Wednesday, June 29, 2016

June 28, 2016

Me getting as close to the ocean as I'll get for a while.

Exchanges in Oulu! This week was a lot of traveling! We went up to Oulu on Wednesday except on the way there our train didn't show up....and we had to get on a later train. We didn't even have seats and I was kind of stressed out until the sweetest Finnish woman came up to us and gave us her and her husbands seat. It was so nice and it really made my day. Later our train ended up getting delayed a couple of hours so we got to Oulu around 1 in the morning instead of 9 PM. Needless to say we were pretty tired the next day but the Oulu sisters are amazing and so much fun. I had been to Oulu before but it was my first time really getting to see the city and without a doubt Oulu is the prettiest place I've seen in Finland. We woke up at 4:20 AM on Friday morning to head back to Vaasa but we accidentally went to the wrong bus station and missed our bus. We had to try and get on the next bus at 8 AM but when we got there none of our credit cards worked....the trip was supposed to be around 88 euros for the both of us and we were really stressed out. Then the bus driver told us to get on and I was way confused. I asked him to repeat himself like 3 times because it was in Finnish and I was sure I had misunderstood. But he let us on for free! Apparently that never happens here but the Lord was definitely helping us out. The bus ride to Seinäjoki is about 5 hours but we ended up sitting next to an LDS family from Oulu and we talked to them almost the whole way ( when we weren't sleeping). Turns out the couple's son had served in Australia with my MTC companion Sister Carter's brother. Hopefully that made sense but I had heard a little about them before which was just a crazy coincidence. We were stranded in Seinäjoki for about two hours waiting for our train back to Vaasa so we got kebab! It was a really fun trip but I'm glad to be back. 

Kebab taas!!! (Kebab again!!!!)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

June 21, 2016

Our Elders and our investigators!!!

Today is the Summer Solstice! AKA the longest day of the year here in Finland and the sun will literally not be going down the whole day. This Friday and Saturday are huge holidays here in Finland, it's Juhannus which means midsummer.  This week we started off by having another Zone Training meeting in Oulu, it was really great to see all of the missionaries in our zone together and to learn form them. We got to eat at this place called Classic Diner during our layover in Seinäjoki and I was way excited to have ''American food'' again. Sister Hayter got a 20 euro burger which looked amazing and I got chicken fingers and french fries, America! But because we're in Europe we ate it all with fork and knives.... it felt wrong to eat french fries with a fork but at least the food was good! 

the American diner!

On Saturday our investigator got baptized! His name is Monday ( I finally got permission to share his name and pictures!) He is so amazing and seeing him get baptized was one of the happiest moments of my life. Seeing him so happy was the most rewarding feeling ever and I am so grateful that I got to be a part of it. It's really hard to describe everything that happened leading up to it but I just learned a lot from this experience and it strengthened my testimony of the gospel and just how much our Heavenly Father loves us. 

I feel like so much has happened this past week but it's really hard to put into words. I have such a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that he's my Savior and that he loves us. Speaking Finnish is still a daily struggle for me but if the people I talk to know anything it's that our Heavenly Father knows us and loves us. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and through studying it I've come to know my savior a lot better. Jeesuksen Kristuksen nimessa aamen.

Monday's baptism!!!!

Us and Monday

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

June 14, 2016

Meanwhile in scenic Finland...

Did I mention that Finland is beautiful? 

I've officially been a missionary for over 6 months! That is so weird to think about. The time is flying! This week we've been planning like crazy for our investigator's baptism which will be held this Saturday, the 18th! He is amazing and it just made me reflect on something my mission president told us when we first arrived here. He was telling us that there are so many people that are ready to accept the gospel but it's our job to find them. I always believed that but believing it and experiencing it are two different things. I don't have much time to write but I am so excited for his baptism and I know he was truly ready to accept the gospel. I cannot wait to email next week and talk about his baptismal service. Sister Hayter and I planning on singing a duet...Wish me luck! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

June 7, 2016

Another month down! I never would of thought when I got my mission call to Finland that all of my investigators would be from Nigeria. The Lord truly works in mysterious ways. We had a movie night planned with our investigators, the plan was to watch ''Meet the Mormons'' together and I was really excited because I had never seen it before. When we were planning the night one of our investigators said that it was time for us to try real African food. I was way excited but mostly terrified because I heard how spicy African food is. So we went and it was a blast we all really enjoyed the movie and then it was time for African food! I tried this doughy thing called manna and you have to rip off pieces and dip it in this spicy soup, and you eat it all with your hands. (She offered us a fork but I wanted to be super African.)  There was also rice with a spinach and salmon dish. It was so good. I just had to drink a lot of water. After we had finished eating she just looked at us and said ''Usually white people complain about the spice.'' I think we earned some respect that day. 

Unfortunately Sister Hayter and I had the flu last Friday and Saturday and had to stay inside for two days. It was definitely an interesting experience, at first we tried to ignore the sickness and go to our lessons anyways but that was really not a good idea....But we are 100% better now and are excited to get back to work. Sister Hayter and I celebrated her 13th month mark as a missionary at McDonald's! European McDonald's is the same as in America except it looks and smells nicer and it's more expensive. 

Our Investigator gets baptized in two weeks! We are SO excited and we are planning like crazy. I know this church is true and I love being a missionary in Finland!  Jeesuksen Kristuksen nimessa aamen.