Monday, August 13, 2012

Audust 13, 2012

Terve, Terve!

So hard to believe that another week has come and gone. By the end of this next one, change calls will have come, which will probably mean that I will know where I will be spending the rest of my mission. Wierd wierd wierd thought. Just yesterday I had my first experience of being asked to speak right before sacrament meeting started--and in finnish, nonetheless--but it was a huge blessing to see that it actually felt natural and the language was the least of my worries. But the funny part is that afterwards all the members were asking if i was getting transferred, and if this was my "farewell address" to them all-- to which I had to reply that we won't know until next week-- but I think everyone is expecting me to leave. So I think it would be really funny (and not unlike my mission president) to throw everyone for a loop if I end up staying in Haaga. But time will tell, and I'm sure I'll have some exciting news for you all next week!

Oh, and before I forget: I HAVE THE COOLEST FAMILY EVER!!! I got your package this week, and I can't even tell you how happy it made me. Thanks for the contacts. Thanks for the letters (I actually wrote letters to mom, maddy and erica last monday before I got the package, so keep that in mind while you read them :)) and I LOVE THE CD!!! so cool. My companions might be getting annoyed with me because I listen to it every night as we're getting ready for bed-- but I think that they like it too :)

It's been kind of funny to hear you all tell me about my perspective and attitude as a missionary. I think perspective has been one of the biggest blessings that I've received as a missionary and on a mission. Looking back at this week, I honestly can't remember any experiences in particular that really stood out to me, but I do remember just feeling happy--even though I know that there were hard moments this week--somehow I just remember the good stuff.

Here's one super cool thing from this week: we recently started teaching a really cool guy who is an atheist. He's been very open to everything that we've been teaching, he's had a lot of really good questions, and HE CAME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY! So cool. And I think he had a really good experience. He had a really interesting question though, which I want to ask all of you guys as well and leave with you as my "spiritual thought" for the week. After sunday school, he expressed to us how even though he's never been to church before, all of the stuff that the teacher was teaching just seemed like common sense to him--it was stuff he "already knew." So then he asked something along the lines of "so why is it really necessary to go to church every week?" I tried to answer as best I could in the few minutes that I had, but then his question remained with me the rest of the day. Why does the Lord command us to visit church every week? And why do I personally choose to visit church every week? I think it's sometimes hard to put into words the blessings that we receive from church attendance, but it is something that we experience. Church attendance is a hard principle to teach to investigators and less actives. But as soon as we can get them to experience the blessings for themselves, it ceases to be a burden.

We've been doing a lot of work with less-actives, a lot of whom I feel may not come to church because they feel like they don't fit in there. I've thought about if perhaps I might stop going to church if I were ever in such a situation--but as I thought about it I really felt like I wouldn't because of the commitment that I feel to the Lord. But we certainly try our best to help these people feel like they do have a place in the ward and that their presence is missed. After church yesterday we stopped by the home of a less active who didn't show up at church, and he told us that it felt good to know that somebody cared. So I know what you said is true mom. Visiting teaching and home teaching are SO IMPORTANT!

I love you all. School is starting up again this next week for the Finns--when does is start for you all?

Sisar Shaw

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