Monday, October 10, 2011

October 3, 2011

Terve!

It was great to hear about your adventures in Colombia and see some pictures (and yes dad, I was very proud of you for talking with the taxi drivers!) We had another great week here in Tampere. Wasn't conference awesome? We watched the Relief Society and Saturday Afternoon sessions rebroadcast in the afternoons Saturday and Sunday, but we did watch the morning sessions live (at 7 at night... and it was so dark outside! the days keep getting darker and darker.) We have yet to see the Sunday afternoon session. And actually, they showed the broadcasts in english in the institute room at the church, which was a huge blessing, BUT for whatever reason, the english broadcast wasn't working during the relief society broadcast, so I had to watch that one in Finnish. And actually, I was able to understand quite a bit. I think it's because the translators speak really clearly and use proper Finnish-- listening to native speakers at church is a lot more difficult for sure.

And our investigators came to conference!!! (The couple we are teaching who are from Angola.) They make us so happy. It's been really neat to see them and their faith grow as we've taught them-- and they've certainly helped us and our faith to grow as well. I know i share bits and pieces of their story with you in each email--and the story's still in progress, but I want to share some of the miracles we've been able to witness with them over the past several weeks. We were super excited when we first committed them to baptism, but later found out they weren't married. Our mission president called us and told us to get started with wedding papers right away because it can sometimes take months to process when they're from out of the country. So we were bummed about that, but we got them started on their wedding papers and they were happy to do so. Then we later found out that they actually had been married, but it was a tribal marriage in Angola (meaning no paperwork) so our mission president told us that they could actually get baptized before their wedding, but they still needed to get married by Finnish law. So now we are looking forward to a baptism later in October and a wedding in December!!! The family has shared with us a little bit more about their story and how they came to be interested in the church. Basically, the dad didn't like that their family wasn't going to church every week and they really wanted to find a church to go to. They were really impressed with their friend's church in Pietaarsari (and their friend was a recent convert there), so they decided to check it out. They thought "I'm sure they have a church like that here in Tampere!" They've expressed how much they enjoy coming to church, and they already fit in so well with the ward here. Recently they shared with us about how just a few days after meeting us for the first time, the dad was able to find employment. They are so good about recognizing the Lord's hand in their life. They've also shared with us about how now their little 3-year-old son reminds them they need to pray every night before they go to bed! Just today the dad was talking with us about some of the talks that he really enjoyed from conference. This family is simply amazing! They are always expressing their thanks to us, but we're often like "No, you don't understand! You are AWESOME!" As I think about this family, I think about how little work I seem to have done. They really are just prepared for this message, and it's almost like being a bystander and witnessing a miracle occur. I am always so uplifted whenever I'm around them. I just love them so much!

In other news, we had a great zone conference this week. I was able to see both of my old companions from the MTC, Sisar Christofferson and Sisar Shreeve. Love them both! We received a lot of really great direction and counsel. My mission president shared the words of Oliver Cowdery, when he spoke of how amazing the days were that he was able to spend at the feet of the prophet Joseph Smith. I feel he same way about the days I am able to spend with my mission president and his wife. They are some of the most amazing people I've ever met. I always learn so much from them. One thought that they shared that I really liked was that to become perfected in Christ means to be perfectly loving. And it's true, the most Christ-like people I know are the most loving people I know--people who just have that gift to make you feel like the most important person in the world whenever you talk to them. Those are the people I want to emulate! I'm so far from that point, but that's why the Lord has given us this life. We can look forward to a lifetime of growth!

I love you all, make it a great week!

Sisar Shaw

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