It is almost Christmas, but you wouldn't know it by the weather in Latvia. This is one of the warmest winters of my life. The snow is gone, and it hasn't gotten below freezing in a while. I shouldn't complain, because I've heard it can get REALLY cold here, and i am happy right where it is at. I would like a white Christmas, but I am okay if the snow waits a little bit. :)
Well, here is the update to President Boswell about this week:
"This week we are going to really work on talking to EVERYONE this week as well. We haven't been doing as good a job as we need to do. I really want to be a Preach My Gospel missionary, but I do have a long way to go. I think it will be important for me to really focus this week on talking to everyone, but more than just talking to everyone, I'm changing it to teaching everyone. :) I want to go above just saying, hello, how are you? to saying, Hello. We are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ, and we are here to tell you that you can live with your family forever..... (or something like that). I've been creating quite a few "one liners" to use with people so that I can quickly help them see the purpose I am stopping them to talk. I have given some in Latvian to Si, so that I know that I am also saying these in good Latvian, and I'm going to work on just perfecting those, just like I would with gems.
"I also had another realization this week as I was teaching Sister Mitton during second companion study. We were talking about what makes a successful missionary. I had a thought that I shared with her about what makes us successful at all, whether in missionary work or in life. True success, in my opinion, is measured by how well we align ourselves to the will of God. That is true success. It is the only way to find true happiness in this life, and we can secure any blessings we need as we achieve true success. This is something I really want to focus more on daily, aligning myself to the will of God. This is his work and he guides it. We just need to do that which he already has laid out for us to do.
"So, this week was hard, again. It seems like we are working hard, but we aren't yielding any results yet. We are doing some great things though!! I loved this last week. We got to sing a ton. The singing at the Christmas market yesterday, went really well! I hope we will be invited back, but I know that we touched some hearts, and I know that we left a good reputation with people about the church." So, to tell you more about this. A Latvian Christmas tradition are the tirdziņi (little markets). They set them up just for Christmas time and they are a blast! Well, in some they like to have live music. A member in the branch (G) set it up so that we could go sing at one this Sunday after church. It went really well. We sang all of the Christmas hymns, but in Latvian! They were beautiful and it was really fun! Also, for singing this week, we are having the branch Christmas party this Saturday and there will also be a musical part, and the same eight missionaries are singing for that again. I also am doing a special number with a few other missionaries. We are doing a quartet and singing Klusa Nakts (Silent Night). I am really looking forward to it! :) Wish me luck and I'll let you know how it went next week!
"Also, this last week, we (our district) was able to find another way to serve. On Friday we went to a less actives place of business. She actually owns and operates a charity. She helps families that have a lot of children and don't have money to provide for them, as well as she supports different children homes. She has a lot going on with it being Christmas time and we went and helped her out for two hours on Friday. We wrapped Christmas gifts that will be given to children in the coming weeks. It was a blast, and we will be going back next week! Another great thing is that there might be a new investigator out of this. One guy who works with her has been to church before and has a Book of Mormon. His name is Mart. He is in his 20's and Sister C kept pushing for him to talk to us more. She kept saying that we need to become friends and that Mart should listen to our message. :) It was pretty funny, but he would like to start attending family night and he wants to come to the branch Christmas activity!! We'll talk to him more this Tuesday. He will probably be the elder's investigator though, but we are glad to help with the process."
Also, something fun I learned is that Sister Mitton and I are related!!! :-) We are like fourth or fifth cousins once removed or something like that. Her mom's maiden name is Brown, and sister mittons 3rd great grandfather is Homer Brown. (which is my fourth great grandfather). Someone figure out exactly what that relationship is for me. :) But it was a fun discovery and I was glad I had my fan chart with me so we could figure it out.
One more fun thing this week was the primary program in church! If you think they are cute in America, come see one in Latvia! This was my favorite! :) They were so cute, and they sang so cute! My favorite part, was the lady said, "We have... and then paused." And this little boy had a picture and was standing next to her. He sadly had the picture the wrong way and the picture was a picture of a horse when it was backwards. So she says, "We have..." and the little boy says, "ZIRGS! (horse)" It was so cute!!! It was a great experience.
Well, that is all I have time for this week. I'll let you know more next week. I love this work. Don't ever doubt it! This is the best work in the world! This church is true. Never doubt it!
Māsa Klauvarda :)