Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Chill is in the Air

It is weird to think that it is already November.  Time is flying. We are working on setting up a Thanksgiving party here in Irkutsk. Hopefully we can get some tasty food and some member help and this will be a great learning opportunity for the branch. I am glad you liked the pictures from last week. I have not been doing too great about sending pictures on a regular basis. I will try to be better! 

Do you remember the picture of the "No Pooping" sign that I sent last week. That is actually a real problem... Just this morning, about 20 minutes ago on the walk over to this internet cafe, we saw a man on the side of the road with his pants around his ankles... squatting haha. I am not sure if you want to put this up on the blog but I thought it was pretty funny :)

I think the Hare Krishna guy is way nice, they always are. The only problem is when they believe everyone is correct - but everyone has conflicting doctrine. There has to be a line drawn somewhere. He enlightened us on a lot of interesting things about their beliefs that I didn't know before. I see a lot of good ideas in what they believe and I really think that their faith makes people better than if they had no belief at all in God.

The Youth Genealogy thing looked super successful. Where was it held? I don't recognize the place. Maybe it is Dad's office? I have no clue:) I have been trying to learn more about Family History work and I would like to help some of our members learn how to do it. The only problem is that I don't really know how to do it myself. I know how to search through your existing family tree to find people who are ready for baptism, but I am not too sure what to do when you don't have a tree. One of our members is retired and we tried to set up an account for him. We went through the steps to create an account and we typed in all the information about his grandparents that he remembers. Now we have a family tree that is 2 or 3 generations big and we don't know what to do from here. I assume we now have to start calling different cities and emailing churches where the relatives were born or where they grew up asking for the records to be sent to us... right? I am not too sure, but as I have been reading through some older Liahonas (from the early 2000's) there are lots of cool stories about family history work. Maybe you can shed some light on the subject?
This week we had a good week. We visited a few different members. The member that sent you the picture of me in a scout uniform gave me a little lapel pin that has the Scout logo and motto on it:) Всегда Готов (Vsegda Gotov) "Always Ready". He also gave me an old Soviet Union pocket watch. I held it up and asked him how much it cost. He said "Oh it doesn't run, you can just take it". I didn't ask any questions haha I just took it:) After replacing the battery, everything works great and it is a pretty cool piece of history. 

Another day we visited the member who we were helping do Family History Work and he saw the scout pin that I had gotten. He said "Hold on, I want to give you something" he then went into another room, and when he came back he had in his hands 2 lapel pins and 2 fresh onions. He grew the onions himself and he was very proud:) He is one of my favorite members. 

On another day we went to visit our investigator and helped him work on a project for his work. We are going to sing for his video he is making and this video is to help kids believe in God. Its like the D.A.R.E. Program back at school. Don't do drugs, don't drink alcohol, believe in God, all good things. He is on his 3rd or 4th video and they are really popular. 

They have these water pumps scattered all around the city. They are free pumps for people to wheel big jugs and fill them up and take them home to their houses. Some houses don't have running water which is why they are so common. 
On Friday we helped a lady shovel snow and bring some firewood into her house and then she fed us some pirozhki. Bread with mashed potatoes on the inside. She then gave us her recipe and we talked about food, and Russia, and how everyone loves Putin. She is a die-hard Putin fan and I can see why.
Making tacos....yum
This week was pretty good:) We are all trying to figure out what the transfers will be because we have lots of new missionaries flying in and not a whole lot of open spots. Most missionaries are already training someone right now, so it will be very interesting to see how everything works out:) 

This week I realized something important. Gratitude is very important. The 29th verse of Doctrine and Covenants section 59 has been stuck in my head for a while:

 21 And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.

Thinking about this verse in a very real sense makes it very apparent that gratitude is one of the things I need to work on most of all. We should confess his hand in ALL things. I love the quote by President McKay:

"Let us realize that: the privilege to work is a gift, the power to work is a blessing, the love of work is success!" Even when we work with our own hands it is thanks to God and isn't anything that we did on our own without his help. 

Love you all,
Elder Gardner


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