Monday, September 27, 2010

September 27, 2010

It always makes me happy to check my email every week and see that everything is going so well. I hope that you're all having a lot of fun. This week has been a pretty good one and I've learned quite a bit. The work just continues to move forward and sometimes it's hard to keep up with it haha. We've been teaching a whole bunch of lessons lately, so that's always really cool, and we've been finding a lot of really cool people. Like last night we were heading up to Sarkandaugava to try and find some people, because it's an area missionaries don't go very often so people seem more willing to listen when they haven't already talked to the missionaries three times that day haha. But we accidently got on the wrong bus and we ended up in this little area called Kundzinsala, which I discovered is basically heaven on earth. So we walked around for a little while and looked at all the little cottages and beautiful yards, but there wasn't really any people to talk to and all the houses gates were locked and so we decided to head back towards Sarkandaugava. Before we headed over the bridge back to the mainland (because this little area was on an island) we decided to pray so we could make the most effective choice. And after we started over the bridge we found this couple on the bridge fishing. They were way cool. They listened to our message and they want to meet again and learn more, and the coolest part is they walked us all the way back to the bus stop cause we were kind of lost (which was like 2 miles) So the Lord really has prepared people to hear this message and I'm so glad we accidently got on the wrong bus. But I'll hurry and answer your questions real quick sorry I always get caught up in my own stories that I never answer your questions haha. question #1 well it's kind of funny you see we basically just eat exactly what I would eat at home, we eat tacos, pasta, these really good things called palmeni, lots of rice and sausage, and other things along those lines haha. I'm kind of sad because we don't really eat at members houses in this mission so I don't really get to see what the locals eat. But the Yogurt and pastries here are absolutely like heaven so that's super awesome. question #2 I actually live really close to the mission I live on the corner of Gertrudes Iela and Brivibas Iela, which is like the perfect spot it's right in the center of town and it's like one block away from the church so that's a good thing. Question #3 I haven't been able to do a ton of traveling yet, but I don't really need to because just Riga itself is so beautiful. But yeah that's how things are this week I'm having a ton of fun, and I'm excited to hear from you next week.

-Elder Pack

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

September 22, 2010 - Little Miracles

HEY!!! All is ok I'm not dead haha. I forgot to tell you last week that we had a big training meeting this week, and so our p-day got moved to Wednesday but yeah it was really good. This last week was pretty fun, I'm getting into the missionary work pretty intensly right now. this last week seemed to go by in about one day. The Russian is coming a long, but I still have a lot of work to go haha. It sounds like you're all having a good time and that makes me happy, because I'm having a great time out here. Wow I'm really bad at small talk sorry, I'll add a few stories that happened this week and see if it makes my email a little better haha. Last Tuesday my companion had to go on splits, because he's district leader and zone leader so he headed to the other side of the river, and I went on splits with an Elder that was in the MTC with me, his name is Elder Palmer. That means that there was two brand new missionaries trying to walk around and conquer Riga haha. We even taught 3 lessons haha, it was kind of a ridiculous day. We wandered around got lost a couple times, had to teach English and just hope we didn't cause like a mass apostasy in Riga haha. We had a lot of fun though, and it was a way good experience for just trying to talk and say what we wanted. Another thing that happened is this last Monday me and my companion headed up to a lesson in North Center and we rang the doorbell and we could hear people in there, but they totally ignored us and wouldn't answer the door. So we decided to head out and knock a little bit before we headed home. We got to this one apartment and this super drunk guy was just like "what are you doing here? you need to leave. I hate you guys" and other things like that (typical drunk) but then this lady ran out and was like "hey wait I need your help this lady is really sick and she needs to go to the hospital but I can't lift her". So we went in there and there was a close to 90 year old lady in there and some paramedics. so we helped carry her down on a stretcher and she was indeed very heavy. I felt so bad she looked so scared, and you could just tell she was about to die. But when we got her to the ambulance they were like "we are so lucky you were here, she would have died if you wouldn't have showed up cause we couldn't lift her". We tried to teach the lady that asked for our help but she wasn't really interested. But hopefully someday when she sees the missionaries she'll remember what happened and maybe talk to them. I felt so incredible after that experience though because we wouldn't have been there if our lesson wouldn't have fallen through, and I just know that God put us in that place at that time. MISSIONARY WORK IS AWESOME!!!! I wish that I had enough time to tell you all the amazing things that happen here, but if I did I wouldn't have anything to tell you when I get home. I hope you all have a great week, and stay safe. I'll share one thing I realized while reading the scriptures this week; I'm reading in Helaman right now and it's right around the time when all these miracles are happening because of Christs birth, but still the people harden there hearts soon after. I think it's because they don't continue to study and grow in the Gospel. Satan can get a hold of people's hearts so easy but if we continue to read the scriptures and always remember Christ we won't fall. They saw amazing things, and even now there are so many little miracles every day, don't forget to just remember them and think about how lucky we are. Well have a great week sorry it seemed like I was ignoring you this week I wasn't I swear.

-Elder Pack

Monday, September 20, 2010

September 20, 2010

No email from Elder Pack. :(

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 13, 2010 - как дела?

дорогая семя

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.

старейшина пак

Sunday, September 12, 2010

September 6, 2010 - It's Awesome!!!

Hey Family!!!!

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.

-Elder Pack

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August 31, 2010 - Your Missionary Has Arrived!

Dear Family,

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.

Warmest Regards,
President and Sister Dance
Baltic Mission