What a week it has been. Bitter-sweet for sure. Definitely one of my least favorite parts of my mission has been saying bye to companions. Yesterday we said bye to Sister Saarinen at the train station here in Jyväskylä and today she is flying to America. After the train pulled away, Sister Adams and I just stood there hugging each other crying. We sure will miss her. It has been three really awesome months of my mission. But I am so excited for all the lies ahead for Sister Saarinen. She is going to love her mission.. I mean how could she not? She's going to serve right in my territory. So cool!
We had a really cool experience with one of our investigators this week. We started the lesson off by asking her what Christ meant to her personally. She actually got really emotional and started to talk about his Resurrection and how much it meant to her in her life that because of Him, she had the hope that those she loves and has been close to that have passed on, she will see again. That they aren't just dead and gone forever, but because of Christ, they still live and will live and if she lives righteously, she will see them again some day. Wow did it strengthen my testimony to hear her say the things that she did. I could really tell that Christ means so much to her, and I'm so grateful for the spirit that we were able to feel while we were there with her. I know that as she continues to keep the commitments we give her, that her faith will grow. Just in the last few weeks, I have seen how much it has grown because she has kept the commitments that we are giving her. I really love her and have really enjoyed having the opportunity to teach her while serving here in Jyväskylä. Every. Single. Day. My testimony of Christ is strengthened as I share it with others. I say it all the time, but it's because I mean it so much-- Being a missionary is the best. It is so fulfilling and rewarding.
I know that God's timing is perfect. Our other investigator finally came to church this Sunday. I can't tell you how many Sundays we have been trying to get him to come to church, and finally he did. So as of this week, we have two progressing investigators. I'll tell you all a secret-- that's the most I've ever had on my mission. And can I just say how happy it makes me. Yes I know that numbers don't mean everything, but obviously we're given them for a reason and they help us to do the Lord's work. So needless to say, I am grateful for the opposition in all of this-- that for quite a few weeks, we didn't have a single investigator, and now we have two that are progressing. It's amazing to see how much Heavenly Father blesses you for the hard work and diligence that you put forth.
This week I think I learned a lesson that I know has changed me already. I learned so much about agency and accountability. I think I finally grasped the concept of understanding both of those principles. For the longest time on my mission, I have always just taken it so hard when people reject us, or when they turn away from us because our Finnish isn't very good, or when our lessons don't go so well because I just don't know what to do differently, or really I could just keep going on with the list of things that just haven't gone the way I thought they would and most of it had to do with other's agency. Especially during these transfers with Sister Saarinen and Sister Adams, I have really beat myself up and felt like I was just failing as a missionary. Well I think I finally have come to accept and understand more fully the concept that others have agency, and I have accountability to the Lord. I can't change the way others choose to use their agency. I can't change whether people listen to us or not. But what I can do, is determine what more I personally can do. What more can I change? What can I improve upon? What more can I study? What more do I need to do, to give them the very best possible chance to use their agency wisely? I think that it's such a huge lesson that I was meant to learn. Because although I was doing those things to try and fix the situation-- mostly I was just miserable doing it and just being really hard on myself when it didn't work even when I had put so much work into it. I think I really have learned how much I personally am accountable to Heavenly Father, but He doesn't necessarily expect me to change every one's minds or have control over every situation, that ultimately really isn't in my control. I'm not sure if any of that really made sense to anyone reading this, but I guess the moral of the whole story is that I learned a really huge personal lesson this week and I wanted to share it in hopes that maybe it would help someone else.
This week is transfer week. We will be getting calls from President Watson on Friday. I have been here in Jyväskylä for about 8 months now so we'll see what happens. There's a high likelihood that I will go, but if for some reason God sees fit to shower more blessings on me by letting me stay here, then I would kindly accept, but either way, I will go where He wants me to go! I sure love Finland. I love my mission. This is the best time of my life.
Have an awesome week and don't forget to enjoy it!
|Such a fun district. 4 months all together|
|I love these two. We just had to eat at Sister Saarinen's (and our) favorite Thai restaurant one more time! Thank you Krua Siam!!! we love you!!!|