It's crazy that I'm already watching the leaves fall and wearing tights and coats. I can tell it's going to be a long winter... pray for me.
As always this was a crazy week. As I sit down to write about it, it's hard to assemble my thoughts and get everything straight, but I'm going to try. On Monday we borrowed the zone leader's car and drove a very long way to our Bishop's house and had Family Home Evening with their family. It was so fun and made me miss my family! We ate really yummy food (a VERY Finnish thing to do is to take bread (especially rye bread) put butter on it, sliced cheese, and cucumbers. It's actually really good and I can tell I'm going to be addicted to it when I come home) and they had me try some weird Finnish candies including salted black licorice and pepper candy (hard candies covered and filled with black pepper). They lured me into biting it and I felt like my throat was burning. haha It was quite the experience! Then we had this lesson where we had them all pick names of Mormonin Kirja (Book of Mormon) prophets, read some verses about them, then act them out so we could guess who they were. We then likened them to our day and how we can be bold in sharing the gospel, just like the prophets of old. It was really fun. They have a 16 year old daughter that I just love. At the end of the night, she pulled us aside and said "I'm glad you're my missionaries" I said "I'm glad too" and then she gave me a hug. These Finnish youth are so strong and so amazing. There are so few of them yet they shine here. I just love them.
On Tuesday we went on our first exchanges (for those of you who don't know, exchanges are when you "exchange" missionary companions for a day so you get to be with somebody else and learn from them and work with them). Sisar Hubner and I were with Sisar Kunz, one of the Sister Training leaders. It was so fun. We literally talked with everybody and we saw so many miracles. We passed by this teenage boy and said "Moi!" and kept walking. I got the feeling to stop and talk to him, but at this point he had continued walking the other direction so I kept walking. Then I got the feeling again. "Okay fine!" I thought and whipped my body around saying "how is your day going?!" he looked a bit startled as he turned his head around (especially since at this point there was quite some space between us) but we walked back to him and had a great discussion. He and his family are atheists but we taught him how to pray and he said maybe he would try it. Well the next day we texted him and invited him to sähly (the finnish sport) and he said he was busy but that he wants to come this week! and that he had tried praying! He said it felt kind of awkward because he had never done it before but that he wants to meet with us to learn more! Waaaahoooo! Prayer changes lives people. Do it!
Towards the end of the week, we were struggling a little bit. Sisar Egan was sick and so we were only able to work about half the day before she needed to get more medicine and sleep. One day we had 3 lessons planned and had members planned to come to all of them. Well the first lesson, the investigator came but the member didn't. For the second lesson, the member came but the investigator didn't. For the third lesson, neither the investigator nor the member came. I just couldn't help but laugh. Missionary work is just plain comical sometimes.
We went and visited a college aged guy that Sisar Egan had given a Mormonin Kirja (Book of Mormon) to earlier but had never had the opportunity to meet with him again. He's from Africa and he was so amazing and spiritual. We have a lesson planned with him for this week. As we were talking with him, I got the feeling to ask if he has any friends he would like to bring to the lesson but since he was busy talking about something else, I shrugged it off. I got the feeling again so I decided to just interrupt and ask him. He said "yes, I have 3 guy friends and 2 girl friends who would love to come". uhmmm church is true! When you get promptings, just obey them. The Lord keeps teaching me how important this principle is.
OKAY, so we've got a little repenting to do... but I just have to tell you all this awesome story that happened last night! So we were walking home from our meeting with our Ward Mission Leader. We were passing a lot of people and trying to stop and talk to them. Literally NOBODY was listening to us. We would say "Moi!" or "Terve" and people would either straight up ignore us or just give us mean looks or just say "ei kiitos (no thanks)". Needless to say, we were feeling pretty discouraged, especially since our weekly goal this week for teaches was 40, and we were at 37! (which is insane... especially because the standard of excellence for the mission is 20 lessons a week). So we huddled together and prayed that the Lord would send somebody that would listen to us. Well, right then a woman walked towards us. We went up to her and she said that she had actually seen us before - in church! She came two weeks ago because she just moved to Tampere and her aunt (who's Mormon) kept telling her that she must find the Mormon church and go to it! So she did. We talked with her (in English because she studied a lot in the States) and she invited us over to her apartment. She is so amazing and kind. And the Lord put her in our path. She told us that she normally never walks that way, but that she had gotten this sudden craving for rye bread so she went and bought some and that was why she walked the way she did. She just went through a divorce and it is obvious that the Lord has been preparing her for this gospel. We had such an amazing spiritual discussion with her and we have a meeting with her this week! I'm sooooo excited! She is a drama teacher at a very prestigious Cultural Arts school here and she has so much life in her. Basically, we became best friends and I know the Lord put her in our path. Welllllll, here's where the repenting part comes in. We are supposed to be home at 9:30. We left her house at 9:45 (we TOTAAAALLY lost track of time!). We looked at our phones and the Zone Leaders and the District Leader had called us a million times. We started walking to the bus stop and our DL (on the phone) told us to go to a well lit area and not to talk to ANYBODY. We did as we were told. Soon the Zone Leaders zoomed up to us in their car. They said they had been planning how they were going to handle whoever had taken us hostage or beat up the bad guys that had us when they couldn't reach us. Needless to say, the Elders in my area are very high quality Elders and care about their Sisters. After we apologized profusely and promised to never ever do anything like that again, they finally started breathing again. I really felt so bad for breaking the rules (100% obedience is my goal!) but she seriously was such a miracle to us and I know the Lord answers prayers.
Well I love you all. KIRKKO ON TOTTA! (Church is True!)