So good to hear from you all, as always! P-days can ironically be some of the most stressful days as a missionary, but I love this hour that I can just sit and read your email and write to you :) Good luck with all the de-cluttering-- hopefully my stuff isn't causing too much stress :) My one request is that my brown down coat reamains intact when I get home-- but I think I left that one with Kyle and Tess.
All is well in Finland. This past week it has gotten much colder. A typical outfit now consists of wool tights, thermals, wool socks, leg warmers, boots, skirt, thick sweater, big scarf, down coat, mittens and a nice hat that covers the ears :)
Sisar Shaw And Companion
In Cold Weather Gear
Yesterday it got down to about -14 (celcius). In spite of the less than comfortable weather, the scenery is BEAUTIFUL. With the trees and everything here, it looks like C.S. Lewis got his inspiration for Narnia from Finland. I have been extremely blessed this winter as it has been one of the mildest Finland has seen in a while. But it's definitely getting colder every day.
Finland As Narnia
This past week was a great week. We had a great district meeting in Jyväskylä where we talked alot about goal setting, with the start of the new year. Something that I have personally been focusing on a lot is being motivated by love. There was a great devotional given at BYU last year entitled "what if love were our only motive?" That question has stuck with me ever since, but I've been pondering it a lot more recently. I am so far from perfect, and I'm sure this will be a life-long pursuit, but I want to become the kind of person who does everything that they do out of love for other people.
We had some great teaches with a few investigators this week. The highlight was probably when we taught Sabbath-day observance to our Albanian investigator. It just clicked for her, and she committed to living it before we could even ask her to. She spoke of how she usually saves all her cleaning for sundays, but she should get it done earlier in the week so that sunday can truly be a day of rest. She is amazing!
We also had a really interesting experience this week-- we went to the church for what we thought was a meeting with our ward mission leader. Turns out we were guests at a wedding! We even had our own nameplates and everything. It was a couple in our ward who were sealed to eachother in the temple a few days earlier. It was a really beautiful occasion, but it was also really random and unexpected!
In closing, I want to share something I've thought about this week-- motherhood, of all things. But I was thinking at the end of the day one day of all the hard work and effort that goes into missionary work-- a lot of times without seeing direct fruit from it. But we keep moving forward with faith that we're doing the right thing and making a difference. I imagine that motherhood is very much the same way. I am sure that one day we will all have a clear vision of all the lives we blessed, but the trick is that we might spend most of our lives not even knowing. Well, mom, I want you to know what a profound impact you've had in my life. I know that you've put in countless hours of tireless effort on my behalf, and it has blessed me so much. I am who I am today because of you, and I want you to know that. And to Robin-- I admire your example of motherhood as well. You've set such a great example to me. And Tess-- I know you are going to make an amazing mother!
I love you all!