Thursday, November 27, 2008

Nov 27: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: Snow, Turkey Day, Packages, Edgars, Exchanges, TEACHING!!

All: This week has been epic: walking 55+ miles in blizzards, snow, slush, blackness, city centers. We looked Death in the face--we stomped through puddles of icy coldness. Yes, my friends--we took 114585 steps through every possible kind of weather here. 89.38KM of talking to people through snow, wind, rain, sun (not much of that one...) and everything else. It's been...quite the week.

So, before I disambiguate a little, I think I'll talk about some pictures!

1863: my Lutheran church reflection picture won some praise, so I figured I'd also send this one! This is a poem just outside of our place. And, due to the weather, it has a nice wetness to it. I like this shot quite a lot (except the focus is a little soft...sorry about that).

1876: Just an idea how much snow we got! This is a shot from the building in which our church is. This is through the window in the stairwell between the first and second floors.

1878: Yeah, this is what that church looks like a little more fully. You should have seen the cars sliding around the circle of road surrounding that church!

1882: Couldn't help it. This is right outside the back door to our place. Gorgeous, vai nē?

Ok, as for the celebration here: one place I found the firework salute is here: I didn't watch it (obviously, I'm on a mission), but here is a quick glimpse at it! The thing is called a salute, firework show, or light show (depending on who you talk to).

Answering questions: English is an onging thing. We teach it each transfer. We usually have (here in Riga center, where I am now) about 100 people who come to both the Latvian and Russian classes. It is easier for me to talk to grown-ups Kids, too. In Rīga, most people speak very clearly, so it really doesn't matter who I talk to. The younger they are, the less rude they are...I love kids, though, because they sound so cute speaking in Latvian and Russian! Makes me smile! Our branch here in Center is pure Latvian-speaking. In Rīga, there are enough members for the Russians to have a branch on both sides of the Daugava River, and Latvians to have their own on each side. So, no, I have no pure Russian-speakers in my branch. But, very many can speak Russian. Most of them.

Funny missionary moment: well, I was asked to meet with a member of the branch with the mission president, so that the member could get his temple recommend. But, this member is deaf, so it was quite...interesting. He found out that I was trying to learn Latvian sign language, and so he brought me his 1976 Latvian Sign Language dictionary! It's huge!! I guess I'm going to have to learn it. But, the funny thing is that during the interview, he would read the question, and then sign it to us, so that we could learn the signs. I love that guy!

Spiritual missionary moment? I've shifted the focus of my approach to people on the streets--I now tell them that I am here for two years to share something very dear to me, and that I know has helped me in my life. And then, I continue. The results have been quite impressive to me! And it has gone well. Well....better than normal. And I've had some powerful talks on the street!

"What are three things you like about Elder Weideman?" I like his spirit. He is very focused, and wants to get work done, so he helps me stay focused. He knows how to study, as well, so we have had very good companionship studies that go quite deep. And, his personality is hilarious! We are also able to just talk about everything else from cartoons to guitar to...well, lots of stuff. He's fun when it's time to be fun, focused when it's time to be focused. He's not too much on either side, and knows when to do one or the other. That's quite admirable.

We get together as a district usually only for district meetings. I went on exchanges (meaning I was with Elder Brown) yesterday. It was way fun to be with my MTC companion! We were already able to just roll with each other's quirks, and teach together quite unifiedly. I hope you understood that last word "). Today we're having a thanksgiving feast as a district! I'm pretty stoked for that!! That's why preparation day was moved to today (sorry...I realized I failed to mention that last week...). Also, I have a package. I don't know who it's from, or anything other than I have one. So...fill you in next week.

Yeah, as for the was very wet. We got a lot of snow. The best day was when it snowed about 5 inches the day before, then about 1 that day, then it rained all night. Crazy weather is my favorite!

We've been doing everything possible to find new people to teach. We have just found a few, and it's been very rewarding! Not many are able to meet again (because they are leaving town or something soon), but we have been teaching new people. It's one of the best feelings, and the best way to get me excited to go out and teach more!

I have only five minutes left of computer time, so Happy Thanksgiving and I'll write next week! Love you all!
Elder Argyle
( >/°¥< )

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