Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Jan 7: Baltic Chŗonīcļe:

From: Jordan Argyle
Date: Wed, Jan 7, 2009 at 4:14 AM
Subject: Baltic Chŗonīcļe:

All: 86,342steps, 67.34KM.

The top one is all the stuff you'll need for the sweet and sour chicken. From the top-left: noodles (half kilo), chinese tomato sauce (basically it's regular tomato sauce with pineapple and carrot chunks with an extra chinese zing), can of pineapples (300g(?)), half kilo of chicken breast (next row down), black pepper, onion, limes, orange (just one normal-sized or two little ones), then carrots, exotic sweet Thai sauce (that's what I don't know about for you Americans), and bell pepper.
To make: basically, cut the carrots into little wedges (halve them the long way, then clop them into little pieces), chop up the onion, and the pepper. Cube the chicken and toss it into a frying pan. Also peel the orange, and cut the wedges into semi small pieces (we halved the little orange wedges, and we tri-cut the bigger). Boil the noodles together with the carrot chunks. When the chicken (and maybe onions, if you like onions) are done cooking (the chicken will be mostly white), reduce heat (to almost nothing) while you halve the lime and squeeze its little guts out all over the warm chicken. Then toss in the orange bits, and drain the pinapple can a little into the pan. Then turn up the heat again and simmer that stuff until most of the juice is gone. Drain the rest of the pineapple juice. If you'd like, you can also add pineapple chunks into the chicken while it cooks. We did...

Next picture: After it's about done, add a very generous helping of the black pepper on the chicken mess. You also drain and shock the noodles (meaning you put cold water over the hot, freshly drained noodles), dump in the drained can of pinapple chunks, and add the peppers (there's also onion in this picture, but the onion did nothing to add to the flavor or texture. It may work out if you fry them up with the chicken then pour the liquid stuff over the top, but I don't know. Didn't get to try that out...). You then bring all together in the pot.

Next picture: Then you pour in the jar of chinese-tomato sauce (all of it), and half to all of the Tai sauce. You then toss in some habinero pepper sauce or eat as is. It will already be fairly spicy. This stuff was incredible!!

First non-food picture: A gorgeous sunset on new years day!

Last picture: We had an amazing zone conference. We went out to the beach by Dzintare (or something like that). This was the place where, in 1993, the country of Latvia was dedicated for missionary work by an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. We were told the story of missionary work in Latvia at the very beginning, and we read the dedicatory prayer. After, we sang a missionary anthem, and then thought. The spirit was very powerful, and I was strongly motivated to get out and teach more! This shot was perfect: I got some snow falling off trees with the sun right behind it. About eight seconds before this it looked so much better, but I was too slow with my camera!

Answers to questions: All Latvian speaking missionaries in Rīga center (and a Russian-speaking assistant to the president) go to the Latvian branch (congregation). I did say the branch is amazing, and correctly so. Basically, you can see their faith in Christ and spiritual power just bursting through. Every one of them in a convert to the church. And all of them have had to make large changes in their lives so that they can live the Gospel as taught by Christ. It's a great sacrifice to be a member of the church here. And as such, the blessings you receive are enormous! You can see that the Lord has consecrated their sacrifices to be for their good. I guess there aren't as many specifics as it is that: just an overall amazingness. The closeness between the members is something that I never experienced in my youth classes with those of my age. I love seeing it here! Also, every person in our branch knows what they believe in, and they personally have that testimony. I respect that almost more than anything else.

Sanita and Santa are the only two members in their family for the time being. Sisters Hagen and Knight are not companions anymore. They were. I'm taking the picture of all the singing missionaries on the stage, so I'm not in it.

My best missionary moment of the week was teaching all kinds of new people. I've gotten rather quick to telling people that God has given the fullness of His truth again, and that there is only one place to find all truth together. Wherever they are has some truth, yes, and will do them good. But they can have so much more. God wants to give them more, but they have to accept it. And, telling people something like that (or sometimes exactly that), and telling them that I don't want them to just believe me, but I want them to pray about it and find out for themselves, has gotten me a lot of really good contacts (some not interested, but we both left with good feelings), and a good number of lessons. I really like having the fullness of truth to share with others. Thank goodness that the Book of Mormon is there for anybody to read and prove these things I say. I don't think I could be a missionary without it!

Real quick, on new years day we were all home. Well, at midnight (actual new years), we, just by poking our heads out the windows, saw at least four shows: the city one to our left, one to our right, one in old town, and other just in the street in front of us! We had buildings in our way, so we didn't see all of them, but we saw a good number of fireworks. And I have movies galore on my camera (they're way too big to send through email, though).

We've gotten tons of snow, and temperatures have been as low as negative 10! And the sun has been shining (probably about the first time I've seen sun since October or so), and people have been quite happy, even though it's been bitterly cold.

I love you all dearly! I pray for you, and I know this work is true! I know that this Church is the only true and living church on the earth (as Christ himself has declared). You will know this as well, as you continue to read the Book of Mormon with a prayerful heart. Keep reading, and keep praying, and keep desiring to know more!
Elder Argyle
( >/°¥< )

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