Monday, October 20, 2014

3 Weeks in Nakhodka

It is pretty weird not having the sun rise until 8 or 9 every morning! We wake up at 6:30 and go running, then we get ready for our studies. Studies start at 8 and it is still dark outside when we start studying. We study until 11 and about halfway through the study session the sun peeks over the mountains and is shining perfectly in my face! It is a good way to wake up:)

We had an awesome Sunday yesterday! 30 people showed up to church! This is including missionaries, investigators and members and children. It is completely different, but the members here are so dedicated! I think back at home we kind of take for granted what a big blessing this is in our lives. This branch totally gets it because most of them are converts and they see how much it helps their lives.

I had to give a talk in Church. The Branch President called me on Thursday and asked if I would talk and because my companion answered the phone, he told the President that I totally wanted to! I think it went pretty good. I talked about how we can find out for ourselves whether or not this Church is true and a couple of my investigators were there to listen. I hope it helped them.

And wow...thanks for pointing out that I am 10,000 km away! I will have to use that when I talk to people on the street.  Some people don’t understand why we are here and then we have to try to explain that we left our lives, our families, and college and friends for this one purpose. I think it helps.

I had the weirdest thought the other day, it dawned on me how I will never be able to go back to DeValks choir class and sing with him. All those people are gone and it is nothing but a memory now! It’s kinda sad, but it totally puts it into perspective how quick time flies! Weird.

I hope you liked the pictures. 
1- That hallway is in an apartment building we go to every other day. We have a referral  for a man who lives there.  He is always home, we can hear him kicking stuff over. He might be drunk, but he never answers the door. We continue though... :)

2-This is just the street heading down past some apartments.   All of the homes in Russia are these apartment things. Most are like 7 stories tall and all brick. The big shipping containers on the left... are their garages. This is where they keep their cars.

3-The third picture is the middle courtyard between two rows of tall apartment buildings. They have a place for kids to play, and they have big metal T's which is where they hang clothes. There are like 6 clothes lines on them. Not many people here have clothes dryers. You can see in the background, some people have clothes lines right out their windows. We have a little rack in our apartment that we use.

I’m glad Austin made it back from his mission safely.  It is so weird!  I won’t get to see him for 4 years.   I am sure he will be married by the time I get back haha:)
We saw a ton of drunk people this week! A lot of them were on the bus with us. They would just be standing there holding onto the pole and the driver would hit the brakes. They would fall forward into me and I had to hold them up so they wouldn't hit the floor. One guy hit the floor pretty hard and I couldn't help but start giggling.

Another thing, I don’t know if I told you already, but there are a TON of people here with gold and silver teeth. We have met a couple of Babushkas with full golden grillz!  The smoking thing is really big here, too!   They are amazing people though; lots of potential  J   
We had a great week this week and I am loving it all! Even though I understand almost nothing, it is so much fun :)

The Church is true and I Love You!

Старейшина Гарднер
Elder Gardner

1 comment:

  1. Hi! My son is in Irkutsk at the moment, he left the MTC on August 18th, so he is pretty new in the mission. I found your blog and wanted to say "Hi" and let you know I'd like to be invited to follow it if you go private.