This week we did a TON of service. We ended up raking a older single ladies yard for like 4 hours, sooo many leaves. Then we also helped out a former investigator who we found. She is from Australia, and her husband is Finnish. There super nice and we helped them out and there house. We just did a lot of yard work. So finns have this thing called Sisu here. There really is no equivelant for it in english. But basically it means they can do everything by themselves so service is sooooo hard to get here, so we finally got some. Our investigator toni is doing very well, he came to church this week, and we had a great lesson with him. I also said a talk in church this week which went very well. Other then that it has been a lot of traveling, probably about 9 hours total on a bus just because of the long travel distances here. But all is going well.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Well this week I went through 26 hours of travel. I love Kajaani, but one down side of it, it has the longest travel in the mission because it is so far away from everyone. Twice this week I had to wake up at 430, to catch a 540 bus to Oulu, and then I took a 7 hour train ride down to Helsinki because there was a leadership meeting this week. So it was a TON of travel, we hardly got to do any work in our area. We have been really focusing on following up with everyone in the area book, and this week I sat down with the 1st councelor and went over everyone in the branch and were going to do our best to get in contact in some shape or form with Less actives and also the active branch members. But this week were back so we have a full week of work which is great!
Sorry I dont have any pictures because my screen camera broke, so I thought I was getting some pictures but I dont have any -,,-. But yea, Ill get some next week. Have an amazing week!
So this week has been really productive and great. We were able to have the most member present lessons this area has had in several years, and we were able to set 2 baptisimal dates. One is with our investigator Toni, he came to general conference for a session and he has been progressing really well! Another is with an investigator named Veli Veijola. Both are for at the end of this month so hopefully all goes well there. General conference was spot on! I just realized it is going to be my last general conference as a missionary! How time goes by so fast. Probably my favorite talk had to be President Neilsons talk about Joy. He was spot on about how we can mask and try to live in the world with many other things, but we can never experience joy unless we are following christ.
We have also been following up on a ton of formers from the area book so we have been biking around doing that. Other then that we got a couple of lessons set up yesterday while tracting so hopefully well be able to have some new investigators.
Hope everyone has a great week!
Well its my first week in Kajaani. I received a free bike in my last city( I have never needed to buy a bike my whole mission) because this is a biking city. Anyway the bike I received for free was built by another missionary, and yea.... it was a piece of junk. But I found a new bike for 40 euros from some really kind old man who just fixes up bikes and sells them to people, and also helps out the refugees here a lot!
oh yea, my new companion is Elder Naylor. He is a really cool guy from Utah, we get along great.
But since I have come here, we have found some new investigators. Ones man name is Toni, he is a finn here. Very nice guy and he came to church last week. So there was about 15 people in church last week. I had to translate for another one of our investigators, it was pretty hard because the speakers were reading there talks from the paper. Its so weird to translate because you split your brain in half, one side english, the other finnish. We also tracted into a lady, her name is Charity. We taught her yesterday it went great. There is a member who lives here from Arizona, he is married to a finn, he is a really cool guy and he came and helped us out.
But other then that it has been a solid week!!!
Hope everyone has a great week!!!
Wow, so I realized that there is only 2 weeks left of this transfer. In case you forgot the transfers are 9 weeks instead of 6, but this one has gone insanely fast. To be honest I hardly remember what happened this past week. I guess one thing that sticks out was we tracted into this man, his name is Eric. He is a wonderful christian guy and he agreed to have us come back. We came back and taught him the restoration and I have never seen a guy that it made so much sense to. It was insane how well he understood it. During part of the lesson he even stopped us and said, so your telling me that God appeared to Joseph Smith in the woods? And to be honest I was getting ready to defend/bear pure testimony because every other time someone has said that to me it meant that they couldnt believe it. But then he said, that makes 100% sense because god follows that same pattern in the bible so why not today. He said before we came back that first time he had prayed to God and asked if we should come back and his answer was Yes, let these young men come back. He can recognize the holy ghost incredibly well.
Other then that, I can hardly remember what happened haha.. We got to take care of our recent converts cats which was nice, because over my mission I have been having cat withdrawals because I miss them so much. However his cats don't really let us pet them that much. We also found a cat on the street yesterday that let us pet him and he does the same jump thing that chester did. The weird thing its really rare to see animals on the street here in Finland because its illegal here in finland to leave cats or dogs outside because obviously they will freeze to death, so I have seen like 3 dogs and cats in my time here in Finland that didn't have there owner standing right next to them.
Other then that, after this I am going to a restaurant with some members in the ward and doing a hot sauce food challenge! Basically if you finish off the platter of food, you get it for free, if not its 18 euros. wish me luck!!!!
The castle picture is from a town next to the one I am serving in right now. A town called hämeenlinna.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Wow, the weeks just keep going by so fast. Crazy stuff. So this week we have been traveling like crazy. We went up to a town called Hämeenlinna for splits with another set of elders and it went great! We tracted into this lady from peru that apparently pulled her papers a long time ago, and wow can she talk fast. Then that same day we got invited over to this lutheran church by some guy on the street. We were just kind of explaining about the church, and then the guy started getting really negative about our church. And then he was like... this is why I wanted to invite you guys over, and then reaches over and grabs the tablecloth on the table and pulls it back and there is anti mormon literature there. It was so funny because he treated it like it was going to be a hidden monster in a closet. Anyway after that he proceeded for like an hour telling us how hard hearted we were and that we need to open our eyes to the truth. Then there were some girls behind us that kept talking about us in finnish how they want to come to america with us, and they didnt realize we knew finnish. It was a really long hour, but we bore powerful testimonies and there was nothing he could do about that. But basically after the splits we took a long bus ride home, did some weekly planning and then headed back to hämeenlinna to spend the night because the next day at 3:30 we had to get up to catch a train that was going to tampere, because Elder Johnson of the seventy was coming for mission tour. That was a really long day waking up at 3:30 but it was a good mission tour and I got to see all my previous companions there. Other then that we are going hiking with a recent convert of ours today. sorry I cant upload any pictures because the computers here are being dumb so I will have to next week.
Hope everyone has a great week!
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Great week this week. We have been continuing to do a lot of finding. Recently my investigator from china who left about 3 months ago has come back and came to church this last week! She even brought me back official metal chopsticks from china. There super sweet. We also had zone leader splits that went well. During it we contacted a women who was wearing sunglasses, and started talking to her about the gospel, and she took off her sunglasses and she had a purple eye and she said she needed to go to the doctor because her boy friend had hit her:( super sad what satan can drive us to do. Also while tracting we got stuck in this backyard somehow and we had to climb under a fence and my zone leader companion kinda got stuck under it. It was pretty funny. . We got to teach some Jehovah Witnesses. Also this week, Vanhin Parsons and I tracted into this man who apparently was a member and we didnt know it when he invited us in, and then proceeded to tell us for about an hour all this crazy doctorine like satan is progressing on another planet and his influence doesnt touch us here.. Its kinda sad because his whole family is active, except him and he refuses to come back to church.
But other then that we have a lot of cool potentials. This week however we will hardly be in our area since we will be doing splits tommorrow up in a town called hämeenlinna, and then there is a mission conference tour going up in tampere.
Hope everyone has a great week
So the computers are broken today in the library so I have to keep this short. Good week, we have been doing a lot of finding. We had a really good lesson yesterday with a finnish lady. We are also teaching a guy from Nepal. We helped one of our investigators move a piano in an apartment which sucked really bad because the thing weighed sooo much, but we managed to fit it in the elevator right side up. I cant send any pics because of the dum comptuer. Hope everyone has a great week!!!
Well this week has been super good for sure.
So, our investigator who has been fearful of going to baptism because her family is supportive of her.... well a member we have been bringing on lessons to her is proposing to her and there getting married, and she is getting baptized because, well now her soon to be husband is getting baptized! but there is not an official marriage date yet.. But they are literally my adopted grandparents, there the funniest couple ever!!!
We also got to go to a Russian Orthodox church, that was interesting. Someone we met while contacting invited us there, so we went, it was really interesting! We also found a couple of new investigators this week, one is Helluntai, and the other two are from africa, one plays american football.
We also got to do some good old service helping a member out at his place which was good.
Hope everyone has a good week!!!
So last pday I got to hang out at a summer cottage with our recent convert. It was super fun, except I just had to watch him swim and sauna.... but we still had a lot of fun!!!
Wednesday and thursday I went down to helsinki for a leadership meeting. I got to go to the temple which was super nice!
Me and my companion have been doing a lot of finding and have been able to meet some super cool people. We tracted into this guy who had been taught in 2002, by antti Patamo and he still had a pic of him! it was way cool..
Other then that those are the highlights. Sorry if it seems these emails are getting shorter, because they are. After a year and a half of them it can start to become a chore to write them, so I just list the highlights..
Have a good week!
This first pic accurately represents what most people facial expressions are here when we talk to them here. Second is at the mökki.
Well, just so yall know, the halfway point to christmas was passed.
Anyway, the year is flying by.
This week was great, I got my new companion, Elder Parsons, he is from cody wyoming, really nice guy. We have done a ton of finding lately, and this last saturday we found a new investigator when we were tracting. It was someone I had tracted into a couple of months back, gave a BOM to, and then we came back and she let us in and we taught them and she invited us back tonight so hopefully all goes well with that.
We had a super fun ward bbq and a place which the finns call a mökki, which is basically summer home in finnish. It was SUPER fun and a potential came so that went well. Today for Pday were going to another one with our recent convert so that should be fun.
Other then that were just doing a ton of hard work building the Lords kingdom! Have a great week!
So right now as I am sitting writing this email. my stomach hurts a lot haha.... so there are these 2 super cool brothers in my ward. and they love spicy stuff. like a lot. They were doing the ghost chili pepper challenge. basically in 2007 it was made the hottest pepper in the world. Since then new peppers have come out, so its 3rd or 4th right now. Well I decided to join in about 2 hours ago, and WOW is it hot.. on top of that I had 2 ghost chili peppers.. so yea, but I got free icecream!!! but just in case you were curios on the hot scale, a jalapeno is rated as 1000, habenero is at 400,000, and the ghost chili pepper is 1 million. so yea. it was hot. It felt like I swallowed a knife. But hey, I did it.
Anyway, this week was good. Transfers came and I am staying in lahti! Which is going to be my first city that I have stayed 6 months in! But if there was any city for that to happen I want it to be lahti because this place is awesome and I have a ton of friends and people we are teaching. The ward is super cool, and so it will be fun. My companion is leaving to the North and I am getting a new companion named Elder Parsons.
Our recent converts birthday was this week so we set up a suprise party for him and it went super well!! We set up this pinjata, which was made out of steel wiring and it took SO long to break haha. But all went well. We have been continuing to do a lot of finding, since are investigator pool has been dieing down, we were able to have a lesson with this really cool lady who has 2 crazy toddlers who climbed all over us during the lesson.
So this is one of my favorite elementary stories. Thought yall would like it, teaches a super important lesson.
There was once an Emperor from China who had no children and needed to choose a successor.
Thousands of children from across the kingdom came to the palace and were surprised when the Emperor exclaimed that he was going to choose one of them. He gave them all a seed. They were to go home to their villages, plant the seed in a pot and tend it for a year. When they return in a year, the Emperor would judge their efforts and choose his successor.
There was a boy named Ling who received his seed and returned to his village.
His mother helped him to choose a pot and put some soil into it.
Ling watered his pot every day.
Once a week, the children of the village would get together to compare their plants. After a few weeks, there were signs of life in all but Ling’s pot.
The weeks passed and Ling continued to water his pot every day.
After a few months, the pots really came to life. Some had trees starting to grow, some had flowers and some had leafy shrubs. Poor old Ling still had nothing growing in his pot, leading the other children to make fun of him.
Ling continued to water his pot every day.
A year passed and it was time to return to the palace to show what had grown and decide on the new heir.
Ling was anxious as his pot still showed no signs of life. “What if they punish me? They won’t know that I’ve watered it every day, they’ll think that I’m lazy.”
His mother looked him in the eye and explained that whatever the consequences were, he had to return and show the Emperor his barren pot.
Ling and the other children entered the palace gates. By now, some of the plants were looking magnificent and the children were wondering which one the Emperor would choose.
Ling was embarrassed as other children looked at his lifeless pot and scoffed.
The Emperor came out and started to make his way through the crowd, looking at the many impressive trees, shrubs and flowers that were on display. The boys all puffed their chests out and tried to look as regal as possible, hoping that they would be chosen as the heir to the empire.
Then the Emperor came to Ling. He looked at the pot then he looked at Ling.
“What happened here?” He asked.
“I watered the pot every day, but nothing ever grew.” Ling muttered nervously.
Then he grumbled something to himself and moved on.
After a few hours, the Emperor finally finished his assessment.
He stood in front of the children and congratulated them on their efforts.
“Clearly, some of you desperately want to be Emperor and would do anything to make that happen, but there is one boy that I would like to point out as he has come to me with nothing. Ling, come here please.”
“Oh no,” thought Ling. He slowly sauntered to the front of the group, holding his barren pot.
The Emperor held up the pot for all to see and the other children laughed. Then the Emperor continued, “A year ago, I gave you all a seed. I told you to go away, plant the seed and return with your plant. The seeds that I gave you all were boiled until they were no longer viable and wouldn’t grow, but I see before me thousands of plants and only one barren pot. Integrity and courage are more important values for leadership than proud displays, so Ling here will be my heir.”
Thats a ghost chili pepper.
Thats what I looked like while I was dealing with the second one I ate.
So we got to set a baptismal date this week with our investigator barnaba! He is a super cool dude. Other then that we have been doing a lot of finding to rebuild our teaching pool. Sorry I dont have a lot of time. This week is transfer week, so I may or may not be emailing on monday!
pic is of us in this sweet american diner we have in our town! super good food. My boi Elder Bowden and I.
Friday, August 26, 2016
Happy 4th to everyone!!!! It was a great day to remember out countries independance. For the 4th Vanhin Buhler and I went out to an American Diner to eat. It was alright, definately not like back at home. But the worst part about it is they charged me 1 euro for the ice water! Thats not american at all!!! they didnt even ask if I wanted it, they just set it on the table and you assume its free but not here! We also went to this killer 4th of july party at an americans house. There are a couple of Americans in lahti and they got together and celebrated and it was so fun. It was so weird to have so many americans together, hear american accents, and its so weird how outgoing and loud americans are. When you live around Finns for a year and a half, they are super quiet and hardly talk so you get overwhelmed when your by a lot of americans again haha...
So our investigator Valterri got baptized!!! It went super well!!! A ton of people showed up, and the service went perfect. It was so amazing seeing the change in him. The past 4 months I have been working with him he went from Athiest to someone who has a strong testimony and desire to be like Jesus Christ! He is super cool! He is 23 and he is one of my best friends here in Finland! I had the opportunity to confirm him in sacrament meeting and give him the holy ghost. That was my first confirmation ever and it was in Finnish so that was cool. I know how to do a confirmation better in Finnish then english haha. So much adversity has happened while teaching him, went from not getting baptized at all, to having a desire, then dropping again, and then a blessing of healing which worked, and now he finally entered the waters of baptizm. Quite the journey, but it went amazing. The spirit was great there.
Other then that we have done a lot of service this week. We helped 2 members move which was great to be able to do some service. For pday we also played on this huge frisby golf course they have here, but it kinda sucked because are frisbys are terribly cheap..
Other then that have a wonderful week!
PS: if your wondering why my hair is so short, I messed up on my haircut so I had to give myself a buzz cut...
The american lunch we had.
Great week this week. Been pretty crazy. Friday and Saturday was Juhannus Day, so basically its the day that the sun never sets, which basically gives everyone permission to get hammered, so we werent allowed to do finding on that day. But we did get to be with some interesting people though!
Yesterday, we went with some Jehovah Witnesses we met tracting to there Valtakunta (I think its called kingdom hall in english). That was interesting. There really nice folks and we got to talk to them for a bit which was nice.
We did a lot of finding because a lot of our investigators are out for the summer. We met an American from Boston, who we are going to go over and teach sometimes this week. She knows Amber, so that was cool. Small world.
Also, we made some homemade rootbeer with a family for a Dinner appointment, and I put what the instructions said of sugar in it, but those are american instructions, so it was WAY to sweet haha. There is so much less sugar in drinks in europe.
But this Saturday we are planning for Valterris baptism so pray that all goes well. We are going to hangout with him today for pday. Its going to be fun!
Hope everyone has an amazing week!
Juhannus Bonfire, and a Member family who I stumped with my object lesson...
Well, today is the longest day of the year. In other words the sun doesnt ever set, and neither do the parties here haha. Well THis week has been good, we have done a lot of teaching. Lot of finding. Our investigator valterri wants to get baptized in 2 weeks so hopefully all goes well.
Last wednesday we also got to do some sweet service and help at the Patamos house. Good ol digging holes. We found these 2 cool new investigators this week. One is from brazil, and the other is a finnish lady. She has this bird that speaks to us in finnish haha. Its hilarious because for some reason in my head I was thinking they only spoke English, just because I had never heard any different. The bird is 40 years old!! But all is well in lahti. Summer is here and with it all the finns are running to their Summer homes... But we find the few stragglers...
With Antti in the good ol finnish countryside.
Having cat withdrawls. Such a big cat.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
What up fam. Sorry this email is going to be a shortie because I have a meeting I have to go down to in Helsinki so I have to go take a train. and I have like 20 minutes to email. But its been a great week. I have my new companion Elder Buhler because of the emergency transfer, it was sad to have Elder Aldous leave, we were only together 2 weeks but we had a lot of fun together. But we have been teaching a lot this week, our investigator Petri who I found my 3rd day here in Lahti FINALLY came to church, had a good time. We have been having some pretty crazy teaching experiences with our investigator fahad haha. Lets just say it can be everything from teaching lessons in a bar, to helping his old granny friends, to the craziest of stories...
But anyway I have to go down to Helsinki. Super excited because I get to see my 2nd companion in the field Elder Bascom, who is doing a internship here in Helsinki and a ton of other friends in my Helsinki area I served in!
Sunday, August 21, 2016
5/31/16: The prayer of healing, Emergency transfers, How to find your investigator an apartment, 5eurohobobag, free bikes
Moro Perhe and ystaviä,
It was a good week this week. So Elder Aldous and I have been having a blast together. We finish each others sentences in lessons, and we have done a lot of good work and have had a lot of fun. Unfortunately, Sunday we get a call from President, and something happened somewhere else so Elder Aldous is moving up North, and my new companion will beElder Buhler. I went on splits with him his first day in the country so it will be sweet to see the growth in him.. Its sad to see Elder Aldous go, but it is what it is.. But I am staying here in Lahti, which I am super happy about because I love this area and ward. (BTW family, has Amber moved in yet down the street, she left last tuesday so she should be back).
Anyway super great week this week. The first thing that happened was I mentioned how last week I gave my investigator who should be going to baptism soon a blessing last week because he was sick and had mono. Well in the blessing it was promised that he would get better by the end of last week, and me saying that even suprised me because the doctors told him atleast 3 weeks, and when I saw him he was in pretty bad shape, his throat was really swollen and could hardly talk. Well we visited yesterday... and well he was all better. He is a little tired still from the Mono, but besides that he is fully recovered.. It was crazy to see!!! The gift of healing does work, even in finnish haha!! That was a really tender mercy from the Lord.
Our other invesigator fahad cant get baptized because right now he doesnt have a recidency permit, and he couldnt find an apartment. So this week I did some calling around to some friends I have made here in Lahti, and I found him an apartment and he moved in this last week! He is basically our neighbor now!!! Such a cool guy.
There is also this really cool place in town where I can buy a 5 euro bag of food, I get a ton of food, so a ward member and I are going there and will be giving some food to some people in need.
Another cool thing this week is we found two pretty decent bicycles in the trash. They need a little fixing up but there nice bikes, and Im thinking of fixing them up and giving it so some friends.
Other then that the work here is going great! Valterri should be going to baptism soon, and we have some other great progressors. The Lord has been very mercicul here in Lahti..!
Well this week has felt like it has gone by in a blur! Not to much to report. Yesterday I got to give a blessing to my investigator in Finnish, that was fun. Right now he wants to get baptized, but he has mono, but I felt very confident with the blessing that I gave him so we will see how that goes. I have my new companion, his name is Elder Aldous, he is awesome, very outgoing so we get along great. Right now were just doing a lot of finding. However, the thing I have dreaded all year is coming to pass. Summer. And that sounds really weird but let me tell you a little about Finnish summers. As a normal person there the best thing ever. Beautiful Weather, lots of traveling, and TONS of concerts. As a missionary. not so much. Basically in the summer all the cities abandon and become ghost towns. The students go back home. Everyone leaves finland and goes to tropical places. Its crazy. So well see how that plays out. Well find people in the knooks and crannies of the city:)
We also had a really cool lesson with an investigator where he told us his conversion to christ, how he used to be involved in all sorts of witch craft. Very powerful conversion story. This week I also had a really cool experience. We stopped a lady on the street but all she could speak was Russian. She needed help getting somewhere but there was no way we could explain to her how to get there because of the language barrier. We were walking away and my companion had an idea to call the bishop, who then referred us to someone in the ward that can speak russian. We didnt know where the lady was that we talked to so I said a prayer, and I had the strong impression to go one way, and we ended up finding her. So the spirit is always there to help us if we are listening.
We also tracted into someone that let us in saying that he needed help overcoming his drug addiction so we will see how that goes!
PS: Amber Patomo left yesterday Mom and Dad, so She is delivering the mothers day present I told you about. She should be in Utah thursday. So sad she left:( if you need to remember what she looks like see the attached photo below haha!
The other photo is me and bill, he is a super cool guy I have had the privilege to teach.
The other photo is of me and my boi Fahad! Me and him are the same age. and he is ripped! He is actually a bodybuilder. He wants to be baptized, he know the book of mormon is true, he just needs to find a place soon and then he can be!
Sunday, August 14, 2016
Finally this week we got the clearance that we can finally take off our suitjackets since its getting kind of hot and now we dont have to roast. Good week, been finding a lot since our progressing investigators were all busy this week or sick. We had a really really good lesson however with a guy named Petri. We thought we were going to drop him since it wasnt going anywhere, but then we decided just one more lesson and we started reading the Book of Mormon, and his entire heart change and now he loves meeting with us. It was a really cool thing to see. We also had Zone meeting this week which was really good to see everyone, however I am starting to lose track of people, shows I am getting old in the Mission. Transfers are here and I am getting Elder Aldous, I think hes from Oregon, and I am staying in Lahti which is really good because I love this place!!! We also brought cookies that I made to a former investigator yesterday, and then a member who is friends with her on facebook showed us a post she made an hour later saying she was having a terrible day and then godsent people made her day. Just a reminder we can always do that.
Have an amazing week!
Fishing for pday. We only had a broomhandle and some string and a hook.... didnt catch anything:(
also, pictures of lahti, and the lake in our town. From winter to summer, all in the same change since I have been here. Finnish sunsets are the best.
Well.... basically this week my companion and I had the opportunity to hand out 102 Books of Mormon. It was literally the most exhausting week of my life. We were doing the math, we had to atleast talk to 1200 people, most of course were no´s, and cold shoulders, maybe a few birds were packed in there. It was also definately one of the lasagna most fulfilling weeks of my mission. We met so many cool people, including this hilarious ripped dude from Iraq. Me and him are the same age, but he looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger haha. He is super cool, and he came to church this last week and absolutely loved it, and said our doctorine is so logical. We also got a ton of other potentials this week that we have to follow up with from the non stop street contacting this week we did. 7 hours a day all week of straight street contacting walking in circles. Lets just say we became pretty acquainted with some of the common city dwellers. But it was a successful week.
We were also able to set a baptisimal date with another of our investigators named Ansi for June, He came to church for the first time yesterday.
We also went to bird watching with one of our investigators. It was sweet! The tower was super high!!
Hope everyone has a good week!!!
Great week this week. Highlight of the week is I got to see my boy Andy Mccoy haha! I havent been able to see that dude since last summer, because he went on tour and then I left Helsinki. I was in Helsinki for a quick stop and so I thought I might say Hi to the guy. Let me tell you, if there was an autobiography by him I would definately read it. The stories he tells to us are hilarious, you literally see it all as a rockstar.
So this week my companion and I goaled to hand out a 100 book of mormons so hopefully all goes well. Yesterday we gave out 28, it was sooo exhausting, but very rewarding and we set up several lessons on the way, and there was a guy we talked to on the street that told us how thankful he was for our service and how jealous he was of us, but he still wouldnt take a Book of Mormon XD But hopefully well achieve our goal!
Our progressors continue to do well. Were meeting with a guy named valterri who wants to get baptized soon, he just feels like he needs his testimony to keep growing so were definately banking off the power of the Book of Mormon.
Have an amazing week to all!