Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 31, 2016 It's Not About Me !

What a week.  A wonderful wonderful week.  What a life-- a wonderful amazing blessed life.  Can I just say again.... I love being a missionary.  I love sharing the Gospel.  This week has been a really really warm one, in fact I think the warmest one we've had thus far.  It's weird because all the Finns keep saying that it's way too early for it to be this warm.  Because the Finns are worried, that worries me a little too-- because they sure know their weather.  But for now I'm just enjoying the sun and all these beautiful days.  It is SO beautiful.  All the flowers have just blossomed and it really is summer here.  I think it's actually extra hot here, because the sun shines just about all the time.  Luckily we sleep in a room where we have big thick curtains that keep the sunlight out of the window and door that shut, so we can actually sleep in a somewhat dark room.  It's completely light outside when we go to bed-- a weird feeling for sure, but it's nice.

This week there have been a few changes in terms of investigators and baptismal dates and everthing, but I know that we've been doing so much and God is taking care of it all in His timing and in His way.  One of our investigators, we've moved his baptismal date a little later, so now it will be the 25th of June, and then the other one that was scheduled for the 11th of June we haven't rescheduled now, because there are some difficulties with his work and being able to come to church on Sunday.  So for now we just keep continuing to teach them and help them prepare for baptism.  We've actually been cutting down on a lot of our investigators.  We had just so many, but none were really progressing and we'd been teaching them for a really long time.  So we decided this past week after going to Missionary Leadership Council and learning so much, that we should challenge every one of our investigators to baptism again that didn't already have a baptismal date, and then decide from there if we should let them be for a little while until the time is right again when they are ready to make that covenant with Heavenly Father.  It's definitely never an easy thing to let investigators go-- not an easy thing at all, especially when you've been teaching them for a while and pretty frequently, but I feel that we've done what is best and what Heavenly Father would want and so that's what matters.  It's not about me anyways.  That's something I am definitely learning and want to just master completely.

I know that this mission isn't about and never has been about me-- yes there are definite things that need changing about myself and ways that I need to and have progressed in the Gospel, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that when we really lose ourselves in the service of others-- in the service of God-- that we find who we are, we ourselves change, and we become converted to the Gospel.  I love so much where I am at and what I am doing.  My heart hurts knowing that one day soon I will leave this sacred place never to come back and be a 20 year old set-apart missionary sharing the gospel every day as much as I can.  I cherish and love everyone of these days and I'm striving to live each one to its' very fullest right now.  I love you all so much.  I hope you have a great and successful day!

Sisar jordan
Sis Jacobsen and Sis Jordan
Sis Jacobsen formerly from the Milford Area as a kid -
 did Horse 4H with Schyler their first year!

Oulu on the Ranta

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

May 24, 2016 Short and Sweet

Sorry everyone!!  The computer's internet crashed today, so I don't have much time to write this.  I PROMISE you will get a good one next week.  Short version of the week though-- I have a new companion. I only have 8 weeks left.  She is lots of fun.  I'm trying to work as hard as I can.  I know God is and will bless us.  I know He is real.  I see His influence every. single. day.  Keep believing in Him.  Trust in His called leaders and everything will all work out.  I love you all!  Have a great week!

Sisar Jordan

Monday, May 16, 2016

May 16, 2016 My Cup Overfloweth

What a week.  I'll tell you about some of the highlights: 

So on Tuesday, we got a new investigator.  She's a mom that we met on the street a few days ago.  We honestly didn't do or say anything special or different on the street, I just know that when we do what we're supposed to, God takes care of the rest and blesses us.  So now we have a new investigator which is awesome.  

Wednesday, we taught 7 lessons in one day.  Talk about running around feeling like a chicken with it's head cut off.  Not a minute it lost.  It's nuts.  So we've been doing more and more and more member splits in order to get more member present lessons and it's so crazy because on wednesday evening, Sister Powell and I weren't even together at all from 6 until 9 that night when we met back up at our apartment.  It's like a married couple coming home from work and we finally get to tell each other about our day-- the successes and the let downs.  It's so fun to come home and say, "Guess what?!"  And for once, your companion can't even guess because she actually hasn't been with you 24-7 and seen and heard the exact same things as you.  It's werid though.  It's weird to be apart like that, but I'm just grateful that we have such willing members.  

Thursday, we had my very last Zone Conference (the one where President Watson and Sister Watson come and do most of the teaching).  It was a bitter sweet feeling inside.  I just can't even begin to explain how much I love listening to President Watson speak to us.  He is a very talented teacher and knows how to teach by the spirit.  It's amazing how we learn and the insights we gain just by the questions he asks.  I definitely am blessed.  

So  I guess to summarize the rest of the week and the week as a whole--It's been such a great week. This has been mine and Sister Powell's best week. I can't even begin to describe the love that I have for Sister Powell. I know that without her help or the Lord's, there's no way I would have ever been able to do what we have. She is someone sent from above-- literally an angel. I have never seen someone work so hard before, care so much about others and so little about herself, and desire salvation and the Gospel for others so desperately. I have truly been touched and changed and shaped in such a unique way from the time that I have had with Sister Powell. I know there were a lot of things that Heavenly Father has wanted me to learn from Sister Powell this transfer, but I think the biggest one is really found in the scripture Matthew 22:36-40. Sister Powell understands what it means to love the Lord first and foremost and then to love literally everyone else. I have felt that love so many times, not necessarily by notes or by hugs or by long conversations with her, but more by how much she has pushed me to be better, to work harder, to do more, and to be better than I ever would have been without that. There's never been a time that I knew I could be frustrated with Sister Powell, because she always was trying to help me give my heart to God-- to obey His will and not my own. I know that we've seen miracles this transfer and especially this last week, because Sister Powell had the faith that not only she could do it, but that I could be there helping too and that together we could do as the Lord wants. I know because of her faith and determination and love for God, we saw the hand of God and His power. I think the biggest lesson I learned this week out of everything, was not to give up on anyone.

We have this one investigator.  He was found just before I got here. He's an older many about 82 years old. His wife has really bad health right now and most of the time has to be in bed. They have home nurses that come about everyday. At the beginning of our teaching, I just really remember feeling like he just didn't get it. He just wanted to talk about everything under the sun, and it was so hard to teach and feel like it was successful. But because Sister Powell believed that one day he would be baptized and one day we would be able to get him to church, I believed too. But it definitely wasn't without doubt. There were times that I thought maybe we should stop going there for a while, because it didn't seem as though he was progressing much. But we kept going. And then we even started going and helping him in his yard or stacking wood for about a half hour and then teaching him. And we just kept on inviting and inviting him to church and trying to find all the possible solutions. And then, this Sunday, out of any of our investigators that I would have expected to be in church, guess who walks through the front door on Sunday-- Sister Powell's last sunday. Yep... It was Him. He had come! Now I'm sure you can guess just how happy I was. It was just like this fire burning in my heart all through Sacrament meeting to have him there sitting in church. Oh how I had hoped that it would be possible, yet oh how I had doubted and felt that we should give up. I know that God wants all of His children to return and live with Him. I know he does. I know He loves us and that's why.  That's why He is allowing and making these changes happen in this investigator's life so that he will be able have that promise of living with God again. I pray that from this experience, that I can learn to do ALL that I can, ALL that's in mine and God' power to help people to experience the blessings of the Gospel before I question giving up on them or not trying anymore.

Truly God is with us.  He is so good.  I know this is His work, and when we do all that we can-- when we give all our hearts to him, that His blessings just overflow into our lives.  I am so grateful for this work and the chance I have to be a missionary.  Thank you all for your support and love.  This is it.  My last transfer.  The last 9 weeks.  Let's give it all we have! 

Sisar Jordan

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

May 10, 2016 A Week of Miracles

Where do I even begin to describe the last week. I have never worked so hard in my life and just felt completely exhausted... yet at the same time, I have never felt so accomplished and excited to kneel down at night and talk with my Heavenly Father about all the amazing things that happened that day and that week. It has been one miracle after the next. This week we hit the standards of excellence for member present lessons and also for new investigators, in fact, we even surpassed them both by two. IT WAS CRAZY. So I mostly want to tell you about how sunday went, because it was the craziest day of all.
So in nightly planning the night before, we realized that we still needed 7 more member present lessons in order to reach our weekly goal of 24. To add to this, it was Mother's day and it was a Sunday, which meant a few different things. First, that we would have church, which would take out a chunk of our day (of course we wanted to go to church), but it would definitely take out some of that time. Second, because it was Mother's Day, it was also a soft red day or in other words, we wouldn't be able to do any knocking on people's doors without invite. And third, we were going to be skyping our families, so that was going to take out another at least hour and a half. But the amazing thing about being with Sister Powell, is I know that I can always count on her and her faith is just rock solid. So with the help of Sister Powell's faith and determination to make this happen we decided to make all the plans that we could to make our goal happen. After church, we ate as fast as we could and then we took off with a member to our first lesson. It was about a 10 minute bike ride. We kept our lesson to about 20 minutes and then raced off to the next lesson in the center about 15 minutes away. We met a member there and waited for the investigator for about 10 or 15 minutes which put us behind schedule about a half hour by the time we got done teaching him. So we headed to that same members house as fast as we could and started skyping our families. In the middle of each of us skyping, the other one had the phone calling members and getting everything organized for the evening. Then when we finished skyping, Sister Powell headed in the car with one member and I headed on my bike with another member. Sister Powell went and taught a new investigator and then one that we already had had. Then I and this member headed as fast as we could to one of our investigator's houses to read with him. Then from there, perfectly on time we arrived 10 minutes later in Välkylä and taught another investigator. Then ran from that lesson across the street to teach a less active and from there raced to our house as fast as we could where we met Sister Powell and the other member. Sister Powell and I thanked them and then ran into the house and knelt down and prayed as fast we could to be on time for planning. And just like that. Phew..... 6 member lessons in one day, 2 new investigators, 1 referral, and 1 less-active lesson. IT WAS THE CRAZIEST DAY I HAVE EVER HAD. But definitely one of the best. I really thought about it that night as I was going to bed and the thought occurred to me... This is what it must have felt like-- this is probably just a small glimpse of what the Savior's life was like every. single. day. You're so busy in the service of others, that you just forget your weaknesses, you forget anything that's bothering your mind, you forget you miss home in fact you don't even think about home really except for that 40 precious minutes allotted to you, and then it's right back to business. Your heart is filled with love and happiness and you just want to wake up to do it all over again the next day. I can't even begin to describe exactly how I felt that night when we added up numbers and saw the work that we had done that week.

So.. of course I've thought about this. Numbers are not all that matter, so why do I feel so happy. Well I think the answer is really in what I said earlier, that the reason we were able to do those things was of course because of Heavenly Father, but I think also because we were willing to give our hearts to him. We were willing that day to sacrifice dinner for example to try and squeeze in one more lesson. We were willing to pedal our bikes as fast as we could even if our legs were burning, just so that we could make it there and have enough time to teach. Our eyes truly were single to the Glory of God the best that we knew how and miracles, literally miracles happened on Sunday. It has been one of the most amazing experiences of my mission and of course a day I won't ever forget. I'm just so grateful for such an AMAZING companion and her diligence and faith.

So to all the Mothers or grandmothers that may read this, Happy Mother's Day.  I know that the world couldn't survive without you.  We need you and we love you.  I love you!  Thank you!

I just want to bear my testimony that I know that God is with us.  He cares about us.  He recognizes our fervent prayers and in His timing He answers.  I know that our Savior Jesus Christ lives and loves each of us.  I'm so grateful for this His restored Gospel.  In His Name even Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Have an awesome week!  LOVE YOU ALL!!

Sisar Jordan

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May 3, 2016 The Hand of God

Where do I even begin to describe the last week? It has been an amazing and miraculous one for sure. Maybe even if I might say, the best thee very best week of my mission. So I want to tell you about the best day of them all. It was saturday. I'm not sure exactly why I was feeling this way, but after our lesson in the morning, I was a bit frustrated. I felt that I hadn't taught as well as I could have and had wished that my Finnish would have just gone better so that the investigator could understand better. It's never very good when you're frustrated with yourself, especially me as I've learned that that just leads to one more be-littling thought about myself and what I'm doing until I've driven myself right into a pit. So I prayed and prayed in my heart biking to our next lessons that Heavenly Father would just help me to pull out of this one. I prayed that He could help me to see all the things that were going right and had gone well. I prayed that He would just help me be strong enough to move on and just improve, but not be so hard on myself. And one thought led to the next until we ended up at a potential investigators house that we had met about 6 weeks previous on the street. He was a younger kid that we had met while contacting one night in the center. He had been with His friends who were all smoking. They were by this alleyway and I have to be honest (which is awful of me and I really don't want to admit) but I had this small thought that I hoped Sister Powell wouldn't stop and talk to them since she was in front of me, because I just didn't know quite what to expect. But of course she stopped and talked to them (for which I am so so grateful). The two friends were not interested at all, but this one, actually was. We watched the video with him and talked about the Book of Mormon. He gave us his number and address and set up an appointment with us. Well when we went for the appointment then, no one was home. We tried a few times after that to set up lessons and what not, but he never answered or was never home. So we had stopped for a while. Well then a week ago, we decided to give it a try again. And what do you know there we found ourselves on Saturday, when I had been having such a hard time. 

When we got to his apartment and called him to come open the door, he had actually been asleep. I don't think he had really remembered that we had set up an appointment, but I know God had total control of that day, and we were blessed to be able to come when he was home. When we walked in the door of his apartment, I almost gasped. It was a mess-- food all over the table clothes and just stuff everywhere all over the floor. Dirty dirty dirty. Beer cans on the counter and floor and this cat. There was pizza crust underneath the bed that had been there for I'm not even sure how long. I just felt awful for him. So fast forward a bit. We sit down on the mattress and start to teach him. I can't even begin to tell you the love that I felt immediately from the moment we walked in the door. He listened so well to everything that we had to say, and even began to tell us that a lot of really miraculous things had happened in his life in the last year and it couldn't help but make him think and believe that there was someone watching our for him. So then we invited him to baptism. And.. He said yes. He said yes on the first lesson, no hesitation at all. It was awesome. Then it was time for the closing prayer. We explained to him a little about how we pray and then all kneeled down. We asked him if he would say the closing prayer. He hesitated for a bit and thought about it and then sitting there on that dirty mattress with the random cat rounging around in that dirty dirty apartment, he started to pray. It was thee most sincere and honest prayer I have ever heard before. It was literally as if God was sitting right there on that mattress with us. It was like a Father who had been waiting for so long to have his son come back home. I felt so much love. So so so much love. He told Heavenly Father about the things that he had done in his life. He apologized for the mistakes he had made. He acknowledged all the amazing things that he had seen in his life in the last year and just simply asked God to help him to know he was there and what he wanted him to do. We left that building on saturday, and as we walked away, tears just streamed down my face. I've never experienced anything like that before. I'm just so grateful to know that I am here being the tool through which Heavenly Father can find his children and bring them back to Him. I'm so grateful that Sister Powell decided to talk to him that day and that we had the faith and direction from Heavenly Father to get back in contact and teach this boy. I will forever be grateful for that day, and for the spirit that I felt as we taught him and as he prayed. I'm so grateful for my Heavenly Father and for the tender mercies that He allows me to be a part of everyday. I'm so grateful for the Gospel and the lessons that I am learning here in Finland. I know this Gospel is true.  It's changing lives and in the process it's changing mine.  I love you all so very much and I'm so grateful for all that you've done to help me be where I am today.  I love you all! Have a great week! 

Sisar Jordan
At the temple for MLC :)