Hello everyone! I hope that you are all excited for Christmas! I definately am! Here in England it is getting way too cold. The pond at the back of our flat (apartment) has frozen! I never thought I would live in a place so cold!! I guess I was wrong! Although it is freezing, Elder Maljanen and I are still roaming the streets speaking to everyone! The only difference is we can sing now too! In English or Finnish, Joy to the World! Ok, so we aren’t always as energetic as I make us sound, but we do have a good time.
In terms of food (as always), I have now had fish and chips so many times that it makes me sick when I eat it. Yep. I have had it two or three times too many. I do have a new favourite though. And it is Finnish chocolate. It is so so good. My favorite would have to be the blueberry filled ones. Lucky for us Elder Maljanen’s family sent him loads of chocolate a few days ago! It will literally last us months! And it will force us to run in the mornings too because I’d rather eat the chocolate and run over just not eating it.
This week we have truly seen disappointments and we have truly seen miracles. I won’t anything about the disappointments, but the miracles are always fun to hear! Last week we met a lady who recently lost her husband and as a result spends a lot of time alone at home, with no one to speak with or help her do her everyday things. She is in her mid 80s and is one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met. Earlier this week, we went over to her home to help her straighten out some things in her back garden (yard). Though we really did want to help her, we did not want to be outside for 2 hours picking at frozen soil. Putting our feelings aside, we prepared to help her in any way possible. As she took her into her back garden she pointed at a tree about 12 feet high. The semi-thin tree had somehow sprouted from nowhere and had grown through the cinderblocks that made up her walkway. She asked if we could get rid of it. We told her we would love to, and she went back inside. For the next 20 minutes, we looked for tools to get the job done. All we could find was a hand saw, a spade, and a screwdriver. For the following 90 minutes we cut, hit, stabbed, pulled and did everything else we could do to get rid of the tree and its roots. During the process, we both realized something. We realized that we were laughing like mad men and that we were actually having fun. Feeling confused by the sudden change, we tried to pin-point exactly what ti was that was making us feel that way. We realized that is was simply the pure joy of serving someone else.
That night as we talked about the day, we both felt that the highlight had been digging through the frozen ground with our numb fingers trying to deroot that tree. Now some of you might think that it’s because we are just kids who love playing in the dirt. I know better. I know that when we serve others we can find true happiness. In this Christmas season, let us all seek to serve someone! And lets not do it hoping and expecting to receive something back from that person in return. Instead lets seek to give and never remember, but receive and never forget.