Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013
Dear Family,
. . . . . It is so true that your actions now carry into the future. When you talk about consequences sometimes you don't see the immediate effect but they come, good or bad. Character is composed of consistency. So when you are consistently good it pays off.
. . .  We are so blessed to live in the land that we do. The other day we were on the bus and I was looking out the window at all the homes and thinking about how my life would be different if I grew up in different surroundings. I got thinking about the details of it and what I came down to is that mom and dad would have made everything work wherever we were. No matter what our circumstances would have been I would grow up in a loving home being taught the principles of the gospel and how to function in the world. I would still have received all the blessings of our family no matter where we lived. So after thinking again about how blessed I am to have the family I do, I added to that list of blessings the blessing it was to grow up in Ely; a small town where my friends are like family. Where I have my freedom. Where I could play all the sports I wanted. Where I could be a kid and not have to worry about growing up too fast and taking on responsibilities that no 9 year old was ever meant to have. Our blessings are stacked!!!
Hey guess what? I found some little children's books in Finnish the other day so I picked them up. I might even learn a few new words by reading them! We are teaching a 10 year old girl, and this week we are doing make-overs which is going to be way fun. We are struggling to get her to open up to us, especially with baptism. We thought it might help if we had pictures of our baptism day to show her. . . . We are teaching another 11 year old girl and it is so great to be able to connect with her. This Sunday was great, we had all of our investigators in church and one of the less active families come with all the children! It was awesome! Slow and steady steps.
Sounds like you have a fun lunch coming up!   Ah all my favorite people at one lunch. Make sure to tell them hello and that I love them. I think of their examples often and share the things I have learned from them with my companion as well as in some of our lessons. Another blessing of growing up in Ely. Such great people.
Thanks for the football updates ha that is rough. good thing I will be gone for half of the time BYU has to think about that loss.
The days are starting to get shorter, it's starting to rain, and I heard rumor that it will get below freezing this week. WHAT?! Mom, I will have you know that my companion thought that big ugly coat was cute. She did admit that before her mission she would have never thought that. But after surviving a winter here she commented on it being cute. great. hahahaha
We had a good appointment with one of the families in the ward last night. We are serving in such a great ward. The ward has maybe 150 come every week, but I believe there are about 210 or so on the ward list. And there are 2 wards here in Turku. The boundaries are huge which is part of the reason church attendance is so low. People live pretty far away. The members are great though. They are all involved in mission work and willing to help wherever we ask them. Very dedicated people.  . . . This week we spent 2 days in Jyväskylä. It is such a blessing to be able to go around with her and learn all these new things. How other sisters do mission work, study habits, character traits, and how to work with them. My companion Kunz is great at pointing out peoples positive characteristics and she shares her thought with me whenever she thinks of something. It is SUCH a blessing to work with her every day.
Dad you said the city looks a lot like America. It does in some senses; I was surprised at how much it has in common. Building structures are slightly different, lots of apartments. Every apartment has a sauna and a paarvekei (balcony). Some of the streets are cobblestone. Public transportation is very common. Cars are smaller. Mostly all stick shift. No mountains. Then the country parts are really pretty also. Very green right now lots of trees, beautiful homes, fields. I have seen a lot of tractors here. We were walking along the street when we saw a John Deere. I turned to my companion and asked if that was a common thing to see. She said not really and that she had only seen about 2 or 3 before...we have seen about 11 while we have been serving together. We think it's a tender mercy Heavenly Father showing his sense of humor to his 2 small town country girls.
The language is still coming. Last week when I went on splits I went with one of the sister from my MTC district.  This means we have both only be out for a month, only learning the language for three. Which is fine when you have a companion to step in to save you when you get stuck in a conversation.  So we had planned to go to a few less actives but mostly tract that day, but we planned to have a lady from the ward with us. Well the morning before we went out the lady called and said she was sick and couldn't come with. We just had to laugh at our situation but we were both way excited to make it work together. That was the best day ever!! That day we taught more lessons in a day than I have on any other day. We got a new investigator.  Gave out some Books of Mormon to people who I am way excited to hear updates us.  We had awesome conversations with people and the Lord blessed us with understanding and the ability to form responses and teach. It shows how the gift of tongues is real and that the Lord is in on this work. It was a miracle and such a testimony builder for Sister Curtis and me both.
I love this gospel. I love learning. I love teaching. I love the people. I love my family! Thank you for all you do, I hope you have a great week!
Rakkaudella, Sisar Heggie

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013

Terve Perhe! . . . . . Finland is great. I love Turku so much. My companion is Sister Training leader so we have been able to travel around a bit to other areas and go on splits with them. It is fun for both of us to see how other missionaries do mission work. Our companionship is funny because both of our personalities are pretty similar.  We will take the lead when a leader is needed but neither of us like to call the shots on everything so as a newbie it has been fun to be in this equal companionship where both of us pull our weight. She is a great trainer, and the more we do the more I realize that. .

Good to hear Riley is doing good, I was thinking of him and Tanner this morning. How is the project going at grandma and grandpa's house?

. . .  Which just reminds me how blessed I have been with the people I work with. I love my MTC district and was a bit hesitant coming into a new district here in Turku but I have grown to love them here almost as much. It is amazing the people I learn to love! . . .  People have their faults and weaknesses, we all do! It is only a matter of getting to know them and their strengths and being able to understand them and look past the weaknesses. I have become great friends with people I would never have dreamed of becoming friends with before.  It is amazing to see charity playing its roll in my life. It truly is a gift that comes by the power of the atonement. One of the first families I met here came across to me as hard to love. Well, I love them!! I care so much about them now and I'm excited every time we go teach and every time I see them take steps toward Christ in their lives!!

. . . It is cooling off a bit here but I came in the best summer I think! We were riding our bikes and we were stopped at a cross walk and as I was waiting for the light I realized that it is September in Finland at 8:00 at night and i wasn't even wearing a jacket! Pretty good I would say.

Life is good. The spirit is so strong in everything we do!! I see awesome things happening all the time and sometimes I forget to recognize that Heavenly Father set that man on that bench at that moment that we would be walking by, or that lady on the bus while we were on, etc. We were on our way home the other night and walked by a lady in her yard. We said hello and kept walking then felt like we should go back, so we did. We had an awesome conversation with her and got her number so we can meet up with her again. I have learned a ton about faith and prayer. The more specific we are with prayer the better Heavenly Father can help us. He is always by our side but I realized when I ask Him more specific questions I recognize the answer better.

It is always so good to hear from you all. I am doing so good. Thank you for your prayers in my behalf and know that you are in my prayers as well. The Lord has blessed us with so much. Thank you for all that you do. I love you!!

Rakkaudella, Sisar Heggie
Castle in Turku
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Sunday, September 15, 2013

September 9, 2013
. . .  I am in a bike city right now and they don't do chains just snow tires but my companion said last winter she didn't put snow tires on her bike but she did wreck a lot ha so I think I will invest in some. The traffic isn't bad because a lot of people us public transportation. Biking isn't bad I’m just glad I don't have to drive or find a parking spot in all of this ha. There are some really pretty areas that are part of my area just outside of Turku. Raisio is way pretty, really pretty homes and really green. The river is beautiful. The sea is beautiful. A lot of fun and the members are really nice.
. . . .

The weather is awesome. I haven't needed a jacket yet but it's starting to get foggy in the morning (which is when we do our studies) but it clears up by the time we go outside. Everyone is just hoping that winter holds off for another while. Our apartment is really nice I love it. One of the senior couples that is in charge of housing came over to check on us and took some pictures to send home to our parents. I couldn't remember mom's Gmail ha-ha so I wrote down the school email. Hopefully you got those. The language is still coming ha it's going to take awhile but I’m starting to understand and speak more. Every week I understand more of what is being said in sacrament meeting. I just have to laugh when I try talking with 6 year olds and still can't even understand all of their vocabulary! Most importantly though I am learning how to speak the language of the spirit better. I had a cool experience on Sunday.  My companion and I taught a Sunday school lesson and before class I didn't get a chance to read over the lesson so during the opening prayer I just said a short prayer that I would be inspired to know what to teach and from there on out the ideas started flowing. It was a blessing and the lesson went well.

The food is all pretty normal. Simple foods. Finns aren't huge on sugary treats (except ice cream) but they are good cooks. It is true, my mission president is so great. He has a huge heart and gives us very wise counsel. He is great and you can feel how much love he has for people whenever you are around him.
. . .

We are teaching a 10 year old girl and my companion and I are struggling with fun ideas on how to teach her. If anyone has good ideas on how to teach a 10 year old girl the principles of the gospel, please let me know:) I know how to give her the doctrine straight, but I’m afraid she won't love that. I lack in creativity sometimes.

Ha mom! You will love this. My companion and I were telling stories of growing up and I was telling her my "change your ways" story and she has one too. She came in her house and her mom overreacted about something and told her "God will smite you!" she couldn't help but think her mom was crazy at that point either so now we say "change your ways...or God will smite you." in memory of our crazy mom's who aren't so crazy, I just took us awhile to get that figured out :)

One of my favorite things to study is the subject of Faith. I feel like you could study that topic forever and still have something to learn. This week I learned about faith in light of offering specific prayers. Multiple examples in the scriptures talk about miracles happening only after the act of faith. We went to teach a family on Saturday night that we are way excited and maybe slightly nervous about. In my prayers last week I asked Heavenly Father that they would be home and that their hearts would be open. We got there and the dad invited us in. They were curious and their hearts were open. They were all there and ready to learn. It was awesome. The Lord answers prayers. I love this gospel. The Church is true. Jesus is our Savior and older brother. He knows us and loves us. I hope you all have a great week!

Sisar Heggie

Sunday, September 8, 2013

September 2, 2013

Moi! . . .  Yesterday the bishop asked me to say the closing prayer in sacrament that was a good experience. I finished the prayer and there were still no reports of lightning striking so that is good. The ward is great. I'm still getting to know people and it is a lot of fun. We taught a lesson last week to a part member family using the plan of salvation puzzle that Aunt Lisa and Jen got for me. It turned out awesome! . . .The dad is a funny guy. We had dessert with them and then he was getting me to try all these weird foods. They all have words in Finnish but I can't remember or spell them so I’ll just say in English ha raw milk, new milk, blue cheese, and I’m not sure what else. But dessert was way good. She made rahka which is famous in Finland. So I had that for the first time. Then riisipirakka with egg butter...also has a Finnish name I don't have down yet. And the juice here is amazing. And the chocolate is amazing. And the ice cream is amazing. And the summer is amazing. And the people are amazing. And my companion is amazing. And the mission president is amazing. And I love it. . . . .

Most of the ingredients to make American cookies here are lacking. But I tried my shot at baking some for a lesson we had. Haha they looked disgusting. Can’t even blame it on the elevation :) . . . . It has been a good week. Lots of laughs and good things happening.

We met a family last week that I am way excited to go teach on Saturday. Finland is a special place. We taught a boy and his mom who are from Kurdistan and he was a refugee in Turkey for a year. Finland is peaceful. I was blessed to grow up in a place of freedom and peace. I am blessed to serve in a land of peace. I was studying a talk by Brad Wilcox this morning called "His Grace is sufficient". Most Christians understand we are saved by the grace of Christ. But latter day saints understand not just what Christ saved us FROM but what he saved us FOR. Moroni 7:48. He paid the price. Rather than paying off a debt to Him, we are investing. We could never pay the debt and he knows that and that's why he paid it then asks us to follow him and become like him. Find that talk if you can and read it. Things are so good. Thank you for your love a prayers and support. Love you all, have a great week!!
Scarves from Aunt Wendy

Cookies?! - not so hot:-)