Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Feb 18: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: Miracles, snow, Valentines Day Gourdes

From: Jordan Argyle
Date: 2009/2/18
Subject: Feb 18: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: Miracles, Snow, Valentines Day Gourds

All: Well, 97678steps=76.19KM.
And, we move on. Thanks to Rachel for the letter! And to G+G for their weekly updates!

Pics: First: These are our Valentines Day gourds. So, the pumpkins they had were not so good, so I got these. This is not a tradition or anything. I just wanted to do something crazy! Many asked, I respond: Valentines day is HUGE here! Nobody had any lessons in our district because everybody was celebrating. Knocking on doors that night, we ran into a bunch of random parties. It's monstrous! And those who don't have anybody do anything for them get really down. It's almost as big a deal as birthdays or namedays. So...yeah. It's celebrated here in the same way as America, as far as I could tell. And the middle gourd is mine. Everyone thought this would be an absurd idea and refused to participate. All, that is, except for Sisters Wilson and Norris, who said it was "A great idea" and "The greatest idea ever!" (quotes are respectively listed, and are the property of the one who said it. Any unauthorized reproduction or use, without the express written consent of the speakers, is prohibited).

Also, I couldn't put mine in my window or anything, because after I made it, I had a lesson, then I came back and my little guy was just gone. So....that was the end.

Next: Our cookies. They were actually really good. Thanks many for the sisters (Hagen and Largey) who made the frosting, bought the sprinkles, and to the elders (Millet and Brown) who made the cookies.

Next: So, we had a lot of exchanges this week. We got Elder Weideman at the station (who was going with Elder Brown). Then...we found out Elder Millet accidently took the keys to the apartment in Riga center with him to Jelgava. So...the other two elders crashed at our place. Then we had E. Millet for a few days (two nights and a day, more accurately) while E. Brown went to Liepāja (he took photos of the church there, p.s., but I cannot get them until next week). Anyway, this photo was taken while we waited for E. Millet's mikriņš to come. This is right outside of the Autoosta, facing the opposite direction as I usually take pictures (just look at where all the vehicles leave the Autoosta, and cross those streets). That streak is an electric train on the way to Jurmala (which is through Imanta and out a ways).

Next:This is thanks to Sister Largey (who took the pic). I found these incredible glasses in the bathroom, on the paper towel dispenser, so I thought I'd wear them. Turns out the pic worked out pretty well. So, there. Now you all know what I look like now. For most of you, it's been a little while, vai ne?

Q+A: At church last week, we had the primary program. It was awesome! The kids are cute. My comp just got a strong motivation to start working out. Elder Millet showed him how his watch no longer fits (that's the last picture). His watch fit when he came out. Now...well...look. So, I just need to mention this shot, and E. McLaren gets out the dumbbells and starts pumping. We are still working with members to find and teach. Helvijs often helps us teach, and Ainārs is looking for people and working with those he goes to school with (and he has had many a long religious conversation with his family). We asked him to think about a full time mission, so he's thinking about it and working on being a missionary. We read Doctrine & Covenants 4 with him and Aivars Bite, as well as D&C 31 and some things from Alma 26 to point out blessings, and when we are called. They liked it, and had some amazing ideas and thoughts to share about it.

On p-days, we usually go eat somewhere, buy food, and do something with other missionaries. It's a little different each time. I'm actually really excited about today's activity: we are going to a restaurant called "the Flying Frog." Those of you who know me will understand the importance of this. I will report on it next week...don't let me forget!

So, we've had a slew of new miracles! We taught T. again this week. He's struggling to pray in his own words only--he still is reciting prayers. We taught him that praying from the heart allows you to express your innermost feelings, and can be more meaningful than a recited prayer. He's thinking about that. But still not praying about the Book of Mormon or anything. He feels he needs to know all of it. But, he has amazingly great faith, and is amazing!

A. is another English class student. We were planning on going over the importance of living prophets, and the priesthood authority they hold, and why it would be important that Joseph Smith had that authority restored to him, but the lesson turned into a lesson on baptism--the covenant with God we make, the promised blessings, and the fact that it must be done with the authority of God. He has already been baptized in another church, and didn't understand until we explained to him that without the priesthood of God, a baptism is not authorized by God. Therefore, you cannot receive the promised blessings of baptism. And only with priesthood authority can you receive the gift of the Holy Ghost--the promise that the Holy Ghost will always be with you, at all times, whenever you are worthy. We asked him to pray about it, and if he feels that the priesthood was restored, would he be baptized. He said, "Of course." So, that was amazing.

Then we have another miracle. This guy is named G. We taught him in the kitchen at the church Sunday after our meetings. He listened very carefully, and told us that he would consider what we had taught him. He will pray and think about it all. We had a lesson time set up with him yesterday, but he couldn't make it. We don't know where he is. The Spirit was very strong during our lesson, so I am hoping that something came up with him, and we'll be able to talk to him again later.

Also A. He's a cool Russian guy who knows Russian hand-to-hand combat and self defense, and he's the one who's looking for an apartment for us. He's amazing, but isn't interested in learning the gospel from us right now. He's very strong in the Provaslav (Russian Orthodox) faith. But he's willing to do stuff with us.

That's probably about it. I love you all, and am thinking about you when I pray. Never stop praying, reading, and acting on what you learn and feel!!
Elder Argyle
( >/°¥< )

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