Well no worries, Britt and Caye have sent me some videos of the kiddies and Cami dancing and I have just been watching them over and over for the past 15 minutes. haha Cami nice dance moves and thanks for the funny face you know I LOVE and just crack up when you do it! Man, I love the videos guys! Keep them coming!!
So first off Happy Birthday to you mommy dearest!! I have a letter for you and it will be on its way today! Sorry it didn’t get out earlier! I hope you had the best birthday ever though and know that I sang happy birthday for you over here in Latvia!
Also Happy Birthday to you Mikey Boy! I hope you had a fabulous birthday and all your dreams came true! I sang happy birthday for you as well, of course!
I know I just talked to you all, but it actually seems like a long time already since I talked to you all. I missed you over this Christmas season, but I know I am where I am supposed to be and I really loved spending a Christmas as a missionary.
I already told you some things on the phone, but I’ll just write about last week. Monday night we had to be in by 6pm so we made yummy cinnamon Rolls and then we all acted out the nativity. We all dressed up as the different characters and read from Luke 2. I got to be the shepherd. Ha ha . (I will send you pictures.) We laughed so hard. Sister Clark’s costume was the best! She was a wiseman. It was fun because we got to spend Christmas with the 2 Sisters from Liepija so it was a party.
Zone conference was really good. We watched an end of the year DVD sister Boswell made and I just about cried seeing all the pictures and being so happy to be a part of the missionary work here. It really has been an amazing year here in the Baltic mission! We made our goal of baptizing 14 people in November and December! Miracles were flying all around us. We have set an incredibly high goal of baptizing 153 people next year!
When I first heard of the goal to baptize 153 people in 2013, I thought that it was unrealistic because I think we got around 86 baptisms each of the past 2 years in our whole mission. I thought that they were setting us up to basically fail and not reach our yearly goal. Our goal for his year was 120 and we didn’t make that one. BUT as I was thinking about how God must be saying to me “oh ye of little faith” I was wondering what I needed to do to gain more faith.
Faith is a spiritual gift. I can’t just develop more. I have to be endowed with it. It’s a long process, but it’s one we are all working on. When Elder Malm was here he talked about how we need to “fish on the other side of the boat” like the apostles did. They had been fishing all night and had caught nothing. Then Christ told them to cast their nets on the other side and there they caught 153.
So during the Zone leaders council they chose that same number for us since it’s our mission goal to “fish on the other side”. And that can mean something different for every single missionary. It basically means change what you need to change in order to be a more diligent and faithful missionary. The reason that they chose 153 was to emulate that. Sister Clark and I talked about how interesting it was that they caught NO fish on the other side. Not even 86. So they went from 0 to 153. Not 86 to 153.
Since Sister Clark and I were both struggling with accepting this goal, that little realization that we could do it helped us both and we are determined to help reach this immense goal of bringing 153 children of God into the church, although neither of us will be here to see the end results. We will hear about it though 🙂 My faith has grown from that. I know that once I accepted the goal, God was able to give me some faith to believe that we could reach such a high aspiration. I’m thankful for that and it was a good lesson for me to learn.
We had a miracle last Monday. We were just finishing Internet time when a girl around age 20 started asking a missionary next to her about the church. She was Latvian and the missionary was Russian so the sister missionary called me over and I was able to talk to her and teach her a small little restoration. She is very interested in learning more although she says she’s very devoted to her church. We have a meeting set up for this Wednesday! She says she is interested in finding out what the differences are. She is super sweet and kind. I’ll let you know how it goes!
Dzintar’s baptism date has been delayed a little. He says he needs to learn more before he accepts a date. I am still trying to figure out if he is able to really take it all in. We’ll see.
Oh and I had a miracle this last week! I hurt my foot somehow (I really don’t know how but I woke up and it ached so bad!) I had a hard time walking all day and then the next day it was even worse. I thought about calling sister Boswell because there would be moments I would take a step and would almost fall to the ground from the pain. I made it through the day and we had about 2 hours left. Sister Clark asked if I wanted to stay in and rest my foot or go out and knock. I knew it would hurt a bit, but I had figured out a way to walk where I didn’t feel as much pain. I thought about staying in, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I just had to go knocking for some reason. So we did and I bore though the pain. Nothing really happened and no one let us in, but I was happy I had followed the prompting to go out.
I prayed that night my foot would heal because I didn’t want to have to get help and wear something or to have it slow the work down. I woke up the next morning and I stepped on it ever so lightly so as to not put too much pressure on it when I realized I didn’t feel any pain! It was gone. I didn’t feel an ounce of pain!! I was so surprised I basically ran around the house to make sure I wasn’t dreaming or confused. But sure enough my ankle/foot is perfectly fine! That was my little end of the year miracle!
We had a pass off lesson with Vasis this week and the elders basically refused to teach him. haha. Vasis is a hard one to teach because he thinks about everything and doesn’t agree easily. The Elders and him just went back and forth and back forth with what we believe and then how he doesn’t agree. Finally I said, “VASIS! Ok. We’re friends. Why do you think we’re here? “ He replied, “because you’re missionaries.” I was able to bear my testimony of WHY I am sharing this gospel and what the real purpose is. He still wants to meet but I need to really find out what his end goal is. I feel like I keep asking him but we haven’t hit the bottom of it. In any case the Elders don’t want to teach him, so he will remain our investigator. President Boswell said it was their call and they could choose not to teach him if they thought it would be better that we did.
I can hardly believe that 2012 is almost over. It is strange to think that most of 2012 was spent on a mission for me. Time is a strange thing. I have learned a lot this year. I learned things about myself that I didn’t even know existed: weaknesses and strengths. I have learned that I truly trust the Lord. I have faith that I can do what he asks of me and that things will work out how they are supposed to if I do my part in keeping the commandments and serving diligently to build His kingdom.
I have always known that my mission is “not about me” but I have come to learn that my whole LIFE is not about me. It is all about serving HIM who has sent us here. I have come to learn the importance of giving my will to Heavenly Father and letting Him make me into something. (Something better than I could have ever done on my own). I am still working on learning how to give more. It seems to be a lifetime process. It’s a question I try to ask every day. “What more can I give today?”
Well that about sums up the week! I love you all so much and I hope you have a wonderful New Years Eve and day! We are on lockdown again tonight at 6 and tomorrow at 7. So I have some good goal setting time! I love you and miss you!