Ok, I think I got this whole email thing figured out, who to send it to and all that stuff ;)
Ok wow. These past two weeks have been incredible and I have learned so much more about myself, language, Gospel, and most importantly what is most important in this life! haha Though I don't know all of these even close to perfect yet... I will try and share what little knowledge I have.
First, the language. WOW, this is incredible, What an opportunity I have to really just immerse myself into this language with a companion who is barley 3 months older than me. President Brown emailed me some very encouraging things. I love that man.
Ok I'll tell you a little bit about Elder Hamner. He was just in college at West Point Military Academy. (pretty smart kid) He is a very extremely disciplined elder. I would do well to learn from him :) He is an incredible missionary and really works with all of the attributes that D&C 4 says we should work and strive for. It nice to learn so much at a time... He does everything at the very fastest pace he can, It's awesome! Not a minute wasted! Pray that I can have the strength to keep up with him, because I know that if i can I will see SSOOO much growth. It'll be awesome!
I'm so thankful for the time I had with Elder Quinn, he really was the perfect trainer for me. He taught me how to be a missionary and really be humble and everything good like that, he is the MAN! hopefully you guys will meet him someday! He is going to do great things with his life, I firmly believe that!
Wow, so many stories, so little time. Stake conference was amazing! It really was the spiritual boost that I needed! It was in a city named Tampere, one of the biggest cities in Finland (I think), but we saw a little miracle. We drove to Tampere and no one in the car really knew Tampere very well, all we had was the address. Haha, so we went and I know that we were helped, because when we went to ask someone how to get to that, it was straight down the street. Eli (in other words) we were on the right street. Pretty cool! Little miracles, small and simple things like that are such a testifer to me of how much God really is in control. I'm not going to lie I was scared driving from Pori to Tampere, but with a little faith we made it there and learned tons!
There was a children's choir, it took me back to the days when our little Elwood primary would sing and you could see which children were not happy to be up there singing. And then the ones who sang with all their heart but couldn't ever seem to find the right note! I chuckled a little, and realized again that we are all God's children. We all are similar, we all came from the same place and I think that we carry a lot of the attributes that we learned there. That is why little kids in Finland, singing in Finnish are so similar to the ones in Elwood singing in English! Oh man, I love little testifers like that! This Church is true!! I love it!!!
I learned so much from this conference (even though it wasn't in my mother language :) ) but one thing I liked was President Brown's talk, in Finnish, I have never really heard him talk that much in Finnish. He is the exact same loving, caring, inspiring man in Finnish that he is in English. I really do have the best mission president in the world. Although Kyle's was pretty good... not quite as good though ;) Oh man President Brown is a man of humility and power, what an example.
During this conference I learned a lot of who the person I want to become. I think the person I would like to become is very similar to the man that President Brown is. He carries such a powerful testimony of the scriptures and yet he is so humble about his knowledge and about everything. He knows all, but wants you to learn by your own means. He provides a way that you can be taught those lessons in life that can't be learned other than experiencing it.
I wish that I could truly express how I feel... because it is an incredible indescribable feeling of love for everyone in this world! haha wow...
Pori is doing great! I actually think that we are in a super warm-spell, because we have stayed in the positive degrees for a while, the other day our car thermometer said it was 9 degrees celcius (like 45-50 f)! wow! sounds like it Utah is colder than that! haha but I'm so prepared for winter here, I'm just waiting for it to come! With all the warm stuff mom packed and the giant coat I bought, it's impossible to get cold :)
I'd like to share some thoughts I had as I read the Book of Mormon this week. This is actually something that I learned in the MTC but I'm reading through the Book of Mormon again. ALMA 5:45-46 (I don't remember if I shared this in the MTC) but, Alma the younger says he came to a knowledge of this gospel not because the angel he saw, but the small things like prayer in his life. I love it! I loving searching for other small things I can do to strengthen that knowledge! I challenge all of you to do the same! Search for what you can do to strengthen that knowledge so that when times of trial come, nothing can stop you. Man, what if our whole family just became this unstoppable force for good in this world, we could help find and save our other brothers and sisters in the world! We have been blessed with so much! What a better time to remember that than this Thanksgiving week! Remember what the Lord has blessed you with and pass that same love and tender feelings on to others. I've seen joy come to the faces of the hopeless (Janne) There is nothing in this world that feels better than seeing that joy illuminate people ohhh... It's indescribable.
I thought (as I was reminded by that awesome Thanksgiving package) about how every year we always express what we are thankful for before we eat our thanksgiving meal. I thought about what I would say, I'm with out words. I think that 2 Nephi chapter 22 states it better than I ever could. This gospel is everything to me now because I know that through it we (our family) can live together forever. We can return to that loving Heavenly Father who has given us everything we have! I wish it hadn't taken me this long to realize this. But now I know more than ever!
Little girls/Ryan/Kyle/Nate/mom/dad! thank you for all that you do for me! You are all such examples to me! I love you all! I thank you for the amazing things I have learned from all of you. This is the true church, through it we can be together forever
Vanhin Thomas Nielsen