Tuesday, March 3, 2015

February is Over

My week was good:) I am glad you got those nesting doll key chains. Those were supposed to be Christmas presents.  I am just a tad bit late! Time is flying. I can remember perfectly well my first day at the MTC:) Feels like just yesterday was New Years and Christmas.

Very exciting about Carson's call.  I am so proud of him - he is going to do big things:) I think it is interesting that everyone is going to Southern America! They must need some good missionaries:)  I like that picture you took in Sacrament Meeting of the Hansens. It is so weird to think that Carter can already bless.  (I see the Dowells are still sitting in their regular seats haha) 

Thanks for keeping the motorcycle running.  I have told some people about it and not many people here have bikes. Do you remember the guy who got baptized recently? M_______? He speaks a little bit of English and told me about how he had a bike. I asked him how fast he took it. He said "Well... like... all the way" and he made this motion with his finger drawing a half circle as to show the speedometer going all the way to the max haha:) He is a crazy guy! 

We had some snow the other day but it is already warm and everything is melting:) Puddles EVERYWHERE! Good thing my shoes don’t have holes in them yet:) I got a new jacket today, it is blue and lighter. My leather one is very heavy and warm so I needed a smaller one for spring and summer.

We had a fun Family History Conference last week. There were a lot of cool stories shared! They told us it is very important to write on the backs of our photos. If we have a picture of our uncle (for example) and we know who it is, we would probably not be tempted to write on the back of the photo "Uncle Jim" but our great great grandkids won’t know who it is. It is a great idea to go through and write who is in the picture and when it was taken, before we forget:) 

I got a new name tag. My original name tag says "Гарднер" just each individual letter changed into Russian so you say it the same way. But I got a new name tag a few weeks ago that says "Садовник".  It literally means a person who works in a garden. A gardener:) I told some people that although I am a Gardner but I don't have a green thumb. It wasn't very understandable to them:) I guess it doesn't translate! ha ha 

We have a Book of Mormon in Korean.  I am sure this is what Calvin uses every day:) We have copies of the Book of Mormon in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Arabic, Spanish, and Portuguese.  I don't really know why, they are just sitting on our bookshelf.

I should have a visa trip coming up soon. Maybe this month! I have to leave the country every 90 days:) In not too long I will be going again to Korea! I am actually learning a little bit of Korean, its honestly not that hard:)  Weird to think it is already March... wow... time is flying by. Somebody asked me how many cities I have been in while serving in Russia. I told them Nakhodka. They asked where else and I just laughed:) Nowhere else! I have been on my mission for almost 7 months! Weird thought. 

So, Little Caesars is putting bacon around the pizza crust now?  As a matter of fact, they have a few different pizza places here. We have bought some pizzas with mashed potato clumps on it. It was a plain pizza with about 8 or 9 ice cream scoop size chunks of mashed potatoes on it. Very tasty! I haven't had any bacon sadly since I have been here.  I miss it :(  But, I am going to be eating some borsch soon! We have a member who wants to feed us so that should be in the near future.

This week we had a few fun experiences. One of the most interesting ones was when we were standing near a bus stop waiting for our investigator to come meet us. We were approached by a disheveled looking man. He asked us for a cigarette (which is actually very common) and we told him we don’t smoke. He walked away. He came back and asked for some rubles. We told him no and he walked away. Then he came back a 3rd time and asked us to call his friend for him. We asked why and he said his friend was a surgeon at the nearby hospital. We told him we wouldn't call him but we would let him call on our phone. He made the call and asked for his friend to come pick him up. Apparently the guy we were talking to was just recently out of surgery.

The doctor friend told him to find some place to stay and he would be fine for the time being. As the man was making the call on our phone, there was a nice Babushka who walked up and told us to walk away from this man. We explained that he was using our phone and thanked her for her concern. She told us he was drunk and we told her we knew, but he still needed help. After the call, the man explained to us that he just got out of surgery a few hours ago and we asked how we could help. He didn't listen to us he just unzipped his jacket, pulled up his shirt and showed us this giant 6 inch long slice in his chest. He was stapled and sewn shut but it was obvious that he shouldn't have been out on the street like this. We told him it was enough and to put his shirt down.

Right then another man came up and started staring at us. He seemed upset and asked why we were messing with this poor man. He asked us what we needed and why we were standing here. The drunk guy, who just recently got out of surgery, explained that we helped him and then this new guy became really friendly. We told him we were American and he immediately gave us the biggest group hug. He told us he loves Americans and he just went off about how we are all friends here, Russians and Americans. ha ha  We left right after that. Fun times at a Russian bus stop:) 

I hope all is well at home! Give my love to everyone:)  I hope you all have a wonderful week! The Church is True and I Love You!

Elder Gardner 

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