March has been declared the month of gratitude in this mission, and I want to continue that by thanking you all for your wonderful emails (and to any of you who read the blog for your wonderful letters). They have a wonderful way of lifting me up. I love you all.
This week was a pretty long one. I'm going to be very honest and say that it was one of those weeks where I had to simply put my nose to the grindstone and keep pressing forward. But I think it's in those situations we learn the most about ourselves. I learned so much about faith and patience this week. I've always wondered what role faith truly plays in times of trial. I've been thinking a lot recently about how I can change, how I can be better. And the things we've had to go through this week really have transformed me. Seriously, we've been biking so much I think my thighs have turned into the Hulk's. They're going to bust through my AMERICAN pants soon. haha
Here's the rundown:
Met and taught a man whose wife is a member. He's been taught by missionaries many times before, but this time, it sounds like it might be different. He compared himself to a ship and talked about how hard the man at the helm has to turn the wheel to get the ship to turn. He said "I think I'm just a really, really big ship." So, we'll see what happens. We told him that baptism is NOT our goal for him. What? weird right? Well, yeah. The TEMPLE is our goal for him, not baptism. Baptism is just a step. That really seemed to make him think.
We had a bit of a crisis. Our teach with A and T didn't really go as planned, we ended up just showing A "The Testaments." I love that movie. Dad, do you remember when we watched it on Temple Square and then ran bawling all the way to the Conference Center so we weren't late for general conference? gosh we're so weird.
Had a bit of a scattered day, really hard to find people to teach. Called everyone we could think of, but it just ended up being one of those days.
Zone leaders came down from Oulu for splits. Had a great time and did some great work. I love working with older missionaries because I learn so much every time. This time the missionary I was working with told me, "Do what works for you. Just because other missionaries do something and it works, you shouldn't feel obligated to switch to their method." I thought that was pretty good advice, and there's probably an eternal principle in there, but I want you all to find it for yourselves, because it's supposed to be your way!
Packed day. Got to visit a less-active, which Elder L tells me never happens here because they just don't want to be contacted, and our message went really well. Then it was a long bike ride to Larsmo for a dinner appointment. Great time there. Some members from Turku were visiting, a young family I was actually pretty close with, so it was great to see them. They were shocked when they heard me speak Swedish. yes, I felt slightly vain in that moment.
Then biked back to Pietarsaari for sählyä (floor ball) with some members, less actives, and their friends. It was a great activity, and we had a ton of fun, but we're not sure how effective it will actually be as a missionary opportunity, so we might only go one more time.
In other news, one of the Bulgarian couples had a new baby this week, a boy. It meant we couldn't really meet them at all, but hey, we support families here. Hopefully we can meet the new one this week.
That's all I can think of for now. Love you all.