After we got back from emailing and grocery shopping last Monday, I felt like a total zombie. I had a nasty cold, which completely drained me. Sisar Dayton said I should take a nap when we got home, and I slept for about 8 hours, which shows that I must've really needed it! I'm now back in tip-top shape, and once again ready to take on Lahti.
Other miracles this week: We had a school presentation at a high school where we spoke fluently, understood everything, and even ended up doing most of a Restoration lesson! Our member also did a great job of responding to questions simply and clearly, and we left feeling like we did a great job. Heavenly Father really answered our prayers about that one.
An African woman at the bus stop asked us if we were Jehova's Witnesses, and we said no, we're from the LDS church. She revealed that she's from a Francophone country, so I got to speak French with her, which made her day! She took our phone number, and made sure we had hers. My French has unfortunately completely rusted over, but I understood everything, and was able to make some good conversation. (Every time I want to speak French, Finnish words creep their way in, which is a blessing and a curse, if you think about it.)
We reached our weekly lesson goal, even though I was sick for an entire day, and we got an otherwise slow start.
We FINALLY were able to visit the Fazer bakery in one of our areas, which is a plan that has always fell through until now. (Fazer is a famous Finnish candy company whose chocolate is unreasonably delicious. Turns out, their donuts are just as good!) Maybe not such a great miracle, but it was a nice stamina boost.
A member came up to us at church and asked us what we'd like for our dinner appointment with his family this week. I think a lot on my mission about the type of member missionary I want to be, and I think I'll be very mindful of these things post-mission. Sometimes I feel like we're fed an uncomfortable amount, and I've had to eat fish stew more than I'd like (eating it at all is more than I'd like, due to my strong dislike of fish). I felt like he really cared about giving us a good experience, which is great.
I'm running faster and faster in the mornings, and for longer distances. My improvement is miraculous to me, since I'm getting better so quickly, and building up lots of stamina, which is helping in all other aspects of my missionary life. I feel healthier, have more energy, and I reluctantly admitted to my toveri this morning while we were out, that I kind of enjoyed it. (But only a little bit. Don't get any ideas about me suddenly being a big-time runner. I have a reputation for disliking this kind of thing, and I have to uphold it.) I even suggested that today's run be mid-length, and that we run around the park. It was lovely, despite being a bit dead from winter. :)
There's a less active lady who doesn't let us in, and she lives in a locked building. We wanted to do a "heart attack" for her, but didn't know how we'd get inside. Fortunately, we convinced her to let us use her bathroom when we talked to her through the speaker phone-thing outside her building- no idea what it's called in English! When we left her apartment, we were able to tape all the hearts on her door before making our escape! (this is the one time I've ever considered the lack of public restrooms in Europe as being a perk)
WHEW! I feel like I can never write everything that I want to about my mission experiences, but I'm trying my best with the limited time and resources at my disposal. I'm learning the importance of prayer, and relying on answers, as we do our best to meet peoples' needs.
We see results as we are inspired to think outside of the box, and to show people that we love them, and are considerate of their individual needs and situations. This is what missionary work is really all about, and the joy I feel in serving the Lord and others in this way is something that I'm not sure I could adequately describe in English, French, or (perhaps especially) Finnish. True joy comes from doing things the Lord would do, if He were here right now, doing what we're doing. As I align myself more and more with His will, I feel more joy, and a stronger assurance that I'm doing what I need to be doing, at the right time, and in the right place.