Hello my wonderful family!
I really cannot believe it’s Preparation day again. This week flew by fast! We had a busy week. Busy… full of street contacting and door knocking. haha. BUT I actually love street contacting now. And knocking doors is fun too. We try really hard to seek the Lord’s help and pray constantly in between doors. I think we were only let in twice, but our spirits are not down. I KNOW there are people here ready to hear the gospel. One experience that helps me remember, happened earlier this week. We were walking to the church to go to a lesson when a saw a couple about to walk by us. I have really been working hard at talking with everyone so even though everyone that day hadn’t listened to me I attempted to stop them and start a conversation. They were seriously the nicest people I have met here on the street. Their names were I. and J. and they said they go to different churches all the time because they think it’s interesting. Although they didn’t give me their information we had a half hour conversation on the sidewalk wherein I taught them a first discussion. They listened so intently it almost took me off guard. They kept asking more and more questions like “what makes your church different?” And why doesn’t everyone have the Book of Mormon?” GOLDEN questions… I looked at my companion, (who obviously didn’t understand anything going on because it was in Latvian) smiled, and said, “well, let me tell you…”.
They said they work a lot on Sundays but when they have a free one they are going to come to our church. We pray for them in every prayer because they just seemed so ready! Hopefully one day they will come. Just goes to show that you really do have to talk with everyone. How else will you find the ONE/ONES that will listen?
This week I really focused on following the spirit. (watch video BELOW). I did absolutely everything I could to be constantly in tune with it. It really was amazing to see the results. I was guided to people that listened to me. (People that were interested, and people that were willing to meet). At the end of the day when I kneel down and pray I always try to think if there was a time that I didn’t listen to the spirit, or a time where I let that one person go by without saying anything because I got scared, or they were too far away. I always ask for forgiveness and promise to do better. Well I realized that when I don’t EVER let doubts come in and I never let an opportunity to talk to someone pass me by, at the end of the day, I don’t have to say, “sorry for not talking with that person”. It is such a great feeling. I know I can always do better, but I am very thankful for the help that God has given me as I have tried to be guided by and to follow the spirit.
The Boswells came to our district meeting last week. It was fun to get their insights on the things we were discussing. We are really trying to get the members involved in missionary work. We have put together an Olympics activity with the Russian and Latvian branches combined. It will be August 11th and we have some fun games planned. We are trying to meet with members to help them gain the courage to invite friends and family. We are super excited about it!
We were able to meet with V. Senkens this week. She is the BEST lady ever! She is Elder Senkans mother. She speaks Russian and Latvian so she switched between the two the whole time. She speaks so fast I could hardly tell when she switched. haha. She made us ‘Cold Soup’, a very traditional meal here. It’s not the most delicious thing to Sister Hanks and I, but we made it through. haha. She even taught us how to crochet slippers over lunch. Well “tried to teach.” she just did it over and over again saying, “look” now you do it… but neither of us could figure it out until the very end! Hilarious.
We also had an extra combined zone/district meeting with the assistants where we discussed how to become master teachers. That is something I am really trying to work on. Teaching is wonderful, but I have SO much more to learn to get better at it. It’s one of those things that no matter what we can always improve on. Well most things are like that to be honest. Isn’t that great? There’s always work to be done! I love it.
We have had SO much rain this week. Practically every day we get home drenched from head to foot. Even with umbrellas. It’s really just funny now. When the rain starts to fall we just look at each other and laugh.
Oh and guess what!? I did my first contact in Russian!! I felt like my very first day in Latvia again. They talked and talked and I just smiled and had no idea what they were saying, but could only sat a few things back in Russian. Enough to introduce myself and invite them to church. haha. Russian sounds so different than Latvian. I have to admit I like Latvian more. Sorry Russians…
We went out to a beach town this week. It’s about a 30 minute train ride. It is called Jurmala. It was BEAUTIFUL and a wealthy area. It was weird knocking houses… I hadn’t ever done that to be honest. Everyone mostly lives in huge apartment buildings. We knocked big houses. It was actually kind of hard for us at first to be courageous enough to knock on big houses. ha I don’t know why, it was just different. But we overcame that fear with prayers and encouragement.
Next week we have Zone conference on Monday so I won’t write until Tuesday. Just a heads up.
I love you all SO much!!! I hope you are all having a lovely summer and everything is going well and you’re safe and sound! I LOVE YOU!
p.s. Also Cami, I am working on your video today. So I will get that sent off tomorrow. And Mom and dad, I got your dearelders! Thanks a bunch!