Hyvää Päivää! [Happy Day!?!?]
Miten menee? [How's it going?]
First of all, Erik. Welcome home. Congratulations on completing one of the greatest achievements anyone, in any part of the world or in any period of history, has ever completed. Such is the magnitude of an honorable, full time mission. You've been a phenomenal example of magnifying your call and giving your whole heart and soul to the Lord. I will continue to draw on the power of that example the rest of my mission. Thank you, brother. I love you.
Mom, still no luck with that family you mentioned in your email. We have three potential families we've been trying to meet with for a while now, though, so we'll see. Also, turns out that family was the referral, we just didn't realize it at the time, so hopefully it was a sign and it all works out.
Well, the biggest news for this week is that I got my very first "change call" from President. I'm staying in Turku, at least for one more transfer and Elder H will be joining me. He's been out close to a year and I'm really excited to work with him. I actually met him once when we were in Helsinki together for a day, and I know we'll get along really well. The flip-side of this is that means Elder C is going home. I can't believe it. I'm going to have to learn how to do missionary work without him. It's going to be hard. He's one of the best there ever was. We've worked hard together and seen miracles as a result. I've loved every second of working with him and I'm going to miss him a lot. We go to Helsinki tomorrow morning, where he'll stay for a couple of days before flying home on Thursday. Tuesday night I'll be back in Turku with Elder H and we'll get right back to business.
Not as much to report on this week as there has been in weeks past, but it was a decent week.
Tried to go to the art museum, but found out it's closed on Mondays. Bummer. So P-Day wasn't quite as good as we'd hoped. We did find some awesome muffins at a little bakery in the mall though. We had a DA, which turned into a little bit of a hassle because the father wasn't home so we had to go back out, but it was a holiday in Finland so we couldn't tract. We had to just go contact and there was no one out at all....It's ok, though, had a good chance to just talk with Elder C.
Not much happened. We had a really spiritual teach with one investigator, but she just can't decide that this is something she wants to do, so we can't keep teaching her anymore.
Practiced some orienteering with Elder C. We were heading to an appointment, and the bus dropped us off right in front of...nothing. Just a big empty field with some light snow and one strange, unofficial path running zig-zag through it. We didn't really have another option, so we just started walking though the field, up the hill, and over to where some kerrostalos [apartment buildings] were. We were all ready with the map book to figure out where to go next, when instead we just looked to the right and discovered that this was the building we were looking for! Things just kinda seem to work out for us like that. The really fun part was running back down that hill in the rain to catch the bus to our next appointment. We were slipping everywhere. So much fun. By the way, those Cole Haan shoes I've had for a couple years now, yeah they don't have any grip on the bottom at all. They're gonna have to be mostly summer shoes.
Got to meet with M and her family tonight, too. Her youngest daughter's new favorite word is my last name. She says it all the time, just randomly, whenever she wants. She has way too much energy and loves to dominate our teaches by shouting out random things (esp. my name), but we love her to death anyway.
Kieli Koulu [language school] in Helsinki again. The last time I'll be making that trip with Elder C. It was fun though. I got to see my "baby Finns" (the district right behind me), whom I hadn't seen since the MTC. They're all doing great, they make my language skills look pretty pathetic, the punks. Road tripped back to Turku with the Rauma elders. I really like those guys. It was a fun car ride.
We had our ward Christmas party and one of our investigators came! She had told us the day before that she was sick, and didn't think she could come, but then called us back and said that if we could find her a ride, she'd come. Our members pulled through and got her a ride. It was great for her to be there. She said we can start teaching her again too, which is awesome. Her family really doesn't like the church and even though she's 65, her 90-something year old father still has the power to tell her what to do with her life. So we have to hope that she'll have enough courage to do what's right, and hopefully we can find her some really supportive friends at church. We (the Sisar lähetysaarnaajat ja meitä) [the Sister missionaries and us] sang a song as part of the program and I actually managed to sing a part. Pretty crazy right?
Splits in Rauma. Good work.
We had a teach booked pretty tight after a DA, and we were in such a hurry that I didn't check the phone to find out the teach had cancelled until we were already in his building. Yeah, nice work greenie. We decided to stick around and tract his building anyway, and while doing so, he came home! He was really confused about why were there, but he let us in and we got to teach him and set another appointment. He has a lot of trouble believing in God when he can't see him, and really wants some kind of sign, but he at least seems sincere so hopefully we can help him find what he's looking for.
Well....yepp that's about it. Talk to you all next week I guess. Take care of yourselves and enjoy your break. Maybe do some missionary work. People here are getting way too busy around Christmas time when the whole point is to do the opposite. Funny how the world works.
Love you all,