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! 

Jyvaskyla

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
Hey!
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.

Juhannus

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! 

My Last Zone Conference as ZL

June 16, 2015
It's bright in Lapland

Elder Coffey and Wilson

It was so fun to see the pictures of Indies baptism! I'm glad that it all went well and little Indie enjoyed it :) Sounds like it was an exciting week for everyone there. Too bad that Mandy and Danen are suffering without air conditioning, I'd trade them a hot day for a rainy day at this point though. 

So yes Juhannus (summer solstice) is coming up! This year there's actually a ward party on Friday (the day before Juhannus) so we're planning on taking some investigators to that and hanging at the ward party it should be way fun! We're going to the beach like 20 kilometers away to grill makkara and hang so it should be a solid finnish party.  We probably won't stay up all night but we will get a picture of the midnight sun for sure like last year. Juhannus will be sweet up hear in Oulu. It literally doesn't get dark all night long. The weather has been kind of cold and rainy up every other day the sun comes out and so hopefully Juhannus should be a nice sunny day! 

We had a good week here in Oulu. We had the finnish mom and a Muslim man from Algeria in church this week and they both really enjoyed it. The Finnish mom is doing super well, she has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, she is just working through quitting coffee and all that stuff but she is progressing great! We had some other really good lessons this week and found a cool couple from South Sudan that have lived here in Finland for 10 years. Pretty cool, we actually tracted in to the mom and she set up a return appointment for the next day, and then when we went for the appointment she told us that her father had died the day before we knocked on her door so she was pretty excited to hear about the Book of Mormon and that we can all see our families again some day. It was a really nice lesson and sweet experience. 

Well we had a zone meeting last week too that was really good. We talked about the story of David and Goliath and how to really get rid of fear like David did. It was a pretty sweet meeting. I think that all missionaries around the world get pretty scared to talk to people but the story of David is a sweet example of a person who had such great faith that fear never even came in to his mind when he saw Goliath. So I realized that that was probably my last zone meeting as a zone leader. I don't know if I'll still be in Oulu next change or not but it was a sweet experience to really testify to the missionaries of how I've seen Heavenly Father help me throughout my mission and how when you feel God's love for you, there's no need to fear. 

Well that's all from the week, I love you guys! I'll talk to you next week! 


Elder Holland Conference

June 9, 2015

Hey everybody! 

We had a pretty fun week over here, and sounds like a busy week back home. That's so crazy that Mandy and Danen and the boys are off to Florida, how exciting! I loved the picture of Wilson and Theo in their carseats, it looks like wilsons getting ready to be shirtless at the beach all the time! And Indie is getting baptized on Saturday! That's so exciting, how can she be 8? I feel like it wasn't too long ago that she was a tiny baby sucking on peanut butter bagels at Panara Bakery. That is so cool, tell Indie I love her and am so excited for her! 

Well we had a cool week and had some good lessons. We got to go up to a city called Kemi to do splits there and had a nice day there. Kemi is a tiny little town and we got rained on super hard in the afternoon so I had to dry my socks off by holding them over the stove for a while when we got home but it was a pretty fun day. I talked about that one college student finnish guy last week, he's doing well. He's super receptive and understands everything we teach very well. He's feeling the spirit and progressing pretty quickly! We had a way cool church meeting on Sunday too. Elder Holland was in Scotland at a stake conference there that they broadcast to the whole north Europe area so that's Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and all of Great Britain. So we had it broadcast to us and we got to watch the whole stake conference. It was an awesome meeting. Elder Holland gave a great talk about the Book of Mormon. How it is the proof of the Restoration and how it will stand till the last day as a testimony of Jesus Christ. He talked about how nobody and nothing can every take away the validity of the Book of Mormon when we get a testimony of it's truthfulness. The whole conference was great though. We had three investigators and our Finnish family that we've taught for a while now, all in church. The Finnish family were out of town for a couple weeks but they're back and they're doing super well! So it was a pretty great week altogether. There's always people that drop off and disappointments that come but the week always seems to end on a high note and you feel good about it. 

This coming week we have a zone meeting here in Oulu tomorrow. So we've been preparing for that and will have elders staying with us tonight for that. We're going to talk about some teaching skills and how fear diminishes our ability to teach well. So we'll talk a lot about having confidence and chasing out fear to teach more powerfully. 

Well that's about it for the week. I love you guys so much! 

Summer is almost here

June 2, 2015



Temple Trip and MLC 

Summer is officially here! I'm super happy, it's been a little rainy still this week but today is beautiful and sunny and the temperature is perfect. It's been like 18 in the day and the sun is shining so everyone's happy. Oulu is so beautiful in the summer, I'll have to take some pictures this week of the water, there's a big river that runs through the city and it's on the ocean so there's some really nice views. It's pretty much sunny all night long too so it's pretty sweet!

Well we had a really nice week here. Last week I mentioned some new investigators that we have and we got to meet with the new college aged Finnish guy a couple of times this week! On Friday we were at his house teaching him and we invited him to come to church. He said that he was a little nervous about it, he didn't feel like he really needed to yet but he just wanted to keep learning. So we invited him to at least come to the church the next day for a church tour so that he could see it and see it's no big deal to come on Sunday. So we had a member pick him up and drive him to the church on Saturday and we gave him a whole tour and taught him a little lesson. The member that was there with us was absolutely perfect. He joined the church when he was about the same age as this investigator so he shared his experience when he learned about the church and how he was hesitant to make the decision to get baptized but then he said something really cool. A friend who had been teaching this current member about the church said to him "the Spirit is not going to testify to you any stronger than what you've already experienced, you already know it's true, you just need to act on the answer you received" So after that he was baptized! He chose to act on the answer he had already received. Well this current investigator we are teaching is in a pretty similar situation. He's definitely felt the Spirit but he just needs to act on the promptings he's getting. He recognized that and told us that he believes what we're telling him. But in the end he still didn't work up the courage to come to church. But I have no doubt that he will come. We just need to keep meeting with him and encouraging him but he is a super sincere investigator. During his prayers with us he says stuff like "thank you for sending the missionaries to me and thank you for helping me to believe what they are teaching. I feel ready for all of this" And really cool stuff like that. He's awesome!" We've got a lot of really cool people that we're working with right now so it's a ton of fun! 

Yeah they announced in church on Sunday that Elder Perry had died. It was really surprising I didn't know he had been sick. He seemed so lively at conference but when I heard the news I was sad but also just really glad to know what we know as members of the church. I'm grateful for the plan of Salvation and grateful that we have awesome examples like the apostles to show us the way to truly live the gospel. 

This coming week, we're going up to a city called Kemi for splits. Kemi is like an hour north of Oulu. It's a tiny little city but should be a fun time. We just have a normal week though going on. 

I love you guys! 

Work Goes On

May 26, 2015

Hey everyone, sounds like like back home was pretty exciting this week. I'm glad that Indie and Max made it through the traumatic cemetery experience! I can't believe that little Wilson is 5! How can that be? Way sad that his birthday party was a little hectic, but I hope he enjoyed the pizza haha That whole story was so sad but pretty funny. It reminded me of when we went to Six Flags in Houston and Mandy also got thrown up on unexpectedly haha Well it's too bad also that the rockets are down but hey, as long as Golden State beats the Cavaliers that's all I care about. 

Well this week we got to go down to Vaasa for their district meeting and splits. It was a fun trip. We stayed the night in Seinäjoki so I was tripping down memory lane a bit and looking through the teaching records of people we used to teach there so it was pretty fun. Vaasa is a way cool city too, it's always nice to be there. It's a very European looking little ocean town so it was a great day! We also had the chance to find some super cool new investigators here in Oulu. We found one college student finnish guy who we taught the restoration too and it was one of the best restoration lessons I've ever taught. The spirit was strong and while I recited the first vision he said that he felt really impacted by it. He was feeling the spirit for sure but just doesn't know it yet. We're going back to his place tomorrow but it went great with him! We also found a sweet college age finnish girl who who just did "how to begin teaching" with so basically just got to know her a bit and told her what we do as missionaries. But it was an awesome lesson! She was very open and really does want to know if God loves her and if what we say is true. She's had some pretty hard experiences in the past so she is very open to hearing what we have to say and seeing if it works. We're also going back to her place tomorrow! We had district conference this weekend so all of the church members came from the Oulu district which includes the cities of kajaani, Rovaniemi, and Kemi. So church was pretty packed. It's just a little smaller version of a stake conference, but the district president spoke and President Watson and sister Watson and it was a great meeting. We had two investigators there and they both enjoyed it! We also got two investigators to come to family night here at the church last night and they loved it! We had a pretty good sized group and it was a ton of fun. the members here are great at fellow shipping and making the investigators always feel welcome.  So the work has been going really well and it's been a ton of fun. 

This week we're going down to Helsinki for our MLC meeting and that will be on Thursday. So we get to go to the temple which will be sweet. Other than that we just have a normal week here in Oulu.

Ok I love all of you! I'll talk to you next week! 

Rakkaudella
-Vanhin Wilson 

His Plan Not Ours

May 19, 2015


Hey everybody!

So another week down, we had a really good one here in Oulu. It sounds like everyone back home is doing exciting stuff though. I'm so pumped that Sammy is going to dance again and that Theo is rocking bow ties! Wow the picture you sent me of baby Rosie catching the fish is so adorable, it made me laugh way hard. I can't wait to play with all those little guys this summer! 

Well this week we did a zone meeting up here in Oulu and it went really well. We talked about "how to begin teaching" which is just kind of what you do with investigators when you meet with them for the first time. So we read the story from Alma 18 when Ammon is teaching king Lamoni and used that as a parallel for a lot of the things it says in Preach My Gospel about how to begin teaching. So it was really cool. I think everyone enjoyed it. We also had some really good lessons with investigators. Our cool Nigerian guy that is the professional soccer player has a baptismal date and is just praying to find out if he should be baptized again (he was baptized as a baby) so we're praying that he can get his answer but he's doing great! We have quite a few investigators who are out of town but we were able to find 4 new ones this week. We had a cool experience with one of these new people last night actually. We had an appointment with a girl for 8 pm so we got to her apartment with a member but the lesson fell through, she said it wasn't a good time. So we decided to take the member to try to knock on a potentials door that lived in a different area. We had found the potential a few days before, we were walking down the street and said hey how's it going and he said "I'm in a rush I can't talk but I live in that building in room _" So we had no idea what to expect but the guy was home, he let us right in and he took a book of mormon! He's a super cool Finnish student, studying english literature and he's pretty interested in the Book of Mormon! So it was a pretty cool experience, even though our original plan fell through it was still according to Heavenly Father's plan for the day. 


This coming week we have to go down to Vaasa to attend their district meeting and do splits with the elders there so we're going to leave tonight and sleep in Seinäjoki (my first city) for tonight. So I'm way excited about that! It'll be weird to sleep in my old apartment, I haven't been there in over a year so that should be fun. Then we come back on thursday and have a normal week ahead of us. But that's pretty much all from the week. I love you all! Talk to you next time! 

Elder Coffey and Wilson

Finnish Barbeque
May 11, 2015
Hey!

Well it was awesome to see everybody on skype! I couldn't believe how big all the kids are and that Wilson understands the difference between crocodiles and alligators so well! haha It was so funny to hear him talk because he can just talk like a normal person now, he's such a big boy. I also loved getting the air kiss from baby Rosie  but it was a little sad to see to her fall on her bum right after haha So cute! Well yeah we were hanging out at our member's house to skype, we hang out with those guys a lot. They come to lessons with us pretty often and they even came to the gym with us today so it was a ton of fun. They've both been members for like 2 years and they hang out with us missionaries all the time. So all in all it was a great mothers day. 

Mom I'm way excited to hear that you got to start at your new job, it sounds perfect for you. When I get home and I'm munching on my chik fil a sandwich you can practice all your shrink tricks on me. 

Well elder Coffey and I had a pretty good first week together. We got to do quite a bit of finding and found some super good new investigators and potentials! We have some pretty sweet people to work with like the Nigerian guy I was telling you about on skype! We've been pretty busy though, teaching lots of lessons and tomorrow we have to give a zone meeting. So we've been planning that out for the last few days. Our other investigators are doing pretty well though. We had a really sweet lesson with one of our investigators this week who has been meeting with us for a while but hasn't really been reading the book of Mormon. So we taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ by just reading almost all of 2nd Nephi 31 with him and it was a sweet lesson. He understood the scriptures really well and was motivate to read every day now. He also has a baptismal date now for June 13th. So maybe he'll even get baptized on the same day as Indie! 

This week we have our zone meeting coming up tomorrow, so we will have to pick up some elders coming in to the trains station tonight and let them stay at our place. But other than that we just have a normal week. 

I love you guys so much! Have a good week! 

Pictures: a member made us some barbeque! 
Elder Ahlquist leaving
 

Staying in Oulu

May 4, 2015

Hey everybody! So first off I'll say that I get to stay in Oulu, and my new companion is a guy named elder Coffey. He's way cool! He's one group below me so I met him for a bit in the MTC and I've always heard good things about him so I'm super excited to be his companion! Elder Ahlquist is going down to a city called Tampere so he's excited for that. But overall I'm just way happy that I get to stay here in Oulu, it's such a good place and an awesome ward! So elder Coffey will get in tomorrow morning on a train and then we'll send off elder Ahlquist a little later in the day, we'll pretty much just be helping with a lot of people transferring all day tomorrow but then we've got a normal week after that. 

Well we had a really great last week together here in Oulu. We taught some sweet lessons to our investigators and even saw a few former investigators that elder Ahlquist wanted to say goodbye to. On Wednesday the APs came up here to do splits so we got to teach a lot of lessons with them and found some good new potentials as well. Our new African family is doing really well, we taught them about how to receive their answers about the Book of Mormon and watched the restoration DVD with them. We also had a way good lesson with our Finnish family yesterday, we set a baptismal date with the mom for August 16th because they have a lot of financial problems right now so the mom is hesitant to commit to pay tithing but we set the date pretty far out so that we can teach her and help her through the rough part and then hopefully she won't feel pressured or anything by the date. After splits on Wednesday we had to change the tires on our car to summer tires so we went to a less active families house because the dad of the family is a mechanic and fixes up motorcycles and cars all the time so we used his tools and he helped us out and it was really good. They're a sweet family and he showed me all of his motorcycles which was pretty fun. It reminded me of doing man lessons with dad on Saturdays. Then Thursday night we flew down to Helsinki because we had our MLC meeting on Friday. Friday was also a big holiday in Finland called Vappu so Helsinki was pretty crazy. But we just had our meeting all day on Friday and got to go to the temple. Then we flew home on Saturday morning and had a busy day of elder Ahlquist packing and going to lessons. Yesterday we had 4 investigators in church which was awesome! O I have to tell you about a new investigator this week that came to church. He's this guy from India and he lives near the university. We were going to his house Saturday night and didn't have a member who could come with us so at the last minute we called this guy who is a recent convert African guy and who lives near the university as well. This recent convert guy is a really nice big Nigerian man and is a super solid convert. So during the lesson we invited the Indian guy to come to church the next day and he was a little hesitant and said that he had plans with his friends but our recent convert member was like "no, shift the plans with your friends and you come with me to church. I will take you and bring you right back. Let me tell you something, when I don't go to church, I'm tired, I'm sad, but when I got to church I'm happy, I feel a load taken off of me and I want to keep coming back. So come with me tomorrow" And then the guy came! So it was just a perfect member to bring along and he did a great job in the lesson and he's a good friend for the investigator. 

That's pretty much all the excitement from the week, Changes are always a little sad, it's been awesome to be with elder Ahlquist for 4 months but it'll be fun to be with my new companion for sure. We're getting in to my last full change here in Finland. I can't really believe it, it feels like it's coming fast. I love you guys! Have a great week! 

Oulu Pride

April 28, 2015

Hey! Well I can't believe that little Sammy went to Prom. She's all grown up that's crazy! Sammy I was a huge fan of the dress and everything, sounds like you guys had a great Prom! Hope you feel better soon from the whole concussion though that's no fun :( At least the concussion was not related to prom though that's always nice. Well we just had a normal week here in Oulu. Unfortunately elder Ahlquist was super sick for quite a few days this week so we had a lot of time in the apartment going insane just watching church videos and reading scriptures but I am now much more knowledgeable on the old testament so it was all worth it. But we still had a good week! We even went to try the new Burger King that opened up here in Oulu so that was super fun and tasted like America. It was also an exciting week to be in Oulu because the Oulu Kärpät (the Oulu city hockey team) won the Finnish national championship this week so the people were so pumped! Quite a few members texted us and asked us to pray for the Kärpät and they pulled out the win! People in Oulu are super proud now because just recently the new Miss Finland is from Oulu, the new Prime Minister is from Oulu, and the Kärpät won so people are saying that Oulu has now established the holy trinity of Oulu. It's been pretty fun. 

But we had some good lessons this week, we taught that new african family again. We usually teach them in english and the brother translates but unfortunately the brother wasn't home when we went so we just gave them the Joseph Smith restoration movie to watch together and then couldn't communicate with any of the other family members at all so we just left haha it was pretty funny because they're so nice so they invited us in and all sat around and were staring at us waiting for us to talk but they didn't understand anything we said so it was kind of tough. But the brother told us that he wants to come to church again next week so that would be awesome! Yesterday we only had one person in church which was a bummer but it was the older Finnish man who's life long friends with some members. He comes every week he's way solid. He just still has some questions and concerns he needs to figure out before committing to be baptized but he's doing well. We also had a super cool lesson with a guy that we received as a referral from some elders in a different city. This guys was in Seinäjoki a few weeks ago and the elders there talked to him on the street and got his number for us. So we called him and set up an appointment but then found out that he lives pretty far outside of Oulu in the country side. But we decided to go out there at least once to try him. So we drive out there and it was beautiful, it was in a little tiny town on a big huge river and you had to drive over a big bridge to get to his place and it was just a really beautiful area. The guy turned out to have three kids as well! He is divorced but has 3 sweet little kids and they were just so nice. They gave us ice cream and the little girl kept giving us candy and stuff and just super sweet people. They live on a strawberry farm in a little farmhouse built by the guys great grandfather it's super finnish and awesome. But the man was really interested and had already read a bit of the book of Mormon and is willing to read and pray about everything so we are super pumped about them! We're going back to them this week. 

That's pretty much all of the excitement from the week. This week should be good though, we go down to Helsinki on Thursday night and then have our MLC meeting on Friday. Then we'll find out our change calls so next week my p day will probably be on Monday since one of us will probably get transferred. but I'll tell you all about it next time. I love you guys! 

Elder Nielsen's Visit

April 21, 2015

Reindeer Dinner
Missionary Life

Hey! 

Alright so a way exciting week! It's getting sunnier and sunnier and slowly warmer, we had 5 investigators in church, and had our meeting yesterday with elder Nielson! So a pretty sweet week, I'll start with all of the normal stuff then talk about our zone conference at the end. 

I think I mentioned that we found a new African family last week. Well anyway this week the 23 year old son, his mom, and hi little sister all came to church! It was way cool they really liked it. The son is the only one that speaks good english so we had him listen to the english translation with his headphones and then he translated everything to his mom and sister in their language. It was quite the process, but it worked out well. The 23 year old guy is super funny, they're all just insanely nice and the guys gives us hugs every time he sees us because "I like to hug my friends and brothers every time". So after our gospel principles class he pulled me in for a big hug that lasted about 15 seconds and was saying "wilson thank you so much, I now know about the ladder day saints. Thank you" It was so nice and funny all at the same time haha Well we also had the mom of the Finnish family that we teach in church and an older man that is friends with some members, so it was a great group on Sunday! All of our other investigators are doing pretty well, just slowly progressing. 

We also got to do splits with the other elders here in Oulu and that was a way good day. I was with elder Greciano for the day (from Spain) and we had a pretty sweet day. They didn't actually have anything planned or set up so it was just going to be a big blank day of talking to people and tracting..... so I was honestly a little bit not looking forward to it but we went out and walked and talked to people forever and found a few potentials. So then we were heading home for dinner but had about an hour left so we started tracting some nice houses. And like I honestly don't think that I've ever tracted on a nice house in Finland and found a family before but the third house we knocked a young Finnish mom with a bunch of kids opened up and we told her about the Book of Mormon and that it teaches that we can live as families eternally.... and then she was totally receptive and so nice and willing to talk more about it! So we gave her the book of Mormon and got her number. So I'm excited to ask the other elders if they were able to get an appointment set up with them. It was one of the most exciting tracting experiences of my entire mission though, I had a really good feeling about them. It was super cool! 

So then this weekend we had church and then Sunday night 8 elders got to Oulu and got to our apartment to spend the night. While they all got in elder Ahlquist and I drove to the airport to pick up Elder and sister Nielson. The Nielsons were sooo nice. Sister Nielson was even from Texas originally so we got to talk about how great Texas is and how delicious mexican food is. We just drove them to their hotel then went home to sleep. The next morning we picked them up from their hotel and took them to the chapel for the meeting. The meeting was awesome! President and sister Watson spoke, then sister Nielson, then elder Nielson for a while. Elder Nielson served his mission in finland so it was super cool to hear from a general authority that knows exactly what it's like to serve here and hear what he had to say. He basically just told us like guys I walked around the frozen black streets of Rovaniemi for an entire winter, I know what it's like. It's not an easy thing to do some days but he said that even though he thought it was hard while he was on a mission, he looks back and sees the miracles that came from him serving. One of the few men he baptized became the Helsinki Stake president a few years ago and he bore really powerful testimony that we're supposed to be out here doing this. The Nielson's talked a lot about their own family as well and made the whole meeting very personal, it was just a really cool day. Towards the end of the meeting he opened it up for questions and he taught us really cool lessons about faith. He explained that to perform and see miracles, you need to develop stronger faith in Jesus Christ. Since the Spirit and the Light of Christ is in all things it is only through faith in Christ that miracles can be performed. Of course it says in Moroni 7:33 that Christ hath said that, If ye will have faith in me ye shall have the power to do all things which are expedient in me. He explained what it means by "expedient in me" and how all things are done according to the will of the father. So just because things don't always work out how we expect it does not mean that it went against the will of the father. All things are done according to the wisdom of he who knows all things. But the miracles will never happen until we show our faith and exercise the faith that we do have in Jesus Christ. 

All in all it was just a great day. I'm super glad that I got to be up here in Oulu and get to know the Nielsons a little bit. 

Well that's everything from the week. We only have one more full week and then we get our change calls. So May 2nd we should find out who's leaving. I suspect that I'll stay here in Oulu since elder Ahlquist has been here longer than me but we'll see! Alright I love you guys! 

Spring is Coming????



It's been a little bit warmer the last few days and it's super nice! It's been like up to 6 Celsius so like not warm really but it feels a ton warmer and it's been pretty sunny and nice. Most of the snow is melted too! So hopefully it keeps getting nicer. Way funny to hear that you guys have a snow storm in Utah though right as we're getting out of snow storms in Finland, that's too bad. But we had a really great week though! 

We got to go up to Rovaniemi again for splits and when we got up there it was a total blizzard. So that was pretty unfortunate, especially because my companion and I were on the bikes and had to bike around all day long so it reminded me of the beginning of my mission haha it was a ton of fun though. We had some really good lessons and Rovaniemi is a really cool city. We even went back to the same restaurant as last time when we were in Rovaniemi and feasted on some Reindeer so it was a pretty perfect day. We almost decided to go all in for the bear but it was like 50 euros so we all stuck with the reliable reindeer. We also stopped at this little park that is world famous because it's an Angry Birds park. All of the toys are just angry birds themed stuff so it's pretty funny to see. All the kids would've loved it. I took some pictures too but unfortunately I forgot my camera today :( sorry so I'll send a bunch of pictures next week! 

In Oulu though we had a great week we had some good lessons with the older man who is a good friend of a member and is pretty close to being baptized. He still just has a few concerns that we're trying to work through so we are just trying to answer all of his questions and help him to take the leap of faith to commit to be baptized. We had the chance to give him a blessing though this week which was a really cool experience. He didn't really know what a Priesthood blessing was, so we explained a bit to him and then he asked his member friend to give him a blessing and we stood in with the member. It was a really nice experience, the spirit was super strong and the man was pretty touched after the blessing. I think he'll make it eventually to baptism but he's just kind of scared taking the big steps to get there, but we've had some really spiritual experiences with him. 

We also found some really cool new people this week including another big African family! It was super funny we met this 23 year old african guy a few weeks ago who was super nice and down for us to come over. So this week we finally got to go to his place and he came out of his house and was like "I like hugging my friends when I see them" So gave us all bro hugs and then we walk in the house and he's got like 5 little sisters and a mom and they were all soooo nice and so down to learn about the church haha so it was a ton of fun! So we watched the new easter video from the church with them and they were all gathered around the computer and liek "wow... oooo... wow this is awesome" haha they're hilarious. 

So this week we've got a pretty busy schedule, we're doing splits with the other Oulu elders on Friday and then on Sunday we have to pick up a bunch of elders that'll be staying at our house that night for the zone conference the next day. Then we also have to pick up elder Nielson and his wife from the airport that night and take him to his hotel and then from his hotel to the chapel the next morning so that should be pretty cool! We'll have to do a lot of stuff this week to prep the chapel for the meeting it will be a little hectic but definitely fun! 

Well I think that's all from the week but I love you guys so much! 

Conference and Easter


Easter Dinner Finnish Style
Hey! Well yeah it was a way good weak of general conference! It was so nice to just sit back and hear awesome talks for two days. It was way cool too, in the sunday morning session elder Teixeira of the seventy spoke (elder Teixeira came to Finland like 4 months ago and did a mission tour with us) then in the same session elder Nielson of the Seventy spoke and he's coming to Finland in a couple weeks to do a mission tour with us! So it was pretty neat to see both of them speak. We had three investigators who came to watch conference which was awesome! Our Chinese investigator came and absolutely loved it. He was like "It was so informative and I just loved all of the stories and especially the man who spoke about guile!" hahaha it was super funny I was just impressed that he knew the word guile. We had another man there who is an older man who's been friends with some of the members of our ward for a really long time and he's been coming to church for like 7 months now every week. We've been teaching him and even though he's still hesitant, he has a baptismal date for this Saturday. He said at conference that he's still not sure about it but we still feel that it really might happen. But even if it's not this Saturday he'll be baptized sometime fairly soon I think. 

Since Sunday was Easter all of us missionaries made a big meal between sessions of conference and ate with some members and investigators and it went really well. Elder Ahlquist and I bought 18 little broiler chickens and oven baked them and made potatoes and so it was a feast! It actually surprisingly turned out to be pretty delicious, everyone had a good time. But that was our easter celebration this year. 

Mom, like you said I really liked elder Holland's talk. It was such a great and powerful way to lay out how important Jesus Christ is and how he literally saves all of us. It was an awesome story and talk that he gave. I also really enjoyed President Eyring's talk from the Saturday morning session.  It was just all so good though. 

Well this week we just have normal stuff going on, we're going up to Rovaniemi on Friday for splits though. Rovaniemi is the furthest northern city with missionaries in it, so that'll be fun. I'll make sure to try to pick up a sweet reindeer souvenir or something like that. Other than that though just a normal week. We're getting all prepped up for elder Nielson coming in a few weeks though. Organizing the whole thing is super hectic because all of our zone and all of the east zone will be up here in Oulu for that meeting and we have to have 10 people staying at our apartment and we have to pick up elder Nielson and his wife from the airport and do a bunch of stuff so it'll be pretty nuts. 

Well that's all I got from the week, but I love you all so much! Have another great week! 

Missionary Leadership Council

March 31, 2015
Spring in Finland




Well thanks for all the love this week, it looks like you guys had a great time for Chloe's birthday, can't wait for the celebration next year! So I heard that my Bruins made it to the sweet 16! That is awesome! Did they win or lose that game? Sounds like they'll have some good momentum for next season when I'm back! Dad have a good time down in Louisianna. I hope you and Danen studied enough to seal the deal with some new customers. 

We had a pretty good week here. We went down to Helsinki for our MLC meeting which was pretty fun. It was a special MLC where all of the district leaders throughout the mission went as well so it was super fun to see some old mission buddies. We flew down Wednesday night then had the meeting and temple trip Thursday, then we had to wake up at 4:15 on Friday to make our flight by 7 so that was pretty rough but overall a fun trip! But we had a really good week in our area. We hit our standard of excellence for member present lessons which is 21 per week so that was super exciting! It's pretty tough to do but we got it! Our chinese investigator is still doing well, he's feeling good about everything and came to church on Sunday. We have a lesson with him tonight and then later this week we're going to talk about tithing again which is the only thing holding him back from being baptized already so hopefully he is able to make the leap of faith this time around and go for it! The African family that we've been teaching is doing well also. The little 4 year old boy was bouncing around the other day while we were there and elder ahlquist gave him some Jolly Ranchers and the kid snatched them and was sucking on them like his life depended on it and just soooo happy haha it was hilarious. Our Finnish family is still doing well, the wife is still reading and feeling good about everything but just has a hard time with tithing as well. Our russian mom who was doing so great came back from Russia and texted us saying that she really appreciated all of the help we gave her and everything we taught her but she says it's not the right time for her. She has some sort of really difficult life situation going on and she says she's not able to meet with us right now. But that she would still read the book of Mormon and pray. I believe it was just her husband giving her a hard time and not wanting her to talk to us, he was always pretty opposed to her coming to church and stuff. So I think that she just needs some time to sort through things but that she will be baptized. Whether it's while I'm in Finland or years down the road I think she'll make it. Mom I haven't gotten a hold of the lady that sister Rascon's brother told me about. I talked with some members about her and they are going to try to get her info so that I can call her but they haven't gotten back to me yet. But we're trying! 

Well this week we're going down to a city called Pietarsaari for splits. We're going to leave tonight and come home tomorrown night. So we're excited for that. Pietarsaari is a swedish speaking town, I've done splits there before but that was over a year ago and I was with a swede at that time so he just spoke swedish all day and I tagged along but this time around there's not a swede serving in Pietarsaari right now so it'll be 4 elders that don't speak swedish.... so we'll see how this goes. But it's a really cool little city. Other than that though we have a normal week. Since conference is also on easter sunday we are going to make a big meal here at the church with some other missionaries and members and just all feast between sessions of conference. It'll be way fun! I don't think the easter bunny will make is way around this year though but it will still be delicious!  

Alright I think that's all for the week, I love you all so much! Have a great time watching conference I'm so excited for it! Love you,

Rakkaudella, Vanhin Wilson 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Takaltavi

March 25, 2015
Spring Break 2015


Oulu Service

Winter-  staying for awhile
Well I've got some sad news first. Often times in Finland right as it's finally starting to get a little warmer and the snow is starting to melt, there is what's called takatalvi. Which just means winter comes back. And that's what happened this week :( It's been below zero for days and we got like 12 centimeters of snow last night so it's looking exactly like it looked in January. It's pretty depressing. But they say that this should be the last flurry of winter and then it should get warmer in a week or so. But still, it hurts the soul a little bit. I'm way jealous that you guys are in full on Spring. It feels like we're living on opposite sides of the hemisphere haha but it will probably only be miserable for another month or so. So I think I will make it.
On a lighter note though, we had a pretty good week! We had some fun stuff going on. We had zone conference on Friday which was really good, we got to watch Meet the Mormons during zone conference so that was sweet! That's my second time seeing it now. We watched it at MLC like a month ago as well. But it's way good and it's going to be coming to Finland! They'll probably show it in some theatres in some of the bigger cities here so all of the members are pretty excited about that. We're going to try to use it as a big missionary tool, to invite investigators and members invite friends to the theatre to watch it, so should be fun! We also got to do some service this week for a family here which was fun. We just chopped and sawed wood, all sorts of manly stuff like that. There was also this pretty weird phenomena going on this week where when it's below 0 but the sun's shining and there's lots of snow the snow gets super hard. So even though it's all powdery and not packed down at all it's hard enough to walk on and your foot doesn't sink in at all, and you can ride bikes on it and stuff so it was pretty trippy. We were walking on giant heaps of powder like it was just dry ground, pretty weird. O! Also, I saw the northern lights this week!!! Super cool! On wednesday a member told us that they were going to be really strong and we saw them here in Oulu! They weren't very brightly colored but just blue and a little green but they were super clear, it was an awesome sight. They were really powerful ones, apparently people could see them all over Finland.
The investigators are doing well though, especially our Chinese college student that almost got baptized a while ago. He is progressing super well and getting very strong answers to his prayers and we set a new baptismal date with him so we're way excited for him. Also a pretty funny story, we tracted in to this older african couple this week and they let us in so we started talking to them and it turns out that the man did a study exchange in America a long time ago and was a graduate student at USC. So I told him I went to UCLA and it was just a really funny coincidence. A pretty small world. But all the other investigators are doing well though and we found 4 new ones this week so the works going well!
That's pretty much all of the excitement from the week though, but I've got some great pictures to send this week. by the way I just remembered Mom I loved that picture of you at Bentley's wedding. That is so weird and cool haha I can't believe he's married! Wow pretty crazy how life just keeps going on. Well I love you guys so much! Have a great week! 

Goodbye to Snowflake

March 17, 2015



Well it's been another good week. First off, I have some exciting but also sad news. This morning I sold my sweet blue snow flake bike to a newer missionary. I trust you guys remember the pictures of the bike I bought in Seinäjoki. Well I haven't really used that bike in over a year, I've been carrying it around with me ever since I left Seinäjoki and I kind of think I won't really need it the rest of my mission. This morning the other Oulu elders called asking if they could use our car to go buy a new bike and I said that I would just sell them my bike instead. So I sold it for 50 euros. Elder Greciano (who I sold it too) said that he felt bad taking such a sweet bike for so cheap but I told him that I physically would not take more than 50 euros for it since it's a 12 year old girl bike. So now I no longer have a bike, it's way nice. 
 
Our week was good though, it was a bit slower than usual but still really good. We had a lot of investigators out of town but everyone should be back to normal this week so I think we'll bounce back pretty well. We had some way sweet lessons though. We have this one African family that we've been teaching for a couple of weeks and they are super funny to teach. It's a family of a mom and then like 7 kids. They don't all speak english but the oldest daughters speak pretty good english so we teach them and they teach their little siblings what we say. So we went over to their house on Sunday and it was just way crazy as always with little babies running around everywhere, it's hilarious. They also had a friend there who was like a 30 year old guy and we were able to teach him as well. They're all adventist though and the 30 year old guy was trying to give us a hard time about the sabbath being on Sunday (because they worship on Saturday) but we pointed out in the new Testament that the Apostle Paul talks about changing the Sabbath and howthe apostles took the sacrament from Jesus on a Sunday. So the 30 year old guy was still trying to bash a bit but all of the girls were totally on our side and they were all ike You just have to ask God. We have to do what God says. And we totally won so it was awesome! They are way funny to teach though. And they all committed to pray and ask God if Joseph smith was a true prophet, so they're doing well. We had another really awesome lesson with this Finnish guy who is about 30 and is atheist. He said that his family was religious when he was young but he has such bad memories of church and some really bad stuff happened to him when he was younger so it just made him believe that there is no God. So we read a bit from Enos with him and told him that all he has to do to really find out once and for all if God is real is to read the Book of Mormon and pour out his heart to God every day. We invited him to try this out and to be baptized once he had his answer. So he thought about it for a while, then said that he's willing to try it out. So he's going to read and pray and think it out for a while on his own and then he will let us come in 2 weeks to finish teaching him the lessons. Usually when people say they need time to themselves to think it out it's not good because they don't do it. But this guy was really sincere and we think he's really going to give it a shot. We felt really good about it. It was a sweet lesson. 
 
We also had the chance to do some splits in a city called kajaani this week. Kajaani is like 2 hours east of Oulu, it's a tiny little town. So it was pretty fun to spend a day there. A lot of walking and contacting but we found a bunch of good potentials with the elders there and it was a fun day! I was with an elder named elder Hunter for splits and it was super funny, he said that his sister lives in Orem and she met someone at a target a few weeks ago who's last name was wilson who has a little brother on a mission in finland as well. I don't know if it was Brittanie or Mandy or Chloe or something but there is another elder wilson in the mission as well so it could've been his family but I thought odds are it was probably one of the girls haha 
 
Well this week we have a zone conference here in Oulu so that should be fun. Other than that though it's just a normal week. Well I love you all so much! thanks for the emails and the love! 

I love my ward and serving here

March 10, 2015

Hey! Well we're full blown deep in to March but it's still snowy and kind of wintery up here in Finland. But that's all part of it. They say the snow stays in Oulu usually through April and in to May a little bit so I'm sure it'll still be like this for quite some time. But at least it's warmer now. It's been above 0 every day for the last week and it feels super warm and nice. I just rock the fleece jacket and I'm good. The main bad part about this time of year is that every road and side walk is covered in ice and slush and snow and mud so it's way gross. I've had some pretty good falls on the ice which is always entertaining. Yesterday actually we were trying to hop over this small fence and the snow bank that elder Ahlquist was using to step over this little fence collapsed under his feet and resulted in him rolling over this little waist high fence and falling completely on his back on the other side and it was hilarious. 
Serving in Oulu
Well our week here was way good. It was transfer week so last p day we helped out with some missionaries moving around and got all of that done. But the rest of our week was just normal. We had a good finding week though and taught a lot of member present lessons which was great! Unfortunately it was ski break here so a lot of our investigators were out of town, including the Russian woman but she got back yesterday so we're going to try to meet up with her tomorrow! All of our other investigators are doing pretty well though, just slowly and surely progressing. We brought our Chinese investigator to family night yesterday and it was super fun! We taught him how to play Uno and he had a great time! We had three people in church and found some sweet new investigators. O I also talked to this guy in my ward about the woman that sister Rascon's brother asked me about. He says that his mom knows her and would ask his mom more about her and try to set up some way so that we could meet her so hopefully that works out, I'll keep you posted on that though. We have some really exciting stuff set up for this week though. There's a man that has been coming to church here in Oulu every week for the last two years who is not a member and we've tried to meet with him several times but he's never let missionaries come over before. (I think he's just scared of committing to being baptized or something) but on Sunday a member came up to us and said that they invited this man over to their home and that we can come too and he agreed to let us teach him the lessons! So we are going over to their house tonight to teach this man and we're just going to challenge him to stop being scared and accept a baptismal date. I feel like this guy could be baptized in the next couple of weeks really easily but he just has to get over his fear and go for it. 

We also got to do some fun service this week for this elderly woman in our ward, she had us carry all of her mats out of her apartment and hit them with a duster stick thing, it was pretty fun. At the end she gave us a little bag of a freezer pizza and a bottle of juice it was so sweet haha there's also this other elderly lady in our ward who knows how to sew stuff and she took my shoulder bag for me (I broke the strap on it like 3 months ago) and she's going to fix it so that was super sweet! She also made us a giant pot of hot dog soup this week (just like warm water with cut up hot dogs and potatoes and carrots) it was so sweet !!We have such a nice ward here it's a ton of fun to serve in it. 

Alright I think that's all for the week, I love you all! 

Staying in Oulu

March 3, 2015
Elder Durrant & Elder Ahlquist
Alright sorry about the confusion with the p day situation. So Tuesday's will always be on Tuesdays but there's just an exception with transfer weeks. If the companionship has some sort of change, like one of them leaves, then the companionship's p day is on Monday. But for elder Ahlquist and I we had no change so we still had normal Tuesday P day. But I'm super excited to still be in Oulu with elder Ahlquist! It's been a ton of fun and we get another 9 weeks of it so it'll be sweet! We had a great week though, we flew down to Helsinki on Thursday night and slept over at the mission home then had our MLC meeting on Friday. We just talked about the next change and what we would all focus on in district meetings and stuff like that. Then we got to go to the Temple which is always awesome! Then Friday night we hopped on a night train and came back up to Oulu. Today were just helping some people move stuff back and forth from the train station for people getting transferred so it's been a busy week but way good. Oh mom ps I did get the slip in the mail yesterday saying that I have a package so I will go pick that up tomorrow! Thank you so much!

Well our investigators are doing well. Our super cool Russian woman investigator is in Russia for the next week on vacation so that's a bummer but she said that we can meet up when she get's back for sure so she's still doing really well! We have some other investigators that are progressing though, we had 6 people in church on Sunday so that was awesome! One lady came that we've been teaching for a while and she is an elderly finnish lady and is just super sweet. She gives us these home knit socks to wear every time that we're in her house because she doesn't want our feet to get cold and she's just so nice and she came to church and we introduced her to all of the elderly ladies in our ward so she made tons of friends. It was hilarious. We had another finnish guy in church and 3 siblings from an African family and then the American girl we've been teaching! So super cool! It was a great week of church. We also found a way cool family yesterday as well and we're super excited about them! We knocked on this door thinking that it was this Indian guy that we talked to on the street last week but turned out to be the wrong address. But we started talking to the Finnish guy that answered and he said he wasn't interested but maybe his brother would be. So his brother started talking to us and was definitely a little drunk but super interested in what we had to say. Then the guys mom came out and was like Come inside come inside! So we sat down with this whole tipsy finnish family and taught them about the Book of Mormon and they were really interested and said we can come over again tomorrow to give them their own copies! It was hilarious but actually a pretty cool experience. This week should just be normal though. We've got some new people in the district and our zone is doing well so life's good. 

Well that's all the excitement from the week I think. We're losing a bunch of good elders this change though, lots of mission buddies are going home this week so it's pretty weird to see. The sisters that were with me in the MTC also all go home so it's super weird! But I love you all so much! Thanks for everything! I'll talk to you next week!