Mission Map

Monday, December 16, 2013

Back to Helsinki!

Back to Helsinki for training!

Splits in Swedish no less!

Hello everyone! 

Ok well we had an awesome week! I've got so much to say so this may be a little all over the place, but here we go:
So Sunday night the Vaasa Elders picked us up in the sisters car and we all drove down to Helsinki! It was like a 4 and a half hour drive but it was fun! So, we changed our plans, instead of staying in Espoo we just all stayed at the AP's apartment in Marjaniemi which is just on the east side of Helsinki. It was way nice and the assistants are super cool guys! It was super fun we woke up at like 5:40 every day and went to the chapel and played Sähly. Sähly is a super popular sport in the Nordic countries, it's basically just floor hockey with a wiffel ball, its usually teams of three and you have a goalie and whatnot but it was super fun! Finn's go crazy for Sähly haha the missionaries that live in places with a chapel and where they play Sähly a lot buy their own sticks and whatnot haha it was super fun. 
So then for Monday through Wednesday we went to the Mission office every day till about 5 and President Rawlings just gave us all sorts of instruction, it was great! We did a ton of role plays, like how to invite people to pray or be baptized or whatever and so he taught us a lot of teaching skills and also just gospel stuff and it was amazing. He is an incredible guy. I've never even heard of a person being so dedicated to missionary work, he works insanely hard, he is an awesome mission president. Every night we would go back to the Marjaniemi area and go on splits! So I went out with the AP's a couple times and then twice I went out with a new elder like me, so it was just us brand new missionaries walking around the streets of Helsinki haha it was super fun! It was a really good experience because I realized that I can't really speak great finnish yet but we got around all night having good conversations with people and teaching lessons and stuff and we did it! It was way cool, for the first time I felt pretty comfortable and independent in a way. So that was a lot of fun. Then on Thursday we had our Kieli Koulu (language school) which was good. The way it was set up was basically: there are three zones in Finland and each zone has a missionary that serves as the language coordinator. So these language coordinators work together and they make the twelve week training program for all the new missionaries coming in and they call missionaries periodically in their zone and do little language tests with them. So basically they are really good at finnish haha so all the language coordinators were there and they split us up in to three small groups and just answered some of our language questions but mostly we just talked about our language study plans and how we can be more effective with our language study time every day. 

So then we took a train back up to Seinäjoki that night! The next day, Friday, was Finland's Independence day and we also had a district meeting in Kokkola which is like 2 hours away so we drove up with the Vaasa elders to Kokkola and it was like a straight up blizzard outside hahaha it was frightening. I've never seen it snow so hard in my life. So then we came back to Seinäjoki on the train that day and went out to some lessons! We taught the Burmese family that evening which was great but we had to take our one member with us because the dad and brother weren't home and it's just a little awkward because the member is this older Finnish guy and he speaks really really fast so I don't think they understood most of what he said haha but it was good! Then Friday we had another great day of lessons and we met this guy on the street and we ended up giving him a book of mormon, then he called us like an hour later and let us come over and we taught him the first lesson! It was super cool, that was the first time something like that had happened haha it was just so fast! So hopefully he will turn in to a solid investigator!
 So then yesterday we had another great day! The Sisters that live in Vaasa that served here in Seinäjoki just before us came down to Seinäjoki because they were going to participate in our sacrament meeting and our christmas party which was last night. So we had the sisters there AND 4 of the Burmese family came to church!!!! We were so pumped! It was like the first time that one of OUR investigators who we had found and are teaching actually came to church so we were SUPER excited. We think it went well and that they really enjoyed it. During Sacrament the sisters told us like an hour before that we were going to do a song as well hahaha so I introduced a christmas song in sacrament and then we all sang it for the ward and then the sisters and elder Christiansen spoke so it was a really cool sacrament meeting. So after church me and Elder CHristiansen took the sisters car up to this less active lady who lives about 45 minutes away and gave her the sacrament and then her and her husband both asked for blessings which was super cool because the husband is a non member! So I gave a blessing to the sister (in english because she is from sweden and speaks better english than finnsih) and then Elder Christiansen gave a blessing in finnish to the husband because he's a finn. So it was a super cool experience. Then we hustled back to Seinäjoki and had our christmas party which went great! We had like 25 people there! One family from the Vaasa ward came and their kids all did musical numbers and they were adorable haha Finnish kids are so stinking cute, and they all speak Finnish and Swedish it's awesome haha and we had a less active lady there and a few non members so the party was bumping! It was just a great day all in all! Unfortunately, I made the mistake of getting a big plate of the food they were serving though and it was straight nasty haha it was this classic finnish dish and it's just like plain rice pudding with some other gross stuff on it. So I was trying to choke this big fat bowl down for a while and then realize that everyone else put sugar on theres because it's so gross when it's just plain but mine was just plain and it was horrible hahaha but other than that it was super good! 
So we had a really busy week but super rewarding. We only got to do work here in Seinäjoki for 3 days but taught 12 lessons and got 2 new investigators so it was fantastic! So tonight we are actually going to do splits in Pietarsaari where are district leader is. Unfortunately Pietarsaari is the straight up Swedish speaking city in Finland haha so I will be very quiet tomorrow but luckily I will be with Elder Werjefelt for the day and he is a Swede so it's no big deal! I'm super excited thought I think it will be fun! 
Ok so here's a really cool quote for you all for the week. This quote is our Mission statement, we say it at the beggining of every district, zone, or any other type of meeting.
"We can stand in the place and stead of the Lord Jesus Christ in administering salvation unto the children of men. He preached the gospel, so can we. He spoke by the power of the Holy Ghost, so can we. He served as a missionary, so can we. He went about doing good, so can we. He performed the ordinances of Salvation, so can we. He kept the commandments, so can we. He wrought miracles. Such also is our privelege if we are true and faithful in all things. We are his agents, we represent him. We are expected to do and say what he would do and say if he were personally administering among men at this time." 
-Elder Bruce R. McConkie
As human beings were are obviously not perfect and never will be. We are entitled to make mistakes here or there but as children of God we have the ability to be perfect, even as our Father in Heaven is perfect. We all have the privelege and honor of representing Jesus Christ at this time. As members of Jesus Christ's true church we can see miracles. We are seeing miracles happen all around us here in Finland and they are happening throughout the world.
Well I love you all so much! Have a great week!
A lot of shoveling pictures from Seinajoki!

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