Sunday, August 21, 2011

Prayer and less actives

Hey all you family and friends.

We got some new investigators with a lot of potential, but mostly we met with less actives. Here in Neitsytpolku (the downtown area of Helsinki) we have 300 members in our ward, but only 70 active. It is very interesting because the culture here is a lot less outgoing than in the U.S. People do not randomly walk up to new faces and introduce themselves, which is a problem when you bring a less active or an investigator to church. I want to put in a missionary plug here. When you see a new face at church, go and say hi to them. It helps them feel welcome and a lot more comfortable. It is really frustrating to work so hard to get someone to church, and when they get there, nobody notices them. Within the church we need to start viewing church as a place to help other people who may be having a hard time instead of a boring place we go to take a nap every week. Like so many other things in life, if we start focusing on what other people need, and stop thinking about what we get out of the deal, we do a lot more good and have a better time doing it. Wow. I just got missionary mode up in your face right there.

We had a mini missionary this week. He was here for only 1 week and is 15 years old and really a cool and funny kid. He reminded me of one of my bros little friends so I got along great with him and teased and wrestled and had a great time. I taught him a lot of slang words in English and also the various ways to say "fart" (Ya, sorry mom and dad I’m still pretty dang immature.) In his first teach with us we set a baptismal date with this really nice Russian lady who has the cutest Asian baby I have ever seen. She also came to church this Sunday and I distracted the baby with my keys all throughout sacrament meeting so she could listen. It was a great day at church because she came a little late, and I was worried. But the opening song was "Don’t forget to pray" and I was like, ok ok, I will pray. So I started praying and saying please help her come but if she doesn’t, then help us know how to react so that she will come. And then I looked up and she was walking in with her baby. It was humbling because sometimes I feel like the "weird super missionary-type" when I do that kind of stuff, but it was a pretty cool experience.

Love you all.

Vanhin Merkley

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