Dear Family and Friends,
Today we went shopping. I feel like I am losing my sense of style because of a few things, first of all, I ask myself, "can I wear this as a missionary and be professional?" Also, the style in Europe is a little different and not quite my taste, I guess it is for the better so I won't spend too much money on clothes.
Today we had zone conference in Vilnius. It was so good to see everyone. They talked a lot about studies and contacting. This summer they are really putting a focus on getting outside and talking to everyone. We are concentrating on filling our area books with names so that during the winter, when not as many people are out, we can still be effective with all of the people we contacted during the summer. They had an example about throwing a pie in people's faces when we talk to people on the street. Rather than just going right in and testifying about everything you know to be true, to instead only give them a slice of pie, just listen and get to know them. Sister Seaman and I even had to teach a part in zone conference about getting members excited to do missionary work. We were so nervous. Right before our part some Elders taught about referrals and pretty much taught our part and did the role play we were going to do, so then we were really nervous. It went pretty well. I had to be the missionary in the old play and I was so nervous for that. Sister Harding talked to us about listening and how it is such an excellent skill to have and use. People really do love talking about themselves and it really does help them open up. President Harding spoke about the Sabbath Day and how to make it more meaningful. We also heard the testimonies of the departing missionaries, next week we lose three Elders and one Sister, it will be really sad to see them go.
Today we finished up our service for Jura. She is so sweet, when we were leaving she told us we could come back any time, and that the Elders had her number if we wanted to call. I think she will miss having us over and having a little company. Today we were walking around talking to people, we were saying goodbye to this one lady we were talking to, when all of a sudden, this man comes up with his cigarette waving it around and talking to us and showing us this little book. I remembered him, he came to church one time and we met him before he left in a hurry right after Sacrament meeting, but I could not remember his name. He said his name and I remembered Sister Bestenlenher never met him, so she was a little scared since she thought he was drunk or something. He just wanted to talk and show us this little book that was in Russian, we didn't really understand what the book was. He asked us where we were going and I just said, "not far." Then we said goodbye and kept walking, then he came up to us again and was talking to us and asking where we were going. There was a gas station right there nearby, so I said we were going there, so then we said goodbye again and we went in since he was watching us. When we came back out, there he was across the street waving us over. We figured out his little book was a New Testament and he invited us to come to this other church. We just said, "we can't because we are missionaries." I think he wanted to walk us to wherever we were going, but we finally were able to say goodbye for the last time. I think that he is lonely.
Today we had zone training. I really like the part when they spoke about morning prayers and how sometimes it can be hard to stay awake. There was a suggestion from someone to keep it short and just ask for the things you will need between this prayer and your next prayer (breakfast). I really liked that idea, just concentrating on what you need little by little, and not for the whole day. We are saying prayers all throughout the day, so I thought it was a good tip. After zone training we had to hurry to a lesson with a member. We wanted to get a referral from this member named Birute because we know that she likes to talk about the church with everyone she knows. She was super sweet and has like five people that she knows that she thinks might be interested. She also fed us some very interesting food. She gave us this soup that wasn't too bad, she also gave us Silke, which is raw herring that is marinated in carrots and onions. Apparently this dish is eaten a lot around Christmas, I hope I never see it again. I even tried it. It was the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten. I thought maybe if I cut it up and moved it around my plate she would think I ate more than one bite. When she left the room both Sister Seaman and I put it all into our napkins and put it in our bags. Later, our bags stunk so bad of fish, all of the juices were leaking all over into our bags. She also fed us omelets, which were pretty good, and bread with jam along with apple cheese. It was very interesting. We went home and we aired out our bags, hopefully we aren't still smelling like fish.
Today was my last exchange with Sister Bestenlenher for the transfer. Who knows what will happen. I am a little nervous because I would love to stay here in Kaunas West with Sister Seaman, we just get along so great.
Nothing much happened today, but we did get to go way far out to our Branch Mission Leader's house for our Missionary Coordination Meeting. It was fun, he had pizza and other food.
Today was Elder Hanson's last Sunday, it is so sad. But I was able to get a lot of pictures with the members.
On the empty bus.
New Hymn book.
The Swiss's, who will be going home in July.
10:30 at night.
6:30 in the morning.