©2011 unless otherwise stated. Powered by Blogger.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A note from the director


I was home from China five full days when I was packing again in the basement office of our home in Provo. My son was in and out a few times, disrupting my piles of folded clothes and wandering away with important things like lenses. Somehow he didn't put it together that I was leaving. Again. Later on, with bags at the door, I told him he was the man of the house and I needed him to...

"Are you going on a trip?"
"Yeah, Buddy. I'm going to Russia."
"I'm going to work there."
"Is Russia far away?"
"Yeah, Pal. It's on the other side of the world."


"Why do you go away all the time?"

It'll be some time before my son understands why I came all this way to meet these people, to observe them, to come to love them and endeavor to tell their stories out of that love. As of yet, I haven't been very successful in explaining it to anyone.

This project comes at a difficult time for me professionally. I've got a handful of clients who aren't sure why they haven't seen their proofs yet, why I'm not done designing their posters, and some clients, I'm sure, who have moved on to other, more fruitful pastures. But I've stopped worrying about the digression of my career while I'm here. I'm not so concerned, anymore, how these pieces will pad my portfolio or who will notice my name attached to an exotic location shoot.

I am, however, determined to give these Russian people the very best of myself and my work because I know of the good this could do for these saints, and that makes the work not only easy, but truly enjoyable. These are fine, strong, beautiful people and very deserving of the world's attention. An interpreter on the project, Olga Davydova, likes to tease me that everyone we meet is my new hero. And it's true--I have a new hero every day. I can't get enough of them.

I spent some time in the weeks preceding this trip worrying about how it was all going to get done. I should say, I wasted some time. It occurred to me one night, in the sweaty fervor of a particularly needy prayer, that I should stop asking for help. If I claim to have so much faith, why not declare my confidence that the Lord will help, and stop badgering Him about it. From that night to this, I haven't asked again. And the peace that has come through those prayers has been some of the sweetest I have known. I've felt more than once like Peter stepping out of the boat onto the water, and the only way to stay on the surface is to keep declaring my confidence.

We owe much of this project to Charles Cranney's confidence in me. He is unfailingly supportive and it is a pleasure to see him return to his mission and be among his people. We are operating at all because of the (continuing) efforts of Elder Chad and Sister Bethany Packard. If the saints in Moscow don't know it already, they have a gold mine in this missionary couple. Christine Armbruster is an invaluable part of my crew. She is the consummate intern: talented, capable, independent. Low maintenance, high yield. And the unsung hero of this project, the one doing more work than anyone in the country right now, is Jonathan Wright. We have a schedule, equipment, this blog and even a cyrillic alphabet cheat sheet because of him. He's even slated to edit these pieces when he gets back stateside. Please, pray for him.

And when these films are cut together, when they have music and subtitles so that my son can understand them, I hope he will finally know why I went away. I'll let the Russian saints do the talking, because compared to them, I'm only sounding brass.


Search This Blog


About This Blog

Welcome to the Russian Mormons blog. The purpose of this blog is to share meaningful insights on the faith and beliefs of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Russia.

  © Blogger template 'Photoblog' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP