Tuesday, April 26, 2016

April 26, 2016

'' Do you feel those shards of ice hitting you in the face? That's God making you a strong woman!''
Quote of the week from Sister Kwok. 

It has been such an amazing week. We had exchanges with the Oulu STL's and that was fun. Honestly I was WAY stressed about it at the beginning because anyone that knows me knows that I AM SO DIRECTIONALLY CONFUSED and I can get lost in my own neighborhood, that has in fact happened. So yeah I was nervous to be the one in the companionship that was leading the way. But guess who didn't get lost in a foreign country? This missionary! It was such a good experience and I learned even just a little bit more to trust that the Lord will provide in all things. 

I haven't mentioned this but Sister Kwok and I have an amazing investigator right now who is getting baptized on May 7th! Her story is amazing and so is her spirit. I feel so blessed to be even a tiny part of it. She's from Nigeria so we teach her in English and I cannot express how amazing it feels to teach her and to prepare her for baptism in about two weeks from now!!!

A neat experience we had while trackting was that we met a Finnish woman who said we could come back the next evening because she didn't have time then. We gave her a Book of Mormon as well. The next night we did come back and we watched the church's Hallelujah video with her and taught about the restoration of the church. My Finnish is still coming along slowly but surely but I said that the Book of Mormon was the word of God and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. She looked me right in the eye and asked me how I knew that. Of course I started crying in the middle of the lesson as I bore my testimony of the Book of Mormon and just how much it has blessed my life. I told her that I knew it was true because I asked God and that I knew that if she asked she could also know and have those same blessings. We are meeting with her again this week and I am so excited for our next lesson with her. 

Yesterday was fast and testimony meeting in church because next weekend there is some type of holiday here.... I'm not exactly sure what it is. Anyways, I bore my testimony in church for the first time here in Finland and it was a very good experience. Sometimes I feel like I say the same 5 sentences over and over but I know that as I try my best to speak this amazing language the words I need will be given to me. 
I know that this church is true and that miracles happen. I know that as we share our testimonies they grow and that when we do things that are hard the Lord helps us when we ask him. I know that my prayers are being answered and that God and Jesus Christ live and love us so very much. Jeesuksen Kristuksen nimessa aamen.

whole zone minus the adults that fed us, 8 elders and us 2 sisters
Pietarsaari when we practiced our Swedish!

Interim when we went to the temple

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

April 19, 2016

Hei! This week really went by so fast.I am pretty sure I say that every week but it's so true. I spent most of the week in Espoo (it's pronounced Es-Poe) I kept saying it wrong at the beginning. :) It was so good to see my MTC group again and everyone was so happy! When they would pray in Finnish it was amazing to see the progress and the growth that everyone has had in just the short month of being here. Finnish is hard but not impossible! We talked a lot about how to plan better and how to plan our planning. I have never been so organized in my life. I know what I am going to be doing every hour of the day and we also set goals. Transfer goals, weekly goals, and daily goals. So many goals. I don't know if I realized how hard a mission would be, every day when we get home we still have to plan everything for the next day in greater detail and we usually get done with everything around 10 every night. It has definitely been a humbling experience to realize that there is absolutely no way that I can do this on my own. I pray constantly and I have never felt closer to my Savior Jesus Christ than now. Every time I start to worry that I cannot do this I see a tiny miracle when someone says ''yes'' when we're contacting or when one of our investigators prays. I think that I'm definitely learning a lot about hard work and just how rewarding it is. 

Also, this week we had District conference right after we got back from interim. There are no sister missionaries in Pietarsaari so Sister Kwok and I got to stay at a hotel for the night (that never happens) and all 8 elders had to cram into one apartment. It was awesome. We even had the opportunity to have breakfast there with Elder Dryden who is an Area 70 member in Europe. It was so cool to hear him speak at conference and because he's British I actually understood it all. As for the other speakers that were all in Finnish I picked up bits and pieces of what they were talking about. The theme was '' How to grow our faith''. It still amazes me that I don't even have to understand what the speakers are saying to feel the spirit. You can feel their love for the gospel and how much they love their Savior. 

Sister Kwok and I got to learn a little bit of Swedish as well because that's the predominant spoken language in P-town. There's also a lot of Swedish speakers in Vaasa so it was a good practice. I can officially say '' We are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints'' that's about it...I can also ask them if they speak Finnish. We have a missionary in our district from Sweden and he was helping us practice but he was also laughing pretty hard so who knows if I can actually say anything in Swedish. 

This Thursday the Sister Training Leaders for our zone are coming down for exchanges. That just means Sister Kwok and I will be split up and we will be companions with with one of them for the day. They just help to figure out what we can improve on and other things but I've met them before and they're super sweet. Also on Sunday we go back to Oulu for another Zone training conference.... so many meetings. They're all amazing, it's just a long trip every time. 

I'm so glad to be back in Vaasa even though the warm weather is gone again and it's blizzarding outside I'm so grateful to be a missionary here in this wonderful land. I know that God loves us all and that he will give us help if we ask for it and believe that we will receive it. I know that this church is true and that God answers our prayers. Jeesuksen Kristuksen nimessa aamen. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

April 11, 2016


The time really does fly here! I am loving Finland and all of the amazing people here. The weather is beautiful and the sun is shining! People have been a lot more willing to stop and talk to us and we've had a really great week. 

I don't know if I've mentioned before but Sisar Kwok and I teach lessons to a nine year old boy who is preparing to get baptized soon. Anyways we were teaching a lesson on all of God's commandments and we were going over the Ten Commandments and having him explain in his own words what they meant. He would tell us in Swedish and his mom would translate it into Finnish. When we got to the Thou shall not commit adultery one he said,'' Don't be like Grandma's first husband.'' His mom was cracking up too hard to translate for a minute but it was so funny. 

This week we've really been trying to get to know the ward members more and we've been going over and trying to share brief spiritual thoughts with a couple families and I'm always so amazed at how strong their faith is. Vaasa is a pretty small place and it always amazes me that a lot of the times when we stop and talk to people they'll already know a member of the church or have a Book of Mormon in their homes because they've already talked to the missionaries. 

I'm so excited to see everyone from my MTC group again!!! The train ride there is about 5 hours so we'll get there pretty late but lucky I have a giant rice crispie treat to sustain me, courtesy of my amazing mother. I'll be in training from Tuesday morning till Friday. We get back to Vaasa and then have to go to Pietarsari from Saturday till Sunday for District Conference ( it's their stake conference) and we get to stay in a hotel!!! So this week I will be in A LOT of meetings but I'm really looking forward to the experience. 

I love being a missionary and I know that the gospel truly does bless lives! I know that I was called here for a reason and that the Lord always qualifies who he calls. I know that He knows each of us personally and that's why he didn't send me here during a winter...I would have died. I love this gospel and the beautiful land of Finland.  Jeesuksen Kristukseen nimessa aamen. 
Sisar Roberts & Sisar Kwok

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

April 5, 2016

This week flew by! We did a bit more tracking work which is going door to door and let's just say that I've had some interesting language problems. Every time someone comes to the door I usually end up saying the church's name in reverse order and then just look at Sisar Kwok for help. It reminds me of the best two years and how awkward he was at the beginning of the movie, I now know the struggle is real. So real. I was practicing how to say '' Oletko Isäntä?'' which means ''Are you the man of the house?'' or  ''Oletko Emäntä?''  which is '' Are you the woman of the house?''.  We usually try and make sure they actually live there before we begin talking but because I'm awkward I almost always mix up the two. I have asked several woman if they are the man of the house. Several. Luckily my trainer usually can sense my full blown panic after I realize my mistake and she swoops in to save the day and actually addresses them correctly. 

We were teaching a new investigator for the first time last week and because he had never been religious he had never prayed before and he didn't know much about Christianity. He's a really cool Turkish man here for school and so luckily the lesson was in English (most of them are). We explained how to pray and we explained that we are God's children and that he loves hearing from us. At the end of the lesson we asked him to say the closing prayer and although he was kind of nervous he agreed. It was such a privilege to hear someones first prayer ever to God. I honestly think it was the best day of my mission so far. We are teaching him again later in the week. He had so many questions and seemed really sincere so I'm really excited to see him again. Investigator prayers are just the best. 

I know that even though I have made A LOT of cringe worthy mistakes this past week I have also been talking to more people and learning more each day. I love being a missionary even if it's hard sometimes, I know that it's worth it. I love learning more about my Savior Jesus Christ and God everyday and seeing how much they really love each and every one of us. I love the people here and this beautiful country that I've been blessed to serve in!