Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Feb 4: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: One leg, flu, false hope, and bitterly cold. The gospel is true.

From: Jordan Argyle
Date: 2009/2/4
Subject: Feb 4: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: One leg, flu, false hope, and bitterly cold. The gospel is true.

All: 77.70 KM (99,612 steps).

Thank you to me dear auntie Jill. I got your package. So, all thanks to Cali!!! Much appreciated everything!! And to all of my grandparents A and J and "cuz" Janin for letters!!! And everyone else, for your prayers. I do feel the power and help and love from those prayers.

I thought I would also add: for that member here in Latvia who wants to go to BYU. He cannot use the church Perpetual Education Fund, because they do not support Latvia at the present time. So, if there's anybody else with ideas or desire to help, let me know. I know that I cannot technically ask for money or help in this way, but it's not for me, it's for him. So...yeah. On to the week.

Pictures: Top: This is Erna Rotberga. We took her to the hospital last week. Well...her leg was amputated last week, and now she's being moved to an old folks' home in Skrunda. That's half-way between Liepāja and Rīga. I remember that it was my favorite stop on zone conference trains to and from Rīga, because of the way the voice on the train says, "Nakamā piektura: Skrūnda." Makes me laugh. Anyway...she's the oldest lady in the branch. And now, she's gone. This is her. I love her. She was smiling when we visited her, and saying that all is well. She's amazing. I wanted you all to see her more smiley, and out of the hospital.

Next is my testimony against Wolverine shoes. They looked about like this after three months in Latvia. And the padding inside just continued to fall out. The insoles basically destroyed many of my socks (a few pairs survived), and they ripped holes in each left sock when I wore them. So, all missionaries: NEVER BUY WOLVERINES! THEY WILL NOT LAST VERY LONG! However, my other pair of them are still going strong ( padding anymore). I found some good, European-style, cheap shoes last week, so I've got those now. They have a 2 year guarantee! Yay!

Next: I've never seen this. This is the inside of somebody's dome. And it's full of graffitti. I've never seen it that bad in any stairwell. It was also a pretty odd night knocking...lots of odd domes and interesting people. The next pic is just one door farther down on the inside.

Next: This is a gorgeous stairwell--I love these stairs!

Last: So here's the park by the office in Imanta.'s in Āgenskalns, or really close to it, but we call everything across the river Imanta. Anyway, notice, please, that it's all ice. That's normal all over the city.

Three things about my new comp: He's a stellar teacher. He's from Idaho, and therefore even cooler as a person. :P He motorbiked before this. He actually had a pretty sweet bike.

So, I just realized that my subject line looks really depressing. It's not as bad as it looks. It was just not the best week for finding people to teach, so the interesting points are these: one leg. Erna is now one-legged, and there's a one-legged bum named H., who is very nice, and a great fellow, pretty much. Flu: I played the "let's be sick" game for a day or two this week. Thank goodness for the world's best juice and an ordination to be a minister of God. That probably helps.

False Hope: We were told that we're moving out of our apartment to another, nicer one. We were thrilled. Well, we called the landlady, and guess what? She's rented it out. Our only other option would be to go to an apartment in Pļavniekos (which is 30 minutes or so from center). So...we aren't moving right now. Our hopes were crushed. And then we got over it.

As for bitterly cold: we hit the -20 mark this week! Yay!! Not.

We had several miraculous meetings. One kid I talked to on the street. He told me he's been his whole life in his church, but he's actually BEEN in his church for seven years. Before that, he didn't have conviction. I love the way he said it. Turns out that people who believe something blindly have little or no respect from me concerning those beliefs. But, if they actually have studied, and educatedly have decided what they have and believe it with all their heart, then I respect them and their beliefs greatly. For any who haven't thought about their beliefs towards God or other things, think about it. Honestly decide. Please. You're dead in your faith if you have no conviction. It doesn't matter what church you belong to. If you don't know what you believe, why, and feel committed to it, then your faith profits you nothing. That much I know, and have had that feeling strengthened many times here on my mission.

Another miraculous meeting happened yesterday. It had been a really hard day for me. A lot of ignorant people, many rude people, and my only good contact of the day pulled away by an old women who told him that I'd destroy his mind and corrupt him. So, I was feeling less than happy. We taught Ainārs (who E. Jenner and I baptized. He is doing very well, by the way), then taught our English classes. We left, and the first person we talked to told us he's been wanting to learn about religions. Cool. So, we taught him a quick lesson on prayer, then he had to go. But, that made me fairly happy.

And as for the other part: the gospel is indeed true. God loves each of us, personally, and he will answer our prayers. Sometimes it's not the way we expect, or want, but he does indeed answer.

I love you all. Keep praying, keep reading (ALMA IS AMAZING, by the way).
Elder Argyle
( >/°¥< )

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