Monday, June 24, 2013

Day Thirteen: Tour #3

Today's tour was of the Rundale palace. It was about an hour from Riga. It was very old, but has been renovated and restored in over the past 40 years. There was a beautiful garden right outside the palace...Pictures are on Facebook, its a must see!
On the bus ride to hotel, we sang Kingdom songs with some of the Latvian friends...It was special :)

This evening we met up with some of the Latvian friends here in Riga, and did some more sightseeing! We also met a couple visiting from Finland! The sister, Dace, is actually in the 2007 Lativa Yearbook. How cool is that!! We also met the brothers that were on yesterday's drama. They were from Estonia.
Tomorrow will be our last day here in Latvia. We are taking another tour and plan to go to the beach again. I can't believe it's already coming to an end... This has been a very special experience, and beautiful to meet friends from around the world. There's nothing like Jehovah's organization!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Day Twelve: Convention Goodbyes

As some of you know, today was our last day of convention with the friends here in Riga, Latvia. Beautiful program, enjoyed everything about it...good reminders and memories I will cherish forever.
We met up with some friends tonight, grabbed a bite and walked around Old Town in Riga - it is absolutely gorgeous! We will be having a more detailed tour of it this Tuesday.
Tomorrow we have planned to tour Rundale. It is a palace!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day Eleven: Spiritual Banquet Continues!

Second day of convention was just as good as the first! Today we had the sound drama, and there was a new release as well... :)
This evening, a Latvian sister named Santa, joined us for dinner at Lido. Afterwards we went to a nearby park and studied Sunday's Wt together. It was literally 9:30pm and looked like 6pm outside! Afterwards, we offered to walk her home. She lives in Riga.
So far, this has been such a wonderful experience overall. Tomorrow will be the last day of convention, so sad! We're here till Wednesday, but I almost feel comfortable enough to stay behind :p
How good and pleasant it is for us brothers to dwell in unity though!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Day Ten: Special Convention has arrived!

As we arrived this morning at the convention, some of the Latvian friends were welcoming us at the door. It was cute!
There are two arenas. In one of them, are the Latvians, and in the other, Russian. Today we sat with the Russians, but tomorrow we are switiching to the Latvian side! Either side, you can catch the translation in English on 95.7 fm. The first day was awesome! Brother Morris gave our concluding talk. Some great releases today as well! Won't say because I know a lot of you still haven't gone to yours yet :) Drama was excellent too.
Loved today!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day Nine: Tour #2 & Evening Gathering

Today's open-air Museum was about Latvia's past history, how the common people lived. We even saw a Dutch Windmill! It was Dutch because they were the ones whom invented it...
We had a traditional Latvian lunch, it consisted of potatoes with bacon, beat soup and a sweet pastry that had some pumpkin in it... really good! Also tried this drink called Kvasa. It's like a non-alcoholic malt drink, very common here.
The evening gathering was beautiful, but will not be able to speak about it till Tuesday. The brothers instructed us not to until all the delegates have attended the gathering.
Tomorrow is our district convention in Riga, Latvia!!! It has finally arrived :) Can't wait...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day Eight: Castles of Sigulda

We went on our first full day tour today, it was to the Castle of Sigulda, which was very historic!
Tomorrow we have planned to go on our second tour, The Ethnographic Open-air Museum.
Later that evening, we have our evening gathering, which I hear is amazing! It was designed for the delegates by the friends here :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day Seven: Bethel/Assembly Hall & Field Ministry

This morning, we came down to the hotel's cafetaria for breakfast at around 7am. Afterwards, we walked to catch the Tram to Bethel here in Riga. It was about 15 minutes of a ride.
We arrived at Bethel about 15 minutes early for the self-guided tour. Their parking lot is gated, but I assumed they saw us, and opened the gate! One of the brother's was able to open the door for us to the main lobby, as we waited for other brothers and sisters to arrive. The Bethelites were impressed and told us how eager we were to arrive early- we were ready to go! We did the tour, met some of our brothers, and got to learn a little bit about the history of our Latvian brothers. All so fascinsting! Check out the pictures on Facebook :)
After finishing our tour at Bethel, one of the brother's there was planning on going to the Assembly Hall in meeting for field service, so he offered to take us!
It was nice to be able to tour the Assembly Hall in Riga because they will be selling the property in just a few months. They will be renting halls nearby instead for the friends.
Also, the Latvia branch is relocating to Finland very soon as well.
As we finished our tour at the Assembly Hall, I noticed an older brother sitting down that reminded me so much of Brother Morris from the Governing Body. I whispered over to my aunt, "doesn't he look like Brother Morris?" Lei took a quick glance, and sure enough, it was him! So we approached the brother and said our hellos :)
We then took a cab back to the hotel. We arrived back at about 12pm, and in half an hour, we needed to meet back downstairs to take our bus to the Hall for field service! From our hotel alone, we had two buses to pick up the brothers who had prearranged plans for field service today! As we arrived to the Hall, the brothers on the platform gave us a few brief presentations in Russian and Latvian. Our groups were divided and off we go!
My group did informal witnessing, and I got to give my presentation in Latvian a few times, which was exciting!!
It was a great experience and joy to share in distributing the invitations for the convention with our Russian/Latvian brothers and sisters!
After the ministry, the bus took us back to our hotel. We decided to take a nap, which ended up being a two hour one ;) ... Then we woke up to get a bite. We went to Lido restaurant place everrr.
Tomorrow we are beginning our tours! We will be be taking an 8 hour tour of The Castle of Sigulda. Been hearing its really cool!

Thought I should share this... Sometimes in the middle of day, after returning to our room briefly, I'll take a nap, and end up forgetting to remove my lapel badge. It's not really bent, but not at straight as it used to be anymore, lol.