So good to hear from you all as usual. One of the elders here actually told me the result of the BYU-UT game right before I read your email, and I actually cheered to hear that Texas won-- but I would have been happy regardless of the outcome.
Well, Fall is now here in Finland. I was really grateful to enjoy about a month of really nice weather, but now starts the rain and the cold (and eventually the snow...)
This past week was actually probably the happiest I've had so far on the mission. It's just so amazing to think of all the discouragement and disappointments we face as missionaries everyday, but all it takes is one experience to turn it around and make all of the discouragment worth it. Early in the week, we received a referral from the elders in Pietasari. A recent convert there of about 2 years wanted us to go teach his friend here in Tampere. So, we went to go visit them on Thursday. We were fairly nervous beforehand, but they were actually really excited to see us and immediately told us to come into their house. They are an adorable family from Angola (Husband, wife and cute 3-year-old son.) It's been really cool for me to talk with them because since they are foreigners, Finnish is their second language as well (so they speak Finnish that i can understand!)
Anyways, they are awesome and very receptive to our message. It turns out that the husband actually asked his friend in Pietasari to send us to him! We gave them a couple copies of the Book of Mormon-- one in Portugese (their native language) and one in Finnish and invited them to come to church on Sunday. And they did! It was an awesome day. The family got all dressed up, they followed behind Sisar Herde and I in their car so we could show them where the chapel is (oh yeah, did I tell you we have a car here? It's pretty great.) and they even brought their Book of Mormon with them! We talked with them afterwards and they really seemed to enjoy it and they even talked about coming again next week. It is unbelievable how happy this family makes me and Sisar Herde; like I said earlier, this past week I was probably the happiest I've been on my mission so far.
Here's the one down-side: Sisar Herde and I have a training meeting in Helsinki all week this week--we leave tomorrow morning and return Saturday night. We've actually been looking forward to this meeting the entire transfer, but now that it's here, the work here in Tampere is really starting to pick up--but now we don't have any time this week to meet with our investigators! As a result, we opted out of a "normal" P-day today and we have 3 teaches set up later today: one with the family I was telling you about, one with another investigator and one with a potential who hopefully becomes an investigator.
In closing, I just want to say how much I love being a missionary! I have already developed such a love for the people here in Tampere. The day I get transferred out of here will be a sad one (but hopefully that won't be for a while) I won't lie, I haven't been here for long, and I can already tell this mission will probably be the hardest thing I've ever done. But I think about how much I've already learned on my mission, all of the people I have been blessed to meet, and all of the miracles I have already witnessed, and I already can't imagine my life without a mission.
Sorry my mind is kind of all over the place right now-- so many exciting things are happening. Hopefully my email is coherent anyways. Minä rakastan teitä paljon!!!
P.S. I finally figured out how to attach pictures using a public computer. Enjoy!
|Arriving In Finland - Katie With President and Sister Rollings|
|Katie's apartment in Tempere|
|Katie And District Visiting Finnish Castle|
|Helsinki Finland Temple|