Wednesday, May 21, 2008

May 21: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: Record Distance, Lots of Folks, Drunks with sharp things, wilderness wanderings

For all:
New walking record! 92.52 KM (that's 115,693 steps, my friends!)

Also of interest, I finally figured out how to type in Latvian. You have a language thing in Windows that lets you change the language. But, when you change it to Latvian, it still types in English. Weird? Yes. But, when you hit the apostrophe ( ' ) and then a Latvian letter (A,E,I,U,G,K,L,N,C,S,Z) it does it Latvian style (Ā,Ē,Ī,Ū,Ģ,Ķ,Ļ,Ņ,Č,Š,Ž). So, that was very exciting and greatly sped up my typing a letter to R. (from Jelgava).

Questions from the home front: New companion - doing great! Our tripanionship is strong, as we think very alike concerning missionary work. We're trying some new things. Just talking with people didn't work so well last transfer, so we're telling everyone that doesn't want to listen to the gospel about English and sports. Last week, we had 7 people (counting missionaries) at sports. That means we had two, and both were members. This week, we had well over 20, not counting any of the 7 missionaries! And all of them had fun! We played American football, Frizbee, Red Rover, Duck-Duck-Goose (in Russian), and just catch. It was very, very successful. We'll see what happens with the folks there. We actually had a Russian lady from my English class come, and her three daughters enjoyed it very much (1, 4, and 7 years old, if I recall correctly). So, we're working on that. It's easier to talk gospel from English, so we'll push that this week. We had several new people show up to English class, too, so I think we're moving the right way! The new sisters are amazing! Both are very, very good with people, very likable, and are just ripping it up. Sister Hagen and Sister Morley talked to 300 people on the streets last week (that's a very, very big number, by the way). Sister Thirston is fantastic, too. She's hilarious, well-seasoned, and bold. That's the way work gets done. Our new apartment is on the 8th floor, but we have a lift (held up by quarter-inch thick rope) that we use. The biggest down is that it's quite a distance from center, so we are hard pressed to get home on time. But, it's a nice pad, with a gas stove (so food actually gets cooked), and room for three to study. I like it! It's not without broken things, though...

Investigators: O. - She has a job!!!! She works at Rimi (where Liena, an investigator of the sisters in the same situation, works. That situation is that they live with somebody of the other gender, and don't have the money to move out). And, she's moving along well.

That's actually it. Our families weren't able (or didn't want to) meet with us, and the others are out of city/country. On the super, super, super plus side, though, V. (the one in Germany now) was baptized last Sunday. The German elders working with him let me know via phone. I was very, very excited. I should have pics next week from them!

I was asked to share something that only could happen in Latvia. Easy. We were leaving the church after practicing singing a song for district conference (more on that later), and a drunk man with a saw approached us. This is one of those old school saws with the wooden handles, and was about a meter and a half long. Why he had it nobody knows, but the sharp part was facing us. It was fortunate for us that he was wasted drunk. He spoke to us in Russian, with English and Latvian words and grammar constructions mixed in. This man was very, very drunk. So, I think that kind of thing is very much a lower Baltic state (Latvia and Lithuania) occurance. We left after locking the church door without incident.

Now, more fun stuff: We had district conference in Rīga at the Rīga world trade center. That's all Latvian members invited to that. Well, the Liepājnieki (the Liepājans) that didn't travel by car or train or go Saturday went with the missionaries on a bus. Well, about 100km from Rīga (between Salus and Rīga, one stop after Salus) our bus broke down. We were left to wander about the farm behind the stop (the lady who owned it wasn't overly thrilled with that, but didn't actually care as we weren't destroying anything). But, we were left there about two hours while a new bus was sent FROM LIEPĀJA!! was fun. We wound up playing with a little girl there, which was very fun (actually, Sister Thirston did most of the playing), while the rest of us crocheted. Elder Bodily brought a lot of yarn and a good-sized pile of hooks to do that with, which was cool. (this is Jordan's mom talking for a moment--Jordan's never crocheted in his life, as far as I know, and Elder Bodily, who is from Idaho Falls, is a big sports guy, so don't ask ME why they were out there crocheting! :) Oh! Wait! I'll call Elder Bodily's mom!! OK, here's the story. Another Elder taught Elder Bodily how to crochet earlier in his mission, and his mom sent him some yarn and instructions and stuff and told him that maybe when he had some free time, like on bus rides, etc, he could make hats or scarfs and give them away, and Elder Bodily thought that sounded good, so that's why the crocheting! Glad to get that explanation there :)) Back to Jordan: We got to Rīga after conference started, and we were able to get in for the last hour of conference. Then, we grabbed the mail for Liepāja, and rushed to the train station to leave. Whew! But, the trip was beautiful, and where we were for two hours was gorgeous. That's what I call a district unity activity!

And with that, I must say that I am out of time. I love you all! I do know that God speaks today, and that He watches out for and protects His children! Aceries viņū, un to, ko viņš ir darījis musu deļ! Viss, ka mums ir, ir dāvana no dieva. Tik želigs viņš ir!
(Brother Shell, if you'd like to translate, we'd love to know what he said ! :) )

Elder Argyle
( >/°¥< )

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