I'm so excited to be able to have another p day. Weeks here are long and days are short, and days are long and hours are short. Time here is so warped. I know you probably here that from everyone in the MTC, but it definitely is different here than anywhere else. I reallly love. Thanks for all the letters!! I love being able to read them (this includes the dear elders)!! They are a huge burst during the week. Also, parents thanks for the packages. The treats are always yummy, and it is nice to have a little treat to look forward to at the end of the day. Also, to grandma and kayci, thank you for the cupcakes!! What a pleasant surprise!! We (my roommates and I) chowed down on them right away. We took a knife and cute them in pieces so we could try a little bit of each one. They were so delectable!!
Okay, now to answers some questions. The biggest one people keep asking me is what my companion is like. Well, I love her to death!!! She has been amazing. We had a rough start, but things have taken off from there. I love it. Her name is Masa (sister) Ormsby and she is from Perry, Utah, by Brigham City. She is really great. Her family is the same size as ours (she has three brothers and two sisters) they are just in a different order and she is third in her family. We've began to get really close. We both want to marry cowboys or be able to have horses somehow when we grow up, but she doesn't like any other animals, while I LOVE animals. My favorite part about our companionship is that she suggested that we share a tender mercy with each other every night before we pray together. Then we both write our tender mercies in our journals (we record each others tender mercies as well). It has been wonderful!! We've really began to develop a unity that has helped in our effors to learn this work!!
Another common question, how is the food. Well, some people have been asking me if I even get to eat, because there are so many people, and yes the lines can get long. But if you follow the schedule and don't take short cuts with your time, things works out. They give you plenty of time to eat, and I always have enough time to eat as well as at lunch and dinner I usually have extra time so I have time to go to the bookstore or pick up packages. The food here isn't amazing, but it is good. It is definitely cafeteria food, but they keep up a good variety, and there are plenty of fresh option (salads and soups) if the three main course options don't look or sound appealing which sometimes they do. I haven't ever been in a meal where I can't find something to eat that I want to eat.
Another big question, how is the language coming. It is coming really well, and I know that none of that is me. The Lord has applified my talent to learn, and it is incredible. I learn so much pretty quickly here. Sometimes it gets frustrating when you can't say something in Latvian to an investrigator or you can't understand the teacher, but I'm learning to press through and be patient with myself. I have to remind myself that I have only been here for two weeks and I'm not going to be fluent quite yet. I also have learned to give up my OCD tendencies a little bit. I've found that if I can't say something perfect I get scared and don't share anything at all. I've had to learn to put myself out there and try my best to say it anyways, and the grammar will come later. That has been so hard for me. I've also had to learn to keep doubt from my mind. I can't doubt and feel the spirit. I constantly have to remember that "I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
On pdays I do get to go to the temple. It is really great. I love the temple and I'm glad I get to go while I'm here, since I won't be able to go once I get to Latvia. My Branch President is President Mickelsen and so far he has been great, but since our first two sundays here have been so irregular, I haven't really gotten to know him yet.
I haven't had a regular Sunday yet, but I've heard that the Relief Societies here are awesome as well as that we get to watch Music and the Spoken word every Sunday before Relief Society.
Okay so now for my week. We have three investigators right now. We aren't teaching Kristine anymore. Turns out she is our MTC teacher Sister Mills, and they didn't tell us that until we were done teaching her. We knew she wasn't really an investigator, but we just assumed she was someone from Latvia who volunteers to help out. Well, when she found out she was our teacher it was a surprise. Also, at the same time we found out that she is married to one of our other teachers!! That totally shocked us all. It is kind of crazy. So, we have four teachers who are all returned missionaries from Latvia. They are Brother Thompson, Brother Mills, Sister Mills, and Brother Brabazon. They are all great. They all take turns teaching us, as well as all of the guys teachers are our investigators now. So, Brother Mills is an investigator named Kostja. He is russian, but has lived in Lativa is whole life and is a gypsy. He is very poor and humble, and he smokes, but is very teadchable and wants to learn this gospel so bad. Also, we have Brother Thompson's investigator. His name is Aivars and he has met with missionaries before and knows all about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. We street contacted him and he tooks us back to him home. We've only had one lesson with him and it seemed to go pretty well. I had a great experience when personal studying for him and I was trying to decide and listen to the spirit on what to teach him next. I was studying prayer (because at this point he needs to pray and find out the truth of it for himself). I would read a scripture from preach my gospel on prayer and in a journal write about what that scripture says. As I followed a few footnotes I can across some great scriptures about how through praying daily we can receive gods love and happiness. It was really great, and I was reading it I had the impression that we need to help Aivars understand God's love for him as well as help him understand that God wants to hear from him and is so proud of him. I also realized at that moment that Aivars doesn't have a dad, and maybe he doesn't understand the concept of having a father and that maybe it would be important to teach him that He has a father who loves him so much!!! It was an incredible experience. We teach that to him tomorrow. We teach both of those investigators in Latvian. Also, we have another investigators named Valdis that we get to teach in English. They want us to be able to practice the teaching techniques that we ar elearning without having to remember the Latvian as well. I like those lessons, but I have found that I still don't know much about the gospel as I wish I could know. Anyways, I need to be heading soon. I still want to send some pictures.
On a quick spiritual note, wasn't conference this last weekend amazing!!! I loved being able to watch it here in the MTC. There is a special spirit that is hear when you get to watch it with all the missionaries. We also got to watch a rebroadcast of the young women session while the men were watching priesthood. That was really special, and that was by far my favorite session. If you haven't watched it yet please do!!! It was incredible. I couldn't help but listen to those young women sing and thinking what a strong generation is being prepared. I pictured them in name tags and I could see so many of them as stalwart missionaries sharing the gospel! I also had the impression that I need to impress on you guys the importance of praying and reading your scriptures daily. Although it can be hard to find the time, it is the anchor we all need in our lives. So, i ask everyone (especially my siblings) to pledge that they will begin to make goals to improve there personal study! I know I'm going to be, so please do it with me!!
I love you all. The work is good and I love being a missionary!!! The gospel is true and I know that Christ is my savior! What an incredible thing he did for us!!! I love Him and I love this gospel! I know the truth of it with my whole being, and I'm so happy to have the knowledge that I have!!
I can't wait to get letters from you all this week. :)
Again, love you!!!! (Milestiba!!)