Wowee I got 2 birthday packages this week from Mom and Dad and then from Cami, Britt, and Laura McArthur! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!! You totally and completely made my day. Brother Ballstead (one of the senior couples in the office–he just cracks me up and I love him) called me twice one morning while I was in a lesson and when I called back he informed me I had a package and told me who it was from and how big it was and was like come and get it!!!! hahah His excitement made me day. I really love all of the senior couples and I’m so glad Britt got to chat with our beloved Millets! Tell them Hi and I love them!
Happy Birthday to all of my family members that have birthday’s these next 2 weeks. Mom listed off quite a few! I guess this is the time of year to be born! 🙂
Speaking of this time of year… It’s been SO HOT! And being in Latvia we might as well just be swimming because it is so humid. It makes it 10x colder in the winter and 10x hotter in the summer. Even when I am sitting on the bus so hot I can hardly breathe I just think I’ll be home soon and then I am going to just stand in the shower and pour COLD water all over my legs and feet. It helps and it’s become a daily habit. haha. Speaking of cold water… That’s all we had for most of this last week. Our hot water was turned off. Although it is nice to pour on my feet it is quite freezing in the morning to shower in freezing cold water. But I sure got a good laugh out of it with my squeals. I realized that when I would hold the showerhead over me(I have to hold it because the hook where it belongs is at my shoulder) and the freezing water would hit me I would start jumping from foot to foot as if that helped…too funny.
BUT one of the best things is that we random get HUGE thunder and lightning storms in the middle of a blazing hot day. It is my most favorite thing ever. The other day we were on the bus dying of heat and the sun was shining and I blinked and there was rain pouring down from the sky like a waterfall! The wind was so strong the trees were practically horizontal with the ground! We got off at our stop and hid until it passed 5 minutes later. I loved it. As we like to say, “why cry about bad weather… enjoy it!” 🙂
Best part of the week: We had DISTRICT CONFERENCE! That is where all of the members in Latvia (Russian and Latvian speaking) gather together for a wonderful 2 hour conference. It was SOOO much fun seeing all of my members and friends from Liepaja and it made me want to go back and finish my mission there so bad. I miss them all so much and when they ran up to hug me I felt like I was running to see family. Which is how it would be if I left Riga and came back of course. I’ll be happy no matter where I go next week, but I would love to go back to good ol’ Liepaja! We had so much fun after the conference taking pictures and chatting and for some reason the little kids chose me to twirl in circles with. I had 4 kids holding my hands and twirling around me for like 20 minutes. haha I sang with some members and a few missionaries in the conference. We sang “all creatures of our God and king” (one of my favorites!) and once again it’s the moments when I stand in front of all of the members and have the opportunity to look at all of them that choke me up. It was hard for me to get through the song with out bursting into tears and running and hugging everyone, but I held it all back and composed me self through the song. Oh I love these member SO much I can’t even begin to describe it!
The FHE activity is on Wednesday! It has been confusing and somewhat stressful, but it’s going to work out and I really hope it turns out well! President Boswell said to invite the branches in all of Latvia so it was announced in District Conference. Although most people live too far away so it will probably still be just Riga branches, but we’re excited to see who shows up! We’ve been passing out the fliers like crazy!
I went on an exchange with Sister Kerr this week. It’s so weird that sister Clark and Kerr are leaving next week. They have been here my whole mission! And once they’re gone I am the oldest Latvian sister missionary in the mission. It will be weird.
Inara: well that makes week about 2 weeks since we’ve met with her. We have like 3 lessons set up at week and she always cancels the morning of because of work, or school, or she’s tired…. We are doing everything we can, but she’s just not committed to this goal. We’ve got to see what we can do when we actually get a meeting with her. She was supposed to come to the conference and I called her every day to check up and she said she was coming every day until right before we were supposed to meet up I called and she said she got called to watch the kid she nannies. We’ve told her to bring him along to meetings and that we will meet with her anywhere, anytime she has time… we’ll see how this goes.
Nothing too new with Eriks. His Aunt still won’t budge.
Oskars: is having a hard time accepting the authority thing. But the CES couple are going to teach about Authority tonight at FHE so we are PRAYING he comes!! He is kind of dating a member… the one who referred him. Except he’s also texting our investigator Inara so it’s a tangled web of drama. hahaha. so silly. Glad I don’t have to deal with “that” part of it.
Gunars doesn’t want to meet anymore. He is happy where he is and he brought up the behaviors of the members that helped us but were combative, however he was gracious about it and said he wasn’t offended but that he is happy with the people he is with and said God told him to stay there.
Armands: his wife is a less active who has no testimony and he had a baptismal date last year and then got into anti stuff. He used to never be home when we’d meet with his wife, but he’s super nice all of the sudden and in our last lesson I invited him to be baptized TWICE because he said he believed the Book of Mormon was completely true… but both times he went on weird rants and by the end we didn’t know how to bring it back and we didn’t have more time. So hopefully this week we can clear this up and get him progressing!
We got contacted by these 2 guys while walking to a lesson. They were riding bikes and stopped us to ask us where a store was and hearing my accent asked where we were from and that started the conversation. One of them is religious and the other is not. The one who believed in God just stood to the side smoking a cigarette and once in a while making comments while the one who didn’t believe was actually interested. After explaining that we don’t get paid he kept asking “WHY are you HERE when you don’t get anything from it for yourselves? Why would you give everything up to come HERE for nothing?” Good question Kristofers. 🙂 We were able to teach him a bit and he wants to meet us next week before church and then join us at church.
We also contacted a guy from France named Simon going to school here. He doesn’t believe in God but we taught him about prayer and taught him how to pray right there on the street and it seemed that he couldn’t believe that that was even an option. He also agreed to meet again.
And a miracle! We had a lesson at the church with Zane and Kristine (my investigators who got baptized last year in Liepaja) and as we were leaving this really nice, young couple walked in. they said they had come at 9:30 to attend church but no one was there. They had found the Latvian LDS website and found church meeting times and so they had come back around 11 to see if they could find someone to ask about it. Luckily we were there just about to leave and I got their number and they came to a little of the District meeting! Woo hoo! Miracles all around!!
So that’s an update on all of my lovely investigators! Stay tuned!
We are really working hard to baptize 18 people this month. We all KNOW that God has prepared 18 people and we are all giving it our all to make this goal. We have started this thing where at 7:50am each morning every missionary companionship kneels down together and we pray specifically by name for all of the people with dates in May and June and talk to God about each one.
I was reading in D&C 10 today and I came across a couple of special verses I want to share. It started with verse 47. It reads,
“And I said unto them, that it should be granted unto them according to their faith IN their prayers.”
I continued to read the next couple verses where it continues with this idea of faith IN our prayers,
v.49 …”their faith IN their prayers was that the gospel should be made known also…
v.50″…and they did leave a blessing upon this land IN their prayers, that whosoever should believe in this gospel in this land might have eternal life”
v.52 “and now behold, according to their faith IN their prayers will I bring this part of my gospel to the knowledge of my people.”
I know that God listens intently to our prayers. I know that He wants so badly to communicate with each one of his children. I know that he speaks back to us, we just have to stop and listen. I know that we have to really have faith in what we are praying for and really believe that God will do His part and answer our prayers. It’s not just us wanting this goal to baptize18, we believe that God wants it as well. It is about truly believing that as we are all praying so fervently that God will answer our prayers as much as he can while respecting the agency of his children. This applies to every prayer we offer. I know sometimes I ask for a blessing without a second thought. But we receive according to our faith IN the prayers each of us offers every day. Believe in your prayers. Believe that the things you ask for you will receive as long as they are righteous, whether in this life or the next. I am so grateful for prayer and I cherish the quiet moments I have alone to talk to my Father in heaven.
Well that about sums up this past week. I can’t believe it was only a week ago I sat and talked with all of you! It seems like forever ago already! I hope you have a wonderful week!