Still so wierd for me to think that Tyler is on his mission, but I'm loving reading his emails every week. It's reminding me of how excited I was at the beginning of my mission as well. It sounds like you're already having some awesome experiences. I'm so excited for you. And I think I'm getting a taste of how you all must feel reading about my experiences here in Finland-- it's really fun to experience things vicariously through someone else :)
I was actually thinking earlier today about how Tyler hadn't even received his mission call when I had first arrived here in Haaga, but I've been here long enough that you're already on your mission! I'm not sure why I keep sticking in places for so long. I can feel a little stir-crazy at times, but it's been really nice to really get to know an area well--the places, the ward members, the investigators.
That being said, I still love it here in Haaga. I couldn't ask for a better area to be serving in at this time. Also couldn't ask for better companions :) It's been really neat to see my mission unfold up to this point and see how the places I've been in and the people I've been with really have been tailor-fitted to me. I know that the Lord knows what experiences we need that will be the best for us. Thank goodness that his plans are better than our own :)
This past week was a slower one. I am constantly reminded that dissapontments are a reccurring part of missionary work and of life. But for every disappontment we encounter, we receive even more blessings--which sometimes don't come till later. So it can be hard to still remain optimistic in the face of disappointments, but sometimes it's not so hard at all! In spite of a slower week last week, I have complete confidence that this next week is going to be a great one. Among other reasons, we are going to be getting a mini-missionary tomorrow! Every year at the beginning of august, Finland does a "mini-mission" where church members (around YSA age) from around the country spend a week as a missionary with the full-time missionaries :). I arrived in the country just after the mini-mission last year, so this will be my first time to experience it, and I'm excited! Our mini-missionary is actually going to be someone that I knew while I was serving in Tampere! So that should be fun.
And last week certainly came with its highlights as well. On Wednesday we did splits with the Tampere sisters--which meant Sisar Shreeve went up to Tampere for the day and Sisar Nelson came down to Haaga for the day to be with me and Sisar Ballif. It was a lot of fun, and for me it was really cool to spend the day with my two "babies." (Sisar Nelson was the new missionary that Sisar Brailsford and I trained together in Tampere.) Crazy how fast time flies by. For me it was also really humbling to think that somehow i was trusted to be Sisar Nelson and Sisar Ballif's trainer--they are both amazing missionaries, in spite of me :) haha. And even when teaches seemed to fall through left and right last week, we sincerely tried to figure out what it was that the Lord wanted us to do instead. On one instance, we decided to just stop by the house of one of our investigators--a family that we just started teaching a couple weeks ago. We had a GREAT teach with them, and they both committed to come to church (which they didn't actually end up coming, but said they would next week. Keep them in your prayers :))
In other news, Sini and Kai continue to do really well. It has been such a blessing to see them to continue growing in the gospel every week at church. Last sunday, Kai came to church decked out in a white shirt and tie, dress slacks and shoes (and a new haircut). It was the first time he had come dressed that way, and he looked great! He was really embarrased about it as people would make comments to him. He's a good kid though. He was very excited and eager to give his tithing slip to the bishop on sunday. It is still humbling to me that I was blessed with the opportunity to teach them. They are forever a part of my life :)
I love you all, and I love hearing from you all.
And just remember that missionaries love getting mail :)