Things have been pretty busy over on my end. I learned a lot from my exchange with Sisar Francis-One thing was that it is nearly impossible to say no when Sisar Francis continuously offers you sweets. Another more important thing, is that there are many ways to do the same missionary work. I've been working on finding my personality as a missionary. Sisar Nyman and Sisar Vath are both wonderful, but they both also have ways of expressing themselves that can be quite different than mine. So my challenge is to find a way to be 100% myself, while still balancing out companions with different strengths and weaknesses than I do. Sisar Francis helped me think about that a lot, and between working with her, and working with Sisar Vath, whose manner of speaking are both very different, I am getting more of a feel for how I like to phrase things, how I like to talk to people in the street, or at the door, and how Sisar Hansen connects with people.
|Off with the old tires, on with the snow tires!|
Our branch president's son got back from his mission a couple weeks ago, and has been called as an assistant to our branch mission leader. He's been really helpful in getting us more organized, and in helping us by getting to know our investigators, and helping us find solutions to their needs. He also helped us organize a meal calendar, so that means more dinner appointments with members, and more opportunities to teach them how to do their own missionary work. Hopefully we can also see some potential investigators invited to these dinner appointments, so that we can talk about the gospel in a warm and friendly setting. It's also great that we have another young single adult around, because those have been in short supply lately, and it's good to have somebody who is in the same stage of life as some of our younger investigators. Overall, we do have a wonderful group of member missionaries in Oulu. I'm always impressed by how active they are and how they seek for opportunites to share the gospel with others. I've also never seen so many ward misisonaries in some of the larger wards I've been in, let alone a branch with less than 100 active members!
In weather news, the snow has finally come and stuck around. It was frostier than a late-90s boyband member's hair for a few days, and then the real stuff came down and shows no signs of going away soon. It was a bit scary riding through it for the first time. I've had a few moments where I've had to slam my feet on the ground to stop myself from falling, but that's about as bad as it's been. Even going up and down hills gets pretty easy with some practice. This mission has already shown me that there are things I never thought I could do, like ride a bike around corners and down hills in the snow! I hope I will see the same kind of things happen on a spiritual level, as well.
We got to go to a baptism on Saturday!! "Jimmy", a young man the elders had been teaching, got baptized, and it was a wonderful service. Lots of people came, and he gave a very touching testimony after he was baptized. He was all smiles, and glowing. The sister playing the piano as we waited for him to change back into normal clothes played the songs we sang at MY baptism 16.5 years ago. I was flooded with memories, even though a lot of the details of that day are very hazy to me. I still remember how I felt, though, and even though I was only 8 years old, I knew that it was a very special day in my life, and that it would stick with my forever. So far, so good.
|Bowling on a P-Day last month. The Sister in the blue|
shirt and glasses is my comp, Sister Vath
Monday this week was just a normal day. We moved P-Day to Wednesday, so we could have a Thanksgiving party after our district meeting. Sisar Vath and I made pumpkin pie (4 euros for a small can of pie filling we had to go to a special store to find, but it turned out delivious!) and coconut macaroons (They're not very Thanksgiving-y, but she reasoned that she loves them, and she's not American anyway.) Our district meeting itself was fantastic, as they usually are. We talked a lot about the Book of Mormon, its purpose, and how we need to use it more as we teach others about the gospel. Then we sat down to eat- there was turkey, stuffing, vegetables, potatoes, gravy, yams, rolls, and probably other things I can't even remember. I left the building feeling borderline sick, which is how Thankgiving should be. One of the sisters in our branch found the pie recipe for us, and since she's never tasted pumpkin pie before, we have a slice saved just for her. It felt good to have a short time where it felt like home, even though I'm so far away. :)