Friday, September 11, 2009
How can the Church be established out of nowhere in a new country? It's humbling to realize how it happens. Some Brethren are called to have "first contact." Here's a story from Elder Nelson from December 1991 Ensign, while he had a "first contact" assignment to Eastern European countries.
"Another [Russian] woman temporarily left Leningrad to find the Church in a miraculous manner. This beautiful young mother named Svetlana had importuned the Lord in prayer to make it possible for her to obtain a Bible written in the Russian language. Such a Bible is rare, precious, and very expensive. In the fall of 1989, she and her husband and their young child went to Helsinki in quest for a Bible. While walking through a park in Helsinki, she stepped upon an object hidden beneath the ground cover of autumn leaves. She picked it up and found it to be the answer to her prayers. It was a Bible written in the Russian language.
"So excited was she that she joyfully recounted the story of this great discovery to another mother who was also in the park with her youngster. The second mother then replied to Svetlana, “Would you like to have another book about Jesus Christ, also written in the Russian language?” Svetlana, of course, answered in the affirmative. The other mother then provided Svetlana with a Russian copy of the Book of Mormon and invited her to church. This other mother was Raija Kemppainen, wife of Jussi Kemppainen, then president of the Baltic District of the Finland Helsinki Mission. Shortly thereafter, Svetlana joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and returned with her family to Leningrad."
[Brother Kemppainen is the man we visited with in Helsinki, who we posted about below; Raija K. in photo]