This week started with a district meeting in Kokkola. The Zone Leaders were there, and their message centered on the relationship between our desires and our faith. When we really desire something, we will sacrifice to receive it. And when our desires align with our faith, which must, by definition, be trusting in the Lord, His will and timing, then miracles occur. That was what we saw this week.
District meeting in Kokkola, which also meant a road trip with Vaasa there and back. Being around other missionaries is just way too much fun. Unfortunately, the meeting resulted in a little bit of stress, so we had to speed a little bit on the way back to Pietarsaari and alter the time of our appointment. Also, after all that stress, it turned out that they had some service we had previously agreed to do as part of the appointment that took longer than it was supposed to, but they were so grateful for all our help that they gave us ice cream while we shared a spiritual thought and invited us over for dinner later in the week. I stress too much over nothing sometimes. You'd think once in a while I'd learn that Heavenly Father has things under control.
P-Day, since the meeting took over most of our time on Monday. In the evening we taught Kevin again, and it went great. He's really doing well on progressing towards baptism, although we're still trying to make sure he's really understanding everything we're saying. We have to learn to be really patient. But really, it's just that the world he comes from is so radically different from ours. We showed him a picture of Christ with the twelve in this lesson, and his only comment was about the donkey in the corner of the page, "I used to have one of those." Really eye-opening experience for me.
That night, we had a lesson scheduled with a family we were very excited about, but when we showed up, the wife told us that she didn't think it was a good idea for us to meet, and that if she would have been here when her husband had set the appointment, she most likely would have said no. We were so disappointed. We had had all these dreams about how great it was going to be with this family, but that's life sometimes (and with missionaries A LOT of the time). So we just picked up and moved on to the next area we had felt right about. Lo and behold, a man lets us in. He tells us all about his struggles with life and how he really just wants to find some answers. His name is M, and he's one of our new best friends here.
We met with an older man named O, who has dealt with a lot of hardship and suffering in his life, and has really hardened his heart to God. He has a lot of bitterness towards God, but at least he's friendly to us. When I asked him what kinds of thinks he was hoping to gain out if us teaching him, he responded by saying that he really just likes to listen, plus he has a few Pentecostal neighbors who don't like that he's been talking to us, so he's partially doing it just to upset them. Hahaha. I love grumpy old Finnish men.
Back to back dinner appointments left Elder Oberhansley feeling like he was going to explode. Poor guy. The food was really good though. I even got him to eat salad (he hates vegetables). Taught Kevin again in the evening and it was great as always. Out of nowhere in the middle of the lesson, a cat jumped out of his sheets and made a dash for the window, causing Kevin to have to grab it by the tail and haul it back inside. We didn't even know he had a cat! Definitely one of the strangest things to have happened to me in a lesson.
M invited his wife to join in on this discussion! Unfortunately, she had to leave for work before it was over, but we've arranged it now so that that hoopefully won't have to happen again. She's as cool as he is. They're both just very humble people, and very nice.
Earlier in the day, we met K, the handicapped man. It turned into a really long, not very productive discussion, leaving poor Elder Oberhansley with only two options: try to listen and understand Swedish, or try not to watch the Olympics that were playing (muted) on the TV. He didn't succeed very well at either. But, hey, at least he didn't sleep.
Kevin missed church, so we went over to see him afterwards. Turns out he just overslept and was too scared to come late to church. I think it really touched him that we came by. We got to have a great discussion with him. Also got to have some great visits with members to cap off one of the busiest weeks of my entire mission.
Love you all,