Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Eating raw pumpkin

It’s always great to hear from you! I am glad to hear that you had a warm day this week :) I was thinking the same thing about us that we have been having pretty warm weather here recently.  When I say we had warm weather I mean that it was nice because you could go out without having the wind hurt too bad as it blew into your face :)
All is well, right now I am eating a raw pumpkin, cut up into small cubes and with sugar poured all over em. Pretty tasty :) We had a good week this week. We had lots of time to talk to people on the streets and to serve people. We haven't been doing lots of service projects but we have had plenty of opportunities to do good deeds daily and that is such a blessing.

There are some days when you go out with a bunch of plans. You have people set up that you’re going to meet with and they agreed to meet. Then the first person you agreed to visit got sick, so you go contacting for an hour and a half. Then the 2nd person doesn't answer their phone and they don't come to the church to meet with you. So you go contacting some more. After that you get ready to have a great English practice and you prepare everything to have a great discussion and you invite a bunch of people and they all agree to come. Then nobody comes. And you go contact some more. On days like those, it really makes all the difference when you see a grandmother and she gives you a big smile even if she is missing some teeth and the ones remaining are made of gold :) Or when you see an older person walking very carefully down a snowy set of stairs and you can come to give a hand and a smile. Those simple acts become such valuable little treasures on days when everything else goes wrong.

 34 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
We had a great Sunday yesterday, 23 people came to church! That’s the most we have had in a long time. It was a good day. Lots of people got up to bear their testimonies and we didn't have any awkward pauses in between people. We have been working hard to get people to be more consistent. It's great because we normally have 15 or so show up. And normally it includes random people that haven't come for a long time and then some regular members who don't come. If only we could get each member to come each Sunday... oooh boy then we would have something great going here :)

Lion :) Rawr
We accidentally visited the hospital at the wrong time this week. We went to go see a lady who had broken her leg and we were bringing her some Sudoku booklets and a magazine. We didn't know, nobody said anything either so we went at the wrong time but then the hospital workers got a bit upset at us. We told them that we weren't Russian and they understood. J  They gave us 3 minutes to give her the books and to get gone. I am glad that they were so patient because we hadn't seen her for over a week.  It was nice to see Galina. Hopefully soon she will be out of the hospital and her leg will be better. She broke it slipping on the ice.
Speaking of falling on the ice, I have fallen 2 times already but they haven't been bad falls. Both really slow. But another time we were walking along this dirt trail at night and I stepped near a metal fence thing sticking out of the ground. I didn't see it and it caught my foot and I ate it. I fell face first and landed really hard on my front hahaha it was so bad it knocked the wind out of me haha. I wish we could have gotten it on video!

Yeah we have a big 60 inch flat screen in our apartment except it doesn't have access to the stations. Well... normally it doesn't have access but we were fiddling around and accidentally figured out how to connect to the satellite. Don't tell anyone! Haha just kidding we don't watch it, even if we wanted to we couldn't. I broke the cable.
We have one investigator right now. We taught the first lesson to a new lady this week but we are letting the sisters teach her because they connect better with her. You know how girls are. :) We do mostly street contacting and tracting and teaching lessons. We haven't had a lot of time to do much else. Those are the big activities each day. Members sometimes help with missionary work but not too often.

I hope you have a good week this week, I don't really have a whole lot of news.

I love you.

Elder Gardner

Letter to Cameron.  She asked what do you keep in your pocket:

We still walk the streets every day like in other cities. We see multiple cats every day, at least 8 a day. They are everywhere!
Normally I carry a few small notebooks in my bag along with about 20 pens, family photos, the scriptures, a paper with the words in Russian written down for how to give blessings, a notebook with a bunch of scriptures written in it (a cheat sheet to remember where important verses are), a church magazine, some invitations to our church building, some of those CTR rings and a ward list. I also have my nail clippers, flashlights and sticky notes in a pocket of my bag. Then in my pockets I have a chapstick, flashdrive, camera, wallet, daily planner, and maybe some pieces of gum if I think we will be on the street for a while :)

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