Mommy, and Daddy,
Joensuu is doing amazingly well here!! We have literally seen miracles, and it is so unbelievably fun here. I dont know where to start, but here I go.
Experience one, So we had a teach last week with one of our investigators named Oleg. He is russian and speaks unbelievably fast. I thought he was making fun of me during the lesson because of my finnish, but i guess he really liked it haha. So the whole time (Due to his facial expressions) he was not showing any emotions, and didnt seem to care about what we had to say. I didnt think too much of it. But I guess my companion commited him to baptism and he said YES!!, and I didnt know it until we were about to leave! We have our first baptismal date on July 2nd for him. I was so excited!! (once I figured out what was going on)..... He is so excited to be baptized, but he kept fliriting with our chinese investigators at church haha... what a dog......
Experience two, We planned this amazingly busy, and structured day starting with a service project with our bishop out in the country side, planting potatoes!!! It was really fun, and now jen cant say that i am not a farmer!! Anyways... he kept us for like 4 hours. We were only planning on two. After that we went to a recent converts home, and our bishop was suggesting that he should follow the word of wisdom more, and he kept saying, "Its a nice day for a jog, dont you think??" But of course I didnt know what was going on because... ya... anyways.. my companion said it was great :)
We finally get home, get things together, realize were out of groceries, run all over town.... it was insane. We realized we scheduled to go visit a member so we head over there.. look at the map, and realize that we are on the other side of town!! Ahhhh!! So we turn around and we see this guy, looks kind of not interested (but so does everyone at first!! :) So we go contact him. Didnt think too much of it.
Later that night he called us and said,"About 100 yards before you came up and talked to me, I was thinking about how much I needed Christ in my life, and how much I wanted to change... it was a miracle that you showed up when you did."
Heavenly Father knew that his son needed help, and he lead us to him. It built my testimony on this work so much. I dont think I have prayed so hard in my life, that maybe we could help this guy. We went over and taught him the next day, and he asked me a question that really caught me off guard. "Does Jesus Christ really live?" The room got quiet, the spirit entered into every spot of my body, and I was able to say in perfect finnish, "I want you to know, that I know He lives." The spirit was so strong, and it was as if we were talking to a brother.
I dont want anyone to think that I am telling these experiences to build up myself. I know my weaknesses. Every day i realize how much I need the atonement. The Lord woulnt loose anything if I decided to give up. Oh but what I would loose. I want you both to know that the Lord is here. He is real! I see his hand everyday in my life. Even if its just a,"William, keep going." He is here helping us. He is helping me, through so many weaknesses. At first, I was so unconfident of myself here. I did not feel like I could make a difference, and then I got a letter from grandma that said,"William, let go of your fear, and let him guide you." It struck me, basically,"Forget yourself and go to work!" Ever since that day, everything has been exploding! in a good way!! So thank you grandma.
Now for my mom, you want to know about Joensuu.... Finland is like this dream country. Despite everyone smokes.. Every morning we go running on this trail through trees. It is really clean, and there is not a ton of people. They have so many amazing trees here!! They're huge. the word for tree in finnish is, puu haha I laugh everytime. My comp is actually sending one home today haha. Basically everything here is just like you would imagine, except joensuu is more modern. Helsinki is more where the historical stuff is kept up to date. I did however get to go to my first european castle up in savonliina last week ( I think thats how you say it) type it into the internet and see. We only had 15 minutes though, which sucked, but it was so legit!!
Our apatment is really nice haha. We have a balcony, and I actually have a queen size bed, and we get a lot of money to go buy really good food. So I love it here. Plus the members feed us a couple times a week. Yesterday we had salmon potato soup which was amazing. Anyways, the chocolate here is really good, I need to send dad one today. I hope you like it. It costs two bucks to send it so savor it!! I sent one to jen, but havent heard anything, but eh life goes on! what a punk haha!! She is great.
Elder Nielsen and I are basically the same person. He goes home in August. Our sense of humor is the same, and everything is unbelievable funny. He is so dedicated to the work, and motivates me! But is not to good at cooking soup.... sheeeesh. I just smiled and ate it. We work so hard, we typically dont eat dinner tell around 8 at night because we are out working. I am always tired, but so happy. I get to take a nap on the train today on the way to helsinki, I hope at least.
I have been learning the meaning of working with your mind, and heart verses just with your might and strength. Anyone can go through the motions, but the ones who do it with all their heart, and mind, are the true disciples. It is something I battle everyday, especially when things get hard. But you suck it up, and keep going, and love life, and hand out more pamphlets!!!
If only I could tell you more.........
I love you both, thank you for all your support, be safe, keep writing, and make sure and know that I think about you both everyday.
Sorry, european keyboards are weird, so sorry about the word structure.