Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Sunday in Sakhalin


This week on the island was a good one. We taught a lot of lessons and our investigators are progressing well. We had a few lessons planned with investigators and new members and they invited their friends to the lessons. We made some new friends this week and I am grateful for the chance that we have to teach people about the happy message of the gospel. I am so grateful now and I didn't realize how blessed I was earlier in my life that our family is so strong and together. It is something that not every person has in their life and I am so grateful that I have it. Thank you, Dad, for being a good father. Good fathers seem to be few and far between. 

That is so great that there are lots of changes happening in the lives of our loved ones. Change is definitely not always easy but its what we need I think. I can't imagine staying at the same point I am at right now and being happy with that. I hope I never stop changing, learning and growing. 

This Sunday we had a special Sunday. During sacrament meeting we had 2 people get up and speak to us about self-reliance and then our 2nd and 3rd hours of church were focused on starting the church's Self-Reliance program in the Sakhalin branch. It was fun learning about that kind of stuff. It seems like really useful knowledge and something that I will need in the very very near future:p 

I was sitting next to some Americans who live in the branch and translating for them. They work for Exxon. So their living situation is pretty sweet. The company Exxon pays for their living arrangments and electricity and basically everything they need to live except for food and clothing. The company really takes care of their Americans who work for them here in Russia. So they have a really really great thing going for them. These Americans don't really need to learn about Self-reliance, they already are rolling in the dough so we just chatted the whole time. We talked about jobs and life and what they do for a living and what I think I might want to do for a living. One man said the starting salary for someone coming into Exxon would be around 100k. I don't know if that's exactly right because that seems very high... but he would know better than I would!
I mentioned that I liked pottery but wasn't sure how to make a living and support a family off of pottery. They told me that I had a few options. I could get REALLY good at pottery and become the best at that in order to support my family. Or I could get another job that I maybe didn't like as much as pottery and use that to support my family, and do pottery on the side as a hobby. Or I could become a teacher and do that until I could figure out how to make a pottery business lucrative. Or I could keep my options open and try lots and lots of things my first years of college and see what else tickles my fancy as much as pottery. He said maybe I just like working with my hands and would be interested as well in welding or some other activity similar to pottery. I think I still want to keep my options open of course. I am a fan of lots of different things in life, I don't think I have found my niche yet. I think it will come though in college. 

I mentioned that I liked robotics and programming too, that I thought that was a cool area. I also told them how I was on the underwater robotics team in highschool and we did pretty good. He then started telling me about these underwater robots that they use on oil rigs 5,000 feet deep in the ocean. Now THAT sounds cool! Haha he also said that the robotics field is in need. They have such a long ways to go in that field and there is a lot to be discovered, but there just isn't a whole lot of interest in that field or there aren't enough people to work in that field so he recommended that I keep that as an option. I think that would be very cool. I could move back to Sakhalin at age 25 with my wife and be making big money and working on robots 5,000 feet deep. That isn't the worst idea I have ever heard. Of course there are a lot of dominoes that would have to fall into place to make it happen but I could see that being a real possibility. I don't know... I feel like I need to dream bigger though... That plan I laid out is just too simple, too easy. I can do better, but I don't know what I would do yet. 

Anyways, my high was probably getting to talk with the American guys about work and life. One of them told me that he really really wanted to be a doctor and that's what he tried to become, but it didn't work out. And he is now working for Exxon and wouldn't go back and change it if he had the choice. It's interesting seeing how their lives worked out, what dreams they had and how it all unfolded to get them to where they are today. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? My low was probably that we didn't get to go tracting as much as I would have liked to but that's not the biggest deal. We still found 2 new investigators.  

I haven't eaten anything super interesting recently but we are planning on having some dog... Wish us luck! 
I hope you have a great week and don't forget to learn something new:)

Elder Gardner

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