According to the Lithuanian calendar, today is Mother’s Day! Granted, it’s not Mother’s Day until next week in America, but apparently Europeans like to be quick on the draw round here. So, HAPPY EUROPEAN MOTHER’S DAY!!! It was pretty funny to see the parallels here – halfway across the world, and there are still men scrambling everywhere to find something to give their lady friends/mothers. As we were taking the bus to church, I saw one guy standing outside in his boxers, cutting lilacs off the apartment lawn with a knife. Classy.
Sacrament meeting was also wonderful today – it was testimony meeting, a time when members of our church are voluntarily invited to come up to the pulpit and give a short testimony of this gospel. It’s a wonderful opportunity, and always a touching experience to hear others bear testimony of the same truths you know. It was extra great today, since I was able to hear the testimonies in Lithuanian; my earpiece translator died halfway through the meeting, so I decided to just take it out and listen to the speakers. Though I couldn’t understand anything they said (except for the occasional “Kristaus” tossed in there – that means Christ:) I was still able to feel the spirit of their words and the peace of their testimony. It was a beautiful meeting.(Read about the LDS church HERE)
After church was over, Viktorija asked/commanded us to come to choir with her. She’s the choir director in this little branch (everyone has 2 or 3 callings here!), and I figured we owed her since she translated for us in Relief Society. Plus, for someone so tiny, she can be pretty intimidating and persuasive if she wants to. It might have something to do with the fact that she can yell at you in 4 different languages without pausing for breath. Choir consisted of the 6 Elder Missionaries in this branch, the 4 ILP teachers, and Sister Flake (the senior Sister missionary in this area) playing the piano. Viktorija was very patient, and tried to walk us through the pronunciation of the Lithuanian words, since we’ve been singing the hymns in Lithuanian. After working with her, I decided I have a new goal – to sing through the hymns by the end of the summer without sounding like a geeky, white American girl.
Oh, and another fun note – Viktorija and Sister Flake asked us if we would perform with the choir for Stake Conference in a few weeks, and also sing a number individually. All us English teachers will sing something for the conference as well, and it should be fun!
After choir, we ended up waiting at the bus stop for about 50 minutes, since we had barely missed the bus that just left. While we were camping out in the bus shelter, I got antsy and started walking around the grassy area. Another fun fact about Lithuania – everyone seems to have accepted the inevitable world domination of dandelions, and don’t even fight it. Everyone just let’s them sprout wherever their little yellow demon heart’s desire, and they end up taking over any green patch here. Now, this isn’t normally a problem, unless you have the brain capacity of a pinecone and smell every dandelion you find, and end up rubbing that yellow goodness all over your nose. Unsuspecting little me was simply enjoying the foliage, wandered back to the bus shelter and was met with laughter from my fellow teachers. Apparently, I had sniffed one dandelion too many, and ended up with florescent yellow nostrils.
Eventually, we made it home and consumed copious amounts of potatoes and salad for dinner. After we had stuffed ourselves, we were talking in the kitchen when lo and behold!! A Lithuanian thunderstorm came over the horizon! The rain was beautiful, the smells intoxicating, and the lightening mesmerizing. Oh, how I love thunderstorms.
|The ever-so-lovely foliage outside our apartment|
|Rain rivers!! Possibly one of the greatest things from my childhood :) That and Arizona rain barrel races.|