Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Winter Fun

This week was way crazy but nevertheless a good week. We flew out last Sunday at midnight, landed in Vlad at 9:30, got to our Hostel around 1:00, relaxed for an hour or so and then went to try to find a place to email. We didn't find anything except for the Sony store. Sent an email then we went to Burger King for dinner and after that we ran over to the church to have a meeting with President Perkinson. We talked about respecting the Sister Missionaries. It’s not that we are doing a bad  job at it, we are simply not doing a great job. And the sisters deserve to be treated greatly so we need to do better. There is a difference between being ready to help the sisters with something they need, and asking each day "Hey what do you need? How can we help you?". They should feel like we are caring for them instead of them feeling like we are just here to help when they ask for it. Nobody likes to ask for help but if help is offered then it is a lot easier to accept it. 


The next day we had a meeting with President Klebingat. He is such a stud. (Hmm... Is that okay to say about a General Authority?)   But anyway, he is so dedicated to the Gospel and he has a very deep and practical understanding of the teachings of Christ. It is a great example to me that if you’re going to be a religious person it doesn't mean that you are going to be a weirdo and only talk about God all the time. He is a very successful individual and that is a sign of the fact that he puts God as priority number one. Seek first the Kingdom of God and everything else will fall into place.


We talked about that at Church this week too, and its pretty cool how it works. I honestly couldn't explain to you how, but I see it in our church members everywhere we go. The ones who come to church only on Sundays and don't really make any big strides or don't really try to do the Lord's will first, those are the ones who are less happy and feel like the church isn't really working for them. They can't see why they even come each week and it feels like the church is just another burden placed on them. Whereas on the other hand there are plenty of people who put the church and service to others and God as their top priority and they are happy, they find enough time to complete everything they needed and they are the strong members that everyone loves. 


Hmm.. Do I have any fun stories from our adventures? Well Vladivostok is very hilly. It is pretty bad, and I realized how out of shape I was because I was struggling,  pulling my suitcase all around through the snow and up and down hills. As we were searching for the Hostel, we walked up and down this one area of town like 10 times. We knew we were close because we were on the right street and people said it was near but we couldn't find it. It was pretty exhausting, but that’s not a very fun story haha:p As we were leaving the hostel to go back home after the trip, we had to walk up a super steep hill with all our suitcases and backpacks. It wasn't the worst thing the first day in Vlad because there was just snow packed down all over the roads and it was relatively grippy. Nobody fell the first day. The whole day before we left though, it rained and then we slept the night and when we woke up it was snowing. It was super icy and slippery on this hill and it took Elder Van Quill and me probably 10 minutes or so to figure out how to get to the top. We were going slow trying to not start slipping because once you start slipping on ice it’s really hard to stop and regain your footing. Pulling a suitcase up a hill didn't help either haha  We both climbed about 10 feet up this big hill and then slipped and slid back down to the bottom.  It was pretty comical to watch but also frustrating. Elders Tracy and Williams were at the top of the hill just watching us the whole time. They found a dry patch off to the side and didn't bother to tell us about it. We eventually found it and made it up the hill but boy was it a struggle. 

Russians, not the very sophisticated ones but the average Russians, are good at squatting. They don’t like to sit on the ground because the ground is dirty, and if you sit on a cold seat then you will become infertile. I don't know the science behind it but most Russians believe it. So I have been practicing my squats. The key is to get super low so you don't have to work very hard to hold the squat, and you don't want your legs to be super wide like a sumo wrestler stance (like in the 3rd picture where I am squatting in front of a big nesting doll, that is bad form). Sumo wrestler stance is easy, but the Russian way is hard to do. Your feet should be straight forward and no wider than shoulder width apart. Then you squat and your rear-end should touch your ankles and your knees are right up near your chest and it should hurt the fronts of your shins because you have to use that muscle to keep yourself from falling backwards haha. It's easy if you're skinny and kinda lanky. There is a member here who is 6' 6" but he’s skinny and he can squat lower than I can haha its crazy to watch:)
Squatting on Lenin St.

I hope you have a good week this week and don't freeze too bad in Arizona;) I will be sure to stay warm. I love you 


Elder Gardner


1 comment:

  1. This brought great visuals to my imagination and many laughs. I do appreciate the "Squatting Series" as well. I'll have to ask Elder Barr if he has mastered this Russian skill yet.