Week 43 – Candles, Snickerdoodles, Snow, and a School Presentation

I’m currently sitting on our couch bundled up in a sweater and a blanket while listening to church music. It really is the little things and the little moments that just make you so happy and content.

Now, onto the email! We’ve had such an amazing two weeks here in Turku! I absolutely love Sisar Jensen. She’s in her second transfer so I’m finish-trainung her. We get along super well and she’s such a fun, smart, good, hard-worker. We’ve got a great transfer in store for us!

This last week we got two new friends we are teaching, one is a Finn who was a referral from temple square that has been researching our church for a few weeks and really interested to know more, and the other is from Uganda and he’s so far so amazing. We were tracting last sunday evening in student housing, and after an hour of nobody answering my companion turns to me and says, “that just means that at the very last door we knock on, someone is going to open and invite us in.” And sure enough, 10 minutes before we have to catch our bus, this friend from Uganda opens his door and just says, “come in!” To which my companion says, “we have a message about Jesus Christ.” And he says, “I know, come in!” Well, we couldn’t come in because we didn’t have a third man with us but he took a book of mormon and then said to us, “well you can come back next Sunday and check on how my reading is going.” So we went to see him on sunday with our ward mission leader’s wife, and it was honestly the best first lesson I’ve ever had. After we taught about priesthood authority I asked why he thought that authority was important, and he went on to talk about how there are so many different churches where he’s from because everybody keeps breaking off from the mainstream church and nobody has authority and it’s not all unified. He then said that it was a big problem that the authority isn’t there. And we just sat there in shock that he got that so quickly, it was amazing!

(I also haven’t had a restoration lesson in English in at least four months so I got a little tongue tied, but gratefully my companion is an amazing teacher and led our restoration lesson rather beautifully.)

We also had exchanges this week in Tampere and I went to a lesson with a less-active member there and was part of a school presentation/church tour (my first one) and they both went surprisingly well! I was pretty nervous because talking to a class of Finnish teenagers about the church was something I hadn’t done before, but there were a few other missionaries there and I found that my Finnish came so well and I

was able to just talk when it was my turn! The gift of tongues is so real! There’s no way I’d be able to speak this language so well on my own, that ability very much comes from Heavenly Father, and I am so grateful for it.

Oh, and a few weeks ago we got a phone call from a random number, and when I answered it was a friend Sisar Johns and I had met that we thought had blocked our number, but it turned out she had just gotten a new number! So we went over there and did some service, helping her to clean the cupboards in her kitchen (she is a gypsy and they have a very particular way of cleaning and like it to be very tidy so it was cool to learn more about their culture and how they do things). Well, her adult daughter, sister, and aunt were all there so while we were cleaning they all asked us about the church and why we are here in Finland and I basically got to teach the four of them a short restoration lesson in Finnish and give this woman’s sister a book of mormon and the number of the missionaries where she lives. And this week we helped them again to clean their dad’s place. And they just kept calling us angels and the sister said that the next time she’s here in Turku (she lives in another city) she’ll come to church with us! It’s been so amazing to see how service blesses the lives of those we meet and helps them to see the light of the gospel. We are going to see this friend on Sunday, she wants to make dinner for us and we’ll talk more to her about learning about the restored gospel. We are so excited for that!

Also, I finished knitting my first pair of socks! They’re super warm and I love them so much. And now I’m onto making some christmas/winter themed ones!! And I’ll be teaching Sisar Jensen how to knit this week! Man, so many exciting things happening here in Turku.

And we went out last monday to go running and found everything covered in a light layer of snow! It melted within a few hours, but it’s definitely starting to be winter here and I love it, that means Christmas is coming!!

We also celebrated Pyhäinpäivä Saturday, Saints Day, with a recent convert and member of the ward. On Saints Day all the Finns go to the cemeteries where their loved ones are buried and clean off the graves and light candles to remember them. And if you can’t make it to the cemetary of your loved one, you can light a candle in another spot in the cemetary with a ton of other people who have lit candles for their loved ones. I lit one for my mom and that was really special. It was beautiful to see the “kynttilänmeri” (sea of candles). I love that I know that my mom is still “around” and able to appreciate that candle as she does her own missionary work on the other side of the veil. I’m so grateful for the knowledge I have of the plan of salvation and the comfort that it brings.

Okay, this email turned out way longer than I thought it would be but I just keep coming up with things to say! Hopefully it wasn’t too long and y’all enjoy the pictures. Have a wonderful week, and feel free to shoot me an email any time to let me know how you’re doing or ask any questions!

– the famous socks

Socks made by Sisar Cox - November 2019
Winter socks made by Sisar Faith Cox

– SNOW ❄

First Winter snow - November 2019.jpg

– us and our candles on Pyhäinpäivä

Faith and special candle lighting. - November 2019 jpg.jpg

 

– the dinner that we brought to the Elders serving in our ward when we heard they were sick 🍛

Food for sick Elders - November 2019.jpg

 

– enjoying some snickerdoodle cookie dough (our first baking adventure together!)

Snickerdoodle making - November 2019

 

 

Week 42 – Adventures in Training – The Final Chapter…

That time has come my friends. The end of another transfer. And that means the end of being a trainer. I’m more than a little bummed to be saying goodbye to the sweet, wonderful Sisar Hill, but man she’s doing such a great job I know that she’s gonna keep tearing it up.

And I thought I would be leaving her behind here in Turku, and I’d move onto my next city, but President Aura threw a curve ball at us and I’m staying here! I’m so excited to get to spend Christmas here in Turku – I absolutely love this ward and this city and wow it’s just such a huge blessing. And Sisar Hill is going to be heading to the wonderful city of Kerava to serve with my former MTC companion Sisar Anderson! And here in Turku I will be finishing training Sisar Jensen – Sisar Hill’s former MTC companion! So that’s pretty fun that we are swapping mtc companions.

Because she’s leaving we’re busy with packing and finishing up vbooks so I don’t have a ton of time to write, but I can just quickly let y’all know that I know without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is true and that by reading it we can receive a lot of peace, comfort, and guidance in our lives. I’m grateful for the opportunity I have here to spend so much time studying from it every day. Make sure you’re finding time in your busy schedules to read from it! Have a wonderful week!

Sisar Hill - Faith's comp - Oct 2019.jpg– Sisar Hill with the therapy dogs they had at the library right after our lesson

Finland Fall leaves - October 2019.jpg

– IT’S FALL AND I AM SO EXCITED

Faith's nametag and favorite book - October 2019.jpg

– my name-tag and one of my favorite books 💙

Week 36 – Adventures in Training 3,4,5 (Whoops)

So yes…I have been slacking in the email department. That is true. Sorry about that. Well kinda. The napping and calling home instead of writing a group email is not something I’m currently feeling sorry for haha but anyways hopefully I can make up for it now!

Wowza we have had a crazy week. We’ve been so busy visiting returning members and friends we are teaching and setting up appointments with people we have found – it’s been crazy how busy we are and how much scheduling we are doing. But I love it! We’ve seen so many miracles this week because of it. I won’t be able to list them all, but I’m gonna see how many I can get before my fingers or my brain get too tired.

Okay we can start with Wednesday. We had district council, and President and Sisar Aura were there and we got to have interviews with them – which is always wonderful. And they gave a piece of advice that has helped through this whole week. They said that another missionary talked about how hard it was to go out and talk to people until he started thinking about it as going out to meet his new friends, and then he got so excited about it. And that idea was still nerve wracking to me, but I realized it’s because in my head I had it that with the people who are my friends and family I can be totally comfortable because they are in that category, but anybody else is somebody I don’t know and I don’t know whether or not they want to be my friend and that is scary and this perspective makes talking to strangers more exhausting. But then I realized that I can just walk out and talk to people assuming they are already my friend – they just don’t know it yet. I’m not getting to know a stranger, I’m getting to know a friend better. And I can assume they are my friend because they are a son or daughter of god, my spiritual siblings, and therefore have already qualified to be a friend. And whoa. That has made a huge difference. It’s been so much easier to talk to people and to know what to say because I’m thinking more about how I love them as a son or daughter of God and how I can be a good friend to them. We’ve been able to help more people and get to know some wonderful new people because of it and I’m just so grateful for that advice.

So that same day we met with a woman we had called from the area book, and she’s from Spain but has lived in Finland for about 8 years. She was so friendly when we went over, and it turns out that in Spain she went to our church a lot and members served her all the time and she loved the missionaries and they helped her too and once when they didn’t have a place to meet for church she hosted the branch in her house every Sunday for three months. We are shocked she isn’t a member. But she said she was too busy at the time to meet with missionaries and take the lessons, but now she has time and is ready. It was so special to see the Lord’s timing in action and how he watches over his children and is always guiding them to come closer to him.

Thursday and Friday we had some awesome lessons where our friends really opened up to us so we can help them better and we stopped by a members house and I ended up being able to help him with his math homework because he’s taking a logic class and I took a class at BYU about it! It wasn’t a required class for me, but I’m so glad I took it because I was able to serve a member of our ward better. Also I love math and figuring it out so it was a tender mercy for me too haha.

And Friday night I left my bus pass at a member’s house as we ran out the door after a lesson and the bus driver let me on the bus anyways! Another huge tender mercy.

Saturday we had a few lessons, and one was right before sports night. The member was so awesome and came to the sports night to give me the bus pass, but she accidentally came an hour early because she thought it started at 6 instead of 7 and we were having a lesson right then so she ended up coming on the lesson and did such a wonderful job bearing her testimony there and helping us teach – it was so awesome. And I had left my bus pass at her house on Friday because we booked it out to make it home before 9. Had we decided it was okay to be home after our curfew, I wouldn’t have left the bus card and she wouldn’t have been there for the lesson, and probably not for sports night either and she had a blast there too. It was a huge testimony builder to me that we have the little rules there for a reason – and when we do all we can to keep them we get special blessings. It was so awesome.

Sunday my companion and I taught the 12-18 year old class in church in the second hour. We were asked to do it about an hour before church started and I was a bit nervous for it – but we planned it and it actually went so well! We had an object lesson with candy for them and everything. And then in the evening we went to do followups and stopped by a less active member and normally she isn’t home, but she was! And she let us in and we had a lesson and found out she’d been talking with her daughter about coming to church and prayed this morning and felt God was telling her she needed to come back to church. So we are gonna go see her again on Saturday and then she’ll be at church on Sunday! We are so happy for her and it was awesome to see that Heavenly Father was prompting us again to go see her on the day she’d had that strong answer so that we could help her too.

So then Sunday we had a friend we wanted to come to church, but she was sick and so she couldn’t make it. And the member who wanted to give her a ride texted us on Monday and said he had some fruit to drop off for her hoping it would bring a smile to her face. So we met him outside her place and brought some pumpkin bread too and gave it to her and she had the biggest smile on her face. She welcomed us in and we shared a scripture with her and she was so confident about coming to church this upcoming Sunday so she can meet the people who sent over the fruit! We just have some truly thoughtful and amazing members in this ward. I am so grateful.

And then after that we finished our studies and we talked to a guy at the bus stop and he missed 2 buses to keep talking to us about why we are here and what we do and we gave him a Book of Mormon and got his number and he was way genuine. We are hoping to set something up with him this week!

And today we met with a friend we’ve been meeting with for a while, she was met the transfer before I got to Turku, and she has starting reading the Book of Mormon and it has gone from her being nit-picky about things and saying it disproves the book to sharing the parts of it that she enjoys. She’s seriously trying to figure out what the Book of Mormon means to her and how it helps her understand who god is and it’s so cool to see her get so excited about it.

And so yes, this was a lot. And that was only some of what happened this week, and there have been plenty of other miracles in the weeks I’ve forgotten to write. But its funny because we often don’t recognize miracles for what they are. We mark it up to coincidence or give the credit to ourselves or others. But I promise you if you take the time to reflect on your week or day, you will see how Heavenly Father has sprinkled all kinds of miracles throughout your life. And it really does make a difference. It makes life sweeter and more exciting, and whoever you are reading this I really want that for you. So take a little time to do it – I know you will see God’s love for you even more!

I hope you all have a wonderful week, I’ll catch you in the next one 🙂

– pumpkin bread!! I found cans of pumpkin puree in the american aisle and we have been baking it for EVERYONE. It’s not really a thing here, so it’s fun to give everyone a new treat to try!

– Me and Sisar Hill with the contents of a package I got from my grandparents. That was also a huge blessing this week!

– a table full of all the goodies and bread we got from members in the space of 3 days (this happened about 2 weeks ago)

– a picture without food haha (jk, well only kinda, but anyways that’s part of the math homework I got to help with

Pumpkin bread Sept 2019.jpg

Darling Faith - Treats from G'ma and G'pa (it took forever and a day to get the box to her).jpg

Treats from members Sept 2019.jpg

Loving the math - Faith helping a friend with proofs Sept 2019.jpg

 

Week 35 – Adventures in Training – Chapter 2 (This post and the following post will make Faith’s blog up to date. I had a problem with my computer but is now fixed!! Woot Woot!!!)

Well friends – we’re back. It’s that time of the week again! And wow it always manages to fly by.

This weekend my companion and I decided to celebrate Christmas! It was the 24th and the 25th so on Friday we had Christmas kickoff and put up the tree and the lights and we listened to Christmas music all weekend. We figured we are missionaries who always talk about Christ anyways, so why not celebrate him in August? Sister Hill always has a mini Christmas celebration at home in august so we figured we’d keep it going. It was way fun! Christmas music is the BEST!

Last pday the three sets of missionaries in Turku met up to take all our trainees out for kebab for the first time – it was so much fun!

And I had a lot of fun marking up Alma 26. That has got to be my absolute favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon. It testifies so much of the goodness of God and all the times he steps in to help us and how that all gives us so much reason to rejoice. I love him and I love my savior! If you haven’t read that chapter recently, or at all, go ahead and check it out! It’s only like 3 pages so it’s not too much reading and I promise you’ll find something that you can relate to and that it will help uplift you this week.

Take care out there!

Celebrating Christmas early with Tree 2019.jpg

Scripture .jpg

Scripture - patient  August 2019.jpgFaith and Zone - yummy dinner Aug 2019

Week 34 – Adventures in Training

Okay wow, so I’m a mom now! Okay – not actually – but missionary-wise I am! After sending the wonderful Sister Johns back to America I got to welcome a brand new missionary straight from the MTC – Sister Hill!! And wow she’s so awesome! She is so ready to talk to everybody and use the Finnish that she’s got – it’s been a wonderful whirlwind of a week.

Tuesday we went down to Helsinki and met up with some of the other trainers and spent the rest of the day doing proselyting work in Marjaniemi. Then we got to spend the night there in Helsinki, had a trainers meeting Wednesday morning and then Sisar Hill and I came back to Turku and got to work! We’ve had a great time working with our friends and meeting new people contacting, tracting, and calling people from our area book.

Yesterday we had zone conference so we were on trains to and from Tampere for a little chunk of the day. But on the train ride back we started talking to the guy sitting across from us as soon as we got on and he talked with us for the whole train ride!! It was so awesome. And the conversation stayed in Finnish so it was almost 2 hours of straight Finnish – and afterwards it felt like my brain had melted a little, but it was so cool to see how far my Finnish has come since the MTC. I was pretty comfortably speaking to him and only had to say a few words in English. The gift of tongues is so real – and it’s so amazing to see it in action!

At zone conference we talked a lot about working with members and how we can help them be involved in missionary work and bring more light to their lives as well. And one of the cool things we talked about was how to do it in simple ways – whether it’s stopping by to share a scripture and say a prayer with them, or asking them to stop by to one of their neighbors with us for 15 minutes. And it can give the work such a big boost! So to those who are reading this, I’d like to invite you to find some little way to help your local missionaries. Whether it’s praying for them, introducing them to a friend or neighbor, or just sending a scripture you like to a friend of yours I promise that all those little things add up and make a huge difference in missionary work and it’ll bring blessing to your family too. And thank you for all of the wonderful things you’re already doing in your wards!

Finland is such a wonderful place and I really love the Finnish language, I’m so grateful for this opportunity to serve a mission. I feel like I’ve already learned so much and we just get to keep learning and doing hard things every day and it’s so awesome. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Sisar Cox the Trainer and Sisar Hill the Newbie - Aug 2019.jpg– mine and Sister Hill’s first picture together in front of the church building

Finland - New and youngest District - Aug 2019– the new district! We’re the youngest district in the mission with 3 trainees and the oldest two having just hit their year mark a few days ago. It makes for a lot of fun!

Sisar Cox - COUCH study time - Aug 2019 .jpg– studies (we are so grateful for couches)

Finland - Hot Air Balloon - Aug 2019.jpg– there was a hot air balloon flying through Turku! That’s the first one I’ve seen in Finland

Fall is in the air in Finland - street near the church - Aug 2019.jpg– what the street by the church looks like – the fall is coming!

Week 33 – Kouluttaminen (Training)

Alright, so now that I’ve slacked off on writing for a while I guess it’s time to try to make it all up hahaha. Well, today is the last pday of this transfer! Friday we got our transfer calls, and I found out that I’m training! So tomorrow I drop off my current companion in Helsinki (she’s finishing her mission so she goes back to the states this week) and then the next day I’ll come back to Turku with a brand new missionary fresh out of the MTC! We have 11 sisters and 3 elders coming in this transfer so we’ll get to see most of the sisters in the mission that day – it’s so exciting!!

So because it’s been Sisar Johns’ last two weeks we’ve been running all over the place. We’ve started teaching some new people, we’ve gotten in contact with a lot of returning members, and we had SO MANY people come to church yesterday! We had 3 of our friends we are teaching and 4 members who are coming back to church there for sacrament meeting! It helped that Sisar Johns was speaking for her last Sunday in Finland so people could come because they knew it was a one-time-only thing and they wanted to come hear her speak. And she did such a great job!

Last week for pday we got to go to a museum in Turku were you can walk underground through a part of old Turku that dates back to Finland’s medieval time. It was so cool! They apparently excavate a little more in different spots every year so ever year there’s some new underground exhibit to see. And at the time we went there happened to be a guided tour in English in just 10 minutes so we got to hear all kinds of cool facts about what the archaeologists have found.

So yeah, basically we have just been sprinting to the end of the transfer so that Sisar Johns can say bye to everyone and get everything together to go home and also to get this area stocked and ready for a greenie!! To be honest, I’m a little scared to be the one who’s supposed to know what’s going on but I’m also excited. It’s going to be so much fun. We have an amazingly supportive ward here, some stellar recent converts, and a whole bunch of friends we are teaching. And I’m so grateful for the time I’ve had to serve with Sisar Johns. I learned so much from her this transfer and feel much more ready to train, largely because of the things she has taught me. I’m gonna miss her, but I know she’s gonna keep doing great things back in the states.

Since it’s been a hot second I’ve got quite a few pictures this time around!

– our friend gave us some lollipops she got at Moomin World

– the first time that we taught a lesson over a whatsapp video call (it was about the plan of salvation and it was a few weeks ago but it went so well and the picture is so cute so I had to share)

– another museum we went to that has some of the only old buildings still standing from when there was a huge fire in Turku

– bikes have come to be one of our favorite forms of transportation – it’s WAY faster than walking and sometimes faster than taking a bus! (Don’t worry, normally my bag is on normally)

– the same friend who gave us the lollipops also gave us an American Koolaid packet – turns out we can’t hold our american sugary drinks anymore. We had to totally water it down

– but somehow we were able to handle a s’more made with snickerdoodles…it was totally worth it

Sisar Cox, Sisar Johns, Kool Aid and Cute Kitchen - Finland August 2019.jpg
Sisar Cox, Sisar Johns, Kool-Aid and Cute Kitchen
Beautiful Faith and Sister Johns August 2019.jpg
Sisar Cox and Sisar Johns
Cute sucker August 2019.jpg
Cute Finland sucker
Sisar Faith Cox on bike - check out that cute smile!!! Finland - August 2019.jpg
Cute Sisar Faith Cox – check out that great smile!!!! Finland – August 2019
S'more Finland style August 2019.jpg
S’more, Finland style – August 2019
Sister Cox and others at play - August 2019.jpg
Sisar Cox and others at a Turku Finland museum – August 2019

 

Week 30 – Hymyile (Smile!) OR Nauraa (Laughing) as the case may be…

Alright, so I once again have put off the group email…and am running out of time. But the good thing is I have more pictures this week!! The first one is of me and Sisar Johns outside of the Turku church building, above us is the church name in Finnish (sorry that the picture is mirrored, it was a selfie and I couldn’t figure out how to flip it back over on this computer).

The other pictures are from exchanges with the Tampere Sister Training Leaders! We got to go back to my home city in Finland and spent a day doing missionary work there with Sisar Bicknell and Sisar Allen. It was such an awesome day – we talked to so many people and gave away so many copies of the Book of Mormon it was amazing! They are such awesome missionaries and we are so grateful for them.

We got back from Tampere Thursday night and then on Friday we had 4 lessons set up so we spent the whole day running around like chickens with our heads cut off but it was totally worth it. We had a less active member come on a lesson with a recent convert, met with our other recent convert and then she came on a lesson with someone we are teaching, and met with another friend we are teaching who was so touched by the things we were talking about that she asked if we would come back over on Monday (yesterday). We’ve been crazy busy, but it’s been so awesome.

One thing I’ve kinda seen this week is how much our attitude really affects what we do. There are things that we can’t control that make either work more difficult or maybe lower our energy levels, but so much more of it us up to us and want we wan to do after that. Choosing to smile and be happy and looking for the next person to help definitely gives you more energy and ends up making you feel better – it’s such a little thing but it makes a huge difference, so remember that this week – if you’re struggling take a break if you need but then choose to smile and look for the next person to help! I promise it’ll make you feel so much better. Have a great week!Sisar Cox and Sisar Johns

Sisar Cox, Sisar Johns and Sister Training Leaders July 2019

Sisar Cox, Sisar Johns and Training Sister Leaders - Beautiful smiles July 2019

Sisar Cox and Sisar Johns - laughing July 2019

Week 29 – Itsesi (Yourself)

Oh my goodness, what did we even do this week? I feel like the longer I’m a missionary the more that time all blurs together in one blob and I lose track of what I’ve even done in a day. And then it all flies right by you – it’s so bizarre. Also you forget like 75% of what you’ve done during the day because there’s just so much going on. And “missionary brain” is totally a thing – almost all of your spelling capabilities go out the window (thank goodness for spellcheck), you can’t remember english words or sayings anymore, and you forget all kinds of names. It’s the funniest thing. But the good thing is it doesn’t interfere with the work we are doing hahaha.

Okay now that I’ve stalled for a little hopefully I can come up with some good things that happened this week.

So yesterday we met with a less active member who joined the church about 12 years ago and she hadn’t been to church in the last 6 months. And we got there and just started getting to know her and learning all about her family and her work and how she joined the church and she started talking about how she needs to come to church she’s just been kinda lazy about it and by the end of our talking with her she had almost entirely on her own concluded she would be at church on Sunday and is giving one of the recent converts in the ward a right to church! It was so awesome! A member of the ward had asked us to go visit her and so it was wonderful to see that Heavenly Father had been preparing her and sent us there to just help get her that last little bit of the way. She’s so awesome and so much fun to talk to!

Today we had a lesson – yeah another p-day with a lesson, I know, I know but these people are just so awesome that when they can only meet on Tuesday there’s no way we’re gonna say no – and it was great. She’s very firm in her belief in her church but really wants to understand our church and how we think and has lots of really good questions about why we do and believe how we do and it’s wonderful because we can have these discussions with it getting ridiculously bible-bashy. It’s so awesome to see that there are people out there who believe in God and Christ and want to understand more about them and keep trying things out. She’s so curious about the word of wisdom that she’s actually been taking little steps to not drink coffee and only drink herbal tea so that she can see how it works. We’re excited to hear how that goes!

One thing I’ve seen a lot this week is how important it is in missionary work – and in life – to just be yourself and go for it. We get stuck in our head sometimes and worry too much about this or that or if something will work but we tend to figure it out better and faster if we just try and go with our instinct. As missionaries we can trust that those little thoughts are promptings from the spirit and that we’re being told what we should say to people. And you just feel so much better when you try and go for it because even if something goes wrong you have the satisfaction of knowing that you made the effort and that’s so much better than the guilty feeling of not trying and wondering what could have bun. It’s not always the easiest or the most fun way to do things, but it’s definitely the best way.

That’s probably one of the best things I’ve learned on my mission; how important it is to just be yourself. Heavenly Father made you how he made you because he’s got a work for you to do here and he’s got people you can help and love and uplift that you couldn’t if he’d made you to be exactly who you wish you could be. And he loves you perfectly as you are now. Yes, he wants us to be trying to do and be better, but his love is always there and he needs us to be who we are and I’m so grateful for that knowledge.

I’m sorry to say I don’t have any pictures from this week….But I will try to do better next week! Hope y’all have a good one!

 

 

Week 28 – Opetuksia ja Pyhää Henkeä

Man so much happens in a week it’s crazy to try to capture it all – or even remember it all sometimes. And wow it’s been a good one.

This week I got to meet more of the people being taught here! Some of them were gone the week I arrived or just weren’t able to meet so it was nice to get to know more of the people we are working with. And wow they are amazing. They care so much about religion and about finding truth and they want to listen to things we have to share – it’s so awesome.

One thing I’ve seen this week is how the conversion process really is between an individual and Heavenly Father. We can only answer so many questions that people have for us, and we can give them all the information we know and that doesn’t help them or change anything in there lives. Sometimes it’s about asking people questions, listening, and then inviting them to try things out and then ask God because ultimately he’s the one with all the answers. My job as a missionary is really just to help people see that Heavenly Father loves them and has answers to their questions and wants to guide them back to him. And I knew of that idea before, but now I really know that it’s true.

We’ve had a bit of a crazy pday so I’ll have to let you know more next week, sorry this email is so lame! But basically we are doing great here in Turku and being a missionary is wonderful!

A picture from when we were slightly stranded for 40 minutes after getting off the bus too late. But it all worked out in the end!

And the other is the view from our balcony when it’s raining.

I hope you all have a great week!!!

Rainy day in Finland - July 8, 2019.jpg

Turku - July 8, 2019.jpg
Turku Finland – July 2019

 

Week 27 – Turussa

Alright, so I made my first transfer safely! I took a train straight from Tampere to Turku and I was the only missionary on the train so I was by myself for about 2 hours, and it was pretty strange. I kept expecting to hear my companion talking next to me but nobody was there. The good thing is though it wasn’t for too long and the view outside of the windows on trains here in Finland is GORGEOUS so it was actually really nice.

Since I’ve gotten here it’s been so busy! We go go go all the time and try to talk to everyone that we see and wow we’ve talked to a lot of people and had a few lessons. It’s been so amazing! My new companion, Sisar Johns, is a great example to me of talking to everyone and always striving to share the gospel. And she has tons of energy and is always ready to get up and go and be of as much help as she can to the next person she sees. I’m so grateful for her, and I’ve learned so much from her already!

This transfer is only going to be 7 weeks long, which is really short for our mission. We’re already a week into it and I can already tell that this transfer is just going to fly by! After that we get 11 new sisters coming into country for an 11 week transfer so that one is definitely going to feel longer after a such a short one. But I’m still always so amazed at how fast time goes on the mission. Yesterday we had zone conference and at the very end of it there’s a testimony meeting where generally the missionaries who are attending their last zone conference bear testimony about their mission. And my last companion and current companion are part of that group so I got to hear them speak about what they’ve learned and it’s crazy because everyone says the same thing – it went by way faster than they thought it would. At the beginning it feels like it’s going to take forever, and for a little while when everything is new and every day consists of trying to push and figure out how to adjust and get the hang of things it feels like it will never be over. But once you start getting the hang of it it just starts flying. And I’m definitely starting to see that now. So no matter how long it may seem like something is taking, hold onto the fact that in the end the time goes by faster than we thing and give it your all today. It will be more tiring, but at the end of the day you are so much more satisfied.

This week has been so busy! We had dinner with the bishop one night, dinner with another member of the bishopric another night, and dinner and service with ward members two of the other nights. We taught the restoration in Finnish, and I found that I was able to answer way more questions in Finnish than I thought I could! The gift of tongues is so real – this language is a little crazy sometimes. But the words really are given to you in the moment that you need it.

Sunday was a long day. Almost everything we had planned fell through and we weren’t feeling like it was the most productive day and we both got really tired. Then a member of our bishopric called us in the evening and said he needed some help with some service, so we went outside our apartment and he had brought us pulla he had just made!! (It’s like a desert-bread-cinnamon-roll-but-better thing and it was still warm when he got it to us.) He said that the service he needed was for us to eat them hahaha. He told us that we are doing great work and even on days when we aren’t feeling successful even the little things we do have a bigger impact than we think they do. And there’s no way he could have know how our day went – his kindness and act of service was definitely inspired. I’m so grateful for the wonderful members of our church!

I love being a missionary. I love talking about the gospel with people. I love trying to do things out of my comfort zone and become a better missionary. I love how Jesus Christ has helped me in my life and how I can help others see that that he can help them too. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it.

Quick bonus – all the pictures I have here are from last p-day. We went with the Sister Training Leaders and Zone Leaders in Tampere to Pyynikki, a park in our area, and went exploring! We went to the top of an observation tower, found the spring outdoor theater where the seating rotates to three different stages, and went to eat at Friends and Burgers in the Center. It was so fun! And once we were at the top of the tower some Japanese tourists came up and one of our zone leaders just starts speaking Japanese to them! It turned out he had taken a year of Japanese in high school. They got so excited and one older lady even gave him her business card and told him to come visit her in Japan one time. They were so sweet and it was so funny!! It was a great way to spend my last day in Tampere.

I hope you all have a great week!

Finland by train - June 2019.jpg
Finland by train – June 2019
Finland - June 2019
Finland shore – June 2019
Spring Outdoor Theater - June 2019
Spring Outdoor Theater – June 2019
Beautiful Sister Cox on hike - June 2019.jpg
Beautiful Sisar Cox on a hike – June 2019