Elder William Perry's Mission Address

Elder William Neldon Perry
Finland Helsinki Mission

Neitsytpolku 3 A 4 FI
00140 Helsinki

Send all mail to the mission home above


Serving from
March 2011 to March 2013

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August 27, 2012 (abt. 187 days left)

Hello there!!! So this week has been an incredible week! It was so interesting coming up here from the south haha. I guess I will tell you the story haha. I get on a train at about 9:30 at night. I am literally watching the clock for 40 minutes till I connect to my night train in Riihimäki haha. I get off the small train and pull all of my bags and bike off of it. I am standing on the train platform at like 10:30pm by myself and it is pretty cold haha. There were some people on the platform, and so I decided to start a conversation with this one guy haha. We talked for about 30 minutes, and then all the sudden the night train pulls up. It was super long, and i realized my car was at the other end of the platform!! I grabbed a couple suitcases, and for some reason i picked up my bike with one arm and started running haha!!! I asked the conductor for some help so i could get my other bag, and he said, "what help?" haha basically why do you need help?? GOSH! Luckily i looked behind me and found the place to put my bike haha! I then b-lined it to my other bag, and then I had to get on the train! I pushed all my bags through like 2 or 3 cars until finally I came to my bunk. There was an army guy in there and he was okay. However as i finally laid down to go to bed, he took off his army boots and stuff, and our whole room that we were sharing stunk!! GREAT SCOTT!! I tossed and turned the whole night, fearing that i would miss my stop and end up in Norway. It was about a 7 to 8 hour train ride on the night train. It was intense, yet i was pretty peaceful the whole way. I wasn't really that nervous to come to Oulu, I felt ready. Elder Pope is my new companion, and he is from bountiful Utah. It is so funny, we were in the MTC together. We actually both thought about the MTC and we weren't sure how things would go. However as we got to know each other, we discovered that we are a lot alike haha. We have been laughing non stop since basically i arrived! Our apartment is huge!! I love it so much! Being a zone leader is a lot harder than I expected haha. We have a zone conference (mission tour) with Elder Richards of the 70 coming, and so we have been working on that a lot. We have a lot of things to do today to prepare for that, and we have 24 missionaries arriving in oulu tonight! So that will be fun! I am actually very excited because I know almost all of them, and Elder Ogden is coming tonight! Unfortunately I left Elder Manwaring in the south zone! We had an awesome opportunity to go down and do compi exchanges down in Pietarsaari (which is along the west coast of finland) with the district leader there. He is doing so great, and we had a fun time. We went to a teach with a part member family. The wife has been active her whole life, and her husband has never joined the church. We were talking about the Book of Mormon, and how it can answer our questions. We gave him a paper, and he glanced over it, and said, "How can anyone know the answers to these questions?" Then he set the paper down, and kept starring out the window while we talked to the member. The member then stated that she wanted to make a copy of the paper. It was just us and him haha!! I felt very strongly just to get to know him. I ased a few questions. Where did you work?, what did you do in the army?, do you like any sports? AND THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREEEEEE!!! He loves sports, and talked about how he was a great runner! I told him that I ran in high school (one year... cough). I told him about how i won the jr. olympics in utah for my group. We started laughing and talking, and then the wife came into the room! We then commited them to read the questions together and pray about them, and after a little hesitation they accepted. After we said the closing prayer, I went up to shake his hand, and he asked me about my old running times and stuff haha! It is really funny because this guy reminded me of Grandpa Marshall! His finnish twin! I learned the importance of just really getting to know those we meet with. They are going to be way more open, once they feel like they can relate to us! DUH! good one elder perry, your quick! Following we went down to teach a family, and I really felt the importance of not always answering peoples questions right in the teach. The husband asked a question from the questions of the soul paper, and a prompting came very strongly to say this. "We know that we could give you an answer to this question right now, but we want you to recieve an answer for yourself from the holy ghost. We will give you a chapter in the Book of mormon that answers this question, and we will discuss about it next time." It was perfect because then Elder hansen came in (the district leader) and said, "You can right down you feelings and thoughts, and we will talk about it next time!! The spirit really helped us to teach after the manner of the workings of the spirit! It went very well. Later on this week, we went to an americans house for dinner. He is a less active man here in Oulu, however is very cool, and loves the gospel very much. We ate with him, and had a fun time with him. We then sat down to share our message. Of coure we turned to 2 nephi 32:3 and talked about how the words of christ will give us the answers we need to our questions. He looked at the questions on the list, and we asked who comes to your mind, who would benefit from answers to these questions? He said, me haha. We then did the Invitation to pray with him, and we helped him to know who he could show the book of mormon to. He also commited to read the sections with his wife haha! Everything really is just tying together as we have been using the Book of Mormon in everything! I love it so much! I really have come to love the book of mormon, and I have complete confidence in the fact that it is a true book. No more doubts, just questions! Although the stresses of being a missionary are apparent. I have just as strong as every a testimony of the fact that this is the Lords work. It's true, and awesome! I know that l am in the right place, and i wouldn't want to be anywhere else at this time! i love you all, Elder Perry

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 2012 (abt 194 days left)

Well family! A few of you have asked me about my change calls. We got them last Friday haha! It was so intense because I knew it was coming! It was so cool, because usually President calls on Friday around 9pm so the whole day is really intense! I was doing some paper work stuff, and all of the sudden the phone rang in my hands with Presidents special ring-tone. I set his ringtone as this super intense creepy tone haha! It reminds me of the twilight zone hahaha! So I answered and he said, Elder Perry you're going up to.......................... missä se voisi olla?????? OULU!!!! I get to go up north as a zone leader! I am really excited. This means that I get to go do compi exchanges in Joensuu with the district leader there, and hopefully see Sister Turunen haha (finnish mom)! I was so excited. I have only been in 2 cities so far in my mission: Joensuu, Kouvola, and now Oulu. I am so grateful for the opportunity. Yesterday in church it was so sad. I arrived in church and we had 4 investigators come! Both our baptismal dates and two other progressing investigators, It was kind of a record haha. They announced that I was being transferred and I was a little sad haha. We started closing with the hymn after the last speaker. As I opened my hymn book and looked down at the words I heard my name in the microphone. We would be pleased to hear from Elder Perry, and we would like to give him this opportunity to bear his testimony. My head shot up! I walked up to the stand, and looked out over the people. I was speechless; I didn't know what to say. However the words came and I expressed my extreme love for the Lord, and for them. It was like a dream come true. I saw our investigators who are preparing for baptism, and others who are looking into it, and I felt so grateful for the Lord, who has blessed our efforts here. We had an awesome experience with one of our investigators here. We met a girl in the church parking lot. She actually lives in the same building as the church (the chapel is a rented hall under apartment buildings.). A day or two before we met her the second time, I called just to see how she was doing, and she talked about how much the chapter we gave her in the book of Mormon had affected her in a good way! She knew she needed to be baptized. We taught her the plan of salvation this time. Before we taught her, we followed up on her commitment to read 2 Nephi 31 about baptism. She loved it. As we started teaching the plan of salvation she was very in-tune. The spirit was working with her very strongly. As we were teaching about the spirit world, all of the sudden she stopped us. She asked about baptism. (We were not even teaching about baptism, it is very apparent that the spirit was speaking to her. He was saying you need to be baptized!!!) We dropped everything and answered her questions, and then we committed her! Will you be baptized!? She said yes! As my companion testified to her about how much Heavenly Father loves her, and about the Plan of Salvation, she began to tear up. She knows it is true! I was so grateful for the Spirit who said to her, "This is the way, walk ye in it" (Isaiah 30:16). As far as our other investigator goes, he felt like he wanted to post pone his baptismal date for 3 weeks. He felt that he needs some more time to stop chewing the nicotine gum. It is perfectly okay, we set a new goal with him for the 15 of September. So cool! I won’t be here for the baptisms. However I realized a long time ago, and especially when Eddie wrote me that I'm not here just for the baptisms. I am here to do the work, and go to where the Lord wants me. If he wants me on the other side of Finland, that's good enough for me. I have seen so many miracles in this city. I have really developed closer to the man (don't giggle!) that the Lord wants me to become. I have learned so many things I need to do, and not do haha to accomplish His commandments. I am grateful for Him, and rejoice in Him. He really is my friend, and my relationship with him is becoming the most important thing that I have control over. I leave here on Tuesday night at about 10pm. I take a night train all the way from Kouvola to Oulu and arrive there at about 7:45 in the morning. I'm traveling alone, and I get a room with a bed haha. I guess there will be one other person in my room haha. The assistants talked about putting me in a room with a college girl haha. (Insert smile) No complaints ;) Common mom I'm just kidding! Chill haha. Love you fam, I don't know my new address yet. Just send my stuff to Neitsytpolku, I'll get it from there. I'll send you my new address next week. RAUHA! Elder Perry PS mom I'll call president today to ask him about that endorsement and get back to you next week.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August 13, 2012

Hello Family, This week has been very interesting! We have of course been working extremely hard, and trying to help our investigators come closer to Christ. I don't know why, but lately I have reflected a lot on my personal progress in coming closer to Him, and I have noticed extreme changes in myself. I had the opportunity to go on compi exchanges with a brand new missionary in our district! It was so great to be able to work with him. We had a great day together! In the evening we were doing his training program for new missionaries, and I felt we should do some role plays. I did a role play were I was the missionary and he was the investigator, and then we switched. We always do our role plays in Finnish. As I told him a better way to say something in finnish he paused. At first I thought he was getting frustrated with the language, but I didn't say anything and I waited for him to talk. Finally I felt the spirit say there is something wrong. I asked him what was going on. He started to cry, and talked about his struggles as a new missionary, ya know, missing home, not understanding the language, and problems with his companion, the typical problems that arise as a new missionary. A thought came to my mind, "show him what you wrote to your mission president about your feelings upon arrival as a new missionary." I pulled my paper out, and I read it. I wrote something along the lines of, "I don't know if I can do this. Of course I'm not going to give up, but I just don't want to mess up............ on and on and on......." I said, "Elder, would you think I am the same person now as I was when I arrived in the mission field?" He said, "no." Of course I didn't say that in order to brag, but to illustrate the power of the Saviors atonement to change us. I know He does, as we allow Him. I just told him to keep trying, and going. Your doing great, and the Lord loves you. I remember hearing those words when I was having a hard time as a new missionary from President. Anyways, as I listening to him, and tried to comfort him, I felt the Saviors profound love for him. It is something I have never felt before when talking to another missionary. I was able to give him a priesthood blessing. As the power of the priesthood came through me, upon his head, I felt it. I know the Savior lives, and loves us. He is so aware of our current situations and trials, we just need to keep going, and stick with what we know to be true, until we gain a testimony of the things we are not sure about. I don't claim to have all the answers, I promise. I don't claim to be the best missionary in the mission field. In my opinion I am definitely not hahaha. This is were mom says, I beg to differ!! (Insert lovey dovey mommy voice). Thanksssssssssss mom. Bytheway Is it awkward that I still go to the check out counter and buy kids cereal haha! I feel like when I dress up like this, that I scream mama's boy!! Especially whilst carrying my mickey mouse tote bag and trying to contact people. "No I don't live with my mom........ why would you think that....???? Anyways! This next friday or saturday we get change calls. Everyone tells me I'm leaving, and President already told me in an interview that I'm going. I have been here since Christmas! GREAT SCOTT!!! in the words of my father! It is going to be sad to leave, but happy to move on to the next phase! We have been working with our investigator to help him to be baptized! His baptismal interview is this thursday! I am so excited for him! He is so great! This last week we were in a meeting with him, and he was sad. He is struggling quitting the nicotine gum. All of the sudden I felt the spirit testify so strongly to my heart that I needed to make this promise. I said, "I promise you that when you are baptized that the temptations and feelings of wanting to smoke will be gone, and I do it in our Saviors name. I know the Holy Ghost has spoken to my heart, and this is true!." Then Elder Van Geenen came in and said, I know that what Elder Perry said is true. We are the Lords representatives here, and I know that you can be clean." It was so powerful! He is trying so hard to quit it, and the Lord is blessing him because of his faith. I know that the Lord will bless him because of his willingness to keep our commitments:come to church, read the book of mormon, and especially pray. We had another cool experience! Last pday we felt we should contact this lady, and we ended up teaching her about the book of mormon on the street. At first she wasn't very interested, but as we pulled out the questions of the soul paper, and showed it to her she gained a lot of interest. We opened up to the chapter she wanted,and set up a return appointment. When we went to the appointment she had already read all the questions on the paper! I committed her to pray about it to know if it was true, and she looked at me funny. I thought I said something wrong in finnish!!! She said, "I already know it's true..." HAHA so cool! The questions of the soul are so important with conversion! It is so good to hear you all are doing well! I'm doing great, and loving life! love you both, Your Elder ps. can you tell sister Turunen thank you so much for her letter. It made my day, and I absolutely needed it the day I got it! I don't get too many letters, so when I got that one, it really meant a lot! Kiitoksia Suomalaiselle Aidilleni!

Monday, August 6, 2012

August 6, (208 days left)

Hello There Family! Who are you people that keep writing me letters!!!?? Whoever you are, you sound nice, and I hope I can meet you someday. Just kidding, I love you. Mom stop crying, IT WAS A JOKE!! So my week went really crappy, but it was very well. I got super sick on tuesday, however I went to go do compi exchanges with an elder here. Poor guy, the whole time I was walking slower and haha I felt bad! Wednesday was district meeting with the zone leaders, and as I got up to teach my lesson, I felt like I was going to pass out! However I made it through, and I'm alright now! We received a mini missionary (usually a priest who comes and spends a week doing missionary work with us) again this year, and the first day I laid sick in bed, but the next day we went out and pounded the pavement. He was a good guy, and I learned a lot about being patient even when your sick. We really did see a lot of miracles! I have really been trying to focus on the importance of the spirit in teaching this week. Funny story that illustrates this point. Yesterday we were in a teach with a man who has been investigating for awhile, and the only reason we were really there is because he asked us to come. He has this parakeet cage right next to his couch, and I was kind of playing with the birds, and my compi wasn't really paying attention, I feel bad. It was just hot, and I didn't feel like he cared about our message. However I heard the speak say, "Pay attention!" I pulled my seat a little forward, and I started listening to what he was saying. As I listened, and really just tried to love him, a chapter from the Book of Mormon came to my mind, and I opened to it. I read it out loud, and He jumped up in His seat! He was like, "Man that is exactly what I was thinking! That is an answer to my question!" We have been having a hard time helping him to receive a desire to want to read the Book of Mormon. It is so cool to see the spirit work in a lesson, if we but pay attention. I am convinced that we hear the spirit more than we give ourselves credit for. The Spirit speaks to us individually, and sometimes we don't even recognize it as "the spirit." Often I have noticed that is speaks using our own thoughts. For instance, yesterday morning I was in personal study just thinking about our day, and all of the sudden a thought came to me, "oh we need to remember to call this investigator now." That's the spirit! Sometimes we receive words into our minds, but usually it comes through our thoughts and feelings. We need however to give ourselves a chance to be quiet. Try it! Sit down for 5 minutes and try and let the spirit talk to you, ask for counsel, and wait and listen. Thoughts and impressions will come! I know it's true! Not only do thoughts and impressions come, but the best thoughts that work out usually come from Heavenly Father when we give Him an opportunity to speak to us! (That was one of those DUUUHHH statements of the year!) We met with one investigator that I have known for awhile. As we entered her home, I was happy, but a little sad. This lady had really come to know God, and had basically overcome her addictions, and then turned away from it all, including us. As she told us about how she didn't really believe anymore, and how she felt bad, I honestly didn't want to be there. It was really hard for me. I said a little prayer, "Father I can't do this, I love her so much, and this is too hard for me to deal with right now.) A thought came to my mind about how now you know how Heavenly Father feels to an extent. Kind of the if he has to feel that way sometimes, why should you be an exception? After that we just testified with love about how much the Lord loves her, and she can always come back to Him. Lately she has been coming back to Him, and it seems as though her addictions are becoming lighter on her shoulders. I know that our Savior lives, and loves everyone! He is so great! I love Him so much! This is His church, and we are in the right place! How does it make you feel to know that you are in the right place!!?? I know that if we keep going walking in faith, He will fill in the gaps, and we will see miracles. I think about each of you often (mom and dad). I'm working hard, super tired, but loving life! I know the work is true. I know Heavenly Father and Christ live to comfort and wipe away our tears. That is why we should live also, to do the same thing to others. It is great to hear that everyone is doing great! I'm glad to hear that Rhett is doing well, and that He isn't dead. Tell Michelle congratulations, and I am excited for her! I love you both, miss you both, but wouldn't want to be with you right now!!! Elder Perry ps mom, dad pictures that I can hang on my wall???