We had a great week this week. Unfortunately, I can't tell you much about Espoo, because I wasn't there for most of this week! Monday was great, we had a really interesting lesson with a woman we've just started teaching recently. She has been taught a lot previously, and she had a lot of deep questions about ordinances and covenants. She brought up an interesting thought - if someone has been sealed to another person in the temple, how can anyone on earth break that sealing? I brought up the scripture in Matthew when Christ gave Peter the power to loose on earth and in heaven, but that didn't seem to answer her question. So, we decided to go back later in the week after we had studied more about it. She at least still agreed to come to church the following week. But, we had to drive to Marjaniemi (east Helsinki) to sleep in the assistants' apartment overnight for companion exchanges on Tuesday. So, we stopped by President Rawlings' house on the way over there to drop something off, and while we were there, we posed the same question as him. He immediately brought up the same scripture we had used, but when we mentioned that she hadn't understood that, he took us to scripture after scripture that explained how ordinances and covenants work and when they become valid. Now, part of it is just the dorky missionary side of me right now, but I loved that. And, of course, the answer is always more simple than we want to think it is.
Played sähly with the assistants and the Marjaniemi sister missionaries for exercise in the morning. The APs play two or three times a week, so they're pretty good, and I had to work pretty hard not to get frustrated some of the time. I finally lost it when, after I denied his first shot, one of the APs grabbed the rebound and five-holed me! But it's ok, I got over it.
I stayed in Helsinki for exchanges that day, but Elder Clegg took good care of Espoo for me. We've started teaching a young less-active girl who just moved here from downtown Helsinki, and by the end of the lesson with her that day, she was asking how we could help her get a patriarchal blessing! She was supposed to go to institute, and come to church this week, but didn't show for either. Bummer.
Drove to Kerava for district meeting, which went ok. And then the new sister in our district made us traditional Cambodian food. Best noodles I've ever had. I love that she's in our district. She's from Cambodia, but has lived in Turku for a number of years now. She was talking about sending in her mission papers when I was serving there last year, and I was excited for her then, but now she's not only in Finland, she's in my district! She's a great missionary, too. Very humble. We'll be happy to be getting many more like her with the age change. (We'll have something like 40 sister missionaries in our mission by this time next year, up from 13 right now!)
Slept over with the assistants again.
Sähly again in the morning, this time with Elders Oberhansley and Kääriä along. They've been in the country for six months now! I can't believe how fast that's gone. Really fun to catch up with both of them, Pietarsaari is doing well. I found out that Kevin, the Somalian man I had been teaching with Oberhansley, but who never made any progress got baptized!! Way cool! Also, kielikoulu [language school] went great! We made a homemade pinata, and took them out in the snow to hit it, quizzing them on vocab before they could take a swing. One of them hit it so hard, and so awkwardly, that it ended up swinging back to hit him in the head! We eventually just had to let them take their blindfolds off so they could actually hit the thing, and then we wound up just going inside to cut it open because the plastic broom handle we were using as a bat broke on the thick cardboard pinata. yepp...go Finnish cardboard I guess. But we still had a good time.
Zone Leader Council. All day meeting.
We did missionary work.
I love church here. We always just have so much fun! This week, a really old member in the second ward prepared a musical number before testimonies were borne. It was so special. He's a really interesting fellow. He speaks with a bit of a slur, and after hearing him sing, we're pretty sure he doesn't do it very often. But he sang louder and harder than anyone has for a long time up there. He sang his heart out. In all reality, his song was a prayer to his God and as powerful a testimony as he could bear. And I could feel it, even if I couldn't understand a single word. The piano player got up and gave him a big hug after he was done.
Hey I gotta run, we're going to go spend some time in downtown before we go back to pick up our car. Love you all!