Helsinki Finland Mission

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

July 25, 2017

It has been a great week and Sister West and I actually just got out of the temple! We are emailing from the temple guest house and it has been a great day so far.

We were let in twice this week when we were trackting! The first lady that let us in was 91 years old and was at home with some of her daughters. She was going deaf so we had to talk really loud as we were talking to her. The second lady that let us in later in the week was another woman in her 90's. She had to grab a huge magnifying glass to try and read the Book of Mormon that we gave to her and told us that she can only read if she shuts one eye, uses the magnifying glass, and squints. She wasn't interested in learning more about our church but I asked her if we could be of help and she asked if we could just stay for a few minutes and drink lemonade with her. It was so cute, so we sat and talked with her for a bit and she told us about her family and where she grew up. When it was time for us to go she didn't want us to leave and started showing us around her apartment and the pictures of her kids. She asked how long we would stay in Finland and I told her that I only have about a week left here. She teared up and wished me a safe trip home and told me that although she wasn't ready to hear about the gospel that day that she hoped to see me in heaven. I gave her a big hug before I left and Finns really don't hug strangers but both Sister West and I felt like we had become great friends with her in just the short amount of time that we spent there.

The scriptures talk about how the Savior ''went about doing good.'' I have not really had investigators to teach this transfer but I know that I am still doing my best work and that we can really make such a difference in other peoples lives simply by being kind and spending time with others. I know that we too can look for our own way to go about doing good.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

July 19, 2017

Another great week in Espoo! Sisar West and I had the opportunity to teach the English Sunday School last Sunday. The topic was ''Work and Personal Responsibility''. It was really great preparing throughout the week to teach because it helped me to better see the joy that comes from hard work. I have definitely felt the most joy in my life when I have been working hard and relying on the Lord. 

We had another great dinner with our favorite neighbors, the Perkins this week as well. We ate with them and two Finnish church members. We got to hear a little bit more about the history of the church here in Finland. The church here is still pretty young and so it has been so interesting to hear stories of people's parents joining the church and hearing how much it has grown over the years. 

Sister West and I bought donuts this past week to celebrate my 18 month mark as a missionary. The next day I realized that it was actually my 19 month mark! So after we realized that we had to go back to the store to buy more donuts of course! I can't think of a better way to have spent the past 19 months than to be here in Finland teaching people about Christ. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

July 11, 2017

This transfer is going by so fast! Last Wednesday we headed over to Helsinki for our ''Meet the Mission President'' Zone Conference. It was great. The Auras are incredible people. They are Finnish and have both served missions in Finland when they were our age. We greeted them one by one at the very beginning and then the meeting began. Sisar Aura addressed us first and spoke in Finnish the entire time. It was great and I could feel her love for us as well as her strong testimony of the gospel. President Aura, we actually refer to him as ''L√§hetysjohtaja Aura'' or ''Mission leader Aura''. He spoke to us in English and we got to know more about him and his family. They both spoke of how excited they were to be here and that they couldn't wait to get to know us better. I love them already and I am excited for all they will accomplish. 

We also had exchanges this week with the Sister Training Leaders! It was fun doing work with them and showing them around our area.

We met some interesting people this week. One sticks out in my mind. We met a man that was actually born in New York and he stopped us on the street and started talking to us. He asked us who we represented and I told him about our church and that we were representatives of Jesus Christ. Then, he told us a story about how he ran away from the police and how he outsmarted them by running into the forest. He told us that we were brainwashed and that the Kenyans in Finland knew ''the truth''. And because he had spent time with the Kenyans he now knew the truth. (He didn't tell us what that meant.) At this point he jumped on his bike and said that the whole world would know about him in a month and then he biked away dramatically. 

So it has been another good week. I have met a lot of interesting people and I love serving here in Espoo. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July! Weirdly enough they don't celebrate it here in Finland. But I will be buying a burger today in celebration. 

Well, it is official. We have a new mission President! The Watsons are back in Utah with their 6 children and 26 grandchildren and I am sure that they are very happy. The Auras are back and we are going to a ''meet the Mission President'' Zone Conference tomorrow. I have met them twice before and I know that they are very kind people. I am excited to get to know the two of them a little bit better. 

Change is sometimes hard but it is also what helps us grow. I loved serving with President and Sister Watson but I also know that all of our mission calls are from God. I know that the Auras were called of God to be the new leaders of the Finland, Helsinki mission and I am excited for all of the good they will do as well. 

This past week I have really noticed that so many little miracles happen every day. This past Sunday was my last fast and testimony meeting in Finland. I got up to bear my testimony of the Savior and I also spoke about my love for Finland. I LOVE Finland. I really do feel like this place is my home. The members here are amazing and I have become a better person over the past year and a half. We also had the opportunity to have dinner with the Perkins again! They invited another American along as well and it was a really great chance to get to know them all better. We had an amazing week and I know that no matter our circumstance we can choose to be happy. We can choose to be grateful for what we have. I know that through our Savior Jesus Christ everything will work out. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

June 26, 2017

We got chocolate shakes at Burger King this week.
Yes, Burger king.

This past week was Juhannus! It was the Finnish midsummer holiday and the longest day of the year when the sun really doesn't go down. There is so much partying that happens that we are not really supposed to be outside unless we have lessons and we can't proselyte for two days. We were able to keep busy still with reorganizing a lot of the paperwork in our apartment and doing some much needed deep cleaning. We also had dinner with the Perkins! We love living so close to them. Also, they made us chicken alfredo  which I haven't had in about a year and a half! It was soooo good! 

This past Sunday was President and Sister Watson's last Sunday in Finland. They went to our ward and we got to hear their farewell talks. Of course that meant that I was crying during sacrament meeting but luckily Sister West knows me and came prepared with tissues! She ended up just giving me the whole pack by the end of church. I love the Watsons and I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to serve with them for most of my mission. They also joked with me that I won't have to wait too long until I can just go to their house and see them in Utah. I will be visiting! 

Today has been an interesting day. It's the day of my original release date! I was told about my extension when I arrived in Finland and at the time it was such a shock. I know that I am still supposed to be here and I am so grateful that I got extended so that I still have the time to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those around me. I love being a missionary and I love the people of Finland. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 20, 2017

This past week we had our last Zone Conference with the Watsons. They leave on the 30th. I have learned so much from the both of them and they will be missed. I am glad that I will be able to visit them still after the mission. At the conference President Watson said, ''We demonstrate our faith in our obedience.'' I know that to be true and I know that it is through obedience to the commandments that we get to know our Savior and our loving Heavenly Father.

Sister Watson told us three things that she wants us to remember from her:

       1) Have fun! Enjoy our missions.
       2) Recognize the hand of the Lord in everyday of our mission.
       3) Put the Savior first. Put the focus on Him and do as He would do.

At the end of the conference the Watsons expressed their love for us and asked us to love and follow our new mission president and his wife. We were told to look forwards and not backwards and to ''Stay on the Lord's side.'' 

It was a great conference and a great week. We even had dinner with the Perkins Sunday night. They are such a great missionary couple and we love living so close to them! 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

June 13, 2017

Things are going great here in Espoo. The ward here is amazing and people keep giving us so much food! We basically have our own food storage in the apartment with just so much chocolate. We don't have a lot of people to teach at the moment so it has been a lot of contacting people and we have tried to meet with a couple members each week to get to know the ward better. 

Recently I have been reading through the New Testament again and I was reading in Acts chapter 20 about Paul. He knew that he was at the end of his mission and had to say goodbye to the people he had been serving. 

24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.

I love that he talks about finishing the course with joy. He knows that he won't see the people that he cares about again but he knew the purpose that he came was to testify of God. Although, I won't be able to see a lot of my dear friends again I am grateful for the opportunity that I have had to learn from them and serve them here in Finland. I am so grateful to be a missionary.