Friday, September 27, 2013

Learn to Love Unconditionally

I have learned so much from this mission, I wish I had to time to tell you all the stories, all the awkward things that happen and all the miracles that go on everyday here in Tampere 1 and 2. I know the work is hastening and I am just so excited to be a little piece in this masterpiece that our Father in Heaven has made for us.

So this week I have two answers to prayers stories:

So this one day we were tracting, some drunk people wanted us to talk to them, we were getting a paha olo (bad feeling) about it so we kept walking, it was raining and we weren’t having too much luck. We got on the topic of cake and how good that sounded, so I was like: quick someone pray for Cake and Ill pray for Chinese food. Well we didn’t get Chinese food that day but the next person we visited who was a less active was super sweet and let us come in and give her a spiritual thought and had a great discussion and she said she would come to church the next day and had a referral for us on Sunday, we were EXTREMELY excited and on the way out she was like, wait let me grab you something. She came back out with juice, chips, and a bag of chocolate muffin cake mix! We baked it like and cake and were so grateful that the Lord even listens and sometimes answers our funny prayers!

On a more spiritual note, last Sunday we had just finished our meeting with the ward mission leader and we were street contacting with no luck, and it was very disappointing and so I made my companions stop to say a prayer and we asked that the Lord just give us one more interested person! The next person we see is this lady walking towards us and we stop her and start talking and she said she knows us, that we visited our church last Sunday and that she was talking about the Book of Mormon musical with her son that morning and was wondering what the Mormons views were on that, and we got into this really great conversation about the church and she invited us over and we told her our personal conversion stories and how the gospel has literally saved all our lives, and she just went through a really hard divorce, just moved into the city, and her sons are all grown up and out of the house. She was soo interested in our church and listened so intently and lived in America for many years and insisted in us speaking English, so that was very nice. She told us that for some reason she has a craving for Rye bread and decided to walk a different way home and that she normally never walks that way home, but we ran into her. And we told her our prayer story and how much this gospel and help her life.

She invited us back, and so this week Sisar Nielsen and I went to her house and taught her about the restoration and prophets and she opened up and told us about some great trials that have happened in her life and Sisar Nielsen and I just felt so strongly to tell her how much her Savior loves her and about the atonement and that he was always there with her in hard times, and we all ended up tearing up because we felt the spirit so strongly and I felt this overwhelming love for this lady that I had just barely met! We asked her that when she knows these things are true would she be baptized? And she said of course and that she does believe what we had said is true! She also is so excited to come to General Conference with us. She is such a golden investigator and we love her so much, the Lord is preparing his people and we just have to talk to everyone to find out where they are, and to actively pray to be lead to those people. The Lord has answered my prayers so many times, and I’m so grateful he talks the time to listen to us!

Also another lesson we learned is that if we are going to be late coming home to turn our phone off silent so the DL and ZL don’t think we were attacked or something, they were all very worried about us and were on their way over to our apartment to beat up some people, I think they were a little bit disappointed when they found out that we were safe and that they had to reason to punch someone. Lesson learned, keep the phone off silent at night! So glad though that they were worried and ready to defend us.

Also on Monday we were walking back home and were at this bus stop talking to this girl, and like most Finns she was very closed off and had these snakebite lip rings and was just an overall hard looking girl. But we continued to tell her about the gospel and then this REALLY drunk man came by us and was basically harassing us and wouldn’t leave, he even like trips and ran into Sisar Nielsen and accidently had her pinned up against the bus wall, almost burned Sisar Egan with his cigarette, and our new friend at the bus stop V, totally told him off. He didn’t listen and so we decided it was time to leave, and V came with us and told us that she felt like she need to defend the Sisaret! We then missed our bus and walked for a long time back to the center and really bonded with this girl, she was really scared too when this drunk men kept harassing us. We rode the same bus home and talked to her, and she really opened up and I told her that she has been so kind to us and the best present I could ever give her is this Book of Mormon and like the way she has helped us, this book can help her and change her life, and she was so touched my it and started to read it while we were getting off the bus, we got her contact info and hopefully will be able to set up a meeting with her later. It really helped to see this transition from a really hard punk girl, to a scared girl, to realize how much worth her soul is and how she needs this gospel and this love and that she is a daughter of God.

I have so much more to say but I am out of time. I will write more in the next email about this Sunday. But one thing I have learned especially in this ward we are in is that these Finns have a really have life, and there are so many part member families and how hard that would be, but the more we visit them and love them, the more they open up and seriously shower us with love. I love these Finns so much and even though we get rejected a lot, good work is happening and we are still finding people and to love unconditionally means it might hurt when we don’t receive that love back, but to keep loving them and they will/ do feel the love we have for them is from their Father in Heaven and their savior!

I love being a missionary and seeing lives changing daily

Stay safe, and keep spreading the good word my friends!


Sisar Hubner

Monday, September 16, 2013

First Baptism

So sorry about not emailing more last time! I ran out of time and we had to go to a dinner appointment at the Bishop's house and did not want to be late for that! This week has been a great week, it has had a lot of ups and downs but overall it has been great week. Also the picture attaches is us with our investigator who got baptized!

Monday: Was our p-day and those days always feel like we have no time for anything relaxing. But we had the ruoka sopimus (dinner appointment) at the bishops and his daughter is this cute 17 year old girl who has been bringing her friend to church and sähly(similar to field hockey kind of) and so we have been talking to her, so we wanted to give them a great lesson on being bold and sharing the gospel, so we gave each one of them a prophet from the scriptures that they had to look up and act out and then we told them that just like people in the Book of Mormon we can learn from those prophets and gain strength from them and do the same thing with sharing the gospel to our friends and family. They really loved the lesson and all promised to share the gospel at least once this week with one of their friends. 
                    Our Trio, Sisar Nielson, Egan and Minä(me) in Nekala

Tuesday: We went on splits with the Sisar Training leader from Turku and also Sisar Nielsen was with us, and we had such a fun day, we were contacting people like normal, trying to stop as many people as possible, and share our message, we actually taught this 17 year old guy who is atheist how to pray and he promised that he would that night and then met with us and discuss how it went and he actually texted us the next day and said that he had prayed that night, and we are going to meet with him this week and talk about it. Also we saw a group of older people sitting and smoking on this bench so we went over and sang to them in Finnish and then invited them to church and shared a message. The sisar training leader at the end of the day (she has one transfer left before she goes home) said that, that day was probably one of the most fun days that she has had on her mission! That was so great to hear, and she kept saying how amazed she was at how bold Sisar Nielsen and I were, even though we haven’t been in Finland for that long. It really was such a fun day, and we met so many people and for some reason people were way nicer to us on that day. One lady stopped and talked to us, and later she told us that the reason she had stopped to talk with us was because we looked so happy! So a word to those who are on missions or going on missions, how you act and treat people effects how they view you and if they will give you time to share the gospel with them. We had a great lesson with this elderly lady from the ward and she even gave us a referral at the end! Referrals are really rare in this mission or at least in this area so that was great to see that others in our ward are starting to do missionary work more! 
Sisar Hübner & Sister Nielsen at Hamenlinna

Wednesday: We visited with B. who just got baptized and she is seriously one of the most Christ like person I have ever met, and we taught her about temples and she got so excited and told us that she is never looking back, only way is forward from here! She is mahtava (amazing). Then we met with another recent convert and tracted around her neighborhood and met some very interesting people, and a lot of them gave us bags and bags of apples! It was way nice and we made apple crisp about 30 times this week!

Thursday: We had district meeting, and weekly planning and our companion was feeling sick so it was a little bit of a down day (if there is such a thing on this mission) and we made our first phone call appointments and set up a lot of lessons with investigators for this upcoming week. It’s so hard setting up appointment on the phone because when they respond it’s so hard to understand what they are saying!
                                              Sisar Nielson and I
Friday: We had this amazing day set up where everyone of our 3 lessons with investigators was with a member, and all 3 of the lessons fell through in someway, the first one the investigator came but the member did not, then the next lesson the member was there but the investigator was not, then the third lesson neither one showed up! It was slightly frustrating but the first teach with the investigators turns out she has 7 brothers and 7 sisters and they all live in Tampere (they are all Finnish too, which is like a massive family for Finns)! They are Lutheran but she was interested in our church and said that she would start reading the Book of Mormon! Also it’s weird because it seems like the nice people in Finland are the foreigners, a lot of our investigators or people interested in the church are foreigners!

Saturday: We were tracting and we finally were able to get in contact with one of the guys that had said to come back to previous missionaries and we gave him a spiritual thought, he is from Africa and I shared with him about prayer and that God is real and does listen to our prayers and he was so sweet and thanked me many times for my kind words and said that he would keep it with him throughout the week and whenever times get hard he will think back to my spiritual thought and lean on my testimony of the Lord. It was the sweetest thing ever and we set up a return appointment and he said that he would bring his 4 friends!!! Wow, so great. I think it is interesting that here in Finland, the people who are well off are less happy, they reject God, and seem so lonely on the inside, but the foreigners that came from rough up bringings like civil war in Africa or starvation are kinder, and share more with others and praise their God that they are alive another day. I just wish all these Finns could see how blessed they are and realize who is the one giving them all these blessings.
All the Sisaret in our district at our district meeting in Hameenlinna by this cute castle!

Sunday: All day at church for 8 hours in Finnish makes you contemplate the meaning of life. I realize this mission is way too hard to do it while thinking of yourself, you MUST lose yourself in the work and fully care about the people around you and their eternal salvation or else it will be a long 18-24 months. 

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be on this mission and bring this light of the gospel to the people I meet! One last thing, Sunday night we were getting rejected so much and so I made my companions stop and we said a quick prayer begging the Lord to give us at least one more prepared person! And after our prayer ended we looked over and saw this lady and started talking to her, and she invited us over, was so open and we have a return appointment! We have a very merciful God!

Love you all,

Sisar Hubner

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Very Busy Missionary!

Rakas Perhe ya Ystava,

I literally have 5 minutes to write this email, I got so many emails this week so sorry if I didn’t respond back, Ill try and do so next time! So everyday on this mission there is so much to do, and seems like we have no time. But I just want to give a short update that this week we had our first baptism. I love our investigator so much; she has been such an example to me of love, and faith. Before she was baptized we gave her a dress to try on and it was too small and she said, ''It doesn’t fit me. I think it’s because I am too excited!'' She was so excited to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. I am so grateful that I was able to be apart of teaching her about this amazing gospel.

Well that is all the time I have for this week, so much more to tell. But I hope you are all safe!

Sisar Hubner

(Sorry no pictures this week)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sept 1st 2013

Moi !

So I don't have too much time to write but I just wanted to give a little update of this week!
So like I said last time we are serving in two areas wards Tampere 1 and Tampere 2 and let me tell you this 7 hours of church in Finnish and teaching lessons and giving talks and going to meetings is pretty crazy! But I am trying very hard to tune my ears to Finnish and to understand or at least get a little bit out of church on Sundays.

This language is SOOOO hard!! Have I said that before? Hahaa, so we learned written Finnish by American teachers (I mean it did help, but still) and then go to Finland where they speak spoken Finnish which does not sound like written Finnish and then they have their different dialects, its way hard and I always start these conversations especially on the bus with people and then they just go off talking a million miles an hour and then at the end realize that I didn’t understand a single word haha but its pretty funny and the language is coming along. I just wish it would come a little bit faster!

This week has been crazy, basically every day of every week is crazy, we have so much to do and so little time. And it’s hard because when you have a lot of appointments it’s hard to have time to stop and talk to people, but we try and make it happen as much as possible! The standard of excellence for lessons taught each week is 20 and I think we made it to 33 this week! It so important to talk to as many people as possible because we don't know who is prepared and who isn't. 

I was on the bus this one day and it was getting kind of late and we were in the middle of the city and there were a lot of Goth looking scary people on the bus but we felt like we should sit next to this one girl, and so we did and we started talking to her and she was so nice and really open about religion (a lot of Finns aren't and when we ask what their thoughts are they go off saying that that is a very personal question and they don’t know us, yikes, but sometimes I just play the not understanding American and keep preaching to them and smile, for the most part it kind of works and they leave with a smile on their face!) and she said that she would want to meet again and talk more about religion! That was really exciting and kind of on the big side for a Finn.

This week we were in the city Nokia and I was talking to this guy about religion and our message and he agreed to meet with us and we have an appointment set up for this week. We also have a baptism coming up this week, our investigator is so amazing and she is so prepared and really wants this gospel and is such a missionary to everyone, the only problem is that her husband is really against religion in general so we have been fasting this weekend with her that his heart will be softened and let her get baptized this Lauantaina! (Saturday) Also while we were in Nokia we were tracting and its funny when we try and stop people by asking how their day is going and they walk away fast saying ''Ei, Kiitos'' which means no thank you, which makes no sense because we just asked how their day is going. But anyways we saw this group of Punk kids sitting around and we decided that we were going to "Storm the Castle" so we all boldly went over there introduced ourselves and gave our little message and asked what they thought about religion and if they were religious, little did we know they were telling us how religion is garbage and is crazy especially Mormons, Sisar Nielson and I had no clue what they were saying so we just kept going with our message and invited them to church, they said no but that they would check out our website! Then later our other comp, Sisar Egan who actually knows Finnish, told us what they were saying, and maybe it was a good thing we didn’t understand them! Situations like this happen frequently and we just keep smiling and telling them our message even though we don't have a clue of what they are saying! It’s pretty exciting.

Also good news is that I have my voice back again! And no more coughing attacks in the middle of Church and accidently coughing up my water to the pews in front of me. Haha good times and definitely good impressions! Also a goal of ours is to strengthen the youth here. The youth especially outside the church have no direction and start smoking at like age 12 and it so sad because they have no idea that they have a loving Heavenly Father and that they do have purpose here and that they could be happy. So our companionship is determined to convert the city of Tampere! Hahaa if that’s the Lord's will then we will try our hardest to do our part! Its just sad that so many people here are so closed off and don’t talk to each other, only when they have alcohol in their system. You can just tell that even though they might not accept the gospel when we talk to them it brightens their day because they are missing out on the joys of talking to others and expressing themselves to others. We try and make as many people smile each day and they give us the weirdest looks and walk always and do a double take to make sure that we are still smiling, and they seem to not understand how we can be so happy! I just want to share this joy and gospel with all these great people. They all have so much potential, but they are standing in the way of themselves from receiving happiness!

Well I hope everything is going well back at home, and to those who are in the mission field. Pray often and talk to as many people as possible, they need this gospel and we are doing a dis-service to them if we don’t try and share it! Also challenge to those that are reading this! Read Alma 8! It is such a great chapter!

Well we gotta get home and do some work for P-day (valmistautumispäivä) and then on to sharing the gospel with some more people this week! Oh quick story before I leave, so this week we met with an investigator that I haven’t met before and she has met with the missionaries for the past couple of months but they never get to far in the lesson because she likes to talk a lot. But this time she stayed focused and we were talking about the importance of baptism and the spirit was very strong in the room and she even recognized it and then we asked if she would be baptized and she thought about it, and said that she was feeling that it is the right thing to do! We haven't set a baptismal date yet, but it was a great experience! Also our district we are having baptisms every week for the past 3 weeks and should be continuing till next month! That is like unheard of in Finland! The standard of excellence for baptisms a month here is 1, and it’s looking like we are going to achieve that! The Lord has been preparing Tampere and I’m so grateful to all the work past missionaries have done here, because people used to be even more closed off then they are now!

Keep praying for the missionaries out here that we can find the people who are ready and that we can bring this amazing gift into their lives!

Minä rakkastan teitä!!

Sisar Hubner

This is our ward missionary picture! We are over both wards! and they actually put the umlauts on my name

This is our Tampere, Lahti, and Hammelina District pictures! Haha got to love the elders, sometimes I forget how young they are until they get around other missionaries