Wednesday, June 25, 2008

June 25: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: Ligo, Graduation, Barbi Q, Karosta, 3rd Nephi

All: 87.36KM (109,264 steps).
Wow. Are you ready for all this? First, we went to Karosta (War Port), where we looked at the old ruins. I only put a few shots on there, but I've got scads. That was actually very fun. 9262 is a shot of what the front used to look like. These forts were destroyed as the Germans who occupied them fled (if I recall the rumors I've heard correctly). 3109 is underground (these forts all has stuff under them that connected all the top parts). And 3116 is a quick look at the rest.

We had yet another graduation this week. It was J.'s. She goes to a Russian school, so more of it was in Russian, but they still mixed Latvian into the thing. It was cool. They do graduations this way here: they have a little presentation, all the graduates give their folks flowers, then they are all called by name. They have some nice things said about them, then they stand in the middle of the room while people run up and give them flowers, gifts, hugs, and other things. They have 15-30 kids that graduate from each class (as each class is divided up into A,B,C, etc.). The picture I have attached is J. after with all her flowers (and her mother).

On Sunday, we had our district's last meal together. We decided to Barbie-Q, and we did it in a parking lot by the Rock Cafe. A guy came up and asked if we like problems with the police, because having a BBQ is the middle of the city was a good way to get the cops called on us. We thanked him, and had two hours of police-free grilling time. Monday, we had two sisters leave us (transfered to Rīga). Sister Morley is in Iemanta (the other side of the river from Rīga center) and Sister Heigan is in Rīga Center. Everyone else stayed in Liepāja, and we got nobody new. It's just a small, 5 missionary district (plus the Boems) again.

We also had a Ligo celebration. That is one of the 3 biggest celebrations of the year. This is the summer solstice party. Traditionally, you jump over fires, burn your old Ligo Hat (I forget what the thing is actually called in Latvian, sorry about that), and make a new one. Here's the one that I made (1070). That was really fun. We just spent time with the members and learned some Latvian traditions. Ironically, it was the coldest it's ever been since I arrived here on the 24th. The celebration is on the 23rd. But, it was cloudy, very windy, and rained a little. It was less than pleasant. But, whatever. We got to see a lot of less actives that day (because everyone else was plastered drunk at home).

Anyway. We have been doing a lot of work with less-actives. We talked to one of the Svari children and his wife (who is not a member--he is). We taught the plan of salvation. She was very interested in what we taught, and jumped right into reading the pamphlet we gave them as soon as we had finished praying. That was good to see, and I hope it can bring her comfort. And if it can help her to find God, all the better.

One more exciting thing: we went to visit O. in the hospital. While there, we met a kid named M.. He's really cool, has the light of Christ glowing from his eyes, and readily accepted what we taught him. Pagaidam, he is our only investigator that is going anywhere (the rest have been unable/unwilling to meet with us). One more interesting note about the hospital: they have done as little remodeling as possible since the Soviets moved out. The elevators are creepy, and my ride in one of those is the only time my whole mission I have been worried about my welfare.

Rest of the 3rd Nephi Notes:
20:35 - This is a reminder that Christ has been authorized to speak as though He were the Father Himself, for He has strived to be as Him and His thoughts, actions in all cases agree, and therefore as granted God's full authority. This has happened with several prophets: where they have been promised that whatsoever they ask the father in the name of Christ will be granted, for they would ask nothing contrary to His will.
21:2-3, 4 ("this land"=Americas), 7 -
the Book of Mormon has come forth indeed, though a God-built free nation where He could bring forth His church again. This prophesy is fulfilled in the Book of Mormon's publication.
- These chapters were given to the people from Malachi in the Bible. It made me think that, once again, God gives to all people liberally, and gives them all that is needed. Only after time do things become lost, and those important truths need to be restored.
26:8-11 - Interesting that the Lord gives us just more than enough, so we can believe, but not so much that it's impossible not to. 12:2-More blessed are those who believe with less given. God gives us all the proofs we need to develop as strong a faith as we care to build.
27:8-9 - This is why we unashamedly use Christ's name in our church's name. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is truly the church that Christ himself established when he was on the earth. The only difference is the location on the time line.
27:13-17 - Christ's gospel. This works because He has claim on mercy. But mercy cannot rob justice. Read Alma chapter 42. It is the clearest explanation of the Atonement and why the atonement of Jesus Christ has power to save us. But remember, we must believe in Christ, repent, be baptized in his name, and follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, given us after baptism. These requirements are mentioned many, many times in 3 Nephi, starting in chapter 9. It is again mentioned 27:13-17.
27:19 - Requirement to gain access into heaven (v.20 is the commandment).
28:18-23 - "The Acts" from the bible in very short form. This quickly explains what the apostles did after Christ left. And it's the exact same thing that the ones in Israel did. It is very important that we note verse 23. People must be converted to the Lord, and not to anything else. That is why logical arguments that are employed by so many who claim to be religious fail to provide any spiritual nourishment. They do not convert people to the Lord, but to the argument.
29:6 - God never changes (He has no variable or shadow of change -- see Mormon 9:9). Therefore, He works as He always has -- through these things. For God is a God of miracles, and always has been, and ever will be. Any who say he has changed is not of God.
30 - Great commandment to all. Remember that priesthood is required for these acts (note that in Acts 19:3-6 a group of people were baptized without the proper authority from God to what they thought was John's baptism. But it was not, for he truly baptized with authority. So, they are all re-baptized and given the gift of the Holy Ghost by one who is authorized of God by the laying on of hands).

That's all, folks. I love you all!
Elder Argyle
( >/°¥< )

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