Aloha!! Oh, I guess that is only in Hawaii, and I promise I'm still in Latvia. :) I guess I just miss sunny weather. This is our 5 day forecast for the week.....
Current Temp: 66°F 19°C
Latvia is promising us a classic changing season weather week. When the seasons change in Latvia, it rains, a lot. It has rained every day for the whole last week and it is promising rain for the whole next week. I like it though. The thunderstorms are incredible here! I love the lighting. Also, only in Latvia can it rain as hard as it does! It sounds like someone is spraying a fire hose at your house, it is loud!! We had a storm Saturday night that everyone was talking about on Sunday. It woke probably all of Liepaja up. It was a very loud, and long lasting thunderstorm at 4 in the morning until a little after 5. It was an amazingly powerful storm, but it is hard when it is at a time when I would rather sleep then listen to it. During the day, I would love a storm like that. :)
Sister Berchtold is doing very well. I don't know if anything stresses her out. She just keeps on pushing through. I love her and I'm so glad to serve with her. She is very good at helping me stay focused as the mission come to an end and thoughts of home start creeping in, so I'm glad that I am with her, because she helps me stay focused and work hard. I love her and her willingness and readiness to serve. I was very proud of her yesterday at church. I had to play the piano, so I was up playing prelude 15 minutes before church started, so she was alone to welcome our investigators and others as they came in. She was incredible and talked to Gundega as she came in and helped her sit by a member friend. She also so wonderfully welcome a less active from our area that we invited to church. She was incredible! I was so proud of her! She also is learning Latvian very fast. She of course has an accent and our investigator, Agija, said, "Man ļoti patīk viņas sulīgs akcents." (I just really like her juicy accent!) I loved that she called it juicy! It was super funny!!! :D
So, yesterday at church we had two investigators. First, Gundega, who is doing well and continues to progress towards baptism. She said a prayer yesterday at the end of our lesson and thanked God for the opportunity to be baptized and prayed that he would help her make it to that day without any problems. She is such a sweet lady and has been very well accepted of the branch. She'll have her baptismal interview this week and get baptized on August 30. The other investigator was the wife of the less active member that came. We had our first meeting with this less active last week and hope to soon be involving his wife in the lessons. She is very, very shy and just avoids talking to us overall.
We are still having a hard time getting new investigators. We are working hard and talking to everyone, and have so many potentials, but none come out into investigators. Satan is working hard with the people around us and they are falling through and deciding after a lesson on the street that they don't want anything. We are not letting that stop us and are continuing forward.
So, I had a great birthday! Sister Berchtold knows how to make a girl feel special and loved! She told everyone for the whole week before my birthday that it was my birthday and so, it was a well celebrated day. I don't usually like all that attention, but I loved it this time because the members really showed me their love. Sister Berchtold sang to me 13 time that day (mostly randomly while going about our schedule) and every time it was different. One time she sang plugging her nose and another time while only breathing in. It was super funny! Also, we had a lesson with an investigator, Agija, who I just love! She is from our English class. Anyways, she befriended with a member Sintija because the two are a lot alike and they are besties now. Well, anyways, Sintija and Agija planned me a surprise party. So, here Sister Berchtold and I think we are going to a lesson when actually Sintija and Agija are waiting at Agija's apartment with a cake. It was super cute! We ate the cake and then had a great lesson afterward! I loved it! Also, several members gave me presents. One member gave me a picture of Christ she had and wrote a little note on the back and another gave me some amber that she had polished and shaped herself. It was beautiful! All the sisters in the zone called me and wished me happy birthday. Overall, it was an incredible day! :D And I'm officially 21, so that's weird.....
Well, another fun surprise that we've had for the last 2 weeks is no hot water! Yay!! It makes for some really fast, really efficient, and VERY COLD showers! It is ice cold water. I will never complain about taking a hot shower again! The city is doing some sort of construction work on their pipes that carry the hot water, so our hot water has been turned off. We hopefully should be getting it back on the 22nd! I can't wait until my next hot shower, or even just lukewarm would be nice.
A question someone sent: What is you Schedule like on a normal day and in a normal week? So, I'll just go through from the beginning. We wake up at every morning. We say our prayers and then start exercise for a half hour. After that we have until 8 to be ready. From 8 to 9 we study from the scriptures and Preach My Gospel personally to prepare for lessons for the day. After that we have companion study which is until 10. That is when Sister Berchtold and I study together and plan our lessons and prepare for the day. 10 to 11 we have language study, where we work to master the beautiful Latvian language. and now, as a trainer, we have 2nd companion study which is for the training to learn principles to help her become a better teacher and missionary. That isn't every day, but some days and that is until 12. After that there are lessons (we have usually 2 a day, but sometimes 5 in a day!) We also have meetings occasionally, service opportunities. After studies, every day is different! We try to always be outside or teaching a lesson from 6-9 as that is Golden hours. It is rare that we are inside after that. So, yeah. Send more questions, I run out of things to write about.
For my spiritual thought this week, I just want to testify of the Book of Mormon and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As a mission, we are reading through the Book of Mormon and particularly studying and looking for the gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end). It is all over the Book of Mormon! It makes sense, because as it says in the introduction it contains the fullness of the gospel. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that if we read and study the Book of Mormon daily, we'll invite the Holy Ghost in our lives. We'll also learn more about God and Jesus Christ and grow closer to them. I love you all and I hope you have a great week!!!