Sister Dance called Thursday evening the 27th of August (the event was on the 29th) to let me know that the two sisters (Milda and Zelta) who were going to prepare a real Latvian luncheon for the visiting Authorities would come to the mission office sometime Friday (she didn't know a time frame) and asked me to take them to the Mission Home (she and Pres. Dance would be with the guests touring Riga) and let them put the food into the fridge and show them around the kitchen, etc.
I called the Latvian sister (Inara) who arranged for the luncheon and who speaks excellent English, to learn when these two sisters would be coming to the office but she didn't know. I asked Elder Brown to call the sisters (neither of whom speak English) and see when I should expect them. He said they were on their way. I walked out to the street to wait for them. They came walking down the sidewalk and greeted me warmly (they are from the Branch we attended before moving). I tried to find out where their car was parked so I could take them to the Mission Home. They couldn't understand me at all, and I couldn't understand them. Milda finally called Elder Brown (one of the Assistants who speaks Latvian) and Elder Roberts came and picked the 3 of us up.
Even though Inara is native Latvian, there was complete misunderstanding. Milda and Velta thought they were coming to the office to see the kitchen and where the luncheon would be held, and to have someone take them grocery shopping! There is no kitchen in the office. The luncheon was being held at the Mission Home. Even if I could speak some Latvian, it wouldn't have helped as these two sisters speak a mile a minute. Even Elder Brown had some difficulty in communicating with them.
Sister Dance had understood from Inara that Milda and Velta would do the shopping and bring the food with them.
So, Elder and Sister Gubler were enlisted to take the Mission van and Milda and Velta shopping. Elder Brown and Elder Roberts and I drove to the World Trade Center to check on things there.
Sister Gubler reported that Milda and Velta had their shopping list and knew exactly where to go (in the Tirgus--open market) to purchase each of their items.
Of course, the luncheon turned out well and was appreciated by the guests.