Week 58; December 15, 2014 – No Such Thing as Latvian Baseball… Really?!
It's been a really fun week. We started off with a simple P-day, eating at Pizza Hut and shopping a bit. We went to a member’s home that night by the name of Max and Santa. They were super cool and they were the first Latvians I've met on my mission. I've always had a life-long question that I wanted to ask a Latvian. Back home our ward played a game called Latvian Baseball. It was like an indoor version of baseball and I had always thought it was the national past time of Latvia. So, I asked them if they had ever played… Sadly, to my despair, they hadn't! My apologies to the youth of the Carmichael Ward, but Latvians do not, in fact, play a game called Latvian Baseball!
|Reaching One Year in Sweden Next Week|
On Tuesday, we taught the Omahomen family. We were reviewing the new-member lessons with them and we taught them about prayer and scripture study. I bore my testimony of how scripture study has blessed my life. I told them that I wished I had studied more when I was younger and how developing a love for the scriptures has been a huge blessing for me. I felt prompted to promise them that if they were to study their scriptures daily as a family, they would be blessed to become stronger and more united than they have ever been before. They really liked the lesson and promised to give it their best efforts.
Later that week we had our Santa Lucia program. It was super fun! A lot of less-active members came and a few even participated in the program! The costumes were hilarious and the ward had a great time! It was definitely a taste of some great Swedish culture. We may have not been the best singers, but it was surely a night to remember!
Some of the best parts of this week have been while we were out contacting people. Our District Leader challenged us to contact people on trains and buses more often. I don't really love doing that, but I thought what the heck, I'll give it a shot! The first one went pretty well. I couldn't find anyone in particular that looked like they would love to talk about religion, so I just sat down. I noticed a lady who had these really cool rings on, so I asked her where I could get some like hers… As a Christmas gift for my Mom, of course. That started a great conversation and we were able to talk about the church a bit. Although, she wasn't super interested, she seemed to respect what I had to say. Sorry Mom, she got the rings from a second-hand store, and they were from Macedonia. So, I don't think I'll be able to find you one!
Later that day, I found a guy that spoke mostly Spanish and we did pretty well bouncing back and forth between languages. Although our discussion was going great, he hoped-off the train before I could get his contact info. Lesson learned!
On Saturday we found our best contact. We had just finished-up moving a new member into his home on the far end of the area. In the process, I contacted another man and this time he knew only Spanish. Fortunately, I knew enough Spanish for some basic dialog, but this time I didn't really think I could do it. However, the most amazing thing happened. I understood nearly everything he said. I understood that he was from Iran and that he had lived in Spain for 20 years. His Swedish wasn't very good and he was having a hard time learning the language. Then, an even cooler thing happened, I started remembering Spanish words that I hadn't seen or heard since my sophomore year in high school. The more the conversation went on, the more we understood each other. It was an incredible experience. At the end of our conversation he gave me his number and said he'd be happy to meet with us any time! The Lord had put the right words in my mouth even though my Spanish was downright terrible. I know God helped me recall every Spanish word I had ever put into my head so I could talk to this man. I just wish I had tried harder in my Spanish classes. Regardless, I would consider this to be a miracle! It was a real example of how weak things can be made strong with the help of the Lord.
Well, I can't believe Christmas is only a week away! I hope you all enjoy your time together, and I hope you will also think of the savior in the coming days. I have grown to love Him so much more than I ever thought possible. I can truly share my testimony that He is the Savior and Redeemer of the world and that He loves you all more than you could possibly know. Jesus Christ is truly the greatest gift the world has ever received and He is the greatest friend anyone could ever have. I know this is His work and helping people find Christ is the most incredible experience I have ever had!
|He is The Greatest Gift!|
Have a wonderful Christmas!
I love all of you! - Äldste Stoeltzing