Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oct 21: Baltic Chronical: Interesting Things, Snow, Sigulda, and Baptisms

From: Jordan Argyle
Date: Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 8:55 AM
Subject: Baltic Chronical: Interesting Things, Snow, Sigulda, and Baptisms
All: 82,353 steps and 64.23KM. I'm surprised I haven't had to change the batteries in that pedometer yet.
Note: whenever I hit the ' key, this computer mixes it with the next letter I hit. So 's becomes š, and so on. If you see that, imagine an ' before the funny letter.
So, we moseyed to Sigulda today. It was rather pretty (but not as colorful as I hoped). It was fun. Here's some pictures...
Top: A view from the tower past the rest of the castle towards the river. It's a way pretty place!
Next: Hereš my wonderful district! You will note that I am missing, as is Elder Clark (he was behind me). But these are the other four missionaries here!
Last: Hereš an interesting meditation shot of me in one of the windows of Turidas Pils. I thought it turned out fairly cool.
Quickly through the week (as I haven't much time):
It snowed this Saturday. A lot. And it was beautiful. But the other missionaries were a little unhappy about it (turns out talking to people in the snow is not a very effective way to find people). But, my comp and I had weekly planning that day, so all was well. By the time we finished, the blizzard had abated, and we could start work again.
Also, Jurs. (our investigator--the father of a young single adult lady here) is getting baptized this Saturday. Heš been taught before. A lot. And for several years. Finally, something clicked and he just started doing things--he dropped tea, coffee, alcohol, and now smoking. And heš working hard to learn all that he needs to know before his baptism. Itš a miracle come true. I love that--God is a God of miracles. Helvijs's mother some months back had a similar story--taught for a long time, nothing, something, nothing. Finally, it all just works out. And now with Zane's dad. It's really cool, and inspires me to expect more miracles.
On that note, time for a miracle. This is a testament to the importance of faith in my finding efforts. And since my faith had been strengthened with all these miracles, I was trying to use that faith to call down the powers of heaven. We were out knocking, as has been known to happen. We hadn't really seen much success recently, so I was focusing my prayers on increasing my faith to find people prepared to hear the message of the gospel. I kept telling the Lord that I know there are people who would accept our message, and that I just need His help knowing where they are, and what to say to help them realize who we are. Well, we were walking into a stairwell, and there was a man on the lower floor, smoking. I normally would have passed him by, but I knew that if I wanted to talk to the prepared for whom I was searching, I also had to talk to all who were put in my path. So, I talked to him. And he invited us in. We taught him a wonderful lesson about Joseph Smith, and prophets. The best parts were these: I didn't have to think about what I was saying at all. I listened intently to what he said, and then just opened my mouth and words came out. And they seemed to be words that he needed to hear. And then he told us this: He'd been meeting with another church for over a year, but hadn't felt the truth in their teachings. He doesn't want to just learn--he, and I quote, "want[s] to go past a passive learning and start actively interacting in religion." Perfect. Thatš the only way to know about the truth anyway--act in accordance with what you learn. So, I just told him that we'll be asking him to do things as we teach him, and he just accepted it and said he would. I know that God answers the prayer of faith--meaning both praying and acting to do all you can to fulfill that prayer. And this is not the first time--just the first time in a while that I've been able to do that heart-felt...edly.
Oh, about baptisms. Jurs. will be baptized this Saturday with a lady named Z., who has been investigating the church for many years, but has not been baptized for one reason or another. She will be joined by her son, D.. That means that we'll be having a triple baptism this week!!! I love those sooo much!!!
And interesting things: Sometimes, in missionary work, unexpected things happen. For example: Last week, I was on exchanges with Elder Clark. At 11-something p.m., we get a phone call. From Elder Brown. As an assistant to the mission president, he was just in Estonia with his comp for zone conference. And they left their keys there. So, they needed a place to stay. So they called us. Normal. Ish.
Also, not long before I moved into my current apartment, a pipe burst and shed a waterfall of dirty water all over the kitchen.
And every so often, we just get calls about people who need to be taught. Like yesterday. The Russian sister missionaries called and said, "A guy named Aivars is at the church, and wants to learn more about the gospel. He speaks English and Latvian. Are you near the church?" Another companionship beat us to the church, so we didn't wind up teaching him, but it was way cool anyway.
Thatš all the time I have. Sorry. I love you all! Keep your faith strong!!!
Elder Argyle
( >/°¥< )

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