Week 39: Family Home Evening is the place to Start

Hello family!

November has been the fastest month of my entire mission. Where did it go? We hit December this week! I am honestly blown away. I hear it just goes faster and faster every month. Maybe it’s because it is not pitch black outside by 4:00pm. That’s been pretty weird. I feel like it is time for bed and we still have 5 more hours again. haha.

Everything is going well with Vik. I think I wrote about him last week. We had a pass-off lesson with the assistants and not they are teaching him. He came to FHE last week and LOVED it and then stayed for a couple hours talking to Elder Davis one of the senior couples all about the Book of Mormon and the Plan of Salvation. I love the senior missionaries here!

Speaking of senior couples…. all 3 were kind enough to invite all 21 of the Latvian and Russian missionaries in Rīga (including Imanta) over for a glorious Thanksgiving dinner! We had so much fun and it was fun to be together with so many missionaries. Don’t you worry I taught them how to put grapes in their upper lip and some of us had a very good laugh. (Maybe that’s not very dignified… but it was sure funny). We had everything you could possibly imagine to eat! I brought a cherry swirl cake. (I’ll have to make it for you when I get home. It’s delicious!) It was a meal fit for kings and queens. I do miss your cooking Mom! No one can cook as good as you!

Guess what? We had a baptism this past Saturday. It was a huge surprise and miracle. I don’t know if I ever wrote about Santa, but she was baptized last Saturday. I’ll fill in the blanks. So Zaiga is a rock of a member and she lives in our area. She left her boyfriend to join the church a couple years ago after investigating for about 4 years I think. She has 4 kids. The oldest boy is 12 and he is baptized and then she has twin girls who are 9 and a younger boy who is 7. One of the twins (ieva) got baptized at 8, but Santa has been pretty stubborn for over a year and never wanted to get baptized.

Every time we went over she would hug us and want to be with us until the lesson started and then she ran away and there was NO getting her to stay. So the Sisters in our area kept trying, but it didn’t seem to work. Sister Kerr and I decided to give Santa a break and we didn’t try to meet with her for about a month and a half. Santa and I became great friends at church and she would sit by me and come talk to me. I never mentioned baptism.

Then Last Sunday the Branch President came up to Santa and said, “you need to get baptized” and she said “OK”. I guess all along it just needed to come from someone other than the missionaries. haha. So the sweet, little, stubborn, Santa was baptized on Saturday along with 2 others: A man named Gunārs who is quite old and is slowly fading away. He was a preacher in another church his whole life and then the missionaries knocked on his door. He is the sweetest old man and I love to sit by him in Sunday school. We always have the best conversations before and after. He planted a big kiss on my cheek when I gave him flowers at his baptism. haha. oops. The other person who got baptized was a 19 year old girl named Elīna. She came to English and accepted a baptismal date her first lesson and has been so strong ever since. I don’t know where she came from, but she is so solid! Her mom is actually in our English class. She came to the baptism and wasn’t too thrilled about it, but she is curious and so we are trying to meet with her to help her understand what her daughter ‘just did’–as she would say.

This week I talked to a lot of really cool younger girls on the street. One is studying anthropology (shout out to Lauren and Erica) and she was really curious in meeting. Probably just to learn about “other cultures” but that’ll change. 🙂 She might come to FHE with us tonight. The other was actually kind of a funny coincidence. I stopped her and started saying something in Latvian and she said “Sorry I don’t speak Latvian” I giggled and said “that’s ok I don’t really either” and smiled.

We laughed and then I asked where she was from and what she was doing in Latvia. She is from South Africa and she said she is a missionary here, which I then told her I was as well. Her name is Kristi and she has lived here for 11 months and she is here with an organization that helps abused women. I got her number and hopefully she’ll come to FHE tonight as well.

Now there are 2 more girls! One just showed up at church yesterday! I sat by her and as we were talking a newly baptized member (also named Elīna–not the same one that just got baptized) came over and they hit it off! They are studying the same thing at the same school. These members are so good at branching out and being friends with everyone I was so proud and thankful for Elīna. She is also coming to FHE. The other is a distant relative of Helena Pīnne the oldest member of the church in Latvia. She just turned 90 years old! She is the cutest little lady! The girls name is Alise and she is the sweetest happiest little 18 year old I have ever met! She came to church and was just a bundle of joy! She is coming with me to FHE tonight. (Can you tell Family Home Evening is the place to start? haha)

None of these girls actually live in my area so after we befriend them and they want to meet with missionaries we will have to pass them all off. Which I can’t be too sad about because they will still be meeting with missionaries. 🙂

Well I think that’s all for now. I love you all so much and I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Masa G

This is how Ice Cream comes from the store…

Riga City

Hurray for Baptisms!

Helene Pinne

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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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