Monday, October 13, 2014

10/13/14 - Candles to Light Your Way

Being a missionary is the greatest thing in the whole wide world. Luckily as we all know, every member is a missionary. We don't need a tag on our chest or to sport skirts all day long to be a missionary. But oh my word, it sure is wonderful to be a full time missionary in the fine land of Finland! I love my life!

We went to a member's house on Monday for Family Home Evening. A lot of our friends came with us, including S and her best friend L, also from Taiwan. We taught the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ using candles as an object lesson. We put 13 candles on a platter and talked about how the candles represented Jesus Christ and His 12 Apostles. We lit Jesus Christ's candle then lit the other candles with it, talking about how Christ had the Priesthood or the authority of God and gave it to His disciples to lead the church. Unfortunately, people rejected Christ and killed Him. We blew out the candle that represented Him. We then proceeded to blow out all the candles that represented the Apostles and it became dark. We talked about how there was an apostasy and that Christ's true church and Priesthood power was no longer on the earth. We then taught about Joseph Smith, how the Heavens are open once again and that we have Apostles and Prophets today that speak on God's behalf. We all then talked about how amazing General Conference was and what we learned. It was suuuuuper cool and the spirit was very strong! It was so neat hearing S testify about what she learned at General Conference and it was so awesome teaching L for the first time about these things. I went and sat by her and S and I taught L together. As I looked into her eyes and said "L, your Father in Heaven loves you. You are His daughter. You are so important to Him" she started to cry! It was incredible. She felt the Spirit sooo strongly. Sis Heggie taught her how to pray and we had a lesson later with them this week and they are both doing soooo amazing!!! They made us traditional Taiwanese food (yummm - soo good!) and we had a great lesson with them. They both have been praying and reading everyday. And they both feel the Spirit in a very special, powerful way. It's really cool to see. And they teach each other and help each other understand things better. It's amazing! This past week, L told us about a really beautiful experience she had with prayer. Now she had never prayed before until we taught her, so everything is completely new to her. Long story short she had gone home late one night and lit some candles in her room as well as the overhead light. She said she was freeeeezing and found an electric blanket in her apartment. She went and plugged it in and as soon as she did, her light went out! She had blown the fuse. Now she was freezing and in the dark except the few candles she had previously lit. She said she tried to fix it but could not figure out the fuse box. So she laid down on her bed, frustrated, tired, and a little mad. She said she prayed. She said "Heavenly Father, I know you can fix this. Why did you let this happen?" She said right then, very distinctly, a sentence came into her mind. It said "though sometimes you may be in the dark, I will always give you candles to light your way." She got choked up as she was speaking these words. She said she then went to sleep and was able to fix everything in the morning. It was such a powerful lesson to me. God does give us candles to light our way. Sometimes He doesn't give us a huge bright light, but He gives us enough to keep leading us along and light our path. We just have to trust Him and hold fast to the light, knowing one day, the darkness will indeed pass. L decided that she wants to be baptized even before we had a chance to invite her! However, they both told their parents and their parents said they completely support them, they just want them to wait and do it in Taiwan so that they can be a part of it. They said that they would like their families there, hoping their families can feel this same feeling too. They already have a missionary mindset. The problem is, they don't go home until next summer and that's a long time. So we're going to work with them to get missionaries to their families and just follow the Lord and what He directs :) 

We had 2 great lessons with our friend R from Ghana this week. He was being taught by the other sisters in Espoo but just moved into our ward boundaries so now we're teaching him. He's way cool and is set for baptism on the 25th of this month. I don't know why the Lord is blessing us with so many amazing, prepared people. Pray for him! The Lord is definitely working on him, but so is satan. Gosh, "anti" material online is SO STUPID. He's come across some of it but luckily we've been handling it all and directing him towards the true and reliable source: God. We can't expect to learn the things of God from secular sources. (ps loved when they talked about that in conference!). But other than that, he's doing really well! 

We also met with our friend T, the one from Vietnam, this week. He's doing really well and it's been so great to watch him change over the past 3 months. He told us that he would not be able to come to church with us this week. I called him out on it and was like "why not?" and he said he was busy to which I responded "what have you got going on? give me your whole schedule from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep." I'm sorry, but Sister Nielsen is not taking "busy" as an excuse! Well it ended up coming down to the fact that he did not want to take the sacrament because he didn't want to accept Jesus Christ as his Savior because he has nothing to give back to Christ. So he would rather just not take it. I explained, "T, the sacrifice has already been made. Christ has already paid the price. He already came, suffered, and died for YOU. We will never be able to pay Him back for what He has done for us, but He doesn't expect us to. He just wants us to do the simple things He's asked us to do." I then asked, "T, how do we give back to God" he responded "repentance, praying, keeping the commandments, reading the scriptures, and...... going.... to... church......." I said exactly. He said "I still can't come tomorrow." And I said "well T, we're not going to force you" and then we left. Well, sure enough he wasn't at the train station when we went to go to church in the morning, but as they were getting ready to bless the sacrament, he slipped into the seat next to Sisar Heggie. When they passed the sacrament around, he took it!  We didn't freak out, we didn't do anything, but secretly, we were way happy :) He told us that he felt really bad for staying home so he finally just got up and came to church. The Spirit is working on him a ton! It's amazing. This church really is true. There is no way that Sisar Heggie and I could do any of this on our own. It is all the Lord. It's just so sweet to be a part of it. 

Ok quick funny story: on our way to church yesterday, a rather drunk man came up to us and started speaking to us in English. He asked us where we were going. We told him church. He said "oh church... yeah... so like to go get a spark?" to which we replied "yeah.. to get a spark" he said "do you have a spark for me?" we said "yeaaaahh! just come to church!" he said "ok!" he then met up with his friend and started speaking to him in Finnish and said "hey they're going to church right now. let's go to church with them." to which his (sober) friend replied "no, we're not going to church." The drunk guy turned to us and said "sorry, my dude says we can't go to church" he then waved to us as he walked the other way. Ahhh man. I've had more encounters with drunk men on my mission than I've had with Jehovah's Witnesses, and that's saying a lot because I've met a TON of those. 

I love you. I love this gospel. Jesus Christ lives. I finally got to watch the last session of General Conference. Uhm.... HOW AMAZING WAS THAT?!?!? SERIOUSLY. Elder Bednar's talk... was INCREDIBLE. I know he was speaking to people not of our faith but it really spoke directly to me. Why would I NOT want to share this truth with others?? I've found this peace, hope, and joy. I have this healing power in my life. Though sometimes I may come off as being kinda weird or just plain awkward, I will do all I can to bring others to this light and spread the truth of my Savior. Because I love Him. And that love is my motivation. Choose the right. The Lord will give you candles to light your way. Just trust in Him. 

I love you!

Sisar Nielsen

sisar heggie and I bought these new scarves. they are literally the size of blankets! they're the most amazing things ever and way popular here. i love finland :)

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