This blog will cover just the later half of this week, since we had to do some P-Day rearranging. Oulu has proven that it really means it this time, and the snow and ice probably are here to stay until the weather gets warmer. (If I thought riding on snow was tricky, it's a lot easier than sliding around on ice! Good thing there are pebbles sprinkled everywhere to help with this kind of thing!)Thursday is the day when we do weekly planning. We have planning sessions every day, but weekly planning is pretty much essential for us to get organized and keep a bit of perspective on how we want to meet our weekly goals. It takes a long time, so we pull our end table over to the couch and do it there so we can at least by nice and comfy. It's weird planning for an entire week, because we obviously don't know exactly what will happen from day to day, but it helps us keep those people in mind who we want to see, and helps us to figure out where we'll be on any given day, so we can find things to do within that area, to cut down on transportation.
Another bit of mixed-blessing-style awkwardness was our visit with a former investigator. We've knocked on her door several times in the past with no answer, but this time was different! Victory was ours, as we were welcomed into her home. She even gave us juice and sweaters to keep us warm, even after we insisted that we weren't too cold. (Everybody thinks I must be so cold- if I were, I'd put on a sweater! I actually start to sweat, riding a bike with more than short sleeves under my coat!) Anyhoo, the awkwardness comes in at the point where the first words I ever hear her say to me are, "Oletko suomallainen?" [Are you Finnish?] We had a good conversation together, and she had some very good questions and thoughts about the church, but the fact that neither of us are real Finns (sisar Vath actually is, but doesn't look like it, and wasn't born here.) seemed to make us less credible. She says she wants to go to our branch party this week so she can talk to Finns about her questions. Ah, well, as long as it gets her talking!
This Sunday we had a record number of people at church. (I don't know if this is accurate- it just seemed like more people I've ever seen here by far). Part of that is due to one of our fantastic member missionaries, Veli "Caruso". His baby boy received his name and blessing today. He is British, while his wife is Finnish, so it's been hard for them to pick a name that works for both cultures, and that they both like. So far, he's been known simply as Jellybean. Veli Caruso blessed him in a combination of broken Finnish and English, and it was a beautiful, sincere blessing. Some members also brought friends along, and we had investigators come, as well! Annie came with her two sons, and did much better this time, although she got bored again halfway through Relief Society. But hey- progress from last time! Rosie hasn't come in a month, and we pray for her every day. Hopefully she can come to the Finnish Independence Day party this week and get to know branch members better.