Thursday, May 28, 2009

May 28: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: Transfers, Voting, Robbery

From: Jordan Argyle
Date: Thu, May 28, 2009 at 6:49 AM
Subject: May 28: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: Transfers, Voting, Robbery
All: 115,259 steps (89.90).
So, I'm not sure I'll be able to write for too long, so I'll be quick. I'm burning DVDs of the concerts we had for missionaries. They were amazing! The concerts. Well...and also the missionaries.
Thanks to the grandparents for the great letters!!!!
No pictures this week, as this computer (now in the other city) has no card readers. Sorry. Next week.
I'll start with the question on everyone's mind: transfers. I'm gone from Center. So is Palmer. And Hermann. Hermann is headed to Liepāja, and S. Kīlinga (no idea how to spell this in English) is taking her place and will be with Wilson in Center. Palmer is headed to Imanta. In his place will be Weideman with Long. Long's the new district leader here. And in my place will be McLaren with Thompson. Wierd, huh? I'll be in Jelgava as the district leader and as the group leader (since there aren't enough priesthood holders in Jelgava to form a branch, it's called a "group," and has none of the authority that is found in a branch. So, I'll be the leader of this group. Similar to being a bishop in a lot of ways). That's even more weird.
Everybody thinks that I'm from Latvia, because Ārgails is a very Latvian name. And you have several derivations from that. So, perhaps our family roots do indeed creep into Latvia. (a note from Jordan's mom: I mentioned to him that the old wall he talked about in his last letter --and sent a picture of--looked as though it had the Argyle pattern on it. So I said maybe our roots are in Latvia) (I also asked him which sun was his in the picture he sent of the wall of suns, and he replied...) My sun is the little one on the top, with my JA signature (the one where I cram all the letters of my name into two letters). It's just a bunch of colors, and is rather small. It's actually probably hard to see.
Some funny stories--there's a big election going on right now. And one of the candidate's names is Ārgalis. I thought it was Ārgailis or Ārgails, which is my name, so I was stoked. Then I found out that's not what it said. But, while knocking, an old lady was like, "What do you need?" Me: "We talk to people about God, and would like to share a message about Jesus Christ with you." Her: "But...what do you need?" Me: "We need to talk about God with you. Can we come in?" Her: "I don't understand. What is the question?" Then she saw my nametag. "Ah, I see your take. I'll vote anyway. Thanks for visiting." Oh, man...that's not why we were there. We aren't candidates. "Ne, ne! We are missionaries." " thanks." It was pretty funny.
Then, we also almost got robbed. We turn this corner and there's a gypsy guy standing there. I've met some amazing gypsies, so I didn't think anything of it. Well, he asks to get his picture with us. I was going to just blow that off (because he's obviously going to try to rob us with a question like that), but he wouldn't let us past if we didn't. So, my comp grabs the camera, and takes the picture. The guy wraps his arm around me and with his other hand feels into my front pocket, where the phone is. I move my phone to another pocket, the picture is taken. Then, my comp's turn for a picture, and he feels my comp's pocket while I photograph them. Then, he tries to sell us his camera for Ls10. No. We go to leave. He sees me move the phone back to my front pocket (that was a big mistake!). He then runs to catch up to me and won't let me pass again. And his hand dips into my pocket and nabs my phone. I catch his hand. Unhappiness, frustration, argument, and such ensues. I get my phone back. We leave.
That's not the end, though. A few days later, we see the dude again! He starts to call after us in Russian. We leave, and he starts to follow us. I was about to yell at him, "Ejiet projām zagli!" (go away, thief!), but then my comp said something in Russian and off he went. Turns out he was apologizing for trying to rob us. Whatever. People's mindsets are so weird...
Otherwise...the music concert was amazing! It was held at the church building in Center, and it was basically a Russian Missionaries' concert, with a number from Long. There were so many people! And Lolita (who is kinda a crazy church member that everyone is afraid of) played a song for me on the piano and sang before it started. Who knew she was a singer? It was a cool song, too...Anyway, I loved the concert, and recorded most of it. There was also a Russian member who's retired and plays trumpet in the park. He came and played a piece with Eddington, and he brought flowers for the performers. That was really fun to see.
Lastly, we had district conference. That's for all members in Latvia, both Latvian and Russian. And when they would be talking in Russian, I would be waiting for the Latvian translation in the earpiece. And I realized that Latvian sounded very natural to me. It was a cool experience. And District Conference was AMAZING! Ainārs spoke (the one I baptized in Rīga) and he did a very good job. And the other talks were wonderful. President Seinkāns spoke, and I liked it a lot. I would tell you about what they spoke, brains aren't so good as that, and I don't remember so far. I don't assiciate where I learned it with what I learned. So...sorry.
Es jūs gauži mīlu! (Love you all!)
Elder Argyle
( >/°¥< )

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May 20: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: Saules Muzejs, Old Rīga, Nice People, More Parades

From: Jordan Argyle
Subject: May 20: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: Saules Muzejs, Old Rīga, Nice People, More Parades

104,026 (81.14). Far.

So, Sister Jēgina (the church member who teaches us Latvian every week) took us on a trip through Rīga Old Town (Vēcrīga). She owns her own travel agency, so she knows a good deal about history and such. A few things that struck me:
3320: this is the oldest thing in Rīga. This wall was built in the 1200s. Yes, that thing is almost 800 years old. That is one of the most amazing things I have ever heard. Nothing like that is in the Americas, really.
3328: Old town is full of old, amazing treasures. This church is over 500 years old, and has the oldest open-air statues in Europe (dating back to the 1400s, if I'm not mistaken). This is the other side of that church.
There was a lot of other stuff, too, but I'll hold off. So that you know, Vēcrīga is amazing! Just don't buy too many suvenieres there--it's the most expensive place in Latvia to buy stuff.
S. Jēgina also took us to the Saules Muzejs (Sun Musium). It just opened this month, and S. Jēgina knows the founder. So, we looked around. You get to draw on the wall. Here's what it looked like when we drew on it. I picked the half of the wall that has my sun on it. If you know me, you'll recognize my sun. If you want to send something, I'll also include their address. The other picture is just a glimpse of what it looks like inside. The best part: after you draw on the wall, you also get to paint your own sun in the basement with paints and stuff! It was fun! I felt like a kid's fun to just step back and live life for a while. Then live it though work again (more fulfilling the later way).
Saules muzejs
Kungu iela 1, Rīga
Latvija, LV-1050

Feel free to send them stuff. You can just mail it to this address. If you have any suns.

Q+A: By hockey, I mean ICE hockey. Turns out, though, that "hoki" is also the word for "camo," like the color pattern. By protest I mean two ways--marches through the streets of people with signs, and thousands of people standing out in front of various government buildings to show their feelings in a unified way. None of these more recent protests have gotten violent, as far as I know. With the possible exception of the one last week...I'll get to that later.

Grave cleaning? So, my fam is going to take care of ancestors' graves this memorial day. That's such a Latvian thing. They're so into keeping their graves tidy. For example: 86 year old Helena has a bad leg (it's a recent thing) that's been giving her a lot of grief. She has to leave hours early so she can hobble to church on Sunday. I asked Saturday if we could come visit (maybe give her a blessing), and she said, "No, I'm planning on going to the graveyard today, to take care of our graves. Maybe after Sunday." She went on to tell me it's been too long since she was there last (about a month ago), and so she REALLY needs to get it done. Wow.

Other randomness: There was a gay rights parade last Saturday. In direct opposition, Latvia has established this month as "Family Month." We participated a little in the Ģimenes Svētki (family holiday) at the park. And many people were quite adamently opposed to the gays' blatent displays. This nation, more than less, still is completely repelled by such iniquity.

We also ate lunch together as a district last week. It was sooooo good, and way fun. I love my district. I made an amazing fruit salad (Sister Wilson helped decide how much sugar to put in it...). We had a delicious barbeque (the other elders have a grill on a porch--not many places have porches). The sisters made a noodle salad, and Sister Hermann (who worked at the restaurant Tucanos) made us glazed pineapple. It was basically the most delectable lunch so far of my mission. And that's saying a lot, because we went to this Korean place last week (for 3.60!), and I had some way yummy sushi. We'll be going to a Japanese place this week (same price!!), so I'll keep you posted. And that all-you-can-eat place was really good.

We'll be having another music concert this Friday. I love those.

This week we were told several times how great it is that people as young as we have such great faith and that we're acting on it. One was a very old lady we knocked into a long time ago (several weeks). She wanted us to come back, and she had her neighbor there. I was powerfully affected by her testimony. Here it is, in brief. This is my spiritual thought.

Ilona: My mother taught me a little about God, but not too much. She was a German, and when she died, I only had the Bible in German, which I could not understand. But, I always have gone to church each Sunday. You're so young, you wouldn't know; back in the Soviet times, church was forbidden. They liquidated the churches, and sent the preachers to Siberia. They would have military police outside of the churches that were left open, and record the names of people who attended. So, I would tie a handkerchief around my head each week and go. I worked in the Ministry (that's a government organization--used like the British use that word), and each time I went I would go back wondering, "Are they going to catch me today?" But God protected me, and they never did take me.
Since, I have been a very active missionary. I have given away more than 1,000 Bibles in both Latvian and Russian. I have given away more than 10,000 brochures and pamphlets about God and Christ, and I have talked to all my neighbors about it. Unfortunately, in my old age [she's in her 70s or so] I cannot do too much more, but I do what I can. I know that I have accepted Christ into my heart, and I know that He has protected me and has done miracles in my life."

She went on to tell about some of the miracles. She was protected in a great many instances. The Spirit manifested to me that God's hand was involved, and that His power protected her. My testimony was strengthened about God. Māsa Helena (that 86 year old lady in our branch) has several similar stories of divine protection when her family was slaughtered, when she was robbed, when she was farming, and others. Quite impressive to see. God really does care for His children. That doesn't mean He'll protect us from all bad things, but He will make sure that we can carry on in life.

Es Jūs gauži mīlu! ( I love you all!)
Elder Argyle
( >/°¥< )

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 13: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: LIEPĀJA!, odd encounters, amazing people, problems

All: Well...101,156 steps (78.90KM).

(Jordan's mom who does the posting to this blog messed up--the pictures are at the end of the blog this time instead of the beginning--sorry! "))

So, first (really fast), pictures:

Top: Elders Long and Palmer on a horse in Jūrmala.

Next: Random: We went to this Arabian place in Jūrmala to eat, and they told us our food would be ready in half an hour. So, we just left. While we were gone, they put this rezervēts sign out. If you can't figure out what that means, then you are in some serious trouble. So, I put it on me so all would know that, during my mission, I am rezervēts. Haha.

Third: This is Sisters Wilson and Hermann (the only person whose face you haven't seen is my comp's--Elder Thompson. He was there, too. Just...I didn't have any amazing pictures this time with him in them). As you can see, Jūrmala has a pludmala (beach).

Last: Random. This is the most interesting stairwell we were in this week. In it, a little farther down, a guy invited us in and told us about all the corrupt bureaucratic billionaires who are destoying Latvia--buying homes and forcing people out, for absolutely no reason at all. It was an...odd converstation.

Then, this week has had very many memorable things. So, I wanted to hit daily highlights. Are you ready for this?

Wednesday: Jūrmala. We went as a district by train to Jūrmala, a city where Elder Long served once a long time ago. It is now closed to missionary work. But it was way fun. At that restaurant, we ran into two Americans from Bountiful, Utah (we don't think that they are members) who were just there for vacation. It was cool to meet them. At the electrotrain station (how you get back to Rīga), a very odd guy asked a lot of very odd questions (kinda serious, but those "haha, I'm so funny. Look at what I'm asking a minister" kinda questions). Then, on the train, right across from us was a guy who was reading what I was pretty sure was the Bible. So, at one of the stops, I slid over, and started to talk to him. He was way cool, and we had a great, 20 minute, spiritual conversation. It was really cool. And a lot easier than I thought it would be.

Thursday: So, this day was amazing. I went to Liepāja. Yes, my Sapņu Pilsetiņa. I went because my zone leaders (ZL) live there, and every transfer (6 weeks) the ZLs work with each of the district leaders (DL). And since I am a DL...anyway. So, I got on the 7.10 bus, and off we went (that's so early in the morning...). We had one stop for 10 minutes at Saldus. And a lady from the bus came out and asked us where we were from. Turns out she's from a Latvian family who immigrated to Los Angeles, Cali. So, she's an American. Her relatives owned a farm here in Latvia before they died, and she comes every summer to take care of it (she also thinks Cali is too hot in the summer). That was way random.
Then, just outside of Liepāja, there are windmills to power the Metalurgs. I was already pretty excited to be going to Liepaja, but when I saw those windmills my excitement redoubled. Then, entering the Town of Exquisite Beauty, I recognized almost everything. Every step brought greater joy to my heart. We then got home (where the missionaries live), where we ate, and the ZLs planned their week. So, I lost about 3 1/2 hours of time in my city. But oh well. Elder Grey and I walked to their area (at the top of the city--so I got to walk from the middle to the topper part (not Karosa, but right under the river) and do some knocking. It was amazing. I loved it. On the walk, we met an investigator who decided she'll be getting married so that she can be baptized. We talked a little bit. She's amazing...
Then, we hit the church (the old one), dropped off some stuff, and left again real quick to do some contacting. Elder Grey took me by the new church. Now, I didn't think my joy could grow more, but basically the seams of my soul were stretched near to bursting when I saw the mighty edifice. The outer shell is already done (basically a miracle in and of itself--construction usually goes REALLY slowly in Latvia), and the new church is HUGE. I think it's bigger than the one in Idaho Falls (my home town), when you take out the gym. Or maybe it's just as big, including the gym, I don't know. But I felt pretty amazingly joyful.
Then, I got to teach English with Elder Grey. In the room I used to teach in. That was great fun! I saw Rita (the girl who was baptized with Jana, who I baptized), Inese, Aivārs (an eternal investigator who is a huge fan of the missionaries...he was very excited to see me), Skaidrite Bokuma (an older lady who left when I was in Liepāja for England. She's back), and a few others. It was that--teaching and seeing those I love--that filled my heart with joy that was more than I could contain. It was sooo amazing!
After (it still gets better), I got to see the Beldavi, a family that I used to visit all the time. They had unexpected guests, so the conversation was brief, but I loved to see them anyway. After, again to the old church for Latvian class, during which time I again saw and this time interacted with all the missionaries, whom I love (including Sister Knight and Elder Brown, my MTC buddies. Sis. Knight is gone in only THREE WEEKS!!!! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!).
There's a verse in Nephi that reads like this: "He [God] has filled me with his love, unto the consuming of my flesh" (2 Nephi 4: 21). I never really understood what that means. There's other places where peoples' joy or other emotions overcome their physical abilities to maintain it (see Ether 12: 24, Alma 19: 14, and Alma 27: 17-19 for examples). I always wondered how that could be. I have some idea. I'm pretty sure that my soul was insufficiently large to maintain those emotions. And what caused them to swell the most was the memories of those I taught and loved in Liepāja. There's a song that has this line: "It's strange how things are changed when touched by love---you treasure things you never thought much of." I would undoubtedly like Liepāja if I just visited it for vacation. But my love for it comes from the love of those I taught and learned from there.

Friday: On the train home, the lady I sat next to (after about an hour or so) asked if I spoke English. She then told me, in broken English, "I have to use...the toilet room." When she came back, I struck up a conversation--about where she lived, if she spoke Latvian, or English. Turns out she's a Russian seamstress from Liepāja, and she only knows a little Latvian and a little English. She was really neat. We talked for about two hours about family, languages, dreams, and what not. Of course also the gospel. She taught me some Russian; I taught her some English. It was really fun to see how open people can be (because most people here are not).

Saturday: Today was Uzvaras Diena--The Day of Victory. This is a day when people wear an orange and black striped ribbon to celebrate when the soviets defeated fascism. Translation: that's when Russia came in and took over the Baltics. They call it a victory, and so the Russians celebrate it, to commemorate WWII's end in that part of the world. To Latvians, however, it's a reminder of the genocide of half their nation, the forced "Russification" of the remainder, and the subsequent oppression and destruction of their cultural traditions. Needless to say, it is a very controversial holiday. I wore my Nameja gredzens (Nameja ring--probably one of the only things still truly, uniquely Latvian), and an orange and black striped tie. So, I supported both. It was way tough, because almost nobody would answer their door (because there was a four day holiday, so naturally everyone was in the country). And those that weren't there (in the country) were watching hockey. Hockey is sooooooo huge here! It was a very slow week because of finals in hockey.

Sunday: So, what's on Sunday? Mother's Day! Church! I talked to my folks and little sis (way fun), and so did all my district (well...they talked to their own families, not mine) (...except the sisters...they didn't get calls. Until 23.00 or something that night. Then Sis Hermann's folks called. Sis Wilson still hasn't talked to her family for more than a few minutes, though). Then, I wanted to talk about some of the people at church (because we have some amazing people):
N.: an investigator of mine. He is amazingly smiley, happy, fun, and great. He's not sure why he needs to be baptized again, but loves church and is very open. His heart is pure gold.
Ainars: This is the kid E. Black and I baptized. His brother came to church last Sunday, which is huge because his brother was a 7th day Adventist missionary, and it was through him that faith was brought to the family. They both liked church. Ainārs is still doing well, and is still amazing!
Lauris: Just recently baptized. He was so excited to pay his tithing Sunday! He has a fiery desire to follow God, and sticks by his decision to follow. I love the kid.

The sisters' investigators now. First, I came on a mission for three kinds of people. The sisters are teaching one of each kind. So, here they are: (abbreviations or initials are used for investigators for their privacy):
Iv.: Direly wants to change her life. She really wants to be baptized, but she needs to break free of some things before she can. She is one of the most amazing humans alive! She has a daughter who she deeply loves, and she is just smiling every time I see her. Her life has not been anything close to easy, and she has overcome so much. She is now ready to keep progressing.
Evi.: She is just an amazingly good person who is always happy and wants to be even better. She wants to follow God, and all the reasons just make sense for her. She, too, is soon to be married (to her boyfriend of 16 years!), and then she'll be baptized! She's been involving herself more and more in the church, and she loves every second of it.
E.: This is one of the most amazing people ever. Every time I see her, she is better. I can see in her eyes that she is growing, improving, and understanding more about God every day. She's actually a church member, but she's been inactive for a while. Her life wasn't fulfilling, though, so she decided to accept an invitation to come back to church. She is now earnestly seeking the Lord, and the change for good is palpable. I love to see her for that reason. I also saw that same thing in Jana from Liepāja, and seeing people grow and learn like that is probably the greatest thing in the world.
Now you know them. During a discussion on the importance of family, we heard from the above people more than we heard from the teacher. That's not normal. It was an amazing discussion, and the spirit was there in a mighty abundance. Church is amazing! After, N. waited for me to be done with my meeting with the branch president, then walked with us home. Man, he's so good!

Tuesday: Right. So, I'm running out of time. Just one thing: we saw another protest. Workers have protested; teachers have protested; students have protested. This time, it was mothers who protested. This little country is soon to be in a heap of trouble--they've almost no money, and they have to keep reducing wages and such, but people can't live on less money, so you get a lot more protests. There hasn't been anything violent or anything, but there's a lot of contention. And, ironically enough, the one thing that could save the country is the one thing most people refuse to even talk about--God.

Accepting Christ, living after His guidelines, and developing Christ-like attributes elevates people (and by 'people' I mean also 'people,' as in a people. In Latvian: cilvēks and ļaudis), and will save a people. But people here, all of them together, refuse to change, and learn of these saving truths. It's really mind-boggling to me! And because I love them so much, it's very frustrating to see them stagger around with fatal wounds and refusing any kind of treatment. Before long, this people may just collectively bleed to death. But many are brought to God by their struggles and the circumstances around them, and they receive the healing Christ has promised.

I love you all. I know this church is true. God lives, and He loves you. You, personally. Yes, reader--you. He knows you. Your name, what problems you have. He loves those you love, even more than you do. He wants more than anything for you to come unto Him. Why not see what His embrace feels like? I'll let you know, that it is even more amazing than any other feeling I have ever felt. It dwarfs my emotions from my Liepāja trip. And those feelings from God are real.

Es jūs gauži mīlu!
Elder Argyle
( >/°¥< )

May 13: Extra Pics

May 13: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: LIEPĀJA!, odd encounters, amazing people, problems

Subject: May 13: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: LIEPĀJA!, odd encounters, amazing people, problems

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May 6: Baltic Chŗonīcļe:

From: Jordan Argyle
Date: Wed, May 6, 2009 at 4:31 AM
Subject: May 6: Baltic Chŗonīcļe:

All: So, I failed to state my distance from last week. Here's last and this together in one:
192,437 steps (150.10 KM).

This week's big news: I'm going to Liepāja tomorrow!!! Since I'm a DL (District Leader) for the district in Rīga Center, I'm going to get some training from my ZL (Zone Leader), and both of my ZLs are in Liepāja right now. So, I'll be with Elder Brown tomorrow in Manā Sapņu Pilsetiņā. I'm rather stoked.
By way of clarification, that kid was not playing the oboe and the piano simultaneously. He was playing one, and then later the other.

Pictures: Top: was a holiday this weekend. As such, there were flags everywhere. I don't know how well you can see this (I couldn't get into a very good position for photographing, and without a tripod, this is the best I could get), but the flags go down the street in a straight line. It's a rather impressive sight.
Next: Speaking of impressive sights--we were on our way home last week, and we ran into this gorgeous sunset! So, I nabbed it. Those tall lights silhouetted there are the lights for Daugavas Stadions, the football stadium here in Rīga. The bridge is the bridge that leads to our house.
Third: So, two weeks ago, everything was dead and twiggy. Now, everything is lush and green. Weird, huh? It hasn't even rained, yet. Once it does, though, green will explode all over the place! This is the park not too far from our place.
Last: Finally, our district photo. It was cinco de mayo yesterday, so we celebrated with nachos, tacos, and such. Helvijs also attended, and it was a lot of fun! He's the one taking to picture. From left to right:
Me, Sis. Wilson, Elders Long, Thompson, Sis. Hermann (a recently new addition to Latvia), and Elder Palmer. Man, we rock.

Helvijs is doing well. He "escaped" from the hospital last week, on Thursday afternoon. He's very chill about his newly discovered condition. Sister Wilson was even able to give him his shot before eating tacos and such.
E. Thompson is from Cokeville, Wyoming, not very far from Idaho's border. He's actually quite famous--his name's on a plaque and everything. He got scholarships for his mad football skills. And he's a wrestler, and a runner, and in the band, and...he's multi-talented.
The Buffet was good. It actually was an all you can eat. And the food was amazing! They didn't have anything random or odd--just WAY good! It good. I love it! I want to return!
Knocking was absurd. As already mentioned, it was a holiday. Latvians are weird about their holidays. They all go out to the country. So, we only knocked into Russians. Well, almost exclusively Russians. So it was a slow week.
Most interesting person is probably a random drunk. We were heading out to go talk to people on the street, and a drunk pivots and starts to talk to us. He was...rather wasted. He's also a church member! Oh, good--a member who doesn't follow his faith. Kinda normal for here. But we didn't talk to him too long because he was drunk. He also showed up to our English class, and yelled out stuff during our spiritual thought (although most of what he said was actually decently good). Random.
Oh, M. is a guy from English class. He's...odd. In testimony meeting last week, he stands up and starts preaching about how he's come to find God--he has a device that points to things. It consists of a tube and an antenna. If you put gold in the tube, it will only point to gold. Put in any other metal--it only points to that metal. But he says that he uses it to find spirit energy, and that this tool is capable of telling the difference between good and bad spirits. And so he talks about that for 10 minutes during our testimony meeting. The best part was that after, our investigator, N., was talking to us and said, "That was great...for a physics class. That kind of stuff isn't for church." He get's it. And N. is such an amazing guy! Then, after that, E., the sister's investigator (a referral from a member) stands to bear her testimony. It was unbelievably powerful, sincere, and amazing! I was taken aback! She is soooo amazing!!

Speaking of amazing, the Jehovah's Witnesses are really good at missionary work. We were on a bus, and a guy gets on and sits down, and the old lady who was already sitting on the seat next to him opens her purse and pulls out some pamphets, and tells him something in Russian. She then stood up, and got off at the next stop. It was that simple. Wow! If only everyone shared their beliefs like that--there'd be so many less misunderstandings!

Speaking of--there's an amazing church member. Elīna, who is less active. She and her sister got baptized about the same time. They both then went inactive, and moved on with exploring all the things life offers. Now, Elīna hungers for the more to life she had access to, but didn't utilize (she was 12 years old, though...I didn't utilize it so well then, either). She is now meeting with the sisters, hanging out with Helvijs and other amazing church members. Her sister, however, is not fixing to come back. Her main attainojums (justification(?)), is that the missionary who taught her is off the path. They are friends on Facebook, and this former missionary has pictures up on Facebook of herself getting drunk and partying. And so Elīna's sister told the sister missionaries, "If she does it, why can't I?" Don't forget, people, that the good (or bad) influence you have is far reaching. If you hurt yourself with riotous living, you will also hurt those you have touched or who were close to you. Don't ever think your actions only affect you. That's a teaching of the devil. Stay true to what you know is good, and don't experiment in what is unsavory--it will tear you down.

And one more random thing: The Lutheran church here in Latvia wants to unify with the Catholic church. I think it has something to do with gay marriages. They WILL NOT allow gay marriages here. That's one abomination that Latvia has stayed away from. I just thought it was interesting. Since the whole reason there is a Lutheran church was to get away from the Catholics. Odd, huh?

I love you all. I know that this church is true! Gotta run! Keep reading and praying! And Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers!! Thanks to all of you who've helped me out in my life!
Elder Argyle
( >/°¥< )