Monday, April 11, 2016

Another Week in Paradise

Our week was good. We have been very busy trying to find some new investigators. We went tracting, which for those of you who don't know is knocking on doors. We normally approach a house and there is a key pad near the door. You press the number of the apartment you want to call and then their house phone rings up in the apartment. They answer, we say "Hello, we are volunteers here. Could you please open the door?" then if they are in a good mood or if they didn't hear your accent, they push a button on their phone and the metal door demagnitizes and you can open it up. You climb the stair well to the top floor and start knocking. We heard somewhere that an odd number of knocks is more friendly than an odd number. Normally 3 or 5 knocks. I am a fan of 3, Elder Bates does 5. Then you wait 30 seconds. If nobody answers then you move on. They might look through the peephole and then shout "Who is it?" You then shout back "We are missionaries" Sometimes you can add on "Is a strong family important to you?" or maybe "We are sharing a message about Jesus Christ". My personal favorite is the family line. People get weird when you say "God" or "Jesus". It happens often that people don't answer the door at all. It seems to be pretty normal to just ignore the people knocking at your door if you don't know them. After talking to all the people on the top floor you go down a floor and continue. It was pretty scary at the beggining of my mission but now I am used to it.

That is funny that Ethan's friends didn't want him to go to Russia. I really like it here, it is such an experience. I love the Russian people and have such a great desire to help those I see, the problem is getting through to them. We all put up walls and it makes it hard to let others in. The only way we can really grow though is by letting others in and working to love and support those around us.


I am sad to hear about Uncle Hack, but I know that we will see him again. It reminds me of the talk given by Bonnie L. Oscarson. You know the Plan of Salvation but do you really believe it? I hope we can all believe it and come to believe it over time.


Our luau is coming up this week. This Saturday in Vlad will be the Luau and we are all singing the song "How can I be?" It is a Ukulele song. We translated the words into Russian and will be doing a performance with a member named Zhenya. I really like this song, and if you haven't heard it before then I would encourage you to listen. I don't know how Hawaiian Sister Stevenson is... she couldn't even remember who Queen Liliuokalani was. No worries, we will all go to the Hukilau and cast our nets out into the sea and when all the ama ama come a swimmin' to me life will be good.


We watched conference and it was really great. We had 4 members show up on Saturday and 5 show up on Sunday. Of course it is less than desired but I am glad that those who did come had the chance to hear the words of our Prophet and apostles. I personally really loved Elder Dallin H. Oaks talk from Sunday afternoon as well as Paul V. Johsnon and W. Christopher Waddell. I really liked them all but I don't want to write down all of their names so I will just name those 3:) haha


My finger is doing great, I am getting another shot today. This one should be the last shot until June. Then in June will be my last shot forever:) At first the shots didn't hurt too bad but the last one was killer. It stayed sore for over a week, I couldn't touch it haha it was pretty bad! Then the one in my back was sore for 2 weeks and I couldn't lean back in my chairs because that made it sting. It wasn't too fun, but I am grateful for the experience. I now can better sympathize with those who have it worse than I do. It really is a blessing:)

Even after seeing the certificate we are getting shots just to be sure. And I have already done most of the shots. I don't wanna give up halfway through!


I love you so much and hope you all have a great week.


Elder Gardner

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