Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, Finland

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Terve perhe!! Holy cow one month of my mission is already gone. K, that's kind of gross. I can't believe it's been a month. Ok scratch that...I feel like it's been years since I left but then I look back and I'm like wait How long have I been here? It's kind of hard to believe that I actually did anything other than be at the MTC! It's great though! I have learned SO much. I think that's why missionaries get so tired...a lot of knowledge coming at you from every angle! 

I am so sorry about my lack of letter writing. You are all so great to send me dearelders and letters. I am trying to write back as fast as I can. Just know that I am so grateful for your support and love. It means the world to me and literally is what keeps me going. You are all in my prayers everyday. I have honestly been blessed with the greatest family and friends in the world. I don't know what I would do without you!

So this week has been pretty good! Sisar Thayne and I have reevaluated our language study plan and our Finnish is coming along a lot better. We finally figured out a system of taking notes that works really well. It's so easy to get overwhelmed when you are learning a language, but we are focusing on learning 15 words a day and trying to implement as much Finnish into our conversations as we can. I really can testify that the gift of tongues is real. People always say that the only ones who can learn Finnish are Finnish babies and mormon missionaries and it's SO true. I've probably already said that in one of my letters, but it's all good, right? :) I am working really hard though on the language and I know that one day I will be able to speak it....preferably sooner than later but hey, I guess we'll see :) 

We have decided that the language we can speak right now is called "Spenglinnish" a combo of Spanish, English, and Finnish. Occasionally we will be teaching a lesson and I will throw a "Si" or a "muy bien" in there. The other day we were teaching our "Investigator" (our teacher, Sisar Shaw) and I said Minä tiedän että Mormonin kirja on muy bien kirja" which means "I know the Book of Mormon is a "muy bien" book. Ya she laughed for like 20 minutes. I didn't think it was that funny...idk maybe I'm losing my sense of humor :) Just kidding, I'm not. But it is funny how your language brain just puts together every language you have ever heard. I love Finnish though. I am so grateful that I get to learn a language and especially one not a lot of people know. It's so stinking cool!

So our teachers taught us a funny Finnish phrase this week that apparently all the "cool kids" say in Finland. So you know how we say, "What's up dawg" in America? Well in Finland they say "Morro Porro" which means "What's up Reindeer?" Ya they are kind of legit :) Isn't that funny? I can't wait to see a reindeer. I will definitely take pics!! So you should all walk around saying Morro Porro and you willl be as cool as the sick kids in Finland! :)

L. Tom Perry came and spoke to us on Tuesday which was pretty legit. He talked about companionships which wasn't what any of us were expecting, but it was still good and apparently needed to be addressed. I love Sisar Thayne, but we have been talking this week about how being with someone for 24 hours, 7 days a week kind of sets your teeth on edge a little bit. It's like having a shadow that talks back to you. We talked through some of our probs and decided that it's great that we are learning to be with someone 24/7 now cause when we get married, we're going to be so excited to get any time with our husbands! So it's definitely a good thing...we think :)

So I have been thinking this week a lot about the Savior...I know, shocker huh? :) But an Elder in my district shared this quote with me and I wanted to share it with all of you. It's by Bruce C. Hafen and it says, "Some church members feel weighed down with discouragement about the circumstances of their personal lives, even when they are making sustained and admirable efforts. Frequently these feelings of self-disappointment come not from wrongdoing, but from stresses and troubles for which we may not be fully to blame. The Atonement of Jesus Christ applies to all these experiences because it applies to all of life. The Savior can wipe away all of our tears after all that we can do. The Savior's atonement is the healing power not only for sin, but also for carelessness, inadequacy, and all mortal bitterness. The Atonement is not just for sinners." 

I love that quote so much! I have to tell you, being at the MTC has broken down my thick, stubborn shell. All my doubts and inadequacies and weaknesses have been brought to my attention. I know, it sounds bad, but it has made me realize how I literally need my Savior in every single aspect of my life. I have always had a rock of a family to help me through all my trials, and I still do, but I only get to talk with you once a week. Who are we supposed to turn to to help us get through every day life? We are supposed to rely on the Savior. He is always there to help us. He knows every little tiny thing we feel. I have realized that my first convert on my mission is me. I have always had a testimony, but there is always room to improve and to increase our faith in Jesus Christ. He is our best friend. He will not fail us, nor forsake us. NBD I came up with that on my own. JK I stole it from President Monson but I know that is true. Anything is possible when we rely on the Savior!

I want you all to know how much I love you and how much I love this gospel. It is the greatest thing that any of us have. It is our responsibility to share it. I am grateful for the MTC but I cannot wait to get to Finland. Every day Sisar Thayne and I wake up and look at each other and say "Finlandia for Life", then we laugh, and get to work :) It's such a strange thing being on a mission. You experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows but all you remember at the end of the day are the highs! It's so wonderful! I am so grateful for each of you and I appreciate your love and support more than you could ever know! One cool thing I have started doing with my scripture study is writing a question down from the day. It can literally be anything, but when you read your scriptures, try and look for answers to that question. I promise that you will find answers even if your question is "Why are my friends rude to me?" and you are reading about Ammon cutting of the arms of the Lamanites....for real though :) you will get answers and then the Book of Mormon will become a tool for you to use in your life instead of just something we do at the end of the day. I love the Book of Mormon. It is my favorite part of the day when I can sit and study that book. It's amazing!! Hey guys, did I mention I love the Book of Mormon? Ok, I'm done now :) I hope you all have a fantastic week! Please be safe and look out for each other. I love you with all my heart!

Minä luvatan että Mormonin Kirja siunataa sinun elämä. Luket Mormonin Kirja aina!!!!

Haha Finnish is so great! :)

I love you guys! Rakastan sinua!!

Love, Sisar Bitner 

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