Mission Map

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


June 16, 2014
The Last Zone Conference with President and Sister Rawlings
Well I hope Dad had an awesome Fathers Day! I'm so dissappointed that I wasn't able to be there with everyone! It sounds like you all had a great time though and Dad you are the greatest father in the world and I love you! Well, I didn't have nearly as much fun as you guys I'm sure, but I had a pretty good week here in Finland! It's super weird I haven't seen night time in a super long time haha it's literally sunny all the time and I love it! It's just beautiful and bright and clear every single day all day long and it just makes you happy and it's awesome. This week we have the longest day of the year and it's a huge holiday here called Juhannus and the sun literally doesn't go down all day long! It's going to be sweet most finns celebrate by grilling makara (finnish sausage) and hanging out at their mökki which is like a little summer cottage thing in the woods and pretty much every single finn has one so were hoping that some member will invite us out to their mökki to feast with them. Juhannus will be awesome were doing splits that day with the other Turku elders and so we will take pictures of the sun out at midnight and all that fun stuff and that's also the day of change calls, so it will be exciting! The only downside to juhannus is that it means that the days will get gradually shorter and shorter until it plunges in to the black whole of winter once again, but I will try not to think about that too much. Well, this week was pretty hectic, we went up to Tampere on Wednesday because we had zone conference on Thursday. So, we had a zone conference that lasted like 9 hours and was way long and brutal, but it was President Rawling's last one so it was way cool. At the end the departing missionaries testified and the president and sister Rawlings testified and it was awesome. President Rawlings has worked extremely hard out here and deserves a nice rest, but he is pretty torn up that he's leaving. So, after zone conference I had my 8 month in the country language school thing which is the last language school you do out in the field, so it was just our zone language coordinator guy and me and 3 other people from the zone that were all in the MTC with me and we just did a little review on some stuff and talked about language study plans and stuff like that. So, the next day we headed back to Turku and elder Heaney (who is one of the APs) came with us to do splits with us on Friday and that was way fun! He's a cool guy and is going to be living with elder Jefferies at BYU in the fall so that's pretty funny. So, Friday we just played basketball as always (we play every monday and friday) and we had our member that we recently reactivated there (and yes mom he's still be coming to church every week) and some other members so it was a ton of fun. After basketball we had a lesson with a recent convert girl at the church and we all made pulla which is this delicious finnish dessert that is kind of like cinnamon rolls but it is SO good. Elder Jeffereies has a recipe for it so we all made some pulla and did a little lesson and it was way fun! Then on Saturday we had an awesome day because the sisters from the other Turku ward had a baptism so we all went to that! The girl that got baptized is an 18 year old girl and is incredible! Her dad is a member, but has been less active most of his life and married a non member lady so the daughter just never got baptized, but recently the dad started coming back to church and the daughter started coming too and she decided to get baptized so it was an awesome day! Well that was pretty much all the excitement from the week. Overall a very good week! This week should be tons of fun. Well, I love you all so much! Hope you guys have a good Juhannus there in some American way!
Springtime in Finland

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Working Hard in Finland

According to Elder Wilson this is a way cool spot, but he neglected to say where and what:)
June 2, 2014

How are we in June already? Pretty insane that we're already in the sixth month of the year! Well I am so jealous that mom and the girls and the adorable baby Rosie got to go to California! That is awesome I'm sure it was beautiful there! I miss my old place back in Westwood! Well the weather here has actually been pretty cloudy the last few days, but earlier last week was extremely warm and sunny and hot and beautiful! So hot that I was rolling up my sleeves and a little sweaty all day but it was great haha Finland is beautiful this time of year. I haven't seen night time in forever haha when the sun is out it's literally up all day long. Theres only a couple hours of slight darkness in the middle of the night. Yes, June 21 is the longest day of the year here and it's a huge holiday. The sun literally doesn't go down I can't wait, I will take pictures of the sun out at like 1 am haha Some ward members may throw this party at their little summer home out in the country and have sausages and stuff like that so that would be a ton of fun I hope that happens! Ya our zone conference got rescheduled so it won't be till like next Thursday so this week we just have a normal week! We have a few potential investigators that I think will turn in to investigators this week, but it has been slow getting in contact with people. One of our investigators was out of town all week but we met with the other one and it went pretty well. We've given away a lot of Book of Mormons this week to people on the street and stuff which is always cool but Finns are just so scared of people so nobody gives their phone number or anything like that, but it still feels good to get Book of Mormons out there. We tracted in to this one house a few days ago and only a 14 year old boy was home but he said his family was pretty religious and prays as a family and things like that and we gave him a Book of Mormon and so we were pretty excited about that! We will go back there sometime this week.
 Well we had a great day of church yesterday as well. Our recently reactivated member was there again and he is even turning in to a good member missionary! He has a friend he has talked to a lot about the church and apparently the friend would like to talk to us sometime so that would be pretty cool! He also agreed to give a Book of Mormon to him so that's way cool! Also another member had a friend at church and we had all the recent converts there and a bunch of visitors so church was packed! We taught the gospel principles class and then a lady in the ward asked us to talk a little bit in relief society about missionary work so we taught a little bit in that class which was cool! This week we are excted to get in contact with more of these potentials and hopefully see some success in that. Elder Jefferies and I have also been extremely dedicated to a strict workout plan because he loves working out too so we're doing all sorts of crossfit interval stuff twice a day and eating five smaller meals a day which is sweet! I'm bulking back up and that's ways nice, hopefully I gain some solid weight in the next 4 weeks! We're having tons of fun here and things are going great! Well that's all I have for the week but I love you all! Have a great week!

Baptismal Dates

Elder Jeffries & Elder Wilson
May 25, 2014

Well hello everyone! So it sounds like mom and dad had an awesome time on their trip. Well thank you for the NBA update mom but that just bums me out that the spurs and heat are both winning haha. I loved the great pictures this week of Rosie in her creature suit and Maxy boy playing T ball!! That was awesome! I can't believe how big those kids are already! Well I've had a bit of a crazy week here. Elder R had been feeling pretty depressed and home sick and he talked to a doctor on skype about it and turns out the doctor decided to send him home so that he could be treated at home. So on Wednesday I went down to Helsinki with him and we went to the temple together and then Elder R left the next day. So it was hard to see him go, I just felt really bad for him and it was kind of bitter sweet for him. He knew it was the right thing to do but at the end he just felt weird and sad about it all. It was pretty tough. So I left from Helsinki up to Tampere and there I slept at the zone leaders apartment and one of the three zone leaders is now my new companion here in Turku. His name is elder jeffries and he is super awesome. We are having so much fun together and he's just a way good guy. So we are just normal missionaries again here in Turku and he actually only has 5 weeks left of his mission and then he heads home so that's kind of sad but exciting for him. Since We were gone for a few days and everthing was so crazy we didn't get to do a whole lot of actual missionary work this week but when we did get to go out and do stuff we found some really good people and gave out 3 book of Mormons and have been having pretty good success! Yes mom I mentioned that we have 2 baptsimal dates now, one of them is almost progressing but just hasn't been able to make it to church and the other just has trouble quitting smoking and stuff so that's holding him back. They baptismal dates are for the 12th of July though.
 Well church was a lot of fun though yesterday. I actually gave a talk in sacrament meeting and it went really well. I gave the same talk that I gave in Seinäjoki my first month in Finland so I got to retell the whole story of dad giving me man lessons and stuff and the whole ward loved it! They all told me that the story about my dad was so beautfiul and stuff haha Well we had one of the less actives that we have been working with in church again today! The third time this month so he is now officially reactivated and committed to coming every Sunday again!!! I was so pumped about that! This guys is about 35 and got baptized like 3 years ago but has been less active for the last year and a half or 2 years but we've just been able to get him to come to volley ball and basketball at the church a lot for the last few months and slowly he agreed to meet with us reguarly again and now he is fully committed to coming back completely to church! It feels really good knowing that we've helped this guy refind his testimony and that he knows this is the right decision for himself.
Well that is all from the week! Next week I actually don't get a p day on monday because we have a zone conference that day so we will probably email on Tuesday instead. Well I love you all so much! Näkemiin!

9 Months

A pic  from our Skype call last week!!
May 18, 2014
Well I hit my 9 month mark in two days! Pretty insane!! Pretty soon I'll be in the older half of all missionaries in the mission. Super weird to think about because I still feel like I'm brand new! Well mom I loved the quote you wrote in your email this week by Elder Bednar and it just reminded me of this cool story I heard last week from my bishop. So my bishop is Finnish obviously and he served a mission here in Finland. Well Elder Bednar's son also served a mission here in Finland and was my bishops trainer haha and then later on elder Bednar's son was an assistant to the president and when he left to go home my bishop filled his place as the assistant. And elder Bednar came to Finland to pick up his son from Finland and so some members around here have pictures with Elder Bednar in their homes and stuff like that, super funny! Just a crazy coincidence but I thought that was pretty cool. Well anyways we had a good week here! It started by doing some splits on tuesday with the other elders here in Turku. I was with elder Barnhart for the day who is also brand new and we had a great day! A few weeks ago I met this lady on a bus who is an english teacher at a school right outside of Turku and she teaches kids in grades 3-6 and when she realized that me and my companion were americans she asked if we would be able to come to her classes sometime just to speak english to her students so that they could practice and hear native speakers so we said sure. So we did that Tuesday morning, just hung out in the elementary school all day with this teacher and by the end of the day we were the most popular kids in school hahaha all the kids would talk to us inbetween classes and these 6th grade boys even asked me for my playstation name so that we could play playstation together online haha and the 5th grade class all wanted to perform their act for the talent show they just had so they all did a little dance for us it was hilarious. It went even better than expected and it was a really good thing! 

Well after that we just had a normal day but we did talk to one guy on the street who said he has been to our church a few times in the past and gave us  his number and address and we have an appointment set up with him for this wednesday so we are excited about that! The rest of the week was just normal stuff, we were able to set a baptsimal date with our other investigator who is from Cameroon originally and works at a little restaurant and we feel good about that! So everything is going well with all our current investigators! We just need to keep finding new people which is always the hard part, but we have a couple good potentials. On Saturday we went to a members house to do some service, it was the same member that elder anderson and I chopped wood for for like 5 hours one saturday about 4 weeks ago. We chopped a little more wood and their friend was there who has been to church with them a few times! We got to talk to him a little bit and he ended up coming to church again on sunday which was awesome! Then yesterday in church elder Rossiter and I taught the english gospel principles class which went really well and then after church we went over to this family's house to eat dinner and it was so fun! they are a way nice family and have a couple daughters out on missions right now (one of them I met in the MTC) and it was super fun! Their other daughter who just graduated highschool is waiting for her mission call as well and this other girl that is in the Turku 1st ward just got her mission call to Temple Square! She was super excited about that so pretty soon there will be a Finn walking around temple square so keep your eyes open when you walk through there haha But other than all that that is pretty much the week! Tomorrow the zone leaders are coming down from Tampere to do splits with us and the other Turku elders so that will be fun! I'm excited for that! But that is everything! I love you all have a great week!

Elder Rossiter had some glass in his foot, Elder Wilson attempted to remove it. 

Finally A Finnish Castle

Gregory says he's bringing home this sweet Cap
Trip To A Finnish Castle

May 12, 2014

Hello everyone! It was so much fun to see you guys on skype!!! O man it was awesome. You all looked great and the babies are all so big I can't believe it! Indie looks like a full on member of the senior primary with all those adult teeth now and baby Rosie is even chubbier and cuter than I imagined haha Max's hair cut is even more stylish than mine and Wilson and Theo were just cracking me up the whole time! I miss all you guys! Well it was sad to hang up, that's always rough but like you said mom that's two skype calls done! We're half way there! I can't believe that in terms of General conferences and calls home I'm halfway done. Pretty crazy! Well yes we had a really good week here! We have found a couple of new investigators and they are all pretty solid! One guy is somebody that the sisters found and taught twice but then they had trouble getting solid appointments with him and they would have to take a third woman since it's a single man so they gave his info to us and we have been trying to stop by, but haven't been able to get a hold of him but finally we got something set up with him and went to his place on Friday. He is from Cameroon but speaks Finnish and he has been reading the Book of Mormon for the past month and praying about it every time he reads and he basically said that baptism is a super big comitment so he wants to investigate until he is positive that this is right, but when he feels that God has answered his prayers then he will be baptized! This other guy is a man that elder Anderson and I met about 6 weeks ago on the street and we gave him a Book of Mormon in Turkish and he was super willing to meet but he was just never home when we tried and thought something had happened. But then last week Elder Rossiter and I were walking towards his house and he came walking out! We talked to him and he told us that he has been reading the Book of Mormon and likes it alot! We got his number and found out where he works (he owns a little restaurant right next to our apartment so we can stop by anytime) but he is very interested and even told us that if he joins our church his girlfriend would have to join also haha so we told him that was fine with us! 
Then we had a good lesson with our other investigator who is trying to quit drinking and smoking and he's doing alright but is just having a hard time quitting obviously. He told us that he believes in us and the church to help him quit but it's just been rough for him. We still feel good about him though and are praying hard for him. But we also had some fun stuff going on this week, on Tuesday we went to Tampere for a zone meeting and then came back Tuesday night and went over to a member's house for dinner and it was super fun! They have 6 kids and a super cute little baby and all that so it was fun! Then yesterday we were at a members house to skype and I got to hang with them and eat with them while elder Rossiter was skyping and they are super cool! Just an extremely nice older couple and their son was over there as well who is in my ward and he has a bunch of kids and suff and we just all chatted about the history of Finland and cool stuff like that haha they are so sweet and told me to tell my family that they say hello haha. Well we should have another good week this week! We are doing splits tomorrow and I have a cool thing planned. A few weeks ago I met this lady on a bus who is an english teacher and she invited us to come to her school class so that her students could hear native english so we are going to do that which will be fun! Then we just have a normal busy week! Well I will try to send all those pictures that weren't working last week but I love you all so much! Have a great week!

Exciting Week

May 5, 2014

Well hello everyone! I hope that you all had a great week, I'm so sorry to hear that it has been a hard week in Utah. I hope that everyone is doing ok, I will remember Lisa and her family in my prayers. Well I can't believe that it's already almost mothers day! I am so excited to skype you guys I cannot wait!!! I will skyping at a members house and it will be awesome! I hope I get to see all the kids too they all look so big now I can't believe it. Why do babies grow up so fast! I'm going to get a nice euro hair cut today because I'm getting a little shaggy so I'll be looking super posh and trendy for you guys on skype. (I'm just kidding I'm just getting a normal hair cut)
Well we had a pretty good week here! There were two red days which means we cant go out and do missionary work because the last day of April and the first for May is called Vappu and it's a super big holiday here. It's like all of the college and high school kids graduate and it's just a massive festival and party for two days so the streets were covered in Finns haha.  Unfortunately, I got super sick on Wednesday and am still sick so that's never fun. I've just had a fever and sinus infection and now have a smokers cough and all that so that's been rough. But we had some super good days though despite all the interruptions. We had a couple super good lessons with our investigator! On wednesday we retaught the restoration because it had been a while and he was still struggling with some of the basic things. So we retaught it all and cleared up some questions he had. He still had a little trouble understanding what it meant to be a prophet though and who Joseph smith really was so on Saturday we went over with the Restoration dvd and it was awesome! He loves movies so we thought he would enjoy it and it went even better than we expected! Before we watched the movie we were chatting about his baptismal date which is set for June 7th and he was saying that he really wants to but he's just worried that he's not sincere enough yet to make such a big life changing decision. So we watched the movie and he loved it. The spirit was super strong and he was feeling it for sure. After the movie we all knealt down and he said a super sincere prayer and really asked God if all of the things we have taught him were true. The spirit was crazy strong and he felt it for sure. He has trouble accepting and knowing what it is because it's all so new to him but he agreed to read a specific chapter of the Book of Mormon that we gave him and he was super happy. Probably one of the best lessons I have been in on my mission if not THE best. He wasn't able to make it to church unfortunately because he had some other work thing going on but he said next week for sure. We're going to explain to him this week that he will have to quit smoking so that he can be baptized and he has already been trying to quit on his own but it's still hard obviously so we're hoping that goes well. We also had a cool experience with a less active guy this week. We meet with this guy once a week and he always says he'll come to church and knows he needs to but gets scared at the last minute. So this week we just asked him what we can do to help him come to church and he asked for a blessing so I gave him a blessing and it was great! He came to church yesterday and had a great time! So overall a super good week!

 We also got do to some fun stuff like on Saturday we went to the castle as a district!! It was so awesome! I took tons of pictures but I loved it. It was the first cultural thing I've done here in Finland and I love museums and stuff like that and they had all sorts of cool artwork and stuff like that that was like 800 years old. On some of the walls of the castle there are drawings and writings and stuff it was just super cool. Also on Saturday the bishop and his wife invited us over to their place to eat. I had never been over there before and turns out they live in the country side and to get to their house we had to walk accross this little bridge over a river and then a couple kilometers through some farmland and it was just beautiful! Exactly what I imagined Finland would be like haha it was awesome. 
Well this week we have a zone meeting on Tuesday in Tampere and then I get to skype you guys on Sunday so I can't wait! I love you all! Have a great week!

April 28 First Experience Training a New Elder

Well I had a super crazy week! So last Monday I sent Anderson off on his way to his new city (Tampere) and then I chilled with elder Alquist for a while who is the other elder in Turku who is also training a new missionary! So then him and I left for Helsinki a few hours later! We got to Helsinki around 9 and stayed at the elder's apartment in Neitsytpolku which is like one block from the office. So Monday morning we had a trainers meeting with President Rawlings. There are 5 elders and 2 sisters training. He just talked to us a bit about how we should help the new missionaries and especially with learning Finnish and all that. Then we all ate lunch with all the new missionaries and got to know them a bit. Then after lunch President paired us with our new companions and sent us off. My new companion is elder Rossiter from Dallas. He grew up in Texas and then moved to New Mexico for high school and then his parents moved to California so he lived there for like a year before he came out on a mission. Kind of funny he has a girlfriend who is starting school at UCLA in the fall. Super funny. 
So anyways we came back to Turku Tuesday night and then Wednesday we did some service for a member which was just clearing out some wood and stuff like that but then they fed us lunch. Later that day we ate at another members house and then had an awesome lesson with our investigator who's kind of depressed and stuff! He told us that he is getting his old job back and is trying to quit smoking and drinking! He seemed so happy and was like a different person! He told us that he has really liked coming to church and stuff and basically said he likes it better than any other he has ever been to. So we invited him to be baptized on the spot and he said yes! So this week we are going to set a solid baptismal date with him and help him quit smoking and stuff like that but it was really good! A super solid lesson! We had a few more days of pretty good successful missionary work and then on Saturday we headed to Tampere for Stake Conference! We went right to the chapel there in Tampere for the Saturday night session which was awesome. The area president, President Kearnen spoke to us which was awesome. He is from England and is a convert. He got baptized when he was 26 and he told a bit about his conversion story and it was awesome. President Rawlings also spoke and gave a sweet talk in which he mentioned the conversion stories of 4 men. They all were converted through friends reaching out to them when they were teenagers or in their 20s and then after he told all four stories he said that these 4 men were the stake president of the North stake in Finland. President Kearnen. The Temple President. And President Rawlings himself. It was super cool and the whole theme of the stake conference was hastening the work and doing it by just talking to more people and inviting very simply and naturally our friends to church activities. During the Sunday session of the stake conference they held it in this big meeting hall that is like a concert hall because they couldn't fit all the people in the normal Tampere chapel so it was sweet! All the missionaries sang two songs as choir performances and it went really well! It was very cool to see so many of the good members of Finland all gathered together in one place. A very spiritual meeting. Well I think the stake conference touched a lot of the members hearts because yesterday we had this member call us and say that they talked to their neighbor who was outside when they came home from stake conference and they invited him to learn a bit about the gospel and so on Wednesday they are going to invite him over to their house so that we can get to know him a little bit! It has been a very good weekend and I'm excited for this week! Tomorrow we are having a district meeting and President will be here and interview us and stuff so that should be fun! Well I love you all and hope you have an awesome week!