Ok first things first:
Never mind you can all e-mail me as much as you want because I realized I can just take pictures of your e-mails and read them after! It works great. And that way I will have them online and never loose them and what not. So e-mails are good!
Kenna: I FINALLY sent your birthday letter! I wrote it forever ago I am so sorry it has taken me so long to get it to you!!! But I hope you had the best birthday ever!!
Cami: I have been thinking about what to do for your video… could you send me what you want? I think I am just going to send videos and caye or someone can put them together. How are wedding plans? One month from today!! Ah amazing!
Ok on to this week….
Let me start off by saying that I didn’t know a mission could be this much fun! Goodness. I love Sister Hanks so much. We laugh all the time. We decided that doing as much street contacting, knocking, walking, and getting lost as much as we do would probably be a lot harder if we weren’t together. Every day is an adventure and we are having a total blast with it.
I love Imanta so much. It’s basically just apartment building after apartment building. It’s about a 30-minute bus ride from the City in Riga. We got lost a lot the first week but it didn’t matter because there were always people to talk to on the streets and always more buildings to knock in. I finally realize the meaning of “talk with everyone” We really do. No one can get past us with out us trying to contact them. haha. And we can do it in either language so it’s great. People say they have seen the Elders a lot but not Sisters. That’s a good way to get people talking to us. They are interested why they haven’t seen girl missionaries before. I have actually come to love contacting on the street. A lot of the time people don’t listen, but when they do it is always fun to hear about them and bear testimony of the gospel. I can only say some of the very basic things in Russian, but I can understand some of Sister Hanks contacts. Just from key words and stuff.
The sun goes down after we go to sleep. Probably about 11:30ish maybe…and it is already up when we wake at 6:30. I think it rises at about 3ish now. We tin foiled our windows to help block out the light. It’s crazy how little ‘darkness time’ there is. I can only imagine how little sunlight there will be in the winter.
This week I got to take the new Latvian sister, Sister Nelson, out contacting for her first time! (Sister Lindstrom is home now.) We got 2 new Estonian speaking Sisters, 2 new Russian, and one Latvian. Sister Hanks and I, and the Latvian and Russian sisters in Riga center all met at the mission home and took the new Sisters out contacting. It was fun remembering my first day and what it felt to not understand anything at all. Your very first contacting experience kind of sets a lot up for you so I wanted to make sure to set a good example of talking with everyone we could. We had one man yell “Satan” at us. That was interesting. I promised Sister Nelson that would happen a lot. haha. About 15 minutes before we were supposed to be back it started raining. And I mean POURING!!!!!!!!! I have literally never seen it rain so hard in my entire life. Every single sister was drenched head to toe by the time we made it back to the mission home. But everyone had huge smiles and we all laughed about it.
Oh also, Cami when I walked into the mission home an Elder said, ” What the heck!?” I looked at him and recognized him! He is your friend from freshman year!! I don’t remember his name though…He is serving in Lithuania! How crazy! We had fun catching up about all of the kiddies at home. he looks super happy. I will try to send a picture of him so you know who I am talking about.
We went back to Riga center the next day and went contacting again with the new sisters. I went with an Estonian speaking Sister this time. So I would start in Latvian and ask if they spoke English and if they did I would let the Sister take over. We talked to some really interesting people. It was fun to try in English. It was almost harder for me because I can say whatever I want in English so it’s hard to keep it simple. haha. I like contacting better in Latvian for sure.
Our area is HUGE. Really. It never ends. Because we have both languages we have our area, the Latvian Elders area, and the Russian Elders area. I don’t think if I was here for a year I could get to every area. It’s great though. We have our work cut out for us. We have lots of people in the area booked to contact and lots of less actives to find and reactivate. Sometimes when we get overwhelmed we realize that it’s such a blessing to have SO much to do! And to have such a big area! We will never ever get bored. We will never “know” the whole area. We will never walk the same streets over and over and over again and not know where else to go. It’s really great.
I taught my first lesson in Latvian by myself earlier this week. I was nervous, but it went alright. She is a less active in the Latvian branch. She has 9 kids!!! That’s unheard of here! But she only looks about 45. She was so sassy in the lesson it made me laugh, but I thought she didn’t like me too much. At the end though she told me she really likes talking with me and wants me to come back. So I guess she is just sassy in personality! haha Love it. I have realized that because my companion doesn’t speak Latvian and I can never depend on her to understand if I don’t, and that I pay a lot more attention to everything going on. I also have realized that I understand a lot more than I thought. I am grateful for that. Being the only Latvian hasn’t been hard thus far. It’s been really fun.
Our district is super! It’s us, a Russian elder companionship, and a Latvian Elder companionship. We have a lot of fun together and today we are going to the Zoo after we go out to eat in Riga. It’s going to be a fun day.
Mom, we aren’t teaching English right now, but maybe in the future… I think they just ended the course. Not too sure about it though.
Sister Hanks and I are both not very good at directions.. haha but I have gotten so much better at reading and following a map. It’s great. There are SO many buses here. They go all over the place so it’s tricky to get on the right ones going the right ways, but we manage. 🙂
I’m not sure why people here answer their doors when they don’t have clothes on. It’s a strange thing, but we just know to look right at their faces as soon as the door opens just in case.
We got to attend a double baptism of a man in the Riga center branch and our branch President’s son G. That was fun. The Boswells came and we all had fun talking afterwards.
We have a busy week this week. Lots to do. I can’t believe I have been gone for 5 months already. Oh and mom, Elder Bergeson is still in Liepaja and sister Clark is training the new sister there.
That’s about it for this week. I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week!!!!