Sunday, July 17, 2011

Week 7 (July 13)

Glad to hear you all had fun at Bear Lake! Sounds like it was a blast! And Happy Anniversary to Kyle and Tess! Can't believe it's already been a year, congrats!
The MTC is a great place, and this week was no exception. Ode Nef and I were joined by Sisar Shreeve this week. Sisar Shreeve is from Alaska, so she is more than prepared for the weather in Finland. We actually figured out that we both received our calls on the same day--her availability date was about a month before mine, but she was called to report to the MTC six weeks after me. I'm really grateful that I got to leave when I did and didn't have to wait too long! It's nice to have another Finnish sister again. It's weird being the "Mama Finn" now. I think it's so funny that the new Finnish missionaries look up to us and think we know so much. We've only been here 6 weeks longer than them, but then again that is exactly how the elders in my district and I viewed Sisar Christofferson. She was so much older and wiser and more mature than we were. But I like it. Being the Mama Finn is great.
It was really cool having the new missionaries come in this week also because it helped me to realize how much we've learned in such a short amount of time. It's easy to lose sight of the miracle that is learning a language at the MTC. There are 3 Suomalaisia (Native Finns) at the MTC now-- a Sister going to Russia, a Sister going to Czech Republic and an Elder going to Sweden. I love talking to them! They are all really great and really patient with our limited capacity. Of course, they recognize that their language is crazy hard. One sister said she was really grateful that she learned Finnish the way she did instead of how we are learning it. Still, I think learning Finnish is fun, in its own way. It can get pretty frustrating when you realize how much you don't know, but it's really interesting to see how the language is structured and recognizing patterns and stuff--maybe I'm a nerd but Finnish is a way cool language.
Sisar Beckwith, one of the Finnish teachers here, received a letter from Sisar Christofferson last week. Apparently she already has 7 investigators and 3 baptismal commitments! I knew she would be a great missionary, and it's so encouraging to hear how well the work is going in Finland. Sometimes I just want to go there right now! Other times I wish I had more time to learn the language. Either way, I leave August 8th! It's coming up soon! I'm stoked. I know it will be rough at first, but I have heard nothing but good things about Finland--the land, the people, the culture--and I can't wait to experience it for myself. For the time being, the MTC is a great place to be. Sometimes I get a little stir-crazy, and it's a little disheartening to think of how many groups of missionaries I have seen come and go since I've been here, but I think being here for 12 weeks is a great opportunity. I can't wrap my brain around the fact that English-speaking missionaries are only here for 3 weeks. That's about enough time to get used to it and then leave!
Well, I love you family. Thanks for your continued support. Everyday I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be serving a mission. You guys are the best! (Te olette paras!)
Sisar Shaw

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