(This note is from Jordan's mom. Jordan is still in Latvia--he was just transferred to a different city. Where he is now is Imanta, a suburb of Riga, the capital city of Latvia).
All: 66.02KM (84687 steps).
The first picture at the bottom of this letter is a Ķeizarkronis (Emporor's Crown), also known as a lauko lili (country lili). I liked it a lot.
The second picture is us at the station leaving. The names (from left to right) are: Elder Bodily, Sister Kelley, the girl next to her is Inese, Lāsma, Jana (the previous three are Latvian church members), Sister Thurston. Back row: Aivars (barely visible--hilarious, amazing man!), me, and Elder Payne.
The bottom picture is an image of Liepāja from the Lutheran church belltower. That street right in the center (without the cars) is Tirgoņu Iela, where our church is. That is a look at most of Center, by the way.
Alrighty, then. Here we go with the rest of the stuff for this week. This week has been interesting. I was able to talk to a plethora of members in our Latvian branch here in Imanta. They are good, and very fun! I like them. We had family night at one member's place. Vinita is very artsy by hobby, and a photographer by occupation. It was very fun to be by her place. We have been by some other good members in teaching appointments, and have been by a few families while knocking on doors. It has been pretty good, so far. No solid investigators for now, but I am also adjusting to the different way they speak here. It's usually more understandable, but they choose to use a different vocabulary, so that has been a little tricky. But, overall, I like it!
We have a little X Maxima (Maximas are rated X, XX, and XXX. (Not like movie ratings) (These are grocery store ratings) The XXX is about the same as a super Walmart in America as far as the things that they have). There we get all our groceries, and there's also a dry-cleaner in that building's upstairs. We are also by the little Ālgenskala Tirgus, so we can get stuff there.
The city, overall, feels just like any other big city. But, fortunately, I am on the little side of it, and so am much more comfortable because you don't have throngs of humanity flooding the streets. The traffic is still pretty crazy, and people like to pretend they are too busy to do anything but walk, but otherwise it's normal. Uh...it turns out I don't really have any distinct impressions...let's see...oh! We have the only real church building in Latvia for our building!!! That's exciting! It's very nice, has a font and everything. I have been in little rented rooms up until now!!
The bus schedules are a little more confusing than they were in Liepaja. Turns out there are more than 9 busses, one tram line, and 5 mikroautobus routes. I now have some 40+ tram routes, 40+ bus routes, 40+ trolley routes, and many mikroautobuses (I've only seen the numbers 237 and 243 right now, so I don't know how many of those there are). But, I have a pass for trams, busses, and trollies, so I can take pretty much whatever I want. Which is good.
Uh...ask questions. I'll tell you more as I think of more.
Kaspers is a man who loves to play chess, and the missionaries here have been teaching him for quite a while. He currently is having a hard time kicking smoking, but he's a nice man (who destroyed me in Chess...twice).
We knocked on the door of a man named G. and his girlfriend M.. They are very good people. I don't know how much they will be interested in our message, but they have good hearts. Please pray for them, if you are so inclined (we supposedly have other investigators, too, but I have not yet met them, so I can report nothing about them.).
I also got thinking about the Book of Mormon again. Especially how the Book of Mormon helps us to understand the doctrines of God better. For example, in the Bible there is a lot written about the fires of hell. Mosiah 2:38 describes what the fires of hell actually are. Especially how those fires are not literal flames, but "is like an unquenchable fire." Also, Mosiah 3:6 shows that literal devils were not cast out every time a devil was cast out, but the "evil spirits that dwell in the hearts of the children of men." It also abundantly explains why the law of Moses was given, and why it is no longer valid. It has been fulfilled. It also explains quite clearly that children are free from sin in Christ until they reach an age where they are accountable for their actions (8 years old). Until then, a child is 100% sinless through the blood of Christ. That is all found in Mosiah 3:14-21. The best part about that passage is it affirms, powerfully, that Jesus is indeed the Christ. That is the Book of Mormon's purpose!
Anyway, I love you all! More next week (as usual)
( >/°¥< )