Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Rabies Shots - ouch

Hey there :) I am glad to hear from you, it always is the best part of my week! We are getting pretty warm here in Russia, pretty soon we will stop wearing our jackets. It feels like I was just in Angarsk a month ago with Elder Brown but I realize that that was already last summer. Time flies really quickly.

I got the package last week about 5 minutes after I got off the computer haha but I did not get any letters yet. They will be here soon though, they should be anyways. The Phase 10 cards are a BIG hit here! The entire Artyom Branch says thank you. This week was a good week, and we were doing a lot of work on the computer. We have been trying to finish this Branch History project and work on some other projects going on. It is pretty boring working on the computer just typing up information all day, I hope my job never consists of doing that because I might go crazy!

We got our transfers this week and Elder Siebach is leaving for Ussurisk. I am staying and getting a new companion named Elder Bates. I have heard lots of good things about him, he came in with Elder Tracy and apparently speaks really good Russian. I am excited! You only have 1 transfer left of school and I have 3 left on my mission. That's so soon. I can't believe how fast time flies.
This week we had few people at church, there were 3 sisters and 3 brothers plus the missionaries. Two of the sisters left after Sacrament meeting and two of the brethren left also. It’s not about quantity though it’s about quality. I think we had a really good lesson in 2nd hour with our member and he learned a lot. We filled some water balloons up for our lesson. One we blew up with air. The second was filled half-way with water and the third was full completely of water. We said that we are the balloons, the water is the Holy Ghost and the lighter that we held up to the balloons was temptation. It helped show that we need the Holy Ghost in our lives if we want to avoid temptations and sin. The air-filled balloon popped right away. The one with half water didn't pop as long as the fire didn't touch the top half where there wasn't water. The balloon full of water though didn't pop at all. I think the lesson turned out pretty well :)

Any cool experiences? I have been pretty stressed this past week. We were trying hard to get a lot accomplished and I was trying hard to fight back feelings of "We aren't getting anywhere, this is frustrating" and then on Saturday one of our members started yelling during the lesson and cussing. Haha yeah that was also stressful, but I really know that prayer works. I really couldn't explain it but sitting there and taking a second to say a prayer really helped. Thanking God for all that he has given me and for all the good things that have happened recently helped me stay sane. I know that God wants to hear from us and we will feel comfort when we take the time to turn to him and tell him how we are feeling.
So now... I know everyone wants to know... What about the monkey?

Well my friends, there was a little reptile exhibit here in Artyom recently and we decided to check it out. It was Elder Siebach’s last P-day in Artyom so we wanted to make it special. We went in and saw a monkey sitting on a cage, a couple lizards in glass boxes, a huge crocodile and some other random animals. The monkey was the center of attention of course. How cool is that? A monkey! Well I squatted down next to it to take a picture and he started to get interested in me, and started pulling my lips open to see what I had in my mouth. He wanted my gum. I let him look around but he didn't see the gum so he gave up. A few minutes later we came back to the monkey and I held out my hands to play with it. He was acting like a cat and was trying to bite my fingers, cutely at first. I thought it was playful so I didn't really think anything of it... and then he got a hold of my pinky finger. The rest is history. Just watch the video and you'll see what happened after that :)
He bit through my skin and we washed it off with alcohol and put a band-aid on it but went to the doctor’s office just to be sure. I got 2 shots, one in my back right below my left shoulder blade and another in my left arm. They do shots basically the same way as in America. The lady didn't warn me that she was going to put the needle in me, she just started talking quickly about what the shots do and why I am getting them to distract me while she stabbed me with drugs. I only cried for a few minutes:p  I have 5 more return appointments in the next 2 weeks to get more shots and then a final shot will be in June. I am cleaning my finger every day with alcohol and some green colored liquid that smells like a doctor’s office. I am also wrapping it with some sterile bandages just to be on the safe side. It’s all very precautionary, the cut isn't big at all but we are doing this all just to make sure I don't get RABIES! I have noticed though that now I am doing everything very fancily. I have a lot more etiquette and class. (See Photos Below)

I forgot to mention it last week but last week we got stuck in our elevator for an hour and a half. The power just went out and we couldn't press any buttons. The lights were still on for a little bit longer which was nice but after 40 minutes or so they went out. They ended up pulling the elevator somehow from the first floor up to the 3rd floor and letting us out on the 3rd floor because the second floor and first floor doors wouldn't open. It's always an adventure :)
This transfer everyone is leaving Atryom except me. 
Remember how I said we went to the pottery place here in Artyom? Well they cooked my cups and they all turned out nicely :) We went back and dipped them in milk and after a 30 minute cook they were done and turned out really nicely! Maybe I will send them home and you can drink from and enjoy them.

Other than that though I am not sure what happened this week. I hope you have a good day today and I hope you didn't worry too much about me yesterday! Not the best birthday present ever haha.

I love you

Elder Gardner

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