Monday, November 17, 2014
Monday, November 10, 2014
Well family and friends this week went faster than the last! We're super busy and ended up going on member splits twice this week so that was a new fun experience!
This week we were asked to be in charge of the YSA "Chill Night" It's the fhe for all the ysa in both Tampere wards. So we planned some minute to win it games and the other missionaries were there with their investigator who's about to get baptized and then we had 2 potentials come! They LOVED it and they said they'll be there again this week! It's cool to see these people's reactions when they see a bunch of people coming together and having fun without any alcohol or anything and they're all so friendly and happy. They can't help but come back!
We ended up dropping 2 investigators this week too because they just have no desire to act an anything we teach. We'll give them some time and go back to them later when the Lord wants us to.
But on Tuesday we had an awesome lesson with our investigators M and R. They're a couple from Tanzania with 3 little kids who are adorable. They investigated maybe 3 years ago and Sisar Jones and I stopped by once and they said we could come back! So We taught them the restoration and they agreed to be baptized on the 20th of Dec if they receive their answer by then. So now we're meeting with them and just trying to help them recognize their answer and the spirit that is so strong there every time we go. They're active in the Catholic church so attending our ward on Sunday has been difficult but we'll just trust in the Lord on that one :)
Wednesday consisted of district meeting, meeting with some members, helping another member move out of our ward and into the 2nd ward, and meeting with L! She's the one from Columbia. She has read a ton in the LIbro de Mormon and even highlights her favorite verses and answers all on her own! We hadn't even shown her that yet! And we taught the restoration and she really likes it. SHe doesn't have a baptismal date yet because honestly we ran out of time. So we'll focus on short powerful lessons and get her progressing right along! She's seriously so cute and my favorite person to talk with because she always makes me so happy afterwards! She's just that in tune with the spirit.
Thursday we had an awesome lesson with B from Czech. We discussed the plan of salvation and then baptism. She has a really close relationship with her husband and wants him to understand and accept what she's doing and she wants to be sure about it. She said she'd talk to her husband about it and hopefully he'll join in on the lessons too because he wants to support his wife.
Then we skyped with H from Hämeenlinna. It went well! We talked about prayer and how our scripture reading is going and then on Sunday we met with her again after church in Hämeenlinna. And we talked about baptism and she said she wants to KNOW that this is true, not just believe. But she agreed to prepare to be baptized on the 20th of december too! It'll be a white Christmas here in Finland :)
All day Friday we were on splits in Jyväskylä. I was with Sisar Dayton again!! We were together in the same area exactly one year ago! The whole day was deja vu! (no idea how to spell that word...) But I was able to see some old friends and members and actually do some things I had wanted to since I left Jyväskylä. It was a really good closure day for me. I realized that I had done what I needed to and what the Lord needed and that there are some amazing missionaries still in Jyväskylä and all my friends and members and investigators are all taken care of.I have full faith and confidence in the work here in Finland :) And it's so nice to think that I have nothing to worry about.
Saturday was a pretty busy day catching up from everything in the week and having our Ward mission leader meeting and practicing a song with the other missionaries for our concert next week. We were able to "accidentally" run into a former investigator and the Elders' investigator who is getting baptized in 2 weeks so it's the little moments like that when there doesn't seem to be a lot going on and you're not sure where you should go and you realize that you're doing exactly what the Lord wants you to. There were 3-4 experiences this week where I realized that Heavenly Father gave me the chance to make up for something I had done or not done in the past. I think I had let some opportunities slip through my fingers earlier in my mission and this week a lot of them came back up and I was able to teach and testify and really feel that I had done what the Lord had wanted me to. It's a very nice peaceful feeling.
And the interesting thing is that I didn't 100% realize that until just this second as I was emailing. And as I started writing you all about it, the little tender mercies came back into my mind. And now I'm even more grateful for them. And I'm also thankful for this chance to review my week and really notice the Lord's hand in my life.
Sunday was also a really special day because we got to Hämeenlinna just as their ward was getting out and we had tons of members coming up to us and greeting us and thanking us for being there. Apparently Hämeenlinna has been praying for sisters for years and even though the Elders are really needed there for the priesthood and all the good work they're doing, the older women that we would go visit really wanted sisters. And even though we're only there one day a week the whole ward is suddenly excited about missionary work! And with H getting baptized in December hopefully it will just snowball from there! But really. we were so loved! And we didn't even know any of these members, but we instantly felt like part of the family :) So I'm really glad I get to half way serve in another branch as well :)
I'm just grateful for everything that happened this week. Things are going well and looking even better! We're out of Tampere 3 days this week so that'll keep us on our toes but I love it! I'm so happy to be a missionary and to be doing the Lord's work and reaping all these seeds planted years ago and even planting my own :) Have a wonderful week everyone! Take a moment or two to realize all the tender mercies in your life and even count your blessing one by one because I know this week I've sure been surprised by what the Lord has done. I love you all! Thank you for your love and support!
It REALLY snowed this week!
The snow on all the berries were GORGEOUS!
Sisar Dayton and I back together with our hot chocolate :)
Monday, November 3, 2014
Okay so many incredible things happened that I don't really know where to start.
Well in case any of you are wondering, I think it's freezing here. But it's only about 0 degress C so it could be worse. I know how to dress now though so I'm nice and warm. It's been "Christmas Season" in Finland for weeks now. Lights are already up all over the town. I'll send some pictures of it. Christmas Music has also been playing in our apartment for about a month so hopefully that won't get old before December... The first Burger King just opened up here in Tamper near the train station. I know this is very important news so I felt the need to tell all of you. IT also gets dark around 16 so that's taking some getting used to again... Well anyway, on to the real important stuff
First off, I got my new companion! Sisar Dixon arrived on Tuesday and we've just hit the ground running this week! She's from Sandy, UT and went to Alta, but I don't think we have any common friends. Tuesday was spent driving everyone and their luggage all over Tampere, but all the sisters here in Tampere made their trains and arrived safely! That's a miracle! So we had the other Tampere sisters spending the night on Tuesday (Sisar Curtis and Sisar Elliott) so it was fun to catch up with them.
We met with our investigator A this week. She's really wanting this to be a part of her life, but not quite sure yet if she wants to make all the changes. So we'll keep working with her. It may take a bit longer than we thought, but all in the Lord's timing.
Thursday we traveled down to Helsinki for MLC. All 6 sister training leaders were staying in the same apartment near the temple so that was a blast. I had served closely with a lot of them before and we were able to talk about old investigators and members and how everyone's doing.
Friday was MLC!! and Halloween!! We ended up not going back to Tampere until Saturday morning so we missed the ward Halloween party, but it was one of the best Halloween's ever! We woke up and got to President's house by 9 for our meeting to start. We were fed some amazing food by Sisar Watson and really focused on the mission's training plan. We also discussed the upcoming mission tour. We found out that President Teixeira is coming. And on Nov 12th we'll be traveling down to Helsinki again to meet with him. And then we got to go to the temple!! Each day they have an english session at 18 so we got to go to that! It was so cool!! I got to see what I think is the 3rd new temple movie. Sooo different but way cool! Kinda different insights came to that was interesting. One of the most special experiences was before the temple, all the sister training leaders and Sisar Watson were just sitting in the bridal room in the temple and talking. Sisar Watson is a very wise and experienced woman and she gave some great advice and the spirit was just so strong testifying about everything that we're doing to be true. That sure gave me some great fire for the rest of the week.
Saturday we traveled back and had a lunch appointment with a member and she made us pumpkin pie!! It was so good! And so American! Definitely something I missed this season... We were also able to find a new investigator on the bus and meet some amazing potentials. One is a boy named P who we met at the door trying to find someone else (coincedence? I think not!) and was very interested in getting a book of mormon and we really just had a super spiritual experience right there in the hallway. And it was interesting to see his countenance change from not interested to wait I think you're on to something. The spirit really worked on him and it was one of the most visible changes I've seen. So we're going back to him this week too.
But the biggest news came at MLC! Sisar Dixon and I are now the sisters of the Hämeenlinna branch too! There is a 17 year old girl down there who needs to be taught by the sisters and we're the nearest ones! About 70 km away... But we're skyping with her on Thursday and going down every Sunday to teach her. Her name is H and she's amazing! Her mom is a member and her dad isn't, but is letting her decide for herself which church she wants to join. So since we're down there weekly now (we go by car) We had a meeting with the branch president and the ward missionary leader and the elders who serve there and talked about how we can best help. Basically we'll be teaching H and helping her progress and then working with and visiting the single women (active and less-active) that the Elders can't really go to. We're super excited and it'll definitely keep us busy!!
This week we're teaching the YSA tonight and are in charge of minute to win it games! I'll let ya know how it goes next week! We're also traveling in Jyväskylä on Friday for exchanges. October really flew by and November is quickly speeding up! So we're just working on using every minute the best we can! And I've got to admit that I've never been so tired in my life, but I'm loving it! Missionary Work is so much happier when you're busy and having fun!
So I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love you so much! I'm grateful for all your help and support and I hope you can all feel my prayers. Stay safe and stay strong :)
Dropping Sisar Jones off at the train station. She's off to Vaasa!
Us 6 Sister Training Leaders at the bus stop
Sisar Dixon and I on the bus
Sisar Bitner, Nielsen, and I in President's car on the way to the temple
Going into the temple at night
All the sisters after the temple session