No, moi! [well, hi!]
Sorry about the crazy schedule today, we had a school presentation in the morning. That's right, I went back to high school. It was pretty fun, but I'm not sure if it's the most productive missionary work. Good experience.
So the BIG news first: we got change calls this week and I'm leaving. Major bummer. I'm so sad to leave this wonderful ward with all its amazing members, and to leave E. and her daughters behind. I've developed such a wonderful relationship with that family and I want to keep visiting them. They've literally been there my entire mission! We found E on the street my fifth day here and we've been to their house at least once a week ever since. I'm going to miss them so much! The upside of all of this is: I'm going to Pietarsaari! It's up north on the west coast, and literally more than half of the city speaks Swedish instead of Finnish. They actually have sacrament meeting in both languages, crazy right? I'm officially learning two proselyting languages now. Somewhere in one of the letters the mission sent to me before I reported, it mentions having my family join me in praying for the gift of tongues. I'd like to invoke that now. I'm really excited to learn Swedish, it's just going to be super hard to learn two languages at once. Luckily, my new companion, Elder L, is a native Swede, so I'm pretty sure we'll get along really well, he's a stud.
We tried something new in our lessons this week. There was an activity in one of the recent Liahona magazines that had a little trivia quiz game with random facts about all the presidents of the church. We turned it into a little card-matching game and it went great! Mom, if you can find it, it would probably make a really fun Primary activity. All of the cards we made had little pictures drawn on them as hints about the trivia item relating to that prophet. When Elder H finished drawing one of them, he shows it to me and asks, "what does this look like?" I saw a bunch of red splotches of differing sizes running do the card so I replied, "blood?" To which he yells, "dang it! It's supposed to be the Hawaiian Islands!" Great moment for our companionship.
P-Day. Hit up some great sales and got some nice new gloves and a hat for like 6 euros each. Came really close to buying a way awesome gray coat, but it was more expensive than I would've felt comfortable with and not incredibly warm, I just looked super good in it. (vain moment over). The bishop's eight year old daughter invited us over for a DA, and Piispa was more than happy to oblige. That family is so great. They all love the missionaries so much. Gonna miss this ward.
Every single appointment fell through, except for E in the evening. So basically, it was still a great day. Once during our companionship study, Elder H was having some trouble focusing. I can't remember how it went, but our conversation ended with him standing on his chair, brandishing his toy lightsaber and saying, "I get it. You think I'm childish, and I just can't take anything seriously!" And I just had to laugh. He's been such a great companion because he brings small moments like that all the time. Really helps me relax and avoid stressing too much.
Splits in Pori. Great DA with this woman who calls herself the missionaries' Finnish Grandma. She made this awesome blue cheese salmon. SOOOOO good. Have I mentioned I've started to really like blue cheese? Well, I have. Also, the Rauma/Pori elders have a small, hand-held GPS that they carry around with them. They've plugged in all of their investigators' and members' addresses, so they can plan better, and if things fall through they can use it to find someone else in the area quickly. So I'm definitely thinking about getting one of those. They're number one.
Bus home from Rauma to Turku, then straight onto another bus out to Salo to teach R, then back on the bus home again. Crazy day. But the teach went well and we had a DA with a young couple in our ward when we got home. They have a really small baby who was just yelling the entire time we were there, except when everyone was looking at her. It would have been annoying if she wasn't so cute. Also met a super cool Brazilian guy on the street, who speaks Finnish better than Portuguese. Crazy huh?
Weekly Planning. Took forever. All I wanted to do was go outside the whole time..... sitten lähetystyö [missionary work]
Jatkuva lähetystyö [more missionary work]
They asked me to bear my testimony in sacrament meeting. I wanted to do it because I was leaving, but I purposefully didn't mention that I was leaving, because it shouldn't be a big deal, I'm just another missionary, but then at the end of the meeting, the member of the bishopric who was conducting announced it to the entire congregation. Oh well. I didn't really feel to upset or embarrassed about it, though, until after the meeting was over and E turns to me and asks, "So when were you planning on telling us you were leaving?" Oops. Had my last teach with them, and everyone cried. We're talking Finns, here. They all talked about the things that they remembered learning from me. I cannot describe the feelings I have towards this wonderful, wonderful family. It was so hard to leave. I am here to serve the Lord, and I will go wherever He wants me to go, but I'll be honest, I'm praying for a chance to come back here, even if it's just for a day on splits or something. I also found out that they stalked my Facebook and have already added me as a friend, so I can't wait to accept that request in a year and a half.
Love you all so much. Thank you for your prayers. I pray for you all every morning and every night, and sometimes in between.