Monday, February 24, 2014

Jämsä. who even knows where that is?

Moro Perheni ja others! So man, crazy good week this week. Also just a fact that you all know it is currently 6 degree C outside right now! It feels like summer time! We are loving it and so are the Finns!

So with change calls, Sisar Egan aka my Mom is leaving Tampere and going to Espoo. Shout out to her for being amazing and teaching me all that I know. We went to Pyynigin Torni which is this tower that over looks Tampere, it was amazing and the picture at the bottom is of us at the top of the tower with Näsi Järvi behind us! 

Storming the Castle
This week we were doing splits in Jyväskylä, and we had been really focusing on following the spirit and talking with everyone. So we had just done a few doors and were on our way back home at the end of the day and decided to do a role-play of what we could have done better from the last door contact. Turns out this role-play was pretty inspired, as usual. We were on our way back and I saw this guy who was just a little bit ahead of us, and I turned to my companion for the day and said, lets speed up so that we can talk and walk with him. So we are about to reach him when he stop and talks to his friend on the street, for a couple nano-seconds I was bummed, because I automatically thought that they were too busy. But then we decided why not let’s Storm this Castle, and stop and say hi to these two punk guys. It was the best teach I have had in a long time. These two guys, one is a Finnish rapper (with a New Yorker accent when he spoke in English.....crazy), and the other one is an Iranian Finn.

They opened up about religion and their relationship with God, and how they hate how much people drink here (yes, they are Finns). It was way funny because they were so caught off guard that we had stopped and talked to them and they introduce themselves and asked who we were and when I said Sisar, they asked if we were Nuns, not gunna lie because they were punk kids I pulled a little of my NY sass out and said, ''Umm do I look like a Nun to you?'' Haha they then asked if we were gunna talk about Jesus Christ, and I told them joo tottakai, if they want to talk about Him, we would love to.  The role-play we had just done fit in perfectly and we talked to them for almost 45 minutes, taught them the whole restoration. The spirit was so strong and they were surprisingly very open to it, we had a return appointment set up, and at the end they said, Hey maybe we should become Mormon, niin että we could have some sober friends to hang out with on the weekends. And as we were parting ways they even thanked us for stopping and talking to them and that they were grateful we didn't judge for the way they were dressed but that we stopped and talked to them and that they want to play basketball with us sometime too. The Iranian Finn said that when we come over next week that his mom is super nice and will make us Tea. Hahaaa sweeeet.  It was such a natural teach and we were able to apply the restoration to their lives. Such a huge reminder that Christ was no respecter of persons, and neither should we, sometimes, the least likely person is the one who is prepared for the gospel. 

After such an awesome day, we jump on the train and head home back to Tampere. You would think the adventures end there.........but no. So we are on the train and trying to figure out our seat when the conductor comes and tells us that actually we have the wrong tickets and that it was from 7am not 7pm. Didn’t even think twice about the difference on the ticket from 7 and 19. Anyway, he says that don't worry we can just buy another ticket. Using a credit chip card, that will be around 66 Euros, turns out we only have debit cards, with no chip..... So he says okay just pay in cash.......right, about that.... in total we have only 14 Euros. So we ask him where the next stop is. He says Jämsä. WHAYT?? Who even knows where Jämsä is? And the tickets are 13 Euros......each......but he had pity on us and gave us a discount and made it clear that we were getting kicked off at Jämsä. So the next stop comes, we shamefully jump off into the unknown world of Jämsä. Thank goodness we have an amazing office staff who was then able to order us ticket for the next train to Tampere which came 3 hours 10pm. So we hit the streets of Jämsä, find a Lidl store. Where we get Päivälinen, buy some Naan bread that we are excited to try, ask a Finn missä Jämsä on? (where is Jämsä) he answers, ''Te olette Jämsässä'' You are in Jämsä. Hahahha thank you for the information, I didn't realize that is where we are at. hahah 

Anyways, turns out the train station has this really nice warm waiting room. Sisar Pack and I get so excited that the Lord truly is looking out for us. We get nice and situated and wait for the train, open our Naan bread and it is disgusting, so gross and then we read on the package, ''Cook thoroughly until it is piping hot before eating.'' Great. Anyways, put that aside, and then a security guard comes and tell us that the waiting room is closed now. So we get kicked out in the cold, an hour to wait, uncooked Naan bread. Whose idea was that anyway (.....hahah may or may not have been my genius idea) Good news is we had an over night bag with clothes in it. So I put on all the extra clothes I had, a pair of sweatpants over my leggins, another pair of socks, three more shirts, and another pair of gloves., and was still freezing cold. Finally the train came, 15 minutes later then expected, and we finally made our way home. The Zone leaders had to pick us up, bless their hearts. And the district leader told us to call him when we were safe at home. He picks up the phone at 11:30 and answers ''Hello? Who is this'' (in a really sleepy voice. Hahaha when we asked him about it the next day at District meeting, turns out he has no recollection of ever talking to us last night, and he answered the phone in his sleep!

Man this is going to be a great transfer. I can feel it in my bones. But seriously miracles are already happening and the 21 days of love is going great! I love being a missionary, so much fun. If you can enjoy the moments even in the hard times, imagine how great the joy will be when the workload is lighted and things are going smoother. 

So we have been trying to bring members out with us whenever we are meeting with our investigators, and we had set up an appointment from one of the potentials in our phone. This sisar from our ward who is older, but very much into missionary work came, and for some reason the man we were supposed to meet was not at home, so thank goodness for a good back up plan, we decided to contact some potentials in that area. Though we got no where with the potentials, Sisar S. kept asking if we could knock on more doors, so we said sure, we had already done some and it was Sisar Packs turn to start it off, so I am standing behind the door and this really, not in a nice mood lady answers the door and says, ''KUKA SÄ OOT?''(who are you!?) and Sisar Pack without even thinking says, ''Olen Sisar Hubner!'' Hahaha I was dying she accidently just introduced herself as me to this angry Finn. So luckily I’m behind the door so the lady doesn't see me laughing, and then Sisar Pack realizes what she has just said, and sees me laughing and loses it, and is trying really hard to hold this laugh in, and so Sisar S. takes control of the situation and starts talking to this vihainen lady who asks to see her Finnish ID and right as she is pulling it out the lady says that she doesn't care and doesn't have time but SIsar S. is determined to show her, her ID when she slams the door in our face.....I was still laughing from SIsar Pack trying to be me. Man too funny, ya gotta laugh at the small things on the mission.

But good news is the next door that we knocked on was a 19 year old girl (we have been praying specifically to find our replacement.) At first she was kind of closed off but we kept talking to her naturally and not giving her a memorized speech but got to know her and applied the gospel to her life. Sisar S. testimony made all the difference, and we were able to set up a return appointment with teaching almost all of the restoration, and her promising to pray about it that night. It was great, it makes our missionary work so much more fun when we take members out with us and the Lord always blesses those times we spend out on the streets with the members.

I love you all, and the last picture was taken in honor of my dad, Chocolate covered chili pepper, yum right? 

 Love ya Isä!
Take care, and remember how blessed you are!

Sisar Hubner

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Feb 17th 2014

Hyvää Huomenta Perheni ja Ystäviani!                                                             
Just another week in the life of the Finnish missionary. I love this mission so much. Man it is way rough some times but I have learned so much. Throughout life we go through much physically training to get our bodies in shape, but a mission is boot camp for the soul. Spiritually training and character building is not an easy thing to do, but it is the best thing we can do to let the Lord help us become the people that we truly want to become.
We have been still going through a rough patch in work.  Most of our investigators have dropped or have ditched us, and for some reason it has been really hard to find more. Also we got change calls, a lot of things are changing in the mission, but Sisar Pack and I will be together for at least one more transfer so that she can finish out her training. We have come up with a plan to continue to get rid of all the 'little sins' or weapons of rebellion completely. Our plan to completely get rid of the 'dirt' in our lives and work to become qualified for the blessings its called “21 days of Love” because it takes 21 days to make a habit, and we are going cold turkey on a lot of things. We have been reading in the orientation book about bridling our tongue. We realize that both of us are using sarcasm too much, and we need to stop immediately, and also just little complaining that shouldn’t be as we represent the Lord. We are starting a budget, niin että we can make goals to have ainakin 800 euros saved up at the end of the mission to be able to help pay for another missionary. We are shopping smartly, we are eating healthily, no sweet, other than what the member give to us, and we are getting water bottles so that we can be well hydrated. To kick-start this new transfer we are doing a whole SYL week. And transition from having our SYL days be sporadic, we are going to be doing as much Finnish as possible and then maybe one or two days in the week where we can speak English on a p-day or another day. We are praying always. We are following counsel immediately and we are focusing on love. We are being motivated out of love because we know the Savior, and we are inspired by Him to bring others back to Him. Our goal in the end is to show to the Lord that we are serious about getting the work really started in Tampere, to find our replacement, find the one who will be baptized in March, who will lead to more, to seriously be doing everything cheerfully, long-term and to call down the blessings of heaven.
Another thing is timing, we are also going to be very strict on timing, around 30 minute lessons, never a DA longer than an hour. We want the blessings so bad for the members here in Finland, and its starting now, this transfer, so that the missionaries that come after us can pick it up and run with it because it is already flowing. We have been promised blessings if we obey exactly, we are obeying. We shine our shoes on the way out, we wash our faces twice, we use rinsing buckets, we are focusing on asking for referrals, in effective ways. We want the natural man\woman out; she has no place in this mission. I am tired of asking for prompting and then letting the natural man kick in dismissing the promptings. I am here to be an instrument in the Lord's hands. How can I do this unless I am spiritually minded? The complete change starts now. The best part about this 21 days of Love is that, if we brake one of the rules, the 21 days starts over again. We are determined to make this a habit. 

We are set apart representatives of our Savior, I do not intend to take that title on lightly.
This last week we had made this goal to find people in the area of the members so that they can fellowship them. It can be there project to give them love and help them develop a testimony. We have prayed a lot about what we can do so that when we leave this area so the members can continue doing the work. This has made the work really exciting because it’s like a treasure hunt to find ''the one'' that the member specifically can touch. So after we had met with a member who is way excited to do missionary work but doesn't know where to start, we told her our plan, and then left and hit the streets by her house to find the one. It was incredible, we were praying always (so important) and loving the people we were talking to and tracting into. It was crazy; usually tracting is the worst thing ever so degrading, so many slammed doors. But this time it was so fun, this whole week was awesome, we just started talking to them, loving them and a decent amount of ''uninterested people'' opened up and talked with us for a good 10-15 minutes. We were so excited and we came to this one house, and this lady came to the door and was like,''Umm I don't know you.'' The normal Finnish response, and SIsar pack just started off and introduced herself and we had this great conversation with her. She totally opened up and turns out she has done family history at our church before, and we were able to talk about the importance of families. She was so happy, because we were so happy and she said she noticed the joy we have. Then as we are about to part ways, I get this prompting to ask her if I can use her bathroom, (weird I know) I try to dismiss the thought but we have really been focusing on acting on prompting, so I ask her. And she says off course, we are let into the house and I use the bathroom, now she is even more open, still hasn't invited us to come back. I come out of the bathroom and she is showing us her house and the beautiful paintings she has, and they are Helenti (Pentecostal) so they are really into spiritual music. So I express my gratitude to her for being so kind to us and ask if we can sing a song to her to thank her. We sing Mua Jeesus Rakastaa, I feel my Savior's love, and she is so quiet for the whole thing then at the end she says thank you so much and loved the lyrics to the song, and from the back we hear, ''Jumalan siunaksia teille!!'' God's blessings to you! From her husband that we had no idea was there and they were totally open and touched by the spirit and said that we can come back next week! I have such a testimony of following the spirit. We later told the member, about this couple and she will be coming with us next week! We are all so excited!
The Lord is really watching over us, even in our times of hardships. I know He is there.
I love you all and hope you have a great week!

SIsar Hubner

P.s. this is a funny picture of the hat this member gave me while cleaning her house, the best part is that it has pockets on the side of it! I know grandpa hubner would be proud! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Awesome Week of Slush

So I’m not sure if any of you have noticed but there has been some funky weather patterns going on. About two weeks ago it was -20-25 degrees, sooo cold, and then this week it has solidly been around 0 degrees, which feels so hot now and all the snow has been turning into slush. Also the picture behind us is of this area that in the summer is a soccer area, and in the winter they pour water over it and it turns into a hockey rink, its crazy its all over the place, like ever block has a hockey, skating rink!

This week number wise was a total failure, but it was actually a great week! President Rawlings was doing interviews this week, and I always learn so much from him. So I have really working on switching my whole focus on this mission to love. Being full with this love, praying always to help me get over the flip-flop of either 100% or 0% but always making sure that love is 100%. To look beyond what I think is the greater good, and ask the Lord what really is needed in this moment. Remembering to pray always, really emulating what that means. About not looking at people as numbers or being stressed about how to get it over to the gospel but to live love, make eye contact, smile, and ask good questions. In most of the situations we both walked away filling uplifted and the person we were talking to had a smile on her/his face. 

Also I have really been focusing this week on having a smile, it has also been a way to help me remember to pray always and be filled with love. It sounds cheesy maybe but whenever I'm starting to feel stressed or anything I just start to smile, I feel so much better and recognize the good. If you want to feel happier instantly smile! Its contagious even when people disagree with what we are saying, they can't help but be a little more liberated because of the happiness that we have and show! Also found a bomb awesome scripture on smiling this week! 3 Nefi 19:25, 30. You never know who your smile will affect (:

So a cool story about praying always this week was that everything Perjantaina (on Friday) cancelled, so we had to complete blank day scenario so we prayed really hard to know what we should do, and went out and hit the streets. We were going to hit up a couple potentials and formers that lived in the area and all of them either weren't home, the door was locked, or we couldn't find the building. But instead of getting frustrated, we prayed, and decided we needed to get creative. Earlier on we had walked pasted this Asian food store. My companion asks me, ‘‘so what now?'' and all of a sudden I get this huge craving to get some Japanese candy. So we decide to go to the store and while we are waiting at the light, there is this lady next to me, and we start talking and she tells us that she is going to the Asian store too, we get this awesome teach in and she says that she does a lot of Christian things with the group that she is in and would love to meet! Then we go to stop by this members place and she's not there so we are about to leave, but I stop and look at the names that are on the board and this one name just pops out so I ask my companion what she thinks about it and we decide why not. Turns out this lady is so open to the gospel and tells us that what we are saying about the restoration sounds right, and that she wants to come to church this week! Then on the way out there was a man at the bus stop we start talking to, and he straight out says that he has been contemplating the meaning of life, why we are here and where we are going. We were able to teach him about the plan of salvation. Such an amazing day, blessings were pouring out from praying always and being led by the spirit. And acting on the random thoughts that were popping into our heads
Also another really awesome thing this week was that yesterday we were coming home from church. Can I really fast just say how much I love the ward here? They are so giving and really care for others! Man, they are the best. Any who back to Sunday night we hop on the busses back home, and you know its miracle Sunday, so we got to make something happen. So the lady I’m sitting next to I start talking to her we have a good convo, she gets off the bus. Then I wait and decide to talk to the lady in front of me about her bag, have a decent convo then she gets off. So at this point there is no one around me to talk to so I can either chill out, or move spots. So I notice that a former investigator had gotten on the bus. I’m not sure how well this is going to go, but I say a prayer and just go with it, and so up and sit next to her. We have a pretty good discussion, and then she gets off. But I am determined at this point to get something to happen. So I turn to the lady behind me and ask a stupid question like, ''SO you do you think the lake is still frozen?'' (hahah it was the first thing that came to mind) any who she didn’t really understand my question but then she is like ''Hey, We talked before, remember me? You gave me this card and I promised that I would call but I lost the card but I still really want to talk.'' WHATT?? This is awesome, this lady I had talked to about 2 months ago. She was from Mexico and when she was younger, as a child, the missionaries visited her family and she still remembers a little bit about the Book of Mormon and wants to learn more! We swapped contact info and she invited us over to her place! So awesome, its crazy to see how the Lord works, he tested me to talk to 3 people on the same 20 minute bus ride before He put someone in my way that was actually prepared. 
I testify that this is the Lord's church. He leads and guide it. He has called me, as weak and uncourageous as I am, to represent Him. I am so humbled that He trusts me enough to help this work along. I know that there is a special power in prayer, the Lord is waiting to help if we will but ask, and then humble ourselves enough to listen and act. He will not forsake us. He knows each and everyone of us perfectly and its not a surprise to Him what happens to us, normally its part of the plan.  So ask Him to help you become the person you want and that He wants you to be. 
Have an awesome week!

Sisar Hubner

Monday, February 3, 2014

It Starts With One!

HELSINKI almost all week!  It really was an amazing week for us to be physically feed from the amazing office staff, and also spiritually feed. Reminding us of really what our purpose is here, to love these people, to love our companions, to show to them that they have worth and are sons and daughters of a king. That it all starts from with one. Not focusing on numbers but loving the person in front of us. Missionary work will always fluctuate but when we focus on the people and really seeing them as children of our Father, and seeing the people they can become, our work will be consistent and with the spirit.

We had some funny things happen this week going on splits, gotta love them. Also had an amazing opportunity to go the Helsinki, Finland temple with my two favorite people, Sisar Egan and Sisar Nielsen. It was so amazing. It is the reason why we are on missions. It is literally heaven on earth, so peaceful, so amazing; I want everyone to be able to make it to the temple and feel of the love and peace that is there. 

Wow, I have no time to write, but I love you all. I challenge all of you to try to love the trials you have everyday, and love every aspect of life because it only happens once.  Try to look around and lift the hands that hang low, whose hearts are broken. This is why we are here on earth is to find ‘‘the one'' and give them the love they need and deserve and bring them back ''home.''

Wish I had more time, mutta hyvä viikoa teille (=

Sisar Hubner