I love the MTC!! In some ways, I want to stay here the rest of my life and just study the gospel. There are times when I sit down to write a thought in my study journal, and three or four pages later I have a short discourse written. It's awesome, the Spirit is so clear here. Like the other night, I was sitting with Elder Hoggard in the Omaha elders' room and all of a sudden I got a feeling to get up and walk out into the hall. It was really strong too, so I decided this must be important, I need to go now. So I left. Right when I walked out, the new Mongolian elders all ran up to me and asked some questions about the Sunday schedule for mission conference. Simple questions, simple answers. All in all, not an extremely interesting event, so why was the prompting so strong? I realized later that it wasn't stronger, it was clearer. The absence of any distractions here in the MTC makes the Spirit so much easier to feel and understand.
This week Elder Hoggard and I taught our best lesson ever together. I feel like I say that every week, but I guess that's a good thing because it means I'm getting better right? Anyway, so we asked "Mikko" to read a scripture and while he was reading, he got really excited, like something he read had actually hit him (which is rare when they're pretending to be Finns, because Finns don't really show emotion). After the lesson, Veli Mock called us back in and talked to us about what that scripture had taught him personally, not just our "investigator." I know that wasn't us, that was the Pyhä Henki, but it still meant a lot to know that the Spirit was there while we taught.
We learned a ton of Finnish this week. A TON! Kind of like trying to drink water from a firehose. But it was good, I think I got most of it. The hardest part is trying to apply and use what we learn outside of a religious context. I have three days a week where I only speak Finnish (as in nolla englantia) which is really hard to do when my vocab is so limited, but I can hear my Finnish improving over the course of those days. It's wonderful.
Our "Old Finns" (the district ahead of us) left for Finland this past Monday. We already miss them like crazy. It's sad being the only Finnish district in the MTC.
Shout out. Happy Birthday to the best older brother ever, Elder Erik Hansen, who is currently tearing it up in Denmark.
Mom, I get to see the Omaha missionaries outside of class because they're in my zone. We don't have enough Finnish and Estonian missionaries to merit a whole branch, but we're so grateful to have all these English missionaries that rotate through our zone every three weeks. They're all awesome and we wish them the best. Also, I've been meaning to tell you, but I have a random, "it's a small world after all" type of connection. Turns out that one of the Finnish missionaries ahead of us Sisar Shaw, was roommates with Claire Aldous at BYU. Cool, huh?
I love you family, you are the best. I love reading all of your letters. Don't ever let anything discourage you. And that goes for any of you who read this email. Don't ever let anyone or anything get you down. Always rely on the Savior. Think about him every day.
All my love,
Elder Christen McKay Hansen