This was a good week. It's crunch time now. We leave for the FINE LAND of Finland in LESS THAN 2 WEEKS! August 19th is coming up so fast! WE GET OUR TRAVEL PLANS THIS WEEK. I feel a rollercoaster of emotions, but mostly I'm just ready to go!
Last week we had an AWESOME experience at TRC. (just a refresher.. TRC is when people volunteer to come to the MTC and we teach them lessons in Finnish). We had this sweet little old lady who is from Finland. The topic of our lesson was "How We Receive Revelation at Church". As we were talking, it came to our attention that she is a convert. We asked her how she joined the church. She proceeded to tell us her whole conversion story. How she was in her early 20's in Finland and how she had always had questions about the Godhead. She said her biggest concern was how in her church she was told that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are all one being. She said that didn't make any sense to her how Jesus Christ could pray to Himself. She said she would ask her pastor and he couldn't give her answers. One day, the missionaries knocked on her door and she let them in. They taught her and she knew that this was the true church of God. I felt the spirit so strongly as she spoke. She spoke in her native Finnish, fast and quiet, yet through the power of God I could understand her! It was soooo amazing! I started crying as she spoke. My companion did too. We just had tears streaming down our faces. When she finished I said in Finnish "thank you. You're story gives me hope." She became teary eyed as well and gave me a hug. I know that there are people who are searching..... I can't wait to take the gospel message to them!
Since Monday, we have been eating the NEW cafeteria food! It's sooo good. There are veggies! And healthier food! And waaaaay tasty food. It's amazing. Plus our friend Bishop Justice (Cafeteria manager) has a jar of nutella in his office that he lets us eat whenever we want. And one of the chefs showed us where all the fresh bread is and told us we can have some whenever we want. Yeah, it's pretty sweet having connections.
Yesterday we started MAHTAVA VIIKKO! (Awesome Week). For a whole week, we aren't allowed to speak ANY English! It's insane. We are also focusing on a different Christ-like attribute each day that we want to develop - hope, faith, patience, charity etc. We've also made other goals like trying really hard to see others and love others as Christ does. This week is going to be awesome. We've already had some pretty funny experiences. Sisar Dayton and I are currently training the new Sister Training Leaders to take our place. They are two adorable Sisters going to Hungary. So every night from now on, they come with us to say good night to the sisters in our zone. Well, we first went and visited the Estonian Sisters. They are also doing their "awesome" week so they can't speak anything but Estonian. I wish you could all see how hilarious it was trying to talk together. I felt like the Jaredites and the other groups of people in the Book of Mormon when the Lord confounded their language and made them all speak different languages. It was absolutely ridiculous as we were all trying to act things out because we could only speak Finnish, the Estonians could only speak Estonian, and the Hungarians could only speak English (with random Hungarian phrases mixed in because they are new here). We would talk louder and slower, but that really doesn't help. So basically it's going to be an interesting week of ALL FINNISH. Also, can I just say that the Church is true?!?! Because it is! How else would I be able to speak one of the HARDEST languages in the whole world for a whole week straight after only learning it for 8 weeks?! I know that the Lord is helping me learn this language. Without God, I am nothing. With God, I am everything. I know that with God, we can all do hard things.
Our teachers abandoned us again. Veli Arnesen is in Texas and Veli Stewart is in California. As a result, they had one of the newly hired girl teachers teach us. I'm going to be honest, I was really worried at first. I love our teachers sooo much and I was upset that they were leaving us for a week. And I didn't want a new teacher. Or a girl teacher. But honestly, I know that we needed her to teach us. She is absolutely adorable. Her name is Sisar Christofferson and she served in Finland about 8 months ago. Yesterday was her last day teaching us. We all started talking and we got into an amazing spiritual discussion where every single one of us was crying. We all needed it. We've been feeling discouraged with the language and overwhelmed by the fact that we leave so soon. We all feel inadequate. However, the Spirit was so strong. She talked to us about her love for Finland and the people there. She showed us all her pictures from her mission. It is so beautiful there! And WET! AND COLD! So many of her pictures had her looking like an eskimo or completely soaked. She gave us a list of things that we must buy and try while we are there. And she told us that the most important thing for us to do is to have confidence in ourselves and in the Lord. He will help us. This is His work, and He will not let us fail. I told her she could come with us in my suitcase because it's from Costco and everything from Costco is big and that we wanted her there with us. She just smiled and started crying. I'm so grateful for the amazing people I've met as a missionary and for the many amazing people I have yet to meet.
I love you all. Minä tiedän että KIRKKO ON TOTTA. Minä rakastan teita!
ps you should all go watch the Mormon Message "Origin" on lds.org. It's so good! Do. It. Now.
pps I didn't embarrass myself too badly this week! It's very exciting.
ppps I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON. IT'S MY FAVORITE BOOK AND I THINK EVERYONE SHOULD READ IT :)