What happens in the field… stays in the field….
So this week has been pretty crazy! It started off as I told you last week with Interim (basically a reunion of my MTC district, newbie training, a lot of really spiritually uplifting discussions, and A LOT of fantastic food!). We took the train from Turku to Helsinki, where I was reunited at the train station and mission home with all the girls from my district (it was one of the greatest reunions, definitely one of those moments where you’re so excited you get butterflies in your stomach). There’s just something about your MTC district that’s extra special. I don’t know if it’s the fact that we all started this crazy adventure and tried to learn Finnish together or what but there’s something about all of them that I love so very much!
We spent the next 3 days just being spiritually fed! It was really quite fantastic. The best parts were when we all were able to share a moment when the Book of Mormon has played a part in our companionship whether in teaching or just our companionship. I don’t believe I’ve shared this experience with you all so I figured I would… I talked a little bit about her in last week’s email. It’s funny because they say that people are prepared specifically for you, I never truly believed that until I met her. Everything that we spoke about that first day we met her and since has reflected some of the various ups and downs I’ve gone through personally making it really easy for me to relate to what she’s going through. I’ve always thought/wondered if I have been given my trials and experiences for more than just my own learning but to also be there to help/understand others… I truly believe that, but it was crazy to talk with her and see that thought in action. Anyway… back to the first day with her. We talked to her about the Book of Mormon and explained what kind of happens throughout the book… as we were finishing that up she asked us, “Well, what has this book done for you?” I immediately had Mosiah 24:14 come into my head (It’s one that really helped me and gave me great comfort when I was younger… the story of me finding that scripture was actually quite cool too. In short, I was having a really hard time and I didn’t know what to do, I decided to just open the scriptures at random and read, that scripture I read was exactly what I needed at that moment, and the fact that I found it in that way helped me see that Heavenly Father really was there helping me. God always loves a good coincidence;) ha). Well I’m pretty sure that Heavenly Father REALLY wanted her to hear this scripture because my companion went first and of course, it was the same one I had thought of! Mosiah 24:14. As our investigator read I was astounded because we had both thought of the same scripture to share! Then I noticed that the woman we were teaching began to tear up and before even finishing reading it… she stopped in the middle and said, “you don’t know anything about me or my history…”, she was obviously baffled by the scripture. Here’s what it says:
14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
She then finished reading it and then told us more about her story… not only was she going through many different trails, but one of the worst was a back pain that she’s had for quite sometime and can’t seem to get rid of or find medical help for. So when she read this scripture it quite literally applied to her. It was just so beautiful to see how aware Heavenly Father was of her, and knew what would touch her. And he made sure through me and my companion that this message was going to make it to her. I don’t think it’s coincidental that I was touched by this scripture years and years ago, and I don’t think it’s coincidental that we were both prompted to share it. God really does visit his people in their afflictions.
Another really great part of Interim was being able to go and do a session at the Helsinki Temple… It was absolutely beautiful! There were so many moments of peace and love there and I’m really grateful for the opportunity I had to do a session there!
It was a crazy few days getting back into the swing of things once we got back to Turku after Interim was over… but it was great because we came home with a lot of new ideas on how to improve what we’re doing and I’m really excited to see where it will all take us.
Although not all the days are easy (I still am really struggling with the language), I am ultimately really grateful for this opportunity. It already has become such a blessing to me. Love you all!!
Oh yeah!!! Ya’ll are probably wondering about the field…. well let’s just say we had a really interesting time going to Prisma (kinda like a Walmart over here) this week. We weren’t sure how to get there exactly and so the second we saw it we got off the bus… well we were actually pretty close and we either had to take a round-about way or cut through a field… well of course we chose the field, there seemed to be a little path and it looked like the much faster choice. Haha we were wrong! One thing that Finland is known for is stinging nettle… let’s just say we got up close and personal with A LOT of it haha. And then the farther we got the worse it got. We had already gone through all the stinging nettle (our legs were practically numb at this point) when we saw there was a hidden river also dividing us from our destination… we had come so far so we kept on trying to figure out new solutions of how to get there rather than cut our loses and just go back… well in the midst of all this despair and A LOT of laughter at our stupidity I had to pee… like realllllly bad!! So after a lot of contemplation I finally found a spot that looked stinging nettle free and you guessed it… I don’t even have to finish that sentence ha. The whole time my companion is just dying of laughter at what I’m having to do haha. I don’t mind going to the bathroom in the wilderness, but a stinging nettle infested field where you can’t see the ground beneath you, and there’s a shopping center a few hundred feet away isn’t the ideal. Ultimately after realizing there was no way we could cross the river we gave in and went back around. We were sadly defeated! But it made for some really funny memories. I’m sure there’s some grand lesson to be learned from all this haha:)