Wazzup home skillet biscuits? K that was probably the lamest thing I have ever said! I am in a really interesting mood today so I hope this e-mail makes some sort of sense! :) First off, How are all of you doing? I hope you are all just loving life and being missionaries! That's where the good stuff is! I promise! Haha so Mom and Dad are going to Paris and Portugal...um that's the coolest thing I have ever heard! Now when you come pick me up from my mission, we can go to Paris and Portugal and you will know how to get around huh? Vitsi vain...Just kidding! :) I am so excited for you! That will be so great! And you are going to Disneyland! Holy cow that's awesome! Don't worry mom, I don't feel bad...well not too bad. I would love to be there, but we can go when I get back! ROAD TRIP ROAD TRIP!! It will be awesome! Just send me a jawbreaker sucker or something and it will all be fine! :) I am way excited for you and I just know you are all doing awesome!!
This week has been really good. First off I have to tell you about the weather. It is hot here. Like seriously, Heavenly Father is blessing us so much. Every person I talk to says they can't remember a winter as warm as this winter before in their lives. Isn't that crazy? Someone is looking out for us missionaries here right now and I am so grateful for it. Today is the first day it has snowed in like a month and it isn't even sticking because it is so warm. Apparently February is supposed to be the coldest month of the year! I survived one and almost brought out the short sleeves! Who would have thought! :)
So yesterday we had 3 of our investigators in church! It was INCREDIBLE! Seriously, another fast sunday miracle! I know the numbers I send home probably sound lame compared to other missionaries you all know, but 3 investigators in church in Finland is like a miracle! Vincent, our Tanzanian friend came. I guess he isn't a Finn, but it still totally counts! He loved it so much and really felt the spirit. He was singing his heart out to all the songs. It was so hilarious though because we obviously sing in Finnish but we gave him an English Hymn Book so he could understand what we were singing, and he started singing in English...like loud...like yelling. It was HILARIOUS! I couldn't help but laugh! He is so golden! We are working on setting a baptismal date with him this week so please pray for that! He knows this is true!! I know he will be baptized!
Anna came to church as well but she only stayed for the sacrament. She is doing really well, but she really misses Sisar Egan. It's hard when people get attached to the missionaries and then they leave, but I know that we can help her and that we are here for a reason! We want to set a baptismal date with her as well! That is the two things we are focusing on as a mission...baptismal dates and church attendance. Those are the two biggest challenges in Finland but we have plans to improve and we are just working at it, day by day... pikku hilja...that means little whispers in Finnish but they use it to mean step by step or day by day...honestly I don't know why! This language boggles my mind...for real! :)
Our third investigator in church was Sarita. She is the one I met on the bus after I prayed to find someone who was ready to receive the gospel. She has kind of been sketching out on all of our appointments, but on Saturday night, we had the thought to text her and invite her to church and she said "Ya, for sure!" and she came! Like truly, it was a miracle! She really enjoyed it and she also sang very loud. I guess these people just are looking for an excuse to sing their hearts out! What better a place than church? Anyways she set up our next appointment herself and was super excited to learn more about our church! It's so amazing to me how we can literally do everything in our power to get people to come to church. We find them a ride, we have a member invite them, we offer to come and walk with them to church and they don't come. But when we trust in Heavenly Father and just say, "We have done everything we can...we need your help" then three investigators show up. Man, I am so glad someone else is in charge of all of this! We could not do ANY of this alone!
Oh...sidenote...how did talking to someone about the gospel know? I want to hear all about it from everyone! :)
Oh another sidenote...all my siblings will appreciate this...so you know the YouTube video with Stuart on it...the one that dad doesn't like, well Sisar Jones does almost as good of a Stuart's mom voice as Anne. Seriously, she always talks in it and it is hilarious. I laugh every time! All the time! Sisar Jones and I have way too much fun together! We get along so well and pretty much laugh all day every day! It's a blast! :)
So the title of this e-mail is keskityä which is the verb for "to focus". I have been struggling real hard this week with Finnish. All the weeks have been a frustration, but this week has been especially rough. It's really my fault. I have been putting off dealing with my lack of Finnish know-how because there is just so much I don't know, I couldn't even go there. But I really received a prompting from the spirit the other day that if I don't start focusing on improving, it's never going to come. I think in my mind I have just been thinking, "Oh, one day it will come. It will be fine. Heavenly Father will help me." Now all of that is true, but I have not been doing my part. I know this kind of sounds like a confession, and it is. I know you guys won't hate me for saying this and if you do...then dang it! :) Haha but I really could use some prayers from my faithful family and friends for help with this language. Just pray that I will be able to focus and have strength to keep trying even when I make mistakes...which happens all the time. One funny story from this week...I wanted to ask a lady in our ward if she could come and do a church tour with us this week so I say "Saatko tulla meidän kanssamme täällä vikolla? Meilla on kirkon kirros meidän tutkijan kanssa." So the word for tour is "kierros" but I said "kirros" which means curse! So I asked the member if she could come give a church curse with us this week and she laughed for about 20 minutes and told the whole relief society about it so that was fun! haha I am really working on being humble and accepting that I am going to make about 9 million more mistakes, but its really rough, especially when I really am trying so hard. I think what is so hard for me about not being able to communicate with these people is I love to talk. That is one of the biggest ways I show people I love them is by talking and listening so when I can't do that, it's frustrating! I know I need to learn other ways to show love...man all the things you learn on a mission. What would I do without this in my life?
Sorry to be a debby downer, but I need your help. I need your prayers! This isn't easy. It is so worth it, but it's so hard! My spiritual thought for the week is about the Book of Mormon. I have been thinking a lot this week about why we needed the Book of Mormon. Most people in Finland believe in the Bible. THey haven't read it, but they believe in it. SO when we tell them there is another book of scripture like the bible, they basically think we are blasphemers and will be thrust down to the pit. Ok, that's an exaggeration. :) But I was seriously thinking about it. Then, I had the thought to read the title page of the Book of Mormon. I don't have time to quote the whole thing, but it basically breaks it down to three reasons why we have the Book of Mormon. One, to show us how merciful the Lord has been to his children regardless of who they are or where they live and how much he has blessed them, Two, so that we can know the specific covenants that we have to make with God in order to return to live with Him, and Three, so that everyone can know that Jesus is the Christ. Those three reasons are so simple, but SO important. In 3 Nephi chapter 5, Mormon makes a little insert into the plates of Nephi and he says in verse 20, " I am Mormon, and a pure descendant of Lehi. I have reason to bless my God and my Savior, Jesus Christ....he hath given me and my people so much knowledge unto the salvation of our souls." That is what the Book of Mormon is. It is knowledge unto the salvation of our souls. Without this book, we wouldn't know how to return to live with God again. To know that the Book of Mormon is true is to know that God and Jesus Christ love us. It is to know that life is beautiful and eternal. It is to know the true meaning of family. It is to know that each time we sin, we can repent and try again and we will always be forgiven. It is to know that the Holy Ghost can be our constant companion. I really think that to know the Book of Mormon is true is to know love. It is evidence of God's love for us. I know He loves us. At the end of the day, I may know nothing else...but I know that He loves us and wants us to come back to Him. That's why we have this book. That's why I am in Finland. I love the gospel. I love The Book of Mormon. It is true. I know it is! I love you all so much and hope you have a grand week!!!!
Rakaudella, Sisar Bitner
My favorite building
This way creepy church we pass by a lot
Me and Sisar Jones in this super sketch elevator that squeaks SO bad when we ride in it
Me shining my boots...I love the boots I bought so much! I take way good care of them...aren't you proud dad? :)
This is the new planner that I made! The three most important things in my life, Jesus, the scriptures and my family! I love it so much!!