October 19, 2021




McKenna Bagwell

Backroadin’ in Finland

It has been A WEEK.

For starters have any of yall talked to a sadist before? Would not recommend. We had this genius idea (that we stole from a video we saw) to walk around the castle grounds with two Book of Mormons and two highlighters and ask people to pick a page and highlight everywhere it mentions Jesus Christ. The first old man we talked to was so hard to understand but took our phone number and left. As we were walking I felt like talking to this one younger guy walking by us. I chickened out but he sat on a bench so I asked Sis what her thoughts were and we both felt like we should so we walked over to him. He had headphones in but took them out for us. He agreed to do our little test but started crying and said can I just talk so we sat down to listen. He told us all about how his girlfriends in a mental hospital and showed us his scars from the multiple times he tried to attempt suicide. He then pulled out a necklace with some symbol on it and made it through two beers and some kinda drug while we sat there. We just told him how much God loves him and asked if we could pray together (dont worry mom we watched the sister safety videos and we prayed with our eyes open) He told us not to pray the drugs away and left laughing. We were both pretty shaken up after it. We tried to walk a little bit more but stopped and said a tear-filled prayer because we didnt feel the spirit. Later we talked about it and how we didnt really feel the spirit leave but more like it just didnt want to be there. I dont think I've had such a lowest of lows experience yet in my mission where I've been put in a situation with someone in such rough circumstances but it rattles you a bit and really makes you think about life and the choices people make.

On a happier note we had a lot of really good experiences this week too! We taught a lesson to our friend which went really well. We invited him to fast about baptism and he said he would the next day. We offered to fast with him and the next day he was sending us scriptures, asking us about updates on our hunger and it was going really well. Buuuutttttt when we asked him what he thought about baptism he hadnt changed his mind on his previous plan to go to the Jordan river and be baptised in the same place Jesus was. It was a major downer. We had asked a lot of people to fast with us, the branch, friends, family, it was really exciting. We are pretty sad about him not understanding the importance of priesthood authority, but it was another example to us of agency. God lets us choose. In our friends case I dont think he fully understands but we cant do much about that. We can only have the faith that the spirit will find a crack in his heart and ask him to let it in. Its a hard place to be in when all you can do is rely on the spirit because that takes away the sense of control we all love so much but faith is a huge part of the plan. A crucial attribute we need to develop if we want to live celestially with our heavenly family. Faith is trust.

Okay sorry that wasnt actually a happy thing, here are the real happy things. We took cookies to a ton of members which sparked a connection with a little girl from a part active family who wants to go on a mission when shes older. It also sparked a connection between two ladies in our branch who both watched stake conference with us at the church and afterwards had a very much needed conversation that led to the four of us going to lunch the next day and making plans to teach one about the temple endowment so she wont be scared to go to the temple. We also made plans to go do baptisms hopefully before I get transferred. Im so excited to take a finnish family name to the temple here. I have been on a family history kick the past few months, updating my photos and stories, recording my testimony in finnish, requesting dead relatives patriarchal blessings and finding the grave locations of my great grandparents so I can hopefully visit them while Im here. Family history is so cool! The temple is so cool!

We had a really fun day yesterday visiting one of our favorite members out in the countryside. The gps took us the wrong way though and we went on the prettiest backroad drive to her house. Her husband who's not a member was there for the first time and that was really awesome. Then her sister showed up and shes less active so that was awesome too. They also brought a dog that came and laid by me so THAT WAS AWESOME TOO. Haha. I miss animals.

Sis laughed for probably 30 minutes tonight about what the member lady was thinking when we pulled up to her neighbors closed gate and had to ask her how to get to the other side. She came out and opened it for us and gave a little bow and guiding arm move to welcome us onto her property then asked us where we came from. She cracks us up but she really got Sis B tonight. Good times.

One quick little thought from the most kind hearted lady in hämeenlinna. The people who go through struggles are the ones that shine the most. God has his own way of making us shine. I loved that.

I love you and God loves you more!

Sis Keeks

Oh and p.s. the weather here sucks already. IM SO COLD!!!

p.p.s We went to an animal shelter this week to see a hedgehog because all the other missionaries have been getting to see them. Held a cute kitten instead of the hedgehog because apparently all hedgehogs have salmonella and dont like people....

-Sis teaches me so much about cars
-We eat our icecream with knives here
-The spunkiest little 4 foot something lady in hämeenlinna who wanted to sit for a picture and be even shorter
-Always on a train
-Rain rain rain
-Story time: Sis went in our closet and smelt cologne. The crime junkie in me thought there was a man hiding in our apartment. The investigator in me pulled out a ladder and sniffed the vent. Smelt like cologne for atleast an hour.
-Icecream AND a chocolate bar...when in Finland
-Sis gets a good laugh from me dancing in the rear view camera everytime I help back the car #missionarythings


« Back

Coming Events

Finland Helsinki Mission

Length of Service

100 %

Days in Mission Field