Monday, November 4, 2013

11/4/13 - Well, We Didn't Have Any Ginger

Well for starters, Finland is amazing. It is so beyond beautiful here I can't even do it justice with pictures or trying to describe it. This week we had our Zone Conference up North in a city called Oulu. We had to take a 4 hour train ride to get there. It was fun meeting with the North Zone (all of the missionaries in the North part of the country) for the first time. There are practically NO sisters in this zone! Especially compared to the zone I just came from. The Sisters gotta represent :)
This week was full of its challenges, but also full of lots of miracles. For starters, some of our investigators have been dodging us (not cool people! we're trying to give you eternal life here!). So we decided to be super nice and make them cookies to take to them and to some less-actives as well. All we had was a cookie recipe for ginger snaps in Finnish so we decided to just go ahead and try to make them. Well, we didn't have any ginger so we made them cinnamon sugar cookies instead. And the recipe called for 1 RKL of syrup. Okay, who in the world knows what a RKL is? Not us! So we just put in half a cup. But then the dough was really weird and really dry so we decided to add another half a cup (for a total of a whole cup of cane syrup). I mean if you think about it, it makes sense to have an equal amount of cane syrup as the amount of sugar you put in it (FOR THE RECORD, THAT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE, but whatever). And then it was still way dry so we added an egg (the recipe didn't call for one) and baked it. Well the cookies were really good until after you ate them... because then our throats started to burn. Turns out 1 RKL is a tablespoon! But we had no choice but to give them away. Maybe the burning in their throats will awaken them to the importance of repenting or something... who even knows. Long story short, we got a new cookie recipe so we can warm people's hearts with them and not burn their throats :)
Last Monday we had an awesome miracle! After a dinner with a member we didn't have any other plans. So we decided to go contacting in the center of the city. We went and drove the car to the car park and were about to get out of the car when it hit us that we hadn't prayed about it! So we did, and we both got the feeling that we should not go contact in the center. So we just started driving again and I was trying to navigate and we weren't even sure where we were going but then all of a sudden we realized that we were right back in the exact same parking place that we were for the DA (dinner appointment) at the member's house! Well, we prayed again and both got the strong feeling to go visit a less active nearby. So we went and bought chocolate (sometimes we have to bribe our way in to people's houses (and their hearts)) and went and found her house. Well we went to go open the door to get in the apartment building and it was locked! What?! and there was no button to push to tell this woman to open the door. So we were way confused because we had gotten a distinct impression to go there. Well, we turned around and a man was coming towards us. I turned to my comp and said "okay, let's talk to him". I said "terve!" and he stopped and asked "do I know you?" I told him no but we're new to Kuopio and just wanted to be friendly. Basically we just started talking with this guy- and then all of sudden we're talking about the gospel. And he said he'd visited our church many many years ago once! But he didn't know much about it. So we proceeded to tell him all about how when Christ was on the earth He organized His church, but when Christ and His apostles were killed then much of the truth was taken from the earth. We talked about the Apostacy (the period of time when Christ's true church was not on the earth) and that that is why there are soo many different kinds of churches on the earth today. We then taught about Joseph Smith and how he wanted to know which church to join. We talked about the first vision and that the true church has been restored today and that THIS IS THE TRUE CHURCH. We told him about the Book of Mormon and about how that was our witness that everything we were telling him was true. He had so many amazing questions and was so interested. He said he wanted a Book of Mormon and was going to go to the library to find one. I said "Wait, I have one with me!" he told me he didn't have any money. When I told him it was a gift, he got really excited and gladly took it! We have a meeting set up with him this week. And what was so cool is that throughout the whole conversation, I could just speak! I felt like the words just kept coming! And I was able to understand him! I couldn't understand all of the vocab he used, but I could feel  what he was saying and I just knew. It was the coolest thing! and then right after that, we stopped and talked to a girl and I couldn't say ANYTHING. and I could barely understand her. It was the weirdest thing. I know the Lord is blessing me to learn Finnish.
OH AND GET THIS. Later that night after we parked the car at the car park and were walking home through the center, we ran into the same guy! He was wearing different clothes and had a different bag so at first we didn't recognize him, but he called out to us and we stopped to talk to him. He was on his way somewhere and he reached into this new bag and pulled out the Book of Mormon! He said he had already read the intro and was excited to read more. It was so cool! I can't wait to meet and talk to him about MY FAVORITE BOOK. Seriously, that book has so much power. LOVE IT.
So something cool this week was Pyhä Päivä, or Holy Day where the Finns honor their ancestors. They put tons and tons of candles throughout the cemeteries. It was so beautiful and Sisar Lund and I detoured for a minute to walk through. It was so peaceful and like something out of a movie. There were tons of old graves, but lots of newer ones too. There was a huge main one with tons of candles. On the back of it, it said "Minä Tiedän Lunaastajani Elävän" (I Know My Redeemer Lives). I, Sisar Nielsen, KNOW that MY Redeemer Lives. I know that He loves me, and that He knows me personally! I know that He came for me. If I were the only person on the earth, He still would've come and suffered the Atonement, just for me. I love my Savior. I'm so grateful to wear His name everyday. Sometimes the mission is reaaaaally hard, but I know that He walks with me through the hardest and the sweetest of times. I am a witness that Jesus is the Christ. That He loves all men and He wants us all to come unto Him. He is my rock and my salvation. He is my hope and my best friend. Learn of Him. Come closer to Him. Go to Him. He's waiting for you to take His hand. I know He loves you. And I do too :)
Sisar Nielsen - ps i got to carve a pumpkin! our BML (branch mission leader) is from the US so he and his wife invited us over to carve a pumpkin and have some halloween treats. it was way fun :)

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