For starters, I said goodbye to my home for the past 8 months. Kuopio sure was amazing. The members were SO sweet to me. They gave me cookies, candy, and other presents. They all told me "welcome back" and many tears were shed. We had a dinner with one of my favorite members (our Relief Society President) and E came along. It was amazing! Sisar R. is suuuuch a great friend! During a lesson the week before, I had complained that I really needed a haircut because I haven't had one for over a year. Sisar R. said that she would love to give me one. I was like schweet! Well, after our dinner and lesson at her house, we were about to leave and she said "Sisar Nielsen, I still gotta cut your hair!" She then whipped out scissors and a stool, and wrapped the black cape around me and just started cutting! Turns out she had never cut a girl's hair before! And she just cut my hair dry and my hair had been curled! I was freaking out but at that point there was nothing I could do! hahaha It was kinda like the funniest thing of my life. I mean my hair doesn't look horrible... so that's good. It looks kinda uneven when I straighten it but at least all the dead ends are gone :) hahaha voi että!
After a tearful farewell I was off! My train left atin the morning and I hadn't gotten to bed until after 1 the night before. Needless to say, I was a little tired. But there has been no time to be tired! I arrived in Helsinki and was met by not one, not two, but THREE new companions! WHAT?! Sisar Cribbs and Sisar Heggie were also called to be Sister Training Leaders and my companions. Then there was this sweet sister named Sisar Petch who is from Cambodia but has lived in Finland for 9 years. She was on her way to the Scotland Ireland mission but her visa was denied and she was sent back! So she became our companion and we were put in charge of training her (her in-field training and her MTC training). We have the cutest, most stylin' apartment everrrr but it was WAY tiny for the 4 of us! Things were pure craziness! Plus we weren't sure what was going to happen with our companionship (if we were going to get split up or if we were all going to stay together or move to a new area or what!) so we weren't able to unpack. Plus, only Sisar Cribbs knew anything about the area so there was just a lot of confusion. And we've been running around everywhere! But boy, are we having a BLAST! After a lot of praying about it, we decided to have Sisar Petch go to Haaga and be trained by the sisters there so Sisar Cribbs and Heggie and I could stay together and handle the 17 sisters that we have under our care. So now we are FINALLY all settled in and unpacked (except they still have to bring us another bed and desk cuz I've been sleeping on a mattress on the floor) - no worries!
We are all having WAYYY too much fun together! We all get along really well and are literally laughing nonstop. Also, we ususally try to match what we're wearing so that's been exciting. I'm so stoked for this change! It's going to be amazing! Plus get this! I am currently emailing right now from THE TEMPLE GROUNDS! Like what?!? I live like 5 mins from the FINLAND TEMPLE! Ahhhhhhh I love it so much! The ward I go to now is HUGE. They have to open the overflow EVERYand have young men to pass the sacrament! Like WHAT?! It's so weird! Because I'm a Sister Training Leader now, we had a really long all day meeting last Friday with all of the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders and the AP's and President and Sisar Rawlings. We all went to the temple together then had our meeting. Gosh, I love all of these people so much! I got to see Sisar Hubner and Sisar Lund, two of my old companions! It was great. Plus it was our last meeting with President and Sisar Rawlings. THEY LEAVE ! WHAT?! Our new Mission President is HERE. So much change has happened! We will meet him this week so that is really exciting.
Basically, I love my wonderful, crazy, awkward life! This week, we went and had breakfast at a member's home. It was gorgeous! It was on a lake at this huge, beautiful home and we sat on the terrace and ate fruit, crossaint sandwiches, orange juice, and delicious hot chocolate. We were surrounded by so much green! and beautiful brightly colored flowers. Talk about a perfect life. While we were talking, I really wanted more hot chocolate. So I poured myself a big glass and took a nice swig. Well, I then realized that it was actually SUPER hot and it burned my whole mouth! So I did what any normal person would do - I spat it out right onto my dish! Oops. My companions lost it. Talk about a great first impression. Luckily, the member thought it was super hilarious too. Ya know, just Sisar Nielsen being Sisar Nielsen. This member is super cute in her late 20's and is also a hair dresser so she said she would fix my hair for me :) hahaha
Espoo is so much bigger than Kuopio! We ride trains and buses everywhere we go. The public transportation system here is so great. I love it because it gives me so many opportunities to talk with all kinds of people! There are lots of refugees here and people that have moved here from other countries, so it's been fun meeting and talking with them. We're gonna have some pretty big miracles this change, I can just feel it.
Something that I've learned on my mission is the importance of being a true friend. There is a difference between being friendly and being a friend. A friendly person says "hi" to an investigator at church. A friend calls the investigator and says "let me come pick you up so we can go to church together!" A friendly person tells a recent convert that it would be great if they came to the church activity that week. A friend calls them up and goes to lunch with them and then they go to the activity together. A friendly person gives a person who is having a hard time a smile and a wave. A friend goes up to them and gives them a hug and makes them feel needed and loved. So folks, be a FRIEND. Be a friend to all those around you. Seek to help and bless the lives of others. Don't think "oh wow, I hope somebody invites that person or helps that person or loves that person". YOU BE THAT PERSON. Help others feel needed, loved, and included. It is a call from our Savior to be a true friend to everyone. So love the Lord with all your heart by loving those around you. Really, truly, loving them. Be that friend. Seek out the opportunity to be true friends to others.
I love you!