Sveiki Mani Draugi!
Hello world! I'm so glad I get to write you this week and also, I can still send pictures! I was really worried that they would do a way with that, but all is okay. I am allowed to send and recieve pictures through email still. This week has been slower, but still crazy. We teach a lot which is good, because sometime contacting is a waste of time. It takes a long time just to find one person interested in listening to us. It is hard, but important because without finding there is no work, but as was said in the Worldwide Leadership Training, there are better ways to find than tracking and door knocking. I hope everyone has watched the trainging from last weekend. We got to watch it yesterday and I loved it! there was some really good things said! some amazing things said! I agree with everything that was said. Every member a missionary is so important right now. Member referrals are always so much more affective for missionaries than who we find on our own. They are usually more prepared to hear the gospel. Be an example of a good member and look for ways to helps those around you who don't have the gospel in their lives. Pray for them and just be there friends. You'll be guided in how you can help the Lord in his work.
So, thanks to everyone who has been sending me letters! I love them so much. Especially, Nate and Rachael. I loved the picture that Izzy drew me! that was so fun to receiver and I hung it up on the wall next to my desk. I miss that girl a lot! She is a cute one!
So for this week. Things are going well with investigators. I'm going to just paste here what I wrote to my Mission President about my investigators. It is easier than writing it all out again. "With Inese, things are coming along. We had a very powerful lesson last week with her. We were only able to meet with her once last week. Marta helped with that lesson. We had planned to talk about prophets and authority, but as we got into the lesson and I was asking her if she had a chance to read, she had said no. I had a very strong impression to read with her in the lesson that day. So, we read 3 Nephi 17 with her. She really loved it. It brought up several good points about Christ and what he has done for us. We talked about his love. I was blessed with a small miracle in this lesson. I read in 2 Nephi that morning and had read an awesome scripture that I had never noticed before and as we were teaching her that evening it came to mind again. It was 2 Nephi 26:33, that all things that the Lord gives us are for our good. I testified so strongly that I knew that was true. At this point I'm not even sure of everything that I said, but I know the spirit was strong. The Lord was directing that lesson and I know she felt the spirit and she was touched by what was shared in that lesson. I have never been in a lesson that was more directed by the spirit. But really and truly, the spirit is the teacher and I am not. If I do all I can to prepare myself, he will take over and do the teaching." I loved this lesson and I love this woman. I feel such a strong connection to her and I hope she receives the gospel.
Also in my email, a miracle we had this week about our investigator Oskars. He is awesome and is also helping me with my latvian! I love when Latvians do that! "So, a miracle for this last week. We have an investigator Oskars who has been coming to the YSA activities the last few weeks. He came to Agita's baptism as well and really loved it. He was touched by the things that were said. And afterwards, we took the same little van home together as he lives in Purvciems near us. As we were standing there waiting to take this van, he noticed an alcohol bottle in the garbage can. He commented that it was the most popular brand in Riga. But then he said that he doesn't drink alcohol because he knows that it is bad for him and that he gets "fuzzy" when he drinks it. So, he doesn't ever drink it. Then out of the blue he says, "I also know that coffee is bad and I've been trying to drink less, but I think I'm going to stop drinking coffee from now on." We were so amazed! It came out of nowhere and we were so suprised, but also so happy for him. When he was taught the word of wisdom he absolutely refused to live it, and we haven't had the chance to talk about it since. So, the Lord has been softening his heart and he has decided to quit on his own." That was a great experience and a testimony to me that the Lord is fully involved in thiswork. More than I am involved in this work. As you read in that quote, we had a baptism this week in Riga. It wasn't our investigator, but I know that girl pretty well. Her name is Agita and I love her a ton. She was baptized last Thursday and confirmed yesterday! She was just glowing and so excited to finally have found the true church. She has been a member of lots of different churches in her time, but she has finally found the right one and her testimony in strong.
Also, for investigators this week, I will tell you about Andris. Here is what I wrote about him, "We had a great spiritual thought with him about prayer. We had a goal in mind with him to have him pray by the end of the lesson. And he did it! He was so nervous but he really wanted to try. His prayer was simple but it was from his heart and the spirit was so strong. I was so proud of him for doing something I don't think he has every really done before in life." That was a great lesson and a big step for him. Sadly we won't be able to meet with him for a few weeks as he is going on a trip to the country with his family, and also sadly when he gets back we'll be doing a pass off lesson with him becuase he lives in the Elder's area on the other side of the river. :(
One thing I've learned a little bit more about this week is the love Latvians have for nature. Flower stands are everywhere here and it is a very common thing to give people flowers on special occasion. I want to get some picture of the flower stands because they have beautiful and unique flowers here. Maybe go give someone flowers this week and brighten their day. :)
Well, I think that is it for today. I'll do my best to tell more about Riga next week. Just know it is beautiful here. Take some time and study their history. It will help you appreciate the freedoms that we are lucky to have. They have had a rough past and have been so abused and their history is so looked over. They were hit so hard by World War II and most people have no idea. I love the rich history and culture of this area and learning about it is a blast. Enjoy your fourth of July everyone. I know I probably won't be celebrating it, but I'll definitely be thinking all about how grateful I am for the freedoms we have in America.
I love you all