Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, Finland

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Week 3 baby!! We made it. Honestly the MTC time warp is the WEIRDEST thing I have ever experienced. I decided this week that my favorite day at the MTC is Wednesday A, because it's P-day eve, but B, because all the new missionaries come in on Wednesdays. It is so nice to see new people. It's great not being the noobs anymore :)

So this week has been great. We teach "investigators" in Finnish every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. It's like the scariest thing in the world, but it's amazing how the spirit can be there even when I'm saying "God loves you" and "I know the Book of Mormon is true and will bring you peace." Translation: "Jumala rakastaa sinua" and "Minä tiedän että Mormonin Kirja on totta ja tuot sinua rauha." NBD, I speak Finnish. Totally kidding. Finnish is a struggle. But we're working on it. Whenever our teachers teach us a new grammar concept, and don't worry, there is a new one every class, we always yell at them and say "Brain dart". That's what the Finnish grammar makes you feel like. Someone is throwing a dart at your head. But it's great and I love it! When our teachers speak it, it is so beautiful. Honestly it sounds like they are singing. I can't wait until I get to that point! I have little love bursts for Finnish. Very few and far between but I know that I will eventually love it! :)

So I was talking to my teacher Sisar Shaw this week and she shared me our mission president's family motto and I wanted to share it with all of you. It goes:

"Life is an adventure. It will be good for your character. Rejoice in all things"

I love that so much. It is so great to remember that everything we go through in life is there to help us grow and progress. If we can just remember that life is meant to be an adventure and to be happy whenever we can, we will get far in life. The Finnish sisters are basically best friends now. Sisar Pack, Sisar Woods, and Sisar Dixon are all so amazing. We are in different districts, but we hang out all the time. It is so great to have them here and we all get along so well. Sisar Pack is our masseuse. Like seriously, she gives us back massages. It's the greatest thing ever. I am definitely spoiled here at the MTC. There are ups and downs for sure, but I have learned that when we enjoy the highs and try our best to push through the lows with a positive attitude, the lows come less often and the highs last a lot longer!

Our zone plays volleyball during gym time. I never liked volleyball but now it is my favorite thing in the world. Probably cause it's not in Finnish, but it's way fun just the same. Our zone leaders are leaving to Hungary this week and we are all SO sad. We have grown so close and they really are some of my best friends. Me and Sisar Thayne were talking about how hard it is going to be to say goodbye to each other. We have known our zone leaders for 3 weeks and I am probably going to cry when they leave. I don't even want to think about not being with Sisar Thayne. Oh well...we are enjoying the time we have with each other :)

So there are a lot of missionaries here from Finland. Ok, not a lot, but since all of us have met about zero Finnish people in our lives, meeting one person from Finland is like the best thing ever. I think they are kind of scared of us because whenever we see them, we all run and yell "Terve, mita kuulu" which means "Hi, How are you". Finnish people are pretty quiet and reserved so I think all the attention is a bit much, but they are good sports and always talk to us. They all look Finnish. Mom, I think Finnish people do have a look, although I don't think you match it like that lady in Macy's thought. Haha That was so funny. But they are all blonde, blue eyed, and Scandinavian. It's great. It's so hard not to want to be in Finland right now. But then I remember that I can't speak the language so it's a good thing I have 6 more weeks. :)

This week I have been thinking a lot about how to become more like Jesus Christ. There are so many places to improve, but that train of thought kind of got me thinking about who Jesus Christ really is and what he did for each of us. The Atonement is the ultimate expression of love. He literally sacrificed himself for us. He is our advocate with the Father. He is pleading to the Father on our behalf. Everyone should go and read D&C 45:3-5. It made me cry this week as I was studying. We are his friends. He wants us to return to live with Him again. All he asks is that we have faith in him, repent, always remember him, and do what he asks with a cheerful and happy heart, and we get eternal life in return. Talk about unprofitable servants! I love my Savior. Everything that I am and have I owe to him!  

I am so grateful for each of you. Seriously I have been thinking how I am going to stand being away from you all for 18 months, but then I realized that I can be gone for 18 months because I have all of you. You are such a strength to me. All of the packages and letters boost my spirits so much. I am so beyond grateful for the temple which allows us to be together as families forever. It is honestly the most unbelievable blessing and I want everyone in Finland and in the world to have that blessing as well. We are so blessed to be members of this church. To have this direction and peace in our lives is SO amazing. AHHHH I love this gospel and this church so much! I am feeling the love today! :)

So this week we get to hear from L. TOM PERRY on Tuesday night. I am freaking out! I am so excited!!! I will let you know the highlights of his talk for sure. It's going to be so great! Mom and Dad I also want to say HAPPY ANNIVERSARY this week! I don't even know how to express how much I love you two. You are everything I hope to be! Thank you so much for everything! I love all of you so much and am so grateful for the support I receive. I couldn't do this without you! Pray for the gift of tongues! It will probably come in handy for me one day :) I love you all more than you could ever know! Have a mahtava week...Awesome...mahtava means awesome! :) 

Kirkko on totta!
Moi Moi!

Love, Sisar Bitner

District walk on Sunday to the temple.

District walk on Sunday to the temple.

Me and Sisar Thayne by Provo Temple.

Sisar Thayne and I in class.

Sisar Thayne and I in class.

Sisar Thayne and I in class.

Sisar Thayne and I in class.

My face after Finnish class...woof!

Lunch in cafeteria.

'I love you' in Finnish.

Bored in class.

Me and Sister McCleary... what a small world.

Sisar Thayne looking for her retainer... long story :)

My desk.

Famous Map pic.

Map Pic.

More map pics.

Our zone after gym time.

Me and Sisar Thayne.

The Finnish districts.

Our zone by the temple.

Temple Thursday.

Love you all

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