Monday, September 22, 2014

Autumn Leaves

Well another kiireinen (busy) week has gone by in this blessed land of Oulu. I love this place so much. It’s supposed to snow this week! So that will be exciting. I have been told it gets so cold in the winters here that you cant even ride bikes because the chain freezes, and you cant wear mascara because your eye lashes will freeze together! Yay! can’t wait for that, I want to endure a REAL Finnish winter before I go home.
This week we did splits with our Vaasa Sisaret Bitner and Pace. We just love them so much. They are such hard working sisters, and really just love all the people that they come across, such an inspiration to me! We reminisced about the things we all learned at the mission conference with Elder Bednar; I can tell that it already has been changing our lives. 
I was with Sisar Bitner for the day and we had the car and were able to visit some of the far out members and less actives. It was a lot of fun, and also get this (mom & dad please don’t be mad) I was driving and I had just told Sisar Bitner that it is my resolution to follow all of the traffic laws always, which means no speeding. It was such a confusing part on this highway with the speed limit changing from 60 to 80 back and forth and I was trying to figure out if it was 60 or 80 and I see the sign that says 80 and I'm going about 70 right now and then all of a sudden I just see this FLASH. Sis. Bitner told me that it was a speeding flash, turns out it didn’t turn 80 until after the flasher machine =(I was so mad!!!! They tricked me, so sorry mom and first speeding ticket, in Finland. The only day I ever drive the car......

Anyways, it was so cool that night we had an opportunity to teach our investigator at our ward mission leaders house and he just lit up their night. We were still focusing on the word of wisdom and he just had so many good questions and such real intent trying to figure out what is from the Lord. He also thanked us again for letting the Lord speak through us to tell him that he needs to pray more, every morning and every night, not just when things get hard. He said the more humbling heart felt prayer at the end. He is having a hard time with the idea of giving up coffee but he is will to try it once he finishes off his last packet! 
The next day we had Zone conference with President Watson. A lot was about tightening the screws strict obedience, and really just letting the Lord take over. I love our mission president so much and his wife is just so humble and we all just feel so much love from them! That night I got to spend contacting some potentials and former investigators with Sisar Bitner, and then the next morning a 3.34am wake up to catch a flight down to Helsinki for mission leadership conference. Breakfast at the Mission home with the Watson's. They are so great they just feel like my own grandparents. 

(This is the Sister Training Leaders outside of the Temple with our favorite Sisar Watson. (She gave us permission to call her Mama Watson!)
Fun fact our plane ride home got canceled that Friday night so we were able to sleepover at the Watson's house, and hear more stories about their life and their adorable family. I just love them to death!
P.S. Can you guess which sisters are in the North!? Definitely a climate change from the south of Finland!)

We then went to the Helsinki Temple for a session. WOW. I can never explain enough how amazing and peaceful the temple is, its like the second you step inside all the noises, thoughts, worries about times and deadlines, it all goes completely silent. You just feel like you stepped into Heaven and for the next couple hours you get the recharge, the fill up on the Holy Ghost, and love that you need to last you until the next time you go back to the temple. Just time with The Savior and my Heavenly Father, one on one time. I want to always be worthy to go to the temple. I received so much love and answered, calmness, and gratitude. For those who are reading this message, I hope you go to the temple as soon as possible, do whatever it takes to make arrangements, to get worthy, DO IT! It is the most worthwhile thing you could ever do in this life. The salvation of souls. I’m grateful to be a part. 

Mission leadership conference was just amazing as always, we watched this video from the Mission Presidents seminar this summer Elder Uchtdorf spoke. I was in tears at the end it was so powerful, He used and expounded on scriptures from Christ’s life that just opened my view to understanding my Savior better. His example, the impact He had on those around Him. Hearing Elder Uchtdorf's loving testimony of his Redeemer, I just felt completely full of this blissful joy that comes from learning about our Savior. I am focusing all my studies, my general conference questions on Understanding the impact physically, emotional, and spiritually my Savior’s atonement has on me, and how to grasp it better so that I can help my friends understand and FEEL it. I invite you all to take time this week to ponder Who Jesus Christ really was, and how He served. One of my favorite stories is Jairus' daughter in the gospel of Mark, and also Mary at the Tomb.
I’m about out of time! But I know that my Redeemer lives, what comfort this sweet sentence gives.
My heart is so full of gratitude. Just know I love you.
Take care little friends (=

Sisar Alayna Hübner
At mission conference we got a picture of our old MTC group together. So great to see 'em all :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

An Apostle of the Lord

Wow. Is all I can say for this week! So amazing 3 hours with an apostle of our Lord and Savior and it was magnificent. So much planning and preparing to get the chapel immaculate, little details of everything, perfection for the messenger of the Lord. As a mission we have been praying and preparing, being exactly obedient to invite the spirit in, reading the talks that he sent us to read and prepare. I know how much each of us has been praying; we know that especially with Elder Bednar he only teaches by the spirit. If the people he is with are not ready or prepared, he can’t teach them. Its how the Holy Ghost works. We were trying so hard to show to the Lord that we really valued that He was sending His own to Finland to teach us. 
We met in the Haaga chapel in Helsinki. One hour of studying, waiting for him. The whole mission of Finland was in one chapel. Elder Bednar, his wife, Elder Kearon, his wife, Elder Joutunus (Tampere member of the 70) our mission president, and wife, and Tampere stake president and wife all enter. 
We sing together Hope of Israel. The spirit so strong, you can almost touch it. So much joy in my soul I can barely contain it. An apostle of the Lord is here and ready to teach us. This is way better than Christmas or any other holiday. While singing this beautiful song, tears start streaming down my face, so much happiness, so much peace, I could never fully explain that feeling. I look up and make eye contact with Sisar Kearon and she smiles at me, the most beautiful smile I have ever seen. She just seems to be glowing and for a second I can see into eternity, for the person she will become. This was life changing. He is my role model. I will never forget this. 
Other people spoke and finally Bednar gets up. It turns out that their youngest son served in Finland on his mission. They said they know how hard this mission is. The first thing Elder Bednar says to us is “Thank you for your preparation.” You know you all have studied, worked, and prayed hard for this. You are now ready to be edified and taught by the spirit. Thank you. And we were ready to be taught. Instead of just talking at us, it was a question and answer, both ways, a discussion with the Apostle. So many of the questions I had and didn’t even realize it, was answered. Every person in that room was a participant. I was able to ask and talk to him directly as he asked a question. He looked and me and smiled when I explained one of the biggest things that I had learned from his talk was that we can’t learn in behalf of our friends and investigators. We can show them the way, but we cannot do it for them. He looked at me and said, "well done" and then said a couple more things. This whole mission conference was amazing. The big elements were ask in faith, and act. Become agents to act not objects asking the Lord to do it for you. Ask with real intent to see who you really are and the Spirit will show you, it will be brutal but it will humble us and give us things to work on. Little by little, line upon line we need to work on it, individually with our Savior, and then string all the things together each week, each day. We will continue down the road of conversion. To not beat our selves up about what we are or are not doing. He said that we must continue praying and work as hard as we can. He evoked an apostolic blessing in the end and prayed that we would delight in repentance. That is the key to the gospel.
I will never forget that day. I want to let it change me, my whole soul, my desires, and my heart. I want to align my heart with the will of the Father. It was amazing to be with so many other missionaries that have such faith, such hope, such obedience. 
Also another amazing thing that happened this week the Lord achieved a goal for us that we have had since last transfer. A couple MLCs ago, the APs asked us if we would set a goal to get 5 investigators at church, to show other missionaries, give them hope that it is possible! Well for almost 2 months straight that has been where our sights have been. Finally this last Sunday, we had a musical number in church with out recent convert and pulled out all the stops to get all of our investigators and people around us to come. Yesterday in church we had 6 investigators at church! It was actually a lot to organize, but IT HAPPENED!! The Lord just showed His finger of how easy this is for Him! Again, it was another humbling experience. 

When President Rawlings was here there was a big focus of what to do for the first 10 days of investigation. We have still be really focusing on it, and getting members there for whenever possible and organizing it before hand. It was so great to see that by the end of the week we had had 11 teaches with members present. We have two friends with baptismal dates and they are so amazing, such sincere questions, and really searching, keeping commitments, and doing their part. I have never seen such prepared and willing to work people with real intent before in my mission than the ones we are teaching. I know the Lord has everything to do with this!

Love you all!

Sisar Hübner

Blue berry picking and my favorite Finnish flowers!

Here is a flower for you mommy!

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Light of the World

I just wanted to share basically my journal entry, I think it sums it up (= shout out also to my big sisters Tasha for welcoming in the cutest addition to the Hubner family! Violet Rae Johnson! So Precious! Also shout out to Abby Diaz! Thanks for the letter! I literally was so excited I cried when I read it! Hahaha ya basically have turned into a baby these days, (=

 ''The spirit of God like a fire is burning. The Latter-day glory begins to come forth.''
How can I even write a tenth of the joy I am feeling in my soul. I keep wanting to cling onto this moment of feeling just sure bliss thinking it will some how end when this moment is gone, just to find out the next moment is even greater, if not better <3 I almost feel as if my joy is full, or at least getting close. Today we (p-day) watched THE LEGACY while making applesauce from the many apples we picked with Sisar J. Wow, how I have gained this immense love for the pioneers and the legacy that they have left us! Back to the apples, YUMMM!  Welcome autumn, its a beautiful crisp autumn outside with changing colors. But it’s not the awesome weather that has caused a change in me. It’s my faith in Christ that is rising to the next level, the increased nälkä (hunger) to feel of His love and share it.
It started with district meeting - the call to raise our sights and tap into the Atonement. It started with district conference with President Kearon and his example of loving life stress free; the looking for opportunities, desiring, loving the little service in each moment; playing with a members daughter and the random Finnish berries while her dad fixed Sisar Lund’s bike; the prayers asking my Father for humility to understand it and incorporate it; the search to understand the atonement. The feeling I get while watching #BecauseofHim and He is Risen
I know it’s true because when I watch it and read about it I feel weightless, I feel this light rush through me to my fingertips and toes. I feel a change of heart, the desire to do better, craving ways to keep more commandments because I know how liberating it feels.

We had fast Sunday yesterday - praying for understanding of humility, of the Atonement, for our investigators C. and J. to understand and feel the Love and power of Heavenly Father. The enabling atonement. We made a train of biking with a member to pick up all our investigators for church. Sacrament meeting, our member testified about when his friends came over and we taught them and how powerful the spirit was, keeping the promises we already made to our God.
Our investigator came to a dinner appointment with members and I will never forget the smile of pure happiness on his face as he felt the spirit. Late talks with Sisar Lund about our Savior. Helping our recent convert understand the next level of the atonement!  I will forever be grateful for Finland, for this mission, for the GOSPEL.

Sisar Alayna Hubner

P.S.  I’m a MISSIONARY IN FINLAND!! Oulu, the most north sisters go, and on Thursday we fly down to HELSINKI(!) to stay at our MISSION PRESIDENTS HOUSE; and the next day we have a mission conference with ELDER BEDNAR!! Wow like seriously, I think I have died and gone to heaven!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Who’s Up For Round #2?

Drummmmm Roll please............change calls came and luckily for us! Sisar Lund and I will be staying in Oulu for another change, and then Sisar Lund will go home at the end of the transfer and I will be following close after with one more transfer! As my great Mama Hubner would say, ‘‘we are rounding the corner of the 400 and hitting the last 100, its sprint time'' ---love that woman!
As proof that summer is slowly fading I attached a picture of the first auburn leave! 
Syyksys on tulossa (autumn in coming). I am literally so excited to be here in Oulu for at least another transfer. This place is amazing! Words can’t describe how much I love it!
This week we went to the YSA family home evening and our investigator didn’t show up. So instead of just hanging out with the YSA we decided to go back out, hit the streets and find the one the Lord was preparing that day. We stopped a few people, and no one was picking up what we were putting down (aka our testimonies), but then we stopped this one guy and started talking and from his body language he was super down, and we started talking and he just by the end of the conversation, was standing up taller, looking us in the eyes, and SMILING! It was amazing, he has studied Judaism for a while, and was a former Jehovah’s Witness 10 years ago but divorced from the church. At the end we had given him a Book of Mormon and he was so touched, and we had a church tour set up for the next day. He shook our hand, and said 'hmmm God works in mysterious ways doesn’t He?'' with joy in his voice. 
Well let me tell you, this guy J. that one mentioned above, we have met now just in this week alone 5 times, he has a baptismal date that he is working towards, and he came to church!! Which just so happened to be District conference (like stake conference but we are too small up north that we don’t have a stake, so the members from the cities of Rovaniemi, Kemi, Oulu, and Kajaani all came) and we were able to hear from President Kearon, from England, a member of the 70, and man, he is just so amazing, so much joy and no worry, this man is truly a man of God. But J. just loved it and was just so uplifted and the members just welcomed him with open arms! Also our new member M. was surprised asked from the pulpit to come up and bare his testimony! Man, he is such a champion, just such a pure heart. 

Have I mentioned how much I love the members here? They are really just the greatest, I hope to come back and live here one day! Who knows, maybe I will? But for now I just feel so privileged to be working with these amazing people and learning from their examples! In 2 weeks, Elder Bednar is coming to Finland and we are having a mission conference. We are all so excited and praying to be ready, and reading some of his past talks on faith, and working hard to be edified when we all go down to Helsinki. 

Our beautiful Oulu sisaret, they are both being moved and two new elders will be coming in, in their place )= there aren’t enough sisters anymore to fill those spots. Sad day we will miss them a lot!