My this has been quite the week. For starters, we had Zone Meeting which is a meeting that is put on by the Sister Training Leaders and Zone leaders for all the missionaries serving in our Zone. It was such a great experience to be a part of it as a Sister Training Leader. Our whole theme was putting fire back into missionary work. It was absolutely amazing and exactly what I needed! After opening the meeting in the chapel we brought all the missionaries into the gym, had them close their eyes, and then had one of our Elders who goes home soon read his mission call. The Spirit completely flooded the room. We all focused on what our thoughts and feeling were when we first read those words: "You are called to serve in the Finland Helsinki mission." The Elder reading got chocked up. Many people had tears running down their faces. I was one of them (I know.. shocker). After he finished reading, they turned to the people at their tables (they were divided into groups) and discussed the feelings they had when they opened their calls and how they feel now hearing them again. We did a scripture study on having a "burning fire... in our bones" (Jeremiah 20:9) and focused on how when Christ is our motivation, our vision for our area, mission, and lives raises. We shared quotes from the new mission president seminar about how the goal is for missionaries to come home and never fall away - to be strong and have our great great grandchildren receive the blessings of the temple. Overall, it was an absolutely amazing meeting. Many missionaries said it was the best they had ever gone to. And that's because we really just turned it over to the Lord and let Him lead it. It's nothing that we did. It was all the Lord. We gotta help keep this fire burning in our missionaries! And in all of us! This is such an exciting time to be a member of the church! The Lord really is hastening His work and He wants us to be a part of it! "Shall we not go on is so great a cause?" -Joseph Smith.
So this week we saw tons of miracles! As my companions and I work on consecrating ourselves while still having fun and keeping our fires bright, things have really started picking up. We found 3 new investigators this week! And when I first got here, there was only 1. That one investigator, T, wasn't progressing (because she wasn't attending church) so we really didn't have anywhere to go but up, and let me tell you, we're going up! T is so adorable and is in her late 20's. We met with her this week at the temple and she said she wants to go in sometime. And then later in the week, we kind of had like a "do or die" lesson and just walked in and were like "today we are talking about baptism." Well, it ended up going really well! And she wants to get baptized in August! Whaaahooo! She is going through a lot of changes in her life and recently just went through a rough time, so this is the perfect time for her to start again. She went out of town (we were pretty bummed) but we arranged for the elders in that area to drop some bread off at her house. They did and she was so touched that when we asked if she would want to go to church where she is, she said yes! Those same elders worked out a ride for her with some of their members and she went to church! It was a miracle! She has completely changed since the sisters first met her, and even since I first got here. She LOVES the Book of Mormon and can't go to sleep at night without reading it. We are really excited to help her progress down this covenant path.
My companion also met this guy from Nigeria on the train. He saw her name tag and even though it was in Finnish, he said "Are you from the Church of Jesus Christ? I've seen a lot of you guys around Nigeria." She was like "Why yes we are!" Our stop was right then so she gave him her card and told him to call us. Well sure enough, the next day we got a call from M. We were like whaaaat? Nobody ever calls! It was way sweet! We were on exchanges so my comp and another sister gave him a church tour and had a great lesson. He came to churchand stayed for all three lessons and loved it! He's set for baptism later this month. One of the elders said they were talking to him at church and he said he wants to get baptized. He loves the idea of being made clean and having all of his mistakes, guilt, and sins taken away. And that is exactly why we are here. To help set people free. The gospel is a message of hope and love. We can all be made perfect and clean, regardless of our mistakes in the past. The Savior is standing before us with His arms open wide, calling our name. He wants to take away our burdens and the pain that weighs us down. He wants us to be full of light and love. Let Him heal you. He's waiting for you.
One of our other new investigators was a guy I met on the bus. I sat down and started chatting with him. He's from Nigeria and was born into a Muslim family but decided that he didn't really receive the answers he was looking for, so he started practicing a christian religion. He still didn't feel like his questions were answered so he ended up leaving that religion and now he's not really sure what to believe. He believes there is a God but he's not too sure about anything else. His biggest question is "what is my purpose on this earth?" We had an amazing first lesson. He said a really heartfelt prayer at the end. I love hearing people pray! It is the most amazing thing to hear somebody communicate with their Heavenly Father, especially when they aren't used to it. He is a really great guy with a big heart, and he is searching for the truth. Luckily for him, he just found it!
This week was full of lots of other fun things! Like I got to go on exchanges with my baby Sisar Woods (one of the perks of being a Sister Training Leader). I also ate a lot of lakaritsi (licorice) ice cream. and a lakaritsi pie (have I mentioned before how much they LOVE licorice here?) We also play soccer everyand through our recruiting, we had a ton of people there last week! And the majority were nonmembers! It was way cool. I also got to see one of the members that I love from my first area, Tampere, because she came to Espoo to visit a friend. We about died when we saw each other. It was a great surprise! We also went and visited our American family that is here for 6 weeks and played the traditional mölkky game (it's a way fun Finnish lawn game) and I won! We also enjoyed chips and REAL AMERICAN SALSA! We were so excited! How I've missed it! We also made homemade Finnish pancakes (so good! shout out to my mama for the maple syrup extract!) and homemade chicken pesto pizza. mmmmmm. Overall, this has been a great week! We're loving life!
Light your fire within! YOU are a child of God. He loves YOU. You are IMPORTANT and DIVINE. Let Him change you! Let the fire burn inside of you. You can do great things. God lives. And He is a God of miracles. I witness miracles every single day! He just constantly amazes me. Share the light that you have received. Open your mouth! And it WILL be filled (D&C 33). You can do it! But start now! Make a goal to bring others closer to Christ. Today!! and forever! Share the gospel. Live the gospel. Love the gospel.
I love you!
ps so we got on the train and I went and sat down. I got a feeling I needed to go back and sit somewhere else. So I got up and moved and sat down next to this guy. I strike up a conversation with him but find out he doesn't know Finnish so we go into English. When I told him I was from the states, he was like "hey I met 3 girls from there last week. they're church people" I was like "they were probably my friends" He was like "yeah, I feel really bad. They have been calling me a lot but I haven't been able to respond or meet with them." All of a sudden, I was like "what's your name?" and he was like "O" and I was like "what the heck! we've been trying to call you!!!!!!" turns out, we were those three girls! He was like "I thought you looked familiar but your hair looked different (this time I had it up instead of down) so I wasn't sure." He took his hat off and then I immediately recognized him. hahah so I was like "O, I was sitting over there and had a feeling I needed to move, so I did and look what happened! Clearly God wants us to meet!" He said "yes I think you're right." So he came to sportswith his friend and we lined him up with the other sisters because they actually live in their area. But moral of the story people is, YOU CAN'T ESCAPE THE WORD. or SISAR NIELSEN. Imma find you! :)