Mom, my favorite (yes, William really did say this)
Thank you so much for the packages! I have gained 50 pounds and look like I just got out of a snack pack factory! (jk) Actually, I haven't gained weight... unless pure muscle counts. Hm did I say that out loud? That's embarrassing. Anyways, things are going good! I have had the hardest, but the most rewarding week here. Things can get stressful, but a quote that I learned a long time ago came to a reality this week, "When things get too hard to stand... kneel." I cannot tell you how much comfort I have received during my stressful situations. I was sitting in a classroom so stressed out by myself over vocab that I was literally about to break down. I flipped through a hymn book and found the song, "Oh My Father." My Heavenly Father spoke to my heart, and was there for me. I cannot tell you how humbling it was. Tears could not be constrained, and I knelt and expressed my love for my Heavenly Father and my Heavenly Mother. I know they're there. When I first got here sister told us, "Be the kind of missionary your mother thinks you are."
I am so grateful for you Mommy, and I am also grateful for my Heavenly Mother. There is a special spirit that comes about when I talk about you and her. It is an interesting topic.
We are pushing ourselves to speak only in Finnish from breakfast to dinner. I have noticed a difference in my teaching. last night after my lesson, Elder Orr said, "Where did you learn all that?" The gift of tongues is real. Elder Scott, last night, came and conferred upon us the gift of tongues apostolically. It was an amazing feeling being in the same room (30 yards away) from someone who has possibly felt the prints in the Savior's hands.
Everyday I try to be like Him, and fail miserably (which is good). I know that the Lord helps us through our weaknesses (Ether 12:27). It is amazing how close we can be to our Savior if we are but obedient. I have come to realize how imperfect I am. But, I have also come to realize the grace and mercy the Savior gives to me. I cannot express to you how watched over I am. There are some days when you literally have to call down angels to help you make it through that day, and somehow find the faith to learn ust one more grammar principle, just one more word, just help one more person.
As I have strived not to worry about home and myself, I have realized how many people I can help. There are so many people all around us who need us, who need help. If we forget ourselves and worry about them, our brothers and sisters, there is no greater happiness in this world or the world to come. I finally have learned that lesson. Forget yourself and go to work.
My teacher told me, "Try and serve each person in your district everyday." I have been trying to find some small way to do that. There has been no worrying about anything, as I have been doing that. I love you so much mom. And, I can't tell you how much those packages and notes, etc, mean to me. "I came not into the world to do mine own will, but the will of Him who sent me." When we take the Savior's example into our lives... there is no possible outcome other than pure happiness that is not attainable anywhere else.
I love you so much
PS I get my travel plans and Visa two weeks from tomorrow.