It's been quite the week-- lots of goodbyes as well as new faces and schenery. It's all just really great! Jyväskylä is pretty different from Helsinki where I was serving earlier. It's much more green and more like I had pictured Finland to be. It's not nearly as big and populated as Helsinki was and just lots more peaceful. It's definitely colder here and it rains more. The people speak much more proper Finnish which is SUPER nice considering I already have a hard time understanding. We walk quite a bit more and when we're not walking, sometimes we get lucky and we can catch a bus. My legs and feet have defnintely been lots more sore this past week. BUT it's really great to be in a new area and just kind of start over fresh. That's really what it feels like because we don't have any investigators here or really anyone to teach at the moment. I pretty much came in on a completely fresh slate. Sister Allen has been in Finland for 2 months and me now 4, so we're both pretty new. I am finishing her training and together we're just trying to figure out this crazy hard language, understand people, and find new people to share the gospel with. It's an adventure for sure!
On tuesday I was able to say bye to both my first companion Sister Seegmiller, and Sister Forrest. They both helped get me on the train and then I hugged them both goodbye. We were all in tears and I know that with both I have shared really special companionships. I love them both so much and I really miss them A LOT already!!! So I had to ride a train all by myself to Tampere which was about an hour and half. I cried almost the whole way and it was weird to be all alone. It was so sad to leave that area and my companions and I was honestly and still am pretty scared about being a senior companion and being in a new area and finishing someone's training. It's a lot of responsibility and I didn't feel ready for it AT ALL! But I met up with Sister Allen in Tampere and we rode the rest of the way to Jyväskylä together.
Sister Allen is really great! She works hard and is really obedient. We are learning so much together and it's just such an awesome learning experience for both of us. So becuase we don't have any investigators, we have tracted A LOT this week. More than I ever have as a total my whole mission. Can I just say.. I HATE tracting with a passion. I feel stupid and I never feel like I really know what to say because everything just sounds weird, people shut their doors in your face all the time and no one really ever wants to listen. We had an old man who asked us, "Why do you let them do this to you?" I mean do they really think that we are like tortured into doing this... it was pretty funny actually and I am learning to just laugh at all of the rude or inconsiderate things that people say to us and try not to take it too personally. I have a really cool story about tracting though. So we were going to try and take cookies and introduce ourselves to a less active, but she wasn't home, so we decided to knock on all the doors in the apartment building. So we tried the first door and they didn't want anything to do with us, and then we tried the next one. It was an older lady who didn't really want to discuss anything with us about the Book of Mormong or anything, but she invited us inside. That was weird!! Finns never do that. So we went inside and we ended up eating with her and talking about her family. Long story short, we ended up giving her our number so she could call us if she ever needed help. We gave her a Book of Mormon and invited her to church. Ironically enough she asked what our favorite American treats are and we had the chocolate chip cookies that we had brought to give to the less active who wasn't home with us still. So we were able to give her those as well and it really made her happy. She said she has her own religion and we definitely tried to talk about it as much as we could, but hopefully with time she will open up her heart to something new and see how this is different and it is the true church. The part about this whole story that I wanted to share with you all and just in general of this week is that miracles have happened. A week ago I know that I had no idea that I could understand and say as much as I have this week. That lady didn't speak ANY English and we were there for about an hour and I was mostly the one talking the whole time because Sister Allen wasn't sure even what she was saying (no negativity towards her, she is just 2 months is). I did it! I talked with someone and held a full on conversation with a true blue only Finnish speaking Finn. I definitely didn't understand all that got said, but I was able to communicate with her and understand enough to get through it all. It's happened so many times. I have been amazed literally how my mouth has "been filled" at all the times that I have needed it this week. I know the Lord is blessing me with much more than I could ever do on my own and I am so grateful!
Well there was lots more that happened this week, but just not enough time to tell you every detail of it all. I am so grateful for this gospel. I'm grateful for the peace that I feel each day and for all that I have been blessed with. I love my Savior, Redeemer, Brother, and best friend Jesus Christ. I am so thankful for his example, for his inifnite sacrifice, and for the love he has for me. I am grateful for a Father in Heaven who is always listening and waiting to bless us. All we have to do is ask. I am grateful for where I am and for the people of Finland. I love you all and I pray that you will all have happiness and peace in your life! I love you lots!