My birthday's coming up (just to be that one guy that always talks about when his birthday is).
Funny thing about missionary work, when I finally have time to sit back and think, I have trouble remembering what happened five minutes ago. Thank goodness I'm keeping a journal. Although I do admit, I've been a little lazy lately. But, I'm coming at you from Helsinki, in the mission office again on Monday. Last night we had to deliver a few things that we had borrowed, so we decided to just come over to the AP's place after it wasn't efficient to teach anymore, which meant we couldn't make it home on time if we were to leave....so long story short, we played sähly again this morning!
This past week has been so close to miraculous. I know we pulled off a few miracles, and I'm so grateful for those, but so many other things fell just short. Like Monday, we had a lesson set up with a young couple. We were so stoked! This was exactly just the type of couple we love to find. Exactly the kind we need in the church. As we talked, we hit it off well right away. We had a wonderful time talking with them about their families and their young son (only three months old with REALLY big eyes that kept going all over the room). Everything was perfect. He talked about how he hadn't ever found a church he really liked, and she was talking about how her faith in her church had waned a little bit recently (homosexual priests, priests that reject the Bible as "holy writ," etc.) They seemed so interested to read and come to church. But...at the end of the lesson, they decided that they didn't necessarily need to meet with us again. I was so crushed. But, Elder Clegg made a really good point. Maybe now isn't quite the time. But they know where the church is and what we believe. They have a Book of Mormon. And when they want to know more, they'll come find it. People have been doing that all over Finland lately.
Most of our other lessons canceled this week, and it's just going to get harder and harder each week as we get through the holiday season. But, on the upside, we already have places to go on Christmas Eve and Christmas. I'm going to try to set up a place to Skype on Christmas this week and let you know by next Monday what the plan is.
Another on the list of miracles that weren't, we got to give a church tour to one of our investigators...in the comfort of her own home! She's a wonderful, loud, fun-loving African lady, but she just didn't want to leave her house to come to the church for a tour. So, we went to the church, snapped a few quick photos, and took it over to their place. We got to talk to her about what goes on at church (something we've done a lot with her, but never felt like it was actually effective) while she could actually see what it would look like right on her own TV! We had a blast with it, but unfortunately, she still didn't come to church. Even when we offered for her to come at 2:00 instead of 10:00 in the morning if that would be easier. Come on!
On the other hand, one of my favorite moments of this week took about five seconds. We were out in Lohja, a small city pretty far away from Espoo, and we drove past the street of a less-active woman we've been meeting with for a few weeks. This past week, after getting back from a weekend trip with her husband, she sent us a text saying that she really just couldn't do anything anymore. She asked us just to pray for her, but she didn't think she was up to meeting with us. But, as we drove past, the thought came to go visit her. We had already planned to go visit later in the day, so I just tucked it away. But the thought came again. Go visit her. The teenage moron inside me answered, Yeah, I already said I would. Then Elder Clegg says, "Hey, let's go say hi!" So we did. We dropped off some pulla and said hello. I've never seen her face brighten up so much. I honestly don't have words to describe the joy on her face from the smallest gesture. Great day.
The simple hazards of missionary life still persist. Saturday, as we were eating lunch with a recent convert, a small chunk of potato from my stew tipped off the end of my fork and dropped straight into the bright red berries on my plate. Splat. Red juice now all over my tie and shirt. Looked a little like I just got shot, to be honest. Thankfully, our elder's quorum president was with us at the appointment, so he taught me a new trick for stains: baking soda and water. Worked great. Plus, since I got to exchange my shirt and tie for Elder Clegg's sweater for the rest of the appointment. Now, I love being a missionary, but not having the tie on for an hour or two felt pretty nice....(that's one of the few trunky thoughts that's gone through my head lately. One of the casualties of killing a third companion in a row).
I love Sunday. One of my favorite days of the week, every week. This week one of the young men was messing with his younger sister, trying to shove her into closets and classrooms to "get rid of her" (it was all in good fun, I swear). After one of his failed attempts she walked past me and I gave him a high five, pretending to think that she wouldn't see. She pretended to get in a huff and stormed off. Reminded me a lot of a good friend of mine actually. I love these wards. One of the major upsides of always sending my companions home is that I'm always sure of staying :). Hoping to have a few more investigators who work up the courage to come to church and experience it for themselves.
Have a great week!