Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Christmas Morning
New Years here is the Christmas of America! It is going to be interesting in a few days when we go out to work in the mornings and see no stores open and there’s nobody on the streets. Should be fun times in Russia!

It was so cool to get to talk to you on Christmas/Christmas Eve. I was a little worried it wouldn't work out the first couple of tries, but all is well.  It feels like we aren't even that far away, we can always get a hold of each other if we have to.  It is kind of weird talking over Skype because it feels like a big party just like when I was at home. It is so weird to think I have about 19 months left. That seems like a big number but we are already about the half year mark! 6 months gone, I feel like I just left home.  I will be here in Nakhodka until the end of January, I will have one more transfer after that for sure and then at the end of February it is most likely that I will go to a different city. I don't know exactly where yet but the end of February will be 6 months in Nakhodka.  Weird, spending 1/4 of my mission in one city. It is a great city, though! No complaints!  
Skyping for Christmas!  He looked so good!
I am jealous of the Christmas lunch at Brian and Jane’s house!  We had soup, and raw onions, and weird salad stuff for our Christmas lunch:) It’s cool that you got to Skype with Ashley from her mission while you were up there.  I didn’t know if the connection would have been good enough up in Holbrook.   

I am glad to hear that Chandler is finally out and on a mission! He is going to do great.  He is a born leader!  I think that is so cool that his Uncle Trent was there at church when Chandler talked!  I totally forgot that he served in Russia, Vladivostok!   

Mom note:  Ryan told us via Skype that when he went to South Korea last week, he changed some Rubles (Russian currency) into Won (Korean currency).  He didn’t know the exchange rate, and ended up exchanging ALL of his money for the month into a currency that he can’t even use in Russia.  So, he had to pull some cash out of his home bank account to make up for it.  

I am going to use a little bit of personal money until I get another dose of Missionary Money.  I was silly in pulling out all that Won! It’s okay, I am set for the next couple of Korea trips that I take.  Yeah, it wasn't the smartest thing I have done, but definitely memorable.

Seoul Korea Temple
Burger King Ad in Korea - She is actually crying!
Ryan was impressed with how polite people are in Korea. 
He said in Russia this sign would have said "Stay Out of our way!  We're Doing Stuff!" 
There was a drunk couple that came into church yesterday and they were being loud so we had to kick them out! I was getting ready to throw down and deck a drunk dude but I don't know if that would be appropriate as a missionary:) As we were walking the drunk lady out she tried to hug me... yeah.. I got scared so I like grabbed her arms and pushed her away... haha I felt kind of bad grabbing and man handling this lady, but I really did not want that hug!  

I am so thankful for the chance to be in Russia! It is way cool! So different and such a great opportunity to grow. I love you all! See you in a year and a half,

Elder Gardner

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