November 7, 2023


Oulu Finland


Vanhin James Hall


Mitäs teille?

It's been a pretty darn good week here in Oulu. And I can say Oulu for real this time because we didn't leave our area once this week! All the splits and district councils came to us. It was awesome!

At the beginning of this week I turned 20. And looking back on my life after two whole decades living...just kidding I have zero wisdom to share. But thanks to all you guys for sending me some love from home and wherever. It was a cool birthday. I got to knock doors in the dark and snow and ask people in a foreign language if they want to learn more about Jesus. But actually I loved it haha.

The Pietarsaari Elders were over at the beginning of the week and we had fun with them. We got to do some service for a member where we dismantled this shade thing. That was fun. Kinda cold. I'd do it again.

The next day, we get a call in the morning and a member tells us we are coming over to help with some service and that she's making us Lohikeitto (salmon soup) and we got really excited. Only to get another call while street contacting where she said just kidding next week. That was depressing but now it's next week, so we have some service ahead to look forward to!

We also participated in a Halloween party for the ward...two days after halloween...don't ask me why. But it was a good turnout and our bishop (who isn't the most outgoing guy) actually dressed up too haha

On Friday, we had District council and it was in Oulu! We ate lunch and had a pretty quick DC. Nothing special but always good to see the district. Except for the Oulu sisters...they got covid...

That night, Turku Elders came up and we had splits. We taught a lesson (me and an elder) to a member's brother from Peru who is not religious but has been coming to church for the past few weeks! It was a really good lesson and we had a member there automatically because he's living at their house. Hopefully we can jatkaa teaching him!

Sunday was whack. Like really weird. We were doing personal study and twice we were interrupted by calls. The first was an African lady that I had been messaging trying to meet with that called us and went off about witches and awful people and weird stuff before we interrupted her and said we'd text her later. Then the second was a young Finnish girl's voice asking if we had church that day. That was insane! But we had to say no because it was stake conference in Kuopio!

So we went to the church to watch the conference and then three teenagers just pull up at the door and I go out to talk to them. They ask if we have service and they were the ones who called. I invited them inside and turns out they are doing a school project on us and they wanted to interview us or participate in a service haha. So they took an hour and a half asking us questions and it was a pretty cool experience. Sadly they weren't there for actual interest. One day haha

The next day we only had contacting but it was soooo good. We got into a ton of awesome conversations, got a few numbers and met a few really cool people by following the spirit. God is in the details and I had been praying for new friends. He answers if we ask not amiss!

Anyway, that's about it. I hope you all had a good week and good Halloween! Olette kaikki mahtavia!

Spiritual Thought:
I have two things. First: I had the opportunity to give three blessings in the past few weeks and it has been such a good reminder of how the Priesthood works. It is God's power and it is real! Blessings are so cool.
Second: one talk in stake conference talked about our desire. What is our desire. Is it good? What are we asking for? In the plan of Salvation we learn that everyone gets a place of their own according to the judgement but I think also according to our desire. God wants us to be as happy as we can be and he will give us what we want if we ask for it. We just need to try to align our will with His. That's something I want to work on this week, aligning my will with God's because that's when I've seen myself the most happy. And the more we want to be like Christ and to follow God the more he can bless us and help us to grow. If we don't want it, we will not achieve it. Desire is everything.

Rakastan teitä!
Vanhin Johnson

Thanks for the top tier cheese slicer Mummo ja Grandpa!
We did fishing in the Ward Halloween Party
Tortilla House


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