So I'm writing early this week because after church today, we are hopping on a train to go to Sisar Bates Interim Training! (when we've been in the country for 6 weeks, we go to Helsinki and meet with President and everybody from our MTC group and their companions for 3 days. Basically we learn how to become better missionaries and it's so fun and inspiring! Then on the 4th day, the newbie has a kieli koulu (language school) and the trainers go to the temple, but since this is President's last interim (we're getting a new mission president this month!!) we're doing something special and all going to the temple together! I'm sooo stoked! but yeah, that's why I'm writing this earlier than normal.
So basically, it has rained almost the entire week! It doesn't pour, it doesn't lighting and thunder, it just simply continuously rains, but we're doing our best to stay dry and just let everybody feel of our happiness. We had a way cool experience the other day. We were on our way to a DA (dinner appointment) with a member. We were biking/walking our bikes so we could talk to people. As a missionary, we have to literally PRAY ALL THE TIME. We ask the Lord which streets to take, which doors to knock, which people to talk to, what to say, where to go, what to do, when to do it, etc. We constantly have to be praying all the time or we can't be effective missionaries. Well, we were on our way to this DA and I got the feeling we needed to go a different way than we were going so even though I'm pretty sure it was the longer way we turned around and went a different way. We passed some people walking but nobody wanted to stop and talk with us. I was praying about if we should turn down other streets to get there and I just kept getting the feeling "continue forward" so we continued on the street we were on. We saw a woman coming towards us and I was just praying so hard that she would stop and talk to us (nobody else would). We said hi and started chatting and it ended up being an amazing street teach! At first she was like "yeah I've already talked with young men like you before and I wasn't that interested" but as the conversation progressed she began to change. We got out the Book of Mormon and she was really interested in it. She is Lutheran, but like most other people, her religion isn't a big part of her life. I started testifying to her about Jesus Christ and His love for us. After I did, she said "wow that was amazing! As soon as you started talking about Christ, this light came on in your eyes! I could see it! Your whole face changed and you had this light! That was incredible..." It was way cool! This gospel really is my LIGHT and it was so cool that this woman could recognize the light, even on a cloudy rainy day. That is exactly why I'm a missionary. To help share and bring this light to others.
We've been really focusing on and working with a lot of our members lately to help them become better member missionaries. We missionaries are only here for a short amount of time, so we gotta help recruit the members to be our finding, teaching, and baptizing force. We play a game with them where they have to give a Book of Mormon away to somebody else and every time it has been a blast! We let the person giving it pick who they are (a friend, neighbor, old lady at the park, you name it!) and then the person has to give the Book of Mormon away to them. It's been way cool watching everybody from a shy 10 yeah old do it to a member of our branch presidency. The Book of Mormon is a special book because it is a book with a promise. If we want to know if it's true, all we have to do is simply read it and pray and ask God. If the Book of Mormon is true, then God lives, Jesus is the Christ, this church is God's true church on the earth and was restored through Joseph Smith and is the Lord's kingdom on the earth. But if the Book of Mormon isn't true, and it was just something that Joseph Smith wrote on his own, than our church is one big lie. That's a pretty bold, powerful promise! And here's the thing, it's open to ALL people everywhere! If we really have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, than we trust in the converting power of it. So why wouldn't we want to give it away to other people?! When it can change their lives for ETERNITY? So EVERYBODY READING THIS, go write your testimony in a Book of Mormon, practice giving it away to somebody, then pray to know by when the Lord wants you to give a Book of Mormon away to and to whom. Then DO IT. JUST DO IT. I promise you, you won't regret it :)
E is still doing well. She is progressing and moving forward. I have complete faith that one day she will enter the waters of baptism. I'm just so blessed and grateful that I get to be a part of her journey. Yesterday during our lesson, we taught about how baptism is the gate that opens up a world of new and amazing opportunities and blessings. We drew it out for her so she could see it, including drawing a little stick figure to represent her near the "gate" of baptism. She made the comment that "wow, I'm really close to that aren't I?" We said "yes, E you are!" She just sat and really pondered that. We talked about how far she's come and how close she is. How Christ is standing at the gate and saying "Come. Come unto me." Today she is fasting and praying for strength and for help. I know that the Lord will hear and answer her prayers. And that He will answer yours! :)
Basically, I love my life. I can't believe that it's JUNE already! I can't believe that I've been a full time missionary for almost a YEAR! Time sure is flying so much faster than I could ever imagine! The church is true! It changes lives! I love being able to defend my Savior and bring the world HIS truth! "Come unto Christ and be perfected in Him." The invitation is open to all! Come unto Christ!
I love you!
ps it's just crazy to me that no matter how old I am, no matter how long I've been a missionary, I'm still like the most awkward thing on the planet. It's fine. I'm over it. :)