Monday, July 28, 2014

Pear Ice Cream

Sometimes I forget that all of you aren’t here with me to experience the quirkiness of Finnish culture. Have I told you that they have pear flavored everything? Its incredible its one of my favorite things of all times, pear juice (yum), pear flavored rice porridge (yes!), pear ice cream (delicious), pear candy, pears in general, pear popsicles! The list never ends. Also another things about the Finns they are always very timely, usually 5-10 minutes early for everything, they don’t smile normally or talk on the streets to others, and so they are super surprised when we just say a smile hi. They love their summer cabins ''mökit'' they spend as much time there as possible. They are said to not be romantic people but very poetic people. They love dogs and cats, its insane. Finns normally speak English extremely fluently and are in general just smarter than the rest of us. They aren’t very open at first but once a Finn becomes your friend, it’s a friend for life. They also LOVEEE talking about the weather, and they just are so excited when the sun finally shines. Everyone deserts their jobs and homes and goes to there summer cabins by a beautiful lake for basically the whole summer. They take ''loma'' (vacation) very seriously. 



This is my personal opinion but the people in the North are incredible, and more open and friendly. I would definitely come back to Oulu to live here if I had the opportunity! It’s amazing!
Also recent realization is that I love AMERICA! Ahh we have run into a couple Americans and they are all so much more open and talkative and friendly, its super nice to be around those people after the Finnish solitude. Love that place (=

Well this week went faster than anything else. Due to some crazy things happening I have turned into an insomniac and it has been so hard for the beginning of this week I just spend sleepless nights, burning hot, tossing and turning, but I received a blessing from President Watson, and I have just been sleeping like a rock ever since. I love this gospel; I love the Priesthood and the literal power that comes from Jesus Christ. Power to take away fears, and build strength and love. Its so hard losing sleep as a missionary but seriously through obedience to still wake up and work out and do studies the Lord has given me extra strength throughout the whole week to stay awake and happy and teach our investigators with the Spirit. Never have I realized how much I really on this gospel for literally EVERYTHING. 
Also, happy pioneer day everyone. It’s amazing to think about how much the pioneers did just based off their strong Faith in Christ and the restoration of this gospel. It’s astounding. 
This week, our investigator took a surprise trip up to Rovaniemi to cut wood for his grandmother for the summer! Super sweet, so we taught him on the phone and felt good about putting his baptismal date to the 2nd of August. Our other investigator P. is this 18 yr old super shy guy that feels the spirit and has this surprisingly strong faith in God. We set a baptismal date with him as a goal and he had some questions about it. WE LOVE QUESTIONS! And we were able to explain just how simple and amazing baptism is, that it is a complete new start, the thing that we cant forgive ourselves for, the things that keep holding us back, those things that we were so proud of in our past. We repent, sincerely in kneeling prayer in private to our Father, and then He gives us this huge gift of erasing all the bad we have EVER done from our past. And we take upon ourselves the name of Christ which means we stand in His place whether people admire us for it or mock us for it, We bind ourselves to the Lord, and then on top of erasing the past sins, he gives us a new start and the Holy Ghost to help us feel more joy, more love, warn us from danger, helps us remember things that alone we forget, helps us learn and teach better, and changes our hearts to WANT to do good. 
All of that for free, because our Savior Jesus Christ already paid the price and all we have to do is come to Him and ask for help to overcome these challenges of life. 
I love this gospel, did I say that already (= man, and don’t even get me started on how amazing the Book of Mormon is!
This week we had mission leader conference and were able to go into the sacred Helsinki temple. It felt like a breath of fresh air! It was amazing. I want to go back there as soon as possible. The peace in there is out of this world...literally it’s from Heaven. 

M. our investigator is getting baptized this Saturday and literally the whole ward just adores him, he is so sincere, slightly goofy but amazing and really searching for truth. It has been a pleasure to see him grow and develop this big light of Christ inside and shines now through his eyes. 
Well I got to go but I love you and take care!

Sis. Hubner




Catching Fire

21 July 2014
Wow! Where to start. I have about 9 minutes to get it all together in one email doesn’t seem to fair or even possible. Miracles are happening. People in Oulu are catching the vision, the members hearts are opening, more hope in every corner. The Finns culture is changing; they are becoming more open, more willing, more interested in their Savior. Why now? Because the Lord says it’s time.

If you want to catch onto the excitement over here read DC 133, Isaiah 11, 2 Nephi 21. Too good to be true! I am literally so exhausted we are running, and biking all over the place, no time for breaks its crazy. We have to get our members equipped and ready to help or else we will run to the point of exhaustion. Our members are our life support! What is your vision for your ''area''? If you don’t know ask the Lord, because He sure knows.

We have seen members moving from all over Finland to come up to Oulu. This huge movement is starting from the North and working it ways down. We had our last traveling zone meeting for our own Oulu, the most northern District, and it has always been so powerful these meetings. Well this time, it was so weird, it was so awkward a lot of the missionaries were crabby from waking up super early, the spirit was restrained for a while and we kept wondering why. Finally Sis. Lund and I said something about the tangibility of the awkwardness and we pulled out chairs into a circle and BOOOM with a lot of prayers the spirit was super strong! There were a lot of prophecies of this area. The work is already moving here, its crazy. Kajaani one of the smallest cities that has had almost no new investigators just found 9 last week, and they all walked up to the missionaries asking them FIRST about the gospel. Ahhhh so exciting, the movement! Its happening.

So many miracles in our area, we had the feeling that our investigator M. who has been so solid, all the members love him, has been coming to church, reading the scriptures, coming to dinner appointment with us to the members, and he is literally giving them so much hope. We have been teaching him literally everyday. He is going to get baptized this weekend along with 2 others that the Lord told us He needed to be leaders here in Oulu. Please prayers for this area will make all the difference. It’s all in the Lords hands, and its up to us to be pure vessels that the Lord can work through, pure conductors!

So many miracle.... one we were rushing home we had no time to plan for the week, and we were debating just going home or contacting another to find our ''one'' for the day, I said, well the Lord will make it happen. Right then this guy on a bike is crossing the street we say hi and he literally scretches to a stop in the middle of the street, we teach hm set up a church tour(HE IS FROM RUSSIA), when we had it that Friday he even brought a friend, sadly the member ''forgot'' to come and we had to cancel the church tour because we didn’t have another member, it was a bummer. But we are hoping to get something else happening.
We had this cute mom invite us over, when we came her mom and brother were there and were interested in learning about the church! And asked if when we come back if it would be okay if more people came over too!! PEOPLE!!! This is Finland, this NEVER HAPPENS! The Lord is hastening HIS work!

Our new investigator is this most adorable shy guy around 18 yrs old, last year of high school, and he is literally drawn to the spirit, the ward just has welcomed him with open arms, and he feels the Love!! Its so cool to see him opening up bit by bit, we set a baptismal date with him and he was super excited to start reading the Book of Mormon! When we went to church with him he was even in a full out tux!!! It was the cutest thing ever, he felt bad he couldn’t find his dress shoes, but man! He loved church, he was so nervous but they just loved him to death and he was so surprised, the young men sat next to him, and introduced themselves! IT’S WAS AMAZING!!!

I love this work, I love you all! Invite for the week! Pray hard about giving a Book of Mormon away, practice it with the missionaries, and pray the whole week you will have an opportunity, and then carry that precious book with your testimony in it, 24/7 where ever you go. The Lord will give you an opportunity to share this amazing LIGHT!!!! Let me know how it goes

Stay gucci (=

Love

Sis. Hubner




Land of a Thousand Lakes

14 July 2014
Have I ever mentioned how breath-taking Finland is? Especially Oulu. If you weren’t here for the winter it would seems like Finland is a random northern tropical rainforest! Seriously its crazy. It has been so hot everyday, the sun never setting, mosquitoes, and brilliant lakes. I’m pretty sure I have died and gone to heaven. Not to mention Oulu is seriously the place of dreams! The members are incredible, they invite us over without us having to beg them to find time for us, and the BML asks what else they can to do help. They have fun activities to invite their friends to, and the people here in the North are actually nicer. When we stop to talk to them on the street they actually stop and talk back instead of straight up ignoring us! WOW, i'm in heaven (=
This week we went to Kuopio and did splits, it was so beautiful, Sisar Bunting (she was in my MTC group) and I were together for the day and it was so much fun talking to everyone on the streets and biking around contacting potential investigators and less-actives. We even went to Hanna Partanen bakery and had the best Riisi Pirakka, and also Mönkii (Finnish doughnut!) It was incredible. Sis. Bunting is so incredible organized it was inspiring and I got some really great idea on how to become a better planner. Sis. Bates the other missionary made homemade bread and it was to die for! So delicious! Also we stopped by this place Torikuja and found this home made Finnish bookshop. I need to buy another awesome looking journal and ended up finding this home made black Finnish journal made out of Lohi (salmon skin), is super duper cool. 

Awkward stories from Kuopio, I was riding down this hill behind sis. bunting and she says hi to this guys, which catches him off guard and while I’m passing him I go to say hi, open my mouth and this huge hiccup comes out, we both look at each other and bust out laughing, I apologize and jatkoin matka (continued my travel), then while we are passing this construction sight with chain link fences on both side I say hi to a decent looking man, who also get caught off guard and while he is looking at me I run into the chain link fence.......man, can't take this missionary anywhere, hahah! Can't even imagine how awkward I’m going to be after my mission. Yikes
We had our first traveling Zone meeting. We went down to Joensuu, and we had a testimony meeting about the future of Finland, role-plays on how to effectively plan, talking about expectations we had when we first got our mission call, and goals to achieve those expectations. It was so good, I learned so much from these missionaries. On the real, Finnish missionaries are some of the best people this world has to offer, I’m talking future lawyers, doctors, politicians, you name it, and they are all serving in Finland. I still have no idea, how I got so lucky to cross paths with some of these inspiring people. 
Our Investigator M. is progressing so well. We have been switching our teaching to using a lot of pictures, and object lessons. Honestly, I have no idea why we haven’t done this earlier, it makes more sense, its more simple, we don’t have to talk as much, and they GET IT. It just clicks, because this gospel makes sense, plus its more fun to teach. We met with him 4 times this week; the last lesson we taught was the gospel of Jesus Christ and repentance. Using Tupperware boxes to describe the steps to get to use and understanding the atonement of Jesus Christ. This again clicked. M. has started to love the Book of Mormon, he still doesn’t understand too much about Jesus Christ but slowly he is learning. He came to family night where we had a ton of people, members, investigators, less actives come and play vball at the beautiful Nallikari beach and have a picnic! He loved it, he came up with his own goal to read the book of Mormon everyday 5 pages, and he is saying his nightly prayers on his knees, even though he said it hurts his knees. He loves the musical number we did in sacrament meeting, and even brought two questions to church that he wrote down on the back of a old receipt and was looking for the answer during the whole 3 hours that he stayed. Then we had a dinner appointment with our member and M. and they shared their testimonies about Jesus Christ. It is so cool to see the change that has happened in M. every time we go over; there is something in his eyes that has changed. More light, more focus, more direction. More love. His baptismal date is 26.07.2012 please pray for him!
This gospel is real people, it changes lives. It feels so amazing to share it too!
Love you all, enjoy the summer 

Sis. Hubner


Monday, July 7, 2014

Splits and New Mission President

The days went by so fast this week, but at the end of the week it felt like last Monday was a month ago. Its crazy how that works. 
We did our first companion exchanges this week. I was with Sis. Bitner from Vaasa, she was in the same group as Sis. Pack, my baby who I trained. It was so cool to see how much she has grown and learned this language and just the love for this gospel. She is now training and her companion Sis. Pace has been enlightening us on all the new stuff that is being learned in the MTC (missionary training center) it’s so amazing, I felt like I was just there.... 10 month ago and the counsel has completely changed. It went from techniques on finding people who are searching for the gospel to complete focus on getting members ready for feeling excited to do this work, just being more open with their friends about the light that is in their life. 
Oulu Ward is amazing the members are very willing to help, and understand in what way to help the missionaries. We are working with this one family. They have 5 kids, and it was amazing to come in, they were all sitting ready with notes out, we showed them this video that has gotten us all excited about sharing this message on a daily, and we talked about goals to invite friends over to 3 weeks for a family night. A chiller way to feel the spirit and understand what this gospel looks like through a friend’s example.  Here is the video, it gave me some ideas on the person I want to become 

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2013-06-1031-ill-go-where-you-want-me-to-go?lang=eng
Our Investigator with a baptismal date came to church again, this time with a nice black button up and tie. We are working to help him understand and feel what Jesus Christ has done for him. Today for a P/day activity we are playing soccer with him. Wish me luck, I'm the worst at soccer but gotta give it a go right, at least for our investigator. 
On Friday we meet our new mission President Watson and his wife. Some times change is hard but I can tell they both already have a love for this gospel and really trust in the Lord. 
Funny thing this week. So we were biking super fast to try and make our bus at the center to our member’s house. So I'm speeding and I look back and Sis. Lund is nowhere in sight. So I jump off my bike, and see her walking towards me helmet in hand. Turns out her whole tire popped in a million spots. And I forgot the phone. So now we are stuck with a 20 min walk either way, so we decide to lock our bikes up to a tree, just as our investigator M. bikes past and started telling us of a story when his bike popped.....this point we not really listening to this random story, and then he tells us that our bikes will get stolen if we leave them there even though they are locked. So we awkwardly unlock pull them out of the bushes. Start walking our bikes home, stop and talk to this Moroccan man who is on Ramadan, and can't eat until 1am for like 30min while the sun isn’t in the sky........hard life to be in Oulu in the summer on Ramadan where the sun never sets, then we say hi to this old man on a bike who screeches to a stop and says no one ever says hi to him, he has to pinch himself. Which he then pinches himself on the cheek and at this point we are so confused>weirded out by what’s going on, so he keeps riding, we keep walking in a different direction, when we see this old woman riding her bike with a kid carrier, looks like a baby tent on wheels, and we look into this little tent on wheels and there is the most posh cat sitting on a mound of fluffy pillows being carried by his owner in his own carrier.......man it was so weird. Crazy day, ran into this group of extremely drunk people. Sad to see that when they do have time they all spend it completely wasted. They have so much potential. They are sons and daughters of a king and they don't even realize it. 

I love this gospel! It’s so awesome. This mission is amazing, it teaches things that I probably wouldn’t have had to face for another 30 years. Its incredible it has given me a 50 year head start to understanding life, the gospel, and the purpose for living, getting along with others and what pure love feels like. It’s humbling! This mission strips everything away from you except for your testimony and forces you to fully rely on the Lord. It’s incredible. The Lord knows what He is doing!
We set our visions for this transfer; we feel really strongly that there is a family prepared to accept this gospel. This morning as we were running to the church to do emails we ran into the cutest little family and were able to explain family home evening, and the purpose of this gospel. The mom was really receptive and said we could come over on Saturday. It was cool to see the little miracles that we have been praying for, to find those families, and pray to be sensitive enough to the spirit to follow it. 

Love you,

Sisar Hubner
P.s. sorry this comp doesn’t have a place to attach pictures, it’s a shame because I have some bomb awesome pictures of Oulu. It’s incredible!
Found the outlet for my card!!
 
Sis. Bitner and I on the fourth of July

Sis Lund my sweetest companion and I at MLC

Beautiful Oulu