This week was packed full of great experiences! Hey everybody!
Elder Dyches, a member of the Area Seventy (a General Authority of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who serves in the Scandinavian Area), spoke to us this week. The mission of about 100 missionaries was split in two and he spoke to our area on Thursday. He taught us all about gratitude and planning. This week we’re really striving to thank all of the ward members who always make sure we are taken care of and who come to lessons with us. Go find some missionaries at home to go out and teach with. We can’t do it without you! Seriously!
Members are our greatest asset in teaching! The family we are working with here just had a new baby girl about three weeks ago, and we’ve just started teaching them the lessons again. After they are baptized it’s important that they keep learning and progressing in the gospel. Both lessons this week were on the Plan of Salvation and especially agency. It was excellent to have members there who could testify of their own experiences living the gospel and using their agency to choose to live as Christ lived. The members also allow the family to open up and know that someone will understand all of the words they are saying. 🙂 I’m fairly comfortable explaining things in very basic terms, but it’s sometimes hard to express what you feel about something in a new language. However! the gift of tongues is real!
A brother and sister in our ward came to the lesson last night and it went so well because they were there. This man was born here in Jyväskylä and joined the church as a young adult and then served a full-time mission in Utah. At the beginning of his mission it was really difficult to learn English. He said it just wasn’t clicking in his head. Back then if you were serving a mission in Utah, you would get to see members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles every so often at trainings because they were so close by. Well, word got spread through the mission president that this young elder was really having a hard time learning English and the mission president set up and interview with Elder Jospeph B. Wirthlin (and another General Authority, if I remember correctly). They asked the elder if he was praying in English or Finnish. He answered Finnish because the language was such a struggle for him. They committed the elder to pray in English personally and publicly. They promised him that if he would do that, then the English would come. When they asked him to commit, he agreed, and a few weeks later the English that had been such a struggle just clicked. Today, this man and his American wife are back in Finland living for awhile before returning to the USA. He speaks American English flawlessly to us, missionaries, and has an American accent when he speaks in his native tongue. This is a testimony to me that the gift of tongues is real. This experience is especially meaningful to me because my grandfather who served here in Finland experienced the same thing with receiving a promise by men called of God that if he would always say his personal prayers in Finnish that he would never forget the language he learned on his mission. This faithful choice of my grandfather to act on the promise he received is still blessing my family, and especially me, today! I know that Heavenly Father will bless us as we align our will with his and keep up our end of our promises to Him.
There’s always more that I want to tell all of you, but just know that I care!
Finland Helsinki Mission Office
Picture: Our Christmas tree!
I’ll remember my camera cord next week and send you some good ones!