Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Happy 4th of July

Hey there! It's nice to hear from you. This week was a good week! We were in Vladivostok until Friday evening. Then we had a sports night and Saturday was full of planning and helping the Hare Krishna people cook food for homeless people .  We also got to clean the church and we had a lesson with our investigator. It was a busy day and it was really great. I love the Hare Krishna people. They are so nice and friendly and they are really anxious to share what they know with others. I think that is a good trait they have that we could do better about sometimes.

Everyone is talking about that new legislation that they want to pass, and some people are really REALLY worried about it. I see it as an obstacle, yes. But at the same time we need to remember where we are. Yes, we are in Russia but where else are we? We are on earth. We are children of an all-wise and all-loving heavenly parent who is in charge here. Putin is the president of this wonderful country but there is someone who is greater than all presidents combined. That is our Heavenly Father and God. He is more kind and loving and merciful to his saints than we can even imagine. I think that those who get very upset and worried when things seem to be going wrong lack faith. That is something the Hare Krishna people have demonstrated to me, they have a rock solid belief that everything that happens is for a reason. I like that about them. When we know that our Heavenly Father is in charge of this whole earth thing and when we truly deep down know that he won't let anything happen that isn't for our good, then we won't feel so scared when listening to the news.   I don't want to understate the problem in front of us but I know that there is an answer out there and it is just up to us to work our tails off and go find the answer.

This week was a great week.  We had Zone Conference in Vladivostok and I got the opportunity to lead a discussion about the Russian Language. We are learning some fun phrases and trying to sound more like actual people when we teach and speak to people. There are some here who study the Russian language just by studying the Scriptures and the Hymns. That's good and all but if that's all you study then that is how you will speak. You will sound like a weird Shakespearian guy.  Ha ha  We need to inject some real human-ness into our work and it will all go a lot better.
Our Sunday meetings were really inspirational. I have been thinking about using more parables in teaching because that seems to really help people understand what you are teaching. Jesus did it, and we should do it too. Lots of the testimonies that were born during Testimony meeting were stories and examples from our members’ lives and the connections they made to the gospel just from living an average life. I really enjoyed it.

I wish I had more to say, but any attempt I have made to put my thoughts and feelings into words has just not done it justice. I love you a lot and I know that this Church is really all that it claims to be. I am so grateful to be a part of it :)
Love Elder Gardner

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