30 Dec 2013 (Sorry for the late posting - We just got back from Alayna's Grandmother's Memorial Service in Rochester, NY)
Hyvää Joulua! Merry Christmas friends and family! I hope you all had a great Christmas and were able to spend time with your family and remember what the birth of Christ means and all that he has done for us.
This great family from our ward took us in for Christmas Eve (which is the big day here in Finland) and we were able to eat traditional Christmas Finnish food including Ruosoli (this pickled beets and other stuff with sweet whipped cream...very weird) fermented mashed potatoes, ham, reindeer paste (poor Rudolf...), smoked ham, glögi (like kinder punch), joulu tortuu, and all other kinds of food you can think of. We were able to sing songs about Christ and felt the Spirit of the Lord with us, we shared with the family 3 Nefi 1:9-13 about how the followers of Christ were going to be put to death unless the signs of the coming of Christ came. Yet they still stayed faithful, and the Lord told them that on the morrow the king of kings, the Lord of Host, the Son of God was coming to the earth the next day being born into the world to atone for our sins, so that we can return back to our Father in Heaven. And sure enough the signs came the next day, not only did the Savior save these peoples lives, but He has saved our eternal life and given us a way to become free from sin. Imagine being there in those days about to be put to death because you believe in Christ. How scary that would have been but to be at peace because they had faith He would come. Well we weren’t there back then but we are here now for a reason, to tell the world about Christ, about this everlasting gospel that brings peace in a hectic world, and we can stand as a witness of Him and prepare these people for when Christ will return again. The world isn't ready yet for their Savior to come, and He has called us to be a part of His work to spread and share this Light for the whole world to see. The family we shared this with was very touched and one of them said that if they weren't converted to this gospel before they are now because of the spirit that was there when we shared this message. I believe this message with my whole heart and that is why I am here serving in Finland.
On the way home we were able to stop by at a cemetery (a Christmas tradition in Finland) and I was able to light a candle in remembrance of my Grandma Hübner. I love her and I know that she is helping me on the other side of the veil.
Christmas day we were able to open our packages and my family seriously is the best! They sent so much love in that package and pictures of us! I love it, then we went to another family's house and were able to Skype my family! Ahh I love them all so much and it was amazing to get to see them and talk to them again.
On Friday we had Zone conference. It was amazing the spirit was so strong; we learned how to teach with love which is the only way that lives change, and hearts soften. There was this Sisar there who we were testifying to each other and I had this random idea to tell her that her family is safe and Heavenly Father is taking care of them, it was so random but I said it to her anyways and she just started to cry and said ''You have no idea how much that meant to me, That is what I needed to hear'' I had no idea, but the Lord did and I was so grateful that He was able to work through my to relay a message to this wonderful sister. I want to testify to you all that yes, it takes courage to act on the promptings of the spirit, but you never know what type of impact it will have on the person. So when you have been praying to follow the spirit and some random thought comes into your head of, hey talk to that random girl on the street about eternal families, or give her a book of Mormon. Then DO IT. The spirit knows best and will guide you and you can be an instrument in the Lord's hands if you let him.
I testify to you that YOU have a Redeemer, He loves YOU, and knows you perfectly, you mean the world to Him, and HE will always be there for you, He does not want to lose YOU. For this purpose He came into the world, for YOU. You have a Heavenly Father, He loves YOU, pray to Him, pour your heart out to Him and you will feel Him by your side, lifting you off the ground when to fall, trust Him, Follow Him, and you will find peace and joy that is not of this world.
|My Companion and Me|
Our cute Christmas pile underneath our cute Christmas tree Pomo
I found a giraffe clean the world, had to talk a picture with it!
Picture of the minnions basically sums up my family! I love them all! haha
Picture of Joulu tortuu the most delicious Finnish Christmas food of all time!
My companion Sisar Pack after a long day of Missionary work!
Christmas eve with the Sloan family was a Finnish Christmas to remember!
This is me wearing the family Christmas pajamas that you sent! Love them
The pictures of candles is when I light one for grandma Hubner in remembrance of her from Finland
The other picture is when I picked up my new little companion Sisar Pack! She’s great