Monday, July 25, 2016

The best two years

It’s good to hear from you!
It is hard for me to even imagine waking up and not being a volunteer anymore... It is difficult to think that there will be a day when I will wake up and not be in Russia anymore. I will miss this place dearly. I am excited to see you all! I am also very excited to eat some Mexican food :) haha but don't worry I am more glad to see you all than to eat Mexican food.

I think it would be fun to have some people meet me at the airport when I get home :) However, I personally don't feel like I am that big of a deal - I can't see why someone would want to do that unless they were my family - but they are free to come of course if they would like!

Megan sent me an email saying I have about 9 days left now. Pretty crazy. I am happy to be on a mission but I know I will also be happy to be off my mission. It's hard to say exactly what I am feeling because I have such mixed feelings. I am so jealous of the Elders and Sisters that get to serve here longer. The Russian people are so great and I wish I could still be a part of this wonderful experience. But at the same time I will be glad to get back home and to start working and putting some hours in of my own. For the past 2 years I have spent my days serving others.  I am looking forward to going to school and starting the next phase of my life. I am glad that we are still so close nowadays thanks to the internet. It is so great! But any time you want to go to Russia and would like a tour guide just call me up because I would love to go back.
I am glad that Ethan is enjoying his service. There aren't really any words to describe the experience, but there are a lot of clichés that could work. "The Best 2 years" is one of them.

I don't expect any baptisms this last week. We don't have anyone that is ready. There are a few but they still require more lessons to be taught and they haven't been showing up to church or activities recently. I am sad because of it, but I don't worry. I know that they know what they need to do and I believe that they will do what they know is right.
Our week was a good week. We did some yard work at the church, we did some yard work for a member, we spent some time with people who came into the church. We had some good time to study and we visited an old lady, a less-active member. She was very happy to see us and we were happy to see her. We just talked about her life and what's going on and I think she really enjoyed it. At least I am hoping she did! Haha

I wish I could say what the future of Russia is going to be but I don't know. I don't really worry about the work anyways. I can only see good things coming from it though. In the past there has been this feeling of "Us" and "Them" Them being the members and Us being the volunteers. Now we are moving towards more of a "we" atmosphere and that requires us to work together. I am proud of the church members here and I proud to know them. I heard that a similar situation was in Belarus a number of years ago. So if you can find out how Belarus dealt with their situation then I would assume that we are going to act similarly.

Can't wait to see you!
You’re the best

Elder Gardner

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