How's everyone doing? Good to know everyone is still alive after mom and dad were gone for a few days.
We had a really crazy week this week - biking everywhere! Combine that with running every morning now and 400 sit ups before breakfast and I'm pretty sure I'm in the best shape of my life at the moment.
So, right now we're facing the one downside of baptizing people...you no longer get to count them as investigators. We had a really hard time finding anyone to teach this week, even after deciding to get out of Pietarsaari completely and work an afternoon in a town called Nykarleby. Really nice small town, but not all that different from any other part of Finland, to be honest. Still, we did get to have some really powerful experiences with the Spirit this week.
On Wednesday we went to visit a little girl in our branch who was sick in the hospital. We planned on going to give her a blessing because she apparently had just been feverish and completely without strength or energy for the past couple of days. Right when we walked in, though, she brightened up. She spent the next 20 minutes flirting with Elder L (she has a major crush on him) while we shared a short message with her mom, who looked super exhausted. It just felt good to make someone's day a little better. Later in the week I had the opportunity to give a blessing to the mom. I love the feeling I get when I use the priesthood. Or rather, the feeling I get when the power of the priesthood works through me, especially when giving blessings to those in need. I feel so much like a true instrument in the hands of the Lord in those moments.
I got a similar feeling when I got to bless the sacrament on Sunday. I was so rusty! It was weird to think how long it had been since I had blessed the sacrament, after doing it almost every week for like a year. Another wonderful opportunity to exercise the priesthood. I hope the youth in our ward understand what they do when they administer in the ordinance of the sacrament. Not in some cheesy, super sensitive way, but honestly, sincerely understand the power they hold and take joy in doing that work.
Well, it finally happened. I don't know that I really expected to go a whole winter without slipping on a bike, but I hoped I would make it a little longer. Elder L loves to tease me about being this "American who doesn't know how to ride a bike because we all get cars when we're 16." I always just reference Lance Armstrong and he gets quiet. What happened was we were riding and the road started to curve just as we hit a patch of ice with the wind at our backs so the wind took my back wheel out from under me on the ice and I fell. Sort of a perfect storm senario. Elder L almost fell but his bike is smaller so he just shot his foot down in time to catch himself. I, on the other hand, fell flat on my side with the bike on top of me. Really, it was more embarrassing than painful. Small wound to my pride.
Last night we had dinner with a couple in our ward that are two of the funniest people I've ever met. he's Chinese and she's Vietnamese, and since they don't speak each other's languages they speak English to each other. They both speak great English, but their accents are so fun to listen to. I'll have to tell you more the next time you can all actually hear me, because I can't really do it justice in an email. Anyway, they always make us tons of food and last night it was octopus stir-fry on fried noodles. BOMB.com They always joke about him getting fat because he eats too much. I would think it's a little rude, because he's actually getting a little bit bigger, but on the other hand his nickname for her is "Hippo" so I guess that's just how they work. So funny. Definitely the type of relationship I want to have someday. not that I think about that stuff right now.
Well family, I love you all. Say hi to everyone from me.