This one is about Elder Christiansen (Elder C was in the MTC with Brian - came out after Brian) and Elder Powell.
|(I just have to say that I am in love with this little town of Rauma and their cute shops and streets, hope to go there one day)|
From Elder C's mom:
They come from America and then they go back. They knock on people’s doors. Pleasantly, they chat. Their finnish language is good!
“I received a promise from a teacher that if I read the Book of Mormon and sincerely prayed about it, I would receive faith in my heart. Eventually, I did it over a span of three weeks. A lot of other things happened in my life. I received my own testimony and now I can say that I know that this is true” – Powell tells of his faith.
6:30 a.m. – wake up
Half hour of exercise.
8:00-9:00 a.m. – Individual scripture study.
9:00-10:00 a.m. – Companion scripture study, daily planning.
10:00-11:00 a.m. – Individual Finnish language study.
1:00-9:00 p.m. – Missionary work. A couple of scheduled appointments, meeting people on the streets, and going door-to-door.
9:00 p.m. – Planning for the following day and nightly routine.
“We also have a goal each week to do three hours of service like helping a church member in their garden.” – tells Powell.
“Usually cutting down trees while swinging from their branches” – laughs Christiansen.
“We have been in Rauma so long, that everyone for the most part knows who we are. So we can approach them openly.”
“Usually, people will talk for at least a little while. Every day we get a phone number or address of someone we can contact again.”
“Often, people want to talk about what they like or dislike about their own religion. Many ask, why we are here, what are families are like, and what America is like.”
“A lot of times, we meet single people who just want someone to talk to.”
“You never know what’s behind the door” – Christiansen summarizes.
“One time I was pretty scared when immediately after ringing the doorbell, someone from inside ran quickly to the door. At first I thought they wanted to kill me. But they just thought that a little boy was back who had earlier rung the doorbell and then run into the woods. He was trying to catch the boy. After the fear left, I laughed for a long time. We all laughed.” – Powell remembers.
“People might think that we judge them. That we’re better than them because we preach to them. That we are here to argue with them or to question the Bible with the Book of Mormon. Many ask about polygamy.” – tells Daniel Powell.
“We are here, to help people understand and learn faith. We respect other convictions and we don’t want to decide for God who will return into his kingdom.”
“The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ and it has been given to us as a companion to the Bible. The Book of Mormon does not conflict with the Bible” – Powell offsets the common misconception.
“A visit from us won’t hurt anyone. We just want to share what we have received for ourselves.”
“Polygamy was practiced based on a commandment that was revoked in the 1890s. It is not approved of the Lord.” – Powell says.
“Family has a central role in God’s plan of salvation. It must be protected.”
“I’d like to find a spouse that believes in the same things as I do, have children and have joy.” – Adam Christiansen says.
“We don’t have time to have normal interactions. When we meet people, our purpose is to teach the word, not to hang out.” – Powell says
“Our mission president knows where we are needed. He decides where and when we move.”
“I think I’ll leave within the next few weeks.” – he says.
“I don’t really know where I’d like to go. On one hand, the big cities unnerve me, on the other hand, it would be a great experience.”
“I believe that there’s a purpose. I’ve always felt that there’s someone here who needs my help.”
“I’ll miss Finland, the language and the people. They are friendly and honest. Finnish honesty surprised me, America doesn’t have that.” – Adam Christiansen tells.
“I really like my life in Rauma. Unfortunately, I have not learned the language of Rauma.” – mourns Daniel Powell (side note: the word ‘language’ in Daniel’s quote was written in the Rauma dialect – ‘giältä’ instead of ‘kieltä’)
“Although I studied finnish in a missionary course, I didn’t understand anything when I got here. But when you study every day and speak it, you learn it.” – Powell says.
“My goal is to learn and use three new words a day. This morning I translated a portion of a story. I make notes of grammar and sometimes I speak Finnish with Adam.” – Powell tells of his study methods.
“Faith and desire to come closer to God” – they assure.
“Yeah. It’s discouraging when you don’t succeed. Sometimes, the whole day is frustrating.”
“At those times, it helps to just get out. Prayer also helps, and study and soul-searching.”
“We hope to learn from our difficulties.”
The church was founded in 1830 in New York state by Joseph Smith.
According to the church, Smith restored the primitive church of Jesus Christ to the earth.
The first missionaries came to Finland in the 1870s.
The state recognized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1948.
Now, there are 30 branches throughout Finland and there are 4,500 members.
There are about 70 missionaries in Finland right now. Some of them are finnish, but most are from elsewhere, with the largest portion coming from the U.S.
Missionaries are generally 19-21 yr. old young men and women but they can also be retired couples.
Missionaries serve missions for 1.5-2 years on their own dime.
Leaving on a mission is voluntary. The church teaches that true faith would lead one to want to go.