Well, it’s almost time for FINLAND! I fly out on Monday! Whoo hoo!
Hello friends and family!
Honestly, I really have loved my time here at the MTC! It’s been so insanely wonderful to get to know all of these little Finns (how I affectionately refer to my district). The clock is ticking down until we check out of the MTC at 6:30 am this Monday morning. My goodness I’m going to miss them!!! For those of you that aren’t as familiar with LDS missions, I will be flying to Finland with 10 other missionaries who are also assigned to serve there. However, once we get to the country we will be welcomed by our mission president, stay one night with he and his wife in Espoo and then each of us will be assigned new companions. ….I just told Sister Jones about ten seconds ago “President Watson is probably assigning our trainers right now! Ah!!” We are both so excited and a teensy weensy bit nervous. But! I know the Lord will help us become the best missionaries we can be as we turn ourselves to him to shape us into our potential.
Wow. It’s been soooo weird this week thinking “This is my last Monday class with Sister Johnson.” or “This is the last time I’ll go to the temple in the USA.” or “This is the last time I’ll teach this investigator!” 😦 Ei hyvä! No good! You get really attached to your investigators if you’re doing it right in my opinion. I love Karina and Renee! They are so wonderful and it’s been beautiful to see how their lives are changing as they make and keep the commitments to them to trust more in God, to pray for strength and direction, to repent of their sins because we know that God is a loving God and that he will forgive them. It’s been beautiful to become their friends and gain their trust. I think one of the best things about missionary work is that we’re here to support people. We don’t always have all of the answers to their questions about life and why it’s sometimes so hard. But! We are here as their friends and their guides. We are here to guide them to our loving Heavenly Father who wants to hear from them! Because he loves them, and he knows how to help them. I’m so happy this isn’t the end–it’s just the beginning of a new adventure in Finland!
When I first became a missionary I thought it was my job to answer everyone’s questions about everything under then sun–and that’s a kind of intimidating thought when you’re 19 years old and have so little life experience compared to everyone else. But! I’ve learned a few things while being here at the MTC that I’d like to share with all of you:
1) I don’t have all of the answers, but I don’t need to. Heavenly Father wants us to learn and grow in this life–that’s why we’re here! And as one of my dear friends taught me recently, this life wouldn’t really be a test if we knew all of the answers before we experienced trials and opportunities. But….
2) Luckily, God is a loving teacher and parent, not at all like the teacher who won’t ever help you and expects you to know everything 100% perfectly on the pre-test. He’s here to help you! He does ask us to put in our effort, this is true. But, this too is just another good sign of being a good and loving teacher.
As a math tutor for two years in high school, as a friend and sister who likes to teach, and having experienced many teaching opportunities in the past two months, I’ve learned that the best teachers give you their example first. (God sent Jesus Christ down to earth to show us how to live, how to love others, and love him. He also gave us the scriptures: The Book of Mormon, the Bible, and His word through the teachings of latter-day prophets and apostles. All of these teach us the way we can be happy in this life and have eternal life in the world to come.)
A good teacher also is kind and patient and supportive. Our Heavenly Father is the same way. He gives us a way to repent of our sins. We can speak to him through prayer and he listens. Through Jesus Christ’s atonement all of our wrongs can be made right.
God is no “respecter of persons.” He loves all of us because we are his children. No matter who you are, no matter what you may have done, no matter how you view yourself or others, God loves you. He loves you personally. I know he loves me. He knows each one of his children by name. He’s the perfect teacher. We just need to ask the questions, and be patient enough to listen and act on the response. I testify that this is true.
I’m ecstatic for Finland! I’ll tell you all about it next time!
Photos: This is me and Sister Greenhalgh (friend from childhood who is headed to Taiwan) 🙂 And these little Finns (how I affectionately refer to my district). Wednesday we directed traffic again.