Thursday, February 25, 2016

February 25, 2016

We met a real Finn!!! He got to the MTC last week and he's headed to the Ukraine, Russian speaking. He already knows like 4 languages and speaks English better than we do because Europeans are legit. Whenever we see him we always ambush him with questions and practice our Finnish, it's been sooooo fun and his accent is adorable. It makes me super motivated to be better at the language and it feels good being able to understand what he says most of the time. But we have no idea how to have a real conversation in Finnish that's not about the gospel. So every time we talk and he's being normal I just want to tell him about the first vision (which I have the first paragraph memorized in Finnish, go me!) 
So this week we got to hear from the Primary General President and that was a really good talk. I was in the choir again and we sang " A child's prayer" it brought back a lot of memories. They had a whole bunch of the MTC presidency's grand-kids come and sing the first verse, it was the cutest thing of my life. 

As of last Sunday I've been assigned to be the new Sister Training Leader for the district and basically what that means is that I go to meetings and interview the girls in our district to make sure everyone is doing okay. 

Our friends the Danes left Sunday night and people are always asking us when we are leaving. It's really fun. It doesn't help that we had our first skype lesson with real Finns today. We had TRC today and that just means that we teach a lesson to a member of the church to help us practice and today we skyped a real Finn (she spoke 5 languages because FINNS ARE LEGIT) and I want to be there NOW! As you can tell I have been blessed with so much patience. 

We have Danes that came yesterday (we hosted again too). We got two new Elders and a new Sister who's actually our new roommate as well. Her name is Sister Landeen and she's a solo sister which means she doesn't have a companion. And because she can't be alone Sister Carter and I are now a tri-panionship and we walk her to class and pick her up from things. She seems really sweet and it's a welcome change when everyday feels kind of the same. I'm really excited to get to know her. 
We get our travel plans next Friday!!! I cannot wait! I have loved my time here and I don't really understand the grammar but I feel like I'll learn a lot faster there. Apparently my branch leaders know the Watsons (my mission prez) personally because before they were called to Finland they worked at the MTC. I've heard nothing but great things about them and apparently they can't wait to meet us either! 

Fun Finnish facts:
The simplest way to say "to meet" is- tapaa (you just hold out the "a" sound longer)
The way to say "to kill" is - tapa  So if I'm not careful I might accidentally say "nice to kill you"
Isn't Finnish awesome? I think so.
Also the word for missionary is "lähetyssaarnaaja" it's actually really fun to say.
I don't know if that is one of them but a lot of the gospel words are Swedish because the gospel was introduced there first.
Also the word "husband" in Finnish is "aviiomeis" which literally translates to- marriage man. I don't know why but we all thought that was hilarious.

Life is good. I love being a lähetyssaarnaaja and I'm learning a lot. I have a testimony that the Lord knows each of us personally and loves us all individually. Coming on a mission has been the best decision I ever made and I can't wait to share the gospel. I love my Savior and I love His church. Jeesuksen Kristuksen nimessa aamen. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

February 18, 2016


I have made a decision. I have decided that in the future when I have kids, instead of putting them in the time out corner or grounding them I will make them learn a Finnish grammar rule whenever they upset me. I will have the most obedient kids in the world and they will be bilingual. Parenting goals. Also I plan on giving them weird Finnish names. I've heard that after being in the MTC for over 5 weeks you start to get really weird. I concur and my district and I are total spazzes. But that's okay I'm still having fun! 

Okay so here is the coolest thing EVER. Elder Rasband spoke at our Tuesday Devotional!!!!! Everyone has the option of singing in the MTC choir every week so technically I sang for an Apostle! We sang " Nearer my God, to thee" and it was so good. I can't even put into words how strong the spirit was. The MTC staff were being stinkers about telling us who was coming but they had alluded that an apostle was coming all week. I didn't see him walk into the room but I felt it, we all stood and the room was silent. I had never heard our group of on average 18-23 year old missionaries be so quiet in all of my time here. All of our speakers here have been amazing but you could just feel that his portion of the spirit was greater. When he spoke he referenced his talk that he gave in 2010 "The Divine Call of a Missionary". It had been handed out the previous week and we had been asked to study it in preparation for this devotional. If you have any questions on how missionaries are called to their respective missions, read this talk. If you don't you should read it anyways because it's so cool. I had a general idea but this cleared up any doubts that I had about the process. Elder Rasband didn't preach to us from the podium, he grabbed a microphone and walked through the crowd and asked our opinions on the talk and answered individuals questions. He made each person he talked to look him in the eye and then he would ask them, " Do you know that you were called to your mission by revelation?"   He went on to say that since being called an Apostle 4 months ago, assigning missions has been the hardest responsibility because he would ask Heavenly Father to know perfectly where each person would go. I really loved his talk and at the end of the discussion he returned to the podium to briefly bear his testimony and close the meeting and he said to " Never again doubt your mission." He also said that if we remember nothing else form his talk remember these words that " The leaders of the church are no strangers to the voice of the Lord." They know what they're doing and I know that one of the Apostles received revelation that I need to go to Helsinki, Finland. =) 

So here's a less awesome but still a really fun thing that happened yesterday. My district got to host! That means that instead of learning super fun Finnish grammar we went to a quick orientation and then were assigned to welcome new missionaries! We had to pick them up from the drop off area and then take them to get their name tags, take them to the bookstore, take them to the residence (and carry their luggage for them the whole time, I'm so buff now it's not even funny) and then take them to their classroom where they immediately start their first class. I hosted 3 girls and I was sooooo tired but it was a really fun day. Also the fake investigator we have been teaching- Timo finally committed to be baptized yesterday! I was so excited! I was just thinking that if I'm THIS happy from a fake investigator I can't even imagine how that feels out on the mission field when it's real life! It's been such a good week! 

Our bff's here, all the Danish sisters are leaving Sunday night for Denmark!!! We came in with them so it's way weird, also we had an awesome valentines party with them. We stayed up till 11 (so rebellious) and ate incredible amounts of chocolate. It was awesome but I probably have cavities. It has gotten kind of hard making friends and having them ALL leave before us. I appreciate the help with grammar but I guess I need to work on my patience. I want to be in Finland NOW! But yeah, patience would be good. 

Our teachers make us do these role plays in class where we each take turns pretending to be an investigator and they teach us. It's a super humbling experience because we get to hear how a lesson in perfect Finnish actually sounds. It's so cool! It's also cool to put ourselves in the shoes of the investigator for a change. Anyways, it was my turn to play the investigator yesterday and I totally messed up. Sisar Ross (one of our teachers) began by asking me how my day was and I responded "Hyvä, mutta täänän kuolema oli vaikea" which means "good, but today death was hard". I am such a loser, the whole class was cracking up for like 5 minutes. I meant to say "Hyvä mutta täänän koulu oli vaikea" which means " good, but today school was hard." YEAH the words for school (koulu) and death (kuolema) are very similar. Go figure. 

I had an awesome week and my testimony grows a little every day here! I have a testimony that this church is true. I believe in Apostles and a modern day Prophet that guides us today. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! It's not a sacrifice, it's an opportunity to show God how much I love Him. Jeesuksen Kristuksen nimessa aamen. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

February 11, 2016


Moi! I cannot believe that it's been a month!! What is life? I have only 17 months left to be a missionary and that blows my mind. I was feeling a little weird about how 2 entire months of my mission are in the MTC learning grammar rules but I had a really neat experience today on our temple trip. My companion and I didn't even have our tags on and we were walking around and I heard this cute little lady whisper, "those girls are missionaries." It made me so happy that she could tell even without the tag! It made me feel a lot better because I haven't felt like a "real missionary" yet. It made me remember that even if I 'm not going around sharing the gospel yet that doesn't stop me from being a called representative of Christ. 

Did you know that there are more sister missionaries in the MTC and in the mission field right now than elders???? Well it's because we are so mahtava (awesome!) I love our branch with it's 30 something girls and the 4 elders we have, the spirit is so strong in the meetings. We had the opportunity to hear from Jenny Oaks Baker who is Dallin H Oaks daughter and a SUPER talented classically trained violinist for our Sunday devotional. If you have time you should check out her music, she played us several of her songs and it was so beautiful. I love how instantly music brings in the spirit. On Tuesday for our devotional we heard from Edward Dube from the 70 and he was from Zimbabwe and his testimony was really cool as well. I don't really have much else to say every day is equally awesome and basically the same. Fun quote from someone about missions " When you focus on the time, it goes slow. When you don't focus on the time, it goes fast. When you focus on the Lord, time ceases to exist." I'm not super awesome but I honestly don't know what day it is anymore. Time here is so weird and even thinking about going home in 17 months kind of makes me want to cry. (not that I don't love everyone back home a ton!) But the best part of my day is putting on my missionary tag and remembering why I'm here. I'm here to invite others to come unto Christ and I testify that what I'm doing is the best thing for my life. Just because it's hard doesn't mean it's bad. Mina rakastan tämä kirkko ja Jeesuken Kristuksen evankeliumi. Mina teidään että tämä kirkko on totta. I love this church and Jesus Christ's gospel. I know that this church is true. Jeesuksen Kristuksen nimessa aamen. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

February 4, 2016

Oooooookay so I don't even know what to write because I feel like my last P-day was about 2 seconds ago. Every day is the same. The other day in my investigator lesson was the first time I was able to respond to a question without referring to my notes and have like an actual, albeit very brief conversation in Finnish about modern day prophets. Go me! Of course with my confidence sky high for the next day I thought that it was going to be the same experience. The Lord decided that I needed to be humbled again and I was reminded yet again that I don't speak Finnish. I basically gaped at Timo (fake investigator/teacher) for 20 minutes and it was just a really bad lesson. It reminded me of a quote from someone that I heard in sacrament "Two people can do anything as long as one of them is the Lord." I need to remind myself that with out the spirit I won't be able to get very far here. 

So let me tell you a story of how I was accidentally swearing in Finnish for a little while. We have this online language program called TALL that we get on occasionally that allows you to use these headphones that record how I say phrases and sentences and it will play it back so I can try and match their correct Finnish accent. Soooooo Vanhin (Elder) Christian was practicing the Finnish word for Satan and a couple of us found it funny and started to say it too. We are supposed to chant the word until it sounds natural. So we were doing just that. Apparently saying the Finnish word for Satan out of religious context is the equivalent to saying the F word. It doesn't mean the F word, it's just that bad. So for a solid 10 minutes we were being super dumb. In Finnish you are supposed to say "paholainen" (the evil one) or say vastustaja (the adversary) and if you say their word for Satan or their word for devil it's just BAD BAD BAD.It's kind of a He-Who-Shall-Not-Be named situation, but for real. When I found this out of course I felt awful but I was laughing way to hard at the time to apologize to our traumatized teacher. Don't worry! I have repented of my evil ways! 

 We've been reading out of the Book of Mormon in class and it's been so cool to see how the translated sentences and the different wording will change my perspective on a verse. The other day Sister Johnson (my fav. teacher) had us all reading 2 Nephi 32 and I really liked the Finnish verse 20. In English it talks about pressing forward steadfastly but in Finnish that's "ponnistella eteenpain lujina" or struggle forward steadfastly. We talked about that in class for a while. I think the Finns got it right, life is hard and we do have to struggle forward steadfastly but the great thing is we never have to struggle alone. I testify that we are never alone. 

 We had an amazing devotional on Tuesday. It was by Sister and Elder Zwick of the 70. Sister Zwick told us this really amazing personal experience of how her oldest son was born physically and mentally impaired and was unable to serve a mission because he couldn't read or write even though he very much desired to serve. When their younger son got called on his mission to....I think it was Hong Kong, they ended up having to go there a week before their son's release date for business and they asked the mission president if they could pick up their missionary son at the end of the week and take him home. The mission president agreed on the condition that the two brothers would have to serve together that entire week. The family was thrilled and their oldest son got to be set apart as a full-time missionary in Hong Kong for a week and work with his brother. The two brothers handed out Book of Mormons and prayed everyday to find an English speaker so that the oldest brother could bear his testimony. On the final day they found a tourist couple from New Jersey on the train who spoke perfect English. The older brother was thrilled and handed them a Book of Mormon and said, " I can't read this book but my family reads it to me. I know it's true and it makes me happy. I know that if you read it you can be happy too." He left them his contact information and the Book of Mormon and walked away. A couple weeks later the family got a phone call that from the couple that they had read the Book of Mormon and had since been baptized.   

I know that the power of the Holy Ghost is real. I know that there are people waiting all across the world to hear about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I testify that this church is true and that it is led by Jesus Christ. I believe in a God who loves us enough to guide us in these latter days. I believe in the power of prayer. ( I don't think I've stopped praying since I got here.) I love this church. I believe that God can help us reach our full potential if we put our faith in Him who knows us best and loves us the most. I believe in the gift of tongues. Jeesuksen Kristuksen nimessa Aamen. Sisar Roberts

January 29, 2016

Moi perhe!

                So I accidentally sat on my missionary tag and I kind of bent it so they just ordered me a new one!  I’m sending the one I sat on back home so you guys can have it!  It literally translates to:  Latter’s-Days Saints Jesus Christ’s Church.  So yeah it’s pretty mahtava (awesome!).
                I don’t know how people decide to learn how people decide to learn languages without the Holy Ghost.  It’s crazy how much I understand already.  I still have a TON more to learn but I haven’t felt overwhelmed.

                I feel like I can say this because you guys where there for it, but it really reminded me of my Patriarchal Blessing and how it said I had the gift of tongues.  I haven’t once thought that I couldn’t do this and that has been such an amazing blessing.  I’ve felt such peace here.  I’m almost always exhausted in more ways than one but they MTC has been really fun.  I have an AMAZING toveri (companion).  My roommates Sisar Burden and Sisar Margetts are really easy to get along with as well.
                One really big problem here is that the food here makes everyone SUPER gassy.  Like it’s bad!  But I’m going to try really hard not to gain 20-30 pounds!

                We did this thing today called the TRC that we’ll be doing every week now where we teach actual members, that aren’t our teachers.  It was really cool because I feel like I haven’t talked to like “real people” in forever.   And they weren’t pretending to be investigators.  It was all in Finnish but we were supposed to have some sort of lesson for a member.  It was hard planning it at first because we had to form sentences and questions that aren’t in our Finnish language books because they mostly focus on the discussions but it was ok once we picked a topic.
                Sisar Carter and I prayed about it and decided on teaching about how we endure to the end.  It ended up being really good.  Luckily, it was pretty interactive and both of our 20 minute lessons were really fun.

                We’ve run into so many RM’s here that have served in Finland.  Every single one had nothing but amazing things to say about it and they all light up when they talk about it.  Apparently now is a really good time for my mission and baptisms are happening!  The consensus on the language is that it takes about a year to learn it and speak it like a true Finn.
                So it’s actually hilarious but everyone always introduces themselves or asks the same questions like 100 times a day.

·         Where are you going? 

·         Where are you from?

·         How long have you been here?

EVERYDAY 100 times a day

                Everyone that sees my awesome foreign tag asks where we are going and everyone has literally the same reaction.  When they hear that we’re going to Finland they make a face and say something like, “wow, isn’t that the hardest language?” or “I’m glad I don’t have that Mission.”  Once when the Danes were praying they thanked the Lord that a least they weren’t learning Finnish.  But honestly Finnish isn’t that scary, it’s a ton of memorization but I can pronounce it all and it’s all the same characters that we have in our alphabet except for ä and ö.  What makes it so hard is all the grammar rules (I think there’s about 50) so you have to remember all of them before you form a sentence.  Also they don’t have a word for “the” they add stems to a word depending upon how the verb, pronoun, or noun are interacting with each other.  FINNISH!
                Also, please never make Finnish puns ever ever ever again.  Don’t ask me if I’ll Finnish my mission or Finnish anything.  That joke is dead.  I’ve heard it SO MANY TIMES!

                So every Sunday night we get to watch a “movie” or an old devotional that they’ve had here at the MTC.  (They record everything here)  It’s always an apostle and so far I’ve watched 2 David A Bednar (love him) movies called “The Character of Christ” and “Becoming a Missionary.”  Fun fact about the movies is they are only for MTC missionaries at the MTC and you can’t watch them anywhere else.  They are always my favorite part of Sunday because the spirit is so strong.  They’re all basically about how to be a missionary and how to come unto Christ.
                We had a worldwide MTC training broadcast on the 20th where we got to hear from Neil L. Anderson, David A. Bednar, W. Christopher Waddell, Bonnie L. Oscarson, L. Whitney Clayton, and Dallin H. Oaks.  It was really good.  It was the first time in more than a decade that a worldwide MTC broadcast was made.  It felt awesome to be able to see it.  The broadcast’s theme was “Teach repentance &  baptize converts.”  They explained what questions to ask people, how to find people, and that we should always teach repentance and baptize.  It was a couple of hours long but it was so good.

                I wish I could talk to you guys about everything that happens here but it’s really hard to describe.  Besides the Temple, I’ve never felt the spirit so strong in any one place.  Everyone here, even the staff has a temple recommend and we are all going through the same struggles right now with mission training.
                I leave you with my testimony that I have no doubt this church is true.  God is our loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is our Savior and our brother.  This church is for everyone and I can’t wait to share the gospel in Finland.  I have faith that as I put in the work I will learn this language and be able to say the things I need to say.  I love you guys so much and I pray for you every night.  I hope you’re all doing well and I’ll see you soonish!

Love,  Sisar Roberts