Čau visiem! (hey to all) :)
Well, I've had a crazy, but wonderful week. Transfers came and were so successful. I am enjoying my time with my new companion Sister B. She is from British Columbia, Canada. She is super sweet and already we are becoming great friends. She is awesome and while I am still overwhelmed with training I know that this is the Lord's work and that he guides it. I am learning to depend on him to do everything because I can't pretty much do anything without his help. I'll attach a picture of me and Sister B :)
Well, the work in my area moves along. There is a lot of finding to do as of right now we only have three investigators and only one of them is progressing. The progressing is Harijs who still wants to meet with us and still wants to work towards baptism. I hope that we can help him understand the importance of the Law of Chastity and maybe he will be able to be baptized this week. Pray for him that he will understand what God wants him to know.
I'll answer some questions now that people sent me a few weeks ago. :)
Tell us how you spend your days. Do you knock doors, talk with people on the street, teach, visit members, and/or what else?
We do a good amount of all of it. We do our studies in the mornings and we teach whatever lessons we have. We have less active lessons (members of the church who haven't been coming), one new member retention lesson (for the first year after baptism new members meet with missionaries and are taught more about the gospel), and some member lessons. We don't have a ton of lessons every day so we get at least 3 hours of contacting on most days. That is usually a mix of talking to people on the street and knocking on apartment doors, but Sister B and I are brainstorming to come up with some more creative and useful ideas for finding people.
What do you eat most days?
We eat mostly whatever we cook for ourselves. Mayonnaise here is really good and I eat a lot of that. It can be used kind of like a dip so I put it on a lot of my food. Latvians really also like dill so I eat that occasionally on food. They also have really yummy apples so I eat them a lot too.
What mission meetings do you attend (district, zone, mission conference)?
We have district meeting every week. We get together for an hour and a half every week and talk about our investigators. We also receive training and practice teaching. Once a month we have what is called zone time and that is where Latvian speaking missionaries from Jelgava and Riga get together and receive training from the zone leaders. Also, every other transfer we have zone conference. That is when every missionary in Latvia, Latvian speaking and Russian speaking, get together and receive training from the mission president and his wife, the assistants to the mission president, and sometimes the zone leaders.
How much teaching are you personally doing (do you speak enough to teach a lot or are you still learning)?
I am do a fair amount of teaching. Before I was training I equally shared the duties of teaching. Now I teach a little bit more, but I speak well enough to teach almost everything. My biggest challenge with the language is with understanding. I still don't understand everything and I miss a lot of what people tell me.
What parts of the culture are really hard for you? I personally struggled to understand why some people just didn't care about anything, I also struggled seeing a lot of men drink alcohol so much (members and Non-Members).
I'm not sure about this question. I'm not sure if there is anything that particularly bothers me. Word of wisdom is a huge problem here as well as Russia has a TV channel that often plays anti american stuff and occasionally they attack the church there as well.
Is pornography prevalent? I've heard Europe is very liberal sometimes with their ads.
Pornography is a problem just because it is everywhere. Europeans in general don't see it as a problem so yeah. That is definitely a problem.
So my question is, is this something culturally unique to Latvia or do all missionaries experience this? I don’t know if you have answer to that but I was just wondering. (she wanted to know if it is culturally unique for Latvians who really just like to talk)
I'm not sure. I have had a lot of investigators that like to talk and input there opinion so maybe it is a latvian thing, but more I think it might just be the character of some people to talk more than others.
Well, that is all for today! :D Send me more questions and I'll have more to write next week. I love you all a ton and I am grateful that I know you all!