Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Fifty-Eighth Letter

February 21, 2011
Dear Family,

Where to start... There was a lot that happened this week, so I will just start with transfers... I was transferred to... can you guess? Yeah, back to Vilnius AGAIN!!! I am way happy about it! I had no idea what to expect, but Elder Rich and I were both transferred. Elder Rich went up to Siauliai and I am back here in Vilnius again. I am in the north area this time though, so that is a nice change. The last two times I was in the center area. Our apartment is super nice and is right in the middle of the sky scrapers. We have the most beautiful view cause we are at the top of an eight story building and we can see all of the sky scrapers and all of old town from there as well. We have these huge windows and the apartment has two levels. They are both room size, but it is cool and we have a spiral staircase. Definitely one of the nicest apartments for missionaries in Lithuania. So, I am grateful for that cause most of the apartments that I have stayed in weren't that nice. My new companion is Elder Whicker which I am pumped about! He was in the mtc with me and we get along great. He is so funny and a great example to me. I hope that I can learn a lot from him. I am very grateful to be his companion. We were white washed into this area, so we are both new to this area... It will be exciting to kind of work from scratch cause the previous Elders didn't have anything going on. I hope that we will be able to find those that the Lord would have us find and do His work. We were able to find two new investigators over the weekend and one of them said that he would be baptized if he came to know that the things we teach him are true. We are going to invite this week him to be baptized on a specific date. He has a lot of promise. Oh, and I am not the district leader here or anything, so yeah. Ah... I feel like the Lord would have me learn some things while I am here. Maybe how I can do a better job or something. I am tempted at times to feel like I did something wrong or not well enough, but I know that the Lord has purposes in all that he does. He knows what is best for all His children. Anyways, I am really happy to be here in Vilnius again! In about three week here, I will be at my year mark in the field and will be in the same place that I started in. I really love this city, the members, and the people here. Earlier today, we went with the Dances to a charity thing. The church donated like 250 wheelchairs to a foundation here in Vilnius and there was kind of an event here where President Dance spoke and some other people and some of the wheelchairs were given away. We missionaries sang "Our Savior's Love" at the event and it went really well. It was beautiful and the spirit was so strong. Thanks for teaching me how to sing, Mom. :) It is nice, cause the six Lithuanian missionaries here in Vilnius are now the six that were in my mtc group. So, we are all back together again and we can all sing really well! So, Elders Lindell, Manning, Whicker, and I. And Sister Janson and Sister Paul. It's fun to be together again. We are the old ones here in Lithuania now. Elder Graham and Warner are older, but yeah... Anyways, so that event today was way cool. I know that all of the people there were touched by the experience and it was cool to be a part of it. I am so grateful for this church and the things that we are doing all around the world. What a blessing we have to be part of it. My testimony is growing so much and though being a missionary is hard, I will always be grateful for this experience. Ok, what else... I think that is pretty much it about my week. I guess not a ton happened, but I am in a new city. It was funny... On transfer day I had all of my bags packed, but I knew that the apartment that I was going to didn't have any weights... So... I brought the weights from my old apartment. So, I lugged 70 pounds of weights in a back pack across Lithuania and all the missionaries thought I was crazy and laughed. It was way funny. But hey!! I've got to get buff!! :)

Again, the mailing address here is:

A/D 3438

I can’t wait until it is spring again!! It sounds like it is getting warmer there. It is colder here in Vilnius for some reason and it hasn't been fun. I sure hope it gets warmer soon. I am loving reading the book of Mormon all the way through with the mission and I am learning so many good things. I love that book! I think that it is a real skill to have the right amount of boldness and I hope to be able to develop that more. I really hope to be able to develop a lot of good traits while I am out here. I just hope that when the time comes to come home, I can look at myself and be pleased with how I have grown. I don't want to have any regrets. I wanted to mention something about your comment on the lost tribes of Israel. Some of the members here have told me what tribes they are from and it is super interesting! One family, the dad is from Manasseh and the mom is from Judah. Some other members were from Asher and Naphtali ( don't know how to spell these... :). So, there are a lot of different tribes in this area of the world! I just hope that they will begin to listen more. President Dance has asked all of us to pray for the hearts of the people in our mission to be softened. In every prayer. It is cool to see the effects on us as we pray with faith and I have noticed a difference actually with how people react to us. Not as mean... Some times... :)

You are all so blessed to be where you are. Don't take it for grated how blessed you are. I wish you could see some of the things that I have seen. You would know how truly blessed you are to be raised in our family, in this church, and in our country. Recognize the Lord for all that He has given us and be ever grateful. I know I am blessed to be a part of our family. Thanks for being so awesome. I need to go, but I love you all so much and I hope that you have a great week! Smile and be happy in everything you do!!!

Love, Elder Leishman

404 days down, 326 days to go!