Sveiki, visi cilvēki!
How is everyone doing? They weeks are just flying by. I am down to two and a half weeks left in the MTC. I have three sundays left and 2 preparation days! It is crazy and I'm not sure where the time has gone. This week has been wonderful, but not a lot different has gone one. We (all the sisters going to Latvia) got a letter and a postcard from two of the companionships in Latvia right now. They gave us some advice and gave us encouragement. Also, one sister was just in the last group of missionaries from the MTC and will be one of our trainers when we get there. She has only been there for twelve weeks so that is pretty cool. There will be four sisters in Latvia and four sisters going so we are doubling the mission. That will be pretty cool. It will be fun for all of us to be over there together. Well, some of the advice that the sisters gave us is they told us about the music allowances over there. They said that we are only allowed to play music that could be played in the halls of the temple. So, Mormon Tabernacle choir, and maybe instrumental if it is soft and uplifting. So, if anyone wants to help me out I don't have any CD's with me. So, if you want you are welcome to send me a CD with your favorite Mormon Tabernacle choir music. That would be greatly appreciated. Also, I found out that the we aren't allowed to eat with the members really, so if you would also be willing, I would love recipes! The sisters said that grocery stores over there are pretty much the same as they are here so I should be able to get everything I need. :) So, if anyone wants to support some sister missionaries, I would love recipes and CDs! Thanks!
Also, this week, I got to sing in the choir. I love singing in the choir! It is so fun! We sang "Come Follow Me" and I loved it! It was beautiful! Also, I forgot to tell you but a week and half ago I was asked to be in charge of music for our branch. So, I am in charge of coming up with a special musical number and making sure that someone is playing the piano and I pick the hymns. I really like it. I've used my abilities with the piano a lot more since I got here. I love that. I also was asked by two sisters in the branch who play violin if I would accompany them on a violin duet. It has been a lot of fun so far. We tried out this morning to do a big musical number (like in one of the devotionals or something like that). We'll find out sometime next week if we got it. We are also playing the piece in the Branch this week. It is a mix of Sweet Hour and Prayer and I need thee every hour. I love it! It is beautiful. The sisters are both very talented violinists.
Also, this week our branch finally got bigger. We have been just 15 missionaries meeting together every week and now we got 22 new missionaries this Wednesday that will be in our branch. I'm looking forward to that. And next Wednesday we get another 14, so we have a pretty good sized branch now. I love it! It'll be nice to have some more missionaries. And all of the new ones, but two are elders. So, finally we'll have more priesthood in our meetings. Before we only have 4 elders.
So, this week, we are still teaching three investigators. Lauren asked if we are teaching real investigators and we aren't. We teach our teachers who pretend to be investigators that they really taught. They are very good at being investigators and it feels pretty real. We teach two in Latvian, and one in English. They are incredible opportunities to learn. I love it! We are getting better because we are learning to listen to the spirit more as we teach. Last week we had a great opportunity with the spirit. We were teaching one of the Latvian lessons to someone named Aivars who is awesome! He has a strong testimony and desire to serve the Lord and keep the commandments. We were teaching about fasting and it was really cool to listen to. As we got to the end of the mission, I had the strongest desire to talk about testimonies and testimony meetings. It was pretty incredible! The spirit was strong as I in my halting Latvian did my best to explain what a testimony was and what testimony meeting is. It was hard and as I struggled the spirit helped me to know what to say. I also have great companions. My companion Sister Ormsby and I teach together along with the solo Elder, Elder Webb. We are getting really good at teaching with each other and teaching with untiy and as we work to teach with unity the spirit is stronger and stronger in our lessons. We also had a great experience with our investigator, Renārs. When we started with him, he didn't believe in God and had no concept of prayer or what that was. It was really hard to teach him at first and our first lesson with him was like talking to a brick wall. He was catching on to anything we were trying to teach him. Well, we went into our next lesson and talked to him more about prayer and what it is and who God is. By the end of the lesson, he was truly listening to us and we were able to really touch him and talk to him. At the end of the lesosn, Elder Webb asked him to pray. He was pretty resistant, but Elder Webb persisted. It was incredible! He prayed right there and distinctly asked, that if there was a God and he was God, that he wanted to know if he was there. He then thanked God for his family and asked for a blessing upon us and his family. It was incredible! The spirit was so strong and afterwards we talked about what he was feeling and helped him recognize that that was the spirit and it was testifying of the truth of this stuff unto him. And since that lesson we have seen a change in Him as he is really beginning to want to read and pray and do what we ask him to do. It is awesome and I love to see the change that the spirit can make in our lives and has made in his life.
Well, to end my letter today, I'll share an insight that I gained from the Tuesday Devotional talk. The talk was by Elder Gavarret of the seventy. He talked about the gospel of Christ and what that was. It was awesome and it was a strong talk. It held a lot of power and I loved it! It cumilated at the end to a point for me. I realized that I'm teaching exactly what Christ taught when he was on the Earth and what he continually is teaching us. I realized that that makes me one in purpose with my Savior Jesus Christ. I realized that that means that I am on with Christ. Just like how Him and Heavenly Father are one in purpose, so they are one in each other and can speak and act for each other. It is the same for me and Christ. I am his missionary preaching his word. I am one in Him and He is one in me. He will truly be with me as I preach His gospel and will be my support mate and friend as I teach and through me, He will touch those that I teach. It makes me very excited to go and preach in Latvia!
Well, I love sending these emails, but even more than that I love getting emails and letters! The language is coming and I feel your love and prayers! You are all amazing and you are loved by me and even more than that, you have a Heavenly Father who always loves you way more than you can comprehend!
Love you all! (Es jūs mīlu!)
aka Sister Cloward :)