Monday, December 20, 2010
Elder Reeves, Yooree & Elder Pack (Lithuania)
Elder Pack, Vilnius, Lithuania
Wow it's already the week of Christmas. Time is going by so fast. I'm so excited for Christmas here in Lithuania. For some reason I can't really think of what to say because I get to call you on Christmas and it will be so much easier to say things via telephone call. Me and Elder Reeves are having a lot of fun still, transfers are actually right around the corner on the 31st of December, it's strange being a missionary because I have no idea where I could be within a week. It's starting to feel like Christmas even over here in Eastern Europe. Lights are getting set up and they're playing Christmas music in the stores and stuff. I actually have a cool picture of the lights that I'll send you after I'm done reading this email. So I don't actually have a ton of time to day, me and Elder Reeves have a couple things that we need to get done so I'll just get to answering your questions right now.
-have you received our package? Yes I did receive your package and I'm really tempted to open it right now, it's hard having a gift right next to me without parents telling me not to open it haha. but I'll try really hard to.
-what time do we call you? so yes you will give me a call at 11:30 (that is your time, I calculated the time difference for you ;)
-how long will we be able to talk to you? I have about 45 minutes in which I will be able to talk to you. They like us to keep our phone calls short.
-what will your Christmas Eve and Christmas be like? They will be almost exactly like regular day, we'll just go out and do some good missionary work :). Except for on Christmas we'll come in a little early so that we can get your phone calls :)
Have a Merry Christmas I'll talk to you on Saturday :)
Monday, December 13, 2010
Hey family!!! Wow it sounds like you're all having a really fun time. And everyone is having a lot of success with their respective activities. It always makes me happy to get an email and hear that everyone is doing so well. So good news I remembered my camera today so I'll make sure to send you some pictures.
Well this week was a really fun week over here in Lithuania, and not really for way particular reasons. Me and Elder Reeves are just having a lot of fun together. The snow is on the ground and they set up all the lights on the street I live on for the upcoming holidays. I don't have a picture of it yet but I'll get one soon and make sure to send it to you so you can see what it looks like. This week me and Elder Reeves had a couple really cool experiences. We went and taught this less active member that hasn't gone to church in like over 4 years, and we took one of the super awesome members with us and we just testified of the blessings of church, and he CAME!!! it was so awesome. And the whole time he was just saying how amazing it felt to be at church again. All the members were so friendly and just making him feel so welcome. He said he's way happy to start going to church again. We also gave one of our investigators a baptismal date this week. It was really funny because when we asked him if he'd be baptized he was like of course I will I just don't have enough time today can we do it in a couple days. Ha it was way awesome. We ended up passing him to the missionaries who speak Lithuania because people need to be taught in their own language, and he speaks Lithuanian quite a bit better than Russian. But me and Elder Reeves were just way happy to be able to find someone that is progressing towards baptism :). But yeah that was the super awesome week. I'm having a ton of fun out here as a missionary and I never know what surprises the next day holds in store. But I hope that all of you have a great week, I'm happy all is going good. And just remember when times are hard we know where we came from and why we're here and that can give us so much peace.
Monday, December 6, 2010
How is everything going? It sounds like you're all having a good time preparing for the Christmas spirit! The holidays are pretty different over here as a missionary, they're basically the same as every other day haha. I'm excited though it will be fun to experience Christmas in another part of the world. So I think I'll just get to answering questions now because I want to make sure I answer all of them.
1. What is your weather like? Are you staying warm or do you need anything else to keep you warm? Well the weather here is a pretty fickle thing. We got a bit of snow this last week, but mostly it's just kind of a mist snow so it doesn't really add to anything. It's been pretty cold like -25 degrees Celsius, which is pretty cold. Me and Elder Reeves both really like the snow though so we've been really happy.
2. Tell me about the areas that you tract. What is your apartment address? What direction from Vilnius Center is your area? Well no one over here has houses so we just go knocking in these huge apartment buildings. And we also do a lot of talking to people on the streets to the people in center. Because me and my companion live in Center actually, our area includes all center and all the area to the south and to the west. Areas are pretty big here because there are only 3 Russian speaking companionships in all of Vilnius so it makes for some pretty fun adventures. Our address is actually Gediminos Gatve 46 so it's right in town.
3. How many missionaries do you live with? How many missionaries are in Vilnius? How many of them speak Russian? In this mission the areas are so big every companionship has their own apartment, so me and elder reeves are alone. The other Elders live in an area called New Vilniu, and the sisters live next to the church building up in Fabioniskes.
4. What is Christmas like over there? Is it the big holiday? Do they do a lot of shopping and gift giving? Do they have Christmas trees? Will you guys put up a little Christmas tree? Christmas is a decent sized holiday over here, but it's not like in America. The big holiday over here is New Years they go crazy with it haha. But I don't think me and my companion will get a Christmas tree because we don't have the time and we're never home, because we're always out looking for people. I think that some people get Christmas trees though, I just haven't seen any yet.
5. Have they told you how the best way will be to call you on Christmas? Yes actually we just barely figured out how all the calling stuff will work out this week. Within the next couple of weeks I'll give you our phone number and you'll just call us. We have a little bit of time to do it on Christmas evening (well actually it will be in the morning where you are, but evening over here) so actually the time that I can talk to you is 8:30 pm so that means it will be at 11:30 am your time. I'm really excited to talk to all of you.
6. Do you have more pictures? We would love to see some. I actually do have some more pictures I'm just really terrible at remembering my camera so I'll make sure next week to send you a bunch. I'll tie a string on my finger or something so I can remember.
7. How does the branch work? Do you go to that branch each week? There is two branches here in Vilnius, one Russian speaking and one Lithuanian speaking. So yeah all 3 Russian speaking companionships go to the same meeting here every week. The branch here is actually way cool. It's hard to explain it all in an email but I can tell you all about them when I we call.
8. What is your favorite Christmas memory? Definitely just eating the Swedish pancakes I think I might die without that tradition this year. I really miss that time we have to just be together eating and talking about the Christmas to come.
But yeah I hope I answered the questions that you wanted answered. I'm happy that everything is good at. I love all of you, and I wish you all a happy holiday season. Have a wonderful week.
Hey family!!! Wow it sounds like you're all having a really good time, and I'm really happy that the holiday season is off to a good start with a whole bunch of snow. It's kind of weird being over here as a missionary because we don't really celebrate holidays, we just continue along with the work. I guess that's the best way to celebrate something special that the Lord has given us, by going out and spreading the gospel. It kind of puts a warm feeling in you. But yeah it's a new transfer here, but guess what? me and Elder Reeves are still together here in Vilnius, Lithuania and we're really enjoying this new transfer. We still don't have any snow but it's very, very, very cold. It's kind of surprising to me actually because Lietuva (Lithuania in Lithuanian) means land of rain, and during the summer it rains here like every single day, but for some reason since it's been getting cold it hasn't been snowing a lot. I wish it would just snow already, but it's ok life goes on. Wow that's way crazy that you had Thanksgiving as just our family I can't remember a time when we did that ever. This last week was actually a pretty slow one in the life of a missionary, not a lot of things really happened. The Russian is really coming a long it really helps being with a companion that doesn't speak way well yet like me, because it really forces us to have to learn the language. But it's coming along very well, I understand what everyone says to me and can teach lessons so that's all that really matters. Sorry I don't ever have a lot to say, I wish I was better at telling really good stories that everybody wants to listen to, but I'm not haha. I'm having a great time out here and I'm really happy to be a missionary here in the Baltics (which p.s. is the best mission in the world) I'm learning a lot and I really feel like I'm doing what I need to do. с днем раждения мама!!!! that's Russian for Happy Birthday Mom!!! I hope you had a really great one. I really wish I could have been there. I hope that all of you have a great week this week. Thank you for always sending me emails it always makes me way happy. Make sure to get some good skiing in for me with the new snow that's there.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Hey everybody! Darn that's a bummer about all the lost football games. But luckily everything will be ok :). I'm having a lot of fun out here in the field. Me and Elder Reeves are having a lot of very fun adventures, transfers are actually coming up this Thursday and I have no idea what is going to happen. It's just super crazy to me that I'm going into my 3rd transfer in the field already! Time goes by so fast when you just lose yourself in the work. It's so much fun. This last week was pretty fun, we actually had a Thanksgiving celebration with the branch over here and there was a lot of good food, so I was really happy. As far as the missionary work side of things over here, things were pretty slow, but that's ok because all we can do is try and get better. I wish I could have a cool story to tell you, but right now I can't really think of anything off the top of my head. I really just need to start bringing my journal when I email because I have a whole bunch of things in there that happened I just don't remember by the time I get here. Oh wait I just remembered something really cool that happened this week. Me and this other Elder, Elder Thomas, were on exchanges this past Thursday over in this area called New Vilniu. We went to go teach this lady that him and his companion had met the other day, she lives in very very poor circumstances. She lives in a one room little cottage that has no heating no electricity or even a bathroom, so me and elder Thomas decided to get her some bread and meat so she could make some simple sandwhiches. So when we got all that stuff and finally found her house, we walked in and taught her a simple little lesson about prayer and then gave her the sandwich stuff and blessed her house. She was so happy and grateful she started to cry a lot, I felt so sad for her I really just wanted to give her anything I've ever owned in my whole life. There are amazing people out there, and it doesn't matter that they don't have very much stuff but we are all children of God and we can all be blessed by this gospel.
Answers to questions
* Did you buy you a coat this week? Hopefully, you bought something that will be a fun reminder of your mission and will keep you warm. Yes I was able to get a really cool jacket that wasn't very expensive at all and it should keep me warm. I actually wore it when I went and played sports this morning and I felt really cool.
* They probably don't celebrate Thanksgiving over there. What do the missionaries do? Yes they do not celebrate Thanksgiving over here, but we had an activity with the ward and it was a lot of fun and we were able to get investigators there. There was actually this one investigator there, her name is Valera she's getting baptised in a couple of weeks and the sisters are teaching her and she made this beat salad that took her two days to make and then no one ate any of it and she was really sad so then I ate all of it cause I wanted to make her happy, but then when I finished that she pulled out another one that she wanted me to try, I was so full my throat would just not swallow food any more haha, but she was happy. It wasn't very good at all that's why none of the other missionaries wanted to help me eat it.
* How are your discussions coming? They're coming along really well, me and Elder Reeves still have a ways to go but we're getting better and better. We've learned a ton this transfer we've been together.
* Do you have more pictures for us? Yes I do have more pictures that I can send to you, but I forgot my cable to connect my camera to the computer, so I'll have to send them next week sorry.
* Is there anything that you need? Nope I'm doing really fine, luckily as a missionary all we really need are Books of Mormon and warm clothes haha.
But yeah that's all I basically have this week for you, so I hope that you have a great week. And I'm way excited to hear from you next week.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Wow it sounds like you all had a pretty amazing week, kicking butt in sports, birthdays, and farewell talks. It will probably take another week just to recover from this last week. This last week was pretty good out here in the mission field also. Wow it's crazy to me that how far everyone in this family is going along. We used to all be so little but we're all growing, it wasn't weird for me when I was getting older but now that the rest of the family is growing up to it's really starting to hit me. This week me and Elder Reeves had a lot of fun adventures and we're really learning a lot about missionary work together. One really cool thing that happened this week is we had 2 investigators at church!!!!! It was so awesome. And this week was fast and testimony meeting because last week was district conference in Kaunas so there were some really amazing testimonies. The members over here have been through so many hard times, they have incredible stories from the Soviet Union and coming closer to Christ through all of their trials. We all can really learn a lot from the people over here. And especially as it is getting closer to Thanksgiving (which I'm sad I have to miss the Turkey Bowl) we need to remember all the things in our life that we are thankfull for, we have been so blessed. Thank you so much for all the support you all have given me while I've been out here on my mission. I really am having a great time, and the way that I'm able to be out here is because of you. THANK YOU. Also I need to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY Alycia. I can't believe you're already 15! how was your Birthday? What did you do? What did you get? you better answer these questions. And also Frank good luck with the Championship football game dude! You are so much better at football than I ever was. I'm rooting for you all the way over here from Lithuania, I'm excited to see how it goes. Robbie good luck with basketball, you're about five thousand feet taller than everyone else, so good luck with all that, you'll probably be able to go really far with basketball one day. And Jenna what have you been up to lately? How is school? You're getting really old, I'm gonna get home and it's going to be really weird cause you won't be the little Jenna any more. Make sure to have a lot of fun in Elementary school, but you don't need me to tell you that you've always been really good at having a lot of fun. But yeah I'm really glad that you're having a lot of fun, and I'm way excited to get your email next week and see how you're doing! Here goes another week of missionary work... Hooray!
Monday, November 8, 2010
Well it sounds like everything in Cache Valley is going nice and smooth. I'm glad to hear that. Things out here are going really good, I'm really enjoying the time out here being a missionary. I can't believe I've almost been out here for 5 months, that's a long time! It's going by so fast, so I've just been trying to live everyday to its fullest. Because before too much longer I'll be home. That's so awesome how much success all the family is having... It makes be way happy to hear that everyone is having so much fun. This week was a pretty good one in the life of a missionary. We taught quite a few lessons, and we found some new investigators. Elder Reeves and I are having a lot of fun together still, we only have a couple weeks left in this transfer so we'll see what happens around the corner. The language is coming along really good lately, it's very handy to be together as a companionship with another person who doesn't speak very well cause it really forces us to learn. Hopefully by the end of this two years I'll be able to speak Russian decently. One thing I've been forgetting to mention that I really remembered today, is that's it's freezing here, and I don't have a Jacket for like regular cloths. I'm fine when I'm just in missionary stuff, but when we do service and sports I've just been wearing tee-shirts with thermals haha. So would it be ok if you could send me a jacket perhaps? you just send me one of the ones that's at home. That would be really nice of you :). Wow for some reason I really can't think of what to say this week. I'm sorry I've never been very good at writing emails. One cool thing that happened this week is yesterday we went up to Kaunas for district conference, it was really good there were a lot of really good talks. The things that really stood out to me were that we need to remember that missionaries aren't the only ones that need to do missionary work. When members help it's a lot more effective. And the blessings of bringing someone to the knowledge of the gospel is just amazing. But yeah that's all I really have to say this week. I'll try to think better next week so I can tell you some cool stories.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Well I'm sorry I'm always the worst at answering questions for you guys. I just get caught up in the work ;). But I will make sure to answer the questions right here at the beginning so that you can know what is going on.
1. Did you get any of the packages that we sent? I sent a couple of small ones with Savannah from the office, and we also sent a big flat rate box. We sent them to the mission home.
I got one of the packages so far, it was the big one that had snacks and silly putty thanks for that it was way good. But I probably won't get the other ones for a few more weeks, because since I live down here in Vilnius I don't get packages unless people are traveling around, and that probably won't happen until transfers now but I'm really excited to get them.
2. Do you have all of the warm clothes that you need? We put a few bucks into your account, but not much. Do you need more?
Yes I was able to get all the warm stuff that I need, sorry it was kind of expensive I have never been very good at being thrifty with money haha. But yeah I should be all good for a while.
3. Tell us about Elder Reeves. Where is he from? What is he like?
Elder Reeves is super awesome, he's from Ferth Idaho. He is like a star football player, he got player of the year in football and basketball two years in a row in Idaho for 2A schools, which is a lot better than I ever did at anything, haha. He's a really good missionary and we're having a lot of fun. We're having a lot of fun trying to figure out missionary work together.
4. Have you received Nancy Cheals letters? Have you written her back? What about grandma and grandpa robinson? They would love to hear from you.
Yes I have received letters from Nancy, and I'm planning on writing back today actually. Our P-days are always super busy, so hopefully I can get to it today. I really need to write Grandma and Grandpa also, and I will try really hard to get to that also I'll cross my fingers that I have time.
5. We would love to get some pictures. Can you just take your sd card and copy a few to your email? Please send us some. We would love to see you and Lithuania. Just send us your sd card dangit.
Well... that's a little harsh I guess I just won't send you any pictures now... No I'm just kidding, I'm sorry I haven't sent pictures yet. I just don't have very many yet, so I hesitate to send my sd card with like 30 pictures on it. But I guess I'll send that out this week so that you can get those. One of these preparation days soon me and Elder Reeves are going to just have it be a picture taking day. So I'll get a bunch for you.
6. Do you have any requests for your Christmas box? What candy do you miss? We are putting it together this week.
I actually can't think of anything off the top of my head. They basically have anything here that I'd want to eat in America. And stuff doesn't really do me a lot of good cause I'm a missionary and so I wouldn't be able to ever use it. So the thing I would really appreciate the most would probably just have to be getting a card. I don't really need anything besides that really.
7. When we have sent you pictures have you gotten them? We send them in separate email.
Yes I have receives all the pictures that you sent to me, and thank you for them they are really cool. It's really nice to see how you are all doing.
Well there are all the answers to you questions, are you happy now? No but I'm sorry I always forget to answer questions when I email you guys. I'll try a lot harder, and I'll work really hard to send pictures to you so that you can see how everything is going over here. But yeah that's basically all that I really have to say. I'm having a lot of fun out here. This last week was kind of a slow one and I hope that it picks up a bit this next week. We taught a few really cool people though and I'm excited to keep teaching them. So I hope that you all have a great week, and I'm way excited to get your email next week, it's always a nice to know that you haven't forgotten me yet.
I also forgot sorry it's written яа люблю тебя in russian, but it's pronounce Ya Lyoublyou tebya in English it's kind of weird, but that's my life over here right now haha. I love Russian it's like the coolest language in the whole world. Oh yeah and one question why was Frank asking a girl how to say I love you ;)
Monday, October 25, 2010
Hey how is everything going? From this last email it sounds like everything is going really well, I'm glad to hear that you are all staying really happy. It's cool that Frank is doing so well in football! I'm sensing a future pro player coming along. Good luck in the playoffs Frank I know that you'll do really good and I'll be rooting for you, here from Lithuania. Awww dang now I just really want to run in the Ragnar really those were some of the funnest things I did. Dad get ready for another one because we're going again when I get home.
This has been a fun week on the mission, me and Elder Reeves have just been making our way and trying to figure things out. But it's a really good experience, it really is helping me grow up I think. I mean come on I even have to go grocery shopping for myself, that's a pretty big step for me wouldn't you say. I don't know why but I'm trying to think of really cool things that happened this week but I'm having problems remembering them even though I know a ton of things happen. My whole mission is already just blending into one big blur in my head. It really, really is going by so fast I'm already getting close to 4 1/2 months and that's making my mind explode, because it feels like I just barely left. The language is coming along pretty good and that makes me happy, cause I have to learn it really fast now if me and Elder Reeves want to teach anybody. Oh I just remembered something cool that happened, last night me and Elder Reeves were just talking to people on the street. And we start talking to this really cool guy on the street who is from Saint Petersburg but lives in Germany, and he's here on vacation right now. He was way cool his name is Valodya, we asked if he could come with us to our teaching center and have a little lesson with him. But it didn't quite turn into a little lesson, he kept asking the best questions so we taught him for 2 hours. It was way long and we probably almost made his brain explode but it was so good. And now he's going to read and pray and meet with us before he leaves Lithuania again. But yeah that really show that the Lord has prepared people, it's just up to us to find them! Well have a great week it's always way awesome to read how all of you are doing. Good luck with all the things that you're doing.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Hey how is everybody? It's sounds like a whole bunch of cool stuff has been going on over there in Cache Valley Utah. I miss Cache Valley quite a bit because there's no mountains over here in the Baltics :( It's ok though here in Vilnius there's hills which is a lot more than you can say about Riga. So as you can guess by my last sentence, I'm still in Vilnius and I'm pretty happy about it because I was only here for like 2 weeks before transfers ended. It's very pretty here in Vilnius also, I would send you pictures but I need to take some more haha. We're only allowed to take pictures on preparation day and I've always been really bad about taking pictures. But yeah here's what happened this last week, we had transfers last Thursday and Elder Mock got sent up to Riga, so my new companion is Elder Reeves. He's a really awesome Elder and I'm really happy to be able to serve with him, the only problem that I can see right now is that he's only on his 3rd transfer and I'm on my 2nd haha so we're both way brand new missionaries and he's never been to Vilnius and I've only been here for a couple weeks and we're in Center (the most crazy part of Vilnius) haha. I think we'll probably have a lot of getting lost to go through this transfer, before we really find our way around. But yeah I'll keep you up to date on all of our crazy adventures. This week was a pretty cool week though, we taught quite a few lessons and I really feel like the language is coming along so that makes me happy. I'm really good at talking about the gospel but if the subject deviates from that topic it's very hard to understand what is going on. One cool thing that happened this week was about 2 Saturdays ago this guy called us and was like hey I met with the missionaries like five years ago and I would really like to meet with them again if that's possible. So last night me and Elder Reeves were able to go and meet with him, he fed us some really good fruit tea and cookies and we talked about the Restoration. It was way cool though he's a way awesome guy and we're hoping to give him a baptismal date soon already, so I'll keep you posted. Also another miracle that happened this week is at the beginning of the week me and Elder Mock were walking around and just talking to everybody and we found this kid named Thomas, he was a Lithuanian from Kaunas and he was in Vilnius buying a car. But he agreed to walk with us to our teaching center and have a lesson. So we met with him and just talked about The Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, me and Elder Mock just both really felt like we needed to invite him to be baptized. So we promised him as he continued to read and pray he would have a desire to follow all the commandments and be baptized by someone holding the proper authority, and he said YES!!! It was so awesome because he was in Vilnius only for that night and we found him, we were able to give his information to the missionaries in Kaunas and as far as I know everything is going really good and his baptism is scheduled a couple weeks from now. It's amazing how much good the Lord can work through you when you're doing what you're supposed to. But yeah that's my week I’m happy that you were able to go to Savannah's Halloween party I had a lot of fun last year also. And also the first thing we do when I get back is hiking the Wellsville’s because I really am craving a good hike lately. But I'm having a great time out here in the Baltics it's amazing how many incredible things happen each and every day I wish that I could tell you about all of them, but I've been keeping a way good journal so I'll be able to share more with you someday. Have a great week.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Hey it's good to hear that everything is going so good over there in the good ol' United States of America. Things are pretty good over here in Eastern Europe, at least on the missionary work side, things are going really good. Things have been kind of crazy because of what happened and getting all of a sudden changed to Lithuania, but I really like it here a lot. It's starting to get really cold here, like really really cold haha. And they don't turn on the heating in the apartments until November starts up ha. That would also be the reason for the strange dissappearance of my money, in a lot of stores over here debit cards don't work, so we have to us atms, so I pulled out a bunch of money to buy some winter stuff like a hat and a couple scarfs but I made a mistake and I didn't think about pulling money out for gloves so I might need a little more to be able to get those. But after I get gloves that will be all my winter stuff and I won't need to buy any more while I'm on my mission anymore... HURRAY! But yeah this week was really cool because we were able to watch General Conference twice, we were able to watch one session a day throughout the week in English as a zone, and then on Saturday and Sunday we went and watched with our ward in Russian. It was really cool because the language is really coming and that makes me happy, it's always a good thing to be able to understand people. But yeah here in Vilnius we have a Russian and a Lithuanian branch so that's really cool, because we don't have to try and understand Lithuanian also. Over here in the the Baltics, in the main cities everyone understands Russian so it's not to hard to find people to talk to. We do a lot of contacting on the street and a whole bunch of knocking also. People here are quite a bit nicer than they were on average than the people in Riga, so that's a nice change when talking to people on the street. Another crazy thing that happens is tomorrow is we receive phone calls for where we are going for the next exchanges, and then we leave on Wednesday. So I don't know at all what's going to happen yet I could be here in Vilnius for another transfer or I could go to Estonia or something (which would be cool cause I would have gone to all three countries within one transfer ha). So I will keep you posted on how all those things go. But yeah one cool thing that happened this week was about two days ago me and Elder Mock were walking around at about 8:30 pm just talking to all the people on the street and I saw this kid from the distance and he was quickly walking away from us, but I was like I should talk to him. So I basically ran to catch up with him, and I caught him right before he went into a billiards club (he was right in the process of opening the door) and I was like hey do you have a second we have a lesson that will bless your life, and he was like "ok if it will bless my life then I want to hear it right now, but my friend is up waiting for me so I'll go grab him and he'll come with us" So he went and got his friend and we taught them a lesson. It was so cool, we taught about Joseph Smith and how they can to our church is true through prayer. It was a very good lesson and we are meeting with them again this week I hope that all goes well :). But yeah I hope you all have a great week. You'll have to tell me how the Halloween party is with Savannah's family cause it was really fun last year they had way good hotdogs. But yes have a great week, this gospel is true so you don't have to worry about me, just have a lot of fun and enjoy the blessings in life :)
Monday, October 4, 2010
Hey how is everybody doing? I have quite the story for you this week so it might take quite a bit of my email to tell you about it haha. First of all I'm not in Riga anymore I'm Vilnius, Lithuania... Yay. But the story that I want to tell involves how I got to this place all of a sudden haha. So last Friday in the early afternoon, I was sitting in the kitchen eating some lunch and reading the Book of Mormon in Russian when all of a sudden we get a phone call. My companion talked on the phone for a while, and I didn't really pay attention because I was really busy trying to understand the Book of Mormon in Russian ha. But when he got off the phone, he just ran over to me and gave me a huge hug, which was weird because we never hug each other, so I knew something fishy was going on. And he broke the news to me that I was going on an emergency transfer to Vilnius and I was leaving the next day. At first I didn't believe him cause it was kind of weird and he kept laughing, but it was true and now I'm here. I don't know the exact reason why they had the transfer, because real transfers are happening in like a week and a half from now. But yeah I love Vilnius I've only been here for a few days now but it's very pretty and the smell of smoke isn't constantly lingering in the air like in Riga, like honestly even like all the 10 year old kids smoke in Riga. But yeah I took some way good pictures of Riga, and now I have a few really good ones of Vilnius also. I would send them to you but in Vilnius we email in the American Embassy and no electronics are allowed here. So I'll try to find a way to print them out and send them to you in a letter or something. My new companion here is really cool, his name is Elder Mock. He's from Texas and he's been on a mission for about a year now, and he's been in Vilnius all of that time. Well the work is going really good right now, it's a bit slower here than it was in Riga but things are still going way good. Yesterday we had church because we don't get conference here until this upcoming weekend because we are waiting for the translations. Yay I get to watch general conference in Russian. But that's way cool that you got to go together to General Conference, we should do that when I get back too because it would be a ton of fun. Oh my gosh I'm way happy right now that USU beat BYU, because my companion went to BYU before he left so now I can rub it right in his face haha, I guess that's probably not a very Christlike thing to do, but I think a situation like this allows some exceptions. But yeah I'm still having a ton of fun out here on the mission, I'm excited to see what Vilnius is like, and I'm way happy to be a part of this work, because it's TRUE. But yeah I just want to share a quick little thing that I remembered about one of my studies one time. It's 1 Nephi 11:17 it says something along the lines of I don't know the reasons for all the things that God does, but I know that he loves his children. And I love this scripture because it's true we don't know all the reasons for the things the Lord asks us to do, but he loves us and he wants the best for us. So we can take comfort in the fact that even though sometimes life is hard and things don't go the way we want them, if we're doing the things that the lord asks of us we will be so much happier than we could any other way. Because the Lord wants the best for us.
Sorry I know that you just got a long email from me, but could I ask you a huge favor? could you send me a few cds me and my companion don't really have anything haha. I would like some Adrea Bocceli and some Paul Cardall, but it would be highly appreciated :). You can just send them to the mission home still because I don't know how long I'll be here in Vilnius and so I'll be able to pick them up when I'm in Riga for interviews or something :). Thanks for all that you do for me, and all the support you're giving me out here on a mission. I hope you have a great week.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
как дела? Well that's all the Russian I'll write know because it takes forever to write Russian for me on this keyboard cause I don't know how it's set up haha. But I'm glad to hear that you're all doing good! And that you're having a lot of fun. HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRANK & ROBBIE!!!!! Darn now this is the point where I start feel like I'm missing out on big parts of people's lives. Franks the big ol' 18 and I'm not there to give him a high five or something haha. And Robbie turned 12 that's huge. I can't believe it, I just realized I'll never be able to pick on him again because he'll be five times my size. But everything here is going really good. I've realized something while I've been on my mission, I can't write emails to save my life, haha. They have absolutely no order and I bet they make no sense. But me and my companion are having a great time. He's a great companion! He's so good at Russian I hope I can be as good as him by a year out he understands everything people say and I understand nothing haha. but I already feel like I'm learning a lot faster than I did while I was in the MTC so that's good. It really is sink or swim out here haha. Well ok I'll tell you what an average day is in the life of a missionary right now haha. We wake up at six thirty and I want to die because I'm so tired but I get up anyway. Then we get ready I take a really cold shower cause that's all we have, and eat breakfast. Then from 8:00 am - 11:00 we have study time, which is very useful and it helps a lot with teaching. Then we go out and start walking and walking then we usually have lunch at about 1:00 and dinner at 5:00. But the rest of the time we're either teaching, walking, or knocking. It's intense, because I realized when you're a missionary no one wants to talk to you haha. Except for the occasional 2 or 3 people. But it's those people that make everything worth it. It's so hard but when you find someone all of a sudden the last 5 hours of knocking and talking to people have all been worth it. And there's a lot of power when you just testify to someone, and you realize even more yourself that this is the true church and everyone needs it. It is so beautiful here in riga, it's already really cold, but that's ok cause we walk a lot and that warms you up. One cool thing that happened this week was we were knocking up in an area called Sarkandaugava and on the first door we went to knock on. The guy opened the door with no shirt on and was very hairy, and he was just like come in come in! (which is really weird) But we went in and talked to him, and the first thing he told us is that he had killed five people about 10 years ago cause he was in the army, so me and Elder Koegler were kind of scared. But then he said he invited us in because he remembers when he was little the missionaries taught his mom, he knows a lot about our church and he believes it, so I hope he'll get baptized. Well I know this church is true. I know that I've already received so many blessings being a missionary and there are so many more I'll receive. I can't wait to hear from all you again next week, tell me everything that's going on.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
I'm in the Baltics!!! I can't believe it, it's awesome here. I'm serving in Riga Center so it's awesome. Everyone else went to different places but me, so I'm here with my new companion (Elder Kegler; he's super awesome and from Canada). We've found some really cool people and had some way good lessons. The main problem that I've found so far is that I don't understand anyone haha. I'm kind of sad though because my companion is a zone leader and so he has a huge meeting today and we don't have a ton of time to email. But every other week we should have a full hour I'll make sure that we do. Because I have a ton to tell you and I wish I could tell you everything right now. So when we arrived in Latvia we had a couple days it was nice, we were able to catch up with jet lag and meet President Dance and get to know him. And after that they just kicked us out and we went and started missionary work. I didn't ever know in my life until after a full day of missionary work it could be so hard to wake up at 6:30 in the morning haha. It is so beautiful here in Riga, I'm going to buy a camera here today so I can take a whole bunch of pictures to send to you. It's weird that right now I'm writing the email and it's about 11:30 am here but it's only 2:30 am where you are haha. All the people here are really nice and I met a lot of the people in the ward yesterday and they're all way nice and super strong members in the church. I'm sorry this email doesn't make a lot of sense I tried to write all my ideas in one paragraph. Next week I'll write a huge email and then you can know what I'm up to. I love you all and I can't wait to here back from you.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Your missionary made it to the Baltic Mission safe and sound. Attached is a picture taken at the Riga Airport just after they landed. They all look great and arrived without incident. They spent a few hours this afternoon talking with people on the street and sharing their testimonies. We had dinner and a testimony meeting at the mission home and then put them all to bed. They will have training on Wednesday plus have a chance to talk with more people on the streets about the gospel. Then on Thursday morning they will meet their new companion and be off to their new area.
Sometime in the next several days we will have the mission office send you the details of where your missionary is serving and some information about the mission as well as all our contact information. You can expect your missionary to email you next Monday on his/her preparation day. If there is an emergency in the meantime please feel free to call me at my cell phone.
Thank you for your trust and confidence in sending your missionary to us. We love them and are excited to work with them in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
President and Sister Dance
Monday, August 30, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Hey how is everything going? It's just me again sitting at the MTC and writing you. I'm having a great time and making a ton of friends, I finally finished my disposable camera so now I can send it to you. I'll send it out today, and you can get all the pictures printed if that's ok with you. This week was really fun, I learned a ton of Russian, went to some way amazing talks and got to go to the temple today, so I'm in a way good mood. I'm so so so so so so so jealous that you get to go boating. I miss water very bad, and this has been a very hot Summer vacation and it makes me sad a lot. You'll have to tell me how it is at Redfish Lake, I don't think that I've ever been there unless it's from when I was way little. I know it's way crazy I've almost been here for 2 months, TIME IS FLYING! I don't know what to do. Two years is starting to seem like not close to enough time. I'm getting really sick of the food here, that's one problem that I've come accrossed, it all tastes the same and is super greasy so it makes me feel really gross. But I've been trying really hard to stay healthy, and I've been succesfull... hurray. I've lost like 5 pounds since I've been here cause I try to run at least 3 miles a day. I've have gained such an appreciation for gym time, haha I have no idea what in the world I would do without it. So I don't know if I told you this but the new Native Russians got here a couple weeks ago. It's really cool having them here cause I can hear what the language is really supposed to sound like. I've been hanging out with them a lot to get practice speaking because about a week ago I went 100% Russian speaking. It's really hard but since I can talk to those natives i'm learning really fast. My teacher Brother Wood is really cool, he gave me a surprise yesterday, because I've been working my butt off to try and learn this language. The surprise is: tomorrow I get to hang out with the Native Russians all day and go to classes and stuff with them so I can just be completely dunked in the language. I'm so excited, I'm about to the point where I can understand most of what they talk about but I have a lot of work to go until I can speak completely fluently. I'm trying really hard to think of something funny to write to you guys, but I can't think of anything haha. I guess that's what happens when I sit in class all day, every single day. Oh yes before I forget again and make it so you all want to seriously kill me, I'm going to bring the thrilling end to the Sushi mystery. I'm sorry that I always forget to tell you what happened, I just try so hard to think of all the things that happened in the week and I don't remember half of them when it's actually time to write an email. I didn't get it :(... I got a note a while ago and it said someone tried to deliver me sushi, but they're not allowed to give me food delivered by companies or other people that isn't properly packaged to last for like 2 months or something like that haha. I was way mad though so I went and begged them to give it to me but they had thrown it away. So I'm sorry that you had to buy that sushi and then it didn't even end up getting to me, I'm mad at the postal system here, but I love you so much and thank you for trying to send it to me. It's the thought that counts. You all sound really busy and that's good, the way to stay happy is to stay involve. I've been reading in Helaman recently and the passage I would like to share with you this week is Mosiah 12 through about 16ish I think. It's about Abanidi and his teachings to king Noah. I don't have my scriptures with me and I hope I didn't completely lie to you, but in about chapter 15 he's talking about salvation and what we need to do in this life and it's way good. I love you all have a great week, and remember why we're here.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
So let me tell you about a regular day here at the MTC. I wake up at 6:30 (I haven't slept in once ha I know surprising). Then everyone has to battle to try and get to the showers first. Then breakfast comes at seven and I have to be totally ready. Class starts a 7:30 and it's either Brother Anderson or Brother Wood who teaches us. And we go until 11:30 and then we have lunch until 12:15 then we have gym until 1:30. Gym is really good because I have to burn off a few of the 5,000,000 calories I've eaten that day. Then guess what we do after that? You got it right more class! And either Brother Wood or Brother Anderson teaches us again. They're very good teachers. We sit in class till 4:30 then we have dinner. Wow this schedule sounds boring even just talking about it. Basically all we do from there is more class ha.
I feel really lost out here by myself. But I am really glad I have the Holy Ghost to guide me out here.
Remember "the Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his work" (Psalms 145:9) So if we do what we should we'll all be ok!
Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
They let me email on the first day to let you all know that I'm doing ok. It's really intense here I have a feeling that I'm gonna learn a lot and I'm very excited. I had a way hard time when you guys dropped me off. When you drove away I just started crying. It's weird having everyone calling me elder it may take a while to get used to. I miss you guys thanks for all you do and you'll always be in my prayers. I love you.
I am feeling lucky!
"You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Baltic Mission..........You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Russian language."