Okay, the phrase "Miracle Territory" is my companion's, Elder Saunder's, favorite phrase to invoke whenever something really awesome spiritually related happens! And, we had quite a few of these random moments of awesome-ness, as well as, sadly, a few moments of not-awesome-ness. But water under the bridge.
Well, last Tuesday in the evening, we were walking around and met a Finn (surprise, surprise) that actually talked with us for ONE HOUR. Outside. We actually were walking around with him the whole time, going around in a loop through Porvoo over and over. He progressively got more and more interested in talking with us again, and once we parted, he insisted that we meet him again the next day and walk with him again! We went through a forest with him, and all of the time on both walks we were talking about the very basics of religion, and why it means so much to our lives that we would come all the way to Finland to share it. But, he was mostly interested in us talking about religion, rather than us asking about him/talking about ourselves. He wants to meet with us again this week, too, so hopefully we will sit and talk with him tomorrow!
We also have just started teaching a new investigator whose family loves us! They have decided that every Monday, we are going to come over and play a game with them (like, Monopoly, or UNO, or etc.) and share a small spiritual thought. And we hadn't even talked that much about Family Home Evening! He has 2 kids that are Finnish speaking, but learning English rather rapidly. They are in the 1st and 4th grades in Finland. I'm looking forward to talking with all of this family for some time to come!
That was about all of the "Miracle Territory" I faced, other than that, it was an okay week. We had Zone Training, but that wasn't too life-changing this time... But! To the questions!
1. What was your favorite thing about this last week?
Hmm. I think it was getting to know the one family's children! They were pretty fun to be with, one of them is adopted, and both of them are just so caring and nice. They gave each of us a 50 cent piece, and told us to get some juice with it! How cute!
2. What is a new skill you have gained since becoming a missionary?
I think that I have learned to be more aware of the needs of others. Whether it comes to the needs of investigators or the understanding of my companion's needs, I think I'm more aware of the fact that everyone, at one time or another, can be helped in some small way by me, perhaps even without knowing who I am! I think just realizing how much of an instrument I can be in God's hands has been the new skill I've most enjoyed.
3. What is something different about Porvoo?
Hmm. Perhaps it is the fact that so many people here are Swedish speaking? That is a bit of a new one on me. I'm still having to learn Finnish, so I think I'll try to sidestep learning Swedish until I'm a little more solid on what I need to learn in that...
4. What is something you love about Porvoo? (Can be the same answer as #3!)
Actually, to an extent, it IS the same answer! In Porvoo, I think I have found a lot more genuinely nice people. It is likely because every single person that I've really liked for their attitude is a foreigner of one sort or another. No, not like, from a different land, foreign, but perhaps just even being a Swedish-Finn born in Finland but with a different mother tongue. Even that means that your home is a little different than your average Finnish home. Really, just the idea of being slightly different in a country and finding others that are different as well tends to make you bond with them better, and both parties are almost always immediately comfortable in talking with a stranger if they're both strangers. Kinda weird, but it makes sense to me... I think, in general, that I have come into contact with more off-the-bat nice people here. Lots of people in Tampere were nice once you got to know them, but this is a bit different.
5. Have you met an Elder Hansen? A missionary serving in OKC is good friends with him. He thinks that Vanhin Hansen (Hanson?) served in Porvoo just before you?
Yes, I do know of him! He was also at the last Zone Training that we had, he's somewhere in Haaga District now, I think... Hammenlinna? I don't know for certain... Who's asking?
6. Have you seen the Northern Lights?
I haven't yet... You apparently need to be more up North to see it, but I'll try to look a little bit closer!
7. What is something you studied this week?
I've been studying a lot directly from Preach My Gospel, and I'm SO glad that we were challenged to read it as a ward! I have a lot more comfortable of a knowledge of it than I would otherwise. But, I've been going to the chapter endings and reading the Personal Study sections, and then studying off of those. It's been good! I liked the Chapter 4 most, I think.
8. What is something you taught this week?
I think I taught most about the Plan of Salvation this week to various people. I am grateful that it is such a comforting message for others!
Well, that's about it! I need to go now, no time left for emailing, sorry all! I'm out. Rauha. Peace.
Vanhin David Milligan