One more week in the mission field. Fall is in the air and I LOVE IT! I love the crisp feeling, the colors, and I really like wearing scarves. :) Well, here is my update that I sent President Harding this week:
"This week was a good week. I am sad that the time on a mission is wearing down, but I'm pushing forward. Satan knows how to play with emotions, as well as a lot of them come naturally. I am glad though for the opportunity to be here on a mission. Thank you for your support and prayers.
"Our investigator Kristīne has kind of dropped off. She has stopped answering calls and texts, and has stopped coming to English. We hope all is okay with her. She was really doing well and was looking forward to us helping her with English, but then she didn't come to that and we haven't heard from her since.
"This week we also have been doing a lot of less active teaching. We picked up 4 new less actives. Some we had taught before, but they had asked us not to come back or were gone, but two of the four are less actives we just got contact with and have started meeting with them. It is in the new stages, but we hope we can help them back. With one less active, her husband is not a member, and we hope we can help him see the strength and blessings the gospel can provide for him."
This week I had an exchange with Sister Ormsby. It was so much fun to be with her again. She is such a great, very obedient missionary. She works hard and does all she needs to do to serve the Lord in the best way she can. I love her spunk and love. She is incredible. I loved how natural it was to just go and serve with her again.
On Friday of this week we had quite the adventure! We had a mini zone conference in Riga, that was a blast!! We learned so much. I love the opportunity to learn from inspired leaders. My favorite part was about consecration. Sorry, but I don't have my notes, so that is all the particulars you'll get. But the adventure started when the meeting ended. They gave us all new pillows (we don't really know why, probably because several missionaries have reported back pains and a good pillow make a HUGE difference). Anyways, that was a fun site with all these missionaries (who stand out already) walking around with BIG, WHITE pillows! It was worth the awkwardness, because those pillows provide a GREAT nights sleep. :) Well, the adventure continued when it came time to get home. We went to the bus station and found out that the bus that would get us home at about was full. That was no fun to hear. So, we all 8 (our whole district was there) are standing in a bus station hoping that President will let us get home late so that we don't have to stay the night (I've had to do that before, no fun.) Well, he allowed it and we took another bus that was longer than they usually are and got in an hour later than planned (we rolled into Liepaja at at night) and got to our apartments and into bed at about 11. It was fun. What made things even better is that the bus we were on was also PACKED! They sold all the seats and sold standing room as well. So, the elders being gentleman, allowed all the woman to sit and stood. Luckily they only had to stand for about an hour and then enough people got off so they could sit. It was a grand adventure! :D
Overall it was a great week! I've attached Gundega's testimony. She was baptized in August, remember? Anyways, in this mission they ask the new converts to write their testimony so it can be saved in the history. Well, this one is from Gundega, and I'm happy to share it with you all. :) Enjoy!!
Questions for this week: Do people have accents? Actually yes, there are differing accents in Latvian between the cities. I of course have an accent when speaking Latvian and sometimes I am told I am hard to understand. :) Latvians get kind of a british accent with rolled r's when they speak English. I love it. :) What do people there do for fun? All sorts of things. A lot of them go on walks, especially on the beach. The younger people are very involved in sports. Kids do the same things that most kids would do in America. They spend time with friends and just have fun. They also love to go to concerts and museums. Do they have any special holidays? Yes, of course. There special holidays are very pagan and often coincide with the solstices. in the fall, they have a special harvest holiday where there are big markets and everyone comes and sells their produce. In the summer they have Ligo which is on the longest day of the year. It is a fertility festival and they usually stay up all night. They have bonfires and usually, sadly, there is a lot of drinking involved. It is fun here. :)
Well, that is about it for me for this week. I hoe that everyone enjoyed General Conference! I have heard great things about it. We have not seen it yet, and I probably will not see the whole thing before I get home. They aren't broadcasting it here in Latvia until the weekend after I leave. I just wanted to share my testimony that I know God calls prophets in our day. They are simply men, but that they have been given a special assignment to testify of Christ. I know that President Monson is our prophet today and that He leads and guides the church. I know that he has the keys to guide this church and that he does so based on revelation from God. I hope you all get a chance to read and watch conference.