Monday, June 4, 2012

Week One of Training

Terveisiä kaikille, [Greetings to all]

So, week one of training has been a lot more than I could have expected. My new companion is Elder Jordan Oberhansley, the oldest of three boys, from Ashton, Idaho. He finished high school and worked for a while before leaving on his mission. This is his first experience living on his own, away from home, but despite a few moments of pure shell-shock and jet-lag, he's getting along about as well as could be expected for a new missionary. He only kinda blew up the living room. Kinda. No, really it was just a matter of picking the wrong adapter. There was only a small flash and the puff of smoke dissipated after a couple seconds, but we're still without any power in our living room. I'll keep you posted.

Training is awesome. All of a sudden, all my ideas are good and all my jokes are funny. But, in all seriousness, I love training so far. I love the feeling -- that I now finally fully understand -- of desiring someone else's success so much more than my own. As Lehi put it, "I have none other desire, save it be the everlasting welfare of your souls." As a trainer, my hope is that Elder Oberhansley becomes much better than I ever do, so that when I leave the mission, I know I'm leaving it going in the right direction, and that it will be in more confident, capable hands. Elder Oberhansley is well on his way. His Finnish is great coming right out of the MTC. Definitely above the average level of a missionary his age. Plus, he's just really easy to get along with. Doesn't require a lot and I don't always have to tell him what to do. He can think for himself and improvise when he needs to. I'm really looking forward to the next few changes.

The members always love having a new missionary come. Our Branch Mission Leader invited us over for dinner at their house Friday night and they had a great time introducing Elder Oberhansley to all their Finnish food. My favorite one to see new missionaries try is Piimä. It's like buttermilk. Really thick and very sour. The Finns like it, and drink it because it's really good for you, but I had one drink and refused to ever drink it again. I think Elder Oberhansley is with me on that one after his first taste. But, hey, at least the members got their laugh so it's all good.

Sunday was great, too. The members can't say Elder Oberhansley's name at all. They had him bear his testimony in sacrament meeting, and when the first counselor was announcing the program he said, in Finnish, "After the sacrament, we have asked our new missionary, whose name I absolutely cannot pronounce, to come up and introduce himself and bear his testimony, after which the time will be yours." These poor Finns.

On the investigator front, we actually had a bit of a disappointing week. We were dropped by two families and had to drop another investigator who would just continually miss appointments. I think Heavenly Father is just using it as a way to tell us, through these people, that there are more prepared people out there and we need to go find them. I trust that He will continue to work with these people, to prepare them to be baptized, but in His own way. We have other work to do, we just have to let Him help us find it.

A great ray of sunshine was cast on our week by A. yesterday. Despite all her troubles, she comes to church every week. Most amazing faith I've ever seen. She also brought her two small children, which doesn't always happen. I love those two. Her young son, just under 1.5, came up and gave my leg the biggest hug ever when he saw me. Made my heart melt until one of the members pointed out that he had left a giant drool-bomb on my pants. Great. But, oh well. It still made my day.

We leave today to head back down to Helsinki for mission conference. First mission conference in like four years in this mission, so it'll be awesome. President Kopischke, the Area President, is coming to speak to us on what might be his last mission tour before he is released and the new area presidency arrives. We're all very excited. I'll let you know how it goes.

Love you all,

Elder Hansen

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