May 23, 2011 (Joensuu... More like russian mafia-ville)
Wow... It is pretty intense here I won't lie... we have a lot tighter rules being close to the russian border so it has been an interesting expierience training Elder Perry as I myself am trying to learn this new adendum to stay safe here. HAHA Just kidding, life is great and this place is just about as finnish as it gets. There are no problems being closer to the border... haha mommy you make me laugh! :) life is just hunky dorry... (spelling?)
So I will just give a quick run-down of this place and my new companion. I am in joensuu.. this place almost reminds me of Jyväskylä... not quite as amazing, but I'll put it in my fav-five of my cities I have served in here in Finland. It is pretty, and a super nice summer city. My companions name is Elder Perry and he is from Provo Utah. He is a stud.. and a really down to earth elder, who wants to work really hard! It is awesome! When I found out I would be whitewashing a city again with a greenie it made me laugh, because I made a joke in one of my emails to my mission president after the last whitewash that I think 2 is enough whitewashes for me. I need to watch my mouth. 3 whitewashed cities in a row... This is becoming almost ruotine for me. Which is wierd, because there have probably been like 10 whitewashes in all of Finland my whole time here... I'm going to count them up sometime... I'll get back to you on that. The ward her is great... SUPER small... toistaseksi (for now)... but it really is inspiring how strong the members here in Finland are. Their gospel just burns deep in their souls... It is AWESOME! We have some pretty good investigators here and the work is going forward thanks to some pretty incredible miracles last week.
So Elder Perry and I arrive wednesday about 9 oclock and the branch president was waiting for us at the train station to give us a ride to our apartment. Thursday we get our heads on strait and get some good work done haha that was a fun day... Calling people, not even knowing which way is up (actually I'm still not quite sure which way is north here.. I better get that figured out) Elder Perry fighting Jet lag and a language barrior. LOL it has been AWESOME! I wouldn't have it any other way. We are totally dependent on the Lord and his tender mercies, all we need to do is get our feet moving and revelation comes. (I also need to at least look like I know what I am doing so Elder Perry doesn't panic shhh... we will it a secret) "Revelation comes on the move" as Elder oaks taught, and I am thankful for that. The tender mercies are abundant, so after we got some appointments lined up and had been meeting people we feel like we are on the right track. In fact one of the tender mercies this week was when an investigator brought her friend to a teach. She said "hey I accidently brought my friend today" and we said " She is welcome to stay" haha the member at that lesson did great and the friend became an investigator! The miracles here are abundant!
One of the downfalls of coming to the eastern part of finland is that they speaking kinda funny here haha it is really easy to understand... it just sounds wierd. Like kind of a hick version of Finnish. I refuse to conform, haha. We met a member for the first time and we were talking and getting to know her and she immediately know that I came from the southern Finland. She said "You just came from the southern Finland huh?" I thought it was pretty cool that she could pick up the dialect of Finnish I was speaking... rather than just an american acccent! The gift of tongues is another tender mercy from the Lord. (I just hope the spirit doesn't know Eastern finnish) hehe is that a bad hope?
Thanks for the wonderful emails again... Major disappointment with no update on the garden other than it is trying to get through all the rain. Man, I hope all goes well on the Nielsen side of the Family, I hope Layne and aunt Teresa are doing ok. I don't know why though things happen but I do know like I shared couple emails ago "I firmly believe with all my heart that the peace of which Christ talked about is really one of the most beautiful things we can experience in this life." I myself have felt that peace more surely as I have come across things I simply could not do by myself. I no that the little expeiriences I face on my mission like going to a brand new city with no idea what to do shrink in comparison to some of the things they have faced and are facing, but God's laws are eternal and apply to whatever situation we are in. Alma the younger teaches his wonderful son shiblon this principle in Alma 38:5 he says:
5And now my son, Shiblon, I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your atrust in God even so much ye shall be bdelivered out of your trials, and your ctroubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
The more we are able to put our trust in God the more we are comforted and the peace comes. I love my mission so much for that very reason that I have learned in a small way how that works, I know God refines us and I know I will have a lot more moments of refinement in the future. The gospel is true and as we apply these principles taught in the scriptures our tesimonies grow tremendously, even though we may not understand the Why questions we know the How.
Life is wonderful and I couldn't be more happy in my absolute dependance on One far greater than I.