December 21, 2015
Dear Family and Friends,
It has been hard to work because we have not had an area book until this last Saturday. We mostly just would walk around and try and find people. Now we are excited to have an area book so that we can use that for finding and setting up lessons. On Saturday mornings we have Missionary Coordination Meeting and a language though with the other missionaries. It is really interesting because there are so many other missionaries here in Vilnius. When we are all gathered it feels like a missionary training meeting. There are 7 Lithuanian speaking elders and 4 sisters including us. There are also 2 Russian speaking missionaries. We are split into 2 districts all of the Lithuanian speaking elders are in one district and all of the sisters are in a district with the Russian speaking elders. It is fun to get to know them as well, as I didn't know them as well, but they are actually really great. I liked something that Alvydas our Branch mission leader said. He was talking about people on the street, he said... "we follow Christ, not tradition." People really for the most part live according to their tradition. Usually their religion is tradition. For our Christmas Zone Conference we got to peel 40 potatoes for mashed potatoes. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it. We also had a white elephant gift exchange. I bought this alarm clock that is like a robot for the gift I would bring, and I received a really cute mug with different kinds of tea and chocolate inside. It is a really cute mug. We also got to see a slide show they put together for the missionaries with pictures of all the missionaries from the Baltics. We then watched a really well put together slide show that Sister Harding put together with Christmas Mormon Messages, as well as singing and performances by the missionaries. At the end they asked us to think about one thing we could give Christ this year. It was really a fun day, and at the end they handed out all of the Christmas packages from home. After, we went straight on an exchange. I went with Sister Madison and Sister Bestenlenher went with Sister Neeley. It was a lot of fun, as we were all staying at Sister Madison's apartment here in Vilnius. It was a good exchange. Then on Saturday we had a branch activity that the branch actually put together and the missionaries had nothing to do with it. It was very impressive and they put a lot of effort into it. They had some singing and other performances and they also had a Christmas dinner. One investigator even brought a choir with her to perform, I don't know if anyone was expecting that. It was a really good turn out and it was fun to socialize and get to know everyone.