Sunday, March 9

December 9, 2014

Hey everyone,
Can is just say, that this week was much better. While the numbers weren't necessarily better, I definitely felt better this last week. We really worked a lot heard, and work harder on keeping up our faith. That made a big difference. Also, another boost from this last week was SNOW! Yup, Latvia finally got snow. We have about a 1/2 foot and I LOVE IT!!! It snowed all day friday (nonstop) and on and off Saturday. It was wonderful and made for some great street teaching! I love teaching people in the snow. But as far as I hear, Idaho is getting a colder more miserable winter than we have here. It actually hasn't really been that cold, and we only just got snow that has stayed. Another thing I love about the snow here, is it is very wet! It is perfect snowman snow and snowball snow!! I have made a few snowballs. ;) I love all the little snowmen all over the place.

Well, here is what I wrote President Boswell about my week:
"I felt really down on myself after last week, because I had heard at zone time the miracles that everyone else was seeing because of their applying the new obedience, and I knew we were receiving the same things, and I thought that meant we still weren't doing everything right. Well, I now know, that we are, we are just receiving the blessings in a different way. Our first blessing that I have really noticed this week, is the change in Sister M's and mines relationship. We are really gaining a great unity in the work that I love. It is helping us a lot. We are both committed to the changes and are working together to accomplish them. I think that is the greatest blessing of all those I could possibly have. 
"Also, we have noticed that the members in this area really trust us, and that as we ask for referrals they really honestly think of them and give them to us. While we haven't received any actual referrals this week, we have had several members tell us about people in their lives that they would like to share the gospel with. One is Sister S (Elder Ss' wife, he is an area seventy). She came up to us on Sunday and said that she had a friend that she was going to schedule a time to meet with and she would like us to come over and teach her with their family. We are still working on setting that up, but she really is interested in that. 
"Also, another member, D, who is a recent convert, has really been working with her friend I, to help get him to church. He is wheelchair bound, and also very busy, but has already come to church once and loved it. We are going to challenge D this week to pick a time when we could go over to visit I with her and share the message of the restoration. We really think that she will jump on board with that, because she loves this work and the blessings that she has received with the gospel. 
"A few other things that have really taken off in our area, is singing!! Sister M and I have found that we really love to sing and we are going to really use that to our advantage. We also have found that our whole district can really sing well together, and we have already had one lesson with a less active in the Elder's area who invited friends over to hear a christmas message combined with music! It was so wonderful! The friends have a lot of potential, as well as this less active works at a place she started where all she does is simply helps those who are in need of help. She has asked us to go with her this week to deliver groceries to an inbound woman. We hope that we can find several service opportunities through this as well as opportunities to share the gospel.
"We also did have an investigator at church. In (a less acitve member) attends the russian branch in imanta occasionally and this Sunday she brought her nonmember daughter with us, who we have met with a few times. We are trying to get some more meetings with In and her daughter, but we are glad that her daughter still wants to come to church. Her daughter also just started dating a Christian guy, and so we really hope that will help her take religion more seriously. 
"This week we have plans to contact all the less actives to invite them to the Christmas party and to set up meetings with the branch activity we have going on this Saturday. We hope to really get a hold of them all. As we work to find them, Sister Mitton and I have set a goal to ask for a referral from every person we talk to as we try to get a hold of the less actives. We are going to treat it like it talks about in Preach My Gospel under the contacting Media referrals section in ch. 9. It talks about how as you try to contact the referral you talk to all the neighbors and everyone in the household and invite them all to hear the message, and then you work in the area after that. THat is our plan for contacting the less actives. We are really hoping and praying that with all our efforts, the Lord will lead us to the prepared people."

So, this week was full of lots of tender mercies. I'll talk more about that at the end.

For other fun things these last two weeks, for those of you who know me well, you know that I talk in my sleep. Well, these last two weeks, I have been doing it again. As far as I know, most of my mission I haven't talked in my sleep, but these last two weeks, I definitely was. The first night Sister M said I was practicing asking for referrals in Latvian in my sleep! Yep, I sleep talk in Latvian!!! Also, she said I burst out laughing the next night. I do remember this a little bit. I remember thinking something was so funny and that I needed to share it with Sister M, but I still have no idea what that was. I also had a good five minutes one night talking in nothing but Latvian. I still don't know what I said, but in my dreams I was just talking to members. So, yeah, I still sleep talk....and laugh, but know I also do it in Latvian!!! That has made for some fun laughs and jokes between me and Sister M. :)

Also, for fun traditions that are here in Latvia for the Holidays are winter markets! They are awesome and there are at least two really good ones where Sister M and I want to spend some time. They have lots of little venders selling all sorts of homemade items, as well as there are so many fun things to look at. They play music and it is just fun!!! It is a great tradition that I love!!

Question (from Grandma Sharon): What are the church buildings like there? Do you have your own buildings? -Well everything here in the mission are branches. We don't have any wards yet. We do have a few church owned buildings. We have one that we use a lot that is very close to our apartment. Sadly, they don't have a Latvian branch there right now, just a Russian one. We attend the only Latvian branch in Riga which is in center. The branch there meets in a second floor of a building that we rent. It is actually really nice, but definitely different. :) 

Also, some other fun things (as you can read above), is that Sister M and I have discovered a love for singing! We love singing together and have found several opportunities to make someone happier by singing to them. We love that we get to do that.

I know that Heavenly Father loves us. How is know is all the little things in my life that show he cares. They are called tender mercies and we all have them in our lives. We much just simply look for them and see that Heavenly Father really is there and he loves us. I love this time of the year because of what we celebrate. We celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He truly is our savior and he is the best example of God's love for us. I hope you know that Heavenly Father loves you, and I hope that you each can feel that love at this time of the year. I invite you all to do what you can to invite that love into your home. Pray that you will be able to feel his love around you, and I know he will give it to you.

I love you all and I am grateful for you and your support!
Sister Cloward

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