No, that's not Finnish, I just can't seem to think of a good expression that properly conveys how excited and joyful and just stinkin' happy I am right now. Happy because of the work that I have the privilege of doing here in beautiful Finland, and so happy to hear all of the wonderful news from my family. Tyler, I'm relieved that my package got to you safely. I was so happy to hear about the amazing missionary experiences you are all having--there is nothing else like it!!! Some of my favorite experiences of my mission have been as we've done FHE (perheilta) at member's houses with investigators. So fun! And so happy because I HAVE THE CUTEST LITTLE NIECE IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!!! Congratulations to Kyle and Tess (and aunt ariana :)) You two are going to make wonderful parents.
Well, glad to hear all is well on the homefront. Things are going really well here in Finland. I was looking through some of my journal entries from this past week, and on two different days I described the same week as both "trying" and "SUCH a good week." But that's how life goes, I guess. In spite of the hard stuff (and sometimes because of the hard stuff) we really can find joy in the journey. We actually talked about this topic in district meeting this past week--we had such a good discussion and I talked about how things were really hard for me when I first came in the country, but I just did my best and figured that I would just get used to it, and things would get easier. And now that I've been doing this for over a year now, I realize that it really hasn't gotten any easier! That has maybe been one of the biggest surprises on my mission. Other members of my district agreed with me. Some even expressed how some things are even harder now than when they first came in the country. But then on the other hand, i talked about how looking back at all of the different phases of my mission so far, I received just enough tender mercies from the Lord to keep me going. And here I am now :)
Well, the tender mercies of the Lord were certainly upon us in abundance this week. Kai's baptism was a really special day. It was actually really stressful for me and Sisar Shreeve-- we were doing ALL of the behind the scenes work-- but everything came together perfectly (except that the water was too hot... whoops!) and the important part was that Kai and Sini and her husband were able to enjoy that special day. Sini's mom even came to it! We were also able to get an investigator there-- he really enjoyed the service, and the ward was really amazing in fellowshipping him--and as a result, he expressed a desire to come to church! There were just so many little things like that this week that were so cool. I wish I could write them all.
On sunday, Kai was confirmed in sacrament meeting. We invited his father to come, but he replied that he probably wouldn't be there. It was about the response we were expecting. But we were praying anyways that he would come. And wouldn't you know it. HE CAME TO CHURCH!!! For the first time ever! We were so shocked, and so happy. He seemed really happy to be there too. Sini said that "he surprised them." Wow. So this weekend was a really good one :)
Well, that was probably the highlight of the week. My mind is all over the place right now, I can't concentrate hard enough to write anymore. Haha. But I'll send a few pictures, each of which should be worth 1000 words or so.
I LOVE YOU ALL!!!