Sveiki šajā brīnišķīgajā dienā! (Hello on this wonderful day!)
I got to first off express my sorrow and shock to hear about the flooding in Rexburg! What a mess it sounds like. I am glad to hear that everyone is okay, and I hope it stays that way. Sorry about all the ruined yards, basements, gardens, and mess in general there. I am glad to hear that Rexburg citizens are pulling together and helping out and I hope you keep up the good work. What a crazy mess. Just know that there are prayers coming from Latvia. For those who are suffering through this trial, please read my email all the way through because my spiritual thought is for you! :)
To describe the title, this Thursday will be transfers!! We haven't heard anything about them yet. We usually here on Tuesday after district meeting. I have no idea what will happen, but just know that it will probably be crazy. We have a lot of new Latvian missionaries coming in! We will have 6 new elders and 3 new sisters! It is the most that Latvian speakers have ever gotten in one transfer!! So there is a possibility of me training and/or white washing (which means I will be put in an area where neither me or my companion have served). We'll see what happens and I'll tell you next week.
I also had a great time at Mission Leadership Conference. I learned a lot. President Harding has a different way of doing things, but it is very refreshing. He is smart and is helping us be our best and do our best. I love him and know he is meant to be my mission president.
So, yeah, I'll let you know what is going on in the missionary work here in Liepaja, our cute investigators Andris and Gita told us this week that they have their conviction and we have ours. They know that they are not going to change our conviction and they don't want us to change theirs. So, yeah, they very kindly and politely stopped investigating. They still want to be friends and talk occasionally. They showed this by asking us to come over and serve with them in their backyard and then they said that we can share a spiritual thought. It was really nice of them. I know that through our example and with time that the Lord could soften their hearts and they could decide that they want to learn more.
Gundega is doing well. She is continuing forward to baptism on August 30. She is beginning to be welcomed and keeping her commitments. She is great! She doesn't have much religious background so that poses our biggest problem right now, but she recently hasn't wanted baptism and has seen how it has changed her friend Skaidrīte's life and wants that for herself. She is keeping commitments and working toward those dates. We know that by her continuing trying to pray and reading, that she will gain that testimony of God and Jesus Christ.
Also, an update on the recent convert whose 4 year old daughter died. She is doing very well now. She did turn to Christ in her trial and continued on and she has been helped and blessed. Because of this experience it brought me and her very close! I love her so much and know that we have formed a true, eternal relationship that will last us forever. When you mourn with someone it can do that. She has since then found her real mother (she was adopted) and found that she has a 6 and 4 year old step sisters. She is living with them now and is very happy. I love that she is happy. It makes me happy. :)
That leads very well into my thought for the week, the ultimate lesson I have learned. This week I have learned a lot about trial, temptation, and opposition. This was not a lesson learned by just studying it, but this was a lesson learned from experience.
Overall this last transfer, Satan has really tempted and given me many trials. I won't go into the details. Keep in mind that I am fine.... actually better than fine. I have come out with a stronger testimony and a determination to out due him. :D But overall I have learned that Satan will try to use our weaknesses to pull us down, don't let him win!! The trials and temptations will always be in our lives, but the are a good thing. In Doctrine and Covenants 29:39 it says, "And it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves;..." So first off we need the temptations and trials to learn to choose for oursleves. The verse continues "...for if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet." I know that this is true. We must know sorrow, anger, pain, and hardships to see joy, love, bliss, laughter, and happiness. So, really the hard and bitter things are really a blessing. I have learned that there is power through the atonement of Jesus Christ. One of the ways that Christ has been attacking me lately is physically. I have been suffering since March/April from awful back pains that lately have gotten worse. I have literally seen power from the atonement as I have turned to the Lord in prayer. Don't forget about the Lord. When the waves come, don't look at them, look ahead and find the savior and keep your eyes on him. From a friend, "It is when times like that (talking about affliciton) come that those who are truly converted come forth from the furnace of affliction and will shine forth in the kingdom of the Father." I know that is truth. I love you all.