Monday, December 19, 2011

It's 6 days till Christmas and still no snow....

What kind of Finnish winter is this? I get all worked up and prepared to endure the most painful, coldest winter of my life, and it's barely a couple degrees colder than home! Turku's weather is actually remarkably close to Portland's. It's just overcast and rainy right now, nothing I'm not used to. I hope President sends me to Oulu or Rovaniemi for next Christmas.

But anyway, hello again all.

We've had a fantastic week this week. Elder H is a stud. We're very, very different, but we get along great and we're having unbelievable success so far in our first week. He's from Burley, Idaho, the second of four kids. He's been in the country for ten changes now (13 months) and this is his seventh city! He's changed almost every single change. I'm actually really grateful to have stayed in Turku for a while. I get to develop friendships with members, watch investigators progress, and best of all I don't have to pack! Elder H came through and basically cleaned house when he got here, changed all the furniture and threw away a lot of stuff that I didn't really care about, but wasn't really willing to throw away because it didn't bother me. The one thing I absolutely refuse to let him toss is the rubber rat Elder C put in the fridge. Just too much sentimental value there. Don't ask about the rat. Elder H has already brought a lot of really fun, new ideas to our teaching and I can't wait for what the next 6 weeks will bring.


My last day with Elder C, so of course we spent the evening at M's. We had a birthday party for me and a going home party for Elder C. it made my life. They got me a little stuffed monkey and I love it. I would send some pictures, but the cord I have is only an A/V cord, so I'm going to have to buy another one or just have you guys send me the right kind of cord. Had a great lesson after the festivities, and it was really hard to leave.


Train to Helsinki, my last lunch with Elder C, then a train back. Elder H didn't even have time to unpack, we had two appointments that night. One of them was with that woman, S., who decided to drop us because of her family pressure, then came to church on her own and said we could teach her. In this teach we set a new baptismal date with her! She's totally ready and committed to be baptized. Barring any disasters it will go through. She has decided to not even bother telling her family this time, though. The natural man inside of me is fist-pumping over that, in a completely irreverent, stick-it-to-the-church-of-the-devil kind of way, but the better part of me is very sad about that. This gospel is meant to unite families. S expressed great faith and excitement of the potential for progression after this life. O, how great the plan of our God.


We had (or thought we had) a DA in the morning, but I took us to the wrong address!! So, we started to make our way over to the right address, and I decided to take us on a shortcut through some woods. Yeah, well, apparently those orienteering skills still need a bit of work. We went completely the wrong way and ended up farther away than when we started. So, feeling horribly embarrassed, I called the member to let him know we were just going to have to cancel and come another time, but it turns he wasn't even aware we had an appointment that day! I had set up the appointment with his wife, I distinctly remember that, but apparently something fell through the cracks. This poor, old member. I think we've thoroughly confused him too many times now. (We have lots of stories with him).

After this we went home and tried to salvage the day. All we had was one appointment later that evening, so we decided to tract. I had an impression to try an area Elder C and I had considered, but never actually made it to. So we did. One super awesome man let us in. I've decided to always make it a goal to leave something with a contact or potential investigator, especially if it's going to be a while before we get a chance to meet them, and it really paid off in this instance. Our teaching got interrupted by this man's wife coming home. His wife immediately began telling us about her religious background (she is a very strong Christian), and how she wouldn't need to change, but was happy we were teaching her atheist mies
[husband]. The Spirit wasn't exactly present, so we settled for just a return appointment, gave them the Book of Mormon, and planned to come back in a few days. In those few days in between our appointments, the wife, who had originally been so opposed to the book had begun to read. She read everything before the pictures and was loaded with questions for us when we came back. She admitted that she didn't belong to a church right now and was looking for one. Ironically, she was now more interested than her mies. The presence of the Book of Mormon in her life completely changed her outlook.


I don't remember. It was a long day. Lots of tracting. Not much success, but a lot of time to talk with Elder H and get to know him more.

My birthday!!! We went out contacting and found one really awesome potential, whom we are supposed to call today. Other than that, we had our weekly planning session, and went to Ward Council. yaaaayyyy.....


Great teach with S. Found out she already lives a lot of the standards of our church, like keeping the sabbath day holy and stuff. Other than that, see Thursday. Lähetystyötä [missionary work]

We had a little Christmas party during the third hour of church and it was really great, except for the plum sauce on one of the Joulutorttus (not sure what the english word is)
[mincemeat pie] was super hot! I took a bite and it got stuck on the roof of my mouth and it burned so bad that I now have blisters up there! not fun. especially when they pop.

We got to our return appointment with the Wednesday family early and decided to tract the area. I assumed we would simply begin again where we had left off in this area a few days earlier, but while we prayed I felt a distinct impression to try the other side of the street instead. On that other side, we tracted into a door, right next door to a member, and the woman was completely prepared! We talked at the door about the Book of Mormon, the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, and the importance of families in our church. We asked if we could come back and she set an appointment for the next day. After we left, she went and knocked on the door of her nieghbor, our member, and expressed her excitement about our visit. We learned later from that member that this woman had witnessed a few of her friends join the church while she lived in Sweden. She has a husband and two small children at home, and she actually expressed concern to our member about how she can be sure that her children want to participate in our lesson as well! Such a miracle to witness the work of the Lord's hand in preparing his children to accept this gospel.

I was reading in the Book of Mormon this morning, and twice in the 27th chapter of 2nd Nephi, the Lord says: "I am able to do mine own work"

This is not our work, but his. We are but his agents. We represent Him. He accomplishes His work and allows us this short time to participate in it. I'm so grateful for that.

Can't wait to talk to you on Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Hansen

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