Sunday, June 30, 2013

June 26, 2013 - First Official Email - KIRKKO ON TOTTA!

I have officially been in the MTC for over a week! And I love it! It's been really hard, but I love being here so much :). I love waking up every morning and putting my name tag on. It feels so amazing knowing that I carry Christ's name on me at all times. The spirit here is so strong. It's amazing how much love there is here. Everyone loves each other, the people they are preparing to serve, and the Lord.
The broadcast Sunday was amazing. (World Leadership Broadcast concerning missionary work - broadcast from the Marriot Center) The spirit was insanely strong there. When the apostles walked in, the whole place went silent and everyone stood up. I was overcome by love for these great men. And I know that they are called of God. I feel so lucky to be a missionary at this time! The work is hastening, and I get to be a part of it! I was so proud to stand there with my fellow missionaries and feel the strength and power that is with us. Afterwards, we walked from the Marriot center at BYU back to the West Campus where I live. I seriously felt like a celebrity! During the whole walk, everyone kept honking and waving at us. People came up to us and expressed their love for us missionaries and were so excited when I told them I was serving in Finland!
Finnish is ridiculous! Seriously, there is absolutely NO WAY that I will be able to learn this language on my own. Absolutely no way. The only way I will be able to is by the power of God. I have definitely been humbled and tried, but I'm soooo excited to become the person the Lord wants me to be! I love the people of Finland so much and I can't wait to show them God's love for them.
Tuesday all of us Finnish missionaries woke up at 3:45 am to travel to the airport so we could fly to LA to get our visas. Once we got there, we realized that the travel people had messed up so 8 of us were supposed to travel on Tuesday and 7 of us were to travel on Wednesday. Well guess what... I was one of the 7. So I had to get back on the bus (without my companion because she was in the group that went Tuesday) and go back to the MTC. I was tired, frustrated, and grumpy. But it's amazing how the Lord is all knowing. That night, we had a devotional in the Marriot Center with all of the missionaries and I really needed to be there and experience it. It was put on by Janice Kapp Perry, and it was AMAZING. Two of the other missionaries in my district, Sister Hubner and Sister Vincent and I joined the choir for the devotional and were on the screen while we sang. No big deal, I'm just kinda famous. Then Sister Perry gave an amazing devotional. She put a medley together of some of her primary songs and we all sang it. The spirit was unreal. It included songs like "I Love to See the Temple" and "I Belong To the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". It was amazing singing all of these primary songs that I love and realizing that they are so applicable to my life today. At the end of the meeting, we sang her new version of the EFY Medley. Instead of having "As Sisters in Zion" it has her new song "The Sisters in Zion". And we all end with "And we are NOW the Lord's missionaries to bring the world His truth". We weren't told to stand, but we just couldn't help it! We all just stood up on our own and sang our hearts out. Everyone on the stand stood up and the spirit was indescribable. The power as we sang was overwhelming. I feel so humbled and amazed to be part of this army. This truly is the STRONGEST army the world has ever seen. It doesn't matter that we don't have guns, or tanks, or fighter pilots. We have truth, and the Spirit, and a determination that will rock this world.
Wednesday we woke up early and traveled to LA. It's amazing the power that comes with this name tag. I had no fear talking to anyone. And I was so conscious of every move I made because it was obvious that everyone was watching us. We went to the Finnish consulate in LA and got finger printed and answered some questions... and I totally embarrassed myself! Shocker! When the lady asked if I was learning Finnish, I said "joo" which means "yes". She asked how it was going and I said "Suomi on tossi tossi lukea". She was like "huh?" and I was like "huh?" and she was like "what did you say?" and I realized that I had tried to say "Finnish is very very difficult" but instead I said "Finnish is very very to read". dang it. oh well, hopefully the language will start coming faster. After wards we went to Panera (hollllaaaa!) and to a look out and saw the beach. Then we got back in our shuttle, went back to the airport, and flew back to Provo. It was the most exhausting day EVER, especially since I had awakened at 3:45 two days in a row. But oh well, it was worth it. And it was so cool being in the LA airport and having random people come up to us and thank us for serving and ask us where we're going and tell us that their son, daughter, grandson, or friend is currently serving a mission. This church truly is world wide! :) KIRKKO ON TOTTA! (the church is true!)
Well my time is running out! I tried to send pics but it wouldn't work! I'll send some next week!
Sisar Nielsen

The MTC - Week One and LOVING IT!

Hi Peeps!

I love being here (in the MTC- Missionary Training Center)!! My companion is awesome - I couldn't ask for a better one!  We are the same height and get along really well. I am the District Leader for my district of 6 sisters.  My Branch President says he hasn't seen or heard of a Sister being a District Leader before.  I am very humbled by this experience!  I love my District so much-they are the best!

Finnish is SOOO hard! Pray for me! This language is insane! They literally conjugate everything -nouns, verbs, everything! Today after hours of language study the frustration and tension in the room was overwhelming.  My companion and I went outside, knelt down, and prayed for peace and to remind ourselves why we are really here.  It was amazing how much better I felt as I returned to the classroom.  I know I'm not in this alone. The Lord knows Finnish and only through Him will I ever have a chance to speak it.

I've already had lots of embarrassing moments! My companion and district always ask me what my latest struggles are. So far I have stepped in a pile of mud, sat in a chair full of water, missed my mouth eating, tripped up the stairs, and totally embarrassed myself trying to learn Finnish. We all know awkward moments are a normal part of my life! haha

I am having so much FUN!  Our lessons are constantly filled with laugher! I'm sleeping well in spite of a rock hard bed and uncomfortable pillow.  I am running and doing yoga in gym. I am drawing closer to my Savior every day! You don't need to worry about me one bit!  Please send my love to everybody!

I know Christ lives!  I love Him and I know He is watching out for me!  I love wearing his name on my heart everyday!

Kirkko on totta - Church is true!

Sisar Nielsen

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Why Go?

My name is Jenessa. I'm 20 years old. I love my family, my friends, my life, and my Savior!  I have been called to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Helsinki Finland Mission speaking Finnish. I am beyond excited to go. This is something that I have worked for, prayed for, and wanted my entire life. My whole mission will be to bring others to Christ. 

Last October General Conference changed my life forever. A mission is something that I have always wanted to do, and I mean that. My stubborn little 5 year old self would tell my mom that I was going a mission. She would say “honey, you might get married before then” to which I would respond “nope, I’m going on a mission” in my sassy, strong willed voice. As I got older, my desire to go on a mission increased. Up until this past summer, I had decided that I was going on a mission no matter what. Even if I met some great guy and fell in love, I was still going to go. He could either wait for me or marry somebody else. This past summer, I lowered my pride and told my Heavenly Father that I would do whatever it was that He asked. If He wanted me to serve a mission, I would. If He wanted me to get married, I would, but I would live my life in a way that I would be ready and worthy to do either one. Last October, I was driving up to Salt Lake from Provo with two of my best friends. We’ve been best friends for forever. All three of us had been wanting to serve a mission but we honestly didn’t know if we’d get the chance. We were in the car when we heard the prophet’s voice.  He proceeded to speak the words that would change my life forever. He lowered the missionary age for girls from 21 to 19, my age. The spirit became overwhelming in the car and all 3 of us started bawling. We all looked at each other and said “I’m going”. “I’m. Going”. I have never felt the spirit that way before in my life. It cut me to my soul. I literally felt like my heart was jumping out of my chest. Like my spirit was leaping. It was the most insane feeling ever. The next Sunday, I fasted and prayed to make sure that I really was supposed to go and that it wasn’t just something I really wanted badly. I attended the first session of conference in the conference center in Salt Lake City. We all stood to sang “Called to Serve.” The spirit was amazing. During Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk, I got my definitive answer. It was the talk where Jeffrey R. Holland discusses what it would’ve been like for those remaining apostles after Christ's death. He acts out what the conversation would’ve been like between the Savior and Peter. The Lord asks Peter "do you love me?" three times to which Peter responds “Lord… thou knowest that I love thee” three times. Christ responds:

"What I need, Peter, are disciples-and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do. Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the world of Almighty God, and it is to change the world. So, Peter, for the second and presumably the last time, I am asking you to leave all this and go teach and testify, labor and serve loyally until the day in which they will do to you exactly what they did to me."

When I heard these words, I was overwhelmed by the Spirit. I felt as if the Lord was talking directly to me. A distinctive voice came into my head that said “you’ve gotten your answer, now go and do.”

This is why I'm going. This is why I'm putting my life on hold for a year and a half. Leaving my family, my friends, my technology (I won't have my phone or be on Facebook!), and my country behind. I'm going because I know with all my heart that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church and I want to share it with everybody. Heavenly Father knows and loves each of His children on this earth. Christ lives and died for each of us so that we may repent and live with our Father in Heaven again. I love the gospel. I know that it is the only the way to be truly happy. I can't wait to serve my brothers and sisters in Finland and bring them unto Christ, to help them become as happy as I am. The church is true!