We are indeed enjoying warmer weather and lighter days... at least today and yesterday. I was wearing my winter coat the day before. But now I'm not even wearing a coat! Hopefully the warm weather is here to stay this time.
Wow, there's so much that happens in a week, I'm really not sure how I choose to include everything that goes in these emails. I think this week's email will be a day-by-day travelogue; that might be the easiest.
Monday night we taught FHE to the YSA in Helsinki. I think it went pretty well; I had a lot of fun at least. You want to know something I think is really cool? When I'm speaking in Finnish, and I hear someone translating what I say back into english to someone else. Maybe cause that means that what I'm saying makes sense :)
Then tuesday was a really rainy day. We had a teach in the morning, and I wore my raincoat out the door. It wasn't quite warm enough for the raincoat, so when we came back home for lunch I changed into a thicker coat before we left again... forgetting that our keys were still in the raincoat. Oops! So that mistake spurred on quite the adventure. We still went about the rest of everything we had planned that day since there wasn't much we could do. Just before ward council, we borrowed a wire hanger from one of our neighbors and tried to open the window to our balcony...no luck. When we finally returned home at night, we called the talomies (something like a building manager, I guess) to open the door. We waited for a while, and when he finally came said that he didn't have the right key and we would have to wait even longer. By this point it was pretty late, so we ended up spending the night with the senior sister missionaries. It was a lot of fun, albeit not the ideal situation. We called the talomies again in the morning, and were let in quite easily. Plus, the fee was 20 euros cheaper in the morning. We only had to pay 10 euros to get in!
So Wednesday we were very grateful to be back in our own apartment. We had a teach that night with a family we have been teaching for a while--it was our last teach with them, but things couldn't have ended on a better note. The funny thing is that even thought they aren't ready for the gospel, I really feel like we've made some true friends with them. As we stuck our hands out to shake the father's hand before we left, he gave us both hugs! It was totally unexpected. They said that we were always welcome to come back and visit. I'm sure we'll be seeing them again soon.
Then thursday we had a teach with Sini! It was so good, but it's really hard to go wrong with her. Her teaches make me so happy. Her baptism is coming up in 2 weeks!!! She is so ready. I could not be happier for her. At the end of the teach, she asked what her reading assignment was. We smiled and realized that we hadn't picked one. So she said "hey, how about I find some scriptures that go along with our next lesson?" I almost rolled my eyes. She could not be any more golden.
Friday we had our first district meeting of the new change. Lots of changes in our district-- all of the other companionships were affected by the change except for us. But it's fun to be able to meet new people. We had to leave district meeting early because we had a teach with a new investigator from Angola! She speaks Finnish fairly well, but portugese is her native tongue. So we brought a Brazilian member from the ward along with us who served her mission in Brazil. After we would teach a principle, our member would reteach it in portugese. It was a really fun teach. Portugese is a really beautiful language, even though it sounds like jibberish to me :) But then again, Finnish sounded like jibberish to me not too long ago :)
Saturday was a really fun day. It was filled with parties. We helped a member set up for her daughter's birthday party in the morning. I thought it was just going to be a small get together at their house, but I couldn't have been further from the truth. It was possibly the most extravagant party I've ever seen-- for her daughter who is turning 3! But that's Latin culture, i guess (The member is also Brazilian.) It was kind of funny-- I was remembering some service we did for some members back when I was a new missionary in Tampere. We helped them clean their windows and there were spider webs everywhere--and my trainer was afraid of spiders, so I laughed as she talked about what a big sacrifice that was for her. Well, blowing up hundreds of balloons for this member was a comparable sacrifice for me. Can't explain that fear :) Haha. Afterwards we had a small get together at a member's house with a couple of our investigators. Lots of fun. And then in the evening we threw a birthday party for a recent convert who just turned 12! She's been wearing jeans to church every week, so I bought her a really cute dress for her birthday-- which she wore to church on sunday :)
Then church on sunday was really great. Sini came to our ward (she usually goes to Hyvinkää) so it was really great to have her there. She's already made some really good friends with a few of the sisters in our ward. The sun was shining, the weather was beautiful! It was hard to not be happy :)
So it was a really great week. I'm excited for another one!
For all those who have been inspired by the recent conference talks about writing missionaries, here is Sisar Shaw's address: :)
Sisar Katie Lynn ShawNeitsytpolku 3 A 4