Cannot express how excited and grateful I am right now. We had such a wonderful week. Nothing like little joys as a missionary to make me feel like I'm in the clouds. Which is actually not quite so hard here in Finland. There are no mountains, so the clouds stay really close to the ground. Sometimes I feel like I could just reach up and touch them, have I ever mentioned that? Well, there you go. Learn something new every day.
Great P-Day. Unfortunately, we had a couple appointments fall through, but playing "Free Agency", our new favorite board game, really helped make up for it. At the end of the day, while we were riding home, I saw a man walking through the trees. He was on another road, so we would have to take the long way home to talk to him, but the Spirit told me to, so I did it. Turns out he was a Russian sailor whose ship was in port in Jakobstad for a few days. We talked with him about the Book of Mormon and he gave us his number so we could send it as a referral to Russia! Mini-miracle #1.
This was a really disappointing day. Not only did everything fall through, but it rained all day long and we were soaked. Plus, a couple of potentials we really thought were going to be miracle stories turned out to not really be ready. In the words of one, "Uskon, että mun tarvitse kypsyä vähän." (literally, I think I need to ripen a bit - HA!) However, that's why having a great companion is a tremendous blessing. We were happy the entire day. Miracle #2.
Weekly visit to "A" in Munsala. We had a great teach about the covenants she made at baptism and how it has blessed her life. We compared it to a yoke and how we pull the whole load on our own sometimes, but when we make this covenant, it makes a second slot in the yoke, so the Savior can stand by us and help us bear our burdens. It also anchors us to Him, because if we want His help, we have to stay inside the bounds of the yoke He fashioned for us. The Spirit really guided us in this lesson. Our branch president also pointed out that most of us consider a yoke a symbol of toil and bondage, when in fact, a yoke is a device that makes these burdens EASIER to bear. I really like that thought. Miracle #3. A's kids were also there. Miracle #4. They talk about me when I'm not there. Her three year old daughter's most recent comment was, apparently, "Hansen's a good eater. He's always hungry." Miracle #5.
We finally made contact with a potential who's been tough to track down for a while. Actually, we just talked with his girlfriend at the door, and she told us when he'd be there. Originally, she wasn't interested in us at all. She told us just to leave the first time we knocked on their door. But during this conversation, she was bright and happy, and seemed pleasantly surprised to see us. We chatted for a little while about her family and then set up an appointment to drop by on Saturday. Miracle #6. Later we stopped by a potential, that turned out to be a really good friend of the member we brought along! The member told us it completely made her day. We have an appointment with that same potential on this coming Friday. Definitely know what member we want to bring. This member has been back twice to visit her friend and talk with her about her initial questions. Miracles #7-9.
Taught our investigator with a baptismal date. We only had 30 mintues with him, because his brother was coming to help him with some work on his car. Our member had to ride her bike all the way from work, and we thought we might just have to start without her for the sake of time, but she arrived just in time for the opening prayer. Miracle #7. Although we only had a short time, we were able to reassess his commitment to investigating and baptism. It was a pretty rocky teach though. We ended abruptly, and got out with a return appointment. Consolation prize?/mini-miracle #10.
Taught the Miracle #6 couple from Thursday. Had a great appointment. The girlfriend, the one who was originally completely uninterested, sat enthralled through the entire lesson. When we talked about finding answers to prayers, she opened up and told us about when her mother had died, and how she turned to the Lord for help. She wanted to know if her mother was OK on the other side. She described the feelings that came over her in that moment, and we were able to testify that the was in fact an answer from a loving Heavenly Father. It was a sacred experience to witness and take part in. Unfortunately, these two are moving to Vaasa soon, but she gave us her number to pass along to the Vaasa Elders, so they will be taught again. I have great hope for them. Miracle #11.
This whole day was a miracle. Testimony meeting was great. We had dinner with a wonderful family and their less-active son who has now been to church two Sundays in a row. And we got to do some solid, nose-to-the-grindstone missionary work.
I love you all so much. Thank you for your prayers, emails, and letters. I love being able to feel of your strength. It lifts me every day. Miracle #12.