Saturday, December 18, 2010

November 2010

Sveikinimas iai iš Baltijos šalių (Greetings from the Baltics)

I hope that you all are doing well.
It's just really weird to me that I've been out for almost 11 months now (that's almost a whole year away from home). It's just extremely weird. I don’t think I will ever be able to explain time out here. Anyways haha… This Month has been filled with a lot of fun stuff.
While on an exchange with one of the Elder’s in my District we ran into two students from England, studying in Lithuania. They came up and started verbally attacking us and saying that Joseph Smith and his golden plates are a bunch of bull and so on... I had to laugh at first because that is probably one of the first times on my mission that someone has actually known who Joseph Smith was haha. Anyway we had a very good conversation with them and I asked them how they knew God was real and how the Bible was true. I then asked if they had seen God or saw the first manuscript of the Bible, they then stated ‘no’. It was cool to see how they had to think about their beliefs. We then testified, in English for once, that we believed all those to be true and that we have to first exercise faith to know they are true. They then thought we brought up a very good point. We then had a good discussion (in English) about faith and a brief history and explanation on the Book of Mormon. They said that it made a ton of sense and told us they would like to talk if they had more time later. We’ll see.
We’ve had our Lithuanian District Conference in Kaunas (middle of Litho.) Our Zone Conference in Vilnius (farthest east) with Elder Schwitzer of the Seventy, he is a great teacher and a very funny man! This last week, I went to Riga, Latvia, (mission home) to pick up my new ‘trainee’, an Elder Nelson, from Bakersfield, CA and fresh out of the MTC. He sure was confused for the first 2 days, and I’m sure he still is, but he has a good attitude and a great desire to serve. One fun thing, Sunday meeting time is very busy and I forgot to tell Elder Nelson that the lessons would be taught in Russian, (as he is learning Lithuanian) so he was writing down all of these words he was hearing and frantically trying to make sense of them all. haha. OOOPS, my Bad.
Friday we said hello to our first, of many to come, super cold days (-15 wind chill). My face was numb in seconds and so was everything else haha really cold. We try to talk to people, but it's so cold I don’t blame them for not stopping. We try knocking a lot of the day now.
I enjoy the English classes we teach each week as there are so many people that want to learn English. They hunger for it. We have two little old ladies in it that just crack me up every single class. I love it.
Seeing how month for Thanksgiving has passed, (no Turkey dinners or pumpkin pies) I would like to let you all know what I am thankful for....
1. I am thankful for two wonderful, loving parents here on earth that have taken care of me my whole life (about 20 yrs :) )
2. My family.
3. You guys and other great friends growing up in life that have been so reliable and true.
4. I am extremely grateful for my homeland/country! The land of the free and the home of the brave!!!! the one and only USA :). After being here I realize we are sooo blessed.
5. My coaches, teachers that have taught me all so much.
6. For the home teachers who have been so steady and so loving and kind to me and my family as they have become grandfather figures in my life.
7. I'm grateful for the day of Oct 1. when BYU got their cans handed to them by USU :),
8. I'm grateful for my taco bell, betos, burger king, etc haha...Good times
9. I'm thankful for all the members here in Lithuania who are so strong and committed to the cause, I look up to them.
10. But most of all… I'm grateful for my Heavenly Father who listens and answers my prayers. I'm extremely grateful and indebted to my Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ.
And Finally; As hard and sometimes not so fun as it is, I do have to say.. I'm grateful for the privilege that I have been given to serve the Lord on a mission and especially the people here in Lithuania. My life is so blessed
The work is moving slow but sure as we had 3 investigators to church this past week. It’s way cool, and It's progress! Stay Strong, Humble and Steadfast!

Tavo brolis (your Brother)
Vyresnysis Džeferis Džonas Meningas (Elder Jeffrey John Manning)

P.s. Linksmų Kalėdų Sūnus!!!! (Merry Christmas)

1 comment:

  1. Guess you may have to read this when you're home, but either way I want you to know how proud I am of you and your choices! What a great example you are and your mission will bless your family now, and your family to come soooo much! I've known that first hand, it makes a HUGE difference. Take care of yourself, we are praying for you and those searchig for the hope that the Gospel brings!