Tuesday, January 20, 2015

ANTI-Trunky Letter

A letter for Sisar Hansen falls into the mail slot with a slight "thunk". The return address is the mission office address. Another trunky letter? Upon opening the letter and scanning its contents, I discover that it is, in fact, an ANTI-trunky letter from President Watson. Dear readers, I have 6 weeks left in Finland. That's right. SIX WEEKS. The time is flying by, and will only get shorter. I was really thankful for this letter, reminding me to "sprint to the end" and be the best missionary I can be while I can. Being a trainer helps with this quite a lot. I have to be on top of things for the sake of my companion. She needs to start out her mission as strong as possible, and I can have a big effect on that. She actually pushes me to be better, with tovereni, I have a bit of a built-in anti-trunkiness system.

As I reviewed the letter, I noticed an invitation to re-read the ENTIRE Book of Mormon during my last transfer, or rather, my last transfer, minus the almost 3 weeks before I received the letter. Hoo, boy! Challenge accepted! I've been blazing through, reading almost 20 pages/day in addition to any other needed studies, and it's been amazing how much I can get from it at such a pace. I'm highlighting, writing in the margins, and discovering insights for investigators. I'm about halfway through 2nd Nephi after about 4 or 5 days of reading, and getting more out of Isaiah than I ever have before! There are so many things I'd like to do before I go home. I know that I can't do everything. I pray that, instead of this adding to my stress, that the Lord will help me to prioritize and to not mourn over the things I may have to give up, but to find enjoyment and peace in the things He asks of me to do, those things that are best. It's refreshing to get rid of baggage, don't you think? The ridding of baggage of too many projects and time-drainers sure does feel invigorating. (As does reading the Book of Mormon!)

Friday night we arrived at our weekly coordination meeting after a few hours of some odd contacting adventures (former investigator giving us a book about the Shroud of Turin, anyone?) to hear that, "Oh, yeah, there's a school presentation on Monday morning. Who wants to do it?" Ooh! I LOVE school presentations! The sisaret will do it! Sisaret! Not even thinking of how poor tovereni might feel about it, I quickly volunteered. It's settled. School presentation Monday morning. No members involved at this point, and not even sure if we had a copy of the materials in our apartment, we tried not to think too much about how big this task might actually be. There's a lot of material to cover, and even I don't know all the vocabulary involved. Instead of losing her cool, Sisar M made a study plan to help us prepare for our latest assignment, and we went from, "How is this even possible?" to "At least we'll have a member there with us!" Well, when our member cancelled early Monday morning, all we could do was laugh. We really didn't mean to wake anyone up, but at least the YSA we called out of desperation had a good sense of humor about it (and hopefully they liked our apologetic cookies later that day). With everyone at work or in class, we had nothing to do, but just go out and do it ourselves. We arrived in the class of about 10 high school students, set up the PowerPoint, and the words just came. Tovereni blew the class away with her 12 weeks' worth of Finnish. She commented, shared personal stories, and answered a few questions, all in Finnish! The teacher and the class insisted that English would be fine, but Sisar Mendenhall was not called to speak English. She was called to boldly declare the gospel in Finnish, and that is what she did. We got some tough questions, of course, not all of them well-intentioned, but we were always able to conjure up just the right words to give an appropriate response to any concern. A MAJOR success, one that I hope will be a confidence-boost for tovereni. Quite an accomplishment for any missionary on just her 3rd week in the field. I was in my 3rd TRANSFER when I did my first school presentation, and it was daunting enough. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, my companion in miraculous.

Other adventures from the week include:
-Wiping out on the snow as I ran for the bus to church. Good thing everybody was watching...
-Getting caught in the snow in inadequate footwear (It had been MUCH warmer that morning!)
-Cutting out snowflakes as baby shower decorations as a mini service project
-More fun times teaching and learning with Lance
-Contacting BINGO, our latest attempt to help us be better at contacting on the street/bus (We look for people to contact who match the attributes on our squares. Bonus points if we can actually get in a lesson. It's been miraculous so far!) 
-Waiting outside an investigator's building for 15 minutes in the cold (and wearing afore-mentioned inadequate footwear) until somebody came out of the building, and we were able to drop a cookie/letter combo in her mail slot
-And many more anti-trunky antics!

Dear reader, life is grand. Let us, like Nephi, "live after the manner of happiness" and avoid the angst of trunkiness. Life is literally a gift from our Heavenly Father. May we treat it as such.


Sisar Hansen

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