Basically, I'm really excited for Easter! Why? Because it's just one more thing that helps us remember our Savior :)
Yesterday was palmall of the kids dressed up and decorated thin tree branches with feathers, colored paper, eggs, etc. and went and knocked on peoples' doors and got candy. It's one of the Easter traditions that's big in Finland. I love learning about their traditions! So cool!
E, our investigator, is doing well! We're still hoping for her to get baptized! We met with her this week and she said she knows the church is true! However, she said she still isn't sure if she's ready to get baptized so quickly. It's kinda one of the problems we have in our mission. Finns are very deliberate people. They really want to ponder and be 150% sure about something before they do it. In our mission, there are a lot of investigators who know the church is true, will testify about it, and attend church every , and yet are still not baptized. They get scared and have a hard time taking that jump. But we're just praying and trusting in the Lord. I know E will get baptized. We just have to put our trust in the Lord and His timing. I know everything will work out in the end :) because Heavenly Father knows His children better than we do. During one of our lessons this week, Sisar Woods and I gave E a picture of Christ (tip for my missionary friends: we got a frame at the thrift store and cut out a pic of Christ from one of the pamphlets... it looked way legit!) She started to cry and hugged and thanked us! Have I mentioned how much I love this woman?! She truly is a miracle and we found her by simply talking with everyone on the street.This weekend, her sister came into town which made everything kinda difficult because we couldn't meet with her. She ended up telling us that she wasn't sure if she could come to church because she had to go drop her sister off at the bus station at 12, and church started at 11. We were devastated. We explained the situation to one of our members and our awesome member left church after Sacrament meeting, went and picked up E, and brought her back for School and Relief Society! And E was sooo happy to be there, participated in Relief Society multiple times, and is literally BFF's with like the whole branch! It's amazing! The members here are incredible. We have a lesson with her tonight and it's kinda like the do or die lesson... we'll decide exactly when her baptism is. Hopefully it will be ! Especially because we realized that change calls come nd I've been in Kuopio for 6 months now so I have the higher chance of leaving. Ultimately, I'm just putting my trust in the Lord and I know that He will take care of His children :)
One of the things I love about serving in Finland is how many foreigners there are here. Because Finland is a place of peace, has a good educational system, and socialized everything, lots of people move here. This week we found a new investigator from Ethiopia! We were walking down the street and said hi to this guy while he was biking past us. He stopped and said "hey! how are you guys doing?" I was grateful for his friendliness but was a little confused, until he reminded us that we had met him before and had talked briefly. He had been in a rush before and we hadn't even had the chance to tell him that we are church representatives. Well this time, we were able to teach him on the street and he is interested in coming to church! It was awesome! He said he has a lot more time now to meet and would like to learn more about it so we have a lesson set up with him this week!
We also met for the first time since December with the teenage girl my past comp Sisar Lund and I taught. I had a feeling last week that I needed to call her, so I followed the prompting and did. She answered and said, I was literally thinking about you this morning! Coincidence? Never! So we met with her and it just broke my heart. She is searching for something and keeps looking in allll the wrong places. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ can fill that yearning for something more than we all have. As she was talking to us she said that she just doesn't understand why Christ is so important. She asked me, "What has Christ even done for you anyways?" Now before I continue, I want you all to stop and think. What has Christ done for you personally? What does He mean to you? Because that's exactly what I did. I paused for a moment before I continued and I was overcome by the love and gratitude that I have for my Savior. He has done everything for me. I am who I am because of Him. I can become who I want to become through Him. I can be healed by Him. Without Him, I would literally be lost. He enables, heals, and cleanses me. His is my hope, my love, and my salvation. This week, I watched this video and even though I wasn't born blind, I feel like because of Christ, my eyes have been opened. Watch this: https://www.lds.org/
media-library/video/2011-10- 066-jesus-heals-a-man-born- blind?lang=eng. you won't regret it.
Basically being a missionary is the best thing I've ever done! I love it more than words can say. It's hard. It's really hard. But ya know, sometimes life is hard! But it's still worth living. I love everything about being a missionary. I love how crazy my hair looks after I take off my helmet. I love the yummy treats we get everyfrom our wonderful members in our "to the missionaries" box. I love the way my comp and I jump out of our desks every time we hear the posti (mail) coming through the door. I love the sound of investigator's first prayers. I love singing my favorite hymns in a crazy foreign language. I love the hugs the members give us. I love the thrill of stopping people on the street. I love my smeared make-up from the rain. I love spreading this gospel message to everybody I meet. I love trying to gracefully jump off my bike in a skirt. I love being the awkwardest thing this world has ever seen and I love fighting for my God every day of my life and taking His gospel to the nations of the world. God lives. Jesus is the Christ. This world is a beautiful place and there are so many reasons to be happy. What do you love about your life? Find joy in the little things.
I love you!
Sisar Nielsen ps. we were contacting this guy on the street and we were starting to talk to him about the church when all of a sudden, he points to a car driving by and was like "oh, a pizza car!" of course Sisar Woods and I looked and we're like "uh.. okay?" and then we turn back and the guy was gone! He had hurried and crossed the street and got away! What a clever little man! Well next time, Sisar Nielsen and Sisar Woods are NOT gonna fall for that trick! no way! next time, that man is gonna get stuck with the word!... I still can't believe I fell for that.....