Mission Map

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Final Days as a Missionary

August 3, 2015
Final Days as Vahnin Wilson

I've got two weeks left. It still doesn't really feel real. Every day we go out and it feels like just another day and then at the end of the day I realize I have like 2 weeks left in Finland and it feels way weird. It's been a ton of fun this week though. We had a really exciting week!

So over the weekend there was a big rally car event in Jyväskylä. So there were tons of tourists from all over the world and tons of rally car drivers and we saw a bunch of the cars and they had timed events around the city so it was pretty cool to see but unfortunately it meant that the center of the city was insane and nobody was at home. So we were out in one  of our areas just a little bit outside of the center and doing some tracting on Saturday night. We probably literally knocked like 30 doors in a row with nobody being home. So I was starting to think that maybe we should go to a new area or do something else since nobody was home but then we decided to just knock on more building. So the first door we knock this guy opens up and says to his girlfriend "hey there's two guys at the door who can help you with the mats (the girlfriend was about to beat their rug to get the dust off)" and the guy was joking but we were like no really we can help for sure. The girlfriend was pretty sketched out and asking if we were going to ask for money or something like that but we told her we're missionaries and do service for people like that. So we took the rug and beat if for them and chatted with them then they invited us in for juice. The girlfriend then said something like "wow I was just so confused, like why would people want to just help someone like that, I thought you would try to steal something or take money or something like that" They were so grateful that we helped and asked what we do as missionaries. So we told them about the Book of Mormon and they were 
but they were super in to it. So we set up a return appointment and went again yesterday. Turns out the man has a ten year old son as well who was there yesterday and we taught the whole family. They are just super nice great people and we're very interested in everything! The kid was way funny, he said he loves learning about Jesus and going to churches and things like that and the mom and the son said that they will both come to church on Sunday! The dad has work unfortunately. But we taught them the whole restoration and they said they would read the Book of Mormon together and pray about it. They were awesome! One of the coolest families I've found on my whole mission. 

So stuff has be going really well. We've got a few other investigators that are slowly progressing and we've been finding lots of people. It's too bad I have to leave right in the middle of all the excitement. 

But that was the main story from the week. It was a great week! 

Only one more week of emailing, pretty weird. I love you guys! 

My Last 3 Weeks

July 27

Well yeah three weeks to go.... pretty weird.... it's starting to feel way close and real that I won't have many more weeks of emailing home. But the thing is, I don't really remember what it's like to be at home and not be a missionary so I don't even know what to expect, but I'm excited to see you guys and all the little babies!
We had a pretty sweet week here acutally. We had some disappointments of investigators dropping us but by the end of the week we were able to find four new investigators which was awesome! We've found some pretty cool people lately. This one guy we found is like a 24 year old Finnish guy, lives in the center of town, super smart, clean guy and he told us that he's been kind of atheist/agnostic his whole life because he's never been taught to believe in anything. He just has never seen the evidence of God or an afterlife or anything  but he's always thought that it would make him happier to believe in something. So we told him about the Book of Mormon and taught him about prayer and the evidence of the Spirit. I'm way excited to keep teaching him he's a super sincere guy.
I also had a chance this week to see a bunch of the YSA guys from Oulu because they came down here to Jyväskylä this weekend because they were taking a bus that left from here to Denmark (they're all going to that Festinord thing) so we went to lunch with all of them and they were here in church on Sunday so it was sweet to see them all.
We've been taking a lot of different members out on lessons and getting to know new people so it's cool to get to know a new ward. There's way good members here, super willing to help us out and really nice people.
Well today we've got to run some errands, unfortunately when I moved here to Jyväskylä the last two wheels on my biggest suitcase broke so I just dragged the big suitcase the whole way from the train station to the apartment here and the bottom of the suitcase like practical evaporated, it's just totally destroyed so I'll have to buy a cheap suit case to get all my stuff home haha, but I saw a store with a big luggage sale so I'll get one for cheap.
But that's pretty much the whole week, I love you guys! I'll talk to you next time!
So I didn't take any good pictures this week, it was cloudy and rainy almost every day, but I promis I'll take some good pictures this week! 

Week 2 in Jyvaskyla

July 20, 2015
Summer in Jyvaskyla

E. Madala

Another good week in Jyväskylä. It's a way pretty place and we've got some good people to teach so it's been pretty fun. This week we taught the 28 year old Lutheran guy I mentioned last week, he's doing pretty well. Really receptive and willing to listen and learn. There's also a man here that's been coming to church pretty regularly for the last several years but hasn't been baptized so we met with him this week and had a pretty good lesson with him so hopefully we can help him to start realizing that he needs to do something now that he knows so much about the church. Missionaries haven't met with him for quite a while so hopefully nows the right time for him to start progressing.
We had a zone conference this week in Tampere. So it was fun to go there, Tampere is a cool city. It was fun to see a lot of missionaries that I haven't seen in a while too. It was my very last zone conference or meeting for my whole mission. It felt way weird to say the real goodbye to everybody. It's definitely starting to feel like the real end is coming. But I can't really imagine it though, I don't remember what it's like to not do missionary work every day so I don't know what to expect in a few weeks but it's coming up fast. Pretty crazy.
I'm learning all sorts of great Australian words and phrases from my companion so it's like learning another language. I'll come home basically trilingual. I'll be giving Sammy a run for her money on number of languages fluent in.
Well sorry pretty short email today. Don't know what else to say. Life's good, Jyväskylä is sweet. It's the coldest summer that finland has had in like 60 years so.... pretty bad luck haha but it's not too bad it actually feels pretty perfect wearing missionary clothes and walking around with a side bag all the time so I'm enjoying it.
Well I love you guys! Talk to you next week! 


July 15, 2015

Oulu Friends and Elders

Alright so mom, you asked how to prounounce Jyväskylä haha this is kind of hard to describe. Basically say the word "you" then the word fast but take off the t and use a v at the beginning so "vas" and then ky... I don't know how do describe the y sound, basically like the beatles song I am the walrus when they say coo coo ca choo. It's the first coo part. then lä is just say the word last but take off the st. so altogether "you.vas.coo.la" Jyväskylä!
Well Jyväskylä is way sweet, it's a beautiful place. We live in a super nice apartment right in the center, near the stores and downtown area. The city is kind of divided by a couple of big lakes so it's really scenic and pretty. There's a huge park right near our house as well that is a big hill and you get some great views from up there so I'll definitely take some pictures this week and send them next time. The ward is super cool too. The members here are way nice and willing to come to lessons and very friendly. I had met a couple of the YSAs before because they have family in Oulu so I met them up there so it's nice to already know a few people. But we had a really good first week! Even though we don't really know the area well yet we figured out the buses pretty quick so we've been getting around no problem and we found a few new investigators! On our very first day we contacted this 25ish year old finnish couple and went to their place the next day and taught them about the book of mormon! They're students and super nice and interested! We also tracted in to a guy that we met with yesterday who is one of the most solid potential guys I've met on my mission. He's a 28 year old Finnish guy, has a job in the evenings so he's free during the day time. Is Lutheran but acutally reads the bible and prays every day and has really strong faith but is SUPER willing to learn and read the book of mormon! He's sweet!
Yeah it's pretty fun to be with a newer missionary again. It's fun to teach him finnish and help him learn the tricks and all that stuff. Elder Mandla is way cool too, we get along great and we're going hard on the morning workouts so it's been pretty sweet.
I got to talk with elder Coffee a bit this week and he said that the investigators up there are still doing way good and the vietnamese guys is still getting baptized next saturday so I'm really excited for that.
Alright that's about all from the week, but I'll send lots of pictures and stuff next week! I love you guys!

Last Transfer

July 6, 2015

Hard to say goodbye
So as I said in the topic yes I'm leaving Oulu :( I'm way sad to leave Oulu, it's been a ton of fun here and the work has been great. I've grown to be really close with a bunch of the members here and investigators too. It was pretty sad to say goodbye to them yesterday. But I'll be going to a city called Jyväskylä! I've heard that Jyväskylä is a sweet place, it's supposed to be beautiful and have a great ward with awesome members so I'm really excited to spend my last six weeks there. It's a little bit smaller than Oulu but still a decently large city (by finland standards). We live right in the center of the city so it should be a ton of fun. I'm going to be with an elder who will also be new in Jyväskylä so neither of us will really know what's going on but it'll be fun. This new elder is new as well, he's only been in finland for one transfer so I'll finnish his training. He's also from Australia so I'm excited to meet him! It feels weird knowing that I'm only going to be in Jyväskylä for 6 weeks but I'm sure it'll be a ton of fun.
We had a good week in Oulu though. Yeah our vietnamese investigator is still doing really well and looking like he'll get baptized in a few weeks. It's too bad I'll miss his baptism, but I'm way pumped for him! He came to church again and is working on quitting drinking coffee but is doing a great job. We also had the finnish family in church and the former investigator that I used to talk about a lot who is a little chinese student. We stopped teaching him for a few months but on Saturday we went to his place and I said goodbye to him and we asked him how he has been feeling since we haven't been meeting and he told us that after he stopped investigating all sorts of bad things started happening to him. He started digressing in a way and he started to realize that it was because he stopped progressing towards God. So now he is totally willing to start meeting with the elders again and try again so I'm so excited for him! He is such an awesome person. I've met a ton of great people in Oulu that I'll definitely stay in contact with.
Well I head out tomorrow morning for Jyväskylä. A 7 hour train ride all by myself, I feel like I'll go a little crazy with loneliness haha but I'm excited to let you know how I like the new area and I'll send lots of pictures of it next week.
I love you guys!

Goodbye's and Last Transfer

July 1, 2015
Oulu Friends
Wow I wish I could celebrate the fourth of July with you guys this week but you'll have to drink some rootbeer and eat some hot dogs for me. Yeah we probably won't do anything special for the fourth over here in Finland but this is change call week so that's exciting. We get calls on Friday and it will be my very last one. Super weird to think about. I definitely hope to stay here in Oulu but I'm not too sure if I will or not. Oulu has been an awesome place to serve though I'm so grateful that I've been here for this long. If I do get transferred though our P day will be on Monday next week, but if we stay together then it'll just be on Tuesday like normal.
Well we had a pretty exciting week here in Oulu, we had some exciting progression this week. Our vietnamese investigator who's a student here was in church this Sunday for all three hours. He has been in church three or four times now. But he is progressing well and has decided that he wants to be baptized! We have a goal for the eighteenth of July with him and I believe he will make that date. Our Finnish mom is also doing well, she came to church but only for the relief society meeting. However she really enjoyed the relief society meeting and is getting excited to be a part of the great community of the church. She has also stopped drinking coffee so now the only thing she is still working out is paying tithing. She is getting close to baptism! So way cool stuff going on right now.
Last week we got to go down to Helsinki for MLC and go to the temple. I said goodbye to a lot of my mission buddies and former companions probably for the last time here in Finland so that was way weird.

We also had the APs over here doing splits with us yesterday and I've served with two of the three of them so it was pretty fun. We had a good day and found a lot of new potential investigators.
Well sorry this isn't a very long one.... I think that's all the excitement for the week. But I love you guys! I'll talk to you next week.


June 23, 2015
Ping Pong Tourney

Hey everyone! 

My week was awesome here in Oulu! So as you see in the pictures, we had a little ward Juhannus at a little beach house about 30 kilometers away from Oulu in this place called Oulunsalo. It started on Friday and a lot of people slept over there and still hung around on Saturday. There was most of the ward plus a lot of members from other cities in Finland so it turned out to be an awesome party! We had a few investigators there on friday so we went and had a good time with everyone, the finnish family we've been teaching for a while came and also another African student that we've taught for quite a while as well and they had a great time! The African guy made a ton of friends and a member even gave him a ride back for the rest of the party on Saturday so it was awesome! I feel like the investigators that came got more socially converted this weekend so that makes the spiritual conversion even easier. The African guy came to church on Sunday and one other Vietnamese guy came on Sunday as well so it was overall a really good week! 

Finland is beautiful in the Summer. Yeah it is pretty crazy up here in the north, on Juhannus it was literally sunny all day long, the sun goes down technically for about an hour but it's still just under the horizon so it's still pretty light outside. It's been way nice and warmer this week. It's only about 20 degrees but it's plenty warm in a shirt and tie it feels pretty hot honestly. It makes me scared to come home if it's over 100 degrees Fahrenheit there haha I've forgotten what that feels like. 

Well the work is going well. We have sweet investigators still and people are seriously progressing. The Vietnamese guy who came to church on Sunday has a baptismal date for this Saturday and he told us last week that he wants to be baptized on Saturday but the problem is that he still doesn't believe in the restoration but he says "I believe in both of you, so I will be baptized" And we were like uhhh... man you kind of have to believe in the church as well before you're baptized haha so we will reset the date for a few weeks out but that's the first time that I've had somebody want to be baptized and we've had to shut them down haha But a good problem to have. So with him, the African guy, and the Finnish mom we've got three people that are getting really close to being baptized. 

This week we're going down to Helsinki for MLC and we get to go to the temple! Should be a great week! 

I love you guys!