadily growing. "The three young adults are eager to learn about the gospel and willing to travel to feel a part of the Church," said Elder Steven L. Tyler, a Church Educational Service missionary in the Novosibirsk mission.


YSA gather from far reaches to Novosibirsk
LDS Church News 22Sep01 D1
By Elder Steve L. Tyler
Members take strength from larger group

Ulan Ude members make friends while on the train
LDS Church News 22Sep01 D1


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