I am going to a place way close to my area called Haaga. It’s still in Helsinki and I’m still in the same district. It’s a sweet area with a lot of potential and I am pretty stoked. I also am getting a new Companion today. His name is Vanhin Pearson. He was actually my current companion’s companion in the MTC. I have sort have met him a few times and he seems like a pretty funny and cool guy. I’m excited to get to know him. Also, the Haaga area already has a companion of sisters who are going to be staying there, which is way awesome because they are both way cool. They are both hard working sisters and the told us that the ward is working really well with missionaries and so I’m excited to get over there and get the ball rolling. For my companion, he will be staying here and training a greenie. For a welcoming gift, I hid the cats that Meg and Andy gave me around the apartment for him to find.
It is sad to leave my Neitsytpolku ward because I have met so many awesome people. Especially the people I got to teach. It is hard to be so invested and then get one phone call and say "Well, nice knowin ya!" But it’s the name of the game and I got their addresses so that I can write them. The ward here is so awesome and I really feel like it is my true home here in Finland. The heart of Helsinki was a pretty sick way to start out the mission. This last Sunday they had me bear my testimony. I was excited to try and show everyone how much Finnish I had learned over my 5 month stay. So, I bore it and I felt pretty good. But, then I got to thinking and realized that instead of saying "I love you all" I actually said " I love them" DANGIT! What a newbie mistake! My one chance to show people how smart I think I am and I totally blow it. No wonder the ward was giving such comforting smiles during it. I thought they were smiles of being way impressed at my Finnish, but instead they were smiles of "Oh, cute. He’s trying so hard...." But oh well, they got the point.
This week we had probably the most golden teach/investigator. He is a young single adult and goes to all the young single adult activities and loves them. He came to a baptism. Loved it. Came to church. Loved it. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and he brought out his IPad and had already downloaded the Book of Mormon, D&C, and Bible. Last Sunday, I looked over at him and he was just sitting there reading the Book of Mormon. He is so awesome. He is asian and so does not have any knowledge of christianity but he has such a great desire to learn He soaks up everything we teach him. I am a little sad that I will not be around to teach him, but luckily I will still be close enough to go to his baptism.
This last week was a family baptism in our district. It was so sweet to see a family of 3 boys, 1 girl and the mom (the dad will get baptized soon) all get baptized. Ever since our President got here he has emphasized finding families, and now the finding of families is quickly increasing. Finland is really on the rise right now and its cool to be a part of.
I am so thankful to be in Finland. It is the coolest place ever. The work is so hard and exhausting, but while reminiscing about my last five months in Helsinki I could only remember the good times I had. It is so interesting, it has been hard and I know that it has been hard, but when I think of all my memories, I can only remember all of the awesome experiences I had. I have absolutely loved it here. I can honestly say that choosing to go on a mission has been by far the best decision I have ever made in my whole life. The mission is the jam (translation for old people: The mission has been amazing)
Wow. I love you all so much. I have the best family and friends in the world. I am thankful to every single person I have ever met. Life is way good.
Have great weeks. Stay safe. Stay sane.
Elder Jrog Merkley