Dearest Mom and Family What a wonderful week. The mission is full of ups and downs. And Heavenly Father loves us so much to allow us to experience both so we can grow and then help others through similar trials.
Well, this week A officially stopped smoking! Thank you for your prayers. He received a priesthood blessing some time ago and we have been working with daily. He has slipped up but we just love him and help him set the goal again so Satan does not come in to discourage. He is such a boozo. Anyways A now is a great support to his brother and sister who are now investigating. J, his older brother, has a baptismal date and just wants the peace that comes from the gospel. What a tender mercy to be instruments in their lives to help bring the Savior's peace. That is one tender mercy I am so grateful for...to see people become transformed by the Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Also, this past week we received a referral from the mission office of someone who referred himself to meet with the missionaries. Upon receiving the referral we contacted it and eventually met M this past Sunday. In the first teach I asked him why he wanted to meet with us, and he shared how he wants away from the darkness or in other words depression. Then this past Monday we met with him again and I asked him what does happiness mean to him and he shared that he would not know. That hit me hard. We, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are blessed beyond measure and we need to find these people who long for happiness but do not know where to find it. I know that there are more people like M but rarely will they openly express it but as we live the gospel and invite more people will be blessed. Member missionary work is a blessing and yes challenging. But the Lord always provides a way when we are willing to obey.
To relate this, my testimony of ''you get what you pay for'' has grown ten fold as I have worked with Heavenly Father to move the work along in each assignment the Lord has sought fit to give me. If you really want to perform miracles through the power of our Savior you can. I know it and know everyone has been invited by the Lord through His sweet, gentle, powerful messenger the Holy Ghost to do better. I invite you do better because I love you. Our Mission president has invited us to do better and continues to do so even when record numbers are happening in Finland. To illustrate this, our mission president has received word that in the MTC they are teaching about the success of the Finland Helsinki Mission as a model of hard work and faith to perform miracles. The reason is that finding has improved 45 times and the effectiveness rate is improved dramatically. It used to take 91 new investigators found to have one person be baptized. Now it is 19 new investigators per baptism. That is miraculous! I do not share this to boast but to build, encourage, and inspire. This is the Lord's will and He has performed miracles in this land. We could not have done anything without Him.
I hope this helps you see and feel how the work is going in Finland. I love you and so grateful that I have the privilege to write to my family...yes MY dear family.
PS funny story- my new companion- Elder Esplin is 6 weeks old in Finland and I love him. He is a hard worker and loves to speak Finnish. Well this past P-Day Elder Esplin put away the groceries while I was busy with something else. Then later that evening when I was getting ready for bed I was in the bathroom to get my retainer when I noticed vanilla sugar next to the Q-tips. I then asked my companion why he put the vanilla sugar in the bathroom and he thought that it was soap. It smelled good why not soap. Well we had a good laugh about that and learned some new words.
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.