I can’t believe that preparation day is already here once again. my oh MY time flies by.
well another very interesting/fun/busy week has passed!! Here are some of the highlights for this week:
teaching a lesson to someone who does not know english or finnish. He called a friend and we spoke finnish to his friend and then his friend translated to back to him in his native language. Hearing that many languages going around was so confusing to mine and Sister Holbrook’s head that we had to reward ourselves with some icecream (we tend to do that a lot hehe)
exchanges in KUOPIO! It takes about 5 hours to get to Kuopio from oulu so we had lots of fun traveling and studying on the way there. The sisters in kuopio are AMAZING and they are doing such good work. Also kuopio is drop dead gorgeous, at one point in the day we had a lesson that we needed to drive to and to get there we drove through hills and lakes and forrests and finally over a bridge to get to an island. I probably said, "This is BEAUTIFUL" like 70x or more.
We had an interesting experience on the way home from kuopio. So we got to our train and gave the conductor our tickets and he said that they had been cancelled. :O so we tried to use our cards and NONE of them were working. The conductor was going to throw us off at the next stop!! But then he had an idea. He said you have mormon friends (elders) in kajaani right? (a stop an hour away) You could have them buy you a ticket and then when we get to Kajaani they could hurry and give it to you! WOW what a great idea mr conductor! So we called the kajaani elders and all was well and they came and saved us with valid tickets. I was really touched that the train conductor would even know that there are missionaries in Kajaani. It really testified to me that talking to people on the street talking the church really does make an impact on them. The conductor really must have trusted the "mormons" to let us ride the train for so long without a ticket. We are glad it all worked out though, we thought we would be stranded some random place in Finland.
Sister HOlbrook and I had this idea to start a finnish class and a sports night to help us find young single adults to teach. So last week we planned it all out and also invited the elders to join us. We made fliers and hung them in student housing and called many potential investigators and invited them. And.. IT WAS A SUCESS! We weren’t really expected anyone to come but people came and it was so so much fun! We had some one from the netherlands, poland, czech republic, kenya, nepal and america! And then after the calss we all played American football together out on a field by the church and it was SO FUN. It really opened my eyes that there are so many different ways to find people to teach. Although now we are very very sore because we haven’t played sports in a long long time.
Yesterday we had quite a long day. District meeting, then straight to a lesson, and then to another lesson. So really not too busy but district meeting is at 3 and we forgot we had to eat dinner… So we went 7 hours without eating anything. But hey we found a new investigator which is way better than dinner anyways.
Yep so Sister HOlbrook and I are EXHAUSTED. BUT it is all for a good cause and we are very thankful for 9:30 optional bedtime and also for power naps during dinner sometimes.
WOW what a week!! Sister Holbrook and I have never been so tired in our lives! The week started with that 5 hour meeting we had to lead to train District Leaders. It went really welll actually! We talked about exchanges, district meetings, how to resolves issues and concerns, roleplays, baptismal interviews, and many other things. It was quite the party! But it was great and I learned a lot about how to lead discussions, I was so nervous!!
This week we had a lesson with a couple who have 6 week old twins. the Spririt in that lesson was so strong. We got to testify that their two little girls were just with Heavenly Father and that Heavenly Father sent them to them to learn and grow. The reverence in the lesson was quite amazing. I really do know that we ARE God’s children, He loves us so so much and He really wants us to be happy here on earth. I am thankful that He sent us here in families so that we get the chance to learn and grow and have also the chance to be able to love like He loves.
Our investigator was BAPTIZED!! the service was great and my testimony has really grown a lot in the fact that this is the Lord’s work. Nothing could happen in missionary work without his help.
We also go tto attend a self reliance devotional. If you get a chance– look up the self reliance video where the pig tries to get the cookies. Actual tears of laughter streamed down my cheek. I think being away from entertainment for so long really opened up my entertainability if that is a word.
WELL I love you!! School is starting soon, WORK HARD!!
xoxo Sisar Wilson
Sometimes micky dees is a must. that cup looks like it is straight from heaven, eikö niin?
Strawberries here are amazing, american strawberries dont even compare
planning for the District Leader training, God graced us with a wonderful sunset 🙂 10:15pm
Sister Holbrook and I matched all week on accident hahaha but at the Training!
After the baptism when we had so much to clean up but we just had to sit down to catch our breath
Okay I think I am just the very luckiest sister in Finland, I am always SO BLESSED with the very best companions! Sister Holbrook and I are having so much fun together. She is from Provo Utah and we actually met eachother once before we went on missions! She is in the MTC group one behind me. We are having a ton of fun talking to people and exploring Oulu a bit more. We wanted to go to the center on one of the first nights we had together but we had no idea how to get there… So we started walking in the way we thought it was and we asked a man on the street just in case we were going the wrong way, we were haha! And then he walked us all the way to the center which was like a 20 minute walk! We got to talk about why were here in Finland and about how the gospel of Jesus Christ could help him in his life. He ended up taking a book and said he would read it. I am always so amazed at how genuine the Finnish people are, they really truly want to help others. That whole night was just MAGICAL! There are many times in my mission where I actually forget that I am in Europe, but being in the center with so many people and being by the harbor with an ice cream cone really reminded me that I am not in fact in the USA. That night was great for talking with people. I think that is my very favorite part about missionary work, talking to the people and getting to know them and love them even more. One man told us to tell ALL the people in America his greetings. Also we learned that "the only thing that is not bigger in Texas are the sidewalks". You can really learn a lot from people on the street!
This past week we went to Helsinki for mission leadership training and that is always so much fun! But we do lose a LOT of sleep. We go on a night train so when we are trying to sleep we are moving back and forth a lot and then we have to wake up super early, We were barely functioning in the meeting. But it was so much fun!! We were supposed to go back to Helsinki this week to train the district leaders but last night they changed and made it so every zone meets in the main city and then the just zone leaders and sister training leader train the district leaders. So on Thursday wish us luck!! It will be a 5 hour meeting with 5 elders and sister holbrook and I, scary!! But it will super great.
We have a busy week coming up with the baptism and everything. We are SOOO excited and the brother who is going to be baptized has such a strong testimony, it just flows out of him. Last night we visited an 82 year old member. I asked her what kind of advice she would give to us younguns. And she said she had nothing else to say except to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. That when we truly live the gospel, that we will be happy, and that life will be enjoyable. I add my testimony to hers that this gospel is the ONLY way. For us to be happy, for us to live with our families forever. For us to know our purpose here. And for us to be able to return to live with God again. I love the gospel SO much. Jesus Christ really is our Savior and our Brother. He really does love us individually. And "we love Him because He first loved us."
Well I hope everyone is enjoying their summer! I love you all!
well friday we got transfer calls!! I’ll be staying here in Oulu and Sister Holbrook will come from Jyväskylä to be my new companion! And then Sister Barrus will go to Jyväskylä to be companions with Sister Holbrook’s old companion! A little switcharoo haha. Sister Barrus and I are little sad to be leaving eachother BUT I am SO EXCITED!!! I can’t wait to do the work with Sister Holbrook!
I have been so impressed with one of our investigators lately. He loves the gospel SO MUCH. He is so dedicated and knows how important it is to him. So yesterday he had work at 6am. he has to bike 10k to get to work so he has to wake up at 5am to get there on time, then he worked until 10.30am, biked home, hopped in the shower, and then biked to church and got there at 11.15am, only 15 minutes late. He said he biked as fast as he could to get to church on time and was really sad to have missed the administration of the sacrament. Sometimes I think he understands the importance of the gospel better than I did when I left on my mission. He is planning on being baptized on August 12, everyone pray for him!
Well, I love you each. Never forget how important you are to Heavenly Father, even on those rough days.
The Vaasa sisters stay with us when we have Zone conferences, but then we also have to wake up super early to drop them off at the train station
After dropping them off we realized we still had 10 minutes before 6.30 so we naturally took advantage of that time and slept in the car
We had 3 fans and 3 old bike tires on our balcony, they were all broken so we took them away
we slept on the parveke eli the balcony,
this was taken at about 10.20pm so as you can imagine we slept with pillows over our faces to block the light. Also my arm looks like strange leg hahaha
So on July 19th a year ago my beloved companion, Sisar Barrus, and I had just gotten to Finland and we didn’t understand a lick of Finnish. SO MUCH HAS CHANGED! We understand Finnish now haha!! But something really special happened this Wednesday. We were just getting out of our car to go visit a member, and I was grabbing some Books of Mormons from out of the back seat, and when I stood up from out of the car I saw a man walking really fast towards me (he was exercising) so I just stopped him and started talking to him and he ended up taking a book and we set up an appointment with him for Saturday. Then he became and investigator and came to church the next day and lOOVED it. Then we had another appointment with him yesterday and towards the end of the lesson he apologized for interrupting and then said,"Haluan antaa kiitoksen teille. Miten te tiesitte puhua mulle?! Olin pohtimassa, olen POHtiNUT Jumalasta ja näistä asioista. Se on todella ihmeellinen. Annan vilpitömät kiitokset teille." (I want to give you thanks. HOw did you know to talk to me?? I was pondering, I HAVE pondered about God and about these things. It is so miraculous. I give sincere thanks to you) And then my heart just about erupted with the amount of pure joy it was experiencing. Heavenly Father knows His children. He REALLLY REAALLY does. And He will do all He can to help them come unto Him and unto His Son, Jesus Christ.
We also experienced the best dinner appointment I have had since coming here. To keep it brief I will say "many hotdogs, much potato salad, church parking lot, and an RV"
Weell, I hope you all have a fantastic week. Oh and my next p-day will be on Monday because of transfers
Things that distract us from proselyting:
District picture!! hahaha we look like giants compared to the elders
Sometimes i feel like I have traveled back in time while tracting
These are in black and white because the lighting was just so terrible
So many great things have happened this week! First up exchanges in Vaasa. I love the sisters serving in Vaasa so so much. The trip from Oulu to Vaasa is totally worth it for those sisters. (5 1/2 hours) And Vaasa is just amazingly beautiful. Well I mean wverywhere in Finland is. I just can’t get enough!! It is hard to believe that I have been in this beautiful country for an entire year!! And that I got to the MTC 14 months ago. Time really really flies when you enjoy every second of being in the service of the Lord. I am incredibly thankful for my mission and for the people I have served and met here. I will love these memories forever and ever!!
Yesterday was just the best thing in the world. We helped a former investgator, an 80 year old Finnish man, in his strawberry garden. We weeded and made the garden look really nice. He told us that while we were weeding that it was nesecary (sorry can never spell that word right) that we put the ripe strawberies "suoraan suuhun" STRAIGHT TO THE MOUTH! Hahaha I wasn’t mad about that at all!! I ate lots of strawberries yesterday and also probably lots of dirt and maybe a few bugs and it was the best!! I have really missed working out in the garden since being on my mission, so it was a nice activity for me yesterday. As I was weeding I was thinking a lot about how my mission has been a big weeding party for my self haha! I have been weeding out the natural man! Sometimes it is hard work to change and become better but it is so worth it and it bring forth so many blessings (and the very best strawberries).
Thank you to all who so lovingly support me! I pray for you all everyday!!
On the bus from Seinäjoki to Vaasa, I drool a little bit everytime I look at this. WOWZERS
Traditional mirror picture from exchanges
I love Sister Harris!!! And also thankful for the mailbox we found to help us take this picture
Sometimes you spend way too much time making a birthday card for a 4 year old but it turns out nice
After this week I can confidently say that I am a master at washing windows. Ladies and gentleman…… this week Sister Barrus and I have washed 56 windows. And 56 washed windows later, our arms are quite sore, but are also looking quite toned. We love washing windows!! It seems like most Finns wash their windows like once a year and they all choose to do it within one week of the year and they always call the missionaries to come help. It is so nice to be able to do some service for the members!! It has also been the perfect window washing temperature!! 68 degrees! Not too shabby for living just 100 miles from the Artic Circle!
Well, we met our new mission president and wife this week! They are so amazing!! They are Finns and so we can speak to them in either Finnish or English, whichever is more comfortable for us. But the mission President’s wife will always teach us in Finnish at Zone Conferences and things like that. It is so fun! I am really thankful to have them already. :))
One thing I have really been thinking about this week is focus points. We all have had many different focus points in our lives. Whatever we think about and spend our most time becomes a focus point. As we focus on things we notice those things more in our lives. Just as if you are looking to buy a new car, you start noticing that almost everyone driving on the freeway that week has the exact car you want to buy! Or when you learn a new word in Finnish and then you hear it alll over the place! (okay maybe that example applies just to me hehe) But the concept is the same, when we direct our attention on things, maybe even without realizing it, we recognize that thing in our lives so much more. If we are focused on the negative things, we will recognize all the negative in the world. If we focus ourselves on joy and positivity, we will see the good in the world! I know that when we actively focus ourselves on Christ, that all good things will come our way. I challenge you each to do that this week!
This week we were teaching one of our investigators the plan of salvation and he asked, how will the gospel help me and my spouse? We got to testify to him that through this plan and this gospel, families can be together FOREVER. And oh you should have seen his face! He BEAMED with light and joy. And he told us that this was an answer to his prayers. It was very tender and a gentle reminder to me of how important this work really is.
I hope you each had a GREAT WEEK!! Tomorrow we are headed to Vaasa, I am sure it is beautiful so stay tuned to get some great pictures next week.
cherries and snap peas make any summer a real summer
This is flag cake, happy fourth!
Sometimes you are getting ready for bed and you become a pirate arg
What a beautiful day it is in Finland on good ole’ America’s birthday. I must say the first outfits my companion and I put on this morning were quite the patriotic get-up, but we decided to key ourselves a bit down. But don’t you worry, we are still being very proud Americans while we are still here in Finland.
Well, this week has been a week chalk full of miracles. We started teaching two new people this week and they are sooo great. I don’t think I have ever taught such prepared people before on my mission. They are so ready to hear the gospel and they are so ready change. And one even has a family and the spouse will hopefully soon become interested as well.
I have been reflecting on my mission a lot lately, and I feel so privileged to be able to be in the service of the Lord. There really is nothing like it. I have never been so very happy in my whole life!! And one thing I have learned lately is that my mission will not be the spiritual high of my life, as children of God we are so blessed with the opportunity to always keep moving forward and keep progressing. That is something that I have really been thankful for lately.
This past Saturday was our mission president transition, I haven’t met our new President yet, but I am so excited to learn from he and his wife!
I love you each!!
We got to go to the temple last week, while we were in Helsinki for a meeting!!
We see views like these multiple times a day :-))
When you are contacting and you run into multiple lakes.. WE LOVE FINLAND!
In front of the temple with my cutest companion Sister Barrus
We had quite an interesting week. We only had about one day of work in our area in between preparation day, exchanges, and Juhannus. All were quite amazing days!!
Our one day in our area:
Heavenly Father really blessed us so much on this day. We worked SO HARD and recognized God’s hand in our life SO MUCH. Although we gained no new investigators, or even taught a lesson, we did all the small things that will really start to build up after time. I have really began to notice just how much the little things in missionary work matter. Without all these little things- like giving out pass along cards, asking for appointments, calling potential investigators, asking everyone for referrals, all the things Preach My Gospel tells us to do, there is NO WAY that there could ever be successful work done for the people who get baptized and then remain converted throughout their lives. The Lord works by small and simple means to bring to pass great miracles. It really is so true. So remember every time you open up your scriptures, kneel to pray or attend church, you are laying down foundations for miracles!
We went down south to Kuopio this week for exchanges! It is about a 5 hour train ride away so we have to stay there for 2 nights. But it was AMAZING!! First off, Kuopio is so gorgeous and quaint. And second off, I love our sisters who serve there! Sister Phipps and I had so much fun talking to LITERALLY everyone ( really literally everyone- we made some bikers almost crash and knocked on car windows and they all go to hear the message of the gospel! (which also by the way was on my missionary bucket list)) And then Sister Peterson and I were companions in the MTC so of course it was so great. We had A LOT of catching up to do!
A two day holiday here in Finland for the summer solstice. We aren’t allowed as misionaries to go outside and work on these days but it is quite drunk outside and perhaps a bit crazy. So we stayed inside and did some mega area book work and cleaned our apartment super clean. Maybe some of you don’t realize this but I haven’t seen darkness outside for probably more than 2 months. I am not really even sure if the sun actually sets now. We have really strong really good blackout curtains so that we are able to sleep at night.
Well- I love you each!! I gotta go wash the car in the pouring rain now :)) hahaha it is really quite a sight to see two sisters in dresses wash a car in the rainy weather.