From: Jordan Argyle
Date: Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 5:40 AM
Subject:Baltic Chŗonīcļe: Miracles, Storms, Really Hot Weather...Overall a Great Week!
All: Actually, we walked a lot less than last week. Maybe because we had one less day this week? (because of Zone Conf.) But 93,352 (72.81KM).
Q+A: Yeah, we still live in the same place. Summer here is WAY hot, humid, and deathly hot. As you may know, once it's above 75° (farenheit, in dry air) it's too hot for me. So, 80°+ here with...uh...mitrums...in the air was...well...way hot. It's also REALLY SUPER RAINY here. It goes from sunnier than a Californian beach to stormier than the Bermuda Triangle in about 20 minutes.
Pics: The bottom one: We changed our water filters this week. The water here definitely would give you your fair share of minerals unfiltered. Note the new filters on top of the old ones (for comparison's sake). The rest are explained in the narrative below.
Funny story: So, Sunday we headed out, and it was way too sunny, hot, and I felt gross. So, I looked up with some malice at the sun and said, "Could you do me a favor and just go away and stay away the rest of today?" About five seconds later, clouds rolled over the sun, making it that bright, barely-cloudy-diffused-sunlight kinda thing. We talked with a few people (miracles there...see below), and by the time we hit the railroad tracks on the way to a lesson, it looked like the top picture--pitch black clouds right behind that. As soon as we got to the family we were teaching, a MASSIVE storm broke out and it dumped! There was even lightning and thunder--lights flashing during the lesson and all. It was really cool. But that wasn't the best part. Here are the miracles. So, back up to my comment to the sun.
I had seriously been looking at the branch (a small church congregation) list I made, trying to figure out how I could help the branch out. There are several members that are less-active to inactive, and they won't let us talk to them or do anything for them. I am also really trying to get the information on the list accurate, so that maybe members could help them out. So, as we left the house, one of those missing members came up to us (he saw us crossing the street), and told us his new phone number and his address. He was one who I had seen a few times, but had no way of getting in touch with. I was able to invite him to the branch activity this weekend, and church, and things. And while my companion talked with him, another guy came up and asked: Are you missionaries? What do you talk about? I told him about the Book of Mormon and he asked, "Can I have one?" So, I got his number, gave him a book, and he said he'd read.
Then, we headed across the bridge (remember, it was fully sunny only 20 minutes before that.) The second picture shows a glance from the bridge towards the oncoming storm. It poured a lot, and we taught this family. This family consists of: Wife (member, teaches Sunday school and does, in my opinion, the best job teaching), Husband (not member, open to the church, though, and really loves his family), Teenager (member, but is a teenager, and therefore sometimes hard to predict or inspire), and Toddler (a normal toddler--all over the place). So, Wife has been trying to get Husband to pray for a long time. He hasn't wanted to. At the end of this lesson, he prayed. I don't know if I can accurately describe the feelings of the Holy Ghost while he prayed. Basically, it was breath-taking. Most definitely the highlight of my time in Jelgava. And he felt it, too. He actually had a hard time speaking, because of the feeling stirring inside of him from the Holy Ghost. Wife looked at him after, and said simply, "Tev sanaca," that is to say, "It worked out for you." He then offered us a ride into town. He's never prayed in lessons with us before.
You'd think that was it for miracles. It's not. Another one: we were on a contacting spree, and again a guy walked up to us and asked us when we could meet. He told us that he had seen us when we came to his place a while back, but his mom wasn't interested and ripped up our info. He asked for it again, and told us that he'd obtained a Book of Mormon in Russian from his friend and had already gained a testimony of its truthfulness! He said simply, "I need to talk with you guys." I liked that!
OK, so, remember Family from above? Well, we took Teenager bowling last week, with Brālis Pravains (our Melchezidek priesthood holder in Jelgava). That was fun. And the bowling alley is right next to the ice rink (it's called Ledus Halle in Latvian). So, we had a snowball fight with the zamboni-ed snow after as well. The third picture shows the climax of the event. Left is E. Wendelbo, and behind him is E. Gray. I forgot how badly I suck at bowling...oh well. It was fun.
I haven't had one of these sections in a while. I guess I'm way overdue. This week was way good for investigators.
Ag.: is really thinking about what we've been teaching him, and really starting to dive into the Book of Mormon. He understands that he needs to really desire to act on the answer God gives him for him to receive an answer.
V.: is the cop that can lift quite a lot (of weights). We finally were able to meet with him again, and had a wonderful lesson. He's really an amazing man! We left him a Book of Mormon, and he's reading it. I hope we can teach him again soon, because I'd love to show him how that book has helped me!
We've also spent a lot of time in a place called "Aizupes" (Behind the River, if you translate the word). That's a lot of houses, so knocking is weird (because we don't normally do houses--we do domes/apartment buildings). But, we had many amazing lessons, and gave away five Books of Mormon while we were there over three days.
Ane.: is a young lady who was Christian once, but thought about it a lot and decided that it wasn't scientific or logical. But, we're teaching her how we can learn though other methods, not just by scientific means (for proof of this and a deeper explanation than I can offer in my limited time, read or watch the talk Testimony, by Elder Dallin H. Oaks, who is a living apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. And look at Alma 32: 21, 26-43, and the record of how another prophet taught people a similar principle, or learning through faith.
Lili.: is an older lady, whose husband just had surgery and who doesn't know exactly what to expect for the rest of the year. Work is very scarce here, and she's not sure she'll have money soon. But, she really wants to draw closer to her Father in Heaven, and we let her know that the way to do that is by studying about Him (from scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon), and praying to Him to know from His Spirt. This is truth that works for everybody.
A Few Others: But I'm out of time. There are others, but I'll talk about them more when we teach them again. Basically, it was a way good week.
Another major highlight:
Ivita, that girl in Rīga Center who's been battling smoking and whatnot, was baptised. Sister Wilson, who is teaching her, writes a newsletter each week that I get, usually while at the internet place. Which is where I am. I'll just quote her record of the baptism:
"Probably the most beautiful baptism that has ever happened on the face of the earth.. She has worked SOO hard and overcome so many things in order to prepare for her baptism, and it was well worth it. She couldn't stop smiling and couldn't stop talking about how free and clean she felt and how cool it was...
"The few days before her baptism (starting actually right after e-mail last Wednesday) were quite the roller coaster ride.. Let's just say Satan attacked that amazing girl from every single angle before she entered the waters of baptism. Friday night she was waayy upset with some stuff concerning her family, and we prayed HARD (Ivita, I and other missionaries) that everything would just work out, but in order for it to all work out, a miracle needed to happen. Well, Saturday morning at 7am I got a call from Ivita and she sounded really happy.. and I was like, 'so.. what happened...?' and she answered.. 'let's just say a miracle happened. God answered our prayers.. He loves us!' It was SO cool.."
"I seriously can't tell you how incredible that experience was.. I have had answered multiple times to prayers, but nothing ever so specific and SO huge.. We were literally on our knees pleading with the Lord.. It set the pace for an incredible day..."
Yeah. I was filled with joy, because I've been studying sometimes for Ivita, and I'll send her verses to read via the sisters and thoughts and encouragement and such. I was way bummed that we couldn't be there...
For my spiritual thought, I'll quote myself a bit: "read or watch the talk Testimony, by Elder Dallin H. Oaks, who is a living apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. And look at Alma 32: 21, 26-43, and the record of how another prophet taught people...[how to learn] through faith." And, I might add, how to know that something is true.
Wow, gotta go! I love you all!! Keep READING AND PRAYING!!!!!!!!!!
( >/°¥< )