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!