Sveiki my Wonderful Family!
Well can you believe that this is my last P-day in the MTC? I can’t believe it. I got my travel plans! I leave from Salt Lake City at 4:50pm on April 16. We (me Elder Bergeson, Davies, and Maliwauki) fly straight from SLC to Paris! (LONG flight!) and arrive at 11:15am on April 17th. From there we leave at 2:10pm and go right on to Riga, Latvia and arrive at 5:50pm. So only 2 flights to get all the way there! Lucky we don’t have to switch around much, but I won’t have too much time to call you all. I would probably have more time in Paris to call family and friends, but I couldn’t get an international calling card here. So I will try to call quickly from salt lake around like 3ish PM on April 16th.
Time is going So fast here right now. I just wish I had a couple more days to keep working on the language. But, I know that it will come easier if I am immersed in the language. I am so excited to get to Latvia. My mission president wrote us and said that we will go right out and contact for a bit when we arrive. I’m actually super excited. I have been writing down a bunch of conversation starters to contact people on the street and ways I can bring it into the message of the restoration.
The flu has been going around the MTC this past week. I have been very lucky to not get sick since elders in my district have gotten it. We’re all praying the flu bug will pass and it will stop spreading. I think it has calmed down a bit.
How was Easter for all of you? Easter here was wonderful! Guess who came to our meeting? President Boyd K. Packer! We have been so lucky to have 3 Apostles come while we have been in the MTC. They say that it is unheard of here. But we were just here at the right time I guess. 🙂 President Packer said something that I want to share. He talked about our testimonies and that we can’t explain how, but we just KNOW the things we know. It’s indescribable. We can try to explain how we feel the spirit, but how is it that we actually know?
I thought about how I actually know. And I realized that yes, I can’t explain how, I just KNOW that Joseph Smith restored the true gospel and I just KNOW that the Book of Mormon is true. I just KNOW there is a God. I just KNOW that Christ is my Savior and the Redeemer of the world. It really is amazing how we can know such things.
I have thought a lot about the Restoration and what that really means to me lately. I was writing in my journal when I realized that the Restoration is everything to me! I have always had a testimony of it but I realized that it is why I do what I do, why I say what I say, why I act how I act, and why I believe what I believe. It is everything I am. It is my soul. I have the relationship I do with my Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ because of the Restoration. I have the peace and the hope because of the restoration. I would not be “Maddie” without it. I would be a lost spirit.
Keith Mcmullin spoke at our devotional. He talked about when we share our message we are only reminding people of things that they already know. God has been preparing His children to hear the message of the restored Gospel as much as they will let him.
Many times the things we teach will not feel completely “new” to the people we teach, but familiar and wonderful. Like we are reminding them of a wonderful peaceful memory. He told us to not only pray to find the people who are ready to hear the message, but also that they will find us. I have kept that a part of my prayers now.
There is a Sister from Latvia who is here right now. She is serving at Temple Square. She is the best! She always runs up and hugs me and starts spitting out the fastest Latvian I’ve ever heard. I try my best to communicate back with her. She is so sweet though, and always just smiles and says (fast) “Oh I’m so happy you’re going to my home!!!!!”
I love her. I already know I am going to love the people in Latvia so much, because my heart is overwhelmed with love for them and I haven’t even gotten there yet.
I forgot to give a song of the week last week, but it’s ok because this song has kind of been the song for 2 weeks now. We sang it on Easter. It is called “Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer” by Brett Stewart. It’s not the hymn, it’s a different arrangement. I hope you can find a video of it Caye, because it is SO beautiful! It is such a powerful song and has such a wonderful message. I cried every time we practiced it and sang it. There are so many lines I love from it, but one that I love says,
“Keep thy loving arms around us; keep us in the narrow way.
Precious Savior, dear Redeemer let us never from thee stray.”
It is such a beautiful song.
Also just in case you are all wondering, yes I have talked to David Archuletta. He is really sweet and always runs to hold the door open for everyone.
Well, I don’t have much time, but I love you all so much and I can’t wait to hear from you soon! Don’t send any letters or dear elders after Friday because I won’t get them. We don’t get mail over the weekend and I leave before I can get them on Monday. I LOVE you all more than I can say and I hope you have a wonderful week! Next time you hear from me I will be in LATVIA! Crazy how fast time flies. I am going to miss the MTC so much. It has seriously been so great here. I have loved every second of it. Even the hard ones, because during the hardest moments are when I grew the most.
LOVE YOU ALL!