It was good to hear from you all (yes, even you maddy :)). I'm sorry to hear that life has been so stressful lately--and I'm sure will continue to be so for a while. I'm certainly not jealous of the move you are all making right now. It's hard when there's nothing else I can do for you all besides pray and write these letters once a week, but I do pray for each of you every day, and I hope that these letters can be of some support to you all. If nothing else, please know that I love you all more than you'll ever know.
Life here in Tampere continues to roll right along. Every once in a while I think about how long I've been here, and it amazes me. I'm creeping up on the 7-month mark now. It's so funny because I remember my MTC teacher, who spent a large chunk of her mission in Tampere, talk about how she knows the streets of Tampere like the back of her hand. That is exactly how I feel now! I know where every place is, and which buses will take you there. This city is more than familiar to me. But I love it so much.
Oh, and hyvää ystävänpäivää! (Happy Friend's Day-- that's the Finnish version of valentine's day.) To celebrate, we made heart-shaped no-bake cookies during our dinner hour. Lots of fun, and very tasty. We also had a teach with an older lady in the ward who was so happy, it was infectious. That's been my experience with a lot of the members here, actually. Being with them in their homes and seeing their great examples have taught me so much in my time here as a missionary. It makes me wonder how missionaries felt as they visited our home growing up. Hopefully they were able to feel the same way. (And speaking of our home, Maddy's room looks great! Definitely looks like a house worth buying. I'd love to see any other pictures you want to send :))
As I was sitting in sacrament meeting yesterday and reflecting over the past week, nothing too out of the ordinary seemed to have happened. We weren't able to meet with any investigators this past week, and I was feeling a little discouraged. And then out of the blue, our Albanian investigator walked into the chapel! It made me SO happy. We weren't even expecting her! Like you, mom, she has been experiencing a very stressful time lately. She has been working overtime at work while going to school on the weekends, and is often more than a little sleep-deprived. But she recognizes the peace that she feels at church, and that's why she decided to come amidst all of the stresses in her life. I am so grateful for the opportunity we have each sunday to partake of the sacrament and enjoy the spirit that comes from being at church. I know that if we approach it the right way, we can receive comfort, guidance and answers to prayers through our church attendance.
I love you all! Have a yellow week :)