Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May 28: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: To Rīga and back, slow week

All: 88.54 KM (95,807 steps).
"Only in Latvia" moment wasn't too exciting. We just had a plethora of drunks swarming the streets. Two, in particular, are worth mentioning. These two kids came up to us and just starting talking with us for about 15 minutes last night waiting for a tram. They were absolutely plastered drunk, but spoke English fairly well, so we chatted with them.

I lied. This is fairly interesting, but is not an "only in Latvia" thing. Another guy (not a drunk) used to work in the opera. I have no idea what he did there, but he now sings opera on the streets and sells watches. He's a very, very cheerful man, and I do not think that he is drunk often (every time I've seen him he's been sober, anyway). He serenaded us on the street this week as well.

Clarification: I did not crochet at all. I cannot do that, it turns out. But, the other missionaries did. Letters: Alex (7 May), Nichols (16 May postmarked), Grandpa and Grandma A (12 May). Thank you!!!!, it's so great to hear from you all, and zone conference will be this Monday (so, hopefully all will be there).

Sigh. As far as the work goes, it's been slow this week. Most people we wanted to meet with are in the country (laukos, in Latvian, which means "in the country" and I'll probably use that from now on because it takes me a few seconds to remember the word "country" in English for that connotation). But, I have changed the way I do my work, in my attitude and my determination, and that has changed everything. I am now a lot happier, and other people can feel the difference in me. I also try to have the Spirit with me more often, so a lot of good should come soon. We've been focusing this week on English classes (we do free classes for 45 minutes Tuesdays and Thursdays at the church, followed by a 15 minute spiritual thought), and we've passed out a great many fliers. We actually had a lot of new people in class, and it was very, very fun. So, we'll see where that goes (too soon to tell). Also, sports went very well, as we had a lot of people come: and they were all investigators or members! The best part: all but one of the members that came are people that haven't been to church or really wanted to exert effort to be involved with the church the last little while! I had to chase the ball a few times into the sea (we played kickball on the beach), and that water was cold. But, it was all good. My planner didn't even get wet (or my pedometer)! It was a good time.

I have one story...don't laugh too hard. Disclaimer: I'm not stupid, just forgetful. OK. so, we were going into Rīga to get our visas (finally) yesterday. Well...I took the three hour bus ride with Sister Hagen, got into the car, and realized I'd left my Passport in Liepāja. So, I stood in line for the next bus, and after half an hour headed home again. Three and a half hours. Then, I got back to work. That But, on the plus side, I read Mormona Grāmata and understood 2 Ne 27-33 (amazing chapters, by the way. If you've never read them, I invite you to. I know they were written while Nephi was in the Spirit, because they are powerful words).

Also, we were at the hospital to visit a lady in our branch. The hospital's first floor reminded me of a subway (the feel and that there were shops and things on the first floor), and the lifts dropped 5 centimeters when you first step into them, and the lights in them dim as the thing moves, and some parts of that place I'm sure haven't been changed since the building was built during soviet times. But, the lady next to our member (Māsa Kaupene) had been talking to M.K. (the member), and was interested. So, we talked with her, she was very interested, and we encouraged her to read the Book of Mormon. She said she would. That was cool. Good on M. Kaupene!

Then, one thing to anybody who wants to do work for the Lord: work with Him. If you tell Him in prayer what you are willing to do, and ask for specific blessings in return, or if you set it up as a pact between Him and you, then you can feel His help much more powerfully. I'm not sure why that is. But I know it is. For any human on earth: pray. Pray to your Heavenly Father. He is our Father in Heaven. He is an actual individual, with a personality, and he loves us, as we are literally His children. When you pray, pray from your heart. Pray to an individual who cares about and can help you with anything. Thank him. Express love for him. He is there. He does listen. If there is anything in this world that I am sure of, it is that we can truly speak with God through prayer just as easily as one can speak to a friend over the phone. Don't wait: do it now. Do it tonight. Speak to Him every night. Every morning. And never fear to speak to Him any other time of day. You can pray anywhere, anytime. If there is only one thing that I can encourage you to do, that would be to pray often.

i love you all.
Elder Argyle
( >/°¥< )

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