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!!
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|