Monday, May 12, 2014


FIRST OFF, IT WAS SO GREAT SEEING MY FAMILY'S FUNNY FACES YESTERDAY! Skyping you guys was definitely the highlight of my week! So grateful to be part of a crazy, awkward, family that I'm stuck with for eternity! So grateful that the church is true :) 

So this week we had another lesson with E. We only got to meet with her once before she went out of town for the week, but it was a really good lesson! We talked about how we get answers to prayers and how we feel the Spirit. That when God answers our prayers, it's usually not with a spectacular display of His power or with a loud voice, but with a quiet mildness that speaks to our hearts and to our souls. We then gave her a journal with a picture of Christ getting baptized on it (that we made) and told her to write down different thoughts and spiritual experiences that she has. Then we invited her to be baptized (again) and set the date for May 24th. Except this time it was different. After we invited her, she got out her calender and she looked at it. Then she said, "the first time you guys asked me to be baptized, I was like whoa... I don't think so. But I've been pondering and praying about it a lot. And now I think I really do want to work for this." It was so cool! Thank you for all your prayers for her! And keep praying that she will take that leap of faith on May 24th by following her Savior into the waters of baptism. Ahhh I just love her! She is so amazing! 

This week we also had our first lesson with J, the woman that showed up at church last Sunday. It went well and she has a strong faith in Christ and is searching for the truth. However, she said she wasn't willing to meet again until probably next month. We were like "what? no!" but before we could change her mind, she was like "oh I have to hurry! I need to go!" and ran out! So we were like "dang it!" But as you will find out later in this email, the Lord had other plans :) 

This week we tried really hard to pray always and follow the promptings that we received. Everyday we go out searching for "the one". The one that Heavenly Father has prepared to accept the gospel, or that needs help, or that He wants us to bless and bring happiness to. We find these people by praying always and following the promptings that we receive from the Spirit. This week it hit me that it's kinda like playing the hot and cold game that I played as a kid. Where you're searching for something and then you go looking for it and your guide tells you if you're getting warmer or colder. Well obviously I was a boss at that game as a kid so that's cool. But the difference is, here we're looking for people and salvation is on the line, back home I was looking for candy and my pride was on the line. Luckily for me, my guide here is very reliable. It's up to me if I'm willing to do all I can to hear His voice and follow what He tells me. Well this week we had a cool experience. We were walking on a path and we reached a crossroad. We walked through it and then we got the feeling that we were going the wrong way. So we went back and prayed again and both felt like we needed to turn and go another way. So we did and just kept praying at every crossroad we hit. All of a sudden, we passed some apartment complexes and I got the feeling that we needed to go knock them. So we went over and both felt good about the same building. So we knocked the first two doors andddd.... quick shut downs. But then, we knocked a third door and had a way cool conversation with this guy about the Book of Mormon. He was like, "wait I think I have your book. I got it from my mom when she died." So then he goes to get it and comes back with the oldest Book of Mormon in Finnish I've ever seen! It was sooo cool! It was a light blue and had an angel Moroni on the front. And inside, it had pictures of the old temples and structures in central America. Way sweet! We talked to him about it for a long time and he agreed to actually read it! It was so cool seeing how the Lord literally led us straight to this man! 

On Thursday we hopped on a train and went north to the city of Oulu for our Zone Meeting. The whole theme was "Stay Connected", meaning that we always need to be connected with Heavenly Father so He can direct our every move. We came back early on Saturday and had no plans, but as every missionary knows, BLANK DAY EQUALS BIG DAY. So we just prayed always and tried to follow the little thoughts and feelings that we received. Well we weren't having any luck! Nobody wanted to talk to us and at this point it was about 5 pm. So we're praying really hard to know which of our areas we should go to and  Sisar Bates and I get completely opposite answers. We're just like "great... now what?" We got in the car and decided to just drive out to our areas, praying that an answer would come by the time we got there. Right before we get on the free way, I get this weird idea that we need to go make cookies and take them to people, but then I was like "no, that's a waste of our missionary time. We're not doing that." Then for some reason, it just felt right. So I said it out loud and Sisar Bates was like "yes! I feel good about that!" Well, we flipped a U, hurried home and made a batch of peanut butter cookies (which all the Finns were like "huh?" cuz they never eat peanut butter), made a list of members, less actives, investigators, and potentials to take them to, and set out! And let me tell you, we had a BLAST. It was soo much fun! We took the Children's Songbook with us and sang mother's day songs and "I am a Child of God" to everybody! including people on the streets. We were running around like crazy people to get to everybody cuz it's against the law to knock doors after 8. As we were driving, we saw J (our investigator who said she could meet in like a month) walking down the street. Naturally, we freaked out, pulled into the nearest apartment complex, struggled to find parking, finally parked the car, ran out to the main road, noticed she was far down it, looked at each other, and sprinted after her... in our skirts. As we got close we slowed down and caught up to her all nonchalantly and were just like "pshh wow! fancy seeing you here! crazy!" We ended up singing "I am a Child of God" to her (which she loved!) and set up a time to meet on Tuesday! Miracle! We then headed to the other side of town and visited a member and a less active. At this point, it was like 8:30 so we couldn't knock doors anymore. We got the feeling we needed to walk down by the lake nearby. So we did. As we were walking, we saw this man riding his bike. All of a sudden, he runs into a parked car with it, which sends him flying over the handle bars and he literally landed RIGHT on his face. Immediately blood started going everywhere! We ran to him and I was like "sir are you okay?!" No response. He had knocked himself out! So we're freaking out and looking around trying to figure out what to do. There was a single man on the street and we waved him over and asked for help. He was like "well, I don't know what to do!" so he called another man over that was walking by. Good thing cuz this guy was like "we need to call the ambulance, now!" (at this point the blood was coming faster and the man was starting to wake up). The ambulance got there in like a minute flat and they helped this man onto a stretcher. He had broken his glasses with the fall and literally half of his face was just completely covered in blood. It looked horrible. And then things got really crazy. All of a sudden, I realize my companion is fainting beside me so I have to help catch her and make her sit down. The paramedics are asking me all these questions in Finnish and I'm trying to explain what happened (in Finnish but I was still kinda in that wasn't easy) and then these two women came running from the apartment building and one of them is yelling "that's my husband!" so then all of the craziness of the situation is heightened.  They finally got the man on a stretcher and the wife came over to me and was thanking us over and over again and telling us that her husband has memory issues and that he had left home an hour and a half ago and they couldn't get a hold of him.  I just rubbed her back and comforted her and meanwhile I'm rubbing my comp's head to make sure she's okay and everyone is calling us angels (because honestly if we hadn't seen it, I don't know when anyone would have found him because he was behind a parked car).  I'm just thanking Heavenly Father for inspiring us to bake cookies because if we hadn't, we wouldn't have been there. Basically, God answer prayers. And He takes care of His children. And He has a plan, we just need to trust Him and be willing to follow Him. 

So moral of the story is, peanut butter cookies are really yummy and STAY CONNECTED! We have a loving Heavenly Father who is the God of all the universe and He hears EVERY WORD WE SAY! How amazing is that?! Why would we not want to invite Him into our lives more? Why would we not want to draw upon His knowledge, strength, and love? He lives. He loves you. He is your Father. He hears YOU. Turn to Him. Let Him help you. Seek His guidance in all things. He wants to bless you, because He loves YOU. You are His child. 

I love you!

Sisar Nielsen 

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