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
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!!! :)|