Well it wasn't me needing to visit the Clinic, but this last week I had the luck of bringing my third companion to the clinic. I've become pretty aquainted with the Russian medical system, and explaining symptoms in Russian. Since last Thursday, Elder Gardner hasn't been feeling too good. Sowe went to a clinic in the center here in Barnaul. It wasn't too great, kinda dirty, and the Doctor there wasn't really professional. Long story short, after being in contact with the mission doctor who lives in Moscow, we were refered to a specialist and scheduled an appointment in Novosibirsk at a better clinic.
We woke upat in the morning to make them anyways. So there's me making pancakes at right before our five hour bus ride to Novo. The bus there a little over half full, so we had a bit of room and it wasn't too bad. I slept most of the way anyways. Since it was so early, there wasn't much traffic, and we had time to stop into the "I'm Siberian" store that was near by the clinic before his appointment. We saw a doctor who perscribed him a medicine, and scheduled an ultrasound for . (You can get your baby guesses in within the next week.) :) Then it was to the mission office where we ran into Elder Aubrey! It's been 14 months since he and I served together back in Tomsk. That was still one of my favorite transfers. Updated with the Turmans, who then invited us over for dinner when we come back for Elder Gardner's follow up visits. By 6 we were back on a bus to Barnaul. There was not an empty seat on the bus, and Russians don't believe in open windows, or air conditioning or so it seems. It was a Hot, crowded, miserable 5 hours. But we're still alive and well.
Transfer update. So a year ago we had almost 100 missionaries in our mission, and by the time July comes, we'll be down to mid 40's. So areas are being closed down with every passing transfer. Sisters will be taken out of Barnaul as there are just not enough of them anymore! Sowill be their last day here. Sister Lohrey goes home to Alaska , and Sister West will be transfered somwhere else. It'll just be two companionships of elders now. I've never been in a district without sisters before, so we'll see how that goes!
Before we went to Novosibirsk, we were having weekly planning and got a call from Arman. He was over at the branch and a guy came in who wanted to talk with us. So we went over having no idea who it could be. We were greeted by the smell of Alchohol and a clearly hung over man named Denis. We sat and met with him and just talked with him. He had a close friend that died the day before and had evidently drowned it all out with the alchohol. When life is hard, people turn to God. We introduced to him concepts from the Plan of Salvation. We had a conversation like this.
us: Do you believe in God?
us: Do you believe in Jesus Christ
us: Do you believe that Jesus Christ is our Savior?
him: ... .. Can I play on that Piano??
So we let him play on the piano. He evidently played at some point in his life as he knew how even though it was pretty horrible. He even sang a bit, and it was quite commical. As he was playing and we were sitting there, I took a bit of a mental step back to see Denis at peace. Something he probably hasn't felt in a long time. Even though we weren't in lesson mode teaching him doctrine, it felt right to just let him have his moments of peace. As he was playing it seemed that he forgot about his worries. I don't know what'll happen with him, or if he will go anywhere in the teaching process, but he was in the branch at that time because he has a loving Heavenly Father.
That was our week. In short. I hope you are all enjoying the spring weather, and are studying/working hard.
Pictures:Clinic in Barnaul
Elder Gardner on the phone with the mission doctor
I'm Siberian Bear!
Plastic Booties for the Novosibirsk Clinic