Well. Peace and Blessin’s. See ya in….. 3 DAYS!
Well….. wow. Wow, wow, wow. I honestly don’t even know where to begin… how do you even attempt to make mention in one e-mail how incredible a mission is. I guess in honor of Kittos Päivä (thanksgiving) this week I’ll make mention of just some (you’ll have to wait a few days to hear all of it) that I’m grateful for. 18 things for 18 months….
1 – Sweet goodbyes at the MTC. Not knowing what the next 18 months had in store for me, but knowing that I had a sweet family and angelic friends who were there to support me throughout it.
2 – Surviving the MTC!! Jk, I actually really enjoyed my time there. Especially grateful for the sweet leaders there and forever friends that went all over the world to share the best message of gratitude and love there ever was!
3 – Still in the MTC!! haha, gotta love the unexpected turn of events when you have Visa problems, almost get transferred to the Orem, Utah mission, but mostly, you have to love those sweet moments in the temple when you realize the reality of the hymn “I’ll go where you want me to go”.
4 – Finland!! Finally made it, just in time to see the long summer sun too. So grateful for my trainer and Turku, and all the lovely members there who truly made me feel right at home. #wehaveagreenie!!
5 – The investigators and people here… whether it was a Spirit driven lesson, or a man mowing his lawn in a speedo you just can’t help but fall in love with this land!
6 – Pyhän Päivä! (holy day… a.k.a. Halloween) Seriously one of the most sacred and spiritual sights to see in Finland is a graveyard on Pyhän Päivä! I will always remember walking around the sweet church in Raisio and feeling so close to heaven.
7 – Living in the HEART of Finland!! Helsinki! This city is absolute magic and screams European charm. Ah, so grateful I got to live in the MOST adorable city filled with cobblestones, trams, and the baltic sea out my apartment window!
8 – Well duh… of course I’m grateful for Christmas in Finland!! Finland knows how to do a few things really well, first is of course sauna, and second is Christmas! Christmas is so cute and this one was especially wonderful as it was spent with literally people from all around the world. My “miss-fit” Christmas, in downtown Helsinki, complete with clam chowder (because Sister Brasher found out that’s what my Mom would make every year)… truly a Christmas to be remembered!
9 – The snow!! It took a while for it finally to come but it surely did come! Finland is magical and when it’s blanketed in white perfection… ahhhh truly the best and most ideal winter wonderland!
10 – Love! Ok I know this is cheesy because my 10th month was February, but really though… it was during those long beginning months of the year when its just cold and dark that I really needed some loving and received it in many unexpected ways. From my family, friends, those in the mission, and ultimately my Savior and Heavenly Father. You helped mend a broken heart last Valentines!
11 – Lappeenranta! Can’t say enough about this quaint little lake town. The ward just knows how to love and took in and nurtured a girl who could barely explain where she just came from. They taught me Finnish, how to teach, and how to love regardless of language barriers.
12 – The Prophet, and leaders of Heavenly Father’s church! One of the best parts of my mission has been the 3 incredible General Conferences I got to listen to. General Conference takes on new meaning as a missionary…. it’s pretty much Christmas, but it comes twice a year!! Even better. Really though, so grateful for the leaders of the church in this day. Heaven knows the world is getting crazier and crazier and I’m so grateful to have such strong and noble leaders to guide us through it!
13 – 1 YEAR!! It’s crazy how much can happen in just a year! Whether it’s your nephew growing up, your best friend getting married exactly a year after going to the MTC, or finding out countless other changes, you learn to realize how wonderful change actually is. Sometimes it brought tears, sometimes jumping up and down with joy, but mostly just a greater knowledge of Heavenly Father’s love for us, and His trust in us to give opportunities to become something greater!
14 – My 1st Baby!!! Literally though, training was one of the scariest parts of my mission. But somehow we survived and got to experience one of the biggest miracles of my mission, the baptism of my dear friend who shall remain nameless due to privacy laws:) So grateful that God trusted me with him and that I got to see him again just the other week! Pretty sure Heavenly Father spoils me WAY too much!
15 – Summers in Finland! Ok, lets get real, every season here is insane! But the summers here… ahhhhh… with the darkless nights, wild flowers and berries everywhere to just eat as you wait for buses, and smell of Sauna mixed with the heat of the day and roasting makkara (sausage). Ahhhhh. pure bliss.
16 – 🙂 hmmmm. That’s all I can do when I think about Oulu and just how grateful I am for it. Just smile and sigh! My time in Oulu, although short, was surely one of the biggest blessings of my mission! My companion, the people, and ALL THE COUNTLESS MIRACLES!! Ahhhh. I love Oulu:)
17 – My 2nd Baby!!! and the family we’ve become! Seriously though, our little family was the best way to end my mission. We’ve had the craziest couple of months but the almost 2 acumulative weeks apart have made every second together the absolute best!
18 – Hmmmm. Once again how to even begin to express my gratitude at this point. Honestly my mission has been one of the hardest, most beautiful, emotional roller-coaster I’ve ever been on, and I can’t imagine my life without having lived it. I’m so grateful for a Heavenly Father who pushed through my stubbornness and worked with me until I was ready to admit to myself that a mission was exactly what I was meant to do. I’ve learned so much about myself and the divine role that Heavenly Father has set aside for me to fulfill during this precious time on earth, and in the time beyond that. To simply say I’m grateful for my mission is like saying I’m grateful for my family… the words just don’t even begin to do it justice! I love it here and I know that my time here has influenced me for the better and has become a foundation on which I will pattern my life. If nothing else my mission has truly shown me the reality of our Heavenly Father’s specific plan for each and everyone of His children. It is specific, and it is designed for each and everyone of our interests, pursuits, and desires. He is the ultimate designer and creator. He sent His son to be the “contractor” in His beautiful design. Someone to lead us and guide us in order to understand the blueprints of our own life. He will demo a room here and there in order to build it bigger and better, he’ll add the fine detailing around the door frames, and add flowers on the porch for an extra punch of color and joy! All to fulfill the Father’s plan, which is to bring to pass the potential He sees in us! In His timing and His will, we will dwell in the mansions He has set aside for us as the beings He has helped us to become.
Mosiah 4:9 — Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.