Saturday, July 27, 2013

July 25, 2013 - Everything's Funnier in Finnish

Overall, this has been a good week! I'M MORE THAN HALF WAY DONE WITH THE MTC. WHOOOHOOO. It's crazy how fast time flies when you're having fun! Or when you're constantly so busy you start to forget what life was like before you were a missionary. Or if you even had a life before the mission....
This week was full of all kinds of adventures. My companion was complaining of an ear ache on Monday so we hopped on the bus and went to the main campus so she could go to the doctor. Well after we arrived it came to our attention that I had somehow ripped my purple skirt (AGAIN) and that there was a gaping hole on the side of it. Well, seeing no other alternative, we went to the bookstore where Sisar Dayton bought a sewing kit and we went to the bathroom where I passed my skirt over the top of the stall and Sisar Dayton sewed it for me while I just chilled there in the stall. (What a great companion!) Some other Sisters walked in and were like "what are you doing" to which my comp responded "oh ya know... just sewing my companion's skirt". It's normal.  Then we went to the clinic. My comp left me alone in the waiting room while she went back to see the doctor. As soon as she left, all of these Elders started talking to me. I about had a panic attack. (okay not really, but I really am so awkward now when it comes to interacting with the Elders and being alone. wow.)
A couple days ago, I was sitting at dinner and felt something fall on my lap. It was the back of my earring. I was like "uh mitä?" (uh what?) I realized that I was indeed missing one of my earrings. I started looking all over for it. I searched my tray, all of the floor, and even went into the bathroom and gave myself a good shake down and I found nothing! I said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father to help me find my earring. I kept looking and looking and couldn't find it anywhere. We had to go to devotional so I had to leave. It was very saddening. I felt like Heavenly Father was going to answer my prayer, so I was confused as to why He hadn't. K, well get this. We get home, and my earring was sitting on the bathroom counter. WHAT? How in the world did that even happen? My friend saw the back of my earring fall onto my lap during dinner. How did it stay on my ear the whole day without falling off? I still can't figure it out. But I know one thing for sure, my earring sitting on the counter was God's way of telling me that He's got my back. He cares about the little things in my life. He was willing to help me find something as small and simple as an earring. I know He answers prayers. It's amazing how we have access to the greatest power in the universe, if we just simply get down on our knees and ask. This may be just a simple thing, but to me it reminds me that our God is truly a God of miracles.
Devotional this week was really good. My favorite part was the choir number I participated in. We sang "Praise To the Man". The power of that song sung by a big group of missionaries was incredible. The Spirit was so strong. I KNOW Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. He was all that he claimed to be. I am so grateful for his sacrifice and the sacrifice of all of the early pioneers. After dinner on pioneer day, my district was walking to put our trays away when the head of all of the food came over to us. He gave us apple pie in honor of Pioneer Day! It was so kind. And the pie was delicious! It's amazing how as a missionary, it's the little things that make all the difference.
This week has been a week of self evaluation for me. Hitting my month mark and realizing that in less than a month I will be among the people of Finland was extremely humbling for me. Their salvation rests in my hands! It's incredible that the Lord trusts me with this work. I am so far from perfect it's insane, but it's amazing how the Lord is willing to show me my weaknesses so that I can turn them into my strengths. I've been choosing/reading about Christ-like attributes then striving to focus on them the next day. So far I've done humility, patience, and ceasing to find fault with others. These are all things that I need to be better at. Last Sunday I watched a recording of Elder Bednar's Devotional at the MTC titled "The Character of Christ". It was all about how the character of Christ turns outward, when we naturally turn inward. How Christ turns outward to help others during His trials, when we naturally want to turn inward and focus on ourselves. I want to do better. I want to BE better. He said something that really struck me: "conversion is being consistently true to what you know" Consistently true to what you know. If we truly strive to be consistent to what we know and who we know we should be, I know that we will see miracles happen in our lives and the lives around us.
This week I committed both of my "investigators" to baptism. (remember all of these lessons are in Finnish). It was amazing. I teach one of my comps and she pretends to be somebody that she actually knows. I gave her the lesson on baptism and she politely said she didn't want or need to be baptized because she already was. We ran out of time in our lesson but I told her that next time, we would address her concerns and questions. Well I prayed to ask the Lord to help me know what to say. He taught me as I taught her during our following lesson. He showed me the power of the scriptures. Even though technically this was a "fake" lesson, it felt very real to me. I could feel the spirit as I taught. The Lord inspired me to pick scriptures that ended up speaking directly to her concerns. When I asked her to follow the Savior's example and be baptized, tears sprung to her eyes as she said "okay". It was amazing how the Spirit testified to me that this is the work of the Lord. How baptism is essential. And how the Spirit is the real teacher here, not me. I'm just simply here to be a tool in the Lord's hands.
Okay so here's a couple quick Finnish stories before I have to go:
-In a lesson I accidently said "Christ gives us lots of problems" instead of "Christ helps us with our problems". oops.
-we had an SYL day and for the majority of the day, I spoke only Finnish! It was insane that I was actually able to do it. We still have tons to learn, but it's amazing to see how far we've come.
-There's the most adorable sister here who is from Finland going to Greece. Today I saw her in the bookstore and said "terve" (hello) to her. She responded back to me asking how my p-day is going and that she has a lot of things to do today. I understood all of it! It was amazing. I know it might seem like no big deal, but it was a big deal to me. Heavenly Father is teaching me Finnish! and it's amazing.
-we walked into the room to teach our lessons (our one on one lessons when we all teach other sisters from the district) and my and sisar crandall's room was missing chairs so we went to the other room and brought some in. As Sisar Crandall was bringing one in, I said "Terve Tuoli". She said "huh?" and I said "hi chair". I don't even know why, but all of us (the other sisters who were about to head into the neighboring rooms and our teacher in the hall) started laughing so hard!! We've decided that everything is sooooooooooo much funnier in Finnish. One of our favorite lines is "MAHTAVA POIKA" which means "amazing/mighty boy". See, in English, that ain't funny - in Finnish, it gets me every time!
Well, MINÄ RAKASTAN TEITÄ. KIRKKO ON TOTTA. (I love you all. The church is true!)
Sisar Nielsen

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