Minä rakastan Suomea!!! I love Finland! It is so beautiful here and so sacred and I love this country!
Wow so much happens in one week... it's crazy. I wish I could just share everything with you every week-- all the moments of my mission and exactly how I am feeling and my thoughts. I wish somehow they could take a video of our missions that everyone could watch and experience everything with us, but I will share the most precious ones of this week.
So the funny moment was this:
-We went to help Sister Jokinen (one of my favorite women),a lady in our ward, clean her house and we tried to get the cushion covers off... in dresses... it was not happening. It was pretty funny because they were stuck on there so tightly. Then I also sprayed her son Onni with a water gun and we almost got in a huge water fight.. me in my dress and all. Her boys are 10 and 12 I think and they are lots of fun!
-We had a really random lady calls us in the middle of the afternoon on Thursday and I guess about a year ago she had met with some of the sisters that were here once. She wanted to meet again. So weirdly enough we weren't sure exactly what we were getting into, but we met her in Itis (like a huge shopping mall) and went and sat down at some tables by this cafe called Arnold's. We talked about the gospel and a lot about the Book of Mormon. The weird thing was, she really wasn't interested in changing at all, but said she just wanted to "share experiences" because that's how she learns. It was rather interesting, but hopefully we can change her mind and she will realize how much this church really is for her and will bring truth into her life.
-President Watson just came out with a new rule that we can't leave our areas at all anymore for even dinner appointments with people in the ward. It has the ward members pretty fired up here in Marjaniemi because they now are only able to feed certain missionaries, and the Elders in Porvoo have hardly any members who live out there, so they will probably not have any Dinner appointments. Well regardless, we have an old lady in the ward who got diagnosed with cancer back in March when I was with Sister Seegmiller. Sister missionaries have been visiting her since I don't even know when... but for a long time! She LOVES them!!! She doesn't really have any family who comes to see her and she is all by herself. Her cancer has just gotten progressively worse and she has lost more and more weight since I have been here. She's practically skin and bones now. She is seriously the sweetest, kindest old lady ever. She doesn't speak any English, so that has been good for me to have to really pay attention and use my Finnish more. Well because she doesn't live in our area, we decided that meant we would be breaking a rule if we went there still, so we didn't know what to do. We asked the Zone Leaders and they said we could go one last time to tell her. So we went and long story short... she was crying. Her heart was broken and she was so sad. It made me feel so sick inside and I started crying too. I just sat there and held her hand and we both just cried. It felt awful! I was so sad for her-- here is this little fragile old lady who is slowly withering away from cancer and she has no one to come visit her and she doesn't want the Elders to come or really ward members... she just loves the sisters, and we just told her sisters wouldn't be coming anymore. My heart was broken. So we went home that night and we called the zone leaders and told them what had happened. They thought about it over night and the next morning they called and said that they were making an exception to this. We were so happy and when we called to tell the old lady, she was so happy and I know that it completely lifted her spirits. It made me feel so much better!
SO... transfer calls were this week... and... I am leaving! I will be going to Yväskylä to be a senior companion to Sister Allen a newer sister, and finish her training there. I am so excited! This will be really great and I have only heard really great things about that city. They say it is one of the prettiest places in Finland-- lots of lakes and forrest. They also say that the people there are really great and that they speak really proper Finnish so that will help me even more. There is a university there, so lots of younger people. It will be so great!!! BUT... on the flip side... I have cried and cried and cried and my heart hurts because I have to leave here; I have to leave sister forrest and this ward and Marjaniemi. I don't know of a place or a ward that will ever really hold the same spot in my heart as this one does. I will miss sister forrest SO MUCH!!! She is probably one of my best friends and I have learned more about myself and life and Heavenly Father's love from her. Last night we planned and then we just both sat on the couch listening to our favorite church songs from the transfer and sobbed our heads off. I didn't know there would be so many goodbyes here in Finland and especially not so many that hurt so much! Saying bye to so many members on Sunday and taking pictures with everyone just hurt. I love them all so much!! Me and Bishop's wife cried, me and Sister Jokinen cried, me and Sister Humphries cried, and it's just hard to say bye to so many people that I love so much and that have been here for me during one of the hardest times of my life. I leave tonight about 6pm and I have to ride on a train by myself for about and hour and half before I meet up with the new sister, and I already know that I will be a mess when we pull away. I know that I will be a mess saying bye to Sister Forrest because now we won't even be in the same Zone so I probably won't see her for another year until I get home. She goes home in October. I will miss her so so much!!! AAhhh... it's so bitter-sweet, but I know that this is the Lord's plan and there's a reason I need to be in Yväskylä at this time and with Sister Allen. I am grateful for change and that it helps us to grow and progress and come closer to our Savior and Heavenly Father.
I love Finland and I love the people here! It is a sacred place and it means so much to me already! I am grateful for prayer-- to know that I can really talk to my Heavenly Father at all times, in all places, and about all things. He hears my prayers and knows the fears in my heart, and he cares and loves me. I hope this week you will all remember to PRAY OFTEN! Remember, God is your Heavenly Father, and he wants to hear from you!! I love you all and I'm grateful for all you are teaching me as well, even though far away! Make yourselves a great week!!