I have to say that this has been the most dramatic and craziest week of my entire mission by far. Sure, I have only been out for 5 months but hopefully it is the only time I have a week like this one! So this past Venz and so we had to do splits. I have to admit that I liked it because Sister Fronk knows this area of Espoo so she went on splits with Sister Venz and I was on splits with Sister West, which meant I got to just read my scriptures and keep her company. Not a bad job! :) But then Sister Venz and Sister Fronk came back and Sister Venz was upset because she wanted to be with her companion. Haha, long story short, more drama followed. Meanwhile, Sister West was feeling stressed because everyone was upset with each other. It was so bad! But luckily we were told to just return to our normal work and Sister Venz was able to pull everything together and get members to do splits with them for the last few days of the week! She is awesome that way! So everything ended up working out!morning Sister West had to be rushed to the hospital by the Elders Crofts and Kaaria at 3 in the morning. We ended up finding out the next morning that the couple missionaries were going to go to the hospital to watch over Sister West, while they figured out what was wrong, (One thing that we learned is that Finnish Hospitals are really laid back and take forever to get things figured out and taken care of.) Sister West's companion, Sister Venz, was going to be coming to be a third companion for the next couple of days. That started a pretty crazy because we had an investigator, Anna, coming to church for the first time, but we also had Sister Venz coming back from being at the hospital all night who was exhausted and needed someone to stay with her! So we made the decision that I was going to stay at the church on member splits, because as a Sister Training Leader Sister Fronk really needed to be with Sister Venz, but Sister Fronk also had to give a talk in Sacrament meeting! So we really had no idea what to do. Fortunately the elders didn't get back with Sister Venz until right after Sister Fronk's talk and so she basically just ran out the door right after giving it and left me with the members in the ward and Anna, who spoke only Finnish and I can't really speak Finnish and I didn't have anyone to help! Fortunately, Elder Waite could help out and it went really well and Anna loved being at church! After church Sister Fronk and Sister Venz had to walk to the church to pick me up and then we went back to the apartment and tried to start setting up member splits for the next week for members to come and watch Sister West, who did end up getting her appendix out, and to go out with Sister Venz. Talk about really hard! Anyway, the next day President Rawlings needed Sister Fronk to go to the hospital and be with Sister West while she recovered from her surgery. So I was with Sister Venz for our P-day. We were both a little frustrated because we didn't know why Sister Venz wasn't the one at the hospital with her companion, where she really wanted to be. In addition, we were planning on going to visit her but were told that we couldn't and that the zone leaders were going to go instead. That made both of us mad at the zone leaders and come to find out that just about everyone ended up mad at them! Haha, those poor zone leaders having to deal with all of us dramatic sisters!! Sister Fronk ended up being there all day and all night and most of the next day. Somehow they managed to break the hospital rules and have her spend the night there, which they don't normally allow. For the next couple of days we couldn't find members to be with Sister West and Sister
I'm Freezing Almost All the Time!
Finland is also starting to get so much colder! All of the rivers are starting to freeze over which is really cool to see but the sea hasn't frozen over yet. I am way excited to be able to see that! Apparently that becomes a Finnish past time where people are wanting to go out and walk on the frozen sea! I don't blame them, I think it is pretty cool! But really I am freezing almost all of the time. Which makes it so much harder to jaksaa (Finnish word that basically means 'to feel to' times 10) to go outside and work. This week was a really hard one for us because we ended up having to drop, or ended up being dropped, by more than half of our investigators that weren't really progressing so we are kinda having to restart and reopen our area. That is really hard when it is so cold outside and you don't want to be outside knocking on doors or contacting people on the street! It is really good motivation to find people to teach, though, so that we can be inside! :)
Glowing With the Light of the Gospel
We got to experience some really, really cool things this week too. We got to go to the temple with Hai to watch him do baptisms for the very first time! That was such an amazing experience! I love the temple here in Finland! I have been fortunate enough to have gone for myself 3 times already and to get to see Hai do baptisms and I get to go again next week! I have to admit that it is one of the prettiest temples that I have ever seen! The inside of it is so beautiful! Fun fact though: we were looking in the book Daughters in My Kingdom and the picture of the baptismal font in that book is of the Helsinki temple! How cool is that!? Anyway, it was so cool to see him to baptisms for the dead! Afterwards, he was just glowing! So even though he loves to argue with us and give us a hard time we know that he really does love this gospel and feels good because he was seriously glowing! Now I know what people mean when they say that they are just glowing with the light of the Gospel :)
If We But Ask Him
We also had two of our investigators come to church this past week! The Finnish girl, Anna, ended up coming to church again because she loves it and really enjoys learning about God and about the gospel! Its really funny because she is really busy so she cant meet during the week. I will admit that I never expected that I would have an investigator who would come to all three hours of church every week even though we can't seem to meet with for 30 minutes during the week! She is so amazing and she is going to come next week, plus she is coming to a family home evening that we are having tonight at the Hentunen's because she is friends with Roosa! We also talk to her about meeting outside of church and she really wants to but she can't until after her exams. After those are over she says that she wants to meet a lot so that she can learn! I am so grateful for prayer! It was through prayer that we were able to find her. We really wanted to find an investigator who was 17 and Finnish and who would want to learn and could be baptized and the Lord provided us with this investigator! It is amazing! The Lord has so many blessings that He is just waiting to give to us and all we need to do is just ask Him in faith and then He will give it to us! It doesn't always come in the exact way that you expect but He does pour out His blessings upon us if we but ask Him. :)
It Was Such a Good Sunday!
The other investigator who came is a guy from Ghana and he is just awesome! I think I talked about him a few weeks ago. He is great and it was so cool to see him at church (even though he could only come to the sacrament meeting) but he was loving it, and he brought his friend with him!!! Talk about having the missionary mindset! And now his friend is coming to the next lesson which is amazing! We are so excited about this investigator because he really knows the power of prayer and really knows how to pray and so if he just prays with real intent and really wants to know if this is the true church then there is nothing that is going to stop him! It was such a good! :)
Today has also been a really fun day! Not only did I finish the Book of Mormon this morning but we have already had a lunch appointment with some members! I know that both of those don' really go together but those are just two things that I thought were exciting. I love the members here! They are so sweet and so nice to us and I will admit that members really love sisters! I mean, don't tell the elders that (even though they already know) but they just love sisters and we are still kind of this novel thing! There weren't sisters in Espoo for a really long time (until this past year) and now there are 4 of us! But they are so nice to me and always comment on how my Finnish is getting so much better which makes be feel so good because I really don't think that my Finnish is very good at all, but it helps when members are encouraging you to speak it. I just love the members here in Espoo! I love Espoo! These members that we were with are so sweet and actually live right next to us and if they don't see us at least once a week they start wondering why we haven't stopped by, haha They also like to spoil us missionaries and so they take a set of missionaries out to this buffet for lunch once a month. They are so cute! Let's say that I never thought I would be eating pizza with a fork and a knife. In fact, I never thought that I would ever learn to eat with a fork and knife, haha! Americans just aren't very proper that way. Anyway, I just have to say that I love the members here and really I just love Finland. :)
Your Prayers Are Answered Everyday!
Also I love this gospel. I love seeing the many blessings and miracles each and everyday as people learn and grow in the Church. The Church is true and the Book of Mormon is true and I am so grateful that I have it in my life. I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I am eternally grateful for His atonement. I am not the perfect missionary. In fact, I am far far from it, but I am so grateful that through the atonement I can become better and stronger and happier! I love each and every one of you! Thank you for all of your love, support, and prayers in behalf of me and the people of Finland! I promise that they are answered everyday! I love you!