Monday, June 9, 2014

6/9/14 - We Took the Streets of Helsinki by Storm!

So basically this week has been... INSANE. But really. Sooo much happened this week. It was ridiculous!
Last Sunday we hopped on a train and went down to Helsinki. We stayed with Sisar Crandall (from my MTC group) so that was super fun. We spent 3 days being taught by President and Sisar Rawlings. These two are seriously soo inspired. It's so sad cuz they go home in just a couple of weeks. It was such a treat being able to spend so much time with them. Interim training lasted until about 5 everyday, so in the evening I got to go on splits with the Sisters down there. On Monday I went on splits with Sisar Crandall and we took the streets of Helsinki by storm. I love Helsinki! It is such a beautiful city. On our way to the store Monday night, we arrived at a tram stop and were waiting for the tram. There was a punk guy with long hair about my age smoking and there was a sweet looking old woman. I prayed to know which one I needed to talk to. Of coooourse, the Spirit said "talk to the guy." I was like "you've gotta be kidding me..." but I took a deep breath, walked over to him, and started up a conversation. Turns out he was taking the same tram we were and ended up sitting by us so we could continue talking. We're talking about life, Finland, and we were just getting to the gospel and why we are here when all of a sudden he goes "oh this is my stop! nice meeting you!" and he jumped off. I was like "oh hold up! we didn't even get to give him our card or anything!" I turned to Sisar Crandall and said "do you have a card?!" (cuz he spoke good enough English he could understand the website). She struggled to whip one out but finally found one and handed it to me. I grabbed it and took off out of the tram (with Sisar Crandall right behind me). I kinda (not so smoothly) chased him down and was like "so basically this truly has changed my life and that's why I'm here." We then started teaching him more about the gospel and it turns out that the stop we got off at was actually the stop we were supposed to get off at and we ended up walking with him all the way to the store that we were on our way to because he was going there too! Craziness! So there we were, standing in the produce section, teaching him about the Book of Mormon and testifying about Christ. It ended up being a way awesome teach. And his friends showed up so we ended up talking with them too! Way cool. Basically the Lord knew that we were going to the same place as this guy and that's why He prompted me to talk to Him. Even though it was scarier than the sweet, old woman, it ended up being great. The Lord really will give us quiet impressions and answers to our prayers! We just have to have the courage to follow them!
While in Helsinki, I also got to see my äiti (mom) SISAR EGAN. My trainer is going home this month! And she came to the chapel to see me! I cried. It was just so weird for me to see her again! Time sure flies so fast when you're on your mission! And soo many of the missionaries I have served with have gone or are about to go home. It's so weird. I used to be the youngest, and then I blinked, and now I'm one of the oldest in the mission! I also got to go on splits with my BABY, SISAR WOODS. Basically Helsinki was a blast! I had way to much fun there! And on Thursday, I went to the TEMPLE! WHOOOT WHOOOOOT! Gosh, it is SUCH a beautiful and special temple! It is so peaceful there. And it was in Finnish so that was pretty schweeeeettt.
Then Thursday night after the temple, we hopped into a van with the AP's and the Elders serving in Savonlinna and had a 5 hour road trip up to Vaasa. We got in at 1:30 am. but it was actually way fun road tripping through Finland. We looked like quite the hilarious group when we stopped for a bathroom break and some of the Elders were wearing dress shirts with basketball shorts and dress shoes. Also, this country is SO BEAUTIFUL. Words can't even describe it! It's so green and there are so many lakes and they're so clear and the clouds are so amazing! It just takes your breath away! We spent the night in Vaasa with the sisters there and then woke up early and got on a tour bus with everyone from our Zone and headed to Pietarsaari for Zone Conference. We got a way special treat because we got to have a short presentation on the history of the church in Finland then we got on the bus and went to a place called Larsmo. Larsmo is where Finland was dedicated for preaching the gospel by Elder Ezra Taft Benson. We got to see the first chapel (which is now a house), the school where the meeting was held by Elder Benson, and the spot of the dedication. It's in the middle of a forest and we hiked through it single file to get to it. The Spirit was soo strong there and we truly were walking on holy ground. It started pouring rain as soon as we arrived but we didn't care. We all bowed our heads and President Rawlings offered a very powerful prayer. It hit me so strongly that this work is so much bigger than us. It was so amazing being at that spot and feeling the power and spirit of it. We went back to Pietarsaari and had our Zone Conference. President gave some amazing prophecies and I felt the Spirit soo strongly confirming His words. Finland is entering into its Second Harvest. The first happened right after Finland was dedicated for the preaching of the gospel. Many of the members today are descendents of those early saints. The Second is about to happen and we are the ones laying the foundation for it. In the near future, Finland's chapels will be filled to the brim and people will be waiting outside just to feel the Spirit. Baptisms will boom and the number of members will skyrocket. Sometimes it's hard to see it now, but as President was talking, I knew without a doubt that his words were true. What we are doing now, though we may not see, is literally changing this beautiful country for eternity.
After Zone Conference, we rushed to the train with our district and all rode down to my birth city TAMPERE together! I got to spend the night with SISAR HUBNER, my long lost twin! Basically we stayed up WAY TO LATE talking and laughing, but it was so worth it! It was crazy being back there! So many amazing memories were had in that blessed city. It was also cool cuz I got to see some of the Elders that used to serve up here with me that now serve down there. We then got up the next day, hopped on a train, and finally arrived back in Kuopio in the afternoon. By golly it was a LONG week! But it was way fun! I got like noooo sleep but saw so many miracles and got such a spiritual recharge. We didn't have very much time to do work in our city, but we had lots of miracles happen and the Lord guided our footsteps to find a new investigator, an 18 year old kid that we've met before. He's had a really hard life but it was literally incredible how the Lord led us STRAIGHT to him! He's way open and said he wants to come to church with us. I know that God knows all of His children and that He loves them!

I love you! The church is true! My life is crazy, but I love it! Sorry this email is soo long, hopefully you didn't fall asleep. God lives! And YOU are HIS!
Sisar Nielsen
ps. While in Helsinki, Sisar Crandall and I were walking down the street just minding our own business. We said "hi" to a couple that didn't stop and talk to us so we just kept going. All of a sudden out of no where, something dives for my head and tries to claw at me!  We realized we were getting ATTACKED by these HUGE BLACK/GRAY birds! It was craziness! They just started diving at us and were literally attacking us! Sisar Crandall and I threw our hands in the air and started screaming at the top of our lungs as we started running! The stupid birds started CHASING us! It was SOOO SCARY! There we were, just running down the street with our hands waving above our heads screaming at the top of our lungs with these huge birds diving at us. I looked back and the couple that rejected us was standing there staring. I bet they felt way bad for not stopping and talking to us. At least I hope they did. Man- birds these days, ya gotta be careful.

No comments:

Post a Comment