Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Nov 4: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: English, Feelin' Weird, Tā Daļas Rīgas, Graveyards, Beautiful Stuff

From: Jordan Argyle
Date: Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 7:13 AM
Subject: Baltic Chŗonīcļe: English, Feelin' Weird, Tā Daļas Rīgas, Graveyards, Beautiful Stuff

All: 76,166=59.40. I find the pedometer šķibs very often (slanted, crooked, or something like that), and so I don't think I'm getting accurate counts anymore. Oh well :)

Anyway, lots happened this week. First of all, there are several students in our English class who are new from the last time I was here, and during the spiritual portion of the class, there were several who took notes on the suggested reading to learn more, and I do believe that they read them. The sisters have taught two of them, and I had a lesson scheduled with another one, but he wasn't able to make it yesterday because of work. But, usually things don't go so well in English class as that. I'm way stoked!

Otherwise, I'm starting to feel way weird. I have a really strong desire to stay here, and at the same time I have those same feelings for home. It's a very odd sensation to long to be where you are while you are simultaneously longing to be elsewhere. I have a dread and excitement to leave, at the same time. I don't want to start living a "normal" life again, and I can't wait to get started. It basically is a very odd sensation, we'll say that.

On that note, I heard the following song a while back. I found a link for it. In the video it shows some places in Rīga--I've been to all of them, I think. Most of them are in Ķengarags and Maskavas Foršstate (all near the river just out of old town). So you can see what this area looks like. It's a gorgeous's the link...

Anyway, speaking of that area: We were down there on Halloween knocking, and we wound up walking through a graveyard to get there! It was perfect. Suddenly, Elder Long says, "Hey, we're walking through a dark graveyard...on Halloween!" I added that the moon was almost full. Anyway, it was perfect. I also carved my first ever Jack-o-lantern that night (never actually carved one from a pumpkin...and how many people can say that they've done that here in Rīga?:)). So, that's what those first two pictures are. The pumpkin would have been better, but I didn't actually want to spend much time on it, so I didn't. I made it in only a few minutes. And I accidentally burned the seeds, so they weren't so good to eat. But, whatever. It was fun.

Also, we found some basement doors open, so decided to go snooping. This one was perhaps the most amazing basement I have ever been in. It went completely under the house, and looked like people used to live in it. I chose my favorite shot to put in here. Hope you like it. Don't worry, we only spent a few minutes down there, then we got right back to work. Humerically enough, we came across a group of trick-or-treaters, who made so much noise that we had to leave. Basically, Halloween means nothing here for most people.

And I was able to go to Liepāja this week. Remember those pictures of the church I put up a while back? Those are basically nothing in comparison to the actual building. I will admit, that I cried when I first went in, it was so gorgeous. You basically just have to go yourself and feel it to understand. And on the way back, since we had to leave really early, we were treated to a gorgeous sunrise. The pictures, once again, don't even come close to the actual. Here's one I tried to get, though.

Oh, and add another odd thing to my food list: Persimmon. It tasted fairly good.

I finished the Book of Mormon this week. I read from 4th Nephi to the end, and some things stood out quite a bit for me. Here are some of those things:
Ether 4: 7-14)
All things that lead to do good and to believe in God are from from God, but anything that pulls us away from a faith in Christ comes from the devil. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ prepares us to enter heaven.

Ether 4: 15-19)
The Book of Mormon is a witness that God is fulfilling the covenant which he made to the house of Israel in the Old Testament, and that He remembers all of His children all over the Earth. This added witness strengthens our faith and belief.
The words of Moroni, son of Mormon who compiled the Book of Mormon, unto those who believe not in Christ (verses 1-6):

His words to those who believe, but deny the revelations of God (verses 7-15):
• • •
I will just say here that I have seen the miracles of God. I have received revelations through the Holy Ghost, helping me to know what to do to teach people the Gospel of Christ. I know that God is a God of miracles.
(Mormon 9: 26-30).
I love this. He knows that he's talking to us. He knows that he's writing to us. All they put in the Book of Mormon was done for us, by revelation. Observe what else he said:

35 Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing. (Mormon 8: 35)

And this may have been my favorite part. Look at how strongly these ancient prophets testified of their mission and their role, and to the truth of the work they helped to do:
Moroni 7: 35-38)

And finally, in the last chapter of the whole book:
27 And I exhort you to remember these things; for the time speedily cometh that ye shall know that I lie not, for ye shall see me at the bar of God; and the Lord God will say unto you: Did I not declare my awords unto you, which were written by this man, like as one bcrying from the dead, yea, even as one speaking out of the cdust?
28 I declare these things unto the fulfilling of the prophecies. And behold, they shall proceed forth out of the mouth of the everlasting God; and his word shall ahiss forth from generation to generation.
29 And God shall show unto you, that that which I have written is atrue.
30 And again I would exhort you that ye would acome unto Christ, and lay hold upon every good bgift, and ctouch not the evil gift, nor the dunclean thing. (Moroni 10: 27-30)

I know that the Book of Mormon is of divine origin, and that God truly has brought it forth in our day to witness to all the world that He is God, and that He truly does speak and lead His church in our day. This He does through His anointed servants. In the New Testament, Paul testified of the need of apostles (Ephesians 4: 11-15)? Are we in a unity of faith? Are we perfected? Then prophets and apostles are still needed.

Did not Christ Himself teach that all power in Heaven and in Earth belongs to Him (Matthew 28: 18-20)? He didn't say the power is given to books, or to man, but that it all rests with Him Himself. And he called His disciples to extend that throughout the world as He had authorized them to do so. It is the same today.

There are many references to priesthood. In the book of Acts, they call for the apostles to perform baptisms and to give the Holy Ghost. In other places in the scriptures they speak of priesthood offices (Hebrews 5: 6-10), and the need of the sealing power and revelation (Matthew 16: 17-19). The rock of Christ's church, as stated in the passage listed last before this, is revelation through the Holy Ghost. And because Peter listened and heeded that Spirit, and was called by the Lord, he was given the keys to, or authority to use the power of, the Kingdom of Heaven. That same power has been restored today.

I know that God has restored His church, and the Book of Mormon is the key to knowing that as well. It is something you can truly test. Pray about that book, and I again promise you that God will answer your prayers, if you pray in faith, with a desire to act.

I love you all.
Elder Argyle
( >/°¥< )

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