Well, for the last time: Terve!
I'm still in denial about this all. I can't believe I'm going home. I am so incredibly sad to be leaving this beautiful land and all of the beautiful people here. My mission has really come to mean so much to me. My life would be so empty without this.
What else can I possibly say? Words don't do any of this justice. How could I possibly hope to give justice to all of the tears shed, the miracles witnessed, the laughs, the lives touched, the people who have influenced me, the frustrating moments, the humbling moments, the moments that have drawn me to my knees, the moments that have cause me to rejoice, the lessons learned. I think I've caught just a taste of how the sons of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon felt. And I think I can honestly say that I am a different person now than I was 18 months ago.
This past week was a good way to go out. I was still sick at the beginning of the week. The test results came back from the doctor-- I didn't have strep, but I still felt awful, so the doctor said that I probably had a virus. I asked if there was anything I could do about it. She replied that no, not really, except wait... Frustrating, but I guess I've learned a thing or two in 18 months, cause I was able to have the entire conversation in Finnish.
Well, now that I've learned the language, I'm going home!
This entire change has been kind of slow and disappointing, but we were miraculously able to reach our goal of 20 teaches this week--the first time all change! It was amazing cause I could really see the Lord's hand in how it all played out. The week went really well.
We went to Zone Leader Council at the end of the week--as is usually custom for the oldest sister in the missoin to attend just before she goes home. It was really great. We went to the temple in the morning--it was Russian week at the temple--so it was really neat to see all of the Russian saints there--most of whom I couldn't even hope to communicate with, but it just made me so grateful for the gospel that unites us all! And when else will I be able to go through the temple in Russian? Probably not ever. The meeting afterwards went well. I was put on the spot a couple of times-- once to sing an impromptu duet with one of the other elders there-- and then I was asked to "share a few words" at the very end. I smiled and asked President Rawlings "a few words... about whatever I want?" He smiled and said "as the spirit directs." I paused for a moment and then started to tell everyone in the room how incredibly jealous I was of them all that they all get to stay here in Finland. As excited as I am for the next chapter of my life, my mission is an experience that I'm never going to get back. I know that I have a lifetime of discipleship to look forward to, but it's going to be different. So what you said is so right, mom and dad. Missions are so unique. I've never learned so much, never grown so much, never laughed so much and certainly never loved this much.
But, I don't cry because it's over.
I smile because it happened :)
I love you all, and I promise that I'm excited to see you, even though I'm really sad to be leaving :)
One of my favorite members in Tampere.
from the Espoo District