From: Jordan Argyle
Date: Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 4:05 AM
Subject: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: The District, Things @ Church, Lessons, Finding--My Thoughts and Randomness
ATTENTION: P-DAY NEXT WEEK WILL BE TUESDAY. UNSURPRISINGLY, IT DOESN'T FALL ON WEDNESDAY.
All: 105,519 (78.40KM--that's 49 miles, so that you staters can relate). Not too much walking this week. But, next week, we'll be walking more. I think. I'll keep you posted.
So, I was asked to introduce my district. Here they are:
E. Thompsen (my former comp was E. Thompson, so there's no way you can get confused "))--My comp now. He loves musicals (as do I) and has spent a healthy amount of time on the internet watching random cartoons and things (as have I), so we randomly will quote something or connect a thought to one of them, and just bust out laughing. Or we'll turn what we are doing into a musical. Or...whatever. We work together very well. He is VERY anxious (you could say ļoti gauži) to talk to everyone. Meaning he'll cross streets, cut through obstacles, and not cross streets while people are walking across them so that he can talk to people. He especially goes out of the way for families. I find myself stretched to keep up! It's a pleasant shift of the work, I must admit.
E. Gray--I was with him once with E. Palmer, long ago. He's way cool! He's very witty, and hilarious, and very down-to-earth. I find that I greatly enjoy working with him. He's a wonderful teacher, as well.
E. Wendelbo--The noob (new guy). He's really willing to go out and work. He's had a rough first week--Pentecostals praying "in tongues" after a lesson with them, a lady with half her head on the floor in a big pool of blood, crazy people, and the like. But he's a good one. I don't think these things will stop him from rocking people here with the Everlasting Gospel of Truth. The best part--each of my district members are fired up and willing to work hard! I'm actually finding that I need to push myself to keep up with my companion!! It's so wonderful to be really into the work!
Pictures: Top-There's a big festival going on here right now. They have sand sculptures in the park, but I didn't cough up the lat (cash) to get in. But there were people all over the roads and in the parks from former soviet-block countries, all celebrating their culture. America doesn't have that kind of culture, so it's really neat to see. Here's some singing stuff with the kids in traditional clothing, which I think looks really cool. And the bottom picture is Jazeps and Anja, who are Māsas Janavičas kids, up in a tree. This is Jazeps treehouse. I love these kids. And...I didn't take too many pics this week. Next week.
So, on to church things. I'm trying to start up a Primary here for the kidlets that are kinda bored during the lesson. I called the pro in Rīga center (Māsa Treiģe-Treide), and she told me everything that I'll have to do, and will send me everything that I will need to get that done. She's way good. We also had a lesson for the Sunday school teachers. We now have four of them: Māsas Zervēna and Suleimanova, and Brāļi Pravains and Skvorcovs. I taught them about loving those you teach. I introduced it as "the most important part of teaching." It was probably the best lesson that I have been in, because the conversation was really good, it didn't come all from me--it was mostly discussion, and they all...uh...nolema...to do something specific. Nolemt...uh...to reach a decision, or to make up ones mind. Yeah, that's a decent translation. That takes so much more time to say in English...
Anyway, there's a lot of things that aren't so good happening in the branch as well. A lot of people are having a very hard time. The global crisis is VERY felt here in Latvia. Especially when people keep buying worthless things with their money (i.e. cigarettes, alcohol, food for the cats and pigeons when they cannot feed themselves...and the like). I think the soviet mindset really messed up a lot of people's abilities to manage their money. But, a lot of members are having it rough, and I'm hoping that the Sunday school teachers, being as amazing as they are, can help the branch out. I must admit, I'm often pained a great deal for the welfare of the people I know, especially those in my branch. It's amazing how, just looking at people's posture and eyes--their countenance--I could see which ones are having problems and hardships. Anyway, pray hard for those here, please. They need it.
Contacting this week was interesting. Just yesterday, there was a little girl (like, younger than 8) who asked what we always ask people, and told us that we'd been to her place once not too long ago. She then met up with us a little later, farther down the road, and I jokingly said to her, "I think that we've met before..." She answered, "I was just over there by that church. Do you not remember?!" It was funny to me. And I found out something else, not so wonderful. Most people have somehow logicked out in their minds ways to make them ineligible for God and talking about Him. Either they're religious already (and we need to spend our time talking to those who don't believe), or they know everything (and therefore can't learn anything new and it is pointless to try to talk to them about religious things), or they aren't interested in God (and we need to spend our time talking to those who believe), or some other excuse. I don't understand why everyone is so afraid of talking about religious things. I understand if you aren't interested. I don't like talking about those things that don't interest me, either. But the rest...just kinda silly to me. I would strongly disrecommend that you turn away somebody before you hear what they want to talk about. If they directly oppose your thoughts, then maybe it's better not talk to them. But if not, then you could probably learn something from a shared conversation.
Anyway, I know that the Gospel is true. And I know that you will know truth when you honestly pray about it. Keep reading! You should be almost done with the book of Alma by now (if you've been reading a chapter or two a day from when I invited you all to do so). If you're not there, then I invite you to step your reading up a notch. 10 minutes a day will get you a chapter or two. And time spent with the scriptures is time well spent!
Love you all!
( >/°¥< )