Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Little Service Goes A Long Way


So I don’t have much time again. But I did want to share a story from this week. 

So Sisar Egan and I were walking over to this apartment to contact a referral and we saw this lady walking towards us with a lot of bags in her hands. Of course we went over and asked her if we could help her carry any thing and to our surprise (all the Finns that I have ever talked to always refuse help) she said that we could help carry her grocery bags. So we start walking over to her apartment and she is asking us what we represent and why we are here. We start telling her our purpose and why we want to help and we get to her door and expect her to take the bags tell us thanks and send us off. But when we get to her house she asks us if we have time to sit and talk. Egan and I are way thrilled to hear this and come in and start talking to her and find out that she is Lutheran, just like everyone in Finland, but this past summer she has been looking for something more and started to visit different churches. At the end of our lesson we set up a return appointment and I feel like I should ask her if she has any questions that we can talk about next time. I awkwardly translated it, for some reason my Finnish was struggling putting this sentence together, and Sisar Egan is confused to why I am asking this. But this lady sits there for a good 3 minutes thinking about my question and then simply and sincerely says, ''When you pray to God, does he actually answer you?'' We were then able to teach and testify to her about something that she has really been wondering about, and that would truly apply to her life. I have such a strong testimony of praying always in lessons so that inspired questions will be asked and then we can discern and teach our friends to their needs. 

Funny story of the week, we had just come from a meeting with the Ward Mission leader and so it was Sisar Egan, the two new elders in our ward, and I waiting for our busses. When it finally came I tried to hop on it really fast, but little did I know I was actually trying to go through the opening door the wrong way, and got smushed in the door of the bus. Too funny, gotta laugh at the little things. I'm sure I always keep Sisar Egan amused with my stupidity some times.

Also this week we are trying very hard to follow council of our Mission President and working to make this week really a week to remember, we are trying to SYL more often and get members at our teaches with us, and setting baptismal dates. With the Lord all things are possible, and I know that so many people are praying for the missionaries, this next week is going to be Mahtava!
Sisar Egan and I are training to become the next APs

Monday, October 21, 2013

Changing the Mission


Well Once again I don’t have very much time. This work is crazy, we just got our change call and no one out of all the groups that came to Finland with me got switched because we aren’t done training yet, but our dear SIsar Nielsen is getting moved up to Kuopio today. It was way sad to hear because she is basically my twin, we do missionary work the same, we testify the same, we both got this gospel fire going on and power each other to push harder. So it’s hard to see her go and we have basically been together 24/7 for my entire mission so it will be a change, but the people in Kuopio obviously need her! So good luck to her, we will keep storming the castles here and Tampere and she will be doing the same with her new companion in Kuopio.

This week was once again crazy we have been praying so hard to know who and how to invite to baptism, our President Rawlings has given us countless council that the baptismal date is not what we pull out when they are ready, it is how they become ready. The reason why people drop is that they don’t have a direction, they just learn a little think its enough then leave. Its because they don’t have a real question or intent to act on promptings when they pray and read the scriptures, because they are just reading it to read. This gives them something to pray about, something to have a question for when they are reading the scriptures. Needless to say, its is still some times a little nerve racking when we plan to invite someone that we have only met once before. But this is the council and promise that we have been given so this is what we will do. If the President was inspired to give this council, then the Lord means business. 

So I have talked about K. before in my emails, well here is her conversation story. The first time we met K. she was brought by her friend M. to Sähly (floor hockey) and we had a great time with her and invited her to church. She came with M. she enjoyed it and came again. We talked to M. about talking to K. to learn more about our church from us, she already is friends with us, has come to church and said yes, why not. We went over to M.'s house, where K. feels comfortable, we taught and testified of the first vision, and the relevance of why it is so important. That it shows we can receive personal revelation still from God, M. had already given her a Book of Mormon with her testimony in it. She said that she would read it and said a beautiful kneeling closing prayer with us, brought tears to all our eyes. And her friend M. hugged her sooo tight at the end of that prayer. The next time we meet her was on Tuesday, we gave her a tour of the church and what each program (ex. young womens) is and why it can help us. We ended in the baptismal room and explained what it is and how we can become pure and clean, and the burden of guilt can be lifted off our shoulders. Then we went and taught her the second part of the first vision of how the priesthood was restored, and all the blessings we can receive from it, especially the gift of the Holy Ghost and the comfort and peace we can feel. We then showed her a Mormon Message, ''The Power of God'' that showed the priesthood in action. Then M. shared a story of how the priesthood has blessed her life, then Sisar Nielsen brought the spirit in with a power punch of her story how the Priesthood literally saved her little brothers life when he was 7 years old and cracked his skull on the cement, and after a blessing all was healed. This story was so powerful of why this gospel is important how it can save our lives, give us peace and lasting happiness. Nothing like this can be found anywhere in this world. We were all crying at the end of this and Sisar Egan then asked, ''K. will you accept all these blessing that we have talked about today that this gospel brings by being baptized.'' Her friend M's face literally dropped she had no idea we were going to ask this. And K. simply said, ''Yes'' we were all crying, M by this point was balling, the spirit was so strong and she agreed to prepare to be baptized by December 7th. (Earlier that morning we had prayed about a date, and all of us kneeling on the floor asking Heavenly Father to tell us when his beautiful daughter would be ready to enter the waters of baptism, and we all got this very strong spiritual confirmation that December 7th was the date, the day her life will be changed for ever. When she is thirty years old, married in the temple, she will be telling her kids that she has this amazing life, this amazing light in her life because of that date that she was baptized and received the most amazing gift of the holy ghost. We were all crying by the end of our prayer because right in front of us we are seeing one of his daughters preparing to make a sacred covenant with him.) That was such a beautiful and powerful experience. 

On the hilarious side, Sisar Nielsen and I are probably the most awkward people in all of Finland, maybe that is why the people like us, we actually make them laugh by how painfully embarrassing we are. Nielsen the other day tried to walk the wrong way through an automatic closing door and got stuck in between it and had to shimmy her way out, Sisar Egan just shook her head and said, *Can you get more awkward?'' Then later we were on the bus, coming back from Turku, and Sisar Egan saw someone that we knew so we jumped off the bus with our backpacks and small suitcases ran down to talk to this lady. Then we see our other bus coming that we cannot miss so we start running once again for the bus, I’m booking it and little do I know that my backpack has become unzipped and I’m sprinting for this bus, its freezing and I do not have the time or patience to wait in the cold for another bus, so I’m running and then all of a sudden all these pamphlets and cards are literally flying out of my bag, Sisar Egan yell to be to stop, I quickly turn around making more things go flying gout of my bag. Didn't realize what was happening and that it was by bag making the mess, so I keep running to catch this bus, and I hear Egan scream, ''STOP RUNNING'' now it feels like everything is going in slow motion with the Rocky theme music going on while pamphlets and book of Mormons alike are being thrown in the air and are showering back down on me and Sisar Egan. I finally stop and see that I have left a huge trail of everything that was once in my backpack now on the cobblestone sidewalk. I awkwardly scurry to pick up all my stuff as Sisar Nielsen goes to stall the bus driver. I look over to 3 feet away my boot that I had just gotten fixed just chilling on the side of the street. I awkwardly try to gather all the things up at the same time trying to get my bus card out, look up to see Sisar Nielsen saying, ''Oletko OK?'' and the whole bus turn to look at me awkwardly struggling, to get my life back together. We finally get onto the bus, Egan is carrying a pile, and so am I and Nielsen is just dying laughing, and these stone faced Finns are even trying to side their smiles.
Wow, can’t take me anywhere. 

Well times up! Love you all, do work!


Sisar Hubner

Monday, October 14, 2013

Week of Referrals


So this week again has been pretty crazy. So starting off the week after General Conference, and having Zone Conference and listening to our Mission President we were sooo pumped to do work! But then it seemed like our two golden investigators have been dodging us for a while and this week we finally realized that we might not be meeting with them again, or at least not soon. SO that was kind of sad, because we have come to love these people with our whole hearts and they have come so close to accepting this gospel (both of these women had committed to baptism but we had not set the date with them) and then for one reason or another they turn away and it breaks my heart and at times I want to retreat a little and put up those walls in my heart so I don’t love them as fully so that it doesn’t hurt as bad when they reject it; but we can’t because our message is of love and hope and if we don’t have that in our hearts, our message is not going to get across or be affective. So even though these times are hard, I know the Lord won’t give up on them if they don’t accept this gospel now but they will eventually and we have to hold onto that hope and faith that one day they will be able to join this gospel and receive all the blessings the Lord wants to give to them. 




So on Tuesday we had an appointment set up with our investigator who is 16 with her friend that is the bishop’s daughter, and they made us dinner and they are soooo cute I love them to death. And so I was trying to tell them that this meal is delicious ''tämä ateria on herkulista'' but I accidently said, ''tämä ahteri on herkulista'' which ateria is meal and little did I know ahteri means butt. So I told them very proudly that ‘‘this butt tastes delicious'' and they are such polite people but even they could not hold back their laughter when I told them this! When I finally figured out what I said wrong my companions and I died laughing. It took a while to bring it back to a normal conversation, but we ended up having a great first lesson with her and she even said this beautiful closing prayer! And we set up a return appointment and she said she would come to church with M. (the bishop’s daughter).


Also that day we received a referral from a member in the ward that wanted us to visit her friend and help her clean, she has been sick lately, so we set it up, took about an hour to get out to that area but we got there and helped her clean and she was SO ready for the gospel and we invited her to be baptized and she said yes, and then came to church! It was so amazing, we haven’t set a date yet but we are coming back to her place next week!

Then also at church our investigator T. who is 17 came and us missionaries sang in church and I told the other Young Women in the ward to talk to her and make her feel welcome while we practice our song. When I came back, T. was sitting down and was surrounded by all the young women in the ward and they were all talking to her, and she had the biggest smile I have ever seen! Also then later, after T. left we were talking to the Young Women and I thanked them for all the love they gave to our investigator and they all were so excited and I was talking to the bishop’s daughter (M.) about when we are meeting with her friend again, and all the young women got so excited that we are meeting with M's friend, and then this one young women who was in this group we were talking to walked over to me and said that she actually has a friend who went to church with her a lot when we was younger but hasn’t come in a while and she thinks that it would be good if we could met with her. We of course told her yes and that we would love to, and then as we were about to walk away, she also said that she has another friend that came to Super Saturday with her and she wants to meet with us as well! It was so awesome, and she texted us right after church saying she talked to her friend and we have an appointment set up this Wednesday! The youth is how we are going to get the members more involved, once they see other people their age coming to church they realize that they can bring their friends too. This is how missionary work is going to start moving to the next level is by the youth stepping up. Also other young women came up to us and asked if they could do splits with us this upcoming week. We LOVE the youth!

Also B. who was just baptized last month came to church with her 3 cute children and brought her Filipino friend that she had just met 2 days ago at the store and they became best friend and she invited her to come church with her! Wow how awesome is that, and we talked to her friend and taught her about this gospel, and she said she wants to come every Sunday, and wanted to come to the Relief Society activity next week, and invited us over to her house to teach her more! 

So we had 3 investigators at church, 6 new investigators this week and 6 referrals!
The Book of Alma opened next to "Alma" delivery. 
Who knew that the Nephites were in Finland!


Even though this week had some hard times, the Lord listened to our prayer and put members and people in our path who are ready for this gospel and who also want to share this with others. It was such an amazing week, and we had transfers next Tuesday, so we will see what’s going to happen if we leave Tampere or stay, it’s all a mystery for now. 
 
Matching Winter Boots
I love being a missionary and I love this gospel with all my heart, I get to see miracles happen everyday and lives being changed from this knowledge of their Savior and of this gospel.

I love you all and hope kaiki mene hyvin (all is going well)

Rakkaudella,

Sisar Hubner

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hectic Week

So first I want to send this poem that our district leader gave us the first week here in Finland that I get so much strength from!


                                    


The Fellowship of the Unashamed.

''I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The dye has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made; I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure.

I am finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tinted visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, positions, promotions, plaudits or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded.

I now live by faith, lean on his presence, walk with patience, am lifted up in prayer, and labor with power. My face is set, my goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear.

I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided or delayed, will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table with the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. 

I won't give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, and paid up for the case of Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me.

When He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me, my banner is clear.''


This General conference was so powerful, inviting all members young and old to share this wonderful message of the gospel, because the time will come when there will be no gray area any more. We will either be on the Lord side fighting our hardest or on the other side. I hope this General Conference was a wake up call to all to get into action, and start sharing the one thing this world needs most. 

First Snow

So this week we were in Helsinki for Interim training by our mission president who is basically the most amazing inspired person I know. We learned so much, the biggest thing I have taken away is that as a companionship we must be unified in all things, if we are, Satan has no room to squeeze in, and also that we need every single thing on this mission to be focused on something other than ourselves. When we are at the apartment, focusing on how I can help and build my companion, when on the street, what the Lord needs me to say to touch the hearts of  these people, in church what is needed to be done to help build up these members. The second we look back to ourselves is when we realize how incapable we are of this work with our Savior. When Peter was walking on the water to the Lord the only time he started sinking is when he looked around and questioned. There is no time to look around and start questioning, we need to keep our sights on the Savior and run full force. 



So this past week while tracting and contacting in Espoo with one of the other sisters, we went about all our work with fully praying in our hearts of where to go and what to do. It was just SIsar Nielsen and I in a city we didn’t know and it was a very hectic day, I don’t have time to explain it all, but we were followed by a drunk man, contacted a less active and had them agree to meeting us again. Then on the way out we saw a man on the street felt like we need to talk to him, told him about the Plan of Salvation gave him the pamphlet, then he realized that we were Mormons and turns out he was a former and that he has a testimony of the Book of Mormon, and we set up a time to met again with him. We also stormed the biggest castle of my whole mission, about 20 punk kids, we had met 3 the day before committed them to pray if God was real, we came to see them again, and they had 17 more friends with them. So nerve racking walking up to that group but we did shook everyone’s hands and talked about prayer and Invited them to all try to pray, and come play ultimate frisbee the next day. And then while walking back home, we ''stumbled' upon the Helsinki light up temple and it seriously was the most amazing thing in the whole world to see the House of the Lord is a very wicked world. It refreshed and refocused my mind. 


(The picture is of Sisar Nielsen and I on a freezing raining day by ourselves, Lost and trying to find a less-actives house. It was insanely cold and hard but we pumped each other up and kept going!)


Funny story of the week, my trainer and I were out contacting in Espoo and had a really great conversation about how to plan better and become more effective missionaries. Then when we wanted to go inside, the door was locked and the Espoo Sister's phone was busy, so we got this great Idea to go around back to see if we could get their attention from the back window. So we go around back, they don’t notice our shouts and waving of hands, so then Egan gets this great Idea for me to pick up this rake (they live on the second story) and try to reach up and tap the window to get their attention, because I am the taller one. So without thinking I agree and am trying to reach up and tap the window but I’m too short, and then all of a sudden I hear, ''Äla Älä'' which means like don’t or stop, so then I turn around and two scary looking Finnish security guard are walking up. This is when I realize how stupid this plan is and how bad it makes missionaries look. So at this point I’m way embarrassed that I was caught red-handed and sure that we are going to get in a lot of trouble. So then Egan has no idea what to do, so she tries to explain to them what we are doing so they can hear that we aren’t trying to vandalize or really do anything stupid..... anyways after she is done explaining our tilantemme (situation), they look at each other, walk over to me and take the rake( and I'm like freaking out of my mind, thinking.... I don't know what I was thinking they were going to do but I am so embarrassed) they take the rake, put down the beer can that I didn’t even realize they were holding. Then one takes the rake, then they walk to the window, the one worker picks the other one up, who taps on the window with the rake! I was laughing so hard, it went from being caught red handed doing something way stupid to them doing the same stupid act for us. we got the sisters attention, scared them out of their minds then I thanked them and we went up to the apartment. Because of this hilarious act, ALL FINNS ARE FOREVER REDEEMED in my mind! 

Well I got to go, but I want to challenge you all to honestly pray for missionary opportunities, our friends and random people on the street need this, and be willing to act on the promptings we are given

Love you all

Sisar Hubner

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Questions of the Soul


Rakas ystävä ya Perhe, 

I don’t have too much time to write today, we are leaving for Helsinki in a couple minutes for our interim 6 weeks, training that will last the week and then end it with the kieli koulu, which is language school for a day! First off one of our friends from the MTC wrote something in his weekly email that I thought was so profound yet simple that I want to share it with all of you!

I firmly believe no person will be surprised in what kingdom they inherit one day...because in reality its our choice. I relate this to a soccer game...yes in the end the winning goal is what determines who wins the game...but its not the scored goal that is important...that is merely a natural consequence of the effort and choices made within the game...plus all the additional effort and choices made during practices. By the time it comes to shoot that game winning goal you have already made millions of decisions that have led you to that point. The same is true with our salvation...it is not just a one time decision come judgment day...we determine what kingdom we are to inherit EVERY DAY with EVERY DECISION. plain and simple DECIONS DETERMINE DESTINY!! What kingdom are you choosing at this moment?! Agency is so beautiful...god has literally given us the choice to become exactly like him...PERFECT! And not only this but he has given us the way to do it as well...Gods mercy blows my mind! The commandments are calculated to help us make decisions that will permit us to make that game winning goal one day...they are for your benefit and progression...my desire to keep the commandments has increased so much for this reason.  My challenge for all that hear this is to search in your heart who you want to become...and then know that it is possible...god has provided a way...now make the decision to become just that and DO IT! ''

We had zone conference this week and I just have to say we have the most amazing mission president in the whole world! I learn so much every time he speaks. One of the biggest things I took away this time was that every person we meet with we need to have a goal for them, and especially with the members, getting them from stage 1 (having missionaries over for dinner, and maybe going to a lesson or two with them) to a stage 3 (where they are setting up their area and talking to the people around them and bringing people in for the missionaries and becoming friends with the other new investigators)! As members we have this irrational fear of sharing the one thing that our friends need the most. But once we get them members starting to do this then it kicks missionary work into the next level, like the broadcast The Work of Salvation said, where missionaries wont have enough time to find because the members are doing that for them!

This week I was reading Alma 5 and I challenge everyone who is reading this to go and read Alma 5, it has soo many questions of the soul, stuff that only you can evaluate for yourself if you are doing good and are on track and especially what you need to work on. My favorite two verses is the one where he asks if we have the Lord engraven upon our image (verse 19). If we do then people should be able to feel like they know Christ a little better by knowing me, I still have a long way to go, but that is where I want to end up. Also the other verse I loved was where he asked, have you had a change of heart and wanted to sing the song of redeeming love, ''I would ask, can you feel so now?'' (v.26) I love that because he is so straight forward, have you felt the atonement in your life and felt the Savior lift you out of the pit of despair, if so can you feel so now, and what are you doing about it? Are you telling others to help them out of the darkness and showing them the light, or are you keeping it to yourself because you fear man more then God. In the end, when we are at the judgment seat it will only be you and God, and I know that his opinion is really the only one that matters, and to remember that every time I get nervous to share this gospel. 

I have a pieni kertomus (short story) from this week that I want to share. So I was on the bus and I sat next to this lady, about in her 50s or so and we started to have this great conversation about the gospel and God and she was talking so fast, and I was praying sooooo hard the whole time for the Lord to help me understand what she was saying and to know how to respond, and she was saying, after I asked her if she believed in God, about how she wants to but how can so many bad thing happen in the world if there is a God, and she kept talking and moving on to the next thing before I could really clear stuff up, but I testified that I did know with all my heart that there is a God and that he loves us, and that we have a redeemer and she was saying that she cant understand how I can be so young and know that with such absurdity. And she had soooo many question and I wanted to answer them all but I couldn’t really understand everything and we were on the bus and I didn’t have much time to explain, but she was searching for this truth that I have, and I was just praying in my heart so hard that she would be able to feel the holy ghost when I testified, and I felt impressed to give her this pelastussuunnitelma pamfletti (Plan of Salvation pamphlet) that I had in my backpack but totally forgot I had (I had already given away my book of Mormon that day so I couldn’t give her that) and I have her read the front page about us living with our loving Heavenly Father before this life and that he loved us and gave us a plan for this life. And she stopped and said that this was such a beautiful concept, if only it was real and I felt and I’m pretty sure she felt the spirit very strongly when she read this and I testified that it was true, and that we do have purpose in this life. I asked her if we could met again and discuss what she read and I had so much more to discuss and answer her questions and she thought about it and said no. And my heart literally just broke, she was so close to the truth that she was searching for but when it was offered she rejected it, and I asked her if I could get her number and then maybe we could met, she said no, I asked her if she would like to come to church, she said no., but she said that she would read the pamphlet and I gave her a pass along card with our number and told her to call it if she wanted to discuss. Then I got off the bus and my heart was torn, I felt so much love for this woman I had just met and was praying so hard for her, that she would recognize this truth that would change her life, she would understand that she has a Savior, and yet she said no. So I was feeling so bummed, and my trainer Egan came up to me after I told her my story and she said, ''Hey, do you think that her Father in Heaven is just going to give up on her because she cant recognize the truth yet? I don’t think so, He loves her too and wont give up on her, so don’t you give up on her.'' Wow what an awesome trainer, it’s so true, the Lord loves her so much too and won’t give up on her just because she is not ready for this yet. Then we went to Sähly (floor hockey) with the ward and I prayed before we went in there and opened my heart up to the Lord and told him how much I was hurting for this lady that I met on the bus and how sad I was that she rejected it after she had be searching, I asked him to help cheer me up. Then when we walked into Sähly, M. this cute girl from our ward that has been bringing her friend C. to church and Sähly (we had invited M. to ask her friend to meet with us, and M. said she would think about it and pray about it). We walk into Sähly and M. runs up to us and tell us that she had prayed and asked C. if she would met with us at her house to discuss more about our church and what we believe and C. said yes! Wow, sooo exciting and we set up a date. Miracles happen everyday and I know even though at times it seems like the Lord didn’t hear my prayer, that he did and always answers them!

Our recent convert B. said this quote once that I love, ''Why don’t more people believe in God? What do you go to lose by believing in God''

I got to run but I love you all, and I am soooooo proud of you Dad for giving that Book of Mormon to your bus driver friend after praying to know who to give the BoM to! Wow you all are such inspirations to me. I hope you all stay safe and work hard to ''bring the world his truth''

Rakkaudella,

Sisar Hubner