Yet another week down here, crazy to think I've almost been here 6 weeks. I'm pretty sure I say that every week but it's true. This week there wasn't tons that happened but there were small miracles that I am so grateful for.
The sun just keeps shining more and more each day. We go to bed at 10:30pm and the sky is still somewhat blue, and we wake up at 6:15am and by about 7am it's completely light outside. It's crazy! The other morning we went for a run and we found this really cool path that led to this ghetto dock that went out into the ocean. We sat there for a while and just enjoyed everything. It's crazy, but the ocean looks like this huge like lake here that is intermingled with bits of land and islands that are covered in nothing but pine trees and little quaint houses. The water isn't like your normal crystal blue either. It's really weird, but super beautiful. I am getting more and more excited for summer to come.
I want to tell you just about one small miracle this week. We have a recent convert who has been pretty close with the Sister's here. He has been a member for about 5 months now. He has really been struggling as of late, and about two weeks ago, we had a lesson with him, and he told us how he doesn't even believe God is there anymore or if he even believed everything in the first place. He said he just didn't really think the church was for him. It seriously broke our heart because we are really close with him. Even me since coming here. That night I felt I needed to share how much he had helped me and impacted me since being here, and was a big part of the reason I found something to be happy with even my first day here, when I met him and we taught him that night. I also told him that if he hadn't have become a member of the church, I wouldn't have had that support. I told him that I knew God has a hand in each of our lives, and that trials and opposition as well as people are placed in our lives for a specific reason. I didn't know exactly why I shared that that night, and even after the lesson, I didn't feel it had helped.
That night, me and my companion walked home crushed, not knowing where to go from there. I told her that I felt like we didn't need to force the gospel on him anymore. He would have to come to know that it was true on his own. I felt like we just needed to be his friend and show him support. So maybe some people would beg to differ, but we did just that. One night, we went and got him and just went for a walk and just talked about everyday things. Then one night, we went and ate Kebab with him, and we tried to text him every few days just to see how the day was going. We would text him on Sunday and just say we would save him a seat at church. We did this for about two weeks and on about Monday, we received a text from him saying that he for some reason felt like he should have a schedule him a lesson and that he loved us. So of course, we were so happy. That night planning, we felt we should do something different. Not a lot of the members knew what was going on with him, and we didn't think he wanted everyone to know, so it would be hard to have a lesson that was super helpful because they didn't know everything he was feeling, so we decided to have a lesson in English, because he speaks both, even though most of our lessons are in Finnish, and he talks to us in both. We decided to have it with Sister Humphrey's- an American mom here that we absolutely love. We decided to have it at the church and that just like any new investigator, we would start with the Restoration. As we started to talk about this, we shared some experiences about lessons with investigators and eventually the conversation pretty much turned to him teaching us... haha. But these were his words specifically to us that night "Because of what you told me that night we had our last lesson, and that you've just been my friend and supported me, you've give me a reason to keep coming back and to keep holding on, and that's why I'm here tonight... you may have just saved me". And then he just went on to say that just like him, we could do the same for other people here, even if it's just one person. It seriously was like the best feeling in the world. We were both crying and just really grateful for everything we had decided to do. We are so grateful for him and his friendship to us, and his desire to want to believe. Even though it may not seem like the biggest thing to maybe even some of you, it was a miracle to me and Sister Seegmiller, and moments like that are what make being a missionary worth it!
So just a few other side notes, I learned to make sushi this week, and I even ate it... luckily not the ones with raw fish in it, but I did eat some... I am not the biggest fan to be honest haha. I also tried wasabi, which was wicked hot haha. I don't think i'll be eating either for a while. We had one of our investigators come to church today for the second time. It was really awesome and we are super happy about that. We are hopeful, and just hope he continues to come and to progress.
I am grateful to be here and for the humbling experience that it is. Everyday although hard, I do learn and grow even though it is hard to see that every day... especially on the hard ones, but I do look back on the last three months and I have learned things that will benefit me the rest of my life. I am slowly learning to love Finland and it's weird quirks and people. But I miss you all and love you lots! Have the best week ever!!