From: Jordan Argyle
Subject: Jan 21: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: Transfers, Hospital Trip, Stuff
All: I don't know what I walked. I'll let you know next week. We were supposed to write Thursday this week (when transfers are), but the server will be down for updates or something tomorrow, so we're e-mailing today as usual.
Here are the picture explanations:
Top: This made me laugh. It's so true! My comp got this photo.
Next: Elder Weideman found out that I love hats, so he drew this montage of hats on the board for me! He's just awsome like that. So, I thought I'd toss his artwork out there for all the world to see.
Next: This is in a park. It just looks really cool. So, welcome to Rīga at night.
Bottom picture: Here we are, celebrating Helvijs' birthday at a restaurant called Alli Baba. Sister Wilson looks like an Arabian. :) Probably the craziest moment: this picture. The other young lady is Sister Hagen.
A comment was made that we teach a lot of people named Juris. As it turns out, Latvia has only seven common names for each gender. 60% of males are named Jānis, then you have Martiņš, Juris, Māris, Andris, Aivars, Ainārs. So, we have a lot of repeat names.
The twins that were recently baptized were found by "harvesting" (knocking on doors. The term comes from the following admonition to missionaries in the last couple hundred years by the Lord: D&C 33: 3, 7.). The Russian missionaries ran into them, and they are of the rare breed of Latvian that doesn't speak any Russian. So, as they testified in church last Sunday, one of the twins had no idea why she gave her number to foreigners, but she did. And she agreed to a meeting. It was scary for her, so she took her sister with her. And the rest is history. It was awesome!
So, transfers were today. Sister Knight is out to Sapņu Pilseta (the City of Dreams, aka Liepāja), all the other sisters stayed where they were. Imanta Latvian looks like this: Elders Payne, uh...Farnsworth (I think), and Sisters Wilson and one of the sisters from Liepāja (a Russian speaker). Riga Center sees Elder Brown as zone leader (the zone is all of Latvia), with Elder Millet. Me as district leader (the district being E Brown, E Millet, and the sisters in Rīga center, Latvian speaking) with Elder McLeren, and Sisters Hagen and Largey (as they were last transfer). Elder Weideman is going to Jelgava as district leader with another three Latvian speakers. The Russian missionaries are all over the place (literally, from Riga Center they are going to every country in the mission)!
As for the heading of this letter... That's not me in the hospital. We visited Māsa Erna Rotberga (an 87-year old church member), and another member was over there wrapping Erna's leg (which is rotting off of her). Turns out that a weird three-centimeter-tall lump had grown out of Erna's foot and was oozing all over, so they called the ambulance and we were at the hospital three hours to make sure she was taken care of.
J. is progressing very well. He is actually trying to learn, and making sure he understands as he goes. He's one of the best people that I have ever spoken with here. We also began to use Helvijs in teaching him, and it's been absolutely incredible!
A.: We should have the Russian missionaries teaching him, because he is a Russian. But, he's going very well. I was not in the last meeting (because I was on exchanges with E. Brown), but I hear it went well.
We have a few others, but we've been unable to meet with them since, so I'm not going to write about them yet. I just want you all to know that this work is amazing! I feel enlarged every moment. Due to my calling and ordination as a full-time representative of the Lord Jesus Christ, I receive amazing amounts of spiritual guidance, help, and power that I know do not come from me. This work is true, and the more you live it, and the more you strive to live it, the better it is.
My spiritual thought comes from this most recent general conference of the church, and was sent by my mother. This is the truth of our relationship with God:
"People who try to find God sometimes think that they have to look for Him in intellectually complicated concepts. However, our Heavenly Father is always available to us. He adapts to our level of understanding. In His goodness, He has ensured that the truths regarding God are understandable to all His children, whatever their level of education or intellectual faculty. In reality, the fact that a principle can be understood even by a child is proof of its power. Our knowledge of God does not depend on the amount of information we accumulate. Knowing God is a matter of opening our hearts. It is having a testimony of His existence and feeling in one's heart that He loves us. It is accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior and having a fervent desire to follow His example. In serving God and our neighbor, we witness of Christ and allow those around us to get to know Him better."
I invite you all to study about Him, and then to seek Him with full purpose of heart. I promise that you will find Him. Seek. Pray. Know. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
( >/°¥< )
P.S. I'm always thinking about and praying for you all!