Sunday, February 14, 2010

Back from FINLAND!

HELLO!! Soooo lots to talk about!! This week was super crazy/great/amazing/weird/uplifting/inspiring/....... Finnish.

So I said Good-bye to Sister Gorlova, which was sad this week. And then I had a new companion, Yana, for a day. It was pretty fun... she's a really cool girl. And she speaks perfect English. :)

Then on Friday, we went on our adventure to Finland! OH. MY. GOODNESS. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Finland!!! It was soooooooooo cool! Okay, but first off, we stopped in Moscow on our way there and played a bit. ( I looked for my friends from the MTC serving there but didn't see them. :) ) It is so different there. I think it's like New York for us.. people are rushing around everywhere. But it was fun, we found our way to the Red Square! It was one of those, "I've always wanted to come here and see this, but never thought I ever would in my life" things. And there we were! It was our group from the MTC together, me, Sister Fronk, Sister Rivas, Elder Nielsen and Elder Peterson. So we had a great time and it was a really good experience!

Red Square - The Kremlin

More Red Square

Look who I found in Moscow!

Me, Sister Fronk and Sister Rivas

Then we flew out to Finland. I also never thought in my life that I would be in Finland. It's really a blessing to be in this Mission.... a lot of cool opportunities to go places and witness things. But it's also a lot of time and money... I can see why they closed missions to Russia for a while.

But we got there around 6 pm, their time, and it was like 9 or 10 or something to us so we were super tired. We found our way to where we were going to sleep, and it was RIGHT by the temple. In fact, the temple has a lodging place. Because so many people from around that area travel far distances to get there... like people in Russia. So they usually stay for a little while since they're there. It's really neat. So we pretty much went right to bed once we got settled. But let me tell you, it was SUCH a difference going outside in Finland, especially the first time we got off the plane. The air is... fresh. And clean. Everything is so nice. And seriously, everyone speaks English. Except maybe really old people. So the next day we slept in a bit and went to TWO temple sessions. Oh, the temple is purely wonderful. It is so beautiful, and everything inside is Scandinavian-ish. It was so great to take that time and just feel peace and calm. It was such a tender mercy, that I really needed. :)

Helsinki Finland Temple!!

Helsinki Finland Temple

Close up

So after the temple, we ate something and decided it was time to play in Finland!! We went and looked at some really cool, old cathedrals. One of them we went inside. It was really beautiful in there with all the artwork. After that we just walked around some more and then went to this pizza buffet to eat something. It wasn't very cold there; no-hat weather. So nice. And the snow was clean and beautiful. There was lots of snow, actually. It's funny because the Finnsh language.... it sounds to me like a mixture between Spanish and Chinese or something. Props to those who can learn it!

Way cool cathedral!

The next day we went to church and they have a CHAPEL there! It was like America! So nice! And they had English/Russian translation going the whole sacrament. We really enjoyed talking to the people at church. It was fast and testimony meeting, and the main topic was the temple. Most everyone bore their testimonies about how it's such a blessing to have a temple. I can so relate! I missed the temple so much, and the peace and love I feel there. We are so so blessed in America to have so many so close to us. We are so blessed to have the opportunity to help other people receive salvation by going to the temple. Those who have been waiting.

Helsinki at night

So anyway, after a LONG trip back home, I'm here in Irkutsk again! It's good to be back to a normal schedule. But let me tell you, it was hard to say good-bye to Finland. Haha. And I'm here with my new companion, Sister Gneiting! It's pretty different speaking English a lot... I hope my Russian doesn't go down the tubes. haha. But it's been fun so far. :)

Close to my apartment

Жаргалтогтох's baptism!

My new Russian Bible!!!

Mom- I'm way excited to get your letter and info about your experience! When you share your testimony, it always strengthens mine! Thanks! That's so great that Heavenly Father is giving you so much revelation! You're writing it all down, right? :) He sure loves you!!!
Dad- the dogs are pretty tame. But who knows if they have diseases?! haha

And good luck with your missionary efforts. I know that God sees your desire and He'll give you the opportunity to share your testimony if it's the right timing. You're great! I too also know that God answers prayers in His own timing! Thanks for your upliftment! I try to remind myself often that I am called of God and HE knows that there are people waiting here to hear about the Gospel, and I can help them. I just need to put myself out there and talk to everyone so I can find out who it is! :) I love you!!!

And thanks for the pictures! :)

Dayton- Sad to hear about Clay! I hope the little guy is alright!! Thanks for the picture!! He is so stinkin cute!!!

Kayla- Thanks for the e-mail!!! I'm glad to hear that everything's good with you!! Hallie is SO big and SO cute!!!!! Is she talking like crazy yet? It was way great to hear from you! :)

Krystine- AHHHHHHHHHHH! You're so great. I just got I think 3 dearelders from you. A lot is going on! But it sounds like you're doing awesome!! Thanks for all the updates with everyone!! Keep up the great work with everything, and keep me updated! I love hearing from you! Thanks so much for always encouraging me. :)

Well I love you all!!!! Thanks SO much for all the prayers and upliftment! You're all so wonderful, I'm so blessed to have you all. :) Keep doing your best and praying and relying on the Lord for everything.

с любовю,

Сеструха Рид :)


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