Well, I was excited to tell you that we got our first snow last week-- but then you all beat me to the punch by saying that you did as well. The temperature took a nose-dive last week, and we're now in the negatives. But it sounds like the weather in Utah will be about the same when I go home... So just think, you're all getting a taste of the weather here in Finland :)
It sounds like you all had an exciting week! I was so excited to hear that you went to Sisar Christoffersen's homecoming! She is one of my favorite people, and really has influenced my life so much for the better. I'm so glad you got to meet her.
Well, this past week was one of those "up and down" weeks. I suppose every week is. Every week, every day has it's own ups and downs--but of course it's our job to just focus on the "ups." So, I'll share with you some of the "ups" from this week:
Our recent convert, James, is doing SO WELL! We taught the YSA FHE last week, and we had him come along with us. It was so good for him to meet others his same age who share the same values that he does. He had a great experience. He received the priesthood last week, and is so excited to "serve in the house of God," (to use his own words :)) It's just so funny because I never would have guessed that he would be doing this well when we first started teaching him-- but that just goes to show that our perceptions and impressions of people are so limited. We never see the big picture. I'm so grateful that my mission has given me the opportunity to really get to know people-- and the better I get to know people, they more often than not surprise me with what incredible people they are. I have a lot more friends now than I did 18 months ago--which I am so grateful for.
We struggled to find a member to come with us to a teach at the last minute one night this week--but we eventually did, and after the teach, she turned to us and said "that was exactly what I needed." It felt so good to hear. Our missionary efforts serve so many purposes-- and I'm grateful that our efforts have a far greater impact than we even realize. Of course it's frustrating that we can't see the big picture, but every once in a while, we're blessed with experiences like that that just reassure us that we're doing good. We're doing the right thing. We're blessing the lives of others--even when we may not realize it!
We went to the temple for district meeting last week. Always a good experience. I counted--and that was my ninth time to visit the temple here in Finland. It's possible that I've been through the temple in Finnish as many times as I have in english. I don't know if I'm allowed to say this, but I like Finnish so much better. That is one thing that I know I will miss when i go home.
It's funny how it all works out. I really have come to love this cold land and this difficult language. I'm so grateful that God sees the big picture and knows what we need better than we do.
We have another exciting week ahead of us. I'm excited to continue to work hard till the end.
I love you all!