This week was really good. I love the missionary work. It was a simple, but fulfilling week. As far as what our biggest focus and joy is right now, it is Paula and Emīls. They are nonmember children of the relief society president that we are working with. :) They are so good. Paula is 12 (almost 13) and Emīls is 10. It is really fun to work with them. We started a Book of Mormon reading challenge in between me, Emīls, and Paula. I love it so much. I have to read in it Latvian, and the whole thing out loud. He is what I wrote President Boswell about our work with them.
"With Emīls and Paula, it is a pleasure to be able to work with them. They are wonderful and so cute! Paula is progressing quite well, and both are progressing investigators (That means they are keeping commitments). :) I'm glad to report that as of yesterday (Sunday, only a day after starting the reading challenge) Emīls had already read 7 chapters! He is determined not to lose. He doesn't care about the prizes as much, but he hates to lose, so he is working very hard. He didn't come to church, because they couldn't get him out of bed, but he liked the baptism (a baptism in Rīga this week that I'll tell about before. Paula and Emīls and their family came). He was very interested in what actually happens at the font part, and gratefully to Paula, he had front row seat and saw everything. Paula is a great little missionary and really want to help Emīls accept this. We are going to be teaching them once a week, and we are thinking of some creative ways to teach the lessons on their level, but also making it fun so that they want to learn with us. I have to thank the spirit for the ideas, but they have been flowing as I think about Paula and Emīls constantly. We are going to do a puzzle this week for the restoration and talk about each of the "pieces" that led up to Joseph Smith asking the question, that led to the first vision, and restoration of the true church. We are going to try other different, fun homemade activities to teach every concept so that we can really get Emīls involved."
I really do love helping these two progress, especially since this is something that has been worked on ever since Agnese (their mom) got baptized a little more than a year ago. They do have one big opposition, dad. (agnese is divorced and remarried to Henn from Estonia) Dad is against the church in general and doesn't believe in God so he doesn't want to allow the kids to do this. So, if you pray for anything for me, pray for their dad's heart to be softened so they can get baptized.
As usual in this area, we do a lot of work with less actives. We had a great experience and idea about one less active. Here is what I explained to President Boswell:
"Also, for other less actives, we have Inga V who we have been working with. We have been trying to think of what we can do to help her come to church. We haven't really been sure what we could do. Well, we also had another problem with our super sweet less active who just came back into activity. Iveta L just started coming back to church, but sometimes it is hard for her to convince herself to go outside. She has a little depression, and some big fears for outside. It helps her to know there is someone waiting to go with her. So, we have asked (with Agnese's approval) that Inga V start taking Iveta to church. They both for now have agreed and we'll be having a lesson with them together to talk more about it, but if all goes well, they both will be at church next week!!!"
We also got a new investigator this week. His name is Janis, and Sister Mitton taught him on a bus. We have a meeting set up with him for this week, but we already know it will be a pass off. He lives in the Elder's area. I'll let you know how our first meeting with him goes. I was so proud that Sister Mitton talked to him! She is such a great missionary!!
So, we are getting close to the end of another transfer! I'll be ending transfer number 6!! That is so crazy. After this transfer I only have six left. So, my time in the mission field is half up!! I've spent five in the area I am at right now, so the odds of me moving next transfer are high and the prediction is I will be transfered. I hoping and praying no! I want to stay in Imanta so bad. It is home. Here are my thoughts to President Boswell:
"So, training is going to end for a second time for me. It is weird that I have already almost finished training again. The time really flies when you are having fun, which, I most certainly had fun with Sister Mitton! She is a wonderful missionary. She is quiet and observes a lot. I have spent a lot of time helping her figure out how she learns latvian, and helping her figure out what her strengths are. I hope that I have helped her gain a confidence. She is hard on herself, but mostly because she tries so hard to do everything perfect! She succeeds with that a lot though. When I give her a suggestion, she takes it a runs with it! She learns fast, and is so motivated. Sometimes it takes a little bit of pushing to get her to lead (she's more content to sit back and go along), but I've been pushing her and trying to help her realize that she can do this. I have learned so much from her. She has taught me how to really improve. She makes good goals and really works to improve herself! It is amazing! I have also really learned to be myself around her. I love her so much, and I am so grateful that I got to be with her. I'm looking forward for our next week and a half together. I am definitely going to miss training though. (there is no way I'll be training again, because we aren't getting Latvian speaking sisters this time, just elders)"
"I am resigned to take whatever happens with next transfer. I know it is likely that I could move, but if I may request, I would be happy staying in Imanta the rest of my mission. It is a hard area, but I love it! this is home. I love the members here, and I am so grateful to have been able to spend so much time in this area. I want to stay longer and keep helping it, but I know the Lord will direct me to the place I need to be."
So, yeah. This was my week. One more fun though/question. Mom and dad, are you sure I wasn't adopted?? ;) because, everyone says I look Latvian. All the members say I look Latvian, and the language came pretty easy, so am I adopted from Latvia? :) Haha, I know I'm not, but in some ways, I wish I was! I love this country! This is my home, and I feel so comfortable here. I love the members, nonmembers, culture, food, and just everything about this place. It is such a bummer that more people haven't heard about it.
Well, to wrap up this letter, I'll end with a little testimony. This week I'm really seeing the importance of good study to build and solidify our testimony. We should have good, solid, enriching, spiritual feasting every day. It is the only way we can keep our testimony solid. I'm grateful for my mission which has taught me how to study. I challenge you all to ask yourself, are you feasting on the words of Christ daily? If not, find a time daily when you can study the scriptures, and study! :)
I love you all. Jauku nedēļu jums visiem!