Mä Rakastan Teitä!! Oikeasti... I am so very grateful for all of you and for the love and prayers and support I feel!! You are all so wonderful! This week was both happy and disappointing. So last preparation day in the evening, we took a bus out to a farther area to have a lesson with a potential investigator who hadn't been there for the last one that we had scheduled. When we got there, she said that it was their sauna time, and to come back another evening. That was frustrating. So then we had to go to the Prisma (a huge store like walmart all over Finland) because there isn't one in the center and the stores in the center didn't have what we were looking for. We thought there were plenty of buses that left from there and we'd be able to catch one back home, but when we got out of Prisma, and started checking the bus schedules and trying to figure out which bus stop we needed, we realized that there were not any buses going back to the center for at least a half hour or more. So... we had to walk. It was about 4 or 5 miles that we walked and we didn't get home until about 9:35pm. We definitely got our fair share of walking in for the evening.
So then Torstaina we had prepared our lesson for this investigator (I can't say his name because of privacy laws in Finland otherwise I would-- but yes he has a name) we have right now and then... he cancelled on us. That was really frustrating, but we got to go and do some good ole tracting for quite a while and had some really funny experiences doing that. Unfortunately, no one wanted to listen to us, but for the most part, a lot of people weren't home.
Saturday was one of the best days of my mission thus far. So.. Äänekoski is one of the farthest areas for us to travel to within our own big area. It takes about an hour on one of the bigger buses to get there. So sister Allen hadn't been out there before and of course I hadn't yet either. We had made some plans with a member family out there to share a spiritual message and do some service for them. Unfortunately, the buses only come like every few hours so we were going to have to spend the majority of the day out there. Well the family we went to go visit was SO great! They had us cut up like this huge box of strawberries, and then later we all ate them with ice cream! It's strawberry season right now and the strawberries seriously taste like candy they are so good! They must not get missionaries out there very often because then they started calling the other member family that lives in an area just right close by to see if we could go and visit them as well. Then they even went so far as to take us all the way out there. Well this was an older couple who seriously live like in the middle of the Forrest. It's like a fairytale land where they live... oikeasti... it's so beautiful. Wild flowers everywhere and just trees trees trees everywhere you look. They were SSOO excited to have us out there and it was just so fun to get to know more of the members in our ward. It was just such a great day!!
One of the coolest things right now, is that you can just be walking down a path to get somewhere and just along the side of it are all these wild strawberries that you can just pick and eat. It's the best thing! I can't describe to you all just how beautiful Finland is! AHH!!!
So the biggest disappointment of this week was that yesterday, we had a huge lesson planned with this investigator and we were seriously so excited and ready for it. We had planned it all out with the member too, and talked about our lesson plans with them and what would be best, and then about a half hour before the lesson, he texted and said that he has read and prayed about the Book of Mormon and he does like it and knows it has answers for him. He has a lot of questions that he wants answers to, but wants to search for them alone. He says that he knows he needs us, and that when he is ready, he will call us. It was the most disappointing thing ever. I just saw so much potential and I had just had such high hopes for him. In about two weeks we are going to follow up with him and see where he is at. It's pretty disappointing, but we'll see what happens from here.
Well that's about it for this week! It was a great week full of lots of tracting and potential lessons, but valitettavasti didn't go exactly as we had planned. That's alright though... hopeful this week something really exciting happens!!! :) I love you all and I'm so grateful for you all! Make yourselves a great week!
WE HAVE A NEW INVESTIGATOR!!... and he's a Finn. (No english) Ahh.. the week is looking hopeful! After about 4 lessons falling through this week, we finally had a lesson at the church with a man who is about 60. We had role played and really talked about this lesson for quite a few days and the first two attempts to have the lesson fell through because he cancelled on the first two. The lesson went well and the member that came was so awesome. We were able to give him a church tour after the lesson and it was just such a great feeling afterwards. While we were in the lesson, we asked him about whether he had been a part of other churches or whether religion had ever played a big part in his life. He said that he hasn't really ever been involved with a church before, but has talked with Jehovah Witnesses, and people from a Helantai church before. He said he Never really felt like it was right or that he should keep learning more, but that during our lesson and also the first time when the Sister's who referred him to us contacted him on the street and had talked to him, he just kept having a warm feeling in his heart. It was so good to hear. The church is true and the spirit is real. That lesson was yesterday and we have another return appointment with him on thursday. We are so excited. The only downside to all of this is that I couldn't understand a lot of what he said in the lesson and because Sister Allen is two months behind me, she understood even less than that. It was just really great that we had prepared a lesson and gone over it a lot, and also that we had a member who spoke enough English to be able to explain some things to us after the lesson. We are definitely going to need the help of the members, but I know that with their help and with the help of the Lord, we will be able to teach him. I just feel really good inside about this investigator and I am just grateful that we finally have someone interested enough to keep learning more and having us teach them.
FUNNY STORY FOR THE WEEK:
We had scheduled a return appointment with a potential investigator last week and this week we were going for our lesson, but when we showed up, no one was home... or so we thought. We rang the doorbell twice and I swore I saw some shadow move in the house, but I just figured maybe I was imagining things. So we decided to leave a pass along card with a note on it that we had come and to call us, in her mail slot. I was standing By the side of the house using the side of the house to write on the little card while sister Allen just kept looking through the big Window of the house haha. Well then all the sudden she just kind of laughs and says, oh haha I just made eye contact with someone... awkward. So then I'm like really? And she says yep, some kid in the house just peeked around the corner and I made eye contact with him. So then we run out of the yard fast and then finish the note and die of laughter. I guess it was her 16 year old son who had answered the door a few weeks ago. It was rather funny and slightly frustrating too though that he wouldn't answer the door, but that's alright. We got a good laugh out of it.
The other frustrating story of this week is that we decided to contact a former and his wife and when we knocked on the door and asked if we could come share a small message about families with them, he just said, "We've already heard your message and we're not interested." So then I just said "alright well can we leave this pamphlet of the Family Proclamation with your family? It just tells more about how we can strengthen our homes through Christ." His response was this, "We're not interested in strengthening our family through Christ." He wouldn't even take the pamphlet and it just was sad to hear him say that. Then we saw them in the grocery story today and I just thought, gosh I sure hope he changes his mind and feels bad about what he said and how he acted. One day he will be ready!
Well that's about it for this week!! I am just so grateful for all the Lord is blessing us with! This week was really great and I am excited for this coming week! I love the Lord and I know that he is with us always. He cares about us and loves us. God has a plan for all things and all people and we just have to be obedient, be patient, love him, and let his plan fold out as it should. I love you all and I am so grateful for everyone! Make yourself a great week!!!