What I said up there, in missionary slang that only those who are as weird as I am can understand is "congratulations to everyone." Happy Birthday to Reese, Happy Father's Day and early birthday to Dad, and happy engagement to Erik. Hoorah. And congratulations to Maren and Mom for just being the wonderful women that they are.
This week was a bit of a rough one to be perfectly honest. Elder Oberhansley and I feel a bit like we've been hit by a train after this week. Most of our frustrations have come from the fact that so many people are traveling or otherwise occupied during the Summer in Finland that they find less and less time to meet with us. But that's not something we can control, so it's really not worth worrying about. That's one thing I can put on my list of things my mission has taught me: how to stop worrying about things that are outside of my control. When a door closes, find a window. The only problem is when you're in a room with no windows. Then I guess you just have to pray. We're pretty good at that out here, too.
Despite a lot of disappointment, though, this week was still one full of joy. Elder Oberhansley has a lot to do with that. He knows all the TV shows and movies I do, so we do a lot of quoting movies back and forth. It's just like a little taste of dinner time at home. I can just picture Dad sitting on the side of the table with that puzzled look on his face, trying to figure out how in the world we just had a complete conversation using short, memorized bits of The Office, The Princess Bride, and Community. Yeah, we're keeping each other's spirits pretty high.
We also got to make a trip out to Munsala this week. Finally! It was so great to go see "A". "T" wasn't home, and we're pretty sure it was because we were coming. He could really use some prayers right now. "A" has received all the new member lessons, so she'll now start preparing for the temple. When I asked her how she felt about it, she just said, "I feel like I have a lot of work to do." She's a champ. Never have I seen so great faith, nay, not amongst all the (insert anyone else's name here)-ites. The kids were crazy, as usual. They've gotten more crazy since they've known me for so long and aren't shy around me anymore.
Vaasa came to visit for splits this week. They brought a volleyball with them, so for exercise in the morning, we ran down to the sand courts not too far from the apartment and played for about an hour. We spent more time swatting mosquitoes than the volleyball, but it was still really fun. That day was a really spiritual one for me in terms of the work, too. We have set a vision for the type of people we want to find in our area, and so now we spend all of our time in areas and activities that will help us find those people. It seems like common sense, but it was a bit of a revelation for me. It really gave our work more purpose and energy, and I really felt better the whole day.
President Rawlings came to do a presentation on the Prophet Joseph Smith for our branch Sunday evening. We had a great turnout. Unfortunately, Elder O and I got to see just how great of a turnout all at once. We got there early so we could be there to help set up and were just sitting and waiting for everyone else to come. It seemed strange that no one else was there so close to the time the meeting was to start, until we heard banging on the door and realized that, when we had come in, it probably would have been a smart idea to unlock the doors so that others might also come in. Oops. Felt pretty dumb as I was just sitting there while our Mission President, his wife, our Branch President and half the branch had been sitting outside waiting for us. The presentation was amazing. He went through all of the things Joseph Smith accomplished in just the 16 years he led the church before he was martyred. Truly, he has done more save Jesus only for the salvation of men in this world than any other man who ever lived. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to share what I know with others. And I'm so grateful that I get to have so much dang fun doing it.
I love you all,