Well, Howdy! (...I mean "Terve!")
Change calls came this week, and I am SO grateful to have at least 6 more weeks here in Haaga with Sisar Braegger. We've got another exciting change ahead of us! This past change has flown by way faster than any of the ones before-- but I've heard that the last half of your mission goes by alot faster than the first.
Hard to believe that it's already the end of another semester. (Actually, it's hard to believe that life still goes on back home... haha.) But good luck with finals! And good choice of a place to live for spring semester, Ty-guy! The Elms is a way fun place. I'm sure you'll love it. (And by the way, I keep meeting people here with random connections to Bolivia!) How was your birthday, Maddy? Did you do anything fun or get any cool presents! (did you get my present? :))
Well, this past week was really good. As I was thinking about what I might write to you all this morning, I couldn't think of anything. It seemed like another "same-old same-old" week in the life of a missionary. But as I looked back through my journal, I realized that a lot of really good things happened.
Sini continues to be her amazing self. She recently made the decision that she actually wants to get baptized in the Hyvinkää ward-- it was the ward that she attended when she left the church, and she really felt like it would be a good thing if she were re-baptized there as well. Of course it's a little sad that it won't happen here in Haaga, but we still get the wonderful opportunity of teaching her before she gets baptized, and we'll still be there for her baptism :)
And we are still teaching the recent convert's daughter. They've been a little busy lately, but we finally got to teach her again this week. We taught the plan of salvation, and it was WAY fun. We drew little pictures of ourselves and had little transparency-papers that represented our "spirits" and we walked through the entire plan with her with our little people :) Lots of fun. One of my favorite parts of being a missionary is finding creative ways to teach the lessons.
We were able to do splits this week as well-- so much fun! It's something that's pretty ordinary in the life of an elder, but something that sisters get to participate in a lot less often. So on Thursday, Sisar Braegger spent the day in Tampere while Sisar Rawle, who is serving there now, spent the day with me in Haaga. It was a blast, and I learned a lot from her. The best part, though, was being able to hear how everyone was doing back in beloved Tampere :) I found out that my Albanian investigator is GETTING BAPTIZED!!! I was SO excited to hear that.
Basically, we had a bunch of really little, but really cool experiences this week. Like the family that we've been teaching for a while who has refused to take a Book of Mormon FINALLY took it this week (and it was their idea!) Or we went to go visit this old lady in the ward--cutest thing--I asked her what her favorite hymn was that we could sing to her, and she said that she couldn't remember the name. So, I just picked one and we started singing and she got SO excited as we started singing and said "That's exactly the one I was thinking about!" and she started singing along in her sweet, 80-something year old voice :)
So it was a good week. Sometimes it doesn't seem that way--sometimes this feels like the hardest thing in the world--but it also feels like the best and the happiest thing in the world. I was listening to a conference talk recently (some old conference CD's that were left in our apartment... all the way back from 2002.) But anyways, there was this quote that I really liked from one of the talks where she said "A woman of faith realizes that any sacrifice she makes is worth something in an eternal sense." That is how I feel about my mission. It's hard, but I know that these sacrifices I am making are worth something in an eternal sense.
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." -2 Corinthians 4:17
Love you all :)