Moi Perhe ja ystavia!
So much to write and so little time. But I will try and get everything that I can in the short amount of time.
So I’m IN FINLAND! Wow its crazy, well the plane ride over was pretty long but I gave away a couple pass-along cards and talked to this lady who was crying in the airport and testified to her. Then we got to Finland we got picked up by the APs and then they took us to the Helsinki, Temple and it was amazing and we had time to wander around and pray and ponder about what we want to accomplish in the next 16 months.
Then we went back to the President's house, we had delicious Finnish food made by his wife and then we were interviewed by the President and went to bed. I have been sick and coughing a lot so I didn’t sleep too well, but I don't/ haven’t had jetlag yet so that is nice!
The next day we got our Visa's figured out and while we were waiting we tracted on the street for the first time and people in Helsinki were so rude and like no one would stop and talk to us, and it was kind of nerve racking. (We found out later that we should not use the word missionary when describing ourself lähetyssaarnaajia, we are church representative and people actually listen to us if we say that instead of missionary, good to know)
Then we had orientation and got assigned to our spots. I am in a trio with Sisar Nielson (she was from my district at the MTC) and Sisar Egan (who is basically the most amazing trainer in the world). And were assigned to serve in Tampere! Such an amazing place. Actually Finland is just amazingly breath taking! It is all forest and lakes and its still warm, and I love it so much! So basically my life is amazing, we are in Finland we live in this really nice apartment, my companions are amazing we have so much fun and talk to basically everyone and anyone, and I’m a church representative, pretty kiva (great)!
So Sisar Egan just had an appendicitis 2 weeks ago and it had gotten infected so our poor trainer was out for a while but she’s back and doing great, she works so hard and she try and slow her down sometimes because we want to make sure she can still recover. We actually have a lot of investigators, and we always talk to people that we meet on the streets to get new investigators. Because Sisar Egan is still recovering we ride the buses everywhere, (we normally ride bikes) so that will be interesting. But the first day we had to ride the bus we walked on and she goes, "Alright go find someone to sit next to and preach the gospel", mahtava (I actually got my first new investigator) and gave her the Book of Mormon (Mormonin Kirja) and she said we could meet later and talk about it, and she lives by us.
The language is crazy, they speak spoke Finnish which is completely different then written Finnish which is what we just learned, so we are pretty lost. But we still speak as much as we can, we can’t understand much but they always compliment me on how good my Finnish is. So that is always nice.
I love this work, its pretty awkward at times to sit next to someone on a bus when there are plenty of seats open, but this is what we are here to do, and some of the Fins seem so sad and lonely and they don’t talk to each other on the buses or on the streets that much and are really surprised when we smile at them and talk to them, but at the end of every conversation even if they rejected us to meet again or come to church they always seems so much more happier and have a smile on their face. That is what we are here to do too. Help them receive a little bit of the light and happiness of this gospel even if they aren’t going to join now.
So the standard of excellence here for total teaches a week is 20, and for new investigators is 3. Because we got here Thursday we only had 4 days to get our numbers in and we got 30 for this week and 5 new investigators! Ya way crazy and that is not even a full week's worth, so we are crunching those numbers, teaching and testifying all day long, and it’s the best thing in the world.
I wish I had more time, there is so much more to tell, but I must go. Hopefully I’ll have more time next week, but I love you all. Stay safe where ever you are, and seriously ask the missionaries what you can do to help (esp. give them Food!!)
Minä rakastan teitä!!
pitää suoja! (stay safe)
P.S. the sisters from the other ward in Tampere got send home for medical reasons so we have to cover 2 wards, and 2 areas! It’s crazy and we have 7 hours of church! 1 hour of meetings in between! Mom if you thought church in Germany was bad in a different language and 3 hours longs try 7 every week and having to talk in sacrament meeting and teach lessons in a crazy language! But I love the wards and the members, we are going to strengthen the youth and get more people coming to church!