Hello dear family!
I don’t even know where to start. I will try to answer your questions first.
Yes the wind blows all the time, every day. I hear it’s the “best thing
about the summer” and “the worst thing about the winter”. I can
already imagine how cold it will be with the wind, but what an adventure.
As we like to say, “Why cry about bad weather? Enjoy it!”
And I do. When it starts to randomly pour I enjoy it. When the wind
blows so much I look like a disaster with my hair everywhere and
clothes everywhere by the time I get inside, I enjoy it. Laughing is
the best medicine I have found.
The weather is warming up though! Yesterday we walked down to the park
to meet a lady and we didn’t have to wear coats! The trees are
starting to bud and things are starting to become green. I love
Spring! And yes, my clothes are warm enough! My jackets and boots are
working out great! Thank you! 🙂
Hmm… well everything is going well. The language comes a little more
each day. I understand a little now! It’s not all gibberish anymore.
haha. Being immersed in the language sure does help the learning
process. Patience is key to learning
I have met so many wonderful people here. They are already so special
to me and I love them so much. There is this 17 year old girl named
Sintija who lives with her alcoholic grandma and little brother who is
7. Her mom is in England remarried and she doesn’t know where her dad
is. She is so strong in the Gospel and she takes care of Eriks (her brother)
herself. She is battling trying to be a sister, mom, and teenager all
at the same time. She is so great and I just love her. We have family
home evening with them every Monday and tonight we’re teaching Eriks
how to be a good example. Also Sintija is a champ at missionary work
and is trying to make more friends so she can bring them to church.
She is so awesome.
My district is super awesome! It’s just us four and we see each other
often. District meetings are fun and we get pastries from the local
bakery that are SO delicious (contrary to what people may say about
pastries in Latvia) We help each other out a lot and we all get along
and have fun. I’m grateful to have these good friends to serve with.
Well this week I had a lot of doors slammed in my face. My first door
slammed I looked at my companion, smiled, and said “the first of
many!” She probably thought it was weird but having the door slammed
in my face made me feel like a real missionary. haha.
But to share my own little miracle I’ll share some experiences from
contacting on the tram.
We are on an experimental schedule and we go out at 8 and contact on
the tram to try and catch people going to work. I prayed so hard that
I would be able to talk with someone who would listen and want to
learn more. Faith is the most important thing. I know that I have to
believe that someone WILL listen if I am going to find someone who
So I went out fully believing that someone would want to
hear the message I had to share. I talked to a lot of people on the
tram and a lot of them just don’t even respond. (which is actually
sometimes funny… I just say “Good Morning” or “How are you?” or
“Beautiful day isn’t it?”…still no response and I just giggle to myself how silly
I must look.)
Sometimes people tell me to stop bothering them and I don’t
understand so I smile and keep talking. haha. Sometimes I get the
point and say have a good day and smile. They think that’s pretty
weird. Mostly they say, “I know what you want.” or “I know who you
are. Go away!” BUT sometimes they are kind, and they listen. The very
last person I talked to was named Kaija (probably in her 60s) and she
was so sweet. We talked for a little and she said she would want to
learn more and gave me her number. I was astonished, and so excited!
The next day the same thing happened. No one wanted to listen until the
last man (age probably 40s) I started talking too. We talked for about
10 minutes on the tram and I taught a little mini lesson. He was
Russian and didn’t speak too much Latvian. We made a funny pair since
I can’t speak much Latvian either. But somehow we were able to
communicate and he wanted a Russian BOM. I got his number and we hope
to meet with him this week. So there are 2 little miracles. I hope
they come through, but even still my faith was strengthened and I know
that it is possible, we just need to continue to have faith.
We teach English twice a week and that is just the most fun time! They
all just love that I am trying to learn Latvian so they are patient
with me. It’s fun to teach them. They can’t pronounce “th” no matter how hard
they try. It reminds me of how Grandma Woolf used to tell us about how
her mother couldn’t say it either and she would always just say “Da”.
I smile and think of that every time they try. We share a spiritual
thought after the class and invite them to do something. This week it
was to watch the Restoration film. 4 people stayed! And many others
wanted too but had work so we’re showing it again. One lady couldn’t
stay but she really wanted to meet with us so we teach her on
Wednesday. Her name is Zinta. She is hilarious and smiles a lot which
We have very large goals to accomplish this week. I hope we can make
it! Once again… FAITH… We have to have faith we can do it or we
won’t be able to.
D&C 50: 40-41 (click on scripture to read)
I love this scripture so much. I came upon it while studying for a
lesson to an investigator. It struck me and I wrote it on the front of
my planner. I look at it when I’m nervous about contacting or
teaching, and I read the words, “Fear not little children for ye are
mine.” I know that my savior is always there with me and helping me along the
way. He is my strength and my light.
Well everything is going well. I’m happy Spring is here! The language
is coming slowly. But it’s coming. Thank you so much for all of your
encouraging words! And guess what! I get to call you in 2 weeks for Mother’s day!
Thank you for all of your e-mails, your stories, your words of advice, your
prayers, and your love! Know that I am praying for all of you! I love
you all so much! Stay strong and keep the faith! 🙂
Address for letters and packages:
Cesu iela 31-2K2
Riga LV -1012
For dearelders.com and pouch mail:
Salt Lake City 84130-0150
And last but not least– a good message and reminder of serving others. Masa Gallagera is experiencing this miracle of service and invites all of us to find ways to serve in our own communities, schools, with friends, and families.