Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Lot's of Travel

This week was a great week.  I was busy 24/7. Unfortunately, we didn't have a ton of time to meet with our church members and serve them but we worked in different cities and that was really fun!  

Last Monday night I left for the airport and the other elders took me there. I went through security and after that I was on my own for 6 hours or so.  It was weird being by myself.  It has been a long time since that has happened.  J   I could just walk on over to the vending machine at the airport and I didn't have to ask anyone to watch me or come with me. I felt like I didn't know what to do.  I could walk wherever I wanted. Nobody cared. I could go to the bathroom and take as long as I wanted because I didn't have anyone waiting for me. Ha ha.  Super strange. 

Anyways, I flew to Khabarovsk and met the missionaries and from there flew to Vlad. I worked in Artyom for a few hours and get yelled at a couple times and then went on out to Korea :)  Artyom is a small city and there are a ton of Jehovah Witnesses. People think that we are "J-Dubs" and get upset - but that’s okay we met a couple really nice people too. Upon arriving in Korea we booked it on over to the temple and made it in time to go shopping at the distribution center. I bought a pocket size set of scriptures for myself and some tie tacks for members in Irkutsk.  Then we had a chance to go do some work in the temple and it was super cool.  My first time in almost a year! I miss the temple, it is such a peaceful place to be. After that we got some Micky-D's and went to bed. We didn't know it but there was a guy in the temple who is Russian and he was staying at the temple for a whole month before going back to Khabarovsk. He knew a few of the Elders who were with us and it was a cool little reunion for them.  

On the trip back from Korea to Irkutsk I stopped in Khabarovsk again and spent a day there working. We met a wonderful lady on the bus from the airport to their apartment and we got to talk with her about her baby. It was the cutest baby I have seen in a long time.  She loved talking and laughing haha. Anyways I finally got back to Irkutsk on Thursday at midnight.  On Friday during the day we worked. Then Friday night we went to the train station and hopped on a train headed to Ulan-Ude. We got there 8 hours later at 7 am and spent the day there working with the Elders. Super fun.  I had a chance to meet one of their investigators who LOVES American Football. He had a Giants jersey, hat, and a real helmet too. We played some catch and he seems like a super cool guy. We always seem to find the coolest people in Ulan-Ude. Anyways, we took a train back late on Saturday night and got to Irkutsk at 7 AM Sunday morning. We went home, showered, studied and then went to church to have a ward council meeting. This week was definitely not a boring week.  J

I had a wonderful opportunity to Skype with President Perkinson last week.  We also had on the line a member of the mission presidency who is Russian.  We talked about how to help one of the members in a different city with his debt problems and I could just tell that President Perkinson was in the zone. Financing and business issues are his bread and butter. It was cool to see him think it all through in his head and it was great how we all counseled together to come to a conclusion that was right for the situation. We as missionaries were there to translate for the 2 of them. It was a bit challenging but fun. How do you say "Captial Expenditure" in Russian? haha 

On a lighter note, I finally got a package sent off to you! I have been trying to do it for a while now and finally did it.  J   I wish I could pat myself on the back for being timely and quick... but I originally planned to send that package 2 months ago. haha.  

Speaking of Korea though, I hadn't thought about it but you are right! I am really accustomed to the Korean airport, I know all the landmarks that you see when looking out the window of the bus and all the bus stops on the way to the temple:) It seems like second nature - weird. I have not seen the northern lights yet, although I haven't been looking for them. Maybe I will keep my eyes out. We might not be north enough since we are pretty close to Mongolia.

There is no news about our investigators here in Irkutsk but hopefully next week I will have something to say :)

Oh yeah by the way, President Perkinson is flying out this Saturday for a Zone Conference. We will have a leadership meeting that starts at 9 am and then after that the regular meeting starts and we won’t end until 5 pm. I like the way he runs his meetings because he centers them on the principle of a "Council". Everyone adds what they think is important and it is a lot more interesting than having someone stand up and talk to us for 8 hours.

I have been a little bit sick for the past few days. I have a slight cough but I am eating lots of hot soup (I.E. Ramen) and drinks with Vitamins (Nesquick chocolate milk) so I should be healthy really soon. I hope you all have a wonderful week and stay happy, safe and healthy :)

I love you a lot and I am thankful for your great example to me!

Elder Gardner

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