Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sept 16: Baltic Chŗonīcļe:

From: Jordan Argyle
Date: Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 5:42 AM
Subject: Baltic Chŗonīcļe:

Faith's way neat, isn't it? I've been exercising a lot more faith recently in finding people to teach. Usually, I kinda hope that we'll find somebody in a dome (māja...building complex--er apartments. Whatever. The things in the pictures), and I'm not really confident that there are people there. But recently, I've been praying while we're in a place, and telling God that I feel there is somebody here--and a plea to guide me to them. The past two times in a row when I've done that, almost as soon as I told the Lord I had that confidence, and ended my prayer, a door opened and the person let us in. It's been amazing to see that just having that confidence in the unseen can lead to such occurrences. I love it!

All: 94,122 (73.41KM).

First: Pictures:
Top--Knocking on the edge of Satiskmes mikrorajons. See the rainbow?
Next--Knocking on the other edge of Satiskmes mikrorajons, facing the direction of where the first picture was taken. You can see the evening light bathing Satiksmes mikrorajona most dense spot. These are the domes (Russian: Доме. It's māja in Latvian. It means home), and there are usually some 72-120 apartments (dzivoklis is one in Latvian) in each one. How interesting is it that this urban scene, which before would not have been too wonderful to me, now is remarkably beautiful to me? Anyway, here are a few views of gorgeous Latvia.
Third--It was the 150th birthday of Jānis Čakste (the first president of Latvia). So, the current president came down, and there was a big hubbub by the statue of Jānis. Here's a scene from it--we only took a few pictures, then left to go knocking before the real show started, so...whatev. But we taught an amazing lesson...More on that, later.

* The tiny apartment in the church will be for only one companionship. It's a small bedroom (with two beds (couches)) and a wardrobe; it'll have not much room to roam. The apartment is actually a wing of the church--it's maybe 60 m^2 or less, I would guess, with most of that being a corridor and kitchen. We will be the caretakers of it. We do have a great apartment now, because the lady has been so good to us. I'm a little nervous to find out what will happen when I have to tell her that we're moving out. This one will be a little more expensive than the one I'm in now, but it's part of the church building, which is a lot better quality for our money. We would be moving in in 3.5 weeks (if all works out).
* Yes. Mission president. He does a lot. He visits the branches of the three different countries of the mission (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia), and speaks in each when he's there (there's seven of those in Latvia alone). Since there isn't a stake here, he also does everything that a stake president would do. Plus he coordinates all activities between missionaries and the members through the district presidency. And then he still has all kinds of other things to worry about--oh, and he is responsible to lead all the missionaries in the Baltics to find and baptize and retain worthy investigators. Add all of that together, and he's a pretty busy guy.
* We returned to the lady with the open heart. Her name was "Well," as in a well of water. We gave her a Russian Book of Mormon. She had a guy in her dzivoklis who was Latvian, but they both agreed to read it. They were not comfortable with us going back very soon to talk about it, or calling her, so I'll make note of her in our area book and missionaries in half a year or so will visit her.
* The guy in Aizupes sang to us in Russian, Italian, Latvian, and English. It was quite a song.
* Zone Conference was way good in that it answered a lot of my questions. I have been especially wondering how I can make my prayers better. More uplifting, a more real connection to God. A prayer that truly comes from my heart. And Sister Dance talked about that, specifically. And many other things.

Random note: my comp, Elder Johnson, contacted Igors Kaljejs (guessing on how to spell his name), who is a musician in Latvia. Quite a famous one, too. I've heard his stuff on the radio. And maybe we'll have a lesson with him sometime. That'd be rad--baptize a nationally famous musician.

Andy was baptized also. That's the fourth picture there. The one who performed the baptism is Verners, who was baptized not very long ago. Andy is amazing! He has spoken with us before, but never really was overly interested. We gave him a Book of Mormon a few weeks ago, and in five days he read 1st and 2nd Nephi, and part of Jacob. He understood almost all of it, because he listened to the Spirit, and allowed Him to teach him. We tried to teach the plan of salvation, from the pre-earth life to this life and the fall, but he taught us (because it's all in 1st and 2nd Nephi). It was really cool. Anyway, he's so much fun to see. The only bummer? He's moving to a far-off country for work this week. But we conferred the Aaronic priesthood (the priesthood of Aaron (Hebrews 7: 5, 11-12, 14, 24 (also talks about Christ, who was raised to a higher priesthood), JS-H 1: 68-71). The priesthood is something very hard to understand from just the Bible. Study it--it's there (Nehemiah 13: 29, Exodus 40: 15, ). But most of the details about it were removed by people before it was canonized. If you wish to know about the priesthood, feel free to see what has been revealed about it today:
Our Most Distinguishing Feature, Alma 13: 6-8, 10, 14, 18, D&C 84: 6, 14, 16-19, 21, 25-26, 29-30, 33, 35, 39-40, 42, 107, D&C 107: 1-20. Remember--the priesthood is what makes a church the Church of Jesus Christ. Literally Jesus Christ's church. This is an important point--one reads the Book of Mormon to feel the influence of the authority granted to Joseph Smith to translate it. It's proof that Joseph Smith received the authority and this priesthood, which is so vital to the use of God's power on the earth.

In fact, there's a great verse in the Doctrine and Covenants (D&C, the recordings of the revelations given to Joseph Smith. Therefore, in English, they are in the original language with no translation at all--straight from the mouth of Jehovah Himself). Read these verses: D&C 84: 18-22. Now, A., one of our investigators, has not admitted to feeling the Holy Ghost in the whole three or four months we've been meeting with him. But when he saw the priesthood used as we confirmed Andy (confirmed him a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and gave him the gift of the Holy Ghost), and when we ordained him to the Aaronic priesthood, A. felt it. And he admitted that it was unlike anything he's ever felt before. It was amazing, because I've been trying everything I could imagine to get him to feel the Spirit, but he's been fighting it. It was still another answer to prayers. And, I believe that Andy was the first person upon whom I have conferred the priesthood. It was amazing--I felt the Spirit speaking through me. I didn't think of what to say--the Holy Ghost basically just spoke through me. I don't know if I've felt that guided before in a blessing.

Two random funny stories. Erm...well, I have no time. Next week, I have two funny stories. Remind me: gypsies' bathhouse; old lady with the dead son and silver spoons.

I love you all! Keep reading! And praying. And I would strongly recommend, if you don't understand something, then call the missionaries in your area or attend one of our meetings and ask a member. Use the following web site to do this:, and click on the "ask a question" link in the top-right corner, or click "worship with us" to search a church location by you.
Elder Argyle
( >/°¥< )

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