MOI. I love you all.
Okay for starters, the church is true! Sometimes when things get really hard, I just have to remind myself "well, at least the church is still true," because ultimately, that's all that really matters. And I know that no matter how hard things feel, my Savior understands me because He has felt all my pains, disappointments, and hurt. And I never walk alone. What a powerful concept that is.
We're working our hardest to just build Kuopio from the ground up. Apparently Kuopio has been known as a bit of a "goof off" city in the past and as a result, I don't feel like the members here really trust us. They absolutely love us, but I just don't feel the level of trust I want to from them yet. But we're gonna change that, and we've already seen some change! The other night, Sisar Lund and I had somebody give us a Book of Mormon back that the previous sisters had given her. As we walked away, we were feeling a little saddened. We ended up running into the Elders and they had just been told by a member they were working with that he's done living the gospel. Needless to say, they were feeling down and frustrated too because this man has been struggling for a longgg time and these Elders obviously love him a lot. We ended up talking outside in the freeeeezing cold darkness (BECAUSE THE SUN SETS AT 4) about how we're sick of this and that things here need to change. And that we're gonna be the ones who do it. This whole time Sisar Lund and I have been saying these things, but we were never this united with the Elders. The 4 of us are the Lord's representatives in this city. He has trusted us with these precious souls. And we're gonna do everything in our power to strengthen the members, find new people, and baptize powerful and future leaders that can raise their families in the gospel here. The elders are both pretty inexperienced too (one got here about 3 weeks ago). But I have no doubt that the Lord deliberately put this city in the hands of some of the most inexperienced companionships in the mission because we have no choice but to trust in Him! As the four of us talked, the Spirit became so strong. TOGETHER, we are the Lord's army. We are HIS. And this is HIS work. I am soooo grateful that I am here! IN FINLAND. IN KUOPIO. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else! Being a missionary is the greatest thing I've ever done.
So basically, I have a testimony of awkward moments. This past week, Sisar Lund and I were walking home at night and she was telling me a story. I got distracted and stopped listening to her because I got the feeling that we needed to go talk to this guy who was walking the other way. All of a sudden she said "Sisar Nielsen! you're not even listening to me!" I apologized and explained that I got a feeling we need to go talk to that guy. She responded with "dang it! I got it too but I just pushed it away" Well, we both crossed the street and tried to hurry after him. We couldn't figure out where he went, and then we saw him standing at a bus stop. We awkwardly walked up and looked at the bus schedule like we were waiting for the bus (for the record, I couldn't understand it at all) and then just sparked up a conversation with him. Just when we started talking he said "oh sorry, this is my bus" and ran and got on. We both looked at each other so frustrated because we didn't even get to the gospel! We both got the feeling we needed to still talk to him! So we ran, paid 6 euros for a bus ticket, and got on the bus. We smoothly sat in front of him (okay, who am I trying to kid, it was WAY AWKWARD) and we were basicallly like "Oh fancy seeing you here! The reason why we're here is because we're trying to give people eternal life" (we might've used some other words but that's pretty much what we were saying). We had a bomb awesome (semi-awkward) teach with him and then we realized that we were totally leaving the city and we had no idea where we were going! So we exchanged numbers with him and just got off at the next stop. We started walking and realized there was no way we were gonna get home in time to call our District Leader (we call every night to say we're home and safe and report on the day) so we ended up having to call the Elders for a ride. Well, our District Leader was visiting from another city that night so he actually came and picked us up. We felt like little kids getting picked up by their mom. We got in the car all sheepishly and were like "okay we're really sorry we made you drive all the way out here to rescue us but we had to help save his soul!" Long story short, sometimes I feel like the Lord gives us these random impressions just to test us, to see if we will follow them, even when everything in our right mind tells us not to. We called that guy, and he never responded to us, but I know that we did exactly what the Lord wanted us to do. And I just have this CRAZY AWESOME INSANE feeling that things here are about to change- for the better. And fast! The Lord is working miracles here. I witness them everyday. And as we follow the Spirit and do everything in our power to obey His will, we are blessed beyond measure.
So I tried making cookies again.... this time I got a recipe from one of the Elders here because he's famous for his baking skills. Well, Sisar Lund made this recipe last week and it turned out great. So last night, I went to make them too. I'm not entirely sure what went wrong this time.. but they were the flattest cookies I've ever seen in my entire life. And they tasted like home made caramels, not like cookies! It was the weirdest thing! And they flattened out in the oven to be huge. I just don't understand! What am I doing wrong?! Because these hardly resemble cookies, I couldn't really give them away. So what do you do when you have a bajillion paper thin cookies that taste like caramels? You give them to the Elders. When the Elder who gave us the recipe tried them, he said "whoa! these are way good! and so cool! can I get the recipe??" When I told him it was his recipe, he looked at me with pure confusion. sighhhhh.... I guess the talent of cooking just isn't one that I possess.
The church is true. MIRACLES HAPPEN. As we seek the Lord in prayer, HE ANSWERS. Knock and it shall be opened unto YOU.
LOVE YOU ALL,
Sisar Nielsen - p.s. one of the awesome miracles we had this week is we set a goal by the Spirit to teach 27 lessons this week. Through a series of miracles, we got EXACTLY 27. I know it's because we did little things like stalk a guy and follow him onto a bus :). As we show the Lord we are willing to work and give it our all and follow the Spirit, He shows us that He is our loving Heavenly Father and that He wants to help us. ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS ASK.