Well, it’s super awesome that missionaries can e-mail friends and family now! I love hearing from so many loved ones! I am sorry if I don’t get back to you all. I still am limited on time to do that. But thank you all so much! and keep ’em comin! 🙂
HAPPY BIRTHDAY my Lauren and Brad!!! I hope you had the most wonderful day ever!!
First things first: you know what today is? Today I have officially been in Latvia for a whole year!!! Oh how I love my little Latvia!!
Sad news: Diana the girl who accepted a baptismal date hasn’t answered phone calls or texts since our first lesson. 😦
Although that was hard, this transfer has been so much fun! Sister Nelson and I have loved serving together and we hope and think that we will get one more. Transfers are this Thursday. I think I said in my last e-mail that we get new Latvian sisters next transfer, but I meant to say in 2 Transfers…. so yeah, next one we aren’t expecting much change, but who knows. But I am continuing to LOVE life here in Riga and we are having a blast.
The 2 girls from Jugla (Laura and Elina) brought a friend to the next lesson and tonight we have another lesson with all three for them and then they are coming to FHE with us! Score! Also the other day I was on the bus and I noticed this girl. She reminded me a bit of Nicole Hawkins. I wanted to talk to her, but she was kind of far away and I didn’t want to make it awkward. Then I just had the strongest impression that I should so I left my seat and went over and offered her an English flier. Well turns out her dad is from England and so she spoke FLAWLESS English. She didn’t speak much Latvian because she is Russian so we spoke in English. She was so excited to talk to me in English. AND turns out she lived in Sacramento area for a year or so a while back! So we hit it off and she is coming to FHE with me tonight! She isn’t interested in religion… but we’ll see how it goes down the road. I love seeing the spirit work and seeing the results that come from following him.
I have experienced such powerful moments during prayers this week. I don’t know if I ever really realized how EVERY prayer you say can be a spiritual experience. In EVERY prayer you can feel the spirit burn in your heart. As I have been focusing more on that, I have really realized how strong the spirit can be if you just pay attention. I have realized that it is always when I am kneeling that it is the strongest. During a missionary meeting we all knelt down with the branch missionary leader and he said a prayer and the spirit was so strong I never wanted his prayer to end. Earlier that week I was in a lesson with a new member and we all knelt in prayer and at the end and it’s not like I said an extra special prayer or anything but the spirit was so strong, I just wanted to keep on praying! I am so thankful for prayer and for the love we can feel from our Heavenly Father while we pray. It is so apparent; we just have to pay attention.
So funny story I forgot to tell last week: It was fast and testimony meeting and Dzintars gets up and bears a wonderful testimony. He finishes and then says, “And now I invite Masa Galagera to come up and testify” hahahah. Basically the whole branch started giggling, as I slowly stood up and then went up….. man, there were comments about that all day. Dzintars is the funniest! Love him. His cousin Eriks is doing well. Still working with him a couple times a week to help him gain the desire to be baptized.
I am so excited it is getting warmer… There are so many people who are less active because “it’s too cold to go to church”. Summer will hopefully bring many less actives back!
I had an interesting study about LOVE yesterday. I was reading in 1 John 4 (verses 7-9) where it says, “God is LOVE.” I have heard that phrase my whole life, but I hadn’t every really thought about the deeper meaning of that. Our goal is to become like God. That is God’s goal for us as well. So He sent us down to earth to learn. What are we learning? Well a lot of things, but for one, we are learning to LOVE. To love unconditionally and eternally. We are trying to learn to be LOVE just as God is love. The chapter talks about dwelling in God and how we can do that if we love and then in verse 17 it says that we can be as He is. To love people as God loves people is our ultimate goal. It reminds me of my favorite talk by Henry Drummond, ” The greatest thing in the world” (look it up, it is amazing!!) If we truly LOVED we would keep all the commandments, for love is the fulfilling of the whole law. One of my favorite parts in the talk is when he talks about how we can influence people most when they know that we believe in them. I have come to know that that is so true. In order for you to help people to grow, they have to know that you believe in them. That you know they can do it. And you can help them know that by your love. I feel as though my mission has taught me to love deeper than I knew was possible. I have learned to love complete strangers. I have learned to love people who hate and mock me. It’s not always easy to love unconditionally and I am still not always good at it, but I am working on that and I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to learn that on my mission. It is a lesson I cherish and will cherish for the rest of my life.
Well I LOVE YOU all with all of my heart and soul and pray for your safety and happiness! Good luck packing for Texas Caye and Brad and good luck in BRAZIL daddio!! I am excited you get to go! Take pictures!! 🙂 Oh and GOOD LUCK with finals all you students!