As you can tell by my title, it has been very cold here! We did get that snow last Monday, which was beautiful, but we haven't gotten anymore, just a lot of COLD!! It has hovered or dipped below about 9 F all week, with it forecasted to do the same. It could be colder, yes, but it is cold and snowless, which is not a fun combo. I'm only happy with cold if there is snow. It is beautiful thought because of the cold the Daugava river is frozen over which is awesome!! It is beautiful, and I'll try to get pictures soon.
Here is what I wrote to President Boswell this week. It will kind of be boring maybe to read, but these are my thoughts, worries, and concerns all the time for these people. It was a slower week, but a good week this week. :)
"This week was another week of just continuing to be consistent in keeping up that which we have. We've been working a lot with less actives the last little bit and try to get in contact with some that haven't been in contact with. Thanks for the suggestions with Dita. We will hopefully be having a lesson with her soon. We know she is doing her best, and she did tell us this week that she started paying for attention to the spiritual things too. I wish we could help her more, but a lot is in the Lord's hand. We have just been doing our best to know that we are looking out for her. She knows that and trusts us and has told us many of her concerns.
"With Paula and Emīls, we will be having a lesson this week with them. We told Agnese that we will only do as much as she thinks we should do. We don't want to ruin things for them all in this situation. We hope that Emīls will be joining us, but it doesn't look so. He doesn't have much interest, but we'll do our best to have them join us. We are going to just do little lessons. We talked to Agnese about maybe setting a date that we could prepare for, to show the Lord that we are serious on doing everything on our side to help the kids be ready, and asking for his help with the father so that they can be baptized this year. I asked Agnese to talk to Henn about it and pick a date that they thought would be good and we'll work towards that date with the kids. It will probably be about 4 months in the future to give the kids time to learn without forcing things on them. I know that Agnese holds FHE every week, and we're thinking that maybe we'll talk to her about teaching some of the missionary lesson concepts to her kids at Family night. We know that Emils participates in those, so, maybe something can work out.
"With Linda, we have just been continuing the texting. (we send a less active member's daughter Book of Mormon scriptures in a text daily) We also are really trying to get Inga motivated (her mom). In her own words, 'she doesn't do anything bad, but she doesn't do anything good either.' We are having a hard time with her. We've hit a brick wall where we just can't get her motivated to do anything. She is from the tribe of Ephraim, so it is her duty and aptitude to share the gospel, and it would be wonderful to trigger that.
"This week has just been a lot of motivated consistent working. We've been evaluating ourselves every night and working to be improving every day that we are working. We have done a lot of work with less actives this week. Inga M being a big one, but also, we took a trip out to Tukums with the Š's family to visit a less active out there. She's only really less active because it is a two hour trip to church. It was a good meeting and she thinks that she will be coming to church soon."
I'll expound on this, because it was fun as well. We went with the Š's (Branch President and his wife) in their car to Tukums. It is a small city in our area (another city besides Riga) that is about an hour to an hour and a half from our area! It was a long drive with them, but lots of fun. We met with this member, who hadn't had contact with the church for a little while. It was great.
So I've told you about my talking in my sleep before. Well, I had another fun episode this last week. :) Here is what I told P. Boswell about that.
"Just one last little thing. I told you before about me practicing for referrals in my sleep in Latvian, well, I have a new one to add to my list. As companions, we decided that we wanted to bring our work around more to our purpose and really help ourselves focus on that, so at the beginning of companion study, after reading the missionary handbook, we recite our missionary purpose in Latvian. It was really helped me focus on our purpose as missionaries here. I know think about every time while preparing lessons, and when we are out teaching people on the streets. I even have started quoting it in Latvian in my sleep, and, according to my companion, with quite a lot of confidence. :) I have become a missionary 24/7!"
I told a member about that, and she says it means that I'm fluent. I don't know about that, but I am happy to be able to learn latvian. I love this language! I still have a lot to learn to say, but I am really learning to fully immerse myself in the language. We are doing a memorization challenge as a zone right now, and it is a blast. It comes with 3 vocab list (each is 2 1/2 pages long), as well as you have to memorize a sentence for every doctrine point in the lessons, 2 scriptures for every lesson, the commitments for every lesson, the vocab sentences at the back of each lesson, and pass off some common missionary tasks. We have a month to do it. I love it! It is definitely a challenge, but it is a blast!!!
Some people from Rexburg were here this last week and were at church yesterday. He served his mission here and is now back from BYU-Idaho to do some research. It was really fun to see them and talk to them. His name was Jeremy Lamoreaux and he came with his 14 and 13 year old daughters (amber and emily) who say that they know Jake. :) It was fun to talk to them and see them. The great part was that Jeremy Lamoreaux, who served here 17 years ago, still speaks fluent Latvian. That was great to hear, and I am excited to keep up my Latvia after my mission.
I'll end with my testimony. I love this gospel. I know that it is true. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Jesus Christ's restored church again on the earth. What a privilege it is to have this knowledge. I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father. He sent his son Jesus Christ to atone for our sins. Every member of this church is about the Lord's work. We need to remember that. We should constantly be looking for what we can do to help the Lord in his work today. Whether that is as big as sharing the gospel with someone who doesn't have it, or reaching out to a less active, or as small as striving hard to live happily so that people can see that light of Christ in us. I hope that you all are trying to do all you can to help the Lord in his work in whatever way possible. I know I am, but even more than that, I know that I will for life. Every member is truly a missionary.
I love you all. Thanks for your support.
No Imanta, kur ir ļoti auksti! (From Imanta, where it is very cold)