Monday, March 22, 2010

The Tenth Letter

Arriving Missionaries

Dear Family,

Well I will get right into it cause I don't have a ton of time and there is so much to tell! The plane ride was good but I slept hardly at all so When We got to Riga I was so tired! President Dance had us go out and contact for two hours after we flew in which was crazy! It scared me to death! So the Elder I was with and I would just ask people if they spoke English and tried to talk to them about the church. Most people did but most just ignored us. It was the scariest experience ever! I was having a really hard time that night cause it wasn't the greatest experience for me and I was worried the rest of the mission was going to be like that. Riga is really dirty and so crowded and the people just seemed more hard up there. It's not nearly that bad down here in Vilnius. The next day they put us all on a bus to Vinius and we got there in the late afternoon. My new companion is Elder Cox. He is from Ogden Utah and is a way cool guy! He goes home in about three months so he's pretty experienced and is really helping me to adjust to everything. We live just a block south of the big main street in Vilnius. It is the nicest street in Lithuania I guess. It's so pretty! We go contacting there every day and just walk up and down it and talk to as many people as we can. I'm getting pretty good at contacting people in Lithuanian but I'm still struggling a lot with the language. Elder Cox is helping me a lot though. Anyways the big main street (Gedimino) leads over to old town. We are pretty close to Old town but I haven't seen it yet. I'm excited to go over there soon. Then about two more streets north of where we live is the river that cuts through the city and just on the other side of the river is new town where all of the sky scrapers are. So we are right in center! Our apartment is really nice. My companion said it is probably the nicest that the missionaries have. So I'm pretty happy about that. The only Lithuanian food that I have had was at a families home the night I got here so Wednesday night and it was actually really good! The Fruit tea was not good but oh well. They love their fruit tea here so I'll have to get used to that. So yeah that is where we live. It's right next to everything so it's a good place to be. My first few days here were super stressful and hard... Learning to get outside of my comfort zone and talk to so many people in a different language has been way hard for me! People swear at us all the time but my companion has to tell me if they do. They are usually Russian Swear words. Haha the Russians here are usually the harder people. It's pretty crazy. On Saturday we were contacting down Gedimino and some punk kids yelled at us from the side of the road "F*#$ the Bible!" In English. Ha! Those kids are going to have hard lives... Anyways it's been ok adjusting to everything. The people are very different. Everyone smokes and drinks and I'm starting to pick up on whether or not someone is drunk or not. My companion can actually tell what they have had to drink by how they smell! Haha that's pretty funny. Everyone is pretty tall here too. The women all wear high heals so they are even taller and everyone is really skinny. They eat a lot healthier here! I seriously have only seen 3 people under like 50 or something that are over weight! I'm not even kidding! Anyways everyone wears black too. It's still cold here but the snow is all melted and spring is coming. So more about my week, we have taught nine lessons since Wednesday so we've been so busy. We usually contact down on Gedimino in the mornings and during the day and then go knock doors after about five cause no one is home before that. We go knocking in what we call Russian domes. They were built by the soviets and are these freaking ugly cement apartment buildings that look like they are falling apart! They smell so bad inside too! Most people just say no thank you to us but some have been a bit mean. I've had to get used to that a bit... No one likes rejection but I Just try and laugh about it and go to the next door. My companion is good at helping me do that too. We exercise every morning to and that helps me stay happy, but I have been so so so tired at nights and so sore. Missionary work is so hard! We figured that we walk about 6 miles a day plus what we do in the mornings. I crash at night! The Jet lag has finally worn off but that took a little while. I have to go, but it has been crazy trying get adjusted. I first thought when I got here "what am doing here and where am I?!?!" but it's a little better now. I will be able to respond to letters next week, family, cause I don't have as much time today I have to get a coat and stuff. So I'm sorry about that. Keep me in your prayer ok? I'm working my hardest for the Lord and the Work is going well. I love you all so much and miss you so much too. I hope you can all get a feel for how things are out here. It's very European, but some more ghetto areas of the city are more like a Europeanized Gotham city from Batman! It's Crazy! Anyways, I love you guys so much! I'll write next week!

Love, Elder Leishman