Friday, August 26, 2011

August 22, 2011

Dear Family,

Wow sounds like a pretty week. I'm way jealous that Frank got to go to Oregon and make friends with homeless people that sounds like a party. Except I'm ok with it cause I get to meet a bunch of homeless people in kengarags latvia ;p. That's crazy that school is starting so soon. It seems like time just flies by. Is it starting this week?
I'm having a blast here in Riga. It's so much fun! Svetlana passed her baptismal interview this last week and she's getting baptized this upcoming Saturday. I'm so excited! She is so awesome. It's way incredible how much the Gospel has changed her life for the better. Everyone that I've seen progress all the way to baptism is changed so much for the better. I remember when we met Sveta on the street a few months ago she was way super shy and didn't really know anything about the Gospel. Now she's really opened up and has an incredibly deep knowledge of the Gospel. Every day I really how absolutely tiny my role in conversion is. I kind of just stand there and if they're ready to receive the Gospel then the Holy Ghost will work on them. I'm just happy that I can be in places where the Holy Ghost can work through me. I'll make sure to send you some pictures of the upcoming baptism! We also had a way crazy awesome miracle this last week. Last Tuesday we got a call from some other Elders that are in our zone, and they passed us a name from someone who was in their area from a long time ago. Her name is also Svetlana. We taught her three times this week, and now her, her son, and a family friend have baptismal dates! They are just so prepared. It just super strengthened my testimony that people change through time and God really works on people. Three years ago when she was investigating the church she just wasn't quite ready but this time around she's ready to do all the things necessary to find out if this Gospel is true. There's also another way cool miracle that I just found out about yesterday: Tanya up in Tallinn (who Elder Waddoups and I started teaching) is getting baptized this weekend also!!! Miracles never stop in missionary work. I'll take some time to answer the questions that you asked me now.
1. How late does it stay light there in the summer. I am assuming since you are about at the same latitude as northern Canada that it stays light for a while. That is probably pretty cool. And pretty dark in the winter. Yeah it's pretty crazy during the Summer you never see dark (at least as a missionary) One time I woke up at 3 in the morning to go to the bathroom and it was already getting light haha. And in the winter it's about the exact opposite. It gets completely dark at about 4 p.m. It's a lot of fun. I love the seasons here.
2. Tell me more about your companion. What does he like? What is his family into? My companion is really cool! He's really into music. He's really good at the piano and he did choir. I can't quite put my finger on what his family likes to do, but it sounds like they just love spending a lot of time together. He's the second to youngest out of 9 kids so a lot of his siblings are married and moved out, since he was a little kid. He went to Utah State! so that means we just have an automatic bond of love for each other and hate for BYU.
3. Tell me more about your mission president. What is your favorite thiing about him? He's just a way personable guy he really cares about each and every one of us. He's way funny, and he loves to tell stories, so it's really easy just to sit there and listen to him tell us what the olden days were like haha.
*4. These are just a few thoughts for mom's request: I'd say that the biggest way that my mission has blessed me is with my understand. I understand so much better the how and the why God does the things he does. I can see that He has a plan for each and every person. I more fully understand the power of priesthood, and the blessings of the Atonement. I don't know how to explain my thoughts right now way well. I'm just trying to say that before my mission I was a fool and didn't understand (even though I thought I did) but now I can see how much my eyes have been opened. It also has blessed me so much with desire in my life. Every day I just want to be a better person. I want to improve in every possible aspect, and with the help of the atonement that is all possible. I'm sorry if those ideas don't help you a lot, or if they're not understandable haha.
Well thanks for the email, and thanks for being awesome. Have a great week. I love you.

-Elder Pack

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