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.