Monday, February 22, 2016

Monday February 22, 2016

Hello from the Finland Missionary Mom!
No group email today received from Schyler, but all is well in the land of Suomi.  She is still part of a tri-panionship with Sis Adam and Sis Saairnen, however today Sis Saairnen headed to the embassy for final steps in getting ready for departure to the US.  Looks like she could be in Utah by mid march and not long after that Schyler and Sis Adams will receive next transfers.  Schyler has been serving in Jyvaskyla for over 6 months, so more than likely she will be moving to a new area which will also most likely be her last area before coming home.  The months are passing so quickly for her as well as for us.  I often have wondered why they don't just let the sisters serve a full 24 month mission, but its not my call to make.  She has loved the winter there and will remember the snow and scenery forever.  March and April will bring a change in the season and with that more and more light.  How fortunate for her to be able to spend another spring and summer there and be able to experience the beautiful landscapes and foliage of Finland.

Winter is full of activity in Finland.  People engage in ice skating, crosscountry ski, downhill skiing, dog sledding, ice fishing, snow shoeing.

  A few things you may not know about Jyväskylä -

1. Jyväskylä is the cradle of education and culture in Finland: the first Finnish-language elementary school, teacher training college and girls’ school were established here.
2. A youthful and innovative city with 45,000 students and schoolchildren – that is, 25% of the population.
3. The seventh largest city in Finland, with a population of 134,000. One of the fastest growing cities in the country.
4. The second most important location for fairs in Finland and a leading conference city.
5. The first Finnish city to acquire a parkour park and the first Nordic city to acquire an indoor parkour facility.
6. Tupaswilla in the Jyväskylä Region is home to the world’s largest smoke sauna.
7.  Trailblazer in sport and recreation. The University of Jyväskylä has the only Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences in the country. It is also home to the Research Institute for Olympic Sports. It has more than 450 locations for indoor and outdoor recreation, and more than 200 sport and recreation clubs.
8. According to a survey carried out in 2012, Jyväskylä is the second most popular destination to move to in Finland. If offers the best living environment and the second best environment for raising children.
9. One-third of Lake Päijänne, the second largest lake in Finland, is located within Jyväskylä.o Jyväskylä has a lake shoreline of 1,500 kilometres and a total of 4,700 summer cottages

Canoeing in Jyvaskyla

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

February 16, 2016 It's the small things...

Well another week.  I decided it's just hopeless to try and tell you all of the experiences that I have each day, because there are just too many.  So here is a small summary:

This week really was so awesome with our Investigators. They are progressing slowly, and it just makes your heart burn with happiness to see the changes although small that are taking place in their lives. It's just like the weather right now. The sun is slowly starting to shine through and eventually the snow will melt and everything will start to turn green, the leaves with start to come on the trees and the flowers blossom. Just as spring is slowing coming, I see the light that is coming into the eyes and lives of these investigators and it's really what I love most about missionary work. One of our investigators has really been struggling for a while with one of the principles of the Gospel. She's had a really hard time understanding it, and we've tried all that we knew how. Eventually it came to a point that she was slightly frustrated, so she asked that we let it be for a while and continue teaching the other lessons and maybe we could come back to it. Well this week we decided in one of our lessons to bring it up again and ask if we could talk about it again. She actually was really receptive to it, and the next lesson when we came to talk more about it, we came to discover that she was already making changes in her life to live in harmony with this principle of the Gospel. It made me so happy that she really is wanting to change her life and follow Christ's example. She is a really great investigator and I know that she really does want to know that everything is true. I love seeing these changes in their lives, and it inspires me to make my own changes.

This week we had the opportunity to sing at a funeral.  We sang this song, and although it was in Finnish, I really started to think about the words and there were moments this week that although everything is going really great with our investigators, I was really struggling.  I sang the words of this song to myself over and over again, and it brought such peace.  It helped me to overcome the hardest moments and to remember who can really offer us the greatest peace and hope and happiness in our lives.  I just wanted to end by sharing these and hope that someone that is reading this can be blessed by reading these words too:

1. Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice,
I draw myself apart,
Searching my soul?
2. Where, when my aching grows,
Where, when I languish,
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.
3. He answers privately,
Reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.
Constant he is and kind,
Love without end.

(Where Can I Turn For Peace pg. 179)

I know that my Savior Jesus Christ lives and loves each one of us.  He is always with us and He loves us with a love that even we cannot comprehend, but I know that we can feel when we turn to Him.  I have felt it so many times in my life and I am so grateful for the peace that he gives.  I love this Gospel and I love Finland.  Being a missionary is so humbling, yet so fulfilling and so life-changing.  Remember you have a Father in Heaven watching over you each day.  He loves you so dearly.  You are always loved.  I love you all too.  Have a great week!

Sister Schyler Jordan,
 I love Sister Saarinen! 

Our Valentine's day outfits.  HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!! 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

February 9, 2016 TIME IS SHORT!!!!

Sorry I didn't get a chance to write a good email for this week, but I am alive.  I've really been thinking about  the words of this song this week, and I am trying to be like Jesus and seeing every day the blessings that it is bringing to my life and the lives of others.

"I’m trying to be like Jesus; I’m following in His ways.
I’m trying to love as He did, in all that I do and say.
At times I am tempted to make a wrong choice,
But I try to listen as the still, small voice whispers,
“Love one another as Jesus loves you.
Try to show kindness in all that you do.
Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought,
For these are the things Jesus taught.”
I’m trying to love my neighbor; I’m learning to serve my friends.
I watch for the day of gladness when Jesus will come again.
I try to remember the lessons He taught.
Then the Holy Spirit enters into my thoughts, saying:
“Love one another as Jesus loves you.
Try to show kindness in all that you do.
Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought,
For these are the things Jesus taught.” (Primary Songbook)

I know God lives and loves us and will help us to change and improve each day.  I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I know He walks with us each day through all that we experience.  I love being a missionary and I am grateful to be in Finland every. single. day.  I love you all! Have a great week!

Sisar Jordan

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February 2, 2016 Everyday is like a New Year!

Right at this very moment I feel so much love.  So much love for my Savior Jesus Christ, for my Father in Heaven, and for the blessings everyday that I receive.  They are there.  Every,  Single, Day, Everywhere.  All we have to do is look for them.  Here are some of the best moments from this week:

We have an investigator who is a man about in his late 50's.  We've had about 3 lessons with him now, and things are still going well.  That's a positive.  This last lesson, we decided to really focus on Prophets and the importance of them.  I guess we didn't do the very best job teaching, or maybe just checking for understanding, because we got him to say the closing prayer, and he thanked God for sending these angels and prophets (US) to help him out.  Definitely I am still learning to be a better teacher.  A better question asker.  To simplify and to testify always.  I'm so glad we have the chance to get better and improve, and I'm grateful that through prayer, Heavenly Father helps us to know that we probably haven't taught as well as we could have.

We met a lady on the street who actually interrupted a conversation we were having on the street with another man who wasn't super interested. She really wanted to know who we were and what exactly we we were doing. Well, eventually the other guy wasn't so interested so we gave him a pass a-long card and he went on his way. Well the lady stayed and started to talk to us in Finnish and then asked where we were from. When we told her America, instantly she broke into perfect American-sounding English. It was really weird. It's not everyday that you hear Americans speaking perfect Finnish and sounding like one too, or visa-versa. Well she was from the Heluntai Seurakunta and very strong in her beliefs. We were able to hear a lot about what she believes and share some of our own beliefs. Unfortunately, she was really firm in what she believes and not super accepting of ours. I think it was hard for me in a way to walk away from that contact because I knew that everything she had just told me about her religion was just oh, so close. She just was missing a part-- which to us is a big part, but in the scheme of religions, hers was fairly close in what they believe and practice. Something interesting that I have pondered since then is just how much my heart hurt for her and how much I wish I could just let her have my heart, my mind, my thoughts, so that she could feel and see and know what I know. She is such a good person, and I could clearly see that, but she just is missing what we have. I tried so much to bear my testimony, to tell her about the Restoration, but yet she was just still so firm in her ways. I think because of that contact, it has made me look at each person we talk to even more on a personal level. I feel the importance of "making these things known unto the inhabitants of the Earth." It's just so important. I feel it in my heart and I know how much they need it.

Quick side note -  I forgot to mention last week:
Sister Adams slipped on the ice in the morning on our way to the church to exercise.  She had a little bit of built up energy and dared to start running in circles on the ice, and the next thing I know I hear this big loud thump behind me and Sister Adams is laying face down.  I. Felt So Bad.  The ice here is deathly.  They don't put salt on it like they do in America-- Just gravel, and I can just say, it doesn't help all that much.  We have had to be super careful when we're walking because it's been super super slippery lately.

So our main form of transportation is buses, and this past week it has really snowed a lot.  Because earlier, it's been so cold, the snow hasn't been too wet.  Well, this week it's been much warmer and so the snow was a lot thicker and more wet.  The buses didn't exactly take to that too well, and we had some pretty fun and crazy experiences riding the buses.  One night, the bus slid like halfway across the road.  It was pretty scary.  But no worries mom, everyone drives safely here and watches out much better than they do in America, so I think we'll be okay.

I also had a really awesome experience with prayer this week. We had a lesson for one of our investigators and for the life of us, we couldn't figure out what we needed to teach her. She has been taught just about all the lessons, and invited to baptism multiple times, but right now there are some barriers holding her back. We just really were stumped and had talked and searched for a while. Finally, I thought back to last week's scripture studying and the scripture I had wrote on the wall, "Have ye inquired of the Lord?". Right at once I thought, that's just it-- we need to ask Heavenly Father for His divine help again. So,
we all knelt down and said a prayer. Instantly, when we finished praying it was like my brain was completely opened. The thoughts started to flow more clearly through my head of what we needed to teach. It was a really awesome feeling, as if Heavenly Father was just typing everything down in my head. The lesson we taught ended up going really well, and I knew that Heavenly Father was the reason. I am so grateful for prayer. I am grateful that whenever and wherever we are, we can turn to our Father in Heaven and ask for His help. I know he is real and he loves us and wants to help us.

This Sunday, the recent convert family's kids were all blessed in church.  It was such a special moment for me and I was just so grateful that God has made it possible for me to stay here in Jyväskylä longer and to be with them.  As their kids were being blessed, I couldn't help but think, "wow, all because I chose to open my mouth.  All because I was willing to knock on all those doors and testify to all those people, whether they wanted to listen or not."  This family really is a testimony to me that "by small and simple things, are great things brought to pass."  I have seen so many of those small things turn into something great, and still continues too.  They are preparing right now to go to the temple to do Baptisms for the Dead soon and we'll just keep making steps after that.  I know that God's hand is in everything.  I am so very grateful everyday that I knocked on their door and was willing to just simply open my mouth.

I have been reading in 1 Nephi this past week and I came across some verses that I really have pondered this week.  The verses are these:

"And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them,and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness.
And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me,saying: Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee, that I may carry thy people across these waters.

And I said: Lord, whither shall I go that I may find ore to molten, that I may make tools to construct the ship after the manner which thou hast shown unto me?" (1 Nephi 17:3;8-9)

I just really love that when God gives Nephi a commandment.  Nephi doesn't stop and ask why.  He doesn't think why do I have to do this, or can't I build it some other way.  Why can't we just go a different way.  He doesn't ask any of these.  He just turns to the Lord and says okay how do you want me to do this.  I am striving to be more like Nephi everyday-- to go and do as the Lord has commanded, turn to Him in prayer for His guidance and His direction, and then like Nephi to Go and Do.  I know that God has blessed me as I have done this.  I know that He will continue to do so too.  I am grateful for this gospel and the knowledge, purpose, direction, and peace that it brings to my life.  I am grateful for this beautiful country and that I received the call to serve here.  I am grateful to be an instrument in the Lord's hands.  I know He is watching over us and He loves and knows each one of us personally.  "Turn to Him in all thy ways, and He shall direct they paths for good." (Proverbs 3:5)  I promise that He will.  Have a great week! I love you all!


Sisar Jordan

Finally.... I snuck in a picture of Jyväskylä's center.
  I LOVE this city!!