Monday, December 20, 2010

December 20, 2010

Gedimino Street, Vinius, Lithuania

Elder Reeves, Yooree & Elder Pack (Lithuania)

Elder Pack, Vilnius, Lithuania

Dear Family,

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 :)

-Elder Pack

Monday, December 13, 2010

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.

-Elder Pack

Monday, December 6, 2010

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.

-Elder Pack

November 29, 2010

Dear Family,

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.

-Elder Pack