Monday, March 31, 2014

Would you like waffles, cherry jam & whipped cream?

Random title but man so many funny things happening this week. First off this place is so SUNNY! Its incredible, it went from night to day in just a few weeks, we wake up in the morning and it is already so light it feels like daytime, can’t wait for Juhanus Päivä, the longest day in the year! It’s coming. 

So the reason for the title, we were at our members house, the H. family (amazing conversion story - both married and divorced, next door neighbors, started dating, lived together, met the missionaries, a couple months later, after stopping their smoking and other addictions, got married, then the next week got baptized, then for a while 5 years later became less active, the missionaries came and helped them get active, and 2 years ago they went to the temple and were sealed for time and all eternity! and are powerhouse missionaries). So we are at there house and there was a hiccup in our planning and our investigator was coming late, so we were looking up Mormon messages, and then Veli H. pulls out his phone and types something in and puts it to my ear and it says in a robotic voice; Waffles with cherry jam, and whipped cream, and we start laughing because its so random and he says, Do you want? Hahaha, we say Totta Kai (of course) and he leaves, and come back with this massive plate of waffles, with cherry jam and whipped cream! Funniest thing ever! Then our investigator came and man, such a powerful lesson with amazing testimonies from our members. 

Also we got our bikes fixed this week and have been biking up the wa-zu, sometimes 30 KM a day! Good stuff!

Cool stories of the week: So one cool thing from this week was we have been wo

rking with this family to get them doing missionary work. Sisar V. is terrified of talking to people, so we took this on as a challenge to help her feel more comfortable loving people with this gospel. We met with her before our lesson (the night before we played the word game with them, this game where we get everyday topics and have a competition to connect it to the gospel in as many ways as we can) and took the same bus, and told her that her tehtävä was to find some one on the bus with the brightest colored coat and talk to them. She gave us people to look for too and it was a sort of ''game.'' When we got off the bus she ran up to us and said, ''SISARET! I have something to report! I found a lady with a bright pink coat and talked to her and told her about you guys and that we were on our way to the church to teach our friend and we talked about religion.......AND IT WAS FUN!'' So exciting, our lesson went great, set a baptismal date, then on the way back to the bus we stopped this lady on the street and we talked to her about the gospel, and then Sisar V. said,''Would you like to come to church with us and talk more with the sisaret about our religion?'' and the lady said YES! Wow, miracles are happening and the members are getting excited, esp. when we equipt them with the right tools to do this work with us!
Also this week was the launch of our ward game called Helmikisa, which means the Pearl competition. It is a competition for the whole ward this month to get 1000 points, contacts, ''Helmeä.'' Meaning that we are talking more about the church and inviting friends to come and partake of this JOY. In the mean time we will be working with the members so that once they start mentioning the church more in their everyday conversations then we will have them prepared on how to answer questions, and teach and invite their friends! Its incredible this month has been the month of preparing this ward and man, what a difference we have seen with our members catching on to the missionary mindset, in a happy non-stressful way! So we have these cute pieces of paper that have the week and slots for each day of the week and they receive 1 helmi for just mentioning the church, 2 helmeä for giving away a MK, 3 helmeä for inviting a friend to a church activity or perhe-ilta, and then 5 helmeä if their friend meets with the missionaries. At the end of the week we collect the papers, have a missionary moment in each class, ex. apuyhdistys (Relief society), pappeus (priesthood), NN (YW), NM (YM) , and alkeisyhdistys (primary), then count up the Helmeä and when we reach 1000 we are going to have an ice cream party, an activity they can invite those friends that they have been working with! We are very excited, all this started with planning in advance! We will keep ya updated. Also our ward mission leader gave us a challenge for each companionship, to get 100 helmeä this week! Shouldn't been too hard (=

Question of reflection to you all, are you editing the church talk out of your life when talking with friends or are you proudly adding that you went to church for 3 hours this week, or that you loved the temple trip you went on last week with your family? If your not proudly telling people about the gospel that matters most to you than, I encourage you to try mentioning the church more in you everyday life, why? So that those who are really searching, will be able to find the truth faster, if you share the light with them!

Love you all!

Sisar Hubner

P.s. the pictures are of my half way mark, with all my half stuff that Sisar Pack made for me. The other picture is of us wearing our ''dogs'' aka, our really wholly sweater, and eating our favorite Finnish ice cream!
Halfway Mark

P.S. Funny of the week, Sisar Pack tried to tell someone that this week we are having Yleiskonferensi (general conference), but mixed up the word and said Ylösnöusemus, which means the resurrection.......too funny! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Halfway Point

So I officially hit my half way mark, way crazy feels like yesterday I was leaving for the MTC not really knowing what to expect but just being insanely excited to share what matters most to me. Sisar Pack made this day way exciting, I got out of the shower in the Morning and she had made me half sized crepes for my half way mark, then at lunch she gave me an half of a half of a half kilo of my favorite salmiaki, then she gave me a half bar of Fazer chocolate after dinner, and made me a sign with only half of it written, and a half tube of ice cream (aino apple flavored YUMMM love me some finnish jäätelö) and then gave me a can of peach halves! Too funny, we took pictures but there is no Place to upload them on this computer. Next time.

On Tuesday this week we had to opportunity to have the car and go out to Sastamala to visit some less actives that no one has seen in church for a long time. One of the ladies after asking what the Savior means to her, just started sobbing and explained how hard her life has been with a past abusive husband, and how she feels as if her life is in piece and knows that the savior can help but she doesn't have the energy to really try. It broke my heart, we tried to explain more and show her love that she has so much worth. She is a daughter of a King, and her broken hope can be fixed through the atonement. It is so hard to see people that are struggling so much and know the answer and how it can help but don't have the energy to ask their savior for help and then following through. We are praying that the ward can get involved and help her feel this love again and recognize that she does have the energy to be healed.

So my whole mission since I have been in Finland I have only served in Tampere. I love this Place so much! I love my ward! I love the children that run around on Sunday, I love the elderly couples that have learned and experience so much from life. The young members who are standing strong even though it’s not easy to live in the world today. I love them.
We have been working with them to set up member mission plans to help them recognize that this can be fun sharing the gospel if we have the right mind set. We want to help them understand that they already have a ton of missionary opportunities and we are here just to help them practice how they can be more effective in sharing their testimonies with their friends, family, and strangers.

Cool story of the week. Referrals are soooooooo hard to get, or at least have been for a really long time. So we came up with an idea that if we learned how to use this ancient referral system that the church has, then the Lord would bless us to find someone through it. It took me so long to figure out this system but we finally did and we had one number that actually went through and we were able to contact this mysterious guy P. who has a Book of Mormon. That is all the information we had before we called. So he sounded pretty excited to meet, so we were too. He cancelled the first meeting........oh well. But then he set up another meeting. We were lucky enough that President Rawlings was in town and he came with us to the teach. So great we had a church tour and at the end P. prayed with us. Then he cancelled the next meeting and didn't come to church we were bummed to say the least. But then we call him Sunday night last week and he says that he was in Helsinki that weekend and found the church and went for all 3 hours! We had an awesome lesson with him this week and surprisingly 2 more members showed up then we expected.......haha that is a story for a different time. Then he went to church again in Helsinki, and we were trying to figure out which chapel he was visiting and informed all the missionaries down there to keep an eye out for him. Turns out, he went to Marjaniemi and the missionaries there told us that he actually has visited that church many times before they just never knew who he was!!!! It was loistava!! So exciting we are hoping to set a baptismal date with him this week! Pray for his heart to be softened.

On Sunday we had an opportunity to teach Sunday School and it was all about the atonement. It went so well and we did an object lesson of giving rolls to the class and for every person our missionary had to do 5 pushup and it really struck them of how the savior has already paid for us, and how we can make sure we are using it daily.

I love this work.

Gotta run

Sisar Hübner

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Recruiting Angels

For starters, having only one hour to get down everything that happened in the week or even slightly summarizing is totally hectic, but I will try and explain just a little bit of our rollercoaster of a week. 

So last P-day we had a plan to do our emails at night and do missionary work during the day, when we normally have more luck talking with people, so after our morning workout we get a text from this lady, that I talked to about 3 months ago on the bus. I remember I had gotten onto the bus, and was having a fight with myself on who I should talk with and what to say. So finally I decide to talk to this lady across the way from me. We have a good conversation about her and her being recently engaged, and I was able to share about my sister’s wedding in Colorado that I was just able to go to and talking about that in the temple being sealed for time and all eternity. We had a good discussion about faith in Christ and swapped numbers to meet some time. We tried calling later and texted her to see when she could met, and we never heard anything from her after that.  Well, this happens quiet a bit so we didn't think anything of it and kind of forgotten about it. Then last P-day morning we get this text from her saying that she has a worry and was wondering if we could meet and talk at our church that night. Luckily it was P-day so we did have time to meet and then just switch our email time till the morning. So we head off to do our emails, and right as soon as we are finished with emails we get a text around 9:30 from her, that she was outside our church. At this point we were so confused what was going on and I look out the window and there she is waiting so we let her in and onneksi että (luckily) we have time to talk. So we invite her in and are slightly confused what is going on, and so we sit down and ask her how everything is going, and she just breaks down and says that her mother was re-diagnosed with cancer and she just starts sobbing saying that she’s so scared that her mother is going to die. So I just hugged her and held her for almost two hours as we cried together, and I was praying so hard for her to feel her Savior’s love, also that He was there with her through all these hard times and that our Father really does love her and her mother and has a plan for them that passes through this life and onto the next. We quietly just sat there and cried and prayed and the scripture that kept coming to my mind was, ''I will not fail thee, nor will I forsake thee.'' This was such a testimony building moment, that the Lord was there in the room with us, that this is what our baptismal covenant is all about bearing each others burdens, mourning with those that mourn, and comforting those that stand in need of comfort. This is truly Christ's gospel, and through this heart are healed, tears are dried, scars fade away, and weary hands are lifted. About 2 hours later, she said she was feeling better and knows that Christ loves her and that this church is the right place and that she wants to learn more and come to church and read the Book of Mormon. It was humbling to be able to help this woman and letting her feel this gospel. 

STRENGTH FROM THE LORD (1 nefi(1 Nephi) 4:15)
This week we have been praying very specifically that we will be able to find our replacement, which means some one our age who in the next few years will be able to go out and serve a mission and ''replace'' us. So with this prayer in my heart I got on the bus on Wednesday, and I see this really cute girl sitting on the bus so I sit across from her, say a prayer to have more courage to move over and share this light. I move over and start talking about her cute Finnish purse, and we start talking about her and her studies, and what I’m doing in Finland. And turns out she is studying to be a hair stylist, and is in Lukio still and has a huge English test on Friday. So I let her know that I speak English pretty fluently and would love to help. She arranges a time for the next day. So we met her the next day, she seriously is the sweetest and as we come into this cafe she is even talking to this random lady sitting by her! We gotta get her on this team! And we start talking about English, and start helping and then she stops and says that she has seen other elders on the busses before talking to people and that she is really interested in religion and wants to know more about what we are doing here! It was amazing and she was so genuine and we were able to give her a book of Mormon and she is coming with us to church next week. I truly have a testimony that prayer works, according to the Lord's time. But if we are searching, and praying always, the Lord will help us.

We had an amazing Zone Conference this week! So great, we were talking about changing from missionary work to the work of salvation, that based on D&C 84:88 The Lord is on our right hand and on the left, He has come before us, He knows His children and has prepared them long before we came into that picture. That through member missionary work, we will find those, and then when we use family history, we are recruiting angels from the other side of the veil to help us with this work, that they will open the heart of their posterity, and that this is how the work of salvation happens. It’s not about me, Sisar Hubner, and my own schedule, this is about the Lord's work that he has arranged long before us, that this is a huge team effort, and that we are not alone when we go out in the morning but that we have the army of God with us, working on both sides of the veil. 

I am so grateful for this mission, and the hard, tough things I have learned that has helped me understand more fully how much I need to rely on the atonement and to look up. 

Love you

Sisar Hubner

P.s. Sorry I keep forgetting to bring my camera and uploading pictures! Next time toivotavasti!
Enabling Power of the Atonment                                      10 March 2014
My heart is so full of love. Words can’t describe the change that has been going on in me and in my companionship. I’ll try to explain a little bit in words, to do some justice to the way I am feeling.
I have been reading a lot in General Conference and the Liahona about through the Savior overcoming huge problems like addictions, or getting over an abusive past. I thought, well if the Savior really and truly can help these people overcome these huge problems, then why wouldn't He be able to help me get over my problems of having a worldly perspective, being selfish at times, and not jaksaa-ing to look beyond myself and see the spiritual need of the person sitting next to me on the bus. This week I became a little overwhelmed with all the things, we needed to do like love people, forget about numbers, but still get numbers up, and getting members there, and dealing with equal partnership with my companion and learning Finnish, but not getting too focused just on Finnish. It almost seemed too much for me and it felt like everything had be heaped on me and couldn't do it.
I got down on my knees then and there and poured out my heart to the Lord, to truly help me have all the rules, and counsel written on my heart, to help me understand them, and love them, so that my focus could just be on loving the people and the rest would follow. To do it, because I understand and want it for the people and not just to receive more blessings. After that prayer I felt so much strength, and so much love, that I felt the loving arm of the Savior around me, telling me that we can do it together. Things that seemed so hard to me have become AMAZING, like I love setting up member plans. This week huge miracles happened, 5 non-members of our friends were at church, they all had a fellowshipper taking care of them, the ward got excited and stepped up. A family came to church, that hasn't happened in years, primary was so exciting with them. This week a man on the street walked up to us and asked if we were talking about church and if he could join. By the end of the night he had a fellowshipper, prayed with us, opened up to us about his challenges, a church tour, and was at church the next day, and came with us to dinner that night at his fellowshipper’s home. I have such a huge testimony of the Savior's atonement, I can't do any of this but with Him and through Him, my greatest challenges, have become beautiful and exciting and everyday more full of Love. I can't quite explain the change that has happened but I first hand am feeling again how truly enabling the power of the Atonement is. He can heal and He can help. Only through Him, will this mission be moved to the next level, and thousands of lives will be changed.
I sincerely am starting to understand what it means to trust in the Lord. To pray with all my heart like it all depends on prayer, and then going out, not forgetting to continually ask the Lord to guide us to those who are searching, those who are prepared, those who have broken hearts, with hands hanging low that are desperately looking for the Love of their Savior.
Another testimony that I have gained is of the members, how critical they are to this work. We can't do anything without them, because through their friendship our investigators really become invested, they wand to come back because they have friends, and it is a sure foundation that doesn't change when we get transferred out. That its not the member's fault that they have no idea what to do, we have to teach them in a way to help them recognize the missionary work they are already doing, to start praying about names and people specifically that they want to share the gospel with and that we come in and help them practice, and learn what things they can say and do to effectively help their friends remember their purpose and their Father in heaven's love for them. This is the key to missionary work, not coming in with a nice spiritual thought and then asking which of their friends we can randomly knock on their door. But that the members are working with their friends, that they are teaching them, preparing them, and then together, they come to us and we teach them a little more unto the understanding of making these sacred covenants.
Missionary work in my mind is changing, this change is in us, in our companionship, in changing our district, with is slowly but steadily changing our zone, and then the mission. We only have 18 months to do this, so why settle for less, with miracles are around the corner? To have an unconquerable spirit because the Lord is on our side.
Here is one quote from Tasha's quote jar that I love:
''I am so fresh in soul and spirit that life gushes and bubbles out of me in a thousand springs.'' -Robert Schumann
If you haven't already, I challenge you to ponder and study out in your minds, who out of your friends you can focus on that you can pray for and love into the gospel. That you can bring closer to their Savior unto the remission of sins. How can we hold this amazing knowledge back from our dear friends when this is the thing they need to be free from their heartache and pain.
Our Savior lives, His atonement is beyond comprehension. Learn to use it, to grow from it, and voitta your problems to become stronger through Him.
I love you,

Sisar Hubner

A Week of Bliss                                                      3 March 2014
Wow! Is basically all that I can say.
Such an amazing week! So we have been really focusing on working more effeciently not working ourselves to death, but really relying on the spirit. Praying always and praying for eachother and others. Because in the end, the Lord can and will do what needs to get done, He is just gracecious enough to let us be a little part of this amazing work.
As a district in the middle of the day all of us at 2pm stop what we are doing and say a prayer for the other missionaries in our district. We decided that we were going to pray specifically that at least one investigator per companionship would come to church. Because for some reason we have really been struggling in this area. Its like pulling teeth to get people to church but then when they are there they love it! So last week we worked so hard to get people to church and no one came, and even our musical number that we were going to do got forgot, and we were slightly frustrated because we worked soooo hard. But then this week, we involved the Lord more. What do you know Sunday comes around, our investigator who just set his own baptismal date (I'll tell that miraculous story a little later) comes waltzing in, our other investigator just walks in with his member family (we haven't seen him in a while), our less active that we have been working with walks in, and also one of my closest friends here, and is in the other ward that we found when we were in that ward, somehow got word that we were doing a musical number and decided to come. WOW! After weeks of trying so hard, with no one coming, finally we get our heads on straight and specifically not only pray for them but also for the other missionarys and out comes 2 of our investigators, 1 less active, and another investigator in the other area! It was amazing, and luckily when Sisar Pack and I sang Israel, Israel God is calling, acapello it went perfectly and the spirit was so strong.
So in church we had 5 non-members, a couple less actives, and an extremely strong spirit. It was a sunday for the books. It was erinomainen, the Lord just got all these people into church, and we were standing there opening the door with so much excitement, I thought my heart was going to burst open.
So like I said before we have been really trying to fine tune our missionary work, loving the people, doing all things cheerfully, even when it gets tough, and praying to the Lord like it all depends on prayer because in the end, it really does. The Lord makes the impossible, look easy.
So we have this way awesome investigator that we haven't seen in about a month. When I first met him on the street in November, he wasn't an investigator then, he had dreads, was kind of living on the street, no cellphone, gages, a huge smile, and playing the bongos on the streets with his friends. Then after Christmas he rolls up to us on his bike with a huge smile and asks, ''Oletteko Mormonit?'' Are you guys Mormons? And we say of course, and we start talking about the gospel and how he has a Book of Mormon and a while ago he talked to some Elders on the streets. At this point, he has a home, cut his hair, no gages, but still the huge smile. So we start teaching him, and then he kind of falls off the face of the earth for a whole month. Then just last week he texts us and says sorry that he hasn't been in contact with us and he wants to meet. So we set up a time, but he bails, reschedules and bails again! BUT, then he schedules again and says he feels bad for keeping on cancelling, but for sure this Friday he will met. We tell him okay, but jokingly he has to bring cookies. What do you know, Friday comes around and he comes 20 minutes early, to make sure he makes it on time, with organic apples cookies (way yummy btw), before the lesson starts we have a great discussion about what the gospel really means, and the true bliss that comes from it, and learn more about his family and his goals and dreams for life. Then when our other members come, we have this amazing lesson, the members are just brining the spirit so strong, and our investigator A. Says, well I have been thinking about a baptismal date, I want to be baptized on the 25th of March! What?? This day could not get any better. Turns out the 25th is his birthday, and that this whole time he has been reading the Book of Mormon, and he even said he will start coming to church every sunday, and he really came! So amazing, we didn't even do anything, the Lord is preparing His elect. The best part is that we haven't even taught him the word of wisdom yet, and he told us that last week he officially stopped smoking weed, because its not good for his body! Seriously I think I died and went to heaven, the is too good.
As my mission president would say, ''We are in miracle territory here.''
I know my Savior lives, and this truly is His work.
Ask yourself, what have you done to bring some one close to their Savior in the past month? It you haven't start this week! It is never to late to bring someone to the gospel to help them find the amazing gift of love and happiness!
I love you,
Sisar Hubner
P.s. I was talking to this family that we have been working with and told them that we have been praying in behalf of our Piiri (district) turns out I messed up the words and told them I have been praying in behalf of my farting. Man too good, they were dying laughing. I LOVE THIS LANGUAGE; too funny!