We had a great week this week. Today is one of those days where i just have to sit here and wonder how I got so lucky to be here. The work is really moving forward in Pietarsaari, and in our whole district, actually. Kokkola had a baptism a few weeks ago, and now that man's wife is being baptized next week. Vaasa had a baptism last month and they have another one coming up soon, and we have two this Saturday. That couple I told you about -- "A" and "T" -- they are awesome. They announced their baptism in Sacrament meeting on Sunday and this whole branch is just thrilled. Almost everyone who bore testimony talked about how excited they were for them. Their best friend and neighbor, the one who introduced them to the missionaries, bore a really emotional and heartfelt testimony. so great. They got hugs all around after the meeting. We had to work with them to organize some things for the baptism, and they were so excited. "A" picked out the songs she wanted and they both want Elder L to baptize them. Please keep praying that everything works out. Gonna be a great day when they get baptized!
You all have been asking a lot about the area, so I should probably fill you in. Pietarsaari itself is a fairly small city, so our area is HUGE and very spread out. The only way to really cover our area is to get rides from members or to bike, so I'm going to be in great shape after a few changes here. The snow is everywhere, and the temperatures are a nice, chilly 27 degrees below zero [Celsius]. Yepp. I'm freezing. But, we're going to go finally buy me some winter boots, so hopefully I'll still have all my toes when I come home. The branch here is about fifty active members, which is smaller than Turku, but still big compared to other cities in Finland.
Also, my companion is a major stud. He says his mission has totally changed him and his entire outlook on life. He loves everything about missionary work and his attitude and energy are contagious. We have a lot of fun together while we work. He's also a serious athlete. Did I mention he used to play for Chelsea? Yes, the football club. Yeah that one in England. Crazy right? We went and played soccer last P-day and there were a couple of shots he took that I actually just let go. Didn't even try. He also makes me run in the morning, which I don't really like, but it's the only thing keeping him from going home to have knee surgery so I make the sacrifice for him. Those runs are killer when it's this cold out.
I think the greatest part of this area is the languages. This place is half Finnish and half Swedish, but a lot of people speak English too. We have an investigator who speaks French and Portuguese but nothing else, so we bring along a member who speaks Spanish so he can translate. We have a member here from Germany, who really helps out when we meet with our recent convert from Iraq who speaks German, in addition to Arabic, Curdish, and a little Finnish now. Top it off with a member from Vietnam and her boyfriend from China (they're just waiting for the right paperwork so they can get married and he can get baptized) and we have a pretty great selection. SO AWESOME. I've decided I want to learn more languages when I come home. German is really close to Swedish, I think I'll start there.
We were over at the Chinese/Vietnamese couple's place for dinner a few days ago, and he was taking a long time cooking in the kitchen. his girlfriend shouts to him, "hey, are you finished?" to which he responds, "no, I'm Chinese!" oops. haha
We had a wonderful zone conference up in Oulu this week. Really learned a lot and it's going to help our work go forward much faster.
Also, the highlight of this week: I ate moose!!! tasted way better than beef too.
Love you all very much. Thank you for all your prayers and support.