Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June 3: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: New City, Vegitarian, and...uh...Parades?

From: Jordan Argyle
Subject: June 3: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: New City, Vegetarian, and...uh...Parades?

All: 97968 (76.41KM). Sunday, I already had 73K, so I think that we'll stomp my old record in not too long. In the "random other things" department, I have another calling in the "branch"--I'm also the piano player. So I'm the Jelgava district leader, the Jelgava group leader (but we have Sunday School teachers and several priesthood holders, so I don't have to do too much), and the Jelgava group piano player. Anybody who knows me will know that I cannot play the piano. So, it's just the top line. Sometimes that pretty badly. But, we'll see how it goes.

Pictures: The top one--The guy on the left is Elder Fulcher. He's from Australlia. He just went home. I love the kid with all my heart. The others are Elder Jensen, Patterson, and Weston. All of them are amazing Russian-speaking Elders. Love 'em.

Next--Random. While waiting for Elder Udi (he was trapped in Estonia for a little while, so we went around the three of us), we happened to see the parade. It was Jelgava Holiday, and the parade went down Lielā iela, which just happens to be where our apartment is. So, this shot was from my window (right after lunch). This is the beginning of the parade.

Third--Jelgava isn't a very big town. This parade lasted for about 30-45 minutes. And I'm fairly sure 90% of Jelgava participated. Here's a thick line of students.

Last--There were a lot of cool performances, but this was one of the coolest. These were trick moterbikers. And one of the tricks was to jump onto the top of that car. It was rad.

PLEA FOR HELP!: Spears and I (my new companion) decided to go vegetarian this month. We made an amazing stir-fry and some great curry dish yesterday (because my comp loves to cook and is quite good at it). But we're desperately in need of meal ideas. If you would be so kind as to send a few, that'd be great! This invite is open for everybody. (just send it to and my folks will forward it to me).

Q+A about Jelgava--the transfer last transfer (in Riga Center) was the best I have ever had. My district was amazing beyond all belief. Each member was amazing, and worked hard. And their passion was easy to feel and catch. I love each of them. A lot. And now I'm with another three missionaries. Also awesome. But I don't know them so well, yet. Here they are:
Spears--My comp. He's a super brain. It's really fun to have scientific chats with him. He's a convert, so it's also amazing to see how the gospel makes sense to him, as a cynical realist. He's really cool, and I think we'll have a good time together. And we get along quite well. We both like to argue semantics, so sometimes we have silly little arguments, but after we've both said our parts, we just move right on. Normal.

Farnsworth--He's a little (meaning a lot) quieter than the other three in the district. He's a Latvian speaker (as is Spears) who speaks really well. He was just told by President to focus on Russian when studying language. So, he'll leave a dual language speaker. He's not so excited, because he knows how much effort it's taken him to get to where he is now. He's rad. Both Spears and Farnsworth have been here (Jelgava) for a good, long time, and they know the areas pretty well.

Udi--He's the only Russian speaker in Jelgava (as far as missionaries go). He's a great cook, and reminds me a lot of Adrian (my cousin). He has a lot of good ideas, and I really don't know him very well at all. He did give us a bunch of great ideas for our vegetarian meals.
And that's Jelgava (well, add me in there).
So...yeah. Jelgava was the first place that I served, together with E. Doane. It's different in that only one member from when I was here (of the six) still comes to church. That'd be Māsa Bernšteine (who's actually a Belarussian), and she's gradually getting more senile. It is, though, the same quaint little town it was. People are a lot more friendly, and they generally are more open. And we still walk everywhere. At church now, there are anywhere from 12 to 24 people (and we have 17 church members (and kids too young to be baptized) here), so that's a really good change. They are all AMAZING!! Some have some odd quirks, but that's totally normal. We also teach English here, and our English students are wonderful!
Our apartment is not too bad. Could be better. It's a lot worse than my last one in Center. Ah, well. We're actually looking to move. But one random thing--I slept at the apartment where I lived the first time I was in Jelgava while we were waiting for Udi--and as soon as I entered, it smelled like Jelgava. It was crazy how nostalgic the smell was. Jelgava is about the size of half of Pļavnieki (which is one of the districts of Rīga). Jelgava is pathetically small in comparison to Rīga. Overall, yes, I love Jelgava. It most certainly does have personality and charm. It is not even remotely close to being as pretty as Liepāja. But, it's not too bad.

As far as teaching goes, we've been a little slow recently, so we don't really have a lot of investigators. But, people have been quite a bit more responsive while we've been contacting, so I think that we'll get some new ones quick. And we have a really good guy (A.) from English class who sincerely wants to know truth. So, next time (Thursday), we'll be teaching him how to pray so that he can find out from God what's true. And we gave him a Book of Mormon, so he can start reading about the powerful truths that were lost. If you'd like, you're welcome to read what I gave him. It's about God's plan for His children. I gave him the introduction to the Book of Mormon (so he knows the purpose of the book); 2 Nephi 2, which talks about the God's plan (in details hard to understand elsewhere); from 2 Nephi 31, about Christ's gospel (what we need to do in this life) through chapter 2 Nephi 33, which are just great chapters (and short); and Alma 42, which is more about God's plan. This guy has no job any more, so he has time to read. And he really wants to. So, I gave him chapters where it's really easy to feel God's spirit testifying of the truth of the content. I would recommend to all of you to read it, and then pray to God (in your own words!) to know if what was taught in those chapters is true. If you do it, God has promised that He will answer you. By the Holy Ghost. That's the only reason I'm here on a mission--I prayed and know that it's true from the Holy Ghost. It's possible for anybody who really is willing to act on that knowledge.

I didn't really have any distinct impressions last week--I'm just still testing the waters, and getting used to this land called Jelgava.

I love you all!!!! --
Elder Argyle
( >/°¥< )

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