Monday, December 20, 2010

December 2010

Sveiki ir Laimingu Naujuju Metu! (Hey and Happy New Year)

It's crazy to think that it is already the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011, it seems I was sweating my butt off back in July just yesterday. The month has been a busy one as we continue to “seek out the righteous where ere they may be”

We started up our English classes again (Tues and Thurs evenings) at the beginning of the month and have had quite a lot of people show up. So it’s been great. Also my two favorite ‘grandma friends’ showed up again for another session so I'm pretty pumped about that! Shortly after, I received a text from the president asking if I would teach the institute class…I’ve enjoyed that opportunity.

The weather continues to be crazy as the clouds come in soooooo fast off the coast (Baltic Sea). I've never heard thunder during a snow storm before! It’s pretty cool but it scared the pooo out of me at first, sounded like we were getting bombed. Haha It’s snowed a ton here and seems it’s constantly snowing! The snowplows and little snow thingy’s are out in full force! We are always shoveling out the Church and helping people get unstuck. The wind still has a bite to it, and I'm not looking forward to the colder days that I continue to hear about from the natives. haha.

One night while out contacting I got a call that a pair of elders was stuck in a dome (apartment bldg) on a floor that hadn't been finished yet, the elevator worked to get there, but once they got off on the second floor they couldn't get back on and no stairs, pretty weird. We were on the Northeast part of Klaipeda and they were on the Southeast haha. It took 50 mins to get there and then another 20 to find the place. It was way funny and luckily a guy was there to let us in and to help us. A prayer was definitely answered!

A few Sunday’s ago the Branch president asked me to be his 2nd counselor in the branch presidency. Our branch membership is around 60 with 28-30 active, mostly women and youth. (The priesthood holders struggle so there is a constant effort to bring them back) It has been a special experience to learn how the Church operates.

Christmas day was an exciting and fun experience to hear all of the family again on “the phone call!!!”, it was special to have our family prayer together again. It really felt like a dream as it seemed to sneak up on me and before I knew it, it was gone. It's hard to explain how it is even registered in my brain ha! Christmas day, we went and passed out some not so good tasting "Christmas Cookies" that we made, haha, to the bus drivers on our routes and tried to find a couple of bums that we pass each day, then we went to a Catholic church and looked around inside of it. It really felt dark and empty as well as just cold. ha. We then hopped on a bus to go to a member’s house for Christmas Dinner. Her name is Lucy. She is a Chinese lady who has a little girl. She speaks not so good English and the same with Russian so sometimes it’s hard for others to understand her. But she got her point across by saying "you come eat Christmas". So we show up and she had made us Chinese food. It was delicious! Then a Russian family showed up as well for dinner. It was fun! We ended by singing Silent Night in Russian, Lithuanian, and English haha something that I will never be forgetting.

Another crazy thing; I got a picture and bio of a basketball player that plays for Idaho State Univ. when they played the Aggies during the Gossner Tournament. It just so happens that Deividas Busma, their 7’ center is from here in Klaipeda, Lithuania. It’s funny to think that he was in my hometown while I’m over here in his. A small world for sure.

For New Year’s we just stayed in and played games for the night and I attempted to make Mom's "sloppy Joe's" They weren't bad, but they just weren't the same as hers. I then stayed up and watched the phone hit 1/1/11 00:00... Pretty sweet and pretty crazy at the same time!!! There were tons and tons and tons of fireworks as they are all legal here. On New Year’s Day we weren't allowed to go out until 1pm, but we were able to review and make goals for the 2011 year. It was nice to just sit back and relax, but it was a long time to be inside. Then we had to get back inside at 6:30 that same night. It was pretty crazy seeing the after math of New Years Eve.

The work is slow and hard at times over here but we are doing all that we can to move the work forward. I have an amazing group of missionaries in my district. We can definitely see the Lord’s hand in all of it. We’ve had 3 investigators come to church so that’s been sweet. Also we placed a Spanish Book of Mormon with a guy; he said a prayer to Mary in Spanish. He's half Lithuanian and half Spaniard. He was heading back to Spain. (Maybe Elder Thurston can find him) Remember that time flies by so fast and before we all know it, it will be gone. Make everyday count.

Darbas yra tiesa ! (The work is true!)

Vyresnysis Meningas (Elder Manning)

Baltijos Misija (The Baltic Mission)

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