January 26, 2015
Today was good, I was able to deep clean the kitchen. It looks really good. I tried Zeppelene today, which was interesting, I am not sure if I like it or not. It is potato that is so dense it is almost like a dough, then it is wrapped around mystery meat. It was okay, but super heavy.
Today we had district meeting and I spoke about knowledge. It was really interesting preparing to speak about that, I really learned a lot. There is a talk in the last General Conference given by Elder Eyring called "Continuing Revelation" that I shared parts of. I really like the part where it talks about having and needing a constantly renewed stream of revelation. I related that to an analogy told by Elder Oaks in the MTC about how we are instruments in the Lord's hands. He compared us to a pen and our knowledge and testimony are the ink of that pen, if the pens run out of ink He will find another pen to do the work. Elder Norman talked about diligence and he used the story "The Tortoise and the Hare." It doesn't matter our abilities, if we are diligent we can do what we are called to do. The tortoise had "steady, consistent...effort" PMG 121. Then Elder Aidukaitis spoke about boldness. "...be bold and loving...raise a voice of both warning and hope..." PMG 8. Sister Hoskin spoke about goals, she used a really good analogy with coins. She had all of the coins in her hands and she told Elder Armstrong to catch them, the coins represent the goals made and then the ones he was able to catch represented the ones that he was able to complete. She threw them all at once and he only caught two, but when she threw them one at a time he was able to catch them all. It is important to not make too many goals at once and try to achieve them all at once. Elder Armstrong spoke about achieving goals and accountability, "when you have something for the Lord to help you with you will see how he helps you more," and, "if you think you can do better, than you are doing better than you think." It was a really good district meeting. We then went and got some yummy food from a Maxima (grocery store). Since we were planning on being at the church all day we got these little pizza's that were interesting, and then we got these little pastries, we each chose a different one so we could try a little of both. They were both really delicious. I have been practicing the piano when we go to the church, I really think the Lord is helping me learn and play better. Rather than only being able to play one hand from the simple hymn book I can kind of play both hands very slowly, I am improving. We had Gospel Group Discussion class in the evening, it went really well. We did not end up talking about prophets like we had planned because Bole brought up baptism and wanted to talk about it. He brought this baptism dress that he wore to be baptized in the Jordan River, where he paid and then received a certificate that he showed us. It was very interesting, but since they wanted to talk about baptism we decided that would be a good topic. We talked about it and then showed them on lds.org the new Easter promotion called "Because of Him," it was really good, I felt the Spirit really strong. Look it up if you haven't seen it. After we finished watching it they all wanted the link for it so they could watch it again, it was really cool.
Today was so amazing, we had two visiting teaching lessons we were planning on helping with, then we were going to just do stop by's for the rest of the night. Our first lesson was with Irena and it went really well, the RS President, Gitana, came with us and she is really awesome and wants to serve a mission, but she does love to talk. Usually when we go to lessons with her we end up staying for a couple of hours, but not today, she toned it down and was able to focus on the VT message. Then we had a second one, but the sister couldn't do it tonight so we decided we could take cookies that I had made to another member, Jolanta. We went over there and it was pretty interesting, it was my first time visiting a bendrabes, which is where everyone on a floor shares a kitchen and a bathroom. I would hate to live in one of those, it is very sketchy. She did not answer, and we didn't fell like they would last very long on her doorstep so we decided to take them to someone else in the brach. We were trying to think of people who were struggling and we thought of a member named Jane, who had become less active. We went to her house, when we got there she let us in and made us some tea and gave us these delicious treats. She was so welcoming. We just talked with her and shared a spiritual though, when we left she sent us away with some homemade applesauce. When we were on our way home we discuss how God had wanted us to go there, how he had guided us there, so many things had to fall through in order for us to make it there and I was so grateful we did, I think she really needed it.
Today we had a lesson with one of our investigators, her name is Aldona. This was my first time meeting her. She was so sweet and happy, and then her husband joined us, they were the best, I am excited for the to accept our message and take the next step toward baptism. Aldona has met with the missionaries before, but always ended up dropping them. One of her concerns is that she has always been Catholic, and all of her family has been Catholic, and she is worried that she will disappoint her ancestors if she joins the church. I am hopeful that we can deliver this message in a way she will accept, I am hopeful this time while she meets with the missionaries it will be different.
Today I had my first Zone Training. I got to see Sister Hubert for the first time since the MTC. It was really good to see her, it seems like she is doing well. They fed us pizza, then we all had to do a short little three minute skit thing to show our achievements, we were supposed to be creative. Sister Hoskin and I talked about the service we have been doing for others, then we read a story from the Liahona about the little girl giving her teacher a potato instead of an apple because that is all she had. The teacher said it taught her a lesson about how you do not need to wait for the perfect opportunity to serve, just serve with what you have. Then we gave them all potatoes, it was fun. The Kalipida Elders did a poem with interpretive dance, it was hilarious. We talked about courage and what it takes to have courage. Then they gave us a little notebook that as we study the scriptures we can record all of the Lord's promised blessings to us. The little notebook can give us strength as we see all the blessings the Lord has promised if we do our part and we know the Lord will do his part. I really enjoyed, I got to meet a lot of new people.
Today we helped Gitana, our Relief Society President, set up visiting teaching. She has just been doing it by herself up until this point. She sometimes called us for help, but other than that she visited all ten of the sisters on her own. I am glad we were able to help her with that, we feel like it is important to create unity and friendships in the branch. It also helps everyone feel needed when they have a calling.
Today went really well, one of our investigators came to church, her name is Branuslava. Saturday evening we had met with Gitana and Gitana mentioned that we should call Branuslava and see if she was coming to church the next day, she said maybe and then she showed up! We then had a lesson with Jurga and Skype. She has been meeting with the missionaries for awhile and totally wants to be baptized, but she has to move out of her abusive boyfriend's place, she also smokes, but today we weren't even talking about it and she said she was going to quit smoking! We were super excited about that. The members are beginning to talk to me more, it is exciting because it give me a chance to answer in Lithuanian.