So, I'm going to apologize upfront, but the letters/emails are going to start getting shorter and start coming less often, but you will all just have to live with it, because I'll be home shortly.
This week was a little rougher, because we were out of our area (in Riga) for a few days for visa things. I had to travel to Riga Tuesday to get the visa, and by the time I was in Riga, I realized that I had forgotten my passport!! That is an absolute no-no when getting a visa. Well, needless to say, we traveled back that afternoon, got up the next morning and traveled back to Riga, passport in hand, so I could get my visa. So with all that we spent a whole two days out of the area because Riga is about a 3 1/2 to 4 hour bus ride away. But, we pushed through hard for the rest of the week. I fasted last week that we would have some extra help finding new investigators. We're not seeing the immediate results (as in new investigators), but thinking about it now, I have seen how the Lord has improved my teaching and testifying skills in the past week. We had a great district meeting last week where we talked about natural conversation and practiced more and that was very helpful. Sister Berchtold and I also use extra time in companion study to practice, and it is very helpful. We saw some fruits of that last night as we taught a really cool guy, Ģirts, who accepted a return appointment to learn more. He was really interested and asked a few good questions. We'll see how it goes with him. He isn't a new investigator yet, but he has strong potential to be one next week.
There wasn't anything huge this week for the area, but we're working hard and supporting the several recent converts in our area. I am so in love with missionary work and I can't believe how quickly it is coming to an end. This week made it all so very real as I need to start reapplying for school. It is too real, and sometimes frustrating that I have to think about these things, but I know that it is necessary. I am glad that the Lord has given me the opportunity to serve a mission here and do all that I need to do. I love the Lord and all that He has given me. I have everything that I need, and I have nothing to complain about. I give thanks to God for everything he has given me.
Questions from my incredible brother Jacob. Nice work! Keep sending them. (And to the rest of you, SEND ME QUESTIONS!)
1. What do you and your companion do on P-days?
We follow the regular study schedule (which is three hours every day). and then we clean the apartment, email, and buy groceries. After all that we have about 4 hours to do what we want. We often explore Liepaja a little bit, take some pictures. We also occasionally play sports. Today we are playing floorball (aka floor hockey) with the four elders in our district. That will be fun. :) I've spend time on the beach, gone to see other churches (they have beautiful churches here), and all sorts of things. Next week we hope to maybe go see some old forts on a beach. :)
2. What is your favorite scripture to share to investigators?
I really love to talk and teach people about Christ and his atonement. There is so much power that comes when testifying of Christ and his atonment. I share Alma 7:11-13 a lot. I love those verses. I like to teach from the Book of Mormon in general. It carries so much power to share the words of the scriptures with people directly from the source. It also holds as much power to read and study them individually. I know that I have been greatly blessed to be able to read these scriptures and gain a testimony of them. I'm even more privileged then to be out here in Latvia and share them with other and invite them to read them. I love that!
3. What is your favorite word to say in Latvian?
Bērnišķīgs. It means childish. I was just super surprised when I heard that word, and learned what it meant. It is just fun. :)
4. Do you go to multiple wards on Sunday or just one? and is anything they do different?
I go to just a little branch. It has about 55-60 active members. But only an average of 50 come a week. It is the same three hour block schedule. We have sunday school and relief society. Sadly though, since we have no youth from 12-18 years of age. We have no Young Men or Young Women's program. I hope that that changes, but for right now, we have a lot of older people, a couple families (all with really little kids), and some 19 year old youth. Although soon a girl named Ieva who is 17 should be getting baptized! That will be great!! Other than that it is the same. The missionaries are so essential for the branch right now though because they only have 4 active priesthood holders and no pianist. So the elders help with the sacrament and I switch off with another sister playing the piano every week.
Well, that is about all. I hope I have more to write you this week. I probably will since I will be going to Riga again for Mission Leadership Council. I love that. That is when all the Sister Training Leaders and Zone Leaders come together and talk about goal and learn things to take back to our zones. I will share with you all a little of what I learn.
I just want to bear my testimony of a living prophet. We had a family night with a cute family in our branch yesterday. They have four boys and the two oldest (19 & 17) are not active. So, we have family night with them weekly. Well, there little boy, Lauris, who is 9 taught a spiritual thought on prophets. My testimony was strengthened of the truthfulness of a living prophet. I know President Monson is a prophet called of God. He leads and guides this church wherever the members may be. I know this to be true. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.