Tuesday, May 3, 2016

One week down!

Hi family :) 

I kind of feel like I'm back on my mission but I guess this is the best way to keep you all informed on what I'm doing over here.

First off, it's not neeeearly as cold as everyone said it was going to be. I brought a ton of sweaters with me but it's been like sixty degrees outside!! I'm not really complaining, though, since I am very grateful the sun has been shining. 

I got here late Wednesday night. I was exhausted and hardly slept at all on the plane since there was a little kid behind me who absolutely refused to sleep! Anyways, I got to walk around Stockholm for about five hours with my trainer's little sister, Anna. It was lovely! But I hardly remember it! Here are some pictures though! 

 This is Anna :) 

My apartment is nice. I live in a little place called Espoo. It's small and quaint. Remember how I was so excited about having a dog? Well, she's a tad bit obnoxious. She wouldn't stop barking at me for the longest time... but I think she likes me now? I never know how she's gonna act. One day, she's super loving and then the next, she's barking and growling again. It's quite the love/hate relationship. 

But my roommates are all pretty great! There's Anastasia from Russia, Jenna from Missouri, Kaidi from Estonia, and Kadri, another Estonian, stays here only for a couple of days each week. They're all incredibly nice and have been a great help in getting me well situated here. 

The library is goooood. It's quite modern, situated behind a huge shopping mall, and very busy. There's always some kind of activity going on. I'm only there for about five hours every day. So far, I've helped out with Finnish and English classes. Today, I just got the assignment to decorate and make a meeting room all nice and pretty so we'll see how that goes... Tomorrow, I'm headed to a different library with a sassy old woman named Leena. We'll be helping refugees there for a few hours. So far, I'm really liking it! Anu, my boss, expects me to be very proactive so I honestly get to do/learn anything I want while I'm there. 

Going to church and the temple were wonderful experiences, as well! I already told mom, dad, and Beth, but the temple, although it was absolutely wonderful, it was also quite terrifying. I've been doing rather well with adapting to being a foreign place but for some reason, it was at the temple when the old temple workers and I couldn't communicate very well, that I got really overwhelmed. Finally, one temple worker just told me to sit down in a chair and soon after, an American senior missionary sat down, took my hand, and I just started sobbing. All the Finns walking by looked super uncomfortable and didn't know what to do. It was quite the strange experience, feeling disconnected and out of place while also feeling like I was at home since the temple has always been a place of peace and comfort. But the temple was absolutely gorgeous. It's super small so I honestly expected it to be quite plain, but it was so grand and elegant, but in a simple sort of way. I hope to go every week while I'm here. 

Best thing about church on Sunday.... an old woman got up to share her testimony in Relief Society and it started out with her describing, in great detail, the unearthed bones she found at her husband's grave... and she somehow tied it back to her testimony? It was the strangest thing to listen to this sweet woman share such a morbid experience but so so funny. 

Anyways! I Hope that was not too boring! I hope to perhaps write more about specific things rather than give such a general report. Love you all!

 "Speak Finnish to me" -- I'm learning Finnish ever so slowly...

Dock/beach at Kaivopuisto, Helsinki

p.s. We're watching While You Were Sleeping. "You jumped on the tracks?!"

"I'm so glad he found you!"

"Nice.... sweater."

"Would you like to see Dustin Hoffman save the Alamo?"