Monday, October 27, 2014

10/27/14 - Give It All We've Got

Every 2 months, our President calls us to give us our change calls. He tells us where we will be serving and who we will be serving with. This past Saturday was the last time that I will ever receive one of these calls. It's incredible to me that I really am one of the oldest in the mission now, when I feel like I am still such a baby! I still have so much to learn! But luckily, I still have time to learn it :) Well, President called and he is splitting up Sisar Heggie and I. My new companion will be Sister Bitner and she will come down to Espoo to be a Sister Training Leader with me and Sister Heggie is going to Kerava to train! It's crazy because somehow beforehand, I knew that Sister Bitner would become my companion! So when he said that, Sister Heggie was just like "whoa... you totally called that." Sister Heggie had said that if she had to leave Espoo, there was only one place she wanted to go: Kerava. However, we didn't think that would even be an option but President took out the missionaries there and is putting Sister Heggie in. So that was crazy that we both got what we thought/hoped would happen. We're way sad to spit up (Sister Heggie said she thinks I'm rubbing off on her because this is the first time she cried after she got a change call haha). The past 4 months have been a BLAST. I don't know if I've mentioned this earlier but for the past 4 months, my companions and I have matched our clothes every day. It started the 2nd or 3rd day back when Sister Cribbs, Heggie, and I were first together and has continued all the way till today. We are known as the sisters that match and have the "amazing rain boots" (all of our members adore them! they're super Finnish). It's been great and we have seen TONS of miracles together! But now it's time for us to sprint to the end and give it all we've got. 

On Saturday, R GOT BAPTIZED!!!!! Ah man, it was amazing. And the perfect way to end a change. He was so prepared. When we taught him this week, he just kept saying how everything we teach just adds on to what he already knows. That he had studied the bible his whole life but what we teach him answers questions he's never been able to find answers to. Before he was baptized, we went through the baptism interview questions (every person must answer these questions before they get baptized to make sure they understand what is expected of them and to make sure they are ready) and he passed with flying colors. When we asked the word of wisdom question, he said that coffee and tea were his only problems. We got a little nervous because people must live the word of wisdom for at least a week straight before they can get baptized. We asked when the last time he drank them was and he responded "even though it was hard, I gave them up right after you told me about it." So sweet! When he came up out of the water, he looked so happy. The blessing he received when he got the Holy Ghost was amazing. He's so solid. And he will for sure be a kingdom builder, especially when he goes back to Ghana. Heavenly Father is the bestest! :) 

This week we had a way fun evening. We met with L and S from Taiwan and a recent convert from the Philippines that taught us how to make traditional Filipino spring rolls! They were sooo good. And it was so much fun. The whole night we were all laughing nonstop. G (the recent convert) shared her conversion story with the girls and L started to cry. The Spirit was so strong. G looked at us and through her tears said she is so grateful that our parents loved us enough to let us leave them to come on missions. She talked about Heavenly Father's love and how grateful she is to now know who she really is - a Daughter of God. Of course, I started to cry as well. Thanks family for supporting me on my mission. I can't imagine my life without the mission. I'm so so grateful that I have been able to serve. Plus what made the evening even cooler is that S and L came to hang out with us when their friends were getting drunk! Church is so true. And we seriously had sooo much fun! We also met with them this week and watched "Finding Faith in Christ." Gosh, these girls feel the Spirit sooo strongly. It's truly incredible to see. It's so fun watching them come to know Christ better. And they eat up everything that we tell them. They just want more and more and more. They have been praying and reading the Book of Mormon everyday and the light of Christ is glowing brighter and brighter inside of them.  They have become some of my best friends and I'm grateful to still be with them for a couple more months. 

This week we also got to help with the Halloween party for the primary kids! Whooohoooo! Halloween isn't very big here but it's starting to get bigger with the younger generations. At the end, Sister Heggie and I got to go head to head in the eating a doughnut off a string with no hands competition (side note: everybody here makes homemade munkki (doughnuts). it's crazy). It was hilarious. And way fun. Also this week we were asked to come to a youth gathering at the temple guest house and testify and sing a song. Well we thought it was just the youth from our ward. Nope. Turns out, it was a stake thing. So we walk into a room full of youth. That was a bit of a shock. But it was cool to be with the youth and we sang the youth theme song "Come Unto Christ" and the Spirit was way strong. It was then their testimony meeting so it was cool to be a part of that. It's hilarious how youth testimony meetings are the same all around the world. And that young men are the same all around the world hahaha. 

We went to the temple this week as a district. My word. Words cannot describe my love for the temple. It increases every time I attend. The peace I feel there can't be felt anywhere else. I went with some things weighing on my mind and I left feeling light and like a new person. 

I FINISHED THE BOOK OF MORMON AGAIN THIS WEEK!!!!!! It was great! I had taken a brand new copy and read it from beginning to end with a focus on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It was such an edifying and enriching experience. I highly recommend it! And really, you can do it with a focus on any church topic you want. When I finished it, I once again took Moroni's promise at the end of the book to ask God if these things are true. I went into our room, knelt down by my bed, and prayed. Once again, I got the strong reassurance that the Book of Mormon really is the word of God. It is part of my foundation. Whenever I have doubts or questions, I can always fall back on the fact that I know the Book of Mormon is true. Thanks to this knowledge, I know Christ lives, Heavenly Father loves me, Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and a living prophet leads God's one true church today. If you are not currently doing so, grab a Book of Mormon and read it from beginning to end. Read at least a little bit everyday. I promise that you will feel a new source of light in your life. You will feel guided and strengthened in a whole new way. You will receive answers to your questions and your faith will increase. READ IT!

I love you! God lives. We found this song about the temple: Go to the temple! It's so worth it!


Sisar Nielsen

ps for Sister Heggie's last Sunday, we wore these huge fur vests. all the members loved it. it was pretty hassu (funny). gotta end our companionship with a bang ya know?

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