June 1, 2015
Dear Family and Friends,
Today we went and ate at this really cool restaurant called Viva Kaunas. It was really good. We have always wanted to eat there. It is this restaurant that looks over the whole city, it is beautiful, but it was also super hot outside so we were sitting outside and we were all sweating to death. It felt like summer was finally coming. After that we met this really neat lady who seemed super interested, her name is Laima. We talked with her outside her door for probably 45 minutes. She asked if women were equal to men in our church because Lithuanians have this attitude that women are not equal to men. It is really sad to see women who have bruises and black eyes sometimes.
Today we had district meeting where we all shared an analogy or object lesson. There was a really neat one that Elder Fraiser shared, but could be difficult to use with an investigator. You ask them to put their arms up like an airplane, then you try to push them down and they have to keep their arms up. This is them right after baptism, strong and clean. Then you have them put their arms down and you rub their back going downward and that represents sins, then you have them put their arms back up and then you try to push them down again and this time it is a lot easier because the sin weakened them. I thought it was neat because I didn't know you could do that, then they can't resist as well. We watched more General Conference. I really enjoyed the talk about the tree in Lehi's dream and how it isn't enough just to partake, but we need to stay by the tree. I also enjoyed the talk about perspective and how we can't make important decisions from an earthly perspective but we need an eternal perspective. After that we were supposed to have two lessons at the church, but neither one showed up so we ended up being at the church all day because it is a far travel and we had to be there for a devotional that was being broadcast that evening given by Russell M. Nelson. Since we were there all day we decided we needed to go out and talk to people. We went out and we talked to this one woman, we asked her name and as she was saying her name her dentures fell out, she just kind of laughed and put them back in. It was so funny, but we were able to give her a Book of Mormon and our number. That evening we had the devotional, which was broadcast live from Moscow. It was super good and I learned so much. Sister Nelson spoke about just the first four minutes when you are with someone, how it is the most important time with someone. In the first four minutes you should just show that someone how you love them and be interested in them. She said you can heal any relationship with the first four minutes of a conversation. Be a peacemaker for the first four minutes, put away the contention. Then Elder Nelson spoke about 10 things that he has learned and knows to be true, I thought his outlook on the aging process was cute. He said the aging process is a gift from God and how special it is to think that Heavenly Father is slowly preparing you to return, He wants you home. He and Sister Nelson both spoke a lot about the gathering and scattering of Israel. It was really neat, Sister Nelson spoke about the last time she was in Moscow and she was prompted to ask everyone their lineage in that meeting, she went through each one and when she called theirs they stood. They had in that meeting eleven of the twelve tribes present. We are in the part of the world, the Eastern Europe area, where the tribes are scattered and the missionaries here are part of a fulfillment of that prophecy of the gathering. It made it so much more important to me than ever before. It is motivating me to work harder. He even blessed the Eastern Europe area with an apostolic blessing, it was really a neat devotional.
Today we go to go over and continue to help Jura in her stairwell. She has a very good eye. She keeps finding spots that need fixed. The service might go on for the rest of my mission. I think she wants it to look professional. I can't blame her, really. Today during branch council we got a lot of tips about Arnoldas that will help us meet with him and teach what he needs.
Today Sister Bestenlenher and I went a little crazy and decided to make a whole thing of brownies and put ice cream on top and try to eat them all. It was a bad idea, we were nice and we weren't even halfway done. Afterward we had to eat a carrot to help us feel better.
Again, we didn't make good decisions and we tried to finish the brownies and eat muffins and a smoothie. We ended up throwing the rest of the brownies away. We felt good about that decision. Sister Seaman and I decided to go find some past investigators, we got let in twice. First was at this woman named Dala's house. Her husband wasn't home, his name is Igoris, she really wants us to come back. It was even her idea to give us her phone number. Then we got let in to a couples house, their names are Vytas and Margarita, they investigated a long time ago and are even still in contact with their first missionaries. We are definitely going to go back and visit them again. Margarita's mother is Braunuslava in Siauliai, she was one of Sister Hoskin and I's investigators.
Today we had a Relief Society activity where we were planting flowers around the church. It was really fun and they look beautiful. After the activity we had a baptism, it is the Elder's investigator, Sigitas. It was so good, he had been investigating for such a long time, so it was wonderful he was able to get baptized. It gives me hope for some of the long time investigators that we have, maybe someday they will be baptized.
Not much happened today. We had church and then afterward we had planning we had to do since we didn't have time earlier in the week. We did find out that they now have a green hymn book in Lithuanian, so I might have to order one of those, I am super excited.