Thursday, August 20, 2009

Aug 20: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: Food, Helping, and Being Sick

From: Jordan Argyle
Date: Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 6:30 AM
Subject: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: Food, Helping, and Being Sick

I think the title pretty much says it all. But, I'll (for your sakes")), go a little more in depth on each of those things.

Ah, yeah, 115,587 steps this week (90.15KM). Cool. Moving on.

I'll explain the pictures while I go along telling the story of the week anyway, so here we go:

So, we wound up helping a lot of people this week. There was a baptism here in Jelgava. Two long-time investigators had finally prepared themselves for the sacred ordinance. It was quite beautiful. The only thing is that they live a little ways away from Jelgava, so we had to drive out there, and buses don't come all that often. So, we had to go by the means of member's cars, and only two members in Jelgava have a car. And one of them had a lot of house-work to do, and couldn't fix his tire and all the rest, too. And Verners (the son who was baptized) went to youth conference in Saint Petersburg (how do you even say this in English? I hope I spelled it Latvian it's Sanktpēterburga. That's so much easier to remember), and so he had a lot of catch-up work on his farm. So...we went out to help him! And I got to...uh...pļauj...with a sirpi. Sigh. I got to whack a bunch of weeds with that sickle-looking thing. In Latvian, that's es pļauju ar sirpi. But whatever. I've always wanted to use one of those things, so it was kinda like the fulfilling of a dream for me. That's the first picture.

Then life kept going. We went over to Paša's house to help him with yard work and fix his tire. He's an amazing young man, who is so full of the light of the gospel and with love for those around him. His heart is so good! It was a pleasure working with him! Anyway, I just loved how this picture of Elder Gray turned out, so I sent it along (second picture).

Then, there was the baptism (third picture). Verners and his mother were baptised. His mother has been involved with the church for over 7 years now. She's never been able to make that important first step to become a member of the church. Baptism is the first of many ordinances that are necessary for us, and so we cannot really go anywhere until we start the path, right? She was thrilled to walk through the gates onto the path that leads to eternal life (read 2 Nephi 31 to more fully understand this analogy and the importance of baptism)!! Another exciting thing is that they raise ducks, rabbits, and goats for foodstuffs, and they made us dinner. So, I get to add duck, rabbit, and goat rump to my list of not-super-common foods I've tried (right up there with guinea pig, fried ants, and the like). It was quite an adventure!

Then, the last picture is Paša again, and his FIANCEE!! Yes, they are engaged! They will be married on the 12th of December! I love both of them to death, and they are such a good pair for each other! Every time I see them, I just can't stop smiling!

But, it turns out that some of the meat wasn't cooked all the way (and I ate a lot of it), so I got fairly sick. From Monday afternoon until this morming (Thursday), I've been effectively taken out. We didn't stay home, but I wasn't too much help to my comp. Surprisingly, we still taught a lot of people, and the work continued on! I'm just worried that we don't have people ready to teach to replace those who will leave our teaching pool this or next week, if they don't start really getting serious. And, we will have another baptism this Saturday. An older lady who has completely read through the triple (that's the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price--which has excerpts from Joseph Smith's history (how the Book of Mormon came about, his vision of the Father and the Son, etc.) twice. And so, she knows that they're true. She's quite great! But she can't really make it to church very often because of health, so we'll be working with her on that.

That's the broad overview. It was exchanges. Nothing in Jelgava changes this transfer. And almost nothing changed anywhere else. Elder Gray will be with us until the end of August (long story), and when September starts, he'll be heading home. They still haven't told us who they will send after he leaves...sigh.
Now, for the Q+A portion:
V. and his mum are both Latvian. About the rest of our investigators:
G.: He's doing all right. He meets and will do what we ask. But we feel that his heart's not in it. He does it because he likes us. I don't know exactly what to think or do. I keep trying, but if nothing changes, we'll have to drop him for now.
Gu.: He's recently been a hit and miss. But I think that he'll do the things we've challenged him to do to increase his faith in Christ, and will start (or, hopefully continue) moving closer to Him.
A.: She's the one who gets baptized this week. Cool, huh?
L.: Her husband has been having a really busy month with doctor visits and all, so she hasn't been able to meet with us recently.
I. and E.: attended church! I. said she LOVED it, and will definitely be back. It was really neat, because she and E. participated a lot, and I think at least I.'s heart was in it. K. (the other son) is younger, and would rather watch TV than listen to a pair of people talk--TV is more interesting. So, that's where he went.

It appears most of our pool of people we're teaching has taken all they can right now of the truth, and for now won't or can't accept more, so we really need to find some more people this week! But they are still great--just busy or things happen, and they don't seem to be progressing. I'm way excited that I could teach them, though, because a good number of them were progressing, and a miraculous number still is! We'll keep working, though.
My idea to focus the members on the temple is just what I'm doing, because I feel that will help them. They are all newer members, and they need to go to the temple to continue on their path, so I want them to understand temples. Plus, that really shows the truthfulness of the gospel, and since Satan is trying REALLY hard to destroy this sweet little branch, and has already succeeded in temporarily separating a few, I thought that would strengthen the members in the true and living gospel. And no, they don't really understand it. I think we may do that this month in Sunday school, and talk about it during sacrament meetings.

Yes, I'm still with my comp--Thompson. He's basically a powerhouse, and just goes out to do the work. It's really inspiring!

Anyway, I've been in this internet place WAY too long, and I'm starting to dyslexisize the letters (the spell check is in Russian, so it's not really any help), so...Have a great week!
Elder Argyle
( >/°¥< )

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