Helsinki Finland Mission

Monday, July 31, 2017

July 31, 2017

Transfer Calls were last Friday and you'll never guess where I am going! When President Aura called us he started with my transfer call. He said, "Sister Roberts, you have a wonderful life ahead of you and you get to choose your next companion.'' So I guess I have my next assignment! But seriously I have heard that joke about 20 times this week. Everyone keeps giving me dating advice and offering to set me up with their friends in Utah and it has been an interesting week.....

But all that aside I had to say a lot of goodbyes this week and this Thursday I will be flying out from Finland back home. There are really no words that I can think of that can describe what my mission has meant to me. This has been the most impactful, most difficult, and the most rewarding year and a half of my entire life. I have learned so much about myself and about the kind of person that Heavenly Father expects me to be and who I can be with his help. I have learned about other cultures, a new language, and I now know how to read a map and function without the internet! But most importantly I have learned that happiness comes when we have the Holy Ghost as our constant companion. I have learned how to have a personal relationship with my Heavenly Father. 

My plans for after the mission: I plan on being ''an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.'' Like it talks about in the book of Timothy. I want to follow the advice of the Savior in the book of Mark chapter 5  ''Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.'' I am so excited to share what I have learned in my time here. 

In the Book of Mormon it talks about Christ and how He is our sure foundation-
 ''And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.''

I know with all of my heart that Christ lives and that He truly is the son of God. He came to Earth for us and although life is hard we never have to go through it alone. I have loved every moment of my time as a missionary. I am grateful for the Savior's atonement and that we can change for the better. I will not be coming home the same person as when I left on my mission and for that I am eternally grateful. 

When Paul knew that the end of his mission was near he said in Timothy chapter 4, ''For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:''

At the very beginning of my mission I met a missionary in the airport that was going home from his mission. He gave one piece of advice that has stayed with me my whole mission. He said, "When you focus on the time, it goes slow. When you focus on the work, time goes fast. When you focus on the Lord, time ceases to exist.'' 

I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to serve God here in Finland for a year and a half. Words cannot describe the love I have for this country and for all the people in it. I know that this is God's true church and that I will continue to be a missionary throughout the rest of my life. 

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!