Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Errand of Angels

Sisaret Nyman and Hansen with choir music for the RS mtg.
I say this all the time, but SOOO MUCH has happened this week! No, seriously. I got to sing in the Relief Society general broadcast with the sister missionary choir! It was a long day, from getting ready (One of the other Finnish sisters was kind to let me  borrow her shirt, since I didn't have the right style, and I didn't want to have to buy one), to the bus ride to SLC, to rehearsal, to having lunch in the underbelly of the conference center, to seeing the prophet, to actually singing, to meeting the Relief Society
general presidency, to a bus testimony meeting! It was amazing the spirit that was there. When the First Presidency walked into the room, I was overwhelmed by the powerful feeling they brought with them. I don't remember much of what was even said, because I was so in awe the entire time. But we will get a chance to watch it again on campus this weekend, so I'll be sure to take notes this time. Every day I have at least one moment where it suddenly hits me that I'm on a mission, and I can't hardly fathom it. I had about a dozen of those moments at the broadcast, and it rejuvenates my excitement for the work! (Even weirder is when I look down and realize that I understand the cryptic words on my nametag, but that's another story.) I got really emotional as we sang, especially as we sang "Go forth with po'wr to tell the world the Gospel is restored" because I could feel the truth of those words sink deeply into my heart. I got separated from my toveri for the broadcast, and she got a great close-up in the beginning, which is a lesson to say with your companion. :P But I did get to see myself when we saw the footage from the musical numbers on Sunday! It's brief, but I'm there! When we sing, "Go forth to serve and do your best with no thought of reward", I'm at the bottom of the screen, on the left side of the far-right section of singers, wearing a red shirt with my hair down. See and believe! I'm glad that my work on my facial expressions seems to have paid off! :) At the end of the meeting, the Relief Society general presidency lined up and gave all the sisters a hug as they walked out of the room. I was in the last 20 sisters or so, so I was convinced that they'd have moved on by then, but they stayed to hug every last sister, ask about where we're going, and express their love and excitement for us, and thanks for our singing. 364 sisters. Wow. Pretty amazing.

Finnish is clicking. I'm much more comfortable with lots of different kinds of sentences, and I'm trying to learn more day-to-day words because the infamous "Consecration Week" fast approaches! Our eighth week in the MTC will be Finnish-only. We'll even get little pieces of tape on our badges that announce to the world that we no longer speak English! If we do encounter a situation where English is necessary, one person will speak in Finnish, and the other will translate. It's a scary thought, but I'll grow a lot. I just need to keep my flashcards handy at all times, and I should be fine! Especially with my companion with me- she's such a blessing when I forget a word. She always seems to remember what to say when I can't. My new favorite word is Pikkukaupunki, which literally means "little city", but it's really the word for "town". Fun to say! I've also mastered the words ulospäinsuuntautunut (outgoing) and alempi korkeaokoulututkinto (Bachelors Degree). Funny how long words don't scare me anymore. Also funny is how, as many long and complicated compound words that exist, there's always something like lanko (brother-in-law) to make my scratch my head a little bit.

For service today we made beds. As in, we literally made beds. We took the parts of old bunk beds and re-assembled them right down to the mattress. No gym on P-Day? Not a problem! Just go do service!

The longest word in Finnish.  Kar says "I'm not sure
what it means, but wow!"
Class has been intense lately. We've gotten really deep into doctrine on a couple occasions, because the more we learn about the gospel and its complexities. the more we understand how to simplify it for those who don't have the same background that we do. It's been really helpful especially for teaching about Heavenly Father's plan for us. Our lessons with investigators continue to go well, for the most part. Sisar Nyman and I are finally learning to make peace with the fact that we won't get to explain everything we'd like the in the time constraints we're given, so we promise to send a "text" (in our case, we write it on the white board in the classroom and get a response in the same way) that contains good scripture references, and some questions for them to ponder. We're getting better at focusing on the people, not the lessons. We only really stick to our lesson plan about 20% of the time, but we're still blessed for our preparation. We do all we can, and the Lord does the rest. This work is impossible. That's very clear to me every day. But with God's help and support and His strength, the impossible actually comes true! It's like that song in Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, about how "impossible things are happening every day". I never thought that regular ol' me would be able to do something like this, but somehow, everything that needs to get done, gets done, and the language comes, and I learn and grow and reach out to people despite my weaknesses.

I love this work. I love the people of Finland so much, even though I still have 18(!) days before I ever get to meet them. But I can feel how right my calling to go there is, and I can feel the great love that the Lord has for them, and I can feel that He wants to bless them so much, and I only hope that I can work hard enough and have enough faith to be the means of helping the people of Finland recognize all of this and claim the blessings of the gospel.

Until next viiko, nähdän!

-Sisar Hansen


Kar enjoying a cream soda next to the cream soda tree outside the MTC

1 comment:

  1. You are amazing Karlan! When I read, or I guess look at, the Finnish words you have typed in your letter it blows my mind how anyone can understand and actually learn a language like that. It is wonderful to see the Lord's hand in helping you prepare to teach the Finnish people.