Friday, December 22, 2017

Week #88


Life is good. Elder Cooley is the best.

I am going on an exchange with ELDER DEMILLE this week so I am excited. WE WILL SLAM SO MUCH KON TIK. (Deep fried, of course)

This week I spoke in church about pre mission (idiot) Elder Devin Yost. It was fun. I spoke about healing and how the Lord wants more to heal us Spiritually than Physically.

Read 3 Nephi 9 and you will LEARN.

Love you all. Have a good week.

I have to sing sooooo much my voice is almost gone lol.


Week #87

Family and Friends:


Nothing new. 

I just got myself some Sushi. It was a roll with shrimp, salmon, and avocado. It had eel sauce too. Sushi is better in the USA. 

Monday: We played basketball in the morning. We had a crazy weird conversation with an old woman who just wanted to talk. Had a lesson with a recent convert, Sergey, from Southern England. 

Tuesday: We had District Meeting. Went to the mission office. We may have to leave our apartment. 

Wednesday: We went to carry wood from Jautrites basement to her apartment. I started an exchange with my favorite Elder Malmrose. We deep fried Kontiki. It was wonderful.


Friday: We went out to Jurmala and visited less actives. 

Saturday: We did service at the Soup Kitchen. We sang Carols in Old town. We did weekly planning.

Sunday: We had a lesson with Ju, a recent convert. We had a lesson and dinner with the P family from the USA. They are the cutest little family.

These verses are some that I came across today while studying in Ether 12. A footnote from verse 12 took me to these verses in Psalms 78.

35 And they remembered that God was their rockand the high God their redeemer.
36 Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues.
37 For their heart was not right with him, neither were they steadfast in his covenant.
38 But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquityand destroyed them not: yea, many time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.
39 For he remembered that they were but fleshwind that passeth away, and cometh not again.
40 How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, andgrieve him in the desert!
41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.
God is truly and unlimited being of all power, but we, with our lack of faith limit his ability to bless us.

The Scriptures are pretty cool if you read them and live by their teachings. It truly is the word of God.

We had 2 investigators at Church yesterday and they are progressing well. Everything is going good here. I love Elder Cooley. He is my shining star.

I love you all.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Week #86

Family, friend and Erin Wood (happy Birthday!)

Hello, it is December.
I just noticed that I just stated a fact so here are a few more facts for your pleasure.
1) Latvija will celebrate its 100th year of freedom next year. They celebrate November 18, 1918, the day Latvija first became an Independent Country. 63 of those years Latvija was occupied by the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.
2) The City of Riga has a 50% Latvian and 50% Russian population (approx) and they all really dislike each other. The Mayor of Riga, Nils Uzsakovs, himself is Russian, and that causes problems among the people.
That is enough facts for today.
My week was good. An old investigator I taught my entire first 16 months in Riga has come to Church the last to weeks and is once again progressing. I am happy about this.

O the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace! For behold, if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more.
And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled our first parents, who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel of light, and stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness.
10 O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit.
11 And because of the way of deliverance of our God, the Holy One of Israel, this death, of which I have spoken, which is the temporal, shall deliver up its dead; which death is the grave.
12 And this death of which I have spoken, which is the spiritual death, shall deliver up its dead; which spiritual death is hell; wherefore, death and hell must deliver up their dead, and hell must deliver up its captive spirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive bodies, and the bodies and the spirits of men will be restored one to the other; and it is by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel.

Good scriptures from this week. WOO HOO.

Love you. Have a good week.

Week #85

Family, friends and Parker Seegmiller. 

I am very confused.

I hope you are all making good choices. That is important.

This week I have been a bit under the weather... BUT IT IS OKAY I WILL SURVIVE!

I will get a new companion this week. He is from Atascadero, California. He is Elder Cooley, the Best Elder in the Baltics. I AM SO HAPPY. My dreams are fulfilled.

Fleetwood Mac was playing in Pakastani Kebabs (sketchy little shack of delicious kebab meat) and I shed one tear.

I often wonder what missionary work is like in Argentina. Any thoughts?

These were my favorite verses of the week:

14 But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me—but he will show that he hath not.
15 For can woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forgetyet will not forget theehouse of Israel.
16 Behold, have graven thee upon the palms of my handsthy walls are continually before me.
Great verses. He could never forget us. He gave everything for us.
Love you all have a great week.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Week #84


All these missionaries just got here and now this is a mad house.

I love all of you, DID YOU KNOW THAT?

This week was good. We did a lot of drop by's and contacting and we went knocking yesterday and everyone was not home or RUSSIAN so that was fun. Normal occurance

Anyways this week my favorite chapter was 1 Nephi 3. Read it.

Verse 7 was my favorite (per usual) lol.

Love you. gotta go.

Week #83

I'm actually not sure if it is raining, but I would not doubt it. IT RAINS ALL THE TIME HERE.
Snow is soon, though.
Happy Thanksgiving.
We just did ''Technology Safeguard'' training and i'm not quite sure what to think. Smartphones? I don't know.
This week I spent 45 minutes reading and pondering this one verse of scripture:

6 For 
behold, God hath said man being evil cannot do that which is good; for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him 

It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot about my relationship with God. I love God and Jesus.
I hope you all have had a fun week.
We did some exchanges and spent a good amount of time finding. Haven't found anyone to teach yet, but we will keep trying.
Love you all.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Week #82

I don't have a ton of time (per usual).

This week we tried to find a lot of less actives and were successful because WE WORKED HARD! Just kidding, some answered. I enjoy it.

How are all of you? Thank you for the Pure in Heart answers, I am going to try to become that.

I love you all and I know the Church is true.

We went all around Latvija this week. To Jurmala (YOUR-MA-LA) and Carnikava (TSAR-NIK-AVA) to find the Less Actives and met with a very cute older couple who cannot go to Church because of help. We gave him a blessing, and it was very good.

Ether 3 was a really good chapter that I read this week. All of you READ IT OKAY?

Sorry for the shortness of this email, I just don't have much to say this week. 

Love you.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Week #81

Friends, family and Ben Jesse


Life is good but I AM TIRED. This is normal.  I have so little time left.

This week we have been chasing down Inactives. We are trying to get the branch lists under control and correct. It is fun but sad because so many people have moved away.

My comp is a good guy. He is funny and quirky and I enjoy serving with him. He is having me explain Walking Dead to him, and I do enjoy that. We also do spiritual stuff, WD is just in free time.

This week I also went on an exchange with my second trainee, Elder Demille, whom I love. It was great.

The most apparent Blessing of my mission so far is the Eternal Friends that I have made. I love everyone that I serve with.

Everyone think about what it means to be ''Pure in Heart'' and email me your answers (Ben) so I can become that. Thank you.

God answers prayer. I know that. Don't forget that. He is always there for us. 

I am teary eyed right now and I do not know why. 

I am happy.

Love you all.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Week #80

I translated for President Nelson. 

Hei Hei

Life is good.

President Nelson came with Elder Martino and Elder Kearon of the 70. It was wonderful and the spirit was very strong.

The first thing he told us in our Missionary Meeting was to write in our notes to thank our families and friends.

Thank you.

You are great and your prayers and well wishes are much needed. 6 months left and still going but man oh man am I TIRED. It is normal, I think.

They talked a lot about Joy and about families and that we need to raise our children loving the Gospel. It was incredible. I was supposed to sing in the choir, but got pulled back last minute to translate Latvian to English for President Nelson and all the others and to add to my fear, they were using my translation to then translate into Estonian. I said a quick prayer and when it came time for me to translate the words came into my head in English. #GiftofTounges

I am very grateful for that the Lord answers our pleas for help. I know he does.

New area is good. We are meeting with a lot of members and having a good time.

Love you all.

Week #79

I am wearing a poncho. 

It is made of Llama fur.


This week I sat in Limbo but now I know what is happening to me.

I will open a new area in Riga with Elder Marziale in Iļģuciems. It is a fairly Russian area but will be fun. The new apartment is really nice and is above a cute Cafe and hair salon. I am excited.

How are all of you? My inbox is not nearly as filled as it was a few months ago. I commit you all to repent and start to send me some thoughts.

I went to the War Museum and I died and am in heaven. (Historical Coma)

Please remember that God loves you. Please do not forget that.

Love you all.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Week #78

Translated, the title of this email would be ''God Be With you 'Till we Meet Again'', which is directed toward the city of Jelgava.

It has been decided that the Jelgava Group (which has always been apart of the Riga 1st Branch) will discontinue to meet every other week in Jelgava and all Church meetings will be in Riga.

Also, missionaries will no longer live or do any missionary work in Jelgava. 

So now the Dream Team (E.Malmrose, E.Demille, E.Grossen, and I) are waiting for 1 week in LIMBO until transfer calls. We are currently in Riga. 

Me and Elder Demille traveled up to Riga in a rinky-dinky moving truck with a cool guy named Agnis who smoked an entire pack of cigarettes in the 3 hours we were together. Thank the heavens he is not allowed to smoke in the car. He said he wants to be Baptized in another (Pentecostal?) Church but they won't let him because he smokes. 

The leaves are turning yellow and red. 

I am happy. I love Riga. I am sad for Jelgava, but when the Lord says to do something YOU JUST DO IT BECAUSE HE IS RIGHT AND WE ARE WEAK AND FALLEN. 

Thankfully, we all have divine potential and can all become like God.


I have seen it only in Latvian but listened to it is English.

Talks I enjoyed:

All of the talks.

My favorites:

Elder Holland- He either spits fire or provides sweet and calming words of love. This was a calm words one which was much needed. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!

Elder Zwick- Look beyond what you see. Try to get the whole picture. 

President Callister- He just screams pure factual doctrine at ne-sayers and I love it.

Sister Oscarson- Befriend people. 

and so many more.

I love you all. Don't be tempted to switch your Book of Mormon reading time with Conference talks. If you want to do that, read Presidents Eyring and Nelsons talks from this Conference. READ THE BOOK OF MORMON EVERYDAY!

Love you.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Week #77

Life is good.

I heard Conference was good. Sad to hear about Elder Hales, but I thought he was going to die 10 years ago!

President Monson will probably follow soon. He is not looking to good but until his work is done, he will stay. He is an incredible man.

Jelgava is good, we are working hard. I love our district here (Elder Grossen, Elder Demille (my trainee), and his trainee, Elder Malmrose)

We are from 4 different states in the USA. Utah (me), California (Malmrose), Arizona (Grossen), and Washington (Demille). We bought Latvian Scrabble and will play today (PDAY) and I am very excited.

BTW, I predicted that Elder Pinegree, Sister Oskarson, Elder Koch, and President Callister would all speak. Ask my comp, I am not lying.

Latvia is a wonderful place and I love the Latvian language. 

Read the BOM. That is the last thing our Prophet asked us to do, SO DO IT!

Love you all.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Week #76

The news of the Week is the announcement that on the 22 of October the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, President Nelson will make a visit to Latvija.

He will be the 4th Apostle I have heard speak live on my Mission. I have seen Elder Oaks, Elder Renland (my Favorite) and Elder Ballard. I am blessed.

I also have memorized the names of the entire Quorum of Seventy. 

Jelgava is good. Weather is a bit cold but we will survive. We have Zone Conference this week so I will head home to Riga on Wednesday. I love Riga.

Great Scriptures. 3 Nephi 9:12-15
12 And many great destructions have I caused to come upon this land, and upon this people, because of their wickedness and their abominations.
13 O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?
14 Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.
15 Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. I was with the Father from the beginning. I am in the Father, and the Father in me; and in me hath the Father glorified his name.
I love the Gospel.
Love you all.

Week #75

I don't have time so I will make it heartfelt.
I love all of you.
You all mean so much to me. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and well wishes on my behalf. I wouldn't be here without you.
Jelgava is supposed to flood this week. LOTS OF RAIN!
We have a few potentials we will meet with this week, I will let you know how it goes. Love you all.
Read and Pray everyday.
Elders Josts

Monday, September 11, 2017

Week #74

Apsveicu Jūtas Universitāti par uzvaru pret Brigama Janga

Translated the title would be ''Congratulations UofU for victory against BYU. They is no slangy-er way to say it in Latvian, or at least my vocab is not slangy enough. That is a good thing though, slang is BAD.
Well, Jelgava is small. My last area had a population of about 100,000 and Jelgava has 60,000. Everyone in this town knows us, and most dislike us. We got flipped off 3 times on Saturday. Many missionaries struggle with rejection and hatred but I am just disturbed and dark enough that it makes me happy. I like when people are nice more, though, and there are nice people.
Jelgava has very few members. It is not a branch but a group of a few people who meet in this city 2 times per month. The other 2 weeks we travel to Riga. 

I miss Riga, but enjoy the slower pace of Jelgava.

My companion is from Gilbert, AZ. He wants to be a Neurosurgeon. He is smarter than me.

This week I was reading from the last conference (I am SO EXCITED FOR CONFERENCE) and this section from Joseph Brough's talks stood out to me.

''Brothers and sisters, there will be times in our lives when the blessings of guidance seem distant or lacking. For such times of distress, Elder D. Todd Christofferson promised: “Let your covenants be paramount and let your obedience be exact. Then you can ask in faith, nothing wavering, according to your need, and God will answerHe will sustain you as you work and watch. In His own time and way He will stretch forth His hand to you, saying, ‘Here am I.’''

He knows all. Leave it in his hands.

The Church is true.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Week #73

Good week. We had a good District Conference with Elder Golden of the 70. He said some funny stuff that he promised us not to say so I will keep my lips SEALED.


Seriously, I am out of Riga. I am going to Jelgava. I will be serving with Elder Grossen. I will fish on preparation days.

Elder Andersen got his ear drained of blood, hence the picture.

The War Chapters of Alma are really good and not super boring like we all tend to think. I am learning a lot from Captain Moroni. The main thing I take from him is:

''To be RELENTLESS for the Lord"

Never give up on yourself or on others. Fight for what is right.

Anywho, I am really excited to go to Jelgava. I have got 6 months left and need to work harder. I'm a naturally lazy guy and gotta be better.

Love you all.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Week #72


I don't have much time this week. WOO HOO.

Also, Thank you Roger Lindsay for sending me letters from the Reunion. I will make sure this letter stays within the guidelines of length you set up for me. 

This week I was in Liepāja on an exchange and had MLC and Zone Conference which means I spent 1 1/2 days in my own area! GREAT TIME TO BE ALIVE. It was really good though. I really enjoyed Elder Golden. He is a great man.

Met a guy named D who was wearing a Compton hat. I asked him if he had been to Compton and he said no. He said his dad had died. He didn't show up to the meeting we set up. Good guy though.

My comp is great. 

I am super tired. 

I am listening to all of Legrand Richards talks. He is my favorite because he never has a topic and just yells scripture quotes. 

love you all.