Back to My Roots

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!

We’ve also become more effective planners, and that resulted in a fulfilling, but busy week. After all, we’re on the Lord’s errand and we’ve got to use every moment we can get to share the gospel!
Christmas is a great time to remember Christ, and this week we celebrated Christ as an entire ward. Sister Jordan and I played the piano and violin together, respectively, to “O Holy Night.” Before we played we read Alma 7:10-11 and testified that we know Christ loves each of us and knows us personally. I felt the Spirit really strongly testifying Heavenly Father really loves the people in this ward. They are so wonderful to us!
Cultural experience: Here in Finland Santa Claus comes in person to give presents and it was the same at the ward Christmas party! Instead of setting the children on his lap and asking what they would like and giving them a candy cane, he just came well equipped with a ton of presents already! He called each of the kids up and gave them a bag full of goodies, stickers, and all sorts of fun things. Then he called up the recent convert family in our ward and next the missionaries. We were so grateful that this family was being given so much love. Please continue to pray for them. The doctrine of Christ is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. The enduring to the end part is the part that lasts the longest, and we’re all still doing it joyfully, so please pray for them to continually grow in their faith. I know they will feel your prayers!
Mom, you would have loved the party! It had a full length program of all sorts of numbers just like Mummo used to do, and we even ate riisi puuro (rice porridge for the English speakers) all together and the little boy in the convert family found the almond! (everyone: that means good luck!) I’m so grateful to be in a country, that, although foreign feels like a home away from home. 🙂 thank you for always teaching me the traditions of Finland! Christmas time feels so familiar here because it’s probably the biggest time that we all celebrate like the Finns do! (Except that we already have a Christmas tree.) Sister Jordan and I found a cute little one for just 10 Euros and we couldn’t resist. It came fully equipped with lights and ornaments and a star!DSC02029

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.

Please, please, pray for us to find new investigators to teach. I know Heavenly Father is preparing people to receive the Restored Gospel, it’s just up to us and the Spirit to find them at the right time. I know your prayers will help immensely!
There’s still no snow in Jyväskylä so hopefully there will be before Christmas!
I love you all so much!

There’s always more that I want to tell all of you, but just know that I care!

Love you all!
Joyously,
Sister Adams
P.S. thank you to the best homeward Primary and Bishopric for all of the letters!! You are all the best and please give the Primary my sincere thanks for all of the pictures and letters! Love you all!
If anyone else would like to write, you can do so at:
Finland Helsinki Mission Office

Upseerinkatu 3C

02600 Espoo

Finland

Picture: Our Christmas tree!

I’ll remember my camera cord next week and send you some good ones!

Sisar Adams
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