Monday, July 28, 2014

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, 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

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