Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Getting Old

26 May 2014

So as most of you know, I am finally 20 years old. No longer a teenager. I was thinking back to what I did for my 19th birthday and realized that I was on a mission almost the whole year of being 19. Feels good, wouldn't want to spend it any other way then serving my Savior.

First off shout out to my family for the awesome package! Super cute dress, and I loved all the random notes, ranch dressing, bugs, candy, and Harry Potter jelly beans (yikes, haha they taste so real). 

Started my 20th birthday off right, with Sisar Thayne making me pancakes. At church so many people came up and sang to me, I received a ton of chocolate, and a cute necklace from one of the ward members. It was a really great birthday to remember! The one and only birthday I will have in Finland. What’s even more, our investigator Family came to church! Best birthday present ever!

So here is the story of miracles about this Family. It is the M. Family. My companion Sisar Thayne felt like we needed to go to Area 5 that day which was slightly strange because we had just decided that we were going to give that area a break for a while. We tried to contact a few potentials, and did some doors (one door these two guys answered and when they saw our name tags they literally ran out of the house..... it was super awkward because we had to close the door after them.....hahah love being a missionary, we literally scared them out of their house) and nothing was happening. I remember that we had seen this African family from their window and for some reason it caught my attention. They didn't look Somalian (the only country that is 100 percent Muslim, and we can’t teach them because it is too dangerous for them) so we had decided to try contacting this family. We went but the door was locked outside the building to get in. So we jump on our bikes and were about ready to leave, and I get the feeling that we should try one more time. So we go back, and what do you know, these two Russian Moms are holding the door open. So we run inside, and knock on the door that we think is the African family's. The door opens up and we are immediately invited in.

I have never met so many happy people. The family is sitting there eating bread and yogurt with smile that could last for days. They invite us to sit down, and we start talking to them and get to know them. They are from DRC, the Congo (funny story we kept thinking they were saying “Darcy,” and no one had no idea where that was) but for the last 11 years they have been living in Malawi. And they have been in Finland for 6 days!! The Lord knows His children very well. They were so open to the gospel and listening to our message. Before we started with a prayer, they told us to wait so they could put more appropriate clothes on! It was the cutest and they come back with polo shirts on! I love this family so much. They have gone through so much pain, and hardship and now they are in Finland, the safest country in the world. They have 4 children ages 15, 13, 10, and 8. We have been working closely with them, and having them meet other members in the area. They speak Swahili and some English (they were super excited when we knew Hakunamatata!). It was such a miracle because we just so happened to have all the pamphlets and a Book of Mormon in Swahili, at the church! They were able to come to church and Sisar Thayne and I were praying so hard that they would be able to feel the spirit.

We got a phone call which basically changed my life, from a recent convert from Nigeria, helping us understand how to love this family better, and gain their trust after being in such a hostel environment in a refugee camp. To love them, more than just talking about the church to listen to them with love. To let them share their story, that means so much to them, and let them know that we care. It might take time for them to understand that they really can trust us, but they will. This phone call opened up my eyes to re-assessing how I am doing in general with loving the people we teach. Where is our motive? Are we so busy with everything else that we forget to ask about them, to convey to them that we truly care and love them? I feel like sometimes this can get forgotten all to easily with all the thousands of other things we have to do. But this is the most important. This is the biggest lesson we could ever teach. This is what Christ would do, if He were here personally ministering among men at this time. Charity never faileth.

I love this gospel. I am so grateful for the many hard, but rewarding lessons I have learned on this Mission in Finland, Tampere. I know that our Father, personally knows each and everyone of His children, He cannot forgot them, and He will never forsake them.

So many lessons learned this week. I feel so humbled to be a part of this.

I love you all. Stay fresh

Sisar Hubner

P.S, This is my excitement of receiving Ranch dressing. I have been craving it for a year.

The other picture is my birthday dress Mamacita sent, and my adorable Finnish Parents. Our ward mission leader and his wife!

Waiting for the Creme Brulee to be done
STILL waiting!!!  :)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Non-stop sunshine and short sleeves, say WHAT?

Man if you have never been to Finland in the summer time you gotta come. Literally, over night summer came, all of a sudden everything is green, the sun never sets, we are coming back at 9pm and it feels like its 12 in the afternoon. I thought summer would never come, it felt like the winter would stay for ever, and just like a light switch its here. The Finns are insanely excited. As my companion Sisar Thayne sings to the tune of a wise man build his house upon a rock --- the sun comes out and the clothes come off. Hahahaaa she’s a hoot, but seriously its crazy, no clothes, when the sun is up! 

So P. is doing good, he wasn’t able to receive the Priesthood this week because for some reason he was in Helsinki again, but hopefully he will be in Tampere next week to receive the Aaronic Priesthood, and be able to baptize his girlfriend's soon to be 8 year old son. So exciting.

As most of you know missionary work is like a roller coaster, blinded folded, you never know what will happen next, the best thing is to enjoy ALL of it. Definitely easier said than done. Most of our investigators have dropped off, or we had to drop them, so we are starting from ground zero......again. It kind of happens a lot. mutta ei se mitään. 

My huge focus this week has been continuing to be grateful for everything that comes our way. No matter what to start thinking more positively. It has been helping a lot. Because we haven't had a lot of people to teach before hand, we have really been trying hard to listen to the Spirit and be lead to those who the Lord has been preparing. It has been amazing to see the Lord's hand in this work. Two cool stories from this week, was that we tried to contact a new investigator but they were at home and we had a lot of extra time, so we decided to head over to our next lesson, and on the way over for some reason this one building just really popped out to me. I thought to my self, hmmm we should go back there some time. Then this idea, that wasn't my own, pops up saying, ''or you could go now.'' I tell Sisar Thayne, and then get this huge realization that this could be the spirit, so we do a 180 and bike over there fast, not really knowing what’s going on, but feeling that there is some one who is ready. We pull up to this neighborhood and start walking and I see this mom and daughter about to walk into their house, so we casually/awkwardly run up to them and start talking. They don’t have too much time to talk but when we start talking about the church and how it strengthens families, she said to come back on Saturday and wanted to talk more. It was way cool to see that, even though I was a little slow on the prompting, the Lord let us still catch them before they walked into the house. 

Yesterday, we were headed to pick our new investigator up for church. He said that he was busy going to another church service, and that he couldn't come. So then I start praying in my heart, we are on a bus and trying to figure out where the Lord needs us to be. I ask Him, and get this strong feeling to get off the bus. So we jump off the bus and start walking back to this place that I was feeling we needed to go. On the way over we were able to stop and teach this lady about the Love her Father in Heaven has for her. Then we kept walking after the teach, and for some reason this woman who is walking down to her apartment, catches my eye. I start to second-guess it, and then realize what I’m doing and tell Sisar Thayne we gotta go follow this lady. We are pretty behind at this point, but we pick up the pace, and then all of a sudden she turns down a corner and is out of sight. So now we ask ourselves the question of what do we need to do while we are here. We see this mom and two kids playing in the sand box, so we go over and ask for directions and start talking to them, so the 8 year old son is soooooo smart, he is talking about how he loves to ponder about things, and started talking about nuclear energy, and we started to talk about the church and he is really interested, and we give the Mom a book of Mormon and she is very touched by it, but doesn’t want to set anything up before she reads and thinks about it. Her son is really into it, and we hope that he too reads the Book of Mormon. While we were walking away, both Sisar Thayne and I get the strongest feeling that, that little 8year old boy is going to serve a mission when he is older. 

It’s so humbling to be a little part of this huge work. We have been trying every day to find ''the one'' for the day. The one we can help, the one we can lift, the one who is prepared, and it has been awesome to look back and point out each day the one that we were sent to serve and help. Though God must be pretty busy with the billions of people in the world. He is your Father. He loves you. He is also their Father. He has sent us, and called each one of us to find ''the one'' of the day. You can be an answer to some one's prayer today. How can you do it? Through prayer, and acting on the spirit, YOU can be and make the difference in someone’s day TODAY! You can help them feel loved, and remember their purpose. You will never regret it. Pray for courage, and then DO IT! Don’t think too much about it, just do it. It’s worth it.(=

Love you all, hope you are enjoying the summer just as much as we are!

(This quote Alayna included in one of her personal letters home:  

“There is no comfort in the growth zone and no growth in the comfort zone.” I think about this a lot!) 


Sisar Hubner

P: S. I was sitting on the couch during lunchtime waiting for my food, to warm up and Sisar Thayne tried to be funny and pretends to pour yogurt on my face. The only issue is that she tipped it too far and it actually landed all over my face and hair!!! Haha couldn’t get too mad because I would probably have accidently done the same thing. Sometimes our companionship is like Dumb and dumber, love this life!

P.P.S. These pictures are fresh from today! We decided to go to the Särkäniemi Tower, it was amazing! Love P-days!

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Week To Remember!

First off it was amazing to see my family yesterday! I love you guys so much, and Mom I hope you had a great mother's day!

So this weekend P. got baptized on Saturday and it was so amazing, He was so prepared, and had all these questions of what happens after baptism and when can he receive the Priesthood. It was amazing, it has been so great seeing him growing and learn, and test out this gospel, and listen to him talking to his Father in Heaven. It has been so humbling to really see the Lord's hand in all of this and for Him being gracious enough to let us play a little part in it. We sang as a group of missionaries Kasten Jälkeen, When I am baptized (I think that’s the name, the I love to look for rainbows one). The spirit was so strong and as we sang I saw P. with his girlfriend member holding hands, getting teary eyed. I was able to see a little bit of the future for them, and understand how a little better how this faith, repentance, and baptism, then onto the temple changing this life, and eternity forever. On Sunday he received the gift of the Holy Ghost and it was so great to hear the blessing of how much His Father loves him and has been mindful of P. his entire life. He was received into the ward with open arms and was so great to see him connect with the members better. 

I am kind of at a loss for words of how to explain how much joy that is in my heart right now. I have learned so much on this mission, and have been so humbled by every single experience, big or small that has happened. 

While talking to my dad right before we ended Skype he said when I asked for last works of advice. ''Don’t give up. When you get on that plane ride on the way back home, you figuratively hand over your mission to the Lord and say this is my sacrifice, and want to say, I did as best as I could.''

That is one thing I have promised to the Lord, no matter how hard, how discouraged, how sad, I get. I will never give up, I will keep falling, but I will keep getting back up, with the help of my Savior. Brightening my eyes and heart to having full hope and faith, and moving forward with more game plans. 

Speaking of Game plans, this next one we are working on getting the youth involved and excited it will be called ''Youth Explosion'' gotta get a wave, coming in, and brightening up this beautiful country! If you have any ideas, about it, or something cool your missionaries did in your area, or what you have done, send me a message and let me know. This is going to be EPIC.

I love you all, keep it real, and keep smiling; the Gospel is the good news. The Lord is on our side, what do we got to fear?

Love ya,

Sisar Hubner

P.S. gave a talk at P's baptism on the gift of the holy ghost, my president once explained in a very simple way that imagine your life is made into a movie, baptism represents editing out all the bad parts. But the thing is you are still the same character that could probably do those bad things again. That is why we need the gift of the Holy Ghost, which literally changes our character. Literally helps us open our eyes and see the way the Savior sees when we act on promptings, it changes us, to only desire to do good. That is why the Holy Ghost is THE most precious gift the Father can give us. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Pine Cone Wars and Bike Dancing

So much fun with my Sisar Thayne. So like I have said before we have this thing everyday called ''Err-bodies favorite time'', where we do something randomly fun to make sure we still got spirit and laughter and fun and we also remind ourselves that we really are still 19 year of girls, and let the happiness out.  This week after our amazing scavenger hunt, we were walking along a strange forest path to make it back home and I come up with this idea to pick up all the pine cones I can gather in about 3 nano seconds before Sisar Thayne realizes what i am doing, and start attacking her with pine cones. Needless to say we definitely had a pinecone war, in the middle of a forest, out side of our less-actives house in Tampere, Finland. Does life get much better? Or more fun? I'm not sure. 

The next day while trying to contact a potential investigator who said she wanted to come to church, turns out the address is bogus, and is actually this very interesting Punainen Risti Logistiksi keskus, stuck in the bottom of the only mountain/hill I have ever seen in Finland, very peculiar, because it is literally stuck into the rock face of this mountain mustavuori (black mountain) with all these video survellence, and there are dead squished frogs all over the ground. Very weird to say the least, and while we are biking down this huge hill, we start singing "another one bites the dust," and dancing on our bikes....If you have never tried bike dancing I highly recommend it, preferably in a place that not too many pedestrian are. Too fun, love this life.

Well it’s just been another good week to be in Tampere. Most of our investigators dropped us or we had to drop them, or they were Muslim and it turned out to not be a safe thing to teach them, so we have been doing the ten doors but in an exciting and more effective way.

Cool Story of the week, because we have been dropped or had to drop some investigators, we have been doing it in a different way to switch it up. We call it the scavenger hunt, because we are on a scavenger hunt in a specific area to find the few who the Lord has been preparing. The game is this; we have really no other clues to where these people could be except for through the Holy Ghost. So we have to make prayer a huge thing, or else it is just a guessing game. We broke up the ten doors and through praying always we were literally lead to 3 new investigators, and a couple of really solid potentials. This is in an area that we were about to stop going there as often because we never find anyone. There are 2 ways to not make missionary work as scary or stressful, 1. Turn into a robot (not effective, and usually discouraging) or 2. Turn it into a fun game and laugh when it gets awkward, and be grateful were in Finland. Worked like a charm! 

In church we have been learning a lot about gratitude. The Holy Ghost literally opened up my mind to understanding this concept better. Biggest thing that has been holding me back, my self and thinking negative thoughts. This is where Satan gets us the most. If he has us telling lies to ourselves, then he doesn't even have to do that much work to stop us from being the valiant servants we are. Negatives thoughts to myself such as, 'well I wasn't courageous enough yesterday so there is no way I will be today', 'should I talk to him/him? He'll probably ignore us', 'wow this bus is so empty, this woman will not be open to talking to me if I sit next to her, that’s too weird.' I have been realizing that although I'm not a downer type person, there are so many negative thoughts that are literally crippling my ability to work. When we train ourselves to think positively or even be a little more grateful to the small things, it literally opens our mind and eyes to see the whole picture and work better. 

Our investigator P. is progressing very well, it helps that he has a girlfriend who is a strong member. He just called us and told us that he went to church is Espoo so that he could visit the temple grounds and that he really wants to go in! This is the work we are doing, this Saturday he will enter the waters of baptism, and then in a couple of weeks he will be able to go to the temple and be a proxy for Baptisms in the Helsinki temple. He will then have the opportunity to feel the fullness of this gospel in the house of the Lord.
Also I hit my one-year mark as a missionary in one month! Wow times flying, and also sometimes crawls by slowly but, for the most part its crazy to think where I was last year at this time.
SNOW in May !!!!!!!!!!

Hyvää Vappua! Means Happy first of May, its a national holiday, and people get drunk like crazy and wear these funny party pants from their university, its a hard red day which means that if possible we are inside as much a we can. We had a Lu'au at the church led by one of the missionaries here and it was so fun and he taught the members how to Hula dance, and when we tried to get home we got stuck in the center because all the busses stopped, and let me just tell you, we heard the most amazing Native American music of my life, literally Sisar Thayne and I were entranced by it for about 10 minutes. Turns out the festival that happens in the center every year is run by this Native American group and they play music and sells clothes and bracelets, and food. It was incredible, so random but so fun, and I got a little surprise for my baby sisters, so Aria and Saige, get excited I was so excited when I bought it! 

Well I am very much out of time but I love you all, sorry if this email is all over the place but ya, The gospel is the good news, and as my Dad and Mom would say, its all about the Gratitude Attitude!
See ya soon Mom and Dad, for mother's day on Skype!

Sisar Hubner!
P.s. this is us after our pinecone fight!