Thanks for the email. I started crying when I read about Tyler leaving on his mission. I really don't know why, but maybe the reality is just setting in that we really won't see each other for (over) 3 years. I completely understand how he feels-- I can still remember entering the mtc and just feeling so uncertain of everything that lay ahead--and one things for sure, Tyler, you have NO idea what you've gotten yourself into, haha! But I do know that this is the best thing you can be doing right now :) I love you bro! Welcome to the mission!
Well this last week was an exciting one (just like yours!) I'll start out with the news that we received at the end of the week though: I will be staying in Haaga for at least 6 more weeks. And so will Sisar Shreeve. And so will the new missionary that we get on Wednesday. That's right, round 2 for me training in a threesome. I kind of laughed and wondered what I must have missed the first time around that the Lord still wants me to learn. But it's a different situation, different area, different companions. We've got an exciting transfer ahead of us. I'm going on my 9th transfer in Finland. And still in my second area :) Haha. I wouldn't have it any other way, though.
Anyways, Maanantai was a really fun day. Kai came and played sähly (floor hockey) with us and the elders in our district, and he had a blast. Didn't even bother him that he was up against people twice his age :) Then that night we had a really really great teach with Päivi (remember the recent convert's daughter?) She really wants to get baptized, so now it's just a matter of getting permission from her mother, which she's really nervous about. Keep her in your prayers :)
Then Tiistai and Keskiviiko were really fun days too. Sisar Shreeve and I were invited to attend a leadership training meeting with President and several other missionaries. You'd think that it might have given me a hint that we would be training, but honestly I did NOT expect it at all, haha! Wednesday was the 4th of July, which we celebrated by singing patriotic hymns at our training meeting. And attempted to assemble an American flag--the sisters all wore blue T-shirts and the elders all wore white shirts with red ties. I'll send a picture :)
Torstai was a full day with a lot of teaches. I love days like that :) I really do just love teaching, it was one reason that I wanted to serve a mission. It's always nice to teach people and really feel like you are helping them and strengthening them and making a difference in their life for the better.
Perjantai we had a great district meeting-- last one of the change. I realized this morning that next change, I will be the only person that was here in the Helsinki district when I first arrived here back in March. Kind of wierd! Then that night Sisar Shreeve and I were on a train TAMPERE-BOUND! We did splits with the sisters in Tampere on Saturday. Change calls were supposed to come Friday night, and I sat anxiously by the phone for about 2 hours or so. Finally 10:30 came around (our bed-time) and I called President and said "President, I'm dying!!!" He started laughing really hard and said that he had stopped calling missionaries that night because it was getting too late and he was going to call the rest in the morning. But since he had me on the phone anyways, he went ahead and told us the change call.
So then Lauantai we were in Tampere, like I said. It was so nice to be back there because I just love that city. But at the same time, it felt really wierd. It was such a great day-- I was able to see the two people that I really was hoping to. We met with a less-active for lunch who I had met with pretty regularly while I was there. She started freaking out when she saw me. it was a lot of fun :) And then I was also able to see my Albanian investigator :) I think it was really good for her, and it felt good that maybe I was able to strengthen her in a way. She didn't get baptized on her planned date because she has an issue with tithing. But as we talked about it a little bit, she said that although she doesn't feel ready yet, she feels that God will help her to understand tithing and clear things up for her.
Suununtai was a great day as well. We helped a less-active mom with 3 small kids come to church. It was an adventure, to say the least, but it turned out really well. her 5-year-old son is now our best friend :)
Well, life keeps rolling right along. Time is such a wierd thing. I only have 3 transfers left. It is going to fly by, I know it. But it's still enough time to enjoy this beautiful country and the wonderful work that I get to do here!
I love you all so much :)
Any pictures you want to send this way would be greatly appreciated!