April 27, 2015
Dear Family and Friends,
Today Sister Seaman was not feeling well. So we stayed inside in the evening so she could rest and feel better. We think that it is the changing weather that is making her not feel good. We have been in a transition since March. It still seems freezing cold here and we can not wait for it to warm up.
Today we had district meeting where Sister Bestenlenher spoke about hope and Sister Seaman spoke about having faith to find. It was really good, for hope they spoke about living in the now and hoping for things now, not in the future or in the past. We then got to watch some more of General Conference, I really enjoyed L. Tom Perry's talk about how media portrays the minority as the majority, and sometimes it makes people feel like they are the minority rather than the majority. I liked how he talked about all of the religions agreeing on the family issues in the world, we all believe that marriage between a man and a woman is important. Today I got to go on an exchange with Sister Penrose, she is great. We went around stopping by some less active's homes. One woman named Liuda, who has been a member for like 20 years, let us in and talked with us for quite some time. She said we could come back and visit her next Tuesday. We are really excited, this is the first less active that is willing to let us in and talk.
Today Sister Penrose and I ended up riding the bus for quite some time. I was talking to a girl who spoke English on the us, she thought it was all very interesting why I was in Lithuania. She also thought it was strange because it is not tradition she said. I then asked her if she believes everything the Catholic church teaches, she said not everything and she doesn't really go very often. I thought in my head, some Lithuanians are so caught up in tradition they forget to look for truth. She was really sweet, though. Tonight we had a lesson with one of our investigators who has been having trouble smoking for a long time now, and it is the only thing that is holding him back from being baptized. His name is Arnoldas. We had a lesson about this 15 step program to help him quit, I am really excited to see him try it out and quit.
Today Sister Bestenlenher and I were on exchanges and we had a lesson with Jurga. It was a really difficult lesson because we couldn't understand her very well, or know how to respond. It was rough, but we were able to make it through. We had English in evening where we were supposed to teach about prayer, but we ended up just talking about food the whole time, they loved it.
Today we did a lot of walking. I walked for probably about 7 hours today, it was intense. We did see some funny and some interesting things while we were walking around. There was one old lady we saw while we were walking who was riding her electric scooter/wheelchair in the street with the traffic, talking on her cell phone, she was probably going like 5 mph. Then we were riding the bus to go and meet the other sisters when it stops at this stop and before the doors even opened I could hear this woman outside yelling at these boys. Then the boys and the crazy, maybe drunk, woman get on the bus. She continues to yell and the boys are egging her on. Then she raises her hand and I see that her hand is all bloody. The bus driver didn't even leave the stop when she opens the door and is telling the woman to get off of the bus. The woman stayed on until the next stop, then she got off, leaving a little blood behind. It was very interesting.
Today we went back over to serve the woman we served last week. This time we continued to sand and then we washed the walls, it was fun. It was so nice outside today, it was probably the warmest day I have had in Lithuania. We then just walked around and talked to people, it was really fun. There were a ton of people out and a ton of things going on around town. we walked by two different little street carnivals with rides and things, we then walked around old tow, which is beautiful. Old town is just adorable, it is like what you see in the pictures of Lithuania, the cute part. We walked down it, there were so many people, all of the restaurants had tables out and tons of people were eating outside, and there was music and people singing. It was fun.
Today I had to speak in church. They even made me sit on the stand. It was a very interesting Sacrament meeting. First, Elder Fraiser, who is fresh from the MTC, spoke and nobody could understand him but I thought it was neat that he didn't even write it all out or anything. Then it was me. Then two recent converts spoke. First, Ade, who speaks English so Elder Hanson had to go up and translate while he spoke. It was really hard to translate for him because, first of all, he is from Nigeria so he has an accent, it can be hard to understand him. Second, he got so into it he was going really fast and saying a lot of difficult words to translate. When Elder Hanson would pause before translating, probably thinking about how to say it in Lithuanian, Ade would think he didn't understand his English and start repeating it. The next recent convert didn't have a lot of time to speak, but he got his testimony in. Afterward, everyone just kept coming up to me and complimenting me on how I spoke and telling Sister Seaman and I they couldn't understand Elder Fraiser and we need to teach him how to speak and lead music, since he leads for Sacrament meeting.
The weather is so perfect here right now, finally! I don't have to wear a coat or tights anymore! When I first got here the sun would come up at about 8:30 AM and set at about 5 PM. I think Estonia is more like Alaska. Now the sun comes up at about 6 AM and sets at about 8:30 PM. It will only set later and later and rise earlier and earlier as we get into summer. The healthy eating is still going okay, I definitely still eat more vegetables than I did and smaller portions, but we make a cheat meal once a week. Last night we made chicken nuggets and mashed potatoes, but we had salad with it. We got to watch the women's session, I also loved the analogy.