Well, first off, sorry this email is a lot later than the other ones. We had a mishap with the internet at the church this morning and ended up having to go to a library and apply for a library card and figure out the Finnish internet and now I'm finally on!
So, first off, This week was great! Lots of celebrating and lots of love coming from all my friend and family! You guys are awesome :)
Well, I got mom/the family's birthday package on Wednesday and yes, I opened it up a day early, it was too fun! I took lots of pics so hopefully they can show my excitement! The tree was such a great idea! Now it feels like Christmas in our apartment and I love it! I put up a couple ornaments everyday and I get to read cool messages from all my family and I just love it :) (p.s. I just realized I can't send pics from this computer so I may have to wait til next week to send them. Just imagine me smiling holding a box.) I absolutely loved the tape and basically have Rhett and Savanna's piano pieces memorized from listening to it so many times! My companion is probably sick of it, but too bad!Wednesday night we also got locked out of our apartment... yep, we both forgot our keys... So, after calling some people in the ward and a locksmith we went over to our neighbors house to wait somewhere where it was warm. Little did I know that the neighbors had a birthday present for me! A hand-knitted scarf and hat and socks and mittens! Man I'm spoiled! There's a pic of me wearing them all. They're super thick and super warm and I sweat if I put them on indoors so it's perfect for Finland!
Then... THURSDAY! What a great day :) It started out by listening to some awesome new Hilary Weeks while we worked out and then... Chocolate chip pancakes! And lots of presents! My companions (Sisar Ballif included even though she was already home) gave me a skirt, two shirts, a Marimekko bag that I've been dying to have, and an adorable snowflake reflector that I've been looking for everywhere and some peanut butter (I have a weird obsession with it and it's kinda hard to find), and some popcorn (my other obsession) and Sisar Dayton decorated the apartment with a Happy Birthday banner and some cute notes everywhere and it was just a great morning :) And then.... Posti came!! I got like 7 letters ON my birthday! No idea how anyone could have planned that, but it was so fun! Needless to say, not much language study got done that day... oops... But I got a fun package from the Beechers with some socks that I definitely needed and some VERY american candy that was awesome! And then, I got Dad's package too! So cool! I loved the shirt and the video and everything! Thanks so much!
So then, we went to visit some investigators and taught a lesson and stopped by some members house and they gave me some pumpkin pie (they're American) and wished me a Happy Birthday! And thennn... THANKSGIVING!! So this awesome family (they aren't members) invited us over for Thanksgiving with them and all their work buddies (also Americans) We all brought our favorite American Thanksgiving dish and they provided the turkey and it was awesome! Sisar Dayton and I made an awesome Blueberry pie with a recipe we got from a Finn so they all thought it was delicious of course :) The Macy's Thanksgiving day parade was also streaming on their computer so while that was playing in the background I glanced over and saw Mountain View! So that was a cool little piece of home! Catherine (the mom) also made me an awesome cake with 20! candles and they all sang happy birthday to me (even though none of them even knew me) and it was just awesome :) So yeah, that was my packed full of fun birthday!
Oh, we also got directions from our mission president that backpacks were no longer allowed :( So I retired my backpack that I loved so much and bought a new side pick at a Kirppi (Thrift store. It's where everyone shops here in Finland) for 3 euro! So yeah that was a cool find!
Then, on Friday, we played basketball! Sisar Dayton had organized a bunch of people to come play since she knew I loved it so we made some awesome German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan frosting and celebrated again after a fun game of basketball!
But wait, there's more! Yesterday (Sunday) The family of the boy I'm tutoring in math found out it was my birthday and invited us over! It was also their other son's birthday earlier this week so we had even more cake and ice cream! Yeah... having your birthday fall on Thanksgiving is probably too much food but oh well! I loved it!
So sorry I didn't write a lot about our investigators or lessons this week... Just wanted to let you guys know all I did to celebrate! And that it was an awesome week! I swear we actually do missionary work out here in Finland though... So now, it's Monday and we're actually going to a bakery after this to try this cake I've been wanting to try for a while now. Yeah, I'm extremely spoiled I know...
Well, since this week was Thanksgiving I wanted to let you all know that I'm grateful to you all. I really reflected this week (since I'm now 20 and do that kind of thing...) on how much my life has been impacted by positive role models and examples. I have countless friends and family members who have helped get me to where I am today and I owe them a lot. I hope you know how much I love you all! I'm so very grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how much I'm able to rely on it everyday. Things don't get easier, but with the Lord's help we can always get through :)
Well, I hope you all had a wonderful week because I sure did! And shout out to Courtney for her mission call to Oregon! So cool! I'm so proud of you! I love you all!
Til next week,
(From Kathryn's Mom) P.S. I wanted to share a paragraph from Kathryn's personal letter to me. "I've been incredibly blessed with the language recently. Like I can pull words I've seen/heard once out of my brain and it's so cool! And I'll say something really fast in Finnish and then stop and think about it and realize it was right and I didn't even have to think about it before I said it! It just came out! Very cool, wow experiences. Can't wait 'til Christmas so I can speak some of it to you over Skype!"