Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mom's first Sunday

Good morning all!!

Well, it's actually 8pm for me. But, I'm being supremely clever and traveling backwards through time (zones) since it's 10am for the majority of people reading this blog.  At the time I write this. Which probably won't be when you read this. Whatever.

Either way, it was a great day here :) Mom and I headed into church around 9:20am, and had a wonderful day with the branch. The talk were inspired, and it was wonderful to hear from one of the recently baptized Brothers in the branch - he did a phenomenal talk, didn't miss a beat when his glasses broke at the beginning of his talk, and held them like this:
Except he was a man. And definitely not wearing that hat.
After church, Mom and I caught the buses back home, only to turn right around again and make our way downtown to the bus station to purchase tickets for Palanga!! It was a little nervewracking, especially since I have this morbid fear of accidentally getting onto the wrong bus, and ending up somewhere outside Lithuania, with no idea how to get home. It kind of makes me anxious just thinking about it. I hate being lost.

Anyway, the good news is that we didn't get lost, I only double-triple-checked the trolley number about 8 times to make sure it was the right one, and the mission was a success.  Bus tickets were purchased, and we successfully conquered trolley 7.  Theeeeen, we got on another bus (there were alot of them today) to head back to our apartment, so we could take another, another bus to Dima's house for dinner. Except the bus never showed up. At all. So Dima came and got us, and all was well!

Once we got to Dima's, the night was spent enjoying delicious pelmeni, talking to the Elders (who were also over for dinner) and trying not to wince too loudly as Sofia "did my hair" (which consisted of yanking every hair follicle out of shape, then shoving florescent colored bobby pins into my scalp.  She said I looked beautiful though, so I'll take it :)

After dinner/talking was up, the Elder's shared a wonderful spiritual thought with us. As they were talking, I couldn't help but think back to Sha and I's days of volunteering at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) with the newly ordained Elders.  Awkwardness aside, there was some straight up false doctrine going on in there - the Elder's were unorganized, didn't know the gospel well enough to teach someone else, and jumbled up all their words.  Tonight as the Elder's were teaching us, I thought of those jumbled, newly ordained Elder's who would teach us, and marveled at the progression into the strong, capable and spiritually confident men in front of me. They spoke with the spirit, blessed the home which had served them, and used the power of the priesthood well. 

If none else, it was a confirmation of the purpose of this gospel - progression.  It's been said before that the LDS church is not easy - the Lord will always push you beyond your comfort zone, for it is in the unknown that you can progress and learn.

As for travel plans, we're leaving tomorrow morning to Palanga! Wish us luck, and warmth from the chilly Baltic Sea weather! (though I'm sure people will be swimming anyway - Lithuanians are crazy like that :)


  1. Hi Jenna and Hillary! Jenna I'm so thankful that you arrived safely with or without luggage. Hopefully it will eventually catch up with you. So, I'm trying to keep track of the plans-no Prague, yes Sweden, right? Be safe and know that you are loved and prayed about. Enjoy your time together!

    Stake Conference was wonderful! I'll check in on your girls this week. :)

  2. Oh, Hil. What a grand life you're living! Seriously.

    I'm totally jealous that you had pelmeni. I loved those things. (Regardless of the mystery meat inside...) ;)

    Your "the bus never showed" story reminded me of an experience I had as a new missionary in Riga. I think I'd only been there a few weeks and we were on our way to an appointment. We waited and waited and our bus wasn't showing up. There was a girl waiting near us, so my senior companion encouraged me to ask the girl what time the bus was coming. I stumbled out my question...which the girl couldn't really understand. I tried asking a few times, and she finally said, (in English), "Excuse me, but you are speaking very bad Russian." I almost cried! I said, "I know, but I'm just starting to learn it," and then had a conversation in English about the timing of the busses. (Which is different on the weekends than the weekdays. Who knew?)

    I'm so glad you had a great experience with the missionaries. As my inlaws have told me, (after serving in 2 different missions), the best missionaries in the world are sent to the Baltic mission. I have to agree. ;)

    I hope you have so much fun with your mom this week! Can't wait to hear about The Further Adventures of Jenna and Hillary.