A lot of unfortunate scheduling conflicts prevented investigators from thinking they could meet with us this week, but one man, "P", is doing wonderfully. He grasps gospel concepts faster than almost any investigator I've ever met and he can explain them back to us in his own words. This week, as we prepared to teach him, Elder Clegg and I focused on when to give the baptismal commitment. We studied and practiced together and found a spot that seemed to feel right. In the lesson, everything went smoothly. In fact, because of that preparation, it went smoother than we had planned. As we were teaching about baptism, the Spirit directed us toward Mosiah 18:8-10 instead of the other passage we had planned to share. "P" saw immediately what impact that type of covenant could have in his life, and immediately started talking about "when I am baptized" instead of "if I get baptized. We practically didn't need to invite him at all! We bore testimony that he could prepare for baptism soon and that by that date he would feel ready. He seems to really trust us, which I am truly grateful for.
This lesson was also the first time we visited him in his home, and got to know his wife. She's just a wonderful lady, very optimistic and happy. She politely declined from joining in the discussion, but still, very, very nice. And she said we could come back, so I guess we made a good impression, right?
This man just continues to amaze me, though. After the lesson, we mentioned that we ought to get moving because we had to catch the bus back and it doesn't run very often. He just looked at his watch and was like, "well, I'll just take you home." (literally, in Finnish, what he said was, "I'll throw you home" which I thought was funny). Then he drove us all the way back to our door! It was nice to just have some more time to chat with him and get to know him. I'm really excited for what happens next.
We got lost this week again. That's actually one of my favorite experiences as a missionary, ironically. Getting lost. The point where I don't know exactly where I am is usually the time Heavenly Father has put me somewhere for a reason, I just don't recognize it at the time. After I (boldly going where no missionary has gone before, mostly because the road I was leading us down didn't lead to anything but a small swamp) managed to get us lost, Elder Clegg pulled out the map, we got a route planned back, and started walking. Along the way, we stopped and talked to a woman. She had researched a lot of different religions, but hadn't ever heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. (We found out after the conversation that she had heard of Mormons before, though. Go figure). After we explained a little bit about our church she asked, "Well, what are your articles of faith?" So, we listed them off. You never know when memorizing those kinds of things is going to come in handy. Seriously, thank you Primary! After a little while she said, "Hey, it's too hot out here, I'm going to give you my card and you guys can come visit me next week and tell me more. I'm excited about this!" Kinda funny the way He knows what He's doing, right?
This weekend was a regional stake conference for all the Nordic Countries, with Elder M. Russell Ballard visiting. President Monson was scheduled to be present as well, but with the recent passing of his wife, he didn't make it. We had some great messages, which I didn't get to hear too much of, something about the audio was hard to hear, plus it was a little choppy with the English to Swedish/Finnish translation being in real-time. It was all focused on getting members to do better missionary work, and I think it went well. The best part, though, was getting to see all the people from the Espoo Wards that I got to know so well while I was there. A lot of the young adults I knew there have gotten mission calls to Australia, Canada, Salt Lake City-East, Ukraine, and Lyon, France. There you go, Dad. A few more of them are going to finish the army service soon and get their papers in. By the end of the year, the Espoo II ward will have eight missionaries out, and the Helsinki Stake will have 30! The Stake President joked in the general session Saturday night that they had set a goal to have as many missionaries out from the stake as were currently serving from abroad in their stake. Then the First Presidency decided to mock that goal by lowering the age limit and sending tons more missionaries to Finland. I'll be interested to see if any youth in the near future get called to serve here.
Anyway, time to go. Love you all, have a great week!