We thought we would have lower contacting chances that day, but after the last lesson we were ready to hit the pavement again and we talked to many of the most wonderful people and there were so many out on the streets! Another tender mercy! A certain teenage couple looked really depressed, and they ended up taking a Book of Mormon. I am so grateful we were placed in their paths that night! Sometimes all it takes is action on our part for Heavenly Father to be able to bless us.
Happy Fathers Day to my wonderful Daddy! And to you too Papa! I love you both!
Wow! What an honestly spectacular week! Here are some of the highlights!
Wednesday we had 4 member present lessons with investigators at the church! The first three were right after lunch, and then we had dinner at the church with a wonderful member who came to teach with us, after which we went straight into the fourth lesson! A lot of my teaching in Kerava has been in English which is definitely a change after being in Jyvaskyla. Wednesday we had two of each! English and Finnish! It was a very spiritual and brain melting day. We were very blessed because with only 30 active ward members and a very spread out and rural area, it has been difficult to find members to come teach, but we had a unusually open Wednesday due to zone training on Monday, meaning no district meeting on Wednesday and we decided to seize the opportunity. With some inspired planning and phones calls, and many great blessings, we got a member to every single lesson and invited two people to baptism! One said yes but has no date yet and the other I will mention below.
We set a baptismal date for July 16 with a wonderful investigator who we taught for the first time on splits a few weeks ago! He has come to church twice and is progressing well. He is an example about how little touches with the gospel help people become closer to the gospel. He grew up outside of Finland just 2 minutes away from a temple and has seen the missionaries and the Book of Mormon many times. It is such a blessing to teach someone who is so prepared to accept the gospel. Always remember that no effort is wasted! And that includes the members!
side note…Right before his lesson we saw a baby moose running through the church parking lot! See picture below!
President and Sister Watson even got to meet our investigator because they surprised us by coming to the Kerava ward for church on Sunday! And it just happened to be the week that I was giving a talk in Sacrament Meeting! Haha. Funny how it all played out. I was a bit apprehensive before I got up there, but I testify that the gift of tongues is real when we are on the Lords errand because everything I wanted to testify of came out smoothly in the moment that I needed to say it. I spoke on repentance, a central purpose of our lives, and something I have learned so much more about on my mission!
Thursday we came into Helsinki for a brief doctors check up for Sister Albiston and since it was around meal time we got to stop in at Tortilla House, the restaurant that my former Finnish companion, Sister Saarinen’s family owns. It was delicious as always!
Friday we went to teach an investigator who made African fufu, sour meat, and okra soup for us. She had a friend over from Lahti and as she was cooking the friend was asking us all kinds of questions about the church. Almost every time we would answer a doctrinal question she had, she would say, That’s good. It was amazing to me to see the Spirit touching her life. She too, had talked to missionaries before. This experience was a testimony to me that we all knew the Plan of Salvation before we came to earth and we all chose to come here to gain experience and learn how to become like our Heavenly Father. We are just all here remembering it!
Last night we got to present a lesson on gratitude in an FHE with two member families and had a wonderful meal with them. Here in Kerava the members, though they are few, are not shy about feeding the missionaries. In fact we get at least two dinner appointments a week, if not more! They are so loving to us!
It is fun being in such a small area in terms of members because you get to know everyone so quickly and they all love you so much! I love this magical place! It often feels like I am in Idaho with nature so close to our home.
There are a lot of different nationalities in the ward, but for the most part everyone speaks Finnish. We are so needed that in Relief Society I usually lead the singing and Sister Albiston accompanies on the piano. When Sister Watson came with us, I was almost the translator for her, until a ward member relieved me of the job! After church this week we were invited to attend a baptism for an 8 year old in our ward. At the last minute some family wasn’t able to come and they asked if one of us would lead the singing there as well! It was so wonderful to be at a baptism and see how after this member received the gift of the Holy Ghost, their entire countenance changed and they were radiating with light!
As I’ve taught investigators and been bold, but not overbearing in teaching them about the Plan of Salvation and the commandments, I have seen that repentance truly is a happy thing! The commandments are truly for our benefit and they are Heavenly Fathers map for our happiness in this life and for the eternities. As I have learned that I must commit people to make changes in their lives and turn unto Heavenly Father in prayer, I have learned that when there is no one else that you can be completely honest with, you can still be completely honest with your Heavenly Father. In fact! He wants you to be! Because He loves you!
One of the greatest things I learned from my MTC companion, Sister Jones, who I have been able to see again every week this transfer because we are in the same district, is that we should tell Heavenly Father exactly what we are thinking so that we can become closer to Him. He can literally help us in all things! We don’t have to put on any faces with Him. And when we come to know Him better through prayer and scripture study, we can feel His love daily as we repent and align our lives with His divine will for us.
I love you all! Have a wonderful week!
And good luck with your first week in college, Andrew!