Monday, June 21, 2010

June 21, 2010

Dear Family,

First off, Happy late Father's day! Sorry dad, I forgot because I guess they don't celebrate father's day in finland at least not on the same day lol...

So, Last week was another great week. I went to the Temple in Helsinki For the 2nd time, It was incredible! The last time I went was my very first change here in finland, Crazy how much has happend since then. There is so much power inside the temple... wow. Just yesterday the ward put on this Temppeli Tänään (the temple today) and they had it so that investigators could come and people could invite friends because the temple is such a great thing. They explained a little and the temple presidency and all their wives came and spoke to us. It was great and Meg was there... She is doing so great!

We have been very blessed here in Jyväskylä this week, I guess I will tell you of all the little miracles! It is incredible the things that fall into place, He is the master of timing. A lot of things just keep falling into place, like this teach with one of the new investigators. His name is Vance and he was an investigator about 3 years ago. We finally got a hold of him as he was a referal from sweden. His phone number hadn't worked for the longest time and then finally it worked and we got a hold of him and we had an appointment last wednesday. Earlier that day Larry, who had just recently returned from the Moscow Russia mission (2 days before) ran into us on the street. He asked if there was anything he could do to help us, and we said sure, there is a teach with this former investigator today, and he said ok. We ended up giving Vance a very desrciptive tour of the church and the main focus was the sacrament. Larry did spectacular and I guess they had met eachother about 2 and half years ago in Turku by some little miracle. Vance asked as we were in the Chapel, "So can anyone come to these meetings, like for example can I?" and we said a very emphatic YES! Little miracles

We got 2 other investigators and they are both from africa and they don't speak english the daughter is fluent in finnish and the mom is not quite as good, but she speaks french and so did the member who was there (another small miracle) .They are a mom and her 18 year old daughter. When we taught the whole overview of the restoration they really liked that we believe that the Godhead is 3 seperate beings. They loved the Book of Mormon as well.
Jan and Meg are doing soo well. Meg went with the young single adults to sister muurmäki and brother muurmäki's cabin for the weekend and they had a lot of fun and Sister muurmäki said they had 3 non members there. Wow! Our young single adults are so great, we have a coordination meeting with them every week, but we had an opportunity to talk with them all sunday and to just inspire them to do missionary work, they are doing great work! The spirit was strong in that meeting.

Random cool things this week: So we were at a teach with Meg, Just before they were all going to go to the Möki (cabin) and these two strangers walk into the church and they said they are americans and they are jehovah's witnesses and they just have a few questions to ask us. In my head I wanted to cry because I was like no way are these two jehovah's witnesses going to ruin our teach with minna. But we were courteous and talked a little bit, turns out he was a missionary here about 40 years ago... they weren't really jehovah's witnesses... They did get my blood pressure going though :) His name is Layne Rassmusen and he served in Jyväskyä before the chapel was built here. I got a picture with him, he was very nice! I even gave him your email mom so you might be seeing a random email from him someday.

Also, Do you guys know Blake Christensen? I guess a couple members from Jyväskylä stayed at his house in tremonton like a month ago (I forgot to include this in my email forever ago) I wish I would have known they were going to tremonton or I would have sent them your way :) Oh well, what do you do?

Other cool story of the week (Kinda Prideful... but I needed a boost) lol I had a doctors appointment in order to get my drivers license and I was pretty nervous because I didn't think I would know the vocab (I mean doctors are pretty tough in english ;) ) anyways It went well and the Doctor was very impressed at my finnish, He said he has friends who have lived here for almost 20 years and they don't speak as well... Gift of toungue my friend... and Prayer.. A lot of prayer!!! (haha probably delete this before anyone else reads this... I feel stupid even sharing it... But it was a much needed boost for me :) )

Miracles happen and God is a loving and merciful God. I love this work with all my heart, even the tough times teach you! We are seeing so many miracles among these trials... It is such a great learning process! I hope all goes well this week for you trekers and recepients of surgery! I Love everyone else too!

Elder Thomas Neal Nielsen

June 16, 2010

Dearest Family,

Boston is old enough to be spraying stuff with hoses and poking stuff with sticks? Sounds like you guys had a fun week with him, He is a cute little boy. Settlers of catan... you should be reading Alma where the real actions happens... Much more exciting ;) haha Wow, I love this missionary stuff, I really do.

Ok I'm going to respond to all that you guys said first, Because this week was a pretty normal week (for the most part hehe) so there really isn't much to say.

I got a call from the office that I have a package waiting for me in Helsinki :) Kiitos Paljon Perheeni :) I wont even have to wait until zone conference because Elder Pearson and I are going to Helsinki this thursday because he has his language school for a day. While he is there I get to go to the temple, and I cannot wait. It has been since my very first transfer in Finland that I have been able to go. This is going to be really good and I am way excited for that.

Also, these two things kind of go together but change call was saturday and I am staying here in Jyväskylä with Elder Pearson! I can't tell you how much I love Jyväskylä... This will probably be my favorite city my entire mission just because the ward here is so great. Wow. I love this place.
Hmmm... Well I guess that is all for all the things you guys had....

So, This week was a pretty good week. We had a teach with Minna Tiihonen after church about God's love. She is doing so great, We just to keep that Fire burning because I know she has a testimony. We have gone over a few commandments and just are helping her understand everything it is so great. We also had one of the most intense teaches I have ever had in my entire life. We taught Cecilia and Amos (a married couple from Africa) They were refuges and fled to the ivory coast for 10 years and they have been in finland for 2 years. They know the Bible backwards and frontwards, it is intense. Anyways long story short we had an intense lesson, but I think they liked the promise in moroni 10 (this is actually the 2nd time we shared it with them) They just need to do it now.

Well, I can't really think of much else to talk about, sorry! I really need to start making my Emails Epic like they used to be. Just know that I am loving the mission so much and that I would not trade being here learning what I am learning for anything else in the whole world. I have really come to a better understanding of the Lord and his Atonement. I have learned how much God loves us and how much he wants to help us. It is great, Patience is an incredible attribute to have because with it we are able to hold off on the things we want and align our will with God's will. Elder Uchtdorfs talk on patience was so great last conference. anyways, I love you all and hope you have a great week! Thanks for everything!

Love you,

Vanhin Thomas Nielsen

P.S I'm going to the temple on Thursday!!! Wahoo!

June 7, 2010

Dearest Family,
Wow, what an incredible week it has been. 3 Investigators came to church :) I really feel like things are just getting put into place and Elder Pearson and I get to watch as these Miracles unfold! Missionary work is incredible. This week was like a missionaries dream week :) (most of it at least haha) We followed up on our commitment with Meg, And guess what she said... YES :) I was all smiles after, and I was so happy to be sharing the scriptures we did after which just confirmed that this will bring so much happiness and blessings into her life. She is going to be baptized on the 28th of August, which is kind of far away, but I think she is really commited to this and is so great! ahhh man... The gospel is so true!
Jan came to church and her boyfriend Jay became a new investigator and joined us for the teaches. He was at her house last time, and Preach my Gospel says invite everyone to join. It worked like a charm, and now he wants to continue learning and discussing with us. Preach my Gospel was written in heaven and assembled her on earth, Just ask Ryan and Kyle! So anyways that was great.
We were also able to go to Zone Conference which was a great place to learn how to improve. They focused a lot on planning and on how to align our will with God's will. Prayer is that way, just read in the Bible dictionary... it is intense! Wow, we are so blessed to have so much information at our fingertips. We have all these tools and all these oppurtunities if we will but use them. I was reading the liahona from last general Conference. I re-read The talk by Dieter F. Uchtdorf about God's Love, he really does explain how wonderful and all encompassing God's love is. We ended up teaching that at a dinner appointment with the Alis family and the Lemto family yesterday. We had a really good discussion about being realistic with ourselves and seeing ourselves how God sees us. I really took this to heart as I had been thinking about some things. I think I have been a little too hard on myself sometimes, like when I didn't understand a few words a finnish person would say I would get almost mad at myself for not understand, and that isn't good. Or I always just have this expectation of being 100% perfect and not ever messing up. I guess something that President and I talked about in my last interview really just hit home as all these little things fell into place, Be realistic. God is a God of love and he helps us, he knows we will make mistakes and that is why we have the Savior and His atonement. I think that too often like President Uchtdorf says we allows little things that work for other people turn into expectations and our requirements. We need to find out what God has in store for us individually and really just make those things shine! Don't let false expectations bring you down, but be careful that you don't give your self too much slack and become lazy and disobedient to God's eternal laws, because obedience is the law upon which all blessing are predicated (D&C 130). Anyways, those were just some thoughts that hit me yesterday and I hope that you understand, I also hope I am not casting my pearls before swines... (Fromage you are the editor... Keep my pearls of knowledge safe ;) ) lol wow fromage and family... I'm a nerd... Nörtti
Also, We gave a blessing to one of the ward members who was pretty ill... Suomeksi (in finnish) I was pretty scared... It turned out well... Perfect finnish-NO... Good spirit-YES :) The Priesthood is such a blessing wow. (that was the lesson in Pyhä Koulu yesterday)
So that was pretty much all the things that happend here in Jyväskylä this last week, but guess what, instead of being deprived of time this week like I usually am I still have a few minutes... So now read your emails and I will share other random thoughts that pop into my head.
Wow, Sounds like you guys have had a few little miracles happen. Ipod, thats great. Isn't it wonderful to know who is in charge... even in little things. I'm trying to think of some funny tracting stories from this week... but everyone was fully clothed. We have be doing a bit of service for a member, working on their garden, that was pretty fun. Well I really can't think of anything else cool from this week. It was a really great week and I really Loved it! Little girls enjoy your summer :) whitney is almost a big bad senior.. wow. sarah is going to be in highschool... wierded out. I'll keep Ted in my prayers.
I love you family, thanks for your support and prayers.
Vanhin Thomas Neal Nielsen