In April, when the snow is supposedly through for the winter, we are required to have the snow tires exchanged with the regular tires. This must be done in Riga, Latvia, as that is where the car is inspected and registered. It just so happened that the Super Saturday in Riga was going to be held the same weekend, so we decided to do both. Our faithful YSA here in Tallinn wanted to attend so the three of us drove to Riga on Friday. We have been to Riga several times, and each time we go, there is a "thing" that I've always wanted to stop and get a picture of because is was so unusual. This time, the sun was out. It wasn't raining or snowing. We stopped. I took the pictures. So, here is the backstory behind the "thing" I wanted to look at. In the 1700s, there lived a German baron by the name of Hieronymus Karl Friedrich, Freiherr von Münchhausen. Baron Munchhausen was a minor celebrity for his outrageous tall tales based on his military career. Upon hearing some of the stories told by Munchhausen, Rudolph Erich Raspe, a German writer, began to write magazine pieces about a character that was loosely based on the baron. He didn't even change the name. The real baron was a little upset, but couldn't sue for damages as Rudolph wrote the pieces anonymously. At one time in his career, the baron and his wife lived in Riga for a while. In his honor, there is a Munchhausen museum in the village of Vidzeme, Latvia, where the following pictures were taken. One of the many impossible tales told by Munchhausen was about his riding a cannonball while fighting the Turks. He rode the cannonball right into the Turkish palace and escaped unharmed. There are a few movies that have been made that depict this famous ride on a cannonball.
After we checked in at the hotel, we went for a walk into the city to find some dinner. We stopped at a Chinese food cafe where we would choose our entree from one of several pre-cooked meats. Then they would place our order in the microwave to heat it up. I paid for dinner for four people and the total bill was less that 6 Euros ($6.50). We were ready for dessert and stopped at a French cafe and bought a box of colorful macaroons. I had never tasted these before. They practically melt in your mouth. So good!
But wait, dessert wasn't done yet. We went next door to Emils Gustavs, a chocolatier. The choices were just too hard to make with so many fine chocolate pieces to choose from. Sister Allred decided upon a large almond crumb cookie attached to a pure chocolate disc. She said it was heavenly. We found out that our treats evaporated as soon as we left the shop. How rude! We went on to view a few more places and then went back to rest for the night.
|Sister Allred's almond-chocolate cookie|
|Riga Nativity of Christ (Orthodox church)|
|If you zoom in, you'll see the details|
|A yellow church|
Super Saturday was held in the new church building that was dedicated by Elder Ballard last year. It is like a stake center but not spread out like in the U.S.. This building has three levels with the chapel and cultural hall on the 2nd floor. Very cool. Before it started, we helped Elder and Sister Barnes prepare some of the fruit and vegetables for the lunch and set up chairs. The meeting was conducted by the YSA council and we had about 15 kids (included were 3 investigators) who attended. We heard a talk about prayer and communicating with God, then we had a demonstration on how to use the Gospel Library more effectively on our smart devices. We played some really fun games and then settled down for some taco salad (U.S. style) and homemade carrot cake. After lunch our CES Coordinator spoke to us about asking and listening to gain spiritual knowledge. The highlight of the day was attending a baptism for a YSA girl. It was all in Russian. Afterwards, we concluded with a short testimony meeting. We said our goodbyes and at about 4:30 PM and set our sights for Estonia and headed home. The funny thing about all this is that we had just changed out the snow tires on the car, and although it had rained all day in Riga, Estonia just had the worst blizzard of the winter/spring. The roads were all clear and we arrived home safe. The weather here can turn on a dime but I hear that tomorrow will be warmer . . . maybe.
|Sister Allred being a "wobble wobble"|
I call this the Evolution game. It was quite fun
|The taco lunch line begins|
|We met a lovely girl from Kazakhstan|