Monday, May 26, 2014

5/26/14 - I Understood the WHOLE THING

MOI. Well the weather here is ridiculous. This whole week was very hot! I felt like I was in Cali or something back in the day when all the hippies had a mad rush there. Everyone was walking around smoking, drinking, half naked, driving old VW vans, and rocking their dreadlocks. Except us of course :) However, a huge storm moved in last night (not as good as a classic midwest thunderstorm but still impressive) and it cooled the air down 24 degrees! So today it's raining and freezing! Oh well. At least the sun is still shining bright in our hearts.

This week was a good week! We got dropped by some of our investigators (bummer) and we had to drop some more after praying about it (if they're not progressing or keeping their commitments, it basically becomes impossible for us to teach them anymore), but the Lord still made it a miracle week and we had a lot of fun. We had a school presentation in which we went to a school and taught a class of 15 year olds about the church. Here in Finland, they learn a lot about other religions in their schools. It's neat because they actually have people from that religion come in and talk about it (so they know it's true information that they're getting!) I'm gonna be honest,it was a little intimidating, but it was still really fun. I got to be the one to tell them about Joseph Smith. As I was speaking, I felt the Holy Ghost SO strongly. It was like Heavenly Father was telling me that He was with me and that He was supporting my words. It was a really cool experience as I stood in front of a class full of teenage kids and felt the Spirit of the Lord so strong, I felt like I was on fire or something. It was interesting for me to see what their schools are like. They don't have a dress code (so girls were wearing belly shirts, guys were wearing hats and sunglasses, etc) which I thought was interesting. Also I'm not entirely sure why, but pretty much every girl Finn, young, old, or in between, dyes their hair! So there are some pretty crazy hair styles and cuts and colors here. And EVERYONE smokes! Don't even get me started on that! Ok moving on...

We met with E this week. It was a really good lesson and she started to cry. She said she just doesn't know what to do. We testified and shared 1 Nephi 3:7 with her and how the Lord ALWAYS gives us a way to accomplish the commandments that He gives us. The Spirit was so strong. She said "every time you come, you always bring such a good feeling with you. I can feel it every time you're here". I said "E, that's the Holy Ghost. Heavenly Father gives it to us so that others can feel that our message is true and know that we are from Him." She nodded and thought about that. She is moving forward and wants to continue coming closer to Christ. Honestly it is a miracle, because often times in situations like this, the investigator will just cut off all ties from the church because it's "easier" that way. She came to church on Sunday (I gave a talk in church) and she cried throughout my talk. She is so cute! I just know that she will be baptized. And I trust in the Lord that whatever happens is His will. My trust in Him has grown so much while I've been here. The more I trust in Him, the happier I am and the the brighter the light inside me grows. Heavenly Father is just the greatest!

This week we attended a Lutheran young adult Bible discussion talk thing with one of our investigators. It was basically their form of FHE - Family Home Evening. They had a song, prayer, then a lesson, then a song, prayer, and food. It was really interesting seeing how another church operates and learning more about what they believe. And it was really cool because I understood the WHOLE THING. My understanding is so much better than my speaking (because it is impossible to master speaking the Finnish language. the grammar is literally too INSANE) but regardless, my language is coming along. It was interesting for me to compare our church with theirs. How they have a set food prayer that they all stood up to say. How they passed around a collectors bag for money at the end. How they speculated how we get the gift of the Holy Ghost and decided it's when we accept Christ as our Savior. How I felt the Spirit but it was different. I really wanted to just blurt out "okay guys wait, there's this WAY SUPER COOL THING called the Restoration! And as a result, we get the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands by somebody who holds the proper restored priesthood authority from God which was restored to Joseph Smith by John the Baptist and 3 of Christ's original apostles so that we can perform saving ordinances and that we have this amazing thing called tithing where the Lord has orchestrated a way for His church to be taken care of financially because He truly is a God of order and also we don't have to say the same prayers for certain things, we can just speak to God from our hearts and He hears every word because He loves us and He is our Father and He doesn't need our prayers to be fancy - He just wants to hear from US" but I didn't because who in the world wants to say all of that in Finnish?! (and because that probably would've made a few people angry). But it was a really neat experience. 

Basically the church is true and I love being a missionary! Yeah, sometimes being a missionary is way hard stuff, but sometimes life is just plain hard. How grateful I am for the light of the gospel in my life. That it lifts, helps, and heals me. Share this light with others. They need it. So remember, keep calm and PREACH ON. God is worth it.
I love you!
Sisar Nielsen

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