This week has been a busy one in Riga! Apparently there have been projects waiting for us since we left in March. Each day we were busy in the office on our laptops all day. Elder Segeberg was busy working on the Lithuanian translation of October’s conference talks to make into booklets for the Lithuanian members. There will also be booklets to do in Latvian & Estonian when the translations are completed. Meanwhile I was occupied with the cookbook that I was working on for the missionaries before we left. Since we want them to eat healthy and not just pour a bowl of cereal every time they are hungry, we are putting together everyone’s favorite recipes which are made with ingredients available locally.
This weekend there was a conference held for all of the Riga area. Visitors from Utah and Moscow were here with uplifting messages. The new presiding Bishop of the Church was one our visitors, Bishop Stevenson. Due to this mission wide conference, all of the missionaries (young and old) in the Baltics gathered in Riga. It was a treat to see so many old friends.
We were also able to get together with all the seniors for a dinner on Friday evening when we hosted a dinner at our temporary home. We prepared one of our house specialties, lasagna, and each couple contributed an item making it a great evening. Since the time we left, two new couples have arrived in the mission. We enjoyed the opportunity we had this weekend to get to know them.
On Saturday evening we invited our friends from the Russian Branch, Natalie and Pasha, to go out for dinner. Since Elder Segeberg was craving an American burger we chose TGIF Fridays restaurant. This was not one that they were very familiar with. Beautiful weather allowed us to eat outside. Natalie and I each had a salad, which she said was largest one she had ever seen. The fellows each had a bacon cheeseburger. Pasha's eyes looked like saucers when the waiter set the plate in front of him. He had never seen a burger the size of his head before. At McD's he orders two burgers since they are small. But he did not need two of these! We all enjoyed our meals and then a nice walk through the park and the along the river.
By the river there is a statue of a large man with a baby on his shoulder. The legend is that he would carry people across the river on his back so that they could get from one side to the other. One evening he heard a baby crying on the other side of the river. Although his work day was finished, he went to retrieve the small child. On the way back with the baby on his shoulder he felt that the baby became heavier and heavier as he went on. By the time he reached the bank he collapsed from exhaustion and slept until morning. When he awoke there was a trunk of money beside him in the place where the baby had been. It was this money that was used to begin building the city of Riga. So now we know where Riga came to be!
Next week we will post pictures of our trip to Lithuania.
Elder and Sister Segeberg