Monday, June 24, 2013

Riga and Russians

well the members here...are just converts. So on the list here in liepaja there are I think 200 members...but that regurarly go to 10? it's pretty sad. there are those 10 that sometimes have time to help us. we usually plan and help with the activities because they don't really know how to. teaching has been....well. I'm not gonna lie, the language is obviously hard. and I usually don°t speak much in the lessons. I understand most of the time, but speaking is an entirely different matter. but I'm still trying.

The Scerbinins

"I hope my skirt doesn't fly up!" I thought as I twirled around in the tiny living room of the Scerbinins house. They asked to see me turn cause their cute lil girl is dancing for the talent show. I'm also going to dance with one of the other member's lil girl for the talent show....and they want to hear me yodel...It's gonna be an interesting one...I yodeled for my English class when we had show and tell and then Vladamir (Russian. you could have guessed cause of his name) He is awesome. like 60 years old. Think I sing like in the alps.


The cobblestone streets, the tall statues, guitar music playing in the background...I am in a fairytale. Last P-day we spent the day in Riga because we had zone conference on Monday and then we had to do another set of exchanges there as well. I have been traveling every single week to different cities. I love traveling. God knows me soo well. He is giving me soo many opportunities with teaching, with my talents, with basically all of my desires...just listen to the spirit and the Lord will bless you :)

Drunk Russians

After Riga, we got on the bus and as I said, "Labdien!" to the lady who sat by me, she then started talking back to me in Russian..."Ah, another one?! I always talk to the Russians!...grr." She then pulled out some liquor and was the funniest 4 hour bus ride. Let's just say the Latvian people didn't want to just drop her off so they tied her feet with a zip tie...and she might have peed on the floor. The other time, always on buses it seems like, was also trying to speak with me in Russian.

The Lauki

A lot of the Latvians go to their summer homes, lauki, and farm and just live there to be happy. So we traveled to one of our investigators farm and we pulled weeds! oh how my family knows I love to pull weeds. :) But really though, I loved it. Everyone barefoot and having a good ole time gardening. The strawberries were soo good. I loved getting dirty.

Today's P-day

We are emailing earlier because we are traveling to Kuldiga. I don't know much about it but I heard that it has the longest waterfall in Europe...? well....Atta!

Monday, June 10, 2013

first week in Latvia

The Pirate House

The smell was awful. I didn't dare touch anything. All four of us stood outside the door of what looked like something from a ship. And then white handprints from children were on the door. We all said a prayer and someone knocked (It was a passoff lesson from elders to sisters). Valija opened the door. I smiled. A real smile. I am really doing this. We all shuffeld in, passed a sink, 5 kitties in a box, and then stepped over something into a small little room, (smaller than any hotel room I've ever stayed in, about half the size of my bedroom in yellowstone). I sat down on one of the beds. There were about 3 small ones and a couch. She started talking to her son who had a cigarette in his of the elders turned to me and said, "They are speaking in their language." ? oh, ya. I remembered. She is a gypsy. They asked her if she wanted to pray after she told us that she had quite smoking a while ago. Her prayer lasted....15 mintues? With some of grand children coming in and interupting. Then her moving to pray on her knees. Some of it was real quite, then loud, then in a different language, then part of the memorized prayer, then in her own words. An Elder then began to teach part of the plan of salvation. I ended with a small, simple, latvian prayer. We asked her to come to church. She came :)


After talking to a man from Germany on the plane about why I was going to Riga (in his little english) and exchanging cards (I'm a mormon card and his architek/sculpture card :), I grabbed my luggage and shook President Boswell's hand with a big smile. I stepped out of the airport and hot! I didn't expect that. They put us in a taxi and told him to drive to the mission house. "Great, we are going to die." haha it was just like New York. I miss new york. All these old buildings. There is a place right by the mission home that is abandoned. They said that it was where they interrogated them and tortured them. They were going to make it a museum but it is pretty sad and it's just a reminder.

Contacting: I said Labdien to like everyone I saw haha. and one man stopped and started talking to us. I gave him a BOM and he gave us his number (with chalk on the sidewalk). I couldn't wipe off the smile on my face. I loved Riga. Dinner came and I entered this resturant. It was like a midevil dungeon. words, axes, I was in a fairytale. 

Jetlag was no where until after we ate. We all fell asleep during the prayer. it was funny. 


After being in Riga for a couple of days, I left with my companion Sister Gallacher on a bus and traveled for...2,3 hours to Liepaja. I am also with Sister Pliha, who is a native latvian, she's 28 and went to her mission in Ukraine and then taught at the mtc there. I prayed for a native. I got it! But she will be coming and going. She is doing a mini mission. 

Got in a taxi with all of our luggage, don't know how we did it. And what song do I hear? "House of the rising sun" I almost started crying, felt like I was back at zions with my best friend. Our place is pretty nice. Didn't expect that. My window right next to where I study in the morning, is right by a beautiful old church. The bells go off at 7:45. So beautiful.  

The steets are coublestone and interesting fact:no dirt or rocks here. We are built upon Sand! So if there are rocks, it's imported. I can't drink any water except what's in my water bottle. We do have a filter at home, that is what we brush our teeth with. Some streets are really smelly, pee, blood, etc. I am taking doterra every day :) So my first couple days in Riga were the happiest because People actually were alive. But not here. I haven't seen anyone smile. haha I think that's why they act so supprised when I smile at them. 

To be happy is a choice. And I have been trying really really hard to stay happy. It kinda wears on you (the no happiness here), but I pray every morning to be happy. I asked Pres in our first meeting if there was anything he wanted me to do specifically. and he said. "SMile." So, here I am, smiling. :) I love this. Going out in the streets, trying to speak latvian, getting on the tram every hour, I love it here. Alot of people go camping. They have their backpacks with them all the time. 


I got to church and Valija came! So I have realized, since going to church yesterday, that we are really started new here. There were I think...15 people there yesterday. Everyone is a convert. Excpet for the Branch presidents children. OH, he speaks russian. In Liepaja we have 2 elders speaking russina and four elders speaking Latvian and us 2 sisters. Me and my companion are doing what they call white wash? We both and new to this area. She started here, and was trained here, but then they took the sisters out. And now we are back! 

Well have to go. I didn't have time to take pictures. I will soon. Love you all. Sister Woodland.

Provo to Washington to Germany... to LATVIA!

The past week has been full of different experiences. I received a letter from Sister Nally (mtc pres. wife) saying that I was to perform twice infront of the New incoming missionaries on Wednesday. Me? Nervous? Never... This time, the sister missionaries that arrived outnumbered the elders... I think he said 370ish sisters to 350ish cool is that. The sisters are coming. Elders, watch out ;) If you haven't served a mission boys, there is no reason to be home because all of the young women won't be there to get married. So...go Serve and let the Lord change you into a man!!! (sorry...i'm in a "get off your lazy butt and do something about it" attitude right now.) Go talk to your bishop, he is your friend, he is your BEST FRIEND in this. He will help you. That is his duty.
I also received my travel plans! We wake up at 4 (27th) then Slc to Washington, then to Germany and then finally arrive in Riga, Latvia. We arrive there the next day. It's a good thing I've only riden on a plane once and I absolutely loved it. :)

Repentance means to CHANGE

One of my leaders likend repentance to a garden and I loved it!
He asked this question to three of his friends.
"How come you don't have any weeds in your garden?
-I don't plant any.
-I water those that I want to grow.
-I get them while they're little.
Don't plant problems in your life that you'll have to go back to. To have knowledge and spiritual experiences, you pray, read, develop habits that you want to have. Change while you're young. Change the bad habits now. Don't let the root grow!!! If you do, you might need 2,4 others to help pull. If you do not repent now, how much harder it will be in the future because that nasty root has grown!

Give it your ALL

"Faith is a principle of action and of power." Nash(70) Faith brings us the power of the Lord. D&C 84:19-21. The power of Godliness is well the power to be Godly, the power to change, and that change, power, is the Atonement. "The Atonement is the hinge of eternity!" People can access the Atonement. They need to get on their knees! Pray, plead, express what's in your heart! He can Heal
The Savior will change me. If I let him. Have faith. Elder Nash's main message (besides faith) was "Don't hold anything back!" I'm so ready to give everything I have.
last pic is me eating my juice family will think that is funny...


Masa Vudlande

just some pictures