Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Still snowing

Hey there! I am glad you liked the picture of us outside without coats, we were only outside for a few minutes luckily!  

Our attendance at church this week was a bit lower than we would have liked. Of course every Sunday is lower than we would like because we want EVERYONE to come! There were 15 people there this week. Not too bad, but we have seen better. 
This trip to Korea is going to be one of the last! You're right, it is pretty crazy, I can remember my very first one and each one since has been lots of fun.

It is great to see that Elder Rigs is home safe and sound. You are right, he is a very tall individual. He has a little saying "6' 4" to fit through the doors, but 6' 8" when I stand up straight". He went on almost every Visa trip with me and I really respect him. He is a great Elder and I look up to him in a physical sense but in a spiritual sense too :)

I am very jealous that you are going to visit Megan in a few weeks! That sounds great, although I don't know if she will have such warm weather like you have in AZ. I am glad to hear that you aren't freezing anymore in Arizona ha ha.  We still have some winter ahead of us - it was snowing today.  I am ready to get out of these jackets and long pants and boots. I really miss shorts and flip flops. I think I will quickly adapt back into Arizona weather.

I am glad to hear that everyone accepted me to go to college :) Out here on a mission some missionaries like to talk about their classes they took and what ACT and SAT scores they got. It is fun to compare. I honestly can't remember what my scores were and it’s probably better that way because I really didn't think they were that high.  There are some smart cookies out here.  As long as I don't tell people what my scores were they think that I smart person - but as soon as I tell them my scores they will know exactly where I rank haha.  It’s like that quote "Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt".
ASU fans are everywhere
I think I am still leaning towards BYU. I am not sure exactly why, but I am thinking that getting a change of venues will be fun. I also am still considering a career in entrepreneurship/business. Maybe something along the lines of robotics or electronics or maybe programming or web/app design.  Actually, I don't a clue haha.  But I am interested in those kinds of things so maybe BYU would be good because they have a good entrepreneurship program. Or maybe ASU would be good because I heard they have a good engineering program which would go in line with robotics or electronics.  Any thoughts?
Interesting pop up ad on my computer
I don't know if I want to be a CIA agent in Russia but I definitely have things that I want to do with Russian after the mission. I want to translate a lot of things into Russian because there are a ton of faith promoting things that only exist in English and it’s kinda sad. I really love the Russian saints here and I am surprised by how much faith they have. I want to help them and I can do a little part of that by translating some documents and other things into Russian. One example is the book "Jesus the Christ". There are maybe 100 copies of that book in Russian ever produced and it is a great book that helps better understand the life and teachings of Jesus. It would help the Russian people understand the gospel better.  That is one thing I would like to do that once I get back from my mission :)
Our investigator is good I guess... We didn't have a chance to meet with him this week. He didn't come home from work and his wife was really worried about him. They are having strained relations right now and it doesn't seem like they had a good week. There are always ups and downs, hopefully we can meet with him this week and help him overcome his concerns. His concerns are not many, although his desire is also not very big. He says that he is Christian but he doesn't really know anything about the Bible or God other than the 10 commandments and the Jesus lived and died on a cross. It is basically like teaching a non-Christian. We talked about the Word of Wisdom last week and he didn't really take it very well. He believes that it is okay to drink black tea because it is more natural than the fruit tea we drink with all the dyes and preservatives added to it. We agreed with him and said we would drink only natural fruit tea if he would stop drinking black tea. He still couldn't commit. He also thinks that a little bit of alcohol is good and he has read some studies saying that a glass of wine or other alcohol will help keep you healthy.

We then have to testify of the truthfulness of the gospel and Joseph Smith and explain how everything we tell him depends on the Book of Mormon. If the Book of Mormon is true, that means that Joseph Smith is really a prophet who translated it by the power of God. If he is a prophet then we need to follow the commandments that God gave to us through Joseph. It was hard for him, and when we asked him simply to pray about the truthfulness of the Word of Wisdom he refused and it was sad for us. I still believe that he is a good guy and willing to change. He can do it :)
This week was a really good week, we had some missionaries visit us. Elders Williamson and Mark came to visit us and work with us for a day. It was great to see them. Elder Williams is a great elder and is really good about always testifying no matter where he is. That is something I can learn from him. Elder Mark is a Russian. He lives in Angarsk, where I served about 10 months ago with Elder Brown and Cluff. He didn't really come to church often back then. He came to play the piano and to play ping pong with us but wasn't super spiritual. Then he went on a mini mission and got excited about the gospel. Now he is going on another mini mission this time he is serving for 6 months. He is really cool, and sometimes eccentric but in a good way. He has a solid testimony that won't easily be shaken.   I see such an improvement in his life ever since he started putting the Lord first. It is a visible difference. That is my high for this week.  I know that the Gospel and Atonement of Jesus Christ can literally change people. I don't really know how, but your life will improve if you put Jesus Christ first in your life.

Stay frosty there in Arizona, and don't forget to smile :)

I love you a lot

Elder Gardner

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