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!
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!
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.
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,