Ok first off…. I thought I would explain the branches here in Latvia. I was able to explain them over the phone with you but just so my other wonderful family members can know.
First there is Rīga. I think we have the strongest branch here with about 60 active members. There is also a Russian branch here that is pretty strong.
Liepāja only has a Latvian branch with about 25-30 active members.
Imanta has a Latvian branch with about 15-20 active members. The Russian branch in Imanta is really strong. It has the most tithe paying/priesthood holders adding up to 12.
Jelgava only has a Latvian group with maybe 15 people.
And daugavpils is only Russian and I am not sure how many people are there.
That’s a “guesstimation” of course. I am not sure on exact numbers. But I sure do love all the branches here and all of the people so much!!
Last week we went to the occupation museum here in Rīga. Goodness, the History of this country is pretty incredible. They have been through a lot. We didn’t even get through the whole museum so we are hoping to go back. It’s pretty sad. It’s really interesting talking to the older people here. They have been through a lot. I can’t imagine not being allowed to attend church and being afraid to go outside. They have sure come a long way and it’s understandable why people don’t always like to talk about religion openly.
There is an awesome group of young Single adults here. We have been blessed to be able to go to their FHE the past couple weeks with our investigators and they are so great. The kids here are so strong and they support each other and are amazing teachers. They really are the future of the church here in Latvia. They are going to be so good!!
Speaking of investigators! We had some good moments and some bad moments. J. called and said he didn’t want to meet with us anymore. It was a couple days after he had that amazing experience with the spirit that he admitted to. Which really means that he just doesn’t want to make the necessary changes in his life he would need to make to keep meeting with us.
We were pretty sad about it, but I am trying not to let it hit me too hard because we do have a lot of wonderful investigators! P. is progressing and is doing awesome! He came to church yesterday and really liked it! He loved priesthood and had fun learning about the priesthood. I really hope he stays strong because he would be SO solid. He is already so devoted to God.
We had a miracle with a family from English class we met. We taught them English and then the Elders talked to them about the family proclamation and about temples and how they could be sealed as a family forever! They agreed to meet with us again and the next day the mom E. came to church and really liked it! Woo! We are super excited and hope and pray they things will move forward smoothly. The husband, V., wanted to come to church but he is in school studying to be an anesthesiologist and had to go to class on Sunday. So overall we had 4 investigators at church on Sunday! It was incredible!!
A lot of people didn’t show up for their lessons this week or canceled last minute. Which gave us lots of time to knock apartment buildings and street contact. I have a couple of funny stories from contacting this week.
First one went like this:
“Hello, my name is Sister Gallacher…” he cut me off…
“I know! I know! I know!!!!” —meaning he knew what I wanted…
“You know my name?” –I said with a teasing smile on my face…
He just stopped and looked at me and then started smiling!!! haha. It was so funny. He totally warmed up and said how he used to come to English. He wasn’t interested in meeting but it sure was funny.
Sister Kerr contacted a man who was NOT pleased with the fact she was talking to him. He just waved his hand back and forth without saying a word. So then I (thinking I was so funny) waved back at him from the side of Sister Kerr. You could tell he was fighting a smile but the smile eventually won. He also wasn’t interested but he was nice then and wished us luck.
Sometimes you just have to make contacting fun like that because sometimes it gets hard when people yell at you all day. But I really have a lot of fun. And I had a very interesting contact this week with a man named O. He was very knowledgeable about the Bible and did not like the fact that we had more scripture. Which I still can’t understand. Wouldn’t you WANT more scriptures? Isn’t that a wonderful blessing? How great is it that God has given us even MORE words to learn and study from. But people don’t like to accept it. Anyways it was interesting because I could really feel the spirit guiding me. Everything I needed to say, every question I needed to ask, and every testimony I needed to bear was given to me in the very moment. O. was hard hearted but he took our card in the end. It was interesting and neat for me to think back on it afterwards and see how the spirit had guided me.
Well I am glad to hear that you all had a wonderful time in Utah. I love you all so much and I hope you have a wonderful week!! You are always in my prayers!