Thursday, September 12, 2013

No Longer a Newbie!

Minun toveri and I love Wednesdays because it's new missionary day! We can hardly believe that it's already been three whole weeks! We've come so far, it's amazing! This week flew by. so it's almost hard to remember what even happened! We get really excited to say "welcome" to the new missionaries and show them around. We've also gotten a lot of transfers from Main Campus, like Greeks and Russians. West Campus is really expanding, which is great, but it makes it hard to find an empty classroom with computers (the Finnish room, for whatever reason, doesn't have computers, so we have to search elsewhere.)

Last Thursday we had our first TRC. It's when native or fluent speakers of a language come and volunteer to just talk with the missionaries. It's more like a visiting teaching lesson than a missionary discussion, since they're already members. Last week we talked with a really sweet lady who wrote some very kind things on her comment card. I was relieved at how well I understood and communicated. I still have so far to go, but I see improvement in my Finnish every day! I look forward to tonight's session. Our topic is finding answers to prayers.

Friday seemed like any normal day, and then about 10 minutes before dinner, it started getting windy and the rain started to come down. Before too long, we had a full-on storm! Without thinking too much about how dangerous it might be, the Finns ran out into the rain to the dining hall to eat. The staff there weren't too happy that we risked coming, and we were on lock-down until things got better. Sisar Nyman and I decided that our situation merited an extra treat, so Cocoa Roos and suklaa maito (chocolate milk) it was! Things picked up just in time for class, so everything went on as if nothing really happened. Unfortunately, I took my umbrella into the rain, and the wind completely destroyed it!

Sisar Nyman and I continue to be fantastic companions. She is ystavallinen (friendly), karsivallinen (patient), and tosi, tosi makea (sweet). We bought some Laujula (hymnals) the other day so that we can sing in Finnish during the pre-devotional preludes. It's so much fun! Last Sunday it was just the Finns at church, since the Albanians and Estonians left, but this week we'll have three new members! (Two Hungarians, and one poor lone Estonian.) It's weird having church with less than 20 people, but everything's a little bit different here.

My mom asked me a bit about how things work. There are 16 Finnish missionaries total, in 2 districts (classroom groups.) We meet in the same apartment (West Campus uses former student housing for classes), but in different rooms, and we teach different "investigators". We're probably one of the smaller groups, but like I said, one Estonian right now. When Finnish was a 12-week program, new Finns would arrive halfway through, but the next batch should be here right before we leave. (Vanhin King will be amongst that group, I believe.) All 5 Sisaret are in one apartment, which is cool because we get our own shower, and we don't have to share the communal ones on Main Campus.

Speaking of Main Campus, we went over there today for P-Day business, and while we were leaving the alterations room (I have 2 skirts that need to be SHORTENED! Go figure!) I ran into Marion Caner from Gex! (Gex is one of the places in the Geneva Stake, so I saw her at Institute when I lived in France.) I had no idea she even had plans to serve! We talked for a bit, and it was so wonderful to speak French! (Even though I sometimes slip French words into my investigator lessons, I feel like I'm losing my skills!) Sisar Nyman has found several Norwegians, and one of the bookstore employees served in Norway. It's fun to see her light up when she gets to speak her native language!

Today at main campus, a group of elders walked past and said, "Hola, Hermanas!" When we replied, "Terve, vanhimmat!" they all went, "Oh...." as if they wanted to impress us with their awesome language skills, and didn't anticipate having it dished right back at them! HA! Us Finns have a reputation for speaking our language outside the classroom, and the staff at the dining hall have even learned a few phrases, like "Terve", "ole hyva", and "kiittos". Hopefully we'll be well-prepared when Consecration Week comes! (Consecration Week=no English, EVER. Not for about 5 more weeks, thankfully!)

That's all the major news, I do believe. This week's favorite word is "puutarha", which means "garden", but I love the way it sounds, so I keep saying it over and over again.

Mina rakastan teita! Mina rakastan minun vapahtaja, ja mina rakastan hanen tyo! Mina rakastan olla lahetysaarnaaja!

-Sisar Hansen

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