Sorry for the late email, we had zone conference yesterday! It was great, I had a lot of questions going into it, but I came out with even more answers, and not even just things that apply right now to my area and missionary work, which means it was a good meeting.
But as for last week:
We set up a DA with R - Iraqi food. We've all had the Turkish Kebab that Erik knows from his mission and which we will desperately need when I come home, and is sliced very thin and served with fries or rolled up like a burrito. This was Iraqi kebab, though. Ground beef laid out flat, stuffed with veggies, then rolled up like a cinnamon roll and baked in the oven with oil. Yeah, sorry you had to read that, Mom. Don't worry, my heart is still moving - it only clogged half the artery. But it was so worth it. He also got to go to family home evening at the institute afterwards, which he loves. We love that he goes - keeps him around such good people.
Had a pretty busy day running to the train station to help shuttle missionaries here and there and pick up Elder Clegg, my new companion, and Elder Murray, Elder Ingersoll's new companion. Elder Clegg was trained by Elder Manwaring in Hyvinkaa, so I actually already know him pretty well. He's from Hyde Park, Utah, but he tells everyone that he's actually more from Idaho than Utah. Really hard worker, even when we aren't having success. Good guy. Murray is from Scotland! He was baptized by his uncle all of about two years ago. Pretty crazy guy. Tells a lot of stories about crazy times he used to have as a "sparky" (electrician) working on cars, and about bar fights, and about soccer games. Actually, I think the stories about bar fights and soccer games typically blend together. Europeans....
I spent the entire day in the office. Poor Elder Clegg. At least he got to go outside with Ingersoll and Murray for a while in the morning while I was in my meetings. President had me sit in on the trainers' meeting and the meeting for the new missionaries and their trainers to debut the new grammar books the MTC just published, which, at least so far, seem to be a good improvement on the last ones we've been using, and to talk about the new language study guide that I wrote. I'm actually pretty proud of all the work that's gone into it, until I looked to the back page and immediately found...a typo. Bummer. But it's ok. We still got to teach R later that evening, so it all worked out and I was happy.
Today got shot because all of our appointments fell through, but my day was made up by walking through the metro station below the central train station. There are typically two to three men dressed up in funny costumes or pretending to be statues there, trying to earn money. One of them that day was dressed up as none other than Darth Vader. If I had had any cash on me, I might have dropped a few coins in.
Spent a lot of the day trying to get the area under control and everything organized. With Elder Edwards and I being in the office so much, we didn't really get a whole lot of time to do any paperwork in the apartment or anything like that, so we were way behind. We got a whole map book made for our area (which has now been shrunk again to accommodate for a THIRD companionship in this ward now) and tried to make a good plan for how we're going to work with our ward. Terribly enthralling, I know, but definitely something that needed to get done.
Since the Tampere Zone took their language test on Friday, I decided to get started early on the spoken portions. Bascially, it means I call every missionary in the mission and test their ability to speak, and that score gets added to the written portion taken in zone conference. It's great because I get to call and talk to some of my friends in the mission that I haven't seen for a long time, but at the same time, it's a lot of work. That alone would take a lot of my time, but on top of that there's preparing for the three language schools we'll have next month, and then there's you know, like, missionary work to do when I have free time. No, not really, I don't let it get that crazy, but after seeing two previous companions conduct these spoken tests, I'm not looking forward to it terribly much. We'll see how it goes. Wish me luck.
Always my favorite day of the week. After church, we helped Bishop ordain R to the office of a priest in the Aaronic Priesthood. Such a great spirit in that moment, especially in light of R's situation. Apparently a few of his friends aren't happy with his decision, and they've been giving him a hard time. On top of that, his economic situation might make it so that he can't stay in Finland much longer. But regardless, he's trying his best to live the gospel. Such a great example to us.
Well, family, that's my week. Hope you all have a great one!