Well, the long awaited email .... "Hey everyone!!! not sure if anyone is up right now but I'm on! I'll try to answer every one's emails!"
Came at about 5:09am Tuesday morning !!!!! After a very long night of checking emails at 2:15am, 3:24am, 4:30am and then finally 5:17am ........it finally came. Schyler's time in Finland is 8 hours ahead of us, so not knowing for sure when she would write I started checking from about 11am (her time). As expected her first email to us was in much the same tone as her first letter from the MTC - complete and utter discouragement, disappointment and great feelings of inadequacy. The language is still a huge battle for her. She has struggled NOT to feel like a huge burden to her companion and feels unable to contribute anything to conversations or discussions about the gospel or anything for that matter, so for now she mostly just listens and observes. In her words, " I have never f'elt more alone and scared and hopeless in my life before. I literally cannot understand ANYTHING, let alone say anything either. It's slightly cold and rained almost the whole first week I was here, and everyone just says the language will come, but mom it's been a week and I still can't say or understand anything more than when I got here. It takes everything to get out of bed in the morning and even just smile at one person........ words don't sound anything like what you memorize because in finnish everything gets conjugated. Mom it literally is the most complicated language on the planet. It's not even a language really... it's just well idk but i'm not too fond right now."
So, on the positive side of things - Schyler really loves her companion/trainer, Sisar Seegmillar. She is from St George and has been on her mission for 8 months. Sisar Seegmillar attended Dixie High School and I believe a semester at Dixie State College. She, like Schyler played high school sports, so they have found they have a lot in common. Fortunately, Sisar Seegmillar is willing to run and gets up with Schyler to do this each morning. The two of them are located in a small province of Helsinki called Marjaniemi - a small seaside community. Ironically, this was the last place that Jake served in so he knew many of the people she has run into this first week. This will be fun for her to share stories and do some follow up on people Jake had worked with. Sunday she was asked to bear her testimony and made it through that "barely" as she stated. She really likes her mission President and his wife, loves the food and so far seems pretty comfortable with the country and the people. Hopefully, she will send us pictures and tell us more as the weeks progress. Most importantly, she could use your prayers and words of encouragement as she overcomes this language challenge. I believe it will come and when it does it will come brilliantly - the catch is WHEN?!!!!!!