Monday, September 17, 2012

Bikes and UFOs

Hey everybody,

This was one of the most fulfilling weeks of my mission. We had some wonderful, happy experiences, learned a ton, and are really happy about where the work is going in Pietarsaari right now. The week started off with a really full P-Day - had to get Elder Oberhansley his bike that got left behind when he was transferred. Remarkably efficient. Just dropped it off at the bus station, filled out a form and we were gone. Ran straight from that to a meeting with our Branch Mission Leader. We had such a great talk. We went through thw whole ward list and talked about all the people we could be doing more for. Also talked about more ways to get people excited about doing member missionary work. Looks like we're going to be teaching priesthood in a few weeks. Hope I'm still here!

Monday night with M and N was one of the happiest lessons we've had with them. Usually they are pretty quiet, but this time we found the right lane to run down (talking about their children and blessings for families) and the change was indescribable. They brought up a lot of their questions and concerns that had remained dormant for this whole time, and we really helped them see how Mormons are normal people too. Yes, we still have Christmas and Easter and birthdays. They may or may not have asked about UFOs and the member who taught with us may or may not have given them a less-than-Preach-My-Gospel-type answer, but that's ok because the Spirit was there, and it covered for my mistakes in teaching.

We've also started meeting with an older man, E, whom Elder Dastrup and I found together all the way back in April. He's a really nice man who has been through a lot of hard tragedies in his life, but has remained humble because of it. He just sincerely wants to learn more about Heavenly Father and the plan for his life. He tends to tell a LOT of stories from his life in our lessons, making it tough to actually teach, but he's a nice man and he's teaching me patience. In one of our lessons, we just read from the Book of Mormon with him, and something changed. He was quiet. He listened when we taught, and had perfect answers to our questions. The Book of Mormon really is a pure channel for the Spirit to use. He was great at our ward harvest festival on Saturday, too. We showed up to bike with him there (did I mention he rides a sweet tandem?), and he had on a sweet blue suit, bright yellow shirt, and purple tie. This guy is just golden. He also mentioned how, since he started meeting with us, he hasn't felt as tired and doesn't feel as much of a need for his allergy medication anymore! Love seeing miracles that come from the Spirit.

Speaking of miracles, the Lord really worked one through us with K, the wheel-chair man. He was sick, and decided to try "our way" as he called it. We gave him a blessing through the priesthood and a few days later he told us, "I feel like a whole new person." He's such a great man, but unfortunately we're worried that he's starting to feel this is true, and doesn't want it to be, because he's been hard to get ahold of for a few days. He also doesn't know my name, have I mentioned that? He just calls me Äldste Broder (the big brother) and Elder Kääriä is the little brother.

He's not the only one to forget my name this week, though. Our Elders Quorum President forgot it in priesthood meeting. Good humbling experience. Look, they only like you because you have a nametag that says, "Elder". As Elder Uchtdorf said, "They will love you...but don't you ever inhale it."

Gotta go. Have a good week.


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