Monday, March 1, 2010

February 22, 2010

Dearest Family,

Holy cow! I know why Layne Rockhill loved Jyväskylä so much... It is just incredible. I am so grateful to be where I am at! haha I appologize for last week's worthless excuse for an email... I hope this one will be better. So, We have had quite a busy week. (I guess I'm going to have to update you on the last two weeks huh?) We have seen so many miracles its incredible. Europe is changing, I want you guys to see If you can find a talk by Elder K (the europe area president) He talked about how the vision he has of europe doubling it's activity rate of the members is the next 10 years, PRETTY INTENSE! I hope you guys can find it... It was in the liahona (at least the finnish one) a few months ago (maybe within the last 6 months) Anyways, He talked about that, and I see the little things going into place to help that vision become a reality. Right here in good old Jyväskylä!

Haha So I guess I will try and remember everything I talked about in the last email real quick. Well, Sisar T printed off the email that you sent her. Wow! Mitzi's finnish is pretty good, lol like better than mine by a lot! Lol, I hope I catch up to her finnish soon :)

I blessed the sacrament last week in church and just yesterday I gave a talk... haha It's crazy how much scarier it is talking in front of 130 finns rather than just 1 or 2 haha.

So, This last week we had district conference and president was there and he taught us some things that I hope I remember my entire life! So mom, Do you remember when we were driving home from logan and you asked me what I think one thing I am going to learn on my mission was. Do you remember my answer? My answer was humility... President Brown just taught us about Pride.... I was Humbled.... It was pretty intense. It really showed me alot of things that I need to work on that I thought I had "in the bag" haha wow. It brought my thoughts to something maybe it was einstein... whoever it was said "The more you learn the more you come to the realization of how little you know" (that entire quote could have been made up... but I still give the credit to Einstein) That is pretty much how I felt about what I learned last wednesday... He shared with us this talk by President Ezra Taft Benson entitled "Beware of Pride" I'll bet mom and Dad remember this talk because it is one I will not forget. It goes through and teaches about pride and the great stumbling block it is. C.S. Lewis simplified pride pretty well when he said " Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone" Then President Benson teaches how pride is one of the roots of all sin and how so many nations fell because of pride in the Book of Mormon. Crazy intense stuff. President taught it with such love though... he really taught us this so we could see where we need to improve. He is a Good man :) So ya.... I was pretty humbled thinking back to all the prideful things I do and Think. haha

Then he taught us how to overcome pride... Humility and Prayer. He shared some things in our interview together that really have helped me understand better these two things.

This week has been incredible. We are getting teaches with new people all the time. People just keep saying yes, and I love it! haha but we kind of had a stumbling block just yesterday we lost the phone :( somehow it fell out of elder slade's pocket. We hope that someone found it and gave it to the police office.... only time will tell. We spent some time today backtracking our steps from yesterday, but no luck :( I think everything will turn out for the best :)

So good to hear that all is well in utah! haha Sounds like it was cold though! Haha I kinda have a funny story about the cold. So it was saturday and We took a bus clear out to this familes house (the V) they are less actives and we were going to set up an appointment because we never have been able to get an appointment with them. Anyways we went out there and we lined up an appointment and went to catch the bus back but we missed it... and elder slade slipped (but wasn't hurt)... haha so that was kinda funny, but kinda sad... I had mixed emotions at the time. We realized the next bus didn't come for an hour and it was like negative 24 or so... it was cold, So we walked for a half an hour in the cold, and when i got to the other bus stop I had Ice all over my eyelashes! so I guess it wasn't funny... But really cool!! Haha I got a picture of it! (don't even worry fromage I didn't get cold with all my layers on ;) )

Holy Cow I got 3 packages this last week at district meeting! Thank you all (family, waddoups, and tori wennergreen) The treats were delicious and I'm probably going to get fat now! Normal peanut butter was probably the highlight of all the packages! Mitzi was right when she saide the peanut butter is wierd in Finland. haha you guys are little sweethearts :)

Holy cow, So we were at this amazing Dinner appointment yesterday with the J family, and they have this daughter about sarah's age that just loves english and really wants to visit america someday. So this morning I had an Idea pop into my head. Sarah this is a request from you, I think this little girl (E J) would love to have an american pen pal... how would you like a finnish pen pal? I think her mom would translate... So sarah do you want to write a letter to my address but address it to E J? She is like 10 years old and loves america... thats about all I know about her haha that would be cool if you would do that!

Well that is about all my ideas for this week! I love you all and hope next week is as good as last one :) :)

Love you all!

Vanhin Thomas Neal Nielsen

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