Monday, July 30, 2012

Bike adventures and Mummos

Hey everybody,

We did so much this week and I'm not even sure where to start.

Went out to eat for the first time in a while. Elder Oberhansley wanted McDonald's. Mom, you'll be happy to hear this, but after not having had anything like that for so long, I felt sick afterwards. I'm not sure I can ever go back to American fast food. Weird. 
We taught Kevin the Plan of Salvation. It's so strange to teach someone with absolutely no background in anything we're saying, but the childlike innocence and purity to accept it all as truth. It's incredible. He just loves it all. The gospel is already starting to change his life and he's only been learning about it for a week. 
Closed off the day with one of the dumbest things we've ever done. Riding back home, we decided that because Elder Oberhansley bought a new bike and was no longer riding Linden's contraption, we could try driving each others' bikes again. Yeah, didn't go so great. Elder Oberhansley fell behind, slipped off my handlebars, his front wheel shot to 90 degrees and he had to stomp his feet down hard to stop himself from going head over handlebars and faceplanting. I don't know why they made me a trainer. sheesh.

We had the wonderful opportunity to visit a less-active man this week, who has remained less-active most of his life. We've been meeting with him regularly, but during the lessons he seems to just stay aloof and let his wife answer all the questions. So we tried just reading something from the Book of Mormon with them to at least get him to listen to the Book of Mormon if he won't read it himself. All these visits have had moderate amounts of success. They have at least built up a loving relationship. I know so much better how to love someone after having prayed over what to teach this man so many times. This last visit, he mentioned that he had been at the doctor the previous day for a check up and that he wasn't feeling too well. Before we left, we gave him a blessing. It left a wonderful spirit in the home and was a great way to feel like we were really ministering to this man and his needs.

Kevin made our day again. We talked with him about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and when we drew it out as stairs for him, he looked at it and said, "Hmmm...I guess I'm here at faith right now, and I need to learn so I can repent and then I'll be ready to be baptized." I can't believe this guy. I mean, seriously.

Missionary Work. While out contacting, we stopped and chatted with an old woman that I actually have gotten to know pretty well from being her neighbor for so long. As we were parting ways she said, "oh you boys look so handsome, I bet all the girls just fall down in front of you." I love Mummos. If I'm ever having a bad day, I just need to find the nearest Mummo and talk with her for a while. It's just like talking to grandma.

Everything got crazy on Friday. We started off with a teach bailing, actually ended up dropping that investigator because he just can't ever find time for us and doesn't let us know that he's canceling lessons. It's always such a sad experience. Then off to another appointment with an awesome 91 year old member. As we're getting to that appointment, our next appointment calls to tell us he needs to push things back an hour, so we finish our first appointment, book it back home for lunch, and then ride all the way back out to him. I'm just glad our member could still make it along despite the abrupt time change. That lesson went really well, we talked really intensely about baptism and he committed to read and pray to know if the Book of Mormon was true. Our member even had tears in his eyes as he bore his testimony. The only problem was it went long, so we had to rush to our next appointment and in the space of about three minutes our member who was going to come along bailed and Kevin called to tell us he was actually not home, he was at the library. So we raced over there and taught him. I love mission life. Nothing ever goes as planned.

Hottest day I've had so far in Finland. And, of course, it was the day we planned a 30 km round trip bike ride to contact a referral. It actually ended up being really fun, and a really beautiful ride. The referral wasn't interested, so we got to take lunch near (not on) the beach, and do some work in the area. On the way back home we stopped and visited a less-active family and they gave us some strawberries and ice cream while we visited. Great day.

Probably the biggest highlight of this week was the surprise visitor we had in church with us. He's not an investigator, but we've spoken to him a number of times on the street and had what we might call almost discussions with him, but he always declines our visit. We still at least remember to invite him to church. This week he came! We were walking to the chapel, and saw him walking about ten meters behind us. I walked back and talked to him, and we walked the rest of the way to church together, then I translated for him in church. As he was leaving, he mentioned that we might be able to come over and visit his family this week!

What am I going to do with myself when the day comes where I go to church and just sit there? No translating, no speaking, no blessing the sacrament (I got to do all three again this week) and no rotating constantly between three languages, sometimes in the same conversation. I never want to leave Jakobstad.

I do kinda need to leave the library now though, because my companion is done. Peace.


Elder Hansen

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