(Veli means 'brother' in Finnish)
Veli R was found by Sisters Adams and Roberts. They were going through their ward list one day and there was a name of a member that they didn’t recognize. They noticed that he lived in an area that they visit frequently, so they decided they would just stop by. When they got there the building was locked, but someone let them in. When they knocked on the door a big Chinese man answered the door. It turns out that the member had moved away and that Veli R had moved there. So they asked him if he would be interested in learning more about our church. He first asked, "Is your church weird?" and they replied “No.” He told them he wasn’t very religious and didn’t believe in God, but that they could come back. my first week in the area. Sister Roberts and I went over for our very first lesson and it was incredible. He was so open to listening and the spirit was so strong. He said he was willing to try to read and that the sound of a Father in Heaven was amazing. He committed to a baptismal date and said he would be in church the next week. He even said his very first prayer to close the lesson and it was the most sincere heartfelt prayer I have ever heard. He came to General Conference the next week, and said that even though he didn’t understand much of it he knew that it was good. From this point on, Veli R learned everything quickly, and he absorbed everything we taught him like a sponge. He started to read the Book of Mormon and loved it. He also told us he loved to pray, everywhere. He said people would look at him funny when he would pray in the sauna. J When Veli R learned about obedience he loved it. Any commandment he would automatically keep. When we asked why, his response was, "Well, its a commandment" and that was good enough for him. He is a great example. The ward helped so much, the p's would give him rides to church, Sister K would send him her favorite scriptures to read, and all the other members took him in and helped him to learn. Veli R wanted to be baptized to get closer to his Father in Heaven, and also because it is a commandment from God. The baptismal service went so smoothly. The Relief Society took care of the food, and all the speakers gave amazing talks. Veli B was able to baptize Veli R, and after Veli R came out of the water he gave a big thumbs up. He said he felt so clean and close to the Father in Heaven. Veli R obeys all of god commandments without question, he says if it is from God he will do it. He also is fearless in telling others about his conversion. He invited his friends to activities, has given them copies of the Book of Mormon, and even invited them to his baptism. He is always wanting to know more and to help more. When his mother came to visit him he brought her to all hours of church. He is a great missionary and example. I am so strengthened by the faith of Veli R. I strive to be as obedient to Heavenly Father as he is. It makes me realize how easy it is to share the gospel, because it brings us such joy. I am forever grateful that i got to be a part of this miracle. My mission and life is forever changed.
|Moving day. Six suitcases in our car!|
|Summer in Finland|
|Taking care of the lawn with Sister Parker|
|Longest day of the year with the Jyväskylä sisters|