Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Hi!  My week was good! First week in a new city with a new companion and new opportunities! The transfer was a good transfer, pretty straightforward and simple!  Pack up my stuff, hop on a bus, ride an hour and a half to Irkutsk and start anew. I settled in pretty quickly and now the work begins. I feel like I didn't do enough in Angarsk!  I miss it already. I really wish I had the chance to stay longer in Angarsk, like Nakhodka. Oh well! Life goes on and the work keeps moving forward. 

Elder Grey - My New Companion
My new companion, Elder Grey is from Orem Utah and is doing really good. This is his 2nd transfer in Russia and he is getting a hang of the Russian language very quickly. It is always good during a lesson if I am not too sure what to say, I can turn to him and he testifies about what we are teaching and it is a really good team we have going here. As a Zone leader I don’t get a phone, only the Assistants to the President get a personal phone. I am in Irkutsk and the other Zone leader, my co-zone leader, is in Angarsk. It is weird being in two different cities but it works for now:)

Personalized Coke in Russia
 The coke bottle said that the coke was "For Good Guys" or maybe it could be translated "For Good Dudes". People always call us that name on the street. So that is how they refer to two weird-looking young guys in suits and ties.... I hope that helps clear it up;)
Picture taken at 10:00 p.m.  The sun is still up. 
I am going to Korea on Wednesday. Our flight leaves at 4:45 which means we have to be at the airport at 2:45... oh yeah... I forgot to mention that we are leaving 4:45 AM! Hahah should be a fun flight. The way the flights are scheduled, though, we should have enough time to actually be there for a little bit. Each time we went before, we flew in late at night. Hopefully we get to Korea early this time. 

We are losing about 10 missionaries this month. Quite a big drop in the missionary population but it will be alright. We are getting more missionaries in August or so! Sounds like a big party will be happening in August.

This week we were pretty successful when talking to people about the Church. We met a man on Wednesday. It was early morning as we were doing "C Schedule" and we were running low on time. We had to start heading back to our house and as we were walking back we saw a man who looked a bit darker. He didn't look Russian and we thought maybe we would talk to him, but when we looked at the time we saw that we didn't have enough time. As we were walking past him, I don’t know why, but I said hello. He had a blank look on his face and just said to us "English?" Haha We were super excited to hear that, we told him we spoke English and he was so relieved to hear it.

His name was Santiago and he was here for a week on vacation but he didn't speak any Russian. He was happy to speak to us and asked what we were doing here. We explained that we were missionaries and he said to us "Hold up, you are never going to believe this.. I was baptized into your church when I was 8 years old because of my Grandmother" Haha he lived in the Dominican Republic then moved to Europe to teach Spanish at a school and was on vacation in Russia when we met him. He had to go shortly after that, but we told him to find the missionaries wherever he is in the world because we are always ready to help him. We met a couple of other foreigners and spoke to them in English, which they thought was a big relief. There was one man from Peru, a young man from Switzerland and an old German couple also. They were all happy to find someone who spoke English and we even helped some of them find out which way they needed to go. It was a good week.

I am thankful for the chance to be on a mission and I hope you are all grateful to be where you are as well. There is a reason why you are where you are. Find that reason. Awaken every morning with a grateful heart and get some work done:) I miss you much! And hope everything is going good in the ‘Tuke!   And don’t forget to...

Stay Frosty,

Elder Gardner

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