Tuesday, December 27, 2016

December 27, 2016

Hyvää Joulua! Unfortunately I did not have my first ''White Christmas'' but it was still pretty amazing! I got to skype my amazing family! It was great talking to them and I think that is when I got the biggest Christmas present of all.....seeing my brother and sister eat salmiakki. Salmiakki is a Finnish candy that Finns actually love. So in my package home to them of course I had to send some. I made them eat it on skype and seeing them almost throw up and then run for water was very satisfying. Finns really love Salmiakki, I don't know how but they do. I love my family so much so I was so grateful for the time I got to spend with them on Christmas day.  

We got to spend Christmas Eve with a really great member from our ward. Finns celebrate on the 24th so it was so sweet of her to invite us. We had some Finnish Christmas food which means casseroles! We had potato casserole and carrot casserole and some seafood as well. And then for dessert, a ton of chocolate. So overall a very good day. I think that by the time this transfer is over I will have gained 40 pounds but I have no regrets. 

This Christmas was a very special one as I had a lot of time to truly appreciate and think about the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for this time that I have to be a missionary and I love feeling that I am making a difference. I actually just found out that my convert Monday is in Amsterdam and is active in the church! It made me so happy to hear about him and I love being able to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others. I hope everyone had a great Christmas as well! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

December 20, 2016

Merry Christmas! I love Christmas time here in Finland! This past week we were able to do an amazing service project, we caroled with some ward members at an old folks home. It was so much fun and the people there loved it! The only hiccup was that we didn't know any of the Finnish Christmas songs. We had the words so it was just a lot of guessing on our part. It was cool to sing some traditional songs that meant a lot to the people there. There was also a little three year old boy in the group that ran around the room the whole time dancing, it was just about the cutest thing ever. 

We also got the chance to carol for the Watsons! We were called in for interviews last week and got to spend a lovely evening with them and some other missionaries including dinner! This past week we have just felt so loved by our amazing ward here in Marjaniemi and we even got a homemade fruitcake and some delicious Finnish chocolate from them. I am so glad I ended up staying here for the holiday season. 

We have a mission conference tomorrow and we've been asked to read Luke chapter 2 and Matthew chapters 1 and 2. It has been so cool to read about the birth and life of Christ and really remember the reason for the season. I am so excited for Christmas day because I get to skype my amazing family!!! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

December 13, 2016

Ward Christmas party!

I saw the Joulupukki!!! We had a ward Christmas party and it was amazing! I feel like I got to really experience a ''Finnish Christmas''. The children sang this song that apparently summons Joulupukki aka Santa Claus. They were singing the song and Santa Claus climbed through the window! We went early to help set up and so we got to be Santa's helpers and make all of the gift bags for the children. They served these huge things of Christmas Porridge and Christmas tarts. We all sang a lot of Finnish Christmas songs and they even had the narration of the story of Christ's birth. All in all it was great night and my companions and I dressed in red and green to celebrate. 

Also, this week my companions and I started reading the Teaching of the President's book for President Howard W. Hunter and we are kind of obsessed. How have I never read these books before? They probably just looked really boring pre-mission to be honest but now I want to read them all! 

Something President Hunter said that really caught my attention this morning was,'' This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and in deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and the wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again.''  I loved that and I really want to do my best this Christmas to be more Christ-like. 

We had a lunch appointment the other day and the sweet old Finnish member explained to us what she had cooked and what the ingredients were. I just whispered to my companions that it was onion casserole but I didn't tell them what else we were eating till afterwards. The onion casserole had a lot of mysterious white paste and I could tell my companions were a bit confused as to what we were eating. Outside they asked about it and I calmly explained that we had eaten a lot of fish fat. They flipped out and it was an interesting rest of the day. I don't think I'm a fan of fish fat! We also sang Christmas Hymns with her and it was super fun! I am so excited for Christmas! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December 6, 2016

The three little pigs!

Hei Hei! I can't believe that I have been in a trio for a week now! My companions are just amazing and it's fun having three people because there is always something to talk about. We've had a couple ''adventures'' this past week trying to find places. Our phone doesn't have internet so we write down the instructions from google maps and then do the best we can! It's been interesting to say the least but we've also come to realize that Finns are so incredibly helpful when you ask them for directions! It's probably a good thing we are learning to find places with written instructions anyways because it gets so cold here in the winter that touch screen phones stop working. 

We have been getting to know a couple of really amazing members here lately, our goal is to try and visit everyone we can and show them the church's new Christmas video. There are a couple of really cute old ladies in the ward and we really want to Christmas carol to them so we'll have to start practicing! 

Fun fact: Today, December 6th is Finland's national independence day! It's basically a big party and ALL of the stores are shut down, so we have to wait until tomorrow to go grocery shopping!

Missions are so weird. There are so many amazing moments but there are also a lot of hard moments every day. That's why I am so grateful for the one hour of scripture study we do every morning. I came across a chapter that has really helped me on my mission and it really helped me this past week as well. It's Alma chapter 8 and it talks about how Alma was discouraged because none of the people in the city of Ammonihah would listen to him and then he was told,''...Lift up thy head and rejoice, for thou hast great reason to rejoice, for thou hast been faithful in keeping the commandments of God..'' I love that he was told to rejoice and remember that although times and circumstance can be challenging, when we remember all of our blessing we truly have great cause to rejoice. I love that God loves us so much that he allows us to make our own choices even if we have to learn from our own mistakes sometimes. I know that the Book of Mormon is the cure for sadness! I know that god answer prayers. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November 29, 2016

Me and my lovely companions had such a great week together! Courtesy of Mama Roberts we had good ol' American food! I never knew how much I loved stuffing and gravy until I had it again last week. Being on a mission has really shown me how much I have to be grateful for. Although Thanksgiving is a really good time of year to appreciate all that we have, really everyday should be one of thanksgiving. We are blessed with so much and as I have been studying the scriptures I've seen that we should even be grateful during the hard times of our lives as well. Serving a mission is the hardest thing I have ever done but I have also never felt so thankful in my life for the blessings of the gospel and for my relationship with my Savior.

Some other news is that our church had a disco party! We taught a lesson at the church that night and not gunna lie, the disco music was a bit distracting in the background but it was totally worth it to see Finns disco! We were teaching our recent convert Osagie and he told us that he's going back to Italy for a little bit for a couple of different reasons. One of the main ones is that Finland is super cold! He said he'll be back when it warms up again! 

We have also been teaching a woman from Estonia these past couple weeks and she is amazing! We get to teach her in Finnish because Estonian and Finnish are actually pretty similar, it's kind of like how Portuguese and Spanish speakers can basically understand each other. She told us about how when she was younger it was forbidden to teach or talk about religion when the Soviet Union was still around and how she had gained a testimony of Christ by reading a copy of the bible. We set a baptismal date with her for January and we are so exited for her! 

Also, the church has produced an amazing service centered Christmas initiative called ''Light the World''. It is amazing and it has a 25 day advent calendar for service. We have been encouraged to do it to the best of our ability and I would encourage everyone else to do it too! What better way to spend this season by helping others and giving back just a little of what we've been given! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

November 22, 2016

Transfer Calls! I still get butterflies every time and this time I had no idea what to expect! Well.... I am staying in Marjaniemi with Sister Holbrook to finish her training! AND we will be getting a third companion tomorrow, Sisar Pugmire! She's from the same MTC group as Sisar Holbrook and she was serving in Espoo last transfer so I have already met her several times and she's so awesome. So that means I will be finishing training for two amazing sisters and I am so excited, I never thought I would be in a trio! 

This past weekend was our Stake Conference and so we got to see all of the missionaries in the Helsinki zone and a lot of members that I had never met before. I even got to see my new companion right after transfer calls which never happens so it was really exciting. I am excited to be staying in such a great ward with a lot of people that I care about for these upcoming holidays. I have faith that this next transfer will be another great one! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November 15, 2016

A typical beautiful Finnish day!

Terve! I know it's November but it already feels like Christmas! Finns LOVE Christmas and it's pretty dark this time of year so they are already putting up Christmas lights or Fall lights. It's much needed because by 4 o'clock it's already pitch black outside! It takes several minutes to head out the door now because of all of the layers but we've been able to stay warm so it's worth it. 

We had a Zone Training conference this past week and we talked a lot about the importance of members in missionary work. Also, we were talking about the Church's Christmas  initiative that will be coming out on December 1st. We are so excited to be able to talk to people about the ''true meaning of Christmas''. I think this will be the most Christ centered Christmas of my life and I'm really looking forward to it.

We also had our Primary Program this past Sunday! It was just about the cutest thing I have ever seen! As the little kids sang and bore their simple testimonies of the Savior the spirit was so strong. It made me think of all of the times in the scriptures that Christ tells us to become like little children. 

Our favorite Finnish drink!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November 8, 2016

Winter! These were taken last week, there is A LOT more snow now.

Guess who's getting their first ''white Christmas''??? It started snowing last Tuesday night and HAS NOT STOPPED. Winter is upon us and I now look like an Eskimo when we are out contacting. But it's been great! We had exchanges with our lovely STL's from Espoo last Thursday. My goal that I had wanted to work on with them was talking to people on public transportation. I am so bad at it! Everyone in Finland is so quiet so if you get on a metro or a bus you could literally hear a pin drop, so I sometimes have a hard time talking to people in those situations. But, with their help we did some metro contacting and while it's still a bit awkward I am getting better at it! 

Also, on Saturday our investigator Osagie got baptized! It was such a cool experience and there were so many people from the ward that were involved and helped. Our Bishop in the ward is the one who baptized him. As it turns out our Bishop was missionary companions with my mission President back in the day! When Osagie was baptized he wanted to bear his testimony to us and he just talked about how he had followed God before but how the Book of Mormon was the word of God and how though it, his faith has grown. It was so cool to hear him bear testimony of the Book of Mormon and say that he knew it was true. 

When we called him later that day to ask him how he was doing he said, ''I felt good before but now I feel greater.'' It just made me so happy to know that this gospel truly does make people happier. He received the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday and is now officially a member of the church! I know that this church is true and being a part of it has made me happier than anything else. And it's not just happiness, it's lasting joy because I know that these are the things that will bless me throughout my whole life as well as in the next. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November 1, 2016

We were in a trio for a bit!
I named my pumpkin Bruce. 

What a great week! We had our interim, which means that we stayed at the mission home from Monday night to Friday afternoon and received training for all of the new missionaries. We had great discussions about faith and something that was said that I loved was, '' You can study faith all of your life and not even scratch the surface.'' It was great hearing so many experiences from so many different people while we were there as well. On Wednesday night we got to go to the Helsinki Temple! It was a great experience to be in the house of the Lord and to be there with so many amazing missionaries. We talked a lot about the importance of having charity in all that we do. One of the comments made was a challenge to ''Be a positive force.'' It's something I have made my personal goal since then by doing things such as always finding something good to say about the day. Little things like not complaining about the weather and if the suns not out and it's grey and cold and wet, saying something like, 'What a beautiful typical Finnish day!'' It takes a little effort and some humor but it's always better to be positive! 
Our interim group!

Our investigator is being baptized this Saturday! We are so incredibly excited and I hope to send some pictures of it next week. It has been one of the greatest blessings in my mission to see people truly changing their lives and growing closer to their savior Jesus Christ. I feel so blessed to be a missionary and to be able to tell people things that make them happier and answer the questions that they've had for so long. I love that Heavenly Father has prepared the way for us and a plan of happiness. That step of baptism is essential to the plan and I know that Saturday will be just an amazing day. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

October 24, 2016

It takes at least 5 minutes to get out the door every day because...winter!
It's supposed to snow on Wednesday!


This is our little friend who followed us around.

And our district!
Notice the awkward distance between the sisters and elders.

This past week went by so fast it's weird! We are headed of to go to interim later today and we are looking forward to the experience, especially being able to go to the temple this week.
We got to celebrate Sisar Holbrook's 20th Birthday yesterday! We celebrated with red velvet cake and an amazing dinner appointment with a great American couple that live here. After that we went right back to work! We were tracting and there was this random cat that kept following us. It even ruined one of our contacts because someone answered the door and the cat ran into their house....it was way awkward. I am not sure what else to write but, the church is true and I love serving as a missionary here in Finland.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

October 18, 2016

Studying Finnish!!

Half way there! I hit my 9 month mark last Thursday and it was the weirdest thing ever. Time is going way too fast! This past week we had Zone conference in Haaga with all of Helsinki Zone. We got to hear from the Watsons and from a couple of the new senior couples that just came here. 

Last Saturday the Elders in our ward had a baptism! We were able to go to it and 3 of our investigators came as well! It was truly a great week, especially seeing the baptism and seeing how happy their investigator was afterwards. One of our investigators that came to the service is being baptized on November 5th and now every time we meet with him he starts off by saying, '' What am I learning today?'' He is so excited for his own baptism and has such great faith. (He is the one that told us he wanted to be baptized after General Conference) 

Fun fact about Finland is they don't name their babies until like 2 months after they are already born. Usually they get their names when they are baptized into the Lutheran church, or in our church when they receive their baby blessing. They refuse to tell anyone the baby's name until then, even their parents! I think my mother would kill me! 

Next week is interim, which means we will be spending a couple days at the mission home to receive training for all of the new missionaries. They have had to do it in two separate groups because there is so many new missionaries. It's been another great week and I love it here in Finland. Even though there were two days this past week where it was so overcast that we couldn't see the sun and I'm pretty sure I'll start seeing the sun less and less, it has been such a joy to serve the Lord. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

October 11, 2016

Sistar Roberts' work area!

Apartment Kitchen
Helsinki train station

Did I say mention last week that winter is coming? Well it's already here! I had to unpack my winter clothes this past week and get used to the days getting darker and darker. After having the summer here with even the nights filled with sunshine it is so weird to have my nights be dark again. But all is good! We have had some amazing experiences and we have been blessed to be finding more and more people to share the gospel with! 

I have such a testimony now of not complaining and just getting to work. If we are outside, even if it's cold and dark out and we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, we will be blessed with people to teach. It has been a humbling experience to really see why I was called to Finland. I makes me feel that my loving Heavenly Father really does have high expectations of me and I don't want to let him down! My Finnish is still coming little by little everyday but I know that the Lord qualifies whom He calls and if I try my best He can give me the words that I need to tell to people. I think I finally get the ''Helsinki slang''! Basically they don't say half of the word and they speak way fast but with the Lord's help and a lot of educated guessing it's all been going pretty well! Also realizing it is totally fine to ask things like, ''Sorry can you repeat that?'' and ''Can you say that either slower or a different way.?'' It has really helped to be straightforward and when the people see that you're trying your best to speak their language they are so loving and willing to help. And it totally breaks the ice to have a couple language fails =)

One night Sister Holbrook and I were walking back home and this woman caught up to us and said ''Hi sisters!'' Turns out she was a less active member that lives in our area that we didn't know about. She said she could see us from a mile away, even in the dark and knew we were the sister missionaries. We talked with her a bit and got her information and hope to be meeting with her soon. I just thought it was really cool that first of all she came up to us and that people really do recognize us and notice us so easily. I told Sister Holbrook that it must be because the light of Christ still shines even if it's dark outside! That'll be good for the winter months =)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

October 4, 2016

Winter is coming!!! I've had to unpack my winter clothes yet again and accept the fact that I live in Finland. It is still so weird to me!

What an amazing week, we had the opportunity to watch a couple sessions of conference over the weekend. The only ones I haven't seen yet are the priesthood session and the Sunday evening session because of the time change. It was so great meeting together with a combined group of 10 missionaries that came to watch and we even had an investigator come to two sessions. I had written out some questions that had been on my mind beforehand and they were all answered. I can't believe I used to sleep through conference!!! I love hearing from our amazing church leaders and of course our amazing Prophet, Thomas S. Monson. How incredible is it that we have a living day prophet and the same organization of the church as when Jesus Christ was on the Earth? I feel so blessed to be able to live at such a time as when we can hear from the prophet and his twelve apostles. Most importantly, my testimony that Jesus Christ leads this church and directs our leaders grew. 

After our investigator had watched the Saturday evening session with us we went to go talk to him to see what he thought. Here is how that conversation went:

          Us: ''Well what did you think?''

          Investigator: ''I'm convinced.''

          Me: ''What does that mean...''

          Investigator: '' When can we meet again, I want to be baptized. This is true.'' 

So that happened. We set a baptismal date for him next month and we are so excited! It's impossible to watch general conference and not know it's true if you have a sincere heart.

I love this church so much and know that it is true. I love our dear prophet Thomas S. Monson and all of our church leaders. I have a testimony that Jesus Christ is our savior.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

September 27, 2016

What a great week! My new companion is Sisar Holbrook!!! She is from Utah and is so awesome.  We have already taught a couple lessons together and it I know it will be a great transfer. I was kind of worried that my Finnish wouldn't be good enough to help someone that is new to the country but if I've learned anything this week it's that this is the Lord's work. He helps us when we feel inadequate and He never leaves us alone. One of my favorite scriptures has been on replay in my head this week, it's the one in the book of Joshua (1:9) that says '' be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed for the Lord thy God is with thee, whithersoever thou goest.'' I don't know if that is an exact quote but it's still my favorite scripture and I know that it is true and that the Lord qualifies whom He calls! I am very grateful for that. I have also come to realize that I don't need to know perfect Finnish to be able to have conversations with people, I am sure that would be nice and I am definitely still working on it but I don't feel the need to stress about it any more.

We have a great group of investigators, some new and we've been busy trying to meet with them all. Every time we teach some one about the gospel of Jesus Christ I just feel my own testimony growing. I love being a missionary and I have loved this opportunity to serve in the beautiful country of Finland!

Monday, September 19, 2016

September 19, 2016

I love seeing the fruits of my labor!

This week Sisar Andersson and I got a phone call from one of our members asking us if we could teach her, her friend, and her 10 year old son English. There are a bunch of laws about teaching English in Finland and we are by no means English teachers but we are allowed to have ''English discussions''. We said that we would love to come over and do that but due to some circumstances we ended up only meeting with her friend who happens to be a non member. It was such a neat experience even though we didn't really know what we were doing. I have come to realize that English is a really hard language! Finnish has a million grammar rules but once you learn them all you're good to go! We also had the chance in our meeting to explain a little about what we believe and we are hopefully meeting with her next week. 
Transfer calls! We got our transfer calls last Friday morning and I'M TRAINING! I will be staying in Marjaniemi and be training a new missionary from the MTC. We don't have a ton of sisters in the mission at the moment so I definitely knew it was a possibility but it was still kind of surprising. I have faith though that the Lord truly directs this work and if he trusts me enough to train then I'm sure it will be great. I won't know who my new companion is until Wednesday morning when I go to the mission home. I was excited to hear that in the group of 9 sisters that's coming one sister is from Slovakia and one is from Lithuania so I might even have a chance to serve with another European companion. I really just want to help whoever it is love Finland and love this amazing missionary work that we get to do.

Although I am excited and of course a bit nervous to be training, it also means that I am saying goodbye to Sisar Andersson. She is actually at the end of her mission and will be returning home to Tampere. We both are hoping that I get to serve in her home ward at some point in my mission! It has been such an amazing transfer with her, I've learned a lot. I know that she'll continue being an amazing member missionary and continue blessing the lives of others. On Sunday after the Sunday school classes were over the whole congregation gathered together in the chapel and sang ''God be with you till we meet again.'' for Sisar Andersson and for the departing Elder from our ward. It was so sweet and you could just feel everyone's love for them and for their service. At least Sisar Andersson only lives two hours away! I'm trying to convince her to visit at some point while I'm still here. 
I love this work and I know the church is true! It has truly blessed my life and I love watching it bless the lives of others. 

We knocked on this door a couple days ago!
It says '' no religious propaganda, thanks!'' 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

September 13, 2016

I cannot believe that this is the last week of the transfer! We had a fun week with our last district meeting and a Zone Training meeting. That means I was able to see Sisar Carter and Sisar Burden from my MTC group again. It was so much fun and I really learned a lot from the meeting. We talked about how to use the Book of Mormon in our teaching and went over our thoughts from the recent Mission Tour. 

We had a great lesson with our Vietnamese investigator last week and he said that he had been talking to his friends about the church. They had voiced a lot of questions to him that he didn't know the answers to and he told them, ''I'm not sure, I'll have to ask my missionaries.'' It was kind of the best feeling ever to have someone say that we were ''their missionaries'' and teaching him has been one of the coolest experiences ever. He wants to be baptized with his whole family and knows how important it is to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. The only problem is he's never in the country. He owns a bunch of businesses and he's always in a random country when we try to meet. We invited him to church and he told us that he would like to go but he'll be in Germany on that day. We can usually only meet with him once a month but every time is so special!

This Friday we get transfer calls!!!!! I am a bit nervous but if there is one thing that I've learned so far is that when we put our trust in the Lord everything works out.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

September 6, 2016

Sisar Roberts went out to find investigators...and found turtles. The search continues!

This week I learned some new Finnish words. I was trying to say ''he was sorry'' or ''Hän oli pahoilla'' but I said ''Hän oli Paholinen'' which means ''He was the evil one'' aka Satan. It's a good thing I have an amazing Finnish companion to help me out! 

We had a pretty great week and on Sunday I was asked to be a translator in church! I had attempted it once before because we have a few people here in our ward that don't speak Finnish and it did not go very well. Translating is a lot harder than I thought it would be, especially since I still don't fully understand people when they talk to me. But we had an American family here visiting and they needed a translator... in Primary. It was actually awesome, Sisar Andersson and I got to go to primary with all of the little kids and I sat next to this 10 year old girl and translated the lesson for her. The lesson was about missionary work and for the first time since I've been in Finland I understood everything that was being said. I loved being able to help out in the primary class and it was definitely the most awake I've been in a long time. In general Finns are kind of quiet people and it's a really quiet country so being in a room with a bunch of loud kids was kind of a culture shock! It was cool singing all of the primary songs that I've grown up with like ''I am a child of God'' in Finnish and really being able to see how our church is the same everywhere in the world. 

I love this church and I love being a missionary. I have a testimony of this gospel and how much of a gift it is. I feel so blessed for this opportunity to share it with others. I think that my mission has made me realize just how blessed I have been to have had this opportunity to be raised in the gospel.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

August 30, 2016

Mission tour with some familiar faces!!!

Mission Tour! We had our mission tour last Friday and we had the opportunity to hear from Elder Johnson and Elder Sabin from the Europe Area Seventy Presidency and their amazing wives. I got to see half of the mission as well and everyone from my MTC group but Sisar Margetts. It was amazing seeing them all again and to see how much we've all grown while we've been here. During conference we were reminded about the importance of members in missionary work as well as how to strengthen our wards and our investigators. We talked a lot about faith and how we need to be continually nourishing our faith daily in order to make sure that it continues to grow. I don't know if that was something I was doing very well before my mission but I have such a strong testimony now of daily scripture study and looking for and praying for those missionary moments. I loved mission tour and I know I'll never forget the wonderful spirit that was there and the things that were discussed. Also, I found out that at this moment we only have 80 missionaries in Finland! There aren't a lot of missionaries here right now but that just means that we'll be working that much harder! I know that there are people here in Finland ready to accept the gospel if we can just find them. Also, Sisar Andersson and I went to the zoo and it was pretty awesome. My only disappointment was that there were no penguins... But I've already moved past it. It was a really fun p-day and an awesome week. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

August 23, 2016

Happy 21st Birthday - Batman Style!!!

Last week was definitely eventful! Last Thursday we were in Espoo for exchanges with our amazing Sister Training leaders and we got to see the temple! Our STL's are amazing and it was such an amazing experience. One of the sisters served in Vaasa right before me so we had a lot to talk about and it was like having a little piece of home. The other sister trained Sister Margetts from my MTC group and it was so cool hearing so many of their funny stories together. 
I have to say, I have the best family ever. For my birthday yesterday I celebrated a batman themed birthday thanks to my amazing mother. Sister Andersson and I took so many pictures with our epic batman masks! I have to say, European food is almost always better than American food in my opinion BUT American pizza is way better than European Pizza! We ordered pizza yesterday and ate at the church and then we had an amazing lesson with one of our investigators. This past week two of our investigators said that they want to be baptized, the people here are amazing and it's always so cool to see the conversion process and how people change. We have some fun things planned for our p-day so I don't have too much time to write but I love being a missionary and I really did have the best birthday ever as I got to spend it serving the Lord and telling people about the gospel. I feel like the time on my mission so far has gone so fast!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

August 16, 2016

This last week Sisar Andersson and I had a bit of an adventure. We were heading to our weekly district meeting and we got on the wrong bus.... we were on the bus for an hour. We saw a lot of Helsinki that day! Luckily we had tried to be at our meeting early so we were only a few minutes late but it was still an interesting experience. It's always a great thing to hear your companion say,'' I have no idea where we are or where we are going, but I'm sure we will get there somehow.'' But it's so true that everything works out and now we know for sure what bus not to get on!

It has been one of my favorite things so far on my mission to hear my investigators pray. Last week we were teaching one of our Vietnamese investigators and she prayed with us for the first time. She prayed in Vietnamese so I didn't understand what she was saying but the spirit was so strong and she told us afterwards that she thanked God that she had friends that were teaching her about Jesus Christ. It was another reminder of why I love being out here.

Also, apparently summer is over. It was so short! It rains all the time now and the sun is actually going down at night so it's getting cold again. Last Sunday a return missionary that had served in Marjaniemi came back for a visit with her family. It was so cool to see her and see how much she loved her mission and all of the people here. She bore her testimony about how much her mission had changed her life for the better and how much she loves the people of Finland. Her mom pulled me aside and gave me a big hug ''from my mom'' and told me that she was sending a picture home to her. Mission Moms are the best and I was so glad that she asked because I had been taught by my mother to take every opportunity that I can to talk to her!

It was a really good week and even though I have my language fails and we have interesting traveling experiences I know that I am here for a reason and that I will learn the language. I have been blessed with so many things on my mission so far and I know that I'll continue to learn and grow. I am excited to see what Heavenly Father has in store for me and I know that He loves me. I love sharing the gospel with all of the people that I can. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

August 9, 2016

Language fails of the week:
The Finnish word for ''liver'' is ''maksa'' and the word for ''cost'' is ''maksaa'' so when we were at a members house and there was this maksa paste I just thought it was a fancy or expensive paste and unfortunately I ate it. I now know the Finnish word for liver and that I do not like eating it. 

Also the other day I tried to complement my companion and she started laughing so I realized something was wrong. I was trying to say,''Minä pidän sinun hamesta.'' or ''I like your skirt'' but I actually said,'' Minä pidän sinun huumesta'' or ''I like your drugs.'' I'm just glad I said it to my companion and not to any members.

We said bye to our mini missionary yesterday. It was such a fun week with her and she really did help out so much. It was cool to see how strong her testimony and desire to serve were and it was cool having two Finnish companions. We were able to have some really nice lessons with our investigators this week and one of them said that they want to be baptized! He's a really cool man from Vietnam and he's here opening up a business in Finland. He's way busy so we don't know how often we will be able to meet with him but it was so cool to talk with him and see how strong his faith is.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

August 2, 2016

This week I have been trying to get to know the area and the ward better. We had dinner with one of the families here the other day and they asked me if I had been berry picking in Finland yet. I didn't know what they were talking about so they asked me in English and then I said that no, not yet. They said that berry picking season was almost over and that I had to try it so after dinner we went into the forest which was of course a two minute walk from their home (Finland!) and then we picked wild blueberries. I felt ihan suomalainen ( legit Finnish) after that experience. Suomi! 

We were contacting one day and we ran into this woman and she had some negative things to say about the church and I asked her if she would have time to talk next week and she was like ''I have time to talk now!'' So we went to a park and we talked to her for about 2 hours and got to know each other a lot better. She's from Singapore and she told us all about her family and about what she believed and then we told her about us and about what we believe and we gave her a Book of Mormon and invited her to church the next day. Then she came! It was really a cool experience and it showed me that sometimes listening to what other people have to say is more important than trying to prove a point. It was really cool to hear about her life and then tell her about how the gospel of Jesus Christ could help her through all of the things that she's going through.  

Also, we have a mini missionary! There's a program here that allows the youth to spend a week with the missionaries and so we have our own mini missionary now! She's a 16 year old Finnish girl and she's awesome! So now I have two Finnish companions! My brain hurts because I haven't had to speak this much Finish ever in my life but it is way good practice. It's also a lot of me asking questions over and over but it's been way fun to have another companion with us. We went to Espoo yesterday and she'll be with us until the following Monday. We planned really hard for this week to try and give her the best experience we possibly can. She's so cool for already wanting to serve at 16. When I was 16 I never even thought about serving a mission and now I can't even imagine my life without it. It really has been the best experience of my life in so many different ways. I know this church is true and I love sharing this message of hope and joy to others. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

July 26, 2016

I'm in Helsinki! I thought Marjaniemi (maaar-yan-knee-eem- E) was a city but it's just a street name. So I'm in the eastern part of Helsinki and it's definitely a lot different here than in Vaasa but I'm already loving it. I got here last Tuesday and had to say bye to Sisar Hayter and I got my new companion Sisar Andersson! She's really cool and this past week together has already been a lot of fun. We use the metro (subway) a lot here and lots of buses. It's really confusing and I don't know how to get anywhere yet but luckily Sisar Andersson does. Also, I think that I was starting to feel alright about my Finnish and that I could understand people better.....and then I came to Helsinki and people talk really different here. I have an investigator that I really can't understand at all ... but it's also good motivation to keep learning the language! I don't have much time to write but I love it here and I know I'm in Helsinki for a reason!