Well, I can’t believe that the time has finally come… I will be flying back to America on Thursday! Time on a mission just flies by so stinkin’ fast. Especially this past week. It is very bitter sweet leaving home to go BACK home. But I am excited. I have loved every single second of my mission. I have learned more than I ever thought I COULD learn, and I have become a better disciple of Jesus Christ each day. I can honestly say these past 19 months have been the best of my life so far. BUT, I know that they won’t be the best 19 months of my LIFE. If Heavenly Father meant for our missions to be the highlight of our lives, He would call everyone to a mission for 45+ years!! If any of you out there are considering serving a mission, let me promise you: you will NEVER regret it. I will not lie, missions are very hard, but the joy and the service you give makes it all worth it. And even no matter how hard it gets, the Savior always is right there helping along the way. I know that Jesus is the Christ. That is He truly is our Savior and Redeemer. He loves us immensely, and He wants each of us to live a life full of happiness and joy. I know that the only way to actually do that is by living His gospel. By trusting in Him, repenting daily, by enjoying the promises you make when you go to baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and then by doing those things throughout our time on Earth. I testify that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is Jesus Christ’s only true church. That it was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ truly appeared to the boy Joseph and answered his sincere prayer. And I know that we also can receive answers to our prayers by living righteously and studying the word of God. The Book of Mormon is true. It testifies of Jesus Christ and supports the Bible. I have felt so much peace on my mission through reading the Book of Mormon, I am thankful for it.
Thanks to everyone for the support and prayers!
I understand I am not the best at writing emails, but hey, now you can ask what actually happened on my mission in PERSON. See you all soon!
oh yeah the phrase in the subject line is one of my favorites in Finnish! It means SO many different things
Let it burn
Go for it
Bring it on
All I think could be somewhat applicable to the situation hahaha
My homecoming address will be on Sunday December 17 at 11am.
The address is:
5565 South Neighbor LaneSALT LAKE CITY, Utah 84117-7531
It’s that time of the year when pictures look like they are in the black and white filter, except for this cute pink house
I hope everybody had a wonderful Thanksgiving. In Finland they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but us missionaries organized a Thanksgiving feast that we invited our investigators and members to. We had a zone conference earlier that day so the Sisters from Vaasa also got to be there with us!! We were a bit worried that no one would come and that there would be no food, but about 30 people came and there was LOTS of food. A member family even brought their friends who are not members, it was good to be able to talk with them and get to know them in a non threatening situation. At one point we all gathered together and said what we were thankful for. There is a really nice, special feeling that comes with sharing gratitude. There are so many things to be thankful for. God has blessed each of us with an INNUMERABLE amount of blessings, but the thing I am thankful for most of all my Savior Jesus Christ. And I am thankful that I have been able to grow such a strong relationship with him since I have been on my mission.
The day after Thanksgiving, the new LIGHTtheWORLD initiate started!! AHHHHHH everyone go watch the video right now!! mormon.org or if you want to watch it in Finnish hehe joulu.mormon.org. DO IT!!
We thought we would try a new finding technique last night…. HAHAHA oooh dear. We had some extra cookies from a Meet the Mormons movie night we had at the church so we decided we would go walk around the center and try to give them out to people. us: "Hei do you want a cookie??" everyone: "en". And then they walk away. We were just busting up laughing, mostly because we have realized how unphased we are now by uncomfortable situations. BUT we did end up giving some away. We gave one to a lady from Australia and she asked why we were do this. We told her that we had extra cookies from a movie night our church put on. That we wtched Meet the Mormons all together. "Oh no way!! I have seen that movie!" "WOW! Really?? It is super good!" "Oh wait no no that was Meet the Morgans." Hahaha we were really excited about it for about 15 seconds!! One thing I have learned while being on my mission is how important it is to really get to know people. That is what motivates us as missionaries to talk to people. Sometimes it is really scary to just go start a conversation with a random person on the street, but once you engage in conversation they become so interesting and you can feel the love God has for them. AMAZING!!
Next week my P-day is on a Monday, it will be my last p-day before returning home!
Sorry I was the worst and didn’t take many pictures this week.
Taken a year ago, but it is still pretty
Year ago, but still pretty 😉 hehe
Someone brought this MASSIVE kebab pizza to thanksgiving!!
It is preparation day once again, and I am amazed that weeks can pass by in what seems like 2 seconds. We had a verrry busy week!! We traveled a TON. This past week we have been in Vaasa, Seinäjoki, Kuopi, Mikkeli, Tampere and Oulu. Needless to say we are quite tired!
We had exchanges with the Vaasa sisters and it was so much fun! We went and sang at an old folks home and it was great to see some smiles it brought to their faces. Sister Olsen and Sister Brinton are just doing SO well and I was able to learn a lot from their great examples of what it means to be a hard working, never giving up missionary.
Zone Conference (Kuopio/Mikkeli/Tampere)-
So now that we are also the East Zone Sister training leaders we went to their zone conference yesterday, but because Oulu is SO far from Mikkeli(where zone conf is held) our travel plans were WHACK. On Sunday night we got into Kuopio at 10 and then we slept there and woke up at 4 to get to our train that left to Mikkeli at 5:30. And we safely made it to zone conference! Zone conference is always super fun and you learn a lot. Sister Holbrook and I lead a 25 minute discussion about the area book and how important it really is, we think it went well! After zone conference we road tripped it with one of the senior missionaries from Mikkeli to Tampere. And the BIGGEST tender mercy occured. We drove through Lahti!! Lahti is the area I served in before Oulu and has a big place in my heart. I was a bit sad that I wouldn’t be able to be there again before I left from Finland, BUT we drove right through and I was able to see the train station and my old apartment and a few other random little places I have memories of. I was glued to that car window and may have even shed some tears. I really know that Heavenly Father blessed us with these weird travel plans so I would be able to see it again. Once we arrived in Tampere we took a night train up to Oulu and we got to Oulu this morning at 4:30!!
The other day Sister Holbrook and I were teaching our investigator from China. She is super cute and bought us herbal to drink at her house because she knows we don’t drink coffee. But we had one of the best lessons ever with her. At the beginning of the lesson she was really stressed out and nervous for an interview she had coming up. She has a bit of a stutter when she speaks and when she gets anxious it gets a lot worse, but as we were teaching we noticed that she had calmed down. And her stutter was hardly there at all. We asked how she felt and she said peaceful, that she always feels peace when we come over, but that when we leave, the peace also leaves. We were able to teach about the Holy ghost and the gift of the Holy ghost and how peace is a way He tells us things and is a way Heavenly Father answers prayers. I also felt really peaceful in that lesson and I was SO happy during it. I really do know that teaching truth invites the Holy Ghost. I also know that the Adversary is real and that he does everything he can to get us off the right path. And that is exactly what happened with our investigator. The day after our powerful powerful lesson she texted us and told us that she doesn’t want to meet or learn anymore. It was quite heartbreaking to know that she was SO close to really recognizing that what we teach is truth. but I know that Heavenly Father doesn’t give up on people and He will keep trying to help her find the way. 🙂
Oh yeah, I have been a missionary for 18 MONTHS. that is pretty insane to me. We celebrated with some pineapple and did some more hard work!
There is some light festival going on in Oulu and they made this building look like a gingerbread house
You think I would be better at budgeting email considering I have done this for 18 months, but oh well!
This week was yet another AMAZING week. My testimony has truly deepened this week about of the Book of Mormon. I know that it is true and that is truly is from god to help us in these crazy times.
the primary Program was last week and holy cow, CUTE.
We found a Water Tower!!
Cleaning out the shower drain YUCK
Trying to fit a table in a car with also people is quite the endeavor, but we did it.
Mainittu table. We did a new finding activity when the Kuopio sisters were here for exchanges. We SANG in the center. It took a lot of courage but the smiles it brought to peoples faces really made it worth it. Someone even tried to give us money hahaha of course we didn’t accept.
Oh yeah I forgot to mention that a less active member tried to teach us to knit socks the other day….. it did not go well. Turns out I am not the best with my hands hahaha. I guess it didn’t help that she was explaining everyting in Finnish. At one point I thought I got it but then she looked at it, took it from me and said “Mitä sä oot tehnyt??” (what have you DONE??”) And then that was the end of our knitting lesson hahaha next time next time.
read your scriptures love you all have a great week
Here is Oulu it has been warming up a bit from last week! At one point it got to -15c but now it is at a much more reasonable temperature for November about 3c. HAHHAAH so last week it was very difficult washing the car. yes– even when it is below freezing we need to wash the car. So we took some nice warm soapy water and started to scrub it down. I learned something new that day, that bubbles FREEZE. Hahah it was a catastrophe trying to get the frozen bubbles off the car without the other water also freezing onto the car. I think that our car ended up looking worse after we washed it than before. Luckily today it is not so cold.
We had missionary leadership council this week in Espoo and so we were able to visit the temple. I am really thankful that I have been able to attend the temple so much on my mission. I have been able to go every single transfer except for 1! While I was in the temple I was able to see a member from my rakas Lahti ward (the place I served before Oulu) It was a tender mercy for me. I was able to ask her all about how the people in Lahti are doing. She told me the man Sister Cimbaraite and I found and taught will be baptized in a few weeks!! That was great news to hear, I remember when we first met with him, he didn’t say a word all lesson. We would ask him a question and then there would be about 1 minute of silence before we just started teaching again. But by the time I left he had opened up SO much. Sometimes our lessons would even go over time because he would talk so much. The gospel really does change people. It makes people happier and gives people hope. The member in Lahti also told me that the older woman sister Cimbaraite and I taught and baptized was very very sick and has been in the hospital for awhile. She is 87 years old now! She may not have too much time left and that at times is really hard for me, but I have become very thankful that we were able to teach her the gospel before she was not in well enough condition to do so.
We have been trying to teach someone English. ENGLISH IS SO HARD. I think the hard part is teaching someone not roll their r’s. It is near impossible. Also the word "wasps" is VERY hard for non englsih speakers to say. HAhaha once you say it a few times it just sounds so funny.
This past week it was Pyhäin Päivä. Everyone goes to the cemetary and puts candles on the graves of their loved ones. Sister Holbrook and I decided to try and be creative with our finding and went to the cemetary that night and just went round and talked to people about what Pyhäin Päivä was and why is was important. it was really nice to just get into some conversations with people. At one point we were talking to this woman and 2 other people wanted to just join in on our conversation!
I have been thinking about President Monson’s quote "Whom the Lord calls. He qualifies." a lot lately. I truly do know that this quote is 100 percent correct. I have been thinking a lot about what kind of missionary I was at the MTC and now. And the truth is I myself I am not anymore qualified to be a missionary now, than when I was at home filling out my papers. I am still not prepared to do all the things that missionaries need to do each day, but somehow it just works out. It reminds me of a statement in Preach my Gospel that says "Remember that your confidence and faith should be in Jesus Christ, not in yourself." When I have kept this in mind it has been much easier for me to put my fears away and just go do missionary work. It is still scary everytime I need to go start conversations on the street and often times I don’t feel confident in that. But I have learned on my mission that the only thing I need to be confident in is the Lord. And then things will work out! And this can apply to anything! Not just missions but church callings and facing trials as well! I am so thankful for my mission and the things I am learning from it!!
Love you all so much!!
The yellow church!
"quick make the face of your pumpkin for the picture"
We are way lucky this year to have Halloween on a preparation day! Sister Holbrook and I are planning to carve some pumpkins if we can find any.
Well, winter has definitely hit us up here in Oulu. RIght now it is about -9 c, I am not sure how cold that is in F but it is pretty cold! But the best part about it being so cold is that the snow that fell isn’t going away anytime soon. It gets dark around 5pm already, so it is super nice that we have some snow to brighten things up.
This past Sunday we got to church and NO ONE was there. We thought that it was maybe because we were about 30 minutes early, or because it had been snowing and everyone was running a little late because of that. So we waited and waited and finally we decided to call the elders to see if they knew anything that we didn’t. “Hey, do we have church today?” “Of course, why wouldn’t we?” “Where is everybody, then??” “Ohhhhh did you get the text last night?” “”No, what text?” “It’s daylight savings.” NOOOO we were devastated. We had been looking forward to daylight savings for oh so long, because it would mean that we would get an extra hour of sleep. So we woke up at 5:30 that morning… And we were out knocking doors at 9… Hopefully the people we talked to that morning REALLY needed the message at that time!
This week I have been focusing a lot on “Remembering”. Many times in the scriptures we read that we must remember how merciful the Lord hath been to His children. Or that the people had forgotten the Lord and fell into apostasy and sin. Remembering what the Lord has done will get us through those hard times when we feel as if the Lord has forgotten about us (He never does, but sometimes it can feel like it!). Take some time to remember all the blessings the Lord has blessed you with, and then write them down so that you will always be able to remember them.
One thing I have thought and remembered about this week is that the Lord has answered so many of my prayers. No matter how big or how little they may seem, He always answers them!
Well, I wish you all a great week!!
1. The picture behind each of sister holbrooks selfies hahahah 2. Tracting! Sometimes a nice break on the parveke is necessary 3. 1st snow = 1st snowball fight
4. Finnish winters are so pretty!
5. waiting for the car to defrost
6. oooo SPOOKY
Happy birthday to the best companion Sister Holbrook!
We had tons of fun yesterday!
-I made pannukakku and stuck a homemade candle in it for her
-Visited a less active member
-Ate at Hesburger!
-Followed by a creepy man at the library!
-a member brought us dinner to the church ❤
-ate icecream and hot juice at our investigators house!
Can’t believe another week has passed. It needs to slow down a little bit. The days are getting shorter and shorter and colder and colder. BUT that means Sister Holbrook and I are so much closer to seeing the Northern Lights. We were told by a member that they usually become visible in November or December. Everyone pray that we get to see them! Besides things being colder nothing much has changed. With it being a busy time for students it has been hard to meet with our investigators (because they are all students) BUT that means that we have had more time to talk to people! Yesterday when we were out contacting I told basically everyone we met that it was Sister Holbrook’s birthday and they were SO nice to us after that! I wish it was her birthday everyday!!
Well- that is about all I have the time for. But I will leave you with a scripture that has been on my mind a lot lately.
2 Nephi 22
2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also has become my salvation.
3 Therefore, with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
LOVE YOU ALL! Sisar wilson
When you realize there is bacon on it
My Pan meeting service project!
oct 20– first snow
We carried this almost overflowing bowl of soup home in a moving vehicle. talent