Valitettavasti… mina tarvitsen sanoa nakemiin…
Welllllllll……………………… Unfortunately…. I need to say goodbye to Lappeenranta:( BUT!!! I’m on my way to Oulu!! Change calls are truly such a heartache! I’m beyond thrilled that I get to serve in Oulu (I’ll tell you why in a sec), but I’m truly going to miss Lappeenranta. Out of everywhere that I’ve served so far it’s the place where I’ve made some of my deepest and dearest connections. I love it here and I love the people. They are incredible and have taught me so much from word and action. I’ve raved about this ward before but it’s true, they really have such a knack for not just “loving the missionaries”, but loving the missionary. They love every single one that serves here individually, and truly care for us! Ahhh I could go on and on, but I won’t, another day perhaps:) But Oulu!!! Ok, I’ll admit I don’t know a lot about it but this is why I’m excited… it will mean that I will have served in all four zones in the Finland mission (Turku = Tampere Zone, Helsinki = Hesinki Zone, Lappeenranta = East Zone, Oulu = North Zone), It’s the farthest city north that sisters can go, I’ve hear the ward is amazing, I will hopefully have a better chance at seeing the northern lights (**hopefully**), I’m going to probably be traveling more while up there to surrounding cities… and just a lot of fun little things. It’s going to be an interesting and fun change! And I will be serving with a sister that I’ve actually always thought I’d really enjoy being companions with:) It’s her last change which is sad because I hate “killing” my companions but at least I got to snag her before she leaves back to America!
But back to Lappeenranta news! This week was a miracle week where we were able to meet with many and share with them the beautiful message of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ. I’m so moved with the stories and experiences that each and every one we met with have had in there lives that have directed them towards Christ, and the simple statements they shared showing so much assurance in God and Christ’s reality. It was touching to hear one man share his life story growing up in the Genocide and to hear his humble testimony that “God lives, there is no other explanation for why I’m here”. Lappeenranta has some really wonderful things happening here and I’m sad that I won’t be here to be in the middle of it. But, I know that Oulu is where God wants and needs me. I was blessed to come across this scripture in some old notes I found this week which was truly an answer to prayers.
Alma 1:26 – And when the priests left their labor to impart the word of God unto the people, the people also left their labors to hear the word of God. And when the priest had imparted unto them the word of God they all returned again diligently unto their labors; and the priest, not esteeming himself above his hearers, for the preacher was no better than the hearer, neither was the teacher any better than the learner; and thus they were all equal, and they did all labor, every man according to his strength.
This scripture has brought peace to my heart the past couple of days in so many various ways. It teaches various lessons, and I truly can see myself as both the learner and teacher when I think of different situations/experiences. But the thing that really stood out to me is what can be learned from the last sentence. They did all labor, every man according to his strength. Normally, when reading a scripture like this I tend to think of strength in a very literal sense. As in “they did their best”, or “they did as much as they had strength to do”… while maybe this was the way it was intended to be interpreted I don’t know, but while reading it this time I thought of instead of the word strength what if we were to say talent, or gift from God; reading, every man according to his talents. We may even go a step farther and say, according to His (as in God’s) talents… because it is truly from Him that we are given these gifts. So even though the idea of going to Oulu may sound intimidating in some ways or the fact that I am truly sad to leave Lappeenranta, I can rest assure that everything is done for the best, and we are truly moved around because God needs our strengths/talents in different places, different callings, different scenarios at the appropriate time in order to move His work forward. We’re all laboring, every one according to their God given talents. It’s reassuring to me to know that I can do what God needs me to do in Oulu and reassuring to know that the sisters who will come and go through Lappeenranta are the exact people needed to help those that I love so much here to progress! I can rest assure that they’re in the best of hands:)
Other wonderful things from this week… Last Tuesday a member from our ward took us on a blueberry finding adventure through the various islands on Lake Saimaa. It was heaven! We kinda got lost and ended up in the car for a lot of it but it was some of the most beautiful area I’ve ever seen! We eventually ended up at his mökki (summer house) where we, him, and two other members from the ward enjoyed little cakes and tea. It was such an ideal day!
Like I mentioned earlier we had a few really awesome lessons this week, definitely some of the highlight moments for this week, which makes it all the harder to leave them but it will be ok, I have their contact info;) We also went and helped paint a member’s soon to be bunny/animal room. So much fun and we got to play with 3 day old chicks so yeah, no complaints there!!
Hmmmm… not sure what else… so I’ll just let the pictures do the talking. Love you all! See ya in Oulu!