So this week was good. We had a lot of time to find people to teach and we talked to a bunch of people. Many people aren't ready to hear or accept the gospel but we stayed positive and found some people that we could potentially teach. In particular we found this man who was playing hockey with his son, hockey is apparently super big here, and we shared a message about eternal families with him. He actually dropped his stick and told us that he was very interested to learn more. It's super cool to see how the gospel can bless all aspects of life. Now that isn't to say that we didn't have a lot of opposition this week though. The weather went super cold for a couple of days, one in particular it was about -30 C with the wind chill. But it is warming up now! With the warming weather, peoples attitudes have changed. We had a bunch of people give us "talk to the hands" and people ducking away from us. We've even had a couple people curse at us! :) Somehow though, I am still happy to be here. I can't wait to see this work progress forward and I know for a fact the Heavenly Father truly does help the missionaries, and I can feel His hand and all of your prayers strengthen me daily.
In my studies this week I found a couple of really awesome scriptures that I would like you all to check out:
•3 Nephi 9:14-15
•3 Nephi 5:3,13
There were many more than that but these ones stuck out to me and I hope that they can give some people some peace. I'm super grateful to have this opportunity to share this gospel and we all can share in our own way. Be "an example of the believers" in all that you do and say and I promise you, God will bless you and help you in whatever you may need. I love you all and I'll talk to you next week!
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
So I finally made it to Finland! The flights over were super long but I finally made it here. It is beautiful here and also yes, very very cold. My eyelashes were starting to freeze to one another while were out the other day because it got down to around -20 C. But anyways, I have been assigned to serve in a town called Hyvinkää. It is just north of Helsinki and as such it gets a bit colder here than there. But that is okay. I have a new companion now his name is Elder Nissen and he is super cool. He is from Arizona and has been out for a little over a year now.
We haven't had a lot of lessons because we don't have any investigators at the moment but we have a big pool of potentials and we have lots of people that are interested. We go out a lot and walk around, and we talk to every person who passes by us. Finns are pretty funny because they are almost frightened that we say anything to them as we pass by. In the airport when we just landed we came out to get our bags and it was almost dead silent. The trains are the same way hah. No one really talks to each other and then here comes the two American's practically, in their minds, yelling hello to them!
We have awesome members here in my area and we get to talk with a lot of them. Their Finnish is pretty hard to understand but that is okay, it will come with time and studying. But needless to say we have a very strong ward that loves us missionaries. It is really cool to have such great people from around the world treat you so well. Finn's are nice to us and usually listen to us even if they aren't interested. Well at least some of them do, others just slam the door in our face, but that is okay! We have met a lot of people and should start teaching more people soon, I will keep you updated on that!
A quick thing that I want you all to know is how awesome this gospel is and what an amazing thing repentance is. The Savior truly is our best friend. He knows us so well and when we are hurting and really struggling with our situations he helps and heals us. Just remember that you can be the hands of Christ in someones life. If you are having troubles, do what the Savior would do and turn outward. If you serve others, you will begin to feel better yourself. That is so true and I have seen it on my mission already. I love the Savior and I love all of you! Please let me know what is going on in life. I am sorry if I don't answer on the week that you send it, I will try my best to answer as soon as I possibly can. We have a limited amount of time to email so it just may be a bit hard to answer all of you. But still know that I think about you and I pray for you!
I am so grateful for you all and I will talk to you more next week!
Thursday, January 7, 2016
So I hope that your New Years was awesome and that you all had a great time doing the respective things that you did on the Eve of 2016! So I am glad to say that this is officially my last week at the MTC! Finally you all will be able to hear way more interesting things as I finally get to Finland. This week at the MTC was a little bit more dull than last week hah. Just a lot of teaching our "investigators" and studying the language. In this past week I will say that they have pushed language on on hard core. Every class time, I believe, had a language block in it as we learned the more advanced part of Finnish. Some of it I understood but when you are still trying to find stems it is a little bit harder to use a transitive case hah. Anyways that was probably gibberish to all of you so I'll continue! This past fast Sunday was great! We had an amazing mission conference where we got to hear from a lot of the MTC presidency. One thing that I definitely learned was to look to the example of Job. Whenever life gets hard, even when you are doing the right things and life just still isn't fair, look to Job. If you could all review that book in the Old Testament, I know you'd find a lot of things that are note worthy and something that can help you personally. I promise you all that. Also I want you all to know the power of the Atonement. When we sincerly repent and feel Godly sorrow, He truly does remember our sins no more, even though we may remember them. Just remember always that no matter what you have done or how far off the path you have gone remember, "He is NEVER disappointed in the person who is repentant." -President Nelson. Anyways as you could tell, Mission Conference was great. Then during Fast and Testimony meeting I had the opportunity to share my testimony both through actually standing and speaking it and singing. Our district performed a number for the closing hymn. It was a medley of "Finlandia Hymni" and "Be Still My Soul" and it was amazing. President Burgess and his wife were there, they are the MTC President and his wife, because our branch got destroyed this past week, and believe it or not we had Sister Burgess come up and ask us to audition for a musical number for a devotional. We actually auditioned today and made it into the "yes" pile. That just means that if they can fit us in the next devotional, we will be singing in front of the entire MTC hah. So I will let you all know whether or not that happens! Anyways then we got to hear from the man who runs all the MTC's throughout the world in the Sunday night devotional. He was a great speaker as well and I learned a lot about how missionary work is never for you. You are blessed as a byproduct but if you are trying to better yourself by your service, you will fail and you will not improve near as much as you could. Overall Sunday was great and very spiritually uplifting.
So then Tuesday was another great spiritual day. I won't talk about Monday because it was seriously the same as every day just a different schedule. On Tuesday we got to hear from Bishop Davies of the Presiding Bishopric of the church. He also had an awesome talk about how trusting in the Lord is the most important thing you can do. If you just trust that each experience and trial you have to go through is for your benefit, then you can start to see the good that can come from any situation. He also spoke of Gideon and the 300 of his men. I encourage you all to read that this week as well and see how it can apply to your life. He also spoke about the need for action. God cannot help you if you do not act for yourself. You are an agent to act and not to be acted upon. The Lord can bless and show you the path only if you are already walking. To go along with that he also taught about how everything in your life leads to something else. You are prepared for certain moments that can only happen to you and are completely unique to your experiences and personality. He also said something that really struck me as something we all need to consider, "He who created the universes can certainly make something magnificent out of you." Always remember that you have worth and that you are amazing in the sight of God.
Yesterday was interesting as well. Not nearly as spiritual but that is okay. We started off the day with our new service project!....Cleaning toilets haha. Known around the MTC as "Celestial Service." But really the rest of the day was just normal and was just good studying and learning the language. Anyways I just want to say that I love you all so very much and thank you for being who you are! The next time you hear from me I'll be in Finland!