Monday, July 31, 2017

July 31, 2017

Transfer Calls were last Friday and you'll never guess where I am going! When President Aura called us he started with my transfer call. He said, "Sister Roberts, you have a wonderful life ahead of you and you get to choose your next companion.'' So I guess I have my next assignment! But seriously I have heard that joke about 20 times this week. Everyone keeps giving me dating advice and offering to set me up with their friends in Utah and it has been an interesting week.....

But all that aside I had to say a lot of goodbyes this week and this Thursday I will be flying out from Finland back home. There are really no words that I can think of that can describe what my mission has meant to me. This has been the most impactful, most difficult, and the most rewarding year and a half of my entire life. I have learned so much about myself and about the kind of person that Heavenly Father expects me to be and who I can be with his help. I have learned about other cultures, a new language, and I now know how to read a map and function without the internet! But most importantly I have learned that happiness comes when we have the Holy Ghost as our constant companion. I have learned how to have a personal relationship with my Heavenly Father. 

My plans for after the mission: I plan on being ''an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.'' Like it talks about in the book of Timothy. I want to follow the advice of the Savior in the book of Mark chapter 5  ''Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.'' I am so excited to share what I have learned in my time here. 

In the Book of Mormon it talks about Christ and how He is our sure foundation-
 ''And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.''

I know with all of my heart that Christ lives and that He truly is the son of God. He came to Earth for us and although life is hard we never have to go through it alone. I have loved every moment of my time as a missionary. I am grateful for the Savior's atonement and that we can change for the better. I will not be coming home the same person as when I left on my mission and for that I am eternally grateful. 

When Paul knew that the end of his mission was near he said in Timothy chapter 4, ''For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:''

At the very beginning of my mission I met a missionary in the airport that was going home from his mission. He gave one piece of advice that has stayed with me my whole mission. He said, "When you focus on the time, it goes slow. When you focus on the work, time goes fast. When you focus on the Lord, time ceases to exist.'' 

I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to serve God here in Finland for a year and a half. Words cannot describe the love I have for this country and for all the people in it. I know that this is God's true church and that I will continue to be a missionary throughout the rest of my life. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

July 25, 2017

It has been a great week and Sister West and I actually just got out of the temple! We are emailing from the temple guest house and it has been a great day so far.

We were let in twice this week when we were trackting! The first lady that let us in was 91 years old and was at home with some of her daughters. She was going deaf so we had to talk really loud as we were talking to her. The second lady that let us in later in the week was another woman in her 90's. She had to grab a huge magnifying glass to try and read the Book of Mormon that we gave to her and told us that she can only read if she shuts one eye, uses the magnifying glass, and squints. She wasn't interested in learning more about our church but I asked her if we could be of help and she asked if we could just stay for a few minutes and drink lemonade with her. It was so cute, so we sat and talked with her for a bit and she told us about her family and where she grew up. When it was time for us to go she didn't want us to leave and started showing us around her apartment and the pictures of her kids. She asked how long we would stay in Finland and I told her that I only have about a week left here. She teared up and wished me a safe trip home and told me that although she wasn't ready to hear about the gospel that day that she hoped to see me in heaven. I gave her a big hug before I left and Finns really don't hug strangers but both Sister West and I felt like we had become great friends with her in just the short amount of time that we spent there.

The scriptures talk about how the Savior ''went about doing good.'' I have not really had investigators to teach this transfer but I know that I am still doing my best work and that we can really make such a difference in other peoples lives simply by being kind and spending time with others. I know that we too can look for our own way to go about doing good.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

July 19, 2017

Another great week in Espoo! Sisar West and I had the opportunity to teach the English Sunday School last Sunday. The topic was ''Work and Personal Responsibility''. It was really great preparing throughout the week to teach because it helped me to better see the joy that comes from hard work. I have definitely felt the most joy in my life when I have been working hard and relying on the Lord. 

We had another great dinner with our favorite neighbors, the Perkins this week as well. We ate with them and two Finnish church members. We got to hear a little bit more about the history of the church here in Finland. The church here is still pretty young and so it has been so interesting to hear stories of people's parents joining the church and hearing how much it has grown over the years. 

Sister West and I bought donuts this past week to celebrate my 18 month mark as a missionary. The next day I realized that it was actually my 19 month mark! So after we realized that we had to go back to the store to buy more donuts of course! I can't think of a better way to have spent the past 19 months than to be here in Finland teaching people about Christ. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

July 11, 2017

This transfer is going by so fast! Last Wednesday we headed over to Helsinki for our ''Meet the Mission President'' Zone Conference. It was great. The Auras are incredible people. They are Finnish and have both served missions in Finland when they were our age. We greeted them one by one at the very beginning and then the meeting began. Sisar Aura addressed us first and spoke in Finnish the entire time. It was great and I could feel her love for us as well as her strong testimony of the gospel. President Aura, we actually refer to him as ''Lähetysjohtaja Aura'' or ''Mission leader Aura''. He spoke to us in English and we got to know more about him and his family. They both spoke of how excited they were to be here and that they couldn't wait to get to know us better. I love them already and I am excited for all they will accomplish. 

We also had exchanges this week with the Sister Training Leaders! It was fun doing work with them and showing them around our area.

We met some interesting people this week. One sticks out in my mind. We met a man that was actually born in New York and he stopped us on the street and started talking to us. He asked us who we represented and I told him about our church and that we were representatives of Jesus Christ. Then, he told us a story about how he ran away from the police and how he outsmarted them by running into the forest. He told us that we were brainwashed and that the Kenyans in Finland knew ''the truth''. And because he had spent time with the Kenyans he now knew the truth. (He didn't tell us what that meant.) At this point he jumped on his bike and said that the whole world would know about him in a month and then he biked away dramatically. 

So it has been another good week. I have met a lot of interesting people and I love serving here in Espoo. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July! Weirdly enough they don't celebrate it here in Finland. But I will be buying a burger today in celebration. 

Well, it is official. We have a new mission President! The Watsons are back in Utah with their 6 children and 26 grandchildren and I am sure that they are very happy. The Auras are back and we are going to a ''meet the Mission President'' Zone Conference tomorrow. I have met them twice before and I know that they are very kind people. I am excited to get to know the two of them a little bit better. 

Change is sometimes hard but it is also what helps us grow. I loved serving with President and Sister Watson but I also know that all of our mission calls are from God. I know that the Auras were called of God to be the new leaders of the Finland, Helsinki mission and I am excited for all of the good they will do as well. 

This past week I have really noticed that so many little miracles happen every day. This past Sunday was my last fast and testimony meeting in Finland. I got up to bear my testimony of the Savior and I also spoke about my love for Finland. I LOVE Finland. I really do feel like this place is my home. The members here are amazing and I have become a better person over the past year and a half. We also had the opportunity to have dinner with the Perkins again! They invited another American along as well and it was a really great chance to get to know them all better. We had an amazing week and I know that no matter our circumstance we can choose to be happy. We can choose to be grateful for what we have. I know that through our Savior Jesus Christ everything will work out. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

June 26, 2017

We got chocolate shakes at Burger King this week.
Yes, Burger king.

This past week was Juhannus! It was the Finnish midsummer holiday and the longest day of the year when the sun really doesn't go down. There is so much partying that happens that we are not really supposed to be outside unless we have lessons and we can't proselyte for two days. We were able to keep busy still with reorganizing a lot of the paperwork in our apartment and doing some much needed deep cleaning. We also had dinner with the Perkins! We love living so close to them. Also, they made us chicken alfredo  which I haven't had in about a year and a half! It was soooo good! 

This past Sunday was President and Sister Watson's last Sunday in Finland. They went to our ward and we got to hear their farewell talks. Of course that meant that I was crying during sacrament meeting but luckily Sister West knows me and came prepared with tissues! She ended up just giving me the whole pack by the end of church. I love the Watsons and I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to serve with them for most of my mission. They also joked with me that I won't have to wait too long until I can just go to their house and see them in Utah. I will be visiting! 

Today has been an interesting day. It's the day of my original release date! I was told about my extension when I arrived in Finland and at the time it was such a shock. I know that I am still supposed to be here and I am so grateful that I got extended so that I still have the time to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those around me. I love being a missionary and I love the people of Finland. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 20, 2017

This past week we had our last Zone Conference with the Watsons. They leave on the 30th. I have learned so much from the both of them and they will be missed. I am glad that I will be able to visit them still after the mission. At the conference President Watson said, ''We demonstrate our faith in our obedience.'' I know that to be true and I know that it is through obedience to the commandments that we get to know our Savior and our loving Heavenly Father.

Sister Watson told us three things that she wants us to remember from her:

       1) Have fun! Enjoy our missions.
       2) Recognize the hand of the Lord in everyday of our mission.
       3) Put the Savior first. Put the focus on Him and do as He would do.

At the end of the conference the Watsons expressed their love for us and asked us to love and follow our new mission president and his wife. We were told to look forwards and not backwards and to ''Stay on the Lord's side.'' 

It was a great conference and a great week. We even had dinner with the Perkins Sunday night. They are such a great missionary couple and we love living so close to them! 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

June 13, 2017

Things are going great here in Espoo. The ward here is amazing and people keep giving us so much food! We basically have our own food storage in the apartment with just so much chocolate. We don't have a lot of people to teach at the moment so it has been a lot of contacting people and we have tried to meet with a couple members each week to get to know the ward better. 

Recently I have been reading through the New Testament again and I was reading in Acts chapter 20 about Paul. He knew that he was at the end of his mission and had to say goodbye to the people he had been serving. 

24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.

I love that he talks about finishing the course with joy. He knows that he won't see the people that he cares about again but he knew the purpose that he came was to testify of God. Although, I won't be able to see a lot of my dear friends again I am grateful for the opportunity that I have had to learn from them and serve them here in Finland. I am so grateful to be a missionary. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

June 6, 2017

It as been a crazy week! When Sister West and I got to the train station we had the following instructions to find our way home: Go down the ramp, go under the two bridges away from the orange buildings, and it should be one of the first buildings on your right. So with that and all of our luggage we were off! We found the apartment! We then had to figure out buses, how to get to our lessons, how to find the church and where the grocery store and library were and all I can say is that we were led by the spirit! We have these really old bus maps and bus schedules that we use to get around that have the bus schedules for last year. Everything is online now so they recently stopped making updated paper maps. Sister West is really good with directions so we haven't gotten terribly lost yet. It has been really fun to figure out the area together. 

The people in the Espoo ward are so sweet and there were even some members visiting from Tampere that I got see so it was so nice. There was also a member visiting from Vaasa that I got to see and I haven't seen anyone from Vaasa in over a year! I can't believe that she still remembered me. It was a really great Sunday. 

There are so many people here in Espoo from all over the world. In just the past couple days I have talked to people from Pakistan, Romania, a ton of people from the Philippines, Russians, Estonians and of course Finns. It has been so weird to contact in English this past week. We are currently teaching people from Cameroon, Ghana, and the Congo. 

I know that God truly does answer prayers and I have prayed so much this past week for direction on what to do and quite literally for help with directions. I know that the Lord also fully expects that we put in our best efforts as well. I know that with His help I will never get permanently lost.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

May 29, 2017

I got my last transfer call Friday and.... I am moving to Espoo! I will be serving there in the second ward with a great sister that I already know really well so I am excited. Also, Espoo is pronounced like Es-Poe not Es-poo.

I will be close to the temple so I will have the opportunity to go on one of my preparation days! I cannot believe how fast this transfer has gone. I have seen so many miracles and have made so many great friends here. Every time I have to leave a ward I always feel like I am saying goodbye to my family all over again. I said goodbye to Sisar Andersson this past Sunday and so many other amazing members who have made me feel so loved. I think saying goodbye to people is one of the hardest parts of missionary work. The people here in Tampere are amazing. 

So my bags are packed and I am headed to Espoo tomorrow! My new companion and I will be completely new to the area as well. Usually there is someone that stays in the area and people are just swapped out but sometimes President will put a whole new companionship in the area. So we will have the task of first, finding our apartment and then figuring out everything else! The sisters in Espoo are preparing some write ups of the area like where to go for groceries and how to find the church and what buses to take to teach their investigators. As a very directionally confused individual I know that I will be praying a lot this transfer. I am excited for the challenge and I am grateful for the experience to continue to grow. I have heard nothing but good things about that ward as well. 

This past week Sister Carter and I went down to the mission home in Espoo for the day for ''My Plan''. It is a course that the church has come up with for missionaries preparing to go home. We received a lot of good advice on how to stay focused on the work our last transfer but how to also be realistic and plan for life after the mission. We got a packet that we are supposed to work on twice a week 30 minutes each on our specific plans. We were allowed to ask a bunch of questions and discuss schooling, career, dating, etc.... It was really a much needed course and I am excited that I will be able to feel prepared for what comes next and focus this next transfer. 

It has been another crazy week but I know that there are exciting things ahead and I am excited to see what happens this next transfer in Espoo! 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

May 23, 2017

This picture was taken at  8:45 PM,
is shows how much sun we still have at night. 

Us after the baptism!

Last week was probably one of the best weeks of my life. Our amazing investigator got baptized!!! The day of his baptism was so special and I couldn't help but think of Doctrine and Covenants chapter 18 that talks about how great the worth of souls are in the sight of God. And about how great our joy shall be if we can bring but one soul unto Christ. Our mission president always talks about finding ''the one''. He likes to reference the Book of Mormon in the book of Mosiah chapter 17:2 that says "But there was one'' referring to Alma and how he was the only one that listened to the words of the prophet Abinadi. We as missionaries have been encouraged to find that one person everyday and to uplift them and bring them closer to Christ. Sometimes we know the impact of our words on others and a lot of the time we will never know. I know that our investigator was definitely one of the many reasons why I needed to serve in Finland and I am so grateful to be a missionary and to be doing the best kind of work there is. There is nothing else that I would rather be doing with my time than helping others come unto Christ.

During our investigators baptismal service I just couldn't stop smiling and I am glad that on my mission I have come to find out what true joy is. I  have loved teaching people from all different backgrounds on my mission as well. We just got a new investigator the other day who is an 85 year old Finnish woman and she is just the cutest person. She has hearing aids and we had to keep repeating ourselves and talk really loud and slow. She kept telling us that we had weird accents.....I guess that would be our American accents! But we are meeting with her again next week! I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost and that if people can't understand us perfectly they can at least feel the spirit as we testify of Christ.  

Monday, May 15, 2017

May 15, 2017

Hyvää Äitienpäivää! I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day =) I had the chance on Mother's Day to Skype with my amazing family. Being on my mission has definitely made me appreciate them more. I am very grateful for the members that let us come over to their house for Skyping as well. 

This week we had our last exchange of the transfer with the Lahti Sisters! They are both so great and exchanges always make the week go by so fast. This transfer has been the fastest yet and it just keeps speeding up! Our investigator is getting baptized this Saturday and we are so excited for him. He's so converted and I hope to send some pictures next P-day. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

May 9, 2017

           We both have bikes! We are both out of shape!
We went bike contacting the other day and it was a good work out.
We will be doing it more often =) 

Terve! It's still snowing and it is MAY! I love Finland however, growing up in Florida did not prepare me for this. We had another eventful week with two exchanges. We had the Turku 2 sisters come to our area for the day last Thursday and on Saturday we went to the Tampere 2 sisters area. 

I really stink at these group emails! I would talk about my investigators but...Finnish privacy laws. We do have some really cool people that we are teaching right now though and one of them is getting baptized soon! This week we are having our last exchange of the transfer so it'll be another good week =) 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April 25, 2017

Terve! This morning it snowed and now it's raining. I thought it was time for spring but I guess I was wrong! This week Sister Carter and I went on exchanges with the Turku 1 Sisters. We got to go to Turku which is seriously on of the most beautiful cities and it was great to do work with them there. 

Last Friday was our stake conference. Elder Charles from the Europe Area 70 and his wife came and we were able to meet talk with them! They were so sweet and it was great and also really weird to have some of the talks in church be in English! We had the 2 sets of sisters staying with us overnight for the conference. Our apartment is pretty tiny so it was a full house! It was so much fun and the spirit was so strong at the conferences. The Saturday night one was at our church building because it is the stake center. The Sunday conference was in the Tampere Talo and it was really cool to see so many members. Everyone from Turku, Tampere, Jyväsklylä, and Lahti and a couple more cities came to participate.

We have been really focusing on contacting people that have already been taught by the missionaries before and seeing if they are interested to learn again. Last night we stopped by a former investigators home and we were invited in! The woman's boyfriend was over as well so both of them became investigators. It was a great night and it helped me to see that the Lord's timing is perfect! 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

April 18, 2017

Zone training!

Hyvä Pääsiänen kaikille! I hope every one had a great Easter this year. We had an eventful week with our Zone training last Wednesday. It's always kind of nerve racking when it's our turn to teach the language moment but we made it super interactive and made a game out of it. We had a great discussion on the doctrine of Jesus Christ and how we can help our investigators study the scriptures. 

Then, Sister Carter and I were off to Jyväskylä for exchanges with Sister Holbrook and Sister West! It was such a fun day and I am so glad to be in the same district as them because we get to see them every week! 
On Easter Sister Carter and I enjoyed going to church and then later at home we had Mämmi which is a Finnish dessert (Americans would not consider it a dessert) that is made from rye. You HAVE to buy cream and sugar to eat with it or else it tastes pretty bad. But overall mämmi is good! We also visited a member that night and she gave us hand knitted socks that she made for us for Easter. It was so sweet. A lot of Finnish people are into knitting. Everyone knows how to knit here! 

We have had a great week of teaching people as well and honestly this week has just flown by. We are headed to Turku tomorrow night for exchanges there and I'm excited to go back there again! I loved being able to study about the Savior in preparation for Easter this year and I know that Christ lives! 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

April 11, 2017

At the leadership meeting in Espoo this past week.

Almost our whole MTC group was there!!!

It has been another great week in Tampere! I love having Sisar Carter here as my companion, doing the work with her has been such a blast. We have seen a lot of miracles here already as we have focused on following up with former investigators this past week. We seem to have success with old Finnish ladies. We also have a great investigator progressing towards baptism and the members have done so well with friend-shipping him. They have taken him to church the past two weeks and have invited him to come to institute and family night and he loves it. 
We have been preparing for zone training and we feel really good about what we'll be presenting tomorrow. It has also been good to follow along with the study topics on that started on Palm Sunday. I have felt closer to the Savior as I have learned more about His earthly ministry. 
Here in Finland they have this tradition where all of the little kids dress up and go door to door on Palm Sunday. They sing a song and give you a branch that they decorated and then you give them candy. It is kind of like our Halloween except it's on Palm Sunday there is singing and branches. You might need to Google it to get a better description. Anyways, as we were out talking to people we were asking if we were ''trick-or-treaters''. I didn't know what that meant in Finnish at the time so I was just very confused but Sisar Carter keeps her dictionary on her and so we had a good laugh about it later. We continued to talk to people and we had an interesting conversation with a man who tried to convince us that Jesus was born again in Russia and that we should go to Russia to find out for ourselves. We will not be doing that but I was again reminded that the world is filled with interesting people. 

I am excited for Easter and for the message that Christ lives and I am grateful that I can share it with others. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

April 3, 2017

Me and Sisar Carter!

This past week has flown by! It started of with Sister Adams barely making her train to the mission home and Sister Carter coming back from Oulu! We have been running around going to district meeting in Jyväsklyä and back twice and watching general conference this past weekend. General conference was amazing and it was great to see our dear prophet Thomas S. Monson again. Although his talks are short now it has made me pay so much more attention to their meaning. I loved when he talked about how our testimony of the Book of Mormon cannot be understated and that we need to be reading from it daily. Unfortunately I did not read from the scriptures daily before my mission but it is also cool that I have been able to see the huge difference it has made in my personal life. And now I have a goal to never miss a day! We have another early p-day today because we are heading down to Espoo tomorrow for another leadership meeting. I am really excited for that and that we can go to the temple again with everyone. We have really been focusing on Easter and showing everyone the new video on It is amazing and there is a 8 day study schedule that I am excited to do myself to learn more about the Savior this Easter. 

Also, we have a new investigator from China that is really cool and we had to explain the difference between a ''Profit'' and a ''Prophet''. I forget sometimes that English is a really hard language as well. That's why we draw pictures in lessons! 

Monday, March 27, 2017

March 27, 2017

Transfer calls! I am staying here in Tampere 1 ward as a Sister Training Leader AND AND AND my new companion is Sisar Carter!!!!! She was my companion in the MTC and she is amazing! I am so excited to serve with her again. It will be a cool experience to see how far we have both come. But sadly that also means that I will be saying goodbye to Sister Adams tomorrow (transfer day). I have LOVED serving with Sister Adams and I will really miss her. 

We just had our last Zone Conference of the transfer this past week as well and we are preparing now for the new Easter initiative that is coming out soon. We were given a challenge from our mission President to spiritually prepare for Easter by leaning more about the Savior. I have been using some of my personal study time lately to read from the Bible about the end of Christ's life and I am always amazed at how selfless He is. I am excited to prepare for Easter and for this coming General Conference.

Monday, March 20, 2017

March 20, 2017

This week Sister Adams and I participated in our ward party. It was the celebration for the 175th year of the Relief Society! Tampere has two wards that share the same building and it was a combined event. We sang a song in the program with the Tampere 2 sisters and it was so fun. Finns are so crafty and the decorations were amazing. 

We also had a dinner appointment with these amazing Filipino families in our ward. I think that there was around 30 people there when we showed up and also it was one of the kids birthday party. There was so much Filipino food. They have these deep fryers on their porch and they just kept making more and more egg rolls. And the dessert was this cool sticky rice thing that I can't really describe but we were given a bunch of it to take home. I love Filipinos. They are some of the nicest and funniest people! They make you feel like family and they make you eat at least 10 egg rolls before you leave. 

The Elders in our ward had a baptism this past week that we got to go to. It was this young married couple and they were so excited. In church yesterday they were given the gift of the Holy Ghost and confirmed members of the church. The couple also has a 3 year old daughter and I am excited for her to be able to grow up in the church. It was a great week.

This week is the last full week of the transfer and it blows my mind with how fast it has gone. I feel like my whole mission has gone by pretty fast and that it has continued to speed up every transfer. We get our transfer calls this Friday, Sister Adams already knows her call ( she is going home!) and I am about 90% sure that I will be staying here in Tampere but I guess we will see! I will be really sad to say goodbye to Sister Adams, she and I have become so close and I will miss her a lot. Also it will mean that I  am in my second to last transfer and I don't know if I am ready for that! But I know that God has a plan and that His timing is perfect and that whatever happens will be a great learning experience for me. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

March 14, 2017

Exchanges in Turku!

Three times this transfer people have just walked into our church building because they felt like they were looking for something more in their lives. This past Sunday when we got to church some of the members told us to go to the chapel to talk to this man who had just randomly decided to come and so we did. He told us that he was walking past the church and he just felt like he had to come in. He said that he loved the peace that he could feel in our church and that he had had a lot of hardships in his life recently. Sister Adams and I testified to him that our Savior Jesus Christ truly loves and knows each of us personally and that through him we can find peace and joy in this life. We are teaching him tomorrow and it was just a really cool experience to be able to see that other people really are searching for happiness in this life. 

We also had exchanges in the beautiful city of Turku! When I come back to Finland one day I will definitely be visiting Turku. It was gorgeous and it was so much fun to spend the day working with the sisters and their investigators. It was also our last exchange so we'll be staying in Tampere for the rest of the transfer! As much as I love traveling, it is kind of a relief to be able to just work in our own area these last couple weeks together. 

Sister Adams and I have for some reason been teaching the commandments and about repentance in a lot of our lessons recently and it has really helped me to see that God's commandments are given to us because he loves us. God knows exactly what will keep us safe and happy and just like a loving parent He has told us exactly what we need to do in order to come back home one day. My view of repentance has changed a lot on my mission. I have such a testimony of daily repentance. In the world we live in today there is just so much temptation and people telling us that our actions right now don't really matter. God wants to bless us and help us become more like Him but we prevent Him from blessing us when we sin. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and His atonement and that He knows exactly what we go through every day. Repentance is such a gift and we can't utilize the power of the atonement without it. I know that life is hard sometimes but we never have to be alone. I love this church and I know that it is God's true, restored church. I am thankful for the chance that I have to be a missionary and to share the wonderful news.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

March 7, 2017

Exchanges with the Turku 1 sisters!

I am sorry but I don't have time for a group email this week. I love you all and it was a great week!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

February 28, 2017

The reflectors are going crazy but it keeps us safe!

We had exchanges again! The Jyväskylä sisters came to us here in Tampere for exchanges and it was such a great day. I love getting to know the sisters in the mission and I always like to ask them why they decided to serve missions. It is has been a cool experience for me to hear others people life experience and what led them to this point in their lives. We also had another trip down to Espoo this past week for another Missionary Leadership Council. I love meeting together with the Watsons and brainstorming the best ways we can help the mission right now. We also got to go to the temple again! 

In my personal study of the Book of Mormon I came across my favorite verse which is in the book of Ether, chapter 12, verse 27- '' And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.''  

This is Christ speaking and I didn't used to understand why He would give us weaknesses if He loves us so much. I now know that It is through our weaknesses that we learn to rely on the atonement of our Savior. His grace is sufficient for us when all else fails, when we have tried our best and our best isn't good enough. I know that Christ lives and loves us. I am grateful for my weaknesses because like the scripture says, they help us to become humble. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

February 21, 2017

'' My English is getting worse but it's not like it's being replaced with good Finnish''- A quote from an unnamed missionary this past week. Truer words have never been said! Here is a rundown of last week! We started off with a Zone Conference this past Wednesday and it was great seeing the whole zone together again. Sisar Watson issued us all a challenge to step up our morning workouts and Sister Adams and I did just that! We started to go jogging in the morning and I have so much more energy now and I am actually awake for our morning planning that we do afterwards. And the mornings here are gorgeous, it's covered in snow and Finland is basically all forest anyways so if we head out just a bit from where we live we can go running through the snow covered forest and it is beautiful! 

We also had exchanges last Thursday in Lahti. I got to spend a lot of the day with one sister who is one of the few converts in our mission. She's from Lithuania and I got to hear her amazing conversion story and hear about the church in Lithuania. The church has only been established there for around 20 years and the country has only had it's freedom for about 27 years. So everyone there is a convert and has amazing faith. 

When we got back we got to go to a baptismal service! I love watching people get baptized and how incredibly happy they are. I know that this church is true and that it is only through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ that we can have joy. I am so grateful for the Bible and the Book of Mormon that teach me more about the Savior and how I can be more like him. I know that God has a plan for each of His children.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

February 14, 2017

Sisar Roberts and Adams after their first Zone Training Meeting together!

So much has happened and I don't have much time to write about it! I will summarize! The Zone Leaders and us held the Zone Training meeting last Tuesday and it went really well. I know the Lord helped me a lot because I am not a fan of public speaking! Sisar Adams and I taught the Zone about proper pronunciation for Finnish and then we demonstrated a role play about how to follow up with investigators and members after helping them share the gospel with their friends on social media.
(It's an activity we've been doing a lot recently.) 

Then the next day we headed off to the mission home again for a leadership training meeting! The day after that I headed off to central Helsinki for the day to do work while Sisar Adams had to stay at the mission home for ''My Plan''. It's a meeting all of the departing missionaries now go to in their last transfer. Then, on Saturday we held my first ever exchanges with the Tampere 2 sisters! It was cool because I got to spend a lot of the day with my former companion Sisar Pugmire and I got to know her amazing new companion. 

On Sunday I gave my first ever talk in Finland! I was asked to introduce myself to the ward and share why I decided to serve a mission and how it has helped me. I started off by saying that I still remember the amazing missionaries that taught my parents and how grateful I was to them and that it took me a long time to actually decide to serve a mission. But I am super glad that I did! After I sat down Sisar Adams and I had to plan our lesson that we were teaching in  third hour (we hadn't had any time to prepare) and then we taught third hour in church and it went surprisingly well! It was definitely because the Lord was helping us! 

Something cool that happened this week was that we got to teach a deaf woman yesterday. We had met her the day before at her door and this time we came prepared with a huge white board from home! After we started to meeting we started to write out questions to get to know her better. She started saying how she knows that she doesn't have much time left because she's really old and has already lost her hearing so we read with her from the scriptures about how Christ overcame death so that we can all be resurrected. We wrote out that she has a loving Heavenly Father and that He has a plan for her. It was such an amazing lesson. It had to be super simple because it took a while to write it all down (especially in Finnish) but the spirit was so strong and we hope to go back soon. 

Also, today is Ystävän Päivä! In Finland it's not ''Valentines Day'' it's ''Friends Day'' and they celebrate friendship. It's actually really cute. The bakeries went crazy and it was literally a struggle to only get one pastry. Finland knows how to bake. Hyvää Ystävän Päivää!!! Happy Valentines Day! 

Sisar Roberts and Adams needed a short rest from tracting 
We love our tracting days! Seriously!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January 31, 2017

Sister Training Leader Dinner

Meet Sisar Adams!

I had food in my mouth so I did a Finnish smile!

I'm in Tampere! This past week has been the busiest week of my mission so far! It started off with me saying goodbye to Sisar Holbrook which was so hard. I traveled by train to Tampere with Sisar Pugmire who is in the same city as me but in a different ward and with a new companion. Then Sisar Adams became my new companion! She is so awesome and it is her last transfer here as a missionary so I have already learned so much from her. 

The second day we were here we had a World Wide Missionary broadcast that announced that we will be following a new schedule. 

The day after the broadcast we headed to the city of Jyväskylä for our weekly district meeting. It takes 1.5 hours to get there by train and walking after the train stop. Right after it ended we hopped onto another train and headed for the mission home in Espoo! Because half of the leadership in the mission is new now President Watson decided to hold a dinner for the Sister Training Leaders. So I got to see Sisar Burden and Sisar Carter from my MTC group there as we received some instruction on how to fulfill our new assignment. After that the Zone leaders arrived and we began our Missionary Leadership Council (MLC) meeting the next day. We discussed the new schedule for most of it and how we could help everyone adjust. Then it was back to Tampere! 

We have 7 recent converts living in our area so we have been meeting with at least one of them everyday to teach the the recent convert lessons so we've been so busy! It's a miracle that I'm already fully unpacked. On Saturday night when we were trying to figure out where we were going to go the next day we realized we only had about an hour to do missionary work before church started. So we picked a nearby area that we had never been to before and Sisar Adams started to list off street names and told me to pick one that sounded good. I picked one and then she picked a random building number. The next day on Sunday we typed the address into the GPS and we just went! We talked to about two people and then I made the comment how no one was outside. Then, someone emerged from the forest! We started to talk to him and introduced ourselves and told him that we teach people about Jesus Christ and asked if he would have time next week to learn more. He was like...''Well I have time right now.'' We told him that we were headed to church but that we would have time to teach him later that night at his home. So we did and set up a return appointment for this next Thursday.

Yesterday was our Zone Conference meeting and so there were about 40 missionaries from our zone gathered together and in the middle of the meeting someone started to knock on the door. The assistants to the President stepped out the room and were gone for a while. We were all kind of wondering what was happening and then later the assistants came running over to us saying that the man we had met and taught the day before had felt inspiration to come to the church! The assistants had given him a church tour and taught the restoration to him again and set a baptismal date with him! Then he stayed for a long time just chatting with all of the missionaries there. He ended up going to the FHE night that the young single adults have every Monday night and we are teaching him again tonight! It was just cool to see that some people are just really prepared!

We have Zone Training training next week as well as another MLC meeting at the mission home (This time we get to go to the temple too!). I think this transfer is going to be not only super busy but amazing! I have seen so many miracles this past week and it has just grown my testimony that this is truly the Lord's work and with His help we can do anything.  

Monday, January 23, 2017

January 23, 2017

Sisar Holbrook - Sisar Roberts - Sisar Pugmire

Being able to go to the temple last Tuesday was just what we all needed right before a stressful week of waiting for transfer calls! 

It was kind of crazy getting 3 transfer calls at once. Sister Holbrook got hers first and she is staying here in Marjaniemi for her third transfer and someone from her MTC group is coming down from Kuopio to join her here. She is kind of freaking out to be with someone from her group so early on but I know she'll do amazing. Then Sisar Pugmire was told hers that she was going to Tampere to be in the second ward there. My transfer call was that I am leaving Marjaniemi! I am going to Tampere as well to be in the first ward and to be a Sister Training Leader with my new companion Sister Adams. I was blown away and I'm really excited for what's coming next. We are headed out tomorrow morning to catch our train to Tampere! I get to travel with Sisar Pugmire who I'll be seeing around a lot and with another sister who is headed to our zone. Also, my past companion Sisar Andersson is in the Tampere second ward so even though we are in different wards it's in the same building and I'll get to see her!!!! I am so excited! I have heard nothing but good things about Tampere and I have always wanted to serve there. I was also told that my new area has a car! 

One of the downsides to leaving is all the packing. It has been such a process and I'm almost done! I have currently 3 suitcases and a bike. I think all my stuff will technically fit but it might all weigh 300 pounds by the end. Saying goodbye to all of our amazing members has been so hard. This has been my home for the past six months and the people here have made me feel like family. I love them so much and on Sunday all the missionaries that were leaving the ward (there were 4 of us) were asked to stand up in the front of the chapel and the whole ward sang ''God be with you till we meet again'' to us. I managed not to cry until I started to actually say goodbye to people and then I lost it. The Marjaniemi ward is simply amazing and I am so glad I got to serve here. I feel like I could have honestly spent my whole mission here and I would have loved it. We also bore our testimonies in sacrament meeting and it was nice to be able to thank them for all they have done for me. 

I had my last lesson with our amazing Estonian investigator and when I told her I was leaving she was sad but thanked all of us for changing her life. She said that she's so much happier now and that her life has just gone up and that she loves us. I gave her my contact information and I hope that we can stay in contact and I'll get to hear about when she gets baptized! 

This past week was also my companions' 6 month mark! So naturally we celebrated with pizza. It was much needed after such an emotional week. So many tears were shed this week as we were saying goodbye to the ward and to our investigators and also saying goodbye to my amazing companions. It's going to be so weird to be in a normal companionship again, I have gotten used to the trio life and I love it! 

Tomorrow is going to be crazy but I take a lot of comfort in the fact that my transfer call comes from the Lord and even though it is kind of scary to think about being a Sister Training Leader I know that with Lord's help I can do it. I have a feeling that I'll be working really hard for the rest of my mission and I wouldn't have it any other way! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

January 17, 2017

This past week we found out about our New Mission President and his wife! It will be Brother and Sister Aura from Finland! It is the first time the Helsinki, Finland mission will have a Finnish mission President! I will only have the chance to serve with them for a couple of weeks but it is still so exciting! This past week I also hit my 1 year mark as a missionary. The time has gone so fast. My companions made me a little ''Happy One Year'' banner and I literally cried. I was just feeling so many mixed emotions and I started panicking a little bit that I don't have any time left. I feel like it was just yesterday when I was thinking that 18 months way sooooo long and now, it's going so fast and the thought of ever leaving is tear inducing!
This past week we had a Zone Training meeting in Haaga and it was great seeing so many of my friends in the mission there as well as having a chance to learn more from our amazing mission leaders. We mostly talked about the doctrine of repentance and how we can better teach it in our lessons.

One of the highlights of the week was eating out at an actual restaurant. I don't know if it's because I haven't really had a burger since I got over a year, or the fact that it was a really nice restaurant but I had the best bacon cheese burger of my life the other day and I can't get over it. I also forgot how much I loved burgers and this one had bacon mayonnaise as well as onion rings, french fries, and a side salad. I have never felt so spiritually uplifted by food before in my life. I also had three scoops of gelato and it was my first time ever having gelato and I literally felt like I was walking on air and could do missionary work without sleep for the next 4 days. That's how good it was and I would describe it in more detail if I had the time.

On a more spiritual note I read an amazing talk by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf this morning in my personal study called '' Grateful in any circumstances'' and I would definitely suggest reading it. One of my favorite lines from the talk were when he said '' How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is the rain?'' I really loved that and it made me think about how much God truly loves us and how everything we experience is for our good. I loved the way he described this life and how we can always have an attitude of gratitude! I love being a missionary in Finland and I am actually writing this from the temple guest house! I am going later today and am so grateful for the blessings of the temple. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

January 10, 2017

Terve! This past week we had exchanges in Espoo! It was with Sisar Burden and Sisar Cardon and it was so much fun. I got to spend the whole day with Sisar Burden and it was so much fun just having time to catch up and do missionary work together. It was amazing getting to speak Finnish with her after being in the MTC together and seeing how far we've both come. I also got to see the Helsinki Temple covered in snow and it was absolutely beautiful. Two amazing things that happened was that we were talking to people outside and all of the sudden I looked up and there was a Finnish woman coming toward us on skis and she had a big leather belt on her waist and pulling her was a snow dog!!! so we stopped her and tried to share the gospel. She wasn't interested but it was amazing. We watched her ski off into the distance with her snow dog and I feel that I must have a talk with my mission president regarding the the most effective way to travel during the winter. Also, later that night we saw something strange coming our way. This time we ran into a woman on horseback just taking a nightly stroll. We stopped her as well and she we talked to her about the gospel and also got to pet her horse. 

It got way cold last week, it was -15 Celsius! It's been really interesting for sure and it also took us at least 20 minutes to be sufficiently bundled before we went out. I was so scared of freezing that I might have gone overboard, I wore 3 pairs of tights, a wool jacket, a bigger jacket, 2 scarfs, 2 pairs of wool socks, and 2 hats. Needless to say I was very toasty. I feel blessed to be serving in southern Finland for winter, it's super windy but it's definitely not as cold as Oulu! My companions and I are going to the temple next p-day! It's our last Tuesday p-day together next week so we wanted it to be really special. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

January 3, 2017

Today as we were walking to the church!

Hyvää Uutta Vuotta! Happy New Year! We actually got to see a good amount of fireworks from our apartment New Year's Eve which was fun. 2017 is a big year for Finland because it's Finland's 100th year of being an independent country! I have loved learning about the history of Finland during my time here and apparently there will be lots of celebrations throughout the year. 

Yesterday it finally started to snow again and it hasn't stopped! It is gorgeous and I am so grateful for the snow because first of all, it isn't as cold now and it's so much brighter. And when we only have 3-4 hours of sunlight it is much appreciated! I love serving here in the Helsinki and although I don't have time to write as much as I would like about it, I just want to express my gratitude for the time that I have been given to serve the Lord and to be His missionary. He is the light of the world! That has taken on a much more literal meaning serving here in the dark because it can be kind of depressing if you let it be. But I know that our Savior loves and understands us all perfectly and He goes to where we are. I am excited for the new year and I plan to make it another great one.