(just fyi… I will probably be e-mailing a whole lot earlier now in Liapaja… we have 8 missionaries and we all e-mail here so we take the 8am shift.)
Oh dear, oh dear…. Missions are the best! They are so crazy, and overwhelming, and amazing, and uplifting, and sometimes heartbreaking, and other times heart-healing, and basically every word you and I could think of.
If I could give this week a name, I would have to name it “GOAL SETTING”, I feel like that’s basically what I did all week. And it was good.
So to start out we had district meeting here in Liepaja and we were setting our June Baptism goal. The numbers 2 and 3 were thrown around…. then 4 came out. Everyone had different ideas and different reasoning for the number they thought it should be. The spirit was really strong in the room, but we couldn’t all seem to feel which number was the Lord’s goal for June Baptisms in Liepaja. One elder (elder Christensen) then said that he feels the Lord want’s us to baptize 5. The spirit was so strong and we all knelt down together and prayed to know if that was the Lord’s expectations and goal for us. None of us can deny that 5 baptisms in June in Liepaja is the Goal the Lord wants us to strive to achieve. Now that goal is HUGE, especially for little Liepaja. And we currently have no baptismal dates set. We have a lot of people with potential and we are all so ready, oh SO ready, to work our very hardest to achieve this goal. We all committed to doing everything in our power in order to baptize 5. It’s going to be hard and we are already half way through with no dates…. but we aren’t losing hope. We read D&C4: 4-5 in our district meeting and we really are going to all we can to qualify for this work. We’re all super pumped and ready to go and achieve!
The we had a skype meeting with our Latvian zone leaders, all the Latvian district leaders and me. We made our Zone goal for June baptisms, which is 8. Also another high number for our zone. They were saying 4 or 5 and I just heard the number 8 so clearly and I couldn’t deny that that was what I knew the Lord’s Goal was for our district. I told them my thoughts and we all agreed to work for 8 baptisms in the Latvian Zone in June.
Next goal setting experience. Well we headed up to Riga on our 3 1-2-4 hour bus ride and it was a beautiful ride through the country side. But I slept most of the way. 🙂 We had Mission Leadership council, which has taken the place of “zone leader’s council”. it’s where the mission president, the assistants, all the zone leaders, and the sister training leaders get together to discuss the mission, the goals and focus in each zone, and then we discuss the baptism goals for each zone (what happened last month and what our goals and plans are for the next month) and then we set our baptism goal for the next month for the whole mission.
Sisters used to not go to it obviously, but now the sister training leaders go. It was an incredible experience to see all the thought and effort and guidance that go into all the focuses and goal setting. We spent hours trying to figure out what the Lord’s goal for baptisms in June was for our mission. We ended out with 28….(which again is huge!) The Lord has some very large expectations of us this month. We all sang songs, and all knelt together to come to this decision and we are certain this goal is the Lord’s. Having to account for all the sisters In Latvia, announcing our goals and focuses, what I am going to implement in our teaching, contacting etc… was humbling. I felt a little out of place at first, but I am excited for the blessing to work with all of the sisters and to help us all become better missionaries.
So those are some bigger goal setting moments…I also went on exchanges with the Jelgava sisters in Jelgava so we had our goal setting at the exchange. Missions=goals. I’ve really gained a testimony of goal setting, and achieving on my mission.
Sister Woodland and I were talking about how we just don’t quite feel adequate to be helping these people with their trials they are facing right now. We are in our early 20s trying to help women who have cheating husbands, and tons of family opposition… etc. But I know that God sent me to Liepaja for a reason and that sister Woodland and I are the ones he wants to help these people. We are working on trusting the Lord and knowing that we are qualified as long as we rely on the Lord.
Daina: She is SO amazing! I can’t begin to express how wonderful she is! She is so strong and so positive and happy although her home situation is so hard right now. Her Boy friend of 14 years and father of 2 of her kids has likely cheated on her again (3rd time) and has fathered another child. They are not sure that this child is his, but the odds are that it is. He denies it. Daina wants tso badly to be baptized, but she has to either get married or move out. She wants to do a DNA test… but it’s 300 Lats and they don’t have the money for that. So she won’t get married until she knows it’s not his child, and if it is his child then she will leave him. It’s a huge mess, and we are doing our best to help solve this. I don’t think the answer is in the DNA test. We are trying to focus on her knowing what the Lord wants her to do. We have FHE with their family tonight and it’s going to be fun! All of our lessons have been very dramatic and we want to just lift their burdens tonight and teach a lesson and play a fun game and bring treats. She has 4 kids. (one 18, one 15 and then the 2 little girls that belong to the current BF who are like 4 and 2. )
Valija didn’t come to church which was a disappointment because she kept promising us that she would. But we have a meeting with her on Tuesday and next Sunday we are going to her house and bringing her. 🙂
But Miracle!!! There is a girl here named Zeltite. She is 19 and has a one year old daughter. She got married to her husband in February and he got baptized. She was supposed to get baptized, but her family threatened to disown her. So she didn’t end up getting baptized, but the missionaries here were still trying to work with her. She kind of fell away and didn’t really want to get baptized anymore and her husband is already inactive. I have heard about her since the beginning of her journey and have just longed to meet her. I have thought about her so much and I called her twice last week and she said she would come to church. SHE DID!! Hurray!!! We had a lovely time chatting before sacrament meeting. She ran out at the end to answer her phone and then was gone when I got out of the sacrament hall. So I really hope that we can meet with her this week!!
Liepaja is so much fun. I just love these members and we have some fun times coming up! Namely LIGO!! (summer festival) YES! Liepaja is the best place to be for it. And we have a talent show in July that is going to be AMAZING!!!
As missionaries we are so much more involved in the teaching side at church here. I taught Sunday school and had to translate for Maija (a women from Indonesia who married a Latvian and doesn’t speak Latvian, so she teaches in English) as she taught the Relief society lesson. In Riga there are just so many other people that can teach the lessons so you don’t teach at church in Riga.
Well I got to run, but I love you all so much!! Have a wonderful day!
PS: We have Zone conference next Monday so I will be e-mailing you on TUESDAY! Love you all so much!