Monday, January 23, 2017

1/23/17: Our Savior Lives!

Well. I honestly could not have asked for a better end to my almost 25 months in the service of our Lord. It has truly been a ride. 

This past week Sister Heikkinen got Baptized!!!!!!!! it was the most amazing service, so much love and the spirit was so strong. So starting from wednesday we left to do splits in Oulu with the elders there, and that went well. Then Friday Sister Heikkinen had her baptismal interview and it went perfect. Earlier in the day we went over to her house and watched the prophet of the restoration. It really is a powerful movie, and the spirit bore itself very powerfully.  Saturday was the service and it went absolutely perfect. Our other Investigator Jenni got to sing "Maa on niin Kaunis" (Sister Heikkinens favorite hymn), and she did so well! We then drove about an hour and a half north west to the branch presidents house and I got to perform the baptism in a hot tub since the Kajaani building does not have a font.  We then had a delicious moose soup that our lovely branch presidents wife made. It was Amazing! Then my last sunday in church went perfect. I got to bear my testimony one last time to them, my companion (who is in his first change) confirmed her in finnish, and there was an amazing afterparty for Sister Heikkinens baptism and my farewell.  The branch even sang to me "god be with you till we meet again", which is Herra Olkoon tiellä kanssasi in Finnish. It was very sweet.

So I dont think I ever explained the full finding process of how we found Sister Heikkinen. At sometime in November I was going through old potential records and I came across her name, and in March of 2015, two elders stopped her on the street, talked to her briefly and gave her a book of mormon. After that there was no contact. I remember distinctly just a light around her name just looking at it, so we wrote it down and we road over to her house, but it wasnt for a few days later.  I will always remember the night. We saw them in their kitchen and we didnt want to interrupt their family dinner but we just thought, oh well, it will just be quick so we knocked. Sister Heikkinen came to the door, and I asked are you Sister Heikkinen, and her face lit up with a big smile and she practically grabbed us and we went into the entry way.  She was so happy and we set up a return lesson. We later learned the summer before that she had heard a song on the radio and she described the experience where it just pierced her heart. She looked up who it was and it was Brandon Flowers (who is the lead singer of the killers). She started listening to more of his music and Brandon does a very good job at relating life and the gospel in his songs. She found out he was mormon and the Book of Mormon on her shelf she had been randomly given to her on the street over a year and a half previous started drawing her, and she had been using Guide to the holy scriptures in it. Well, the night before we had came she had prayed and asked which church she should join, which path is right for her. And then we showed up the very next day. Well ever since then there has just been miracle after miracle along the way.  Sometime in the middle of her teaching, we asked if her mom would like to start learning (who lives in another city), and so we referred her mom that day. Her mother knew she had been meeting with us, and that very day we referred the missionaries to her she found a random book of mormon on the ground while she was walking.  Now she is meeting with the missionaries and its going great! Eventually it led to this past saturday of her being baptized and confirmed a Member of gods church restored on the earth!  

I truly know that Gods hand was in that the whole process. But we were not just led to her for her and her familys benefit. Her family and she have blessed my life so richly. She is truly a finnish mother to me, and her sweet cute 2 little girls are like my little sisters (there 7&5), and her little boy who is 9 is like my little brother. I love them with all my heart, they are truly just the best family ever, and it has been such a blessing to get so close to them.  It has been such a huge blessing to see the blessings of the gospel come into their life, and how god truly does prepare people.  The branch has done an amazing job, and have lovingly opened their arms to her, and everyone feels so home. I love the kajaani branch and it was pretty bittersweet having to say goodbye to a lot of them, because it just feels like home. It has just been a privelage serving here.

Its pretty crazy that the mission is over. Of course, as with life it just goes by so fast. Sometimes it can be slow in the moment but overall just like Jacob 7 says" and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream". Its so crazy but true. I have been so privelaged to meet and teach so many amazing people, and get to know so many amazing members here in Finland. The members in Finland are a very strong people. The church is small here but the members make up for it in their faith and sacrifice.  It is truly amazing to see how far the work has come, and will continue to.  I have been so blessed, the good, the bad, and everything in between has been such a blessing to me, and has just gotten me closer to the savior. The very hard parts of the mission only made the good times more rich.  Just like Alma 7:11-13 says he suffered every pain, and then later 3 Nephi 17:20 Christ has a fullness of joy. He was able to experience that because of how low he went. And it is because of christ we are able to eventually experience that high without go to the lowest of lows. However just like D&C says"My people must be tried in all things that they may be prepared to receive the glory that I have for them", and also Romans says that we are co-heirs with christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory, that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us.  Truly it was all to help shape us to become better people to be able to serve our families, nations, and church.     I am so grateful for the people I got to serve with and the people that I got to become acquainted with here, many truly eternal friends.  I know that this church is true, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and god truly does help us to become what we are destined to become, even in the middle of what may seem to be an incredible trial. It will be a incredible blessing later. The true potential is limitless in the eyes of god. Every soul is great. Everyone can overcome any failure or mistake they have made. Through Christs atonement they can change. 

They not only change, they become better, until that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day (D&C 50:24) . They forgive more freely, they love more strongly and they follow more willingly. It has been such a privelage to have the gift of charity for these people. To be able to see past their mistakes and see the eternal worth of the soul. That God does not see us for what we once were but where we are going and what we have become. How people have been able to change past their own capacity, forgive, and change. I am forever thankful for all the many opportunities that have happened on my mission.

See you soon

Elder Weston Ford.

1/17/17: The last full week

Well. This is my last full week of missionary work. Pretty crazy stuff.  This past week was great. We taught our investigator Jenni. She is doing great, we taught her family history work and she did her my heritage.

I got to talk for like the 3rd week in a row here in sacrament meeting:)) It went well. Thats what happens when your in a small branch and the original speaker bails haha. But luckily its become pretty natural to speak in finnish.  

If all goes well our investigator Anne should be baptized this saturday. So pray for her, that all will go well and for health, because there is a finnish flu going around here!


Elder Ford

This pic is a pic from a huge sledding hill we found as we were hiking through the woods last pday.


Super great week. I was doing in helsinki for the whole of last week basically doing training. 16 hr round trip on train.  so that was fun.  
Sister Heikkinen is doing super well! She is ready to be baptized! Yesterday we had a family home evening with some ward members, a bbq, and Sister Heikkinen with her husband and whole family came! It went so well! Such a fun event.

In sacrament meeting I had the chance to bear my testimony and it occured to me. This is my last fast sunday in Finland. So crazy...., its bitter sweet because I love this tiny branch with all my heart. But things are going very well in Kajaani! I am so grateful to be able to serve here!  


Elder Ford


Dear Family,

Great week this week. With it being new year we werent able to do the typical finding and so we made a bunch of cookies and did cookie tracting, in other words we went to our neighbors and gave them cookies. We even got a big box of chocolates from one of our neighbors because they were so appreciative of it. 

Our investigator Sister Heikkinen is doing so so so well. She is amazing. She is now living the word of wisdom, and is so excited to be baptized. She came to church with her 3 kids yesterday and she talked about how she never felt so close to all her kids at church. Our other investigator Jenni also came to church, and she told us after that she was fasting. The cool part with that is we only mentioned what fast sunday was to here but we didnt commit her to it, so she voluntary started doing it!

Other then that we got to see some fireworks on the new years. It was great to be spending the new years here. This week we are going down to do training for my companion in the mission home in helsinki. Everyone that is new here has to go down to the mission home for like 3 days of training. So this week were basically just down in Helsinki. However, apparently a super freeze is coming this week (its supposed to be like -34) from the siberian winds from the north, so were able to escape that at go to Helsinki, which is why I am emailing today because we have to take a 8 hour train down south. ​


12/20/16: Baptismal date

Amazing week this week. We had our branch christmas party and it went very well.  One of our investigators was able to sing for our branch, and it went very well, and we had another investigator come with her 3 small children.  It was amazing. I also had the opportunity to give a talk in Church this week, also my companion did to. It was his first talk ever in finnish, and he did really well.  It has truly been quite amazing our investigator Sister Heikkinen. So, I was going through the area book and stumbled upon this name, and it really stuck out to me.  , she had been contacted on the street in march of 2015, given a bom, and never followed up with. Well, I decided to go visit her. We knocked and the door and with a huge smile she pulled us in the doorway and said she would love to meet. A little weirded out, we went back and taught her. Over a couple of lessons she then said that over the past year and a half a great change has happened. This past summer she has been listening to a lot of brandon flowers (mormon singer) and apparently this has really opened her heart to the spirit because she started reading from the bom before I even went to her house.

Well 2 lessons ago we invited her to be baptized. And she said she would pray about it, and the next lesson she came back to us with tears in her eyes and said she not only wants to but she knows she needs to.  Since then she has come to church with her little kids, the ward christmas party, and has told the whole ward that she is going to be baptized. She is literally the most happy outgoing mother ever, and she has 3 cute little kids. she sends us txts daily telling us how much she loves the bom.yesterday she sent us a text that for the rest of her life she is going to pray thanks to god for sending us to her door. Its AWESOME.  We did a lesson about temples this past week and she sent a text the next day saying she cant WAIT to go to the temple.  It has truly been a marvelous week and we have greatly seen the Lords hand in our work with her.  

Have a merry christmas!

Elder Ford


This is going to be short, I ran out of time this week. But its been a great week. Our investigators Jenni and Anne came to church with her 2 kids. It was awesome, and then we had an amazing lesson after with her about the plan of salvation.  They had an awesome time in church.

We have also been able to share the christmas message a lot , so that has been a great thing. 

Cool story this week. We asked our investigator Anne, for a referral. She referred her mom. Right after she did that and we left the lesson, she texts us an hour later and her mom had found a book of mormon on the street. Keep in mind she lives in a completely different city. But she commented to her daughter about it because she thought what a funny coincidence after her daughter had mentioned about us.

We also have been getting a lot of snow lately..

Have a wonderful week. !