DECEMBER 5, 2012
Pyha Moly! (That's Finnish for holy moly if you didn't catch that) I can't believe it has already been three weeks! I feel like I just barely got here. Already people I came here with have left...I'm going to see that so many more times. I did meet one girl though, Sister Nelson, she was waiting for her visa to go to Iloilo! She was so shocked that I had even heard of it before, let alone knew two sisters there already. She left on Tuesday, and Monday night she told me she had read the newsletter and was pretty positive that Sister Shocker was going to be her trainer! I randomly had a picture of her so I showed her and sent a little note for Alyssa with her. It's amazing how small the world is.This week has been pretty great. The best thing you ask? Monday they surprised the "Third World" (yet another nickname for our building, along with the Tower of Babel because of all the different tongues going on there) with new desks! It was a Christmas miracle! We were so excited. Yes, we had to do all the moving, but it definitely makes it better. Except for now the classes seem even smaller than they were before. In fact, that night in our class prayer, one of the Papa Finns said he was grateful for the new desks. In Finnish. It was journal worthy, and clearly, letter home worthy. And something else that was letter worthy, right before the prayer Vanhin Bunker was pretending to whack Vanhin Eldenberg (he's from Sweden) in the head with a rather large dictionary, and the actual dictionary part detatched itself from the cover and flew right into Vanhin Eldenberg's head. That was also why his prayer was funny, because he was slightly confused due to the blow.Also, another thing that was journal worthy, was the fact that I rocked at four square yesterday. (Yes Becca, I am one of those people apparently. I was flabbergasted.) Mostly I don't do anything and the people in front of me get out and I just move squares, but I made it to the top like seven times. The other missionaries were amazed. I later joined forces with one of the Estonian Elders, Vanem Peek, and we were ruling the court, and then someone got mad at us for having secret combinations, what ever. Some people's kids. We're planning on dominating tomorrow as well.Something great finally happened last night. I loved all of my Elders, including the other Finns and the Estonians. Usually I'm more than annoyed with at least one of them, and last night, there was no such annoyance, I loved them all. Even though sometimes I have to remind them that I am a girl, I still loved them. I'm very grateful that that happened.Since I'm now the coordinating sister, let me tell you how my Sunday went:7:00-study8:00-Sacrament9:00-Branch Council10:00-12:00-Mission Conference12:00-Branch sisters meeting1:00-Leadership training1:45-District meetingI had straight meetings from 8 am to 2:45 pm. It was so long, and FAST Sunday. But it was good. Our Branch presidency is amazing. I've learned so much from them and their wives. And I have more meetings with them during the week, and it is a great oppurtunity, even though I am the only girl. All the time. It is like I have this giant entourage or something. But the best part? When all 11 of them walk me home at night and in unision say "good night princess ikea." So great.I am so grateful for the chance I have to be here. And I'm even grateful that I have to be here for 12 weeks. It's super long, but I'm learning so much. I can't imagine being even close to ready right now. I know that even though Finnish is messed up, I will learn it. Maybe not here, but the Lord will help me once I get to Finland. I am learning things that will help me for the rest of my life. Maybe the Lord needs me to be ready to spend 14 hours a day in a small room with 5-11 boys all day every single day. Who knows! But I know that this is where I need to be right now, and that Finland is where I need to be in another nine weeks. I love the friends that I've made here, and hope that they are new friends for a lifetime!I love you all and want you to know that I'm grateful for you. Keep those letters and DearElders coming!Love, Sisar CliffordPS Kaitlyn, I'm expecting a long letter from you, like tonight. Perfect. Kiitos.