Friday, November 7, 2014

3 months gone!

3 months down! Wow.... feels like we were just on the cruise last summer! Just a few days ago buying some suits for me, going through the temple for the first time! Weird how time flies.

The lady that takes care of the Nakhodka Facebook page, Ksenya, is the best! She is just like a mother to me! She saw us heading out to go talk to people and she asked where my coat was. I told her I loved the weather and I wasn't wearing one. She told me she was going to beat me next time she saw me without a jacket! hahah She’s fun:)

We had 2 baptisms this week.  That was really fun to see them baptized. They are way cool people.  I got a chance to teach them a little bit and they were totally prepared long before we got there! It is hard for any of us to take credit for their baptism. We are just so lucky to have played a small part in their conversion.   Our baptismal font is portable, we set it up in our church kitchen and that is how they do baptisms here in Nakhodka.   So I was just sitting peacefully in the Baptismal service listening to the talks going on, then all the missionaries stood up and I looked around clueless... They told me to stand up with them because we were singing! Haha Turns out every other missionary knew that we were going to be singing... except me... It was okay.  I could read the music good enough.  Hopefully next time I get at least a 5 minute heads-up. 
The Halloween party was great! I didn't know we were having it until the day before. Turned out to be super fun and Ksenya pretty much led the whole thing.  She decorated the church and made all the games to play and it turned out way good.  Here in Nakhodka they celebrate Halloween but the missionaries here say they don’t do anything in the western parts of the Vladivostok Mission. We saw a ton of people drunk and stumbling around, a bunch of men wearing masks;  totally up to no good, people dressed up like always. There was a giant concert in this shopping center. It is just like the outlet malls near our house.  We stayed out till 9 o’clock just like a normal night.  Nothing too crazy for us.  We were playing a game and I lost so I had to shout that I loved everybody.  It was a fun day overall!

We made cookies for the party!
This week is the last week of the 1st transfer.  I am 99.9 % sure that I am staying here for another transfer. When a new missionary gets trained, his training lasts 12 weeks;  2 transfers.  This transfer was 6 weeks but the next transfer is bumping right up against Christmas. The way it works out is we have a 3 week transfer and the following transfer is 9 weeks. They are trying to minimize people flying to new areas during the holiday season. So I should be here for the next 2 transfers also.  After that, it is anyone's guess!  This area is really nice.   There are a lot of great people here but I definitely want to go everywhere at least once!
We don't have any tests or evaluations here.  We just go out and work! Each month we have a zone meeting and we check our progress on our goals and evaluate as a group how we can improve and do better.

They don't believe in drains in Russia
That is crazy to hear how well our sports teams are doing. They normally are so bad. Who is the Cardinal’s quarterback?

Wow, Aubrey spoke at stake conference?? That is scary! I wouldn’t want to do that.   She used to have a nickname of "Mom" because she was always the most mature out of our friend group. She is the best.  She didn't like the nickname, but I was watching one of the young women’s conferences the other day (because we have them on DVD in our apartment) and one of the ladies was speaking of how the title "Mom" is probably the best title somebody can receive in this life! I thought a lot about the great ladies in my life (Like you, Mom<3) and I also thought about Aubrey! She should be happy people call her “Mom.” I could never be a mom! I mean... obviously... but I think you get what I am trying to say.
Miss you all much! I wish I had more time to write.

I Love you all so much!
Старейшина Гарднер

Elder Gardner 

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