Week 19: A Surprise Transfer

Well…. I don’t even know where to start right now. So much has changed!

Well the week in Liepaja was going well. On P-day we went through a bunch of cool churches and a museum. We had a picnic planned for the forth of July, but as soon as we got our yummy hot dogs (they come in a french bread and are super yummy!) and got to the park it started raining. So we went home and had an indoor picnic. haha. But A. F. one of my favorite humans here… (the forever investigator who likes to discuss his religious problems and suspicions, but just loves the missionaries) called us early on the 4th to wish us a happy day and told us he had a present for us. We met him on the way to the church and he gave us both a piece of amber. haha. Love that man.

Tuesday through Thursday was pretty busy with lots of contacting, knocking, and our book work. We had a few really interesting lessons with people from the area. Funny story real fast… We got a lesson from an old investigator and when we showed up and walked in, her 10 year old grandson who has autism and a whole bunch of other disabilities was naked. Yup. Sister Lindstrom said he was 10 but I thought he was about 14. It was way awkward. And the most awkward part was that I got a rolling chair and this boy named R. thought it was hilarious to push me around in circles. Needless to say it was a very interesting lesson. Now I look back at it and think how funny it was that Sister Lindstrom was teaching while I was being pushed around the room– by a naked boy who was cracking up. The grandma just kept saying, “ya girls, girls, R. you like the girls!” Goodness. She did give me some wool socks she had knitted though. So that was cool. That’s about the most interesting thing that happened until Thursday night….

SO I was right on all my guesses about transfers except for me. We got a call during planning on Thursday night with surprise transfers!! (Transfers were supposed to be Tuesday as in tomorrow the 10th of July! so I technically would have still been in Liepaja today and not have known where I would have been transferred too) Nope! I was transferred to Imanta, which is on the other side of the River in Riga. It hasn’t been opened to sisters in years so I am opening it up with…. a RUSSIAN sister. I am in what we call a “Zebra companionship” where there is a Latvian speaker and a Russian speaker! The Elder here was called as branch President somewhere else so that’s why transfers came a week early for me. So Thursday night I packed up fast and left the next afternoon for Imanta. Thankfully A. F. came and drove my suitcases to the bus station while we took the Tram so I didn’t have to haul them around. (Thank goodness!) Then he bought us ice cream while we waited for the bus.

So I arrived at my new apartment and it is on the 9th floor of an apartment complex. My companion’s name is Sister Angela Hanks. She is 25 and has 2 transfers left. She is from Logan Utah. I really, really like her. We laugh a lot and are already having so much fun.  The both of us have absolutely no idea where to go or where anything is. We are figuring things out though. We have gone through some area books and are going to start contacting some of the old investigators. We do A LOT of street contacting and knocking because we don’t have any lessons or anything yet.

 

Last night I walked around in pouring rain for over an hour. I didn’t bring my umbrella because it was SO HOT when we left our apartment. It was so fun though because sister Hanks and I just laughed. Everything is so funny. It will take some time to figure out where things are around here—it’s so different than Liepaja. Liepaja is like an old town, where Imanta is just apartment building after apartment building. Everything looks the same. The first morning here we decided to walk around for exercise to get to know the area. We ended up getting lost for an hour. haha. Every street we turned on just made us laugh because we had no idea where we were. haha. But we eventually found our way home. Miracle!

The best day was Sunday! Since we speak different languages we go to both the Russian branch and the Latvian branch and are over both of them. So we have a lot of work to do. It was so fun because the people here I guess have really wanted Sisters so everyone was so happy to see us and when we told them we were serving here some would jump up and down and others would hug us. I have never felt more loved! I immediately fell in love with everyone. There were  about 12 people in the Latvian branch and a little more in the Russian. However, the Senkan Family is in the Latvian branch!! (They are in China right now) I know I have said it a lot but just in case you forgot, Elder Senkans is a 70 and he translated the Book of Mormon into Latvian. It was interesting going to all the Russian classes and sacrament meeting. I don’t understand anything of course. But I hope I can pick a little of it up. I am working on the alphabet right now.

The scariest part is that when we teach a Latvian it’s all up to me. And when we teach a Russian I can’t contribute at all. It will be interesting teaching by myself from now on. The best part about being in a Zebra companionship is that if I try to contact someone and they speak Russian then I just can pass it off to her and vise versa. So we take turns starting the conversation and depending on what language they talk back in, the one who speaks it takes over. It is very interesting. There are a TON of Russians here. Way more than Liepaja. I would say in Liepaja every 10th person I talked to was Russian. Here is the opposite. Every 10th person we talk to speaks Latvian.

We have less time to e-mail each week here in Imanta because we have to pay to use the public computers so I wont ever have time to respond to personal e-mails. BUT I will however get mail every single week from the mission office so you could send me your e-mails in dearelders.com because then I could read them before and then respond to them. That would be great! Today we went to some beautiful Gardens with the Elders. It’s fun because I am getting to know more of the Russian missionaries now since I am in their district.

I definitely was not anticipating being transferred early. Let alone opening an area up to sisters and having a Russian speaking companion. I hope I can still continue to get better in Latvian. It’s hard because I don’t hear it as much. Just got to work extra hard. We have a lot to do to fix up our apartment. It will probably take a couple P-days or lunch hour times to get it cleaned up and fixed. But we are excited. I am also excited to go into Riga center in the future and see more of the city. Things are still way unfamiliar here but I’m sure with time I’ll get used to it. I do love the branch though.

Well I don’t have anymore time, but I love you all soooo much and I hope you have the best day ever! Happy Birthday again Kenna!!

I hope the Mcarthurs and Cami  had a great time at Aspen Grove. I can only imagine how much fun it must have been! Love you all forever!!

-Masa Gallagera

City of Imanta, near Riga

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Baltic Mission Sister Madison Gallacher Cesu iela 31-2K2 Riga LV -1012 Latvia, Europe For dearelders.com and pouch mail: Baltic Mission POB 30150 Salt Lake City 84130-0150

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