Can't believe that I have been here 5 weeks! That's so crazy, but some days it feels like I have been here for a life time! So much has happened this week and I hope I will be able to tell all of it. It has been such an amazing week this week. Well every week has been amazing but this one yrityisesti (especially) this week. First off, I would like to thank the Poyfair cousins and Morgan for sending me that amazing box of donuts! My district also thanks you, that was such a wonderful surprise. Today is P-day obviously and I went to main campus to eat lunch, because it is basically amazing and I saw Dallin and Christina, so of course I insisted in talking a picture with both my amazing cousins! It was way cool to think that if the missionary age change didn't happen none of us would be here!
So we are now teaching 2 lessons a day to our investigators, and one's name is Emily and she is acting her friend who is actually a non-member, anyways I was teaching on Alma 36 and teaching her about the amazing message of the atonement and how it can clean us from our sins and that he died specifically for her and she can be free of guilt because of the atonement, and I just felt the spirit so strongly and she told me that in her religion after she dies she either goes to Heaven or Hell, and that she has made alot of mistakes and doesn't know if she can could make it to heaven. And honestly my heart almost broke, it was so sad to think that so many people believe that. That because they have already made so many mistakes there is no turning back, it was like a kick into reality that this is the reason why I am on a mission, to tell them that they can change, they can repent, they have a loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ that He sent his only son to earth knowing that his own people would reject him, and kill him, because he loves us so much Christ did that for us, so that we can repent, and be baptized and follow him. I have met so many convert missionaries here and their story is so inspiring that their whole life they thought that money and friends and alcohol would make them happy, but after living that life they realized how empty it was and how amazing their life has been every since they have been baptized, and there are no lie, so many missionary here like that. Its inspiring, and makes me want to work as hard as I possibly can to be that missionary that brings these people to the gospel, finds the people who are searching and want this.
This past Sunday we watch a movie as a huge group about the gospel or a talk given by a prophet or something along those lines. This Sunday I watched the devotion by David Bednar, "The Character of Christ" and I dare say watching that devotional, has completely changed my life. If anyone of you reading this haven't watched this, or its been a while, watch it again. So amazing, lately I have wanted to focus on becoming more Christ-like, I ask myself when I get frustrated and want to call people out right then and there, well if Christ was here, would I do this? It has been so hard to remember and live this but I really have felt the spirit in my life more. Also back to the Character of Christ when Elder Bednar says, "This isn't about you, stop whining or getting discouraged, and get out of standing in your own way, you are on the Lord's time, so don't waste it. The whole character of Christ is about forgetting about yourself and whole heartedly serving your Lord and Savior and the people around you. IF you live this way, you will not regret a moment of your mission." So inspiring, and definitely easier said then done, but this is my goal for my whole mission, to keep reminding myself of this, to stop getting irritated when I don't understand the Finnish language as well as I would like, because honestly its not about me, its about serving the Lord and as long as I'm trying and putting off the natural man, and becoming as a disciple of Christ then I'm doing it.
Also this week I have made some very hard goals, but they are important to me and I have my heart set on it. The first one is no singing non-church related songs. SOOOO hard, if you know me, you know I am constantly singing a song, and I have to keep stopping myself mid song and then switch to a "better song", I have told some of the missionaries about my goal and some have joined me, and others asked why? And it honestly reminds me every time that I start singing another song and have to switch, the reason why I am here, why I am on a mission and it is to serve the Lord. I have given up 18 months of my life not to mess around with the other missionaries, but to serve the Lord 100 percent. I made that goal before I came on a mission and it is not the time to start forgetting that. The next goal is no movie references. This one is way hard and I'm still working on it, but it reminds me again of my purpose.
I just want to leave all of you with 2 last thoughts. This last devotional, all my district sang in the choir and we sang the song Praise to the Man, with all 2000 other missionaries and I just felt the spirit so strongly, if you haven't ever heard the story of that song about the guy who wrote it, you should look it up. Such a great example of how forgiving the Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. was! Also the choir instructor shared this message with us.
"If the whole Marriott center was filled along with the Lavell Edwards stadium, every seat was filled, equaling up to 100,000 people in total ( and this all represents the pre-earth life) and a angel came down to decide who would be sent down to earth at this time to be here at such an amazing/hard time in all of history. The angel would have to have ran up to bleacher and individually picked me out. That is how chosen we are, the work we are doing is that important and that specific that only a few were picked. 1/100,000. So what is happening to the other 999,999 people? Those were the people that came before us and paved the way, they are now watching us. How well are we living up to our pre-ordination?" I don't know about you but that really made me think, and I want them to be proud of the work that I am doing. This is such a special time in history and I definitely do not want to disappoint. They knew We could do it, and I want to show them we can! They are cheering us on, on the other side, and willing us to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
One last thing, at church someone sang this song, and this lately has been one of my favorites but the lyrics just hit me so strongly this time:
Savior Redeemer of my soul.
Whose mightily hands hath made me whole.
Whose wondrous power hath raised me up.
And filled with sweet my bitter cup!
What tongue my gratitude can tell,
O gracious God of Israel.
Never can I repay thee Lord,
But I can love thee, they pure word.
Hath it not been my one delight,
My joy by day my dream by night?
Then let my lips proclaim it still,
and all my life reflect thy will.
Over rule mine acts to serve thine end.
Change frowning foes to smiling friends.
Chasten my soul till I shall be
In perfect Harmony with thee,
Make me more worthy of they love,
and fit me for the life above.
The lines "O gracious God of Israel" just how much he loves us and what he has already done for us and what he wants us to be able to become. "Never can I repay thee Lord, But I can love thee." I can't even imagine what pains he went through in the Garden of Gethsemane, and I could never repay him, but I can love him and follow him and share his gospel to those who don't know about it. And the last line " Make me more worthy of thy love" how imperfect I am, but he gives us the chance to pray to become better to become more worthy of his love.
I love what this gospel has done to my life, how it has helped me feel the emotions stronger, to see the pains of others more and be able to help them out. I am so indebted to the Lord, but I can love him and serve this mission for Him.
Well I'm out of time, but I love all of you sooooooo very much and hope this message finds you all well.
Mina toivon etta teitä jatkaa ollemaan voima ja ikuinen rakastatte sinun vapahtaja ja lunastaja.
(I hope that you all continue to be strong and always love your Savior and Redeemer)
With My Fantastic Cousins -
Just wanted to show how many missionaries there are!