What Is a Church Community?

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Niilo.

I am from Northern Finland. I enjoy snowboarding in the winter and running in the summer. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Born and raised in Finland. I live in the Northern part of the country, right under the Arctic Circle. In my family we have 6 people, including me. I have 3 sisters; 2 older sisters and 1 younger sister. I graduated from high school and vocational school, specialized in graphic design. Right now I'm going through my university studies on education. I've always had interest in many things. Learning languages and traveling to foreign countries have always been some of my favorite things to do. Drawing, painting and music have helped me in my life, in my challenges. I like to study and look forward into finding my place in the community I choose to live in. Sports, I love sports. I have done sports, but my favorite ones are snowboarding, rugby and boxing. Running on the field or hitting a sand bag just keeps me going. I served a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Japan Nagoya Mission.

Why I am a Mormon

My mother's mother and father were among the first groups of converts after Finland was opened to missionary work. My father met the missionaries when he was 19-years-old. He found out more about the teachings of Jesus Christ, felt the blessings of it and joined this church. He chose to a full-time, 2 year volunteer missionary for the church in Finland. After his mission he married with my mother, thus I've been a part of the LDS church ever since I was born. I was raised going to church. In my city, we do not have many members, so most of my friends were non-members. This led me sometimes into hard situations as I needed to choose to follow or not to follow the standards we have as members. When I was 17-years-old I really needed an answer whether this church was really a true church of Jesus Christ, not just "a religion" I was taught to believe in.I decided to stop asking others what to do and do what I felt was right - I started reading the Book of Mormon and praying from the bottom of my heart if it really was true. I found an answer through feelings that came to me as I asked God what He wants me to do. I really intended to do what He would me to do. That was the first time I felt a confirmation of the validity of this church as a restored church of Jesus Christ, having the perfect eternal gospel. I was a member already, being raised in the church, but even I needed to know for myself. Anyone can come know it, even people who think they can not. I know now, and that's why I'm a member. I am living and receiving the blessings that those missionaries, who taught my father, promised him if he would follow more fully the example of Jesus Christ. I am grateful to my parents for raising me to keep my standards high in a world where those standards might sometimes be seen as old-fashioned or not appreciated. I'm glad I can be free to make my choices without giving in to peer pressure or without lowering my standards.

How I live my faith

Since I was a member in a small branch with only few members, there was always a way to be of help for someone. It was like being raised in an extended family. There was always something that I could do to support and help others: Service for elderly people, helping neighbors in simple ways or just having fun time together in church activities - members and non-members. As a church I've seen and felt the blessings that come from selfless service, in and outside the church. Not being afraid or ashamed of belonging to a different christian church than most of the population in Finland was not always easy. There were times when I just needed to stand strong and not deny the things I believe in. Some people thought I was a blind follower. Some drew closer to me expressing their thanks for keeping true to my believes. My closest friends are not of the same religion. I have learned that one of the most important things is to be kind, loving and understanding towards all. There always those who do not try to understand or accept others. I do not have to let it influence me. There are also those who trust in me because of who I am - a Mormon, a person with challenges and needs just like anyone, a hope of a better world and of brighter future. I wanted to share the message of the things that I believe to be true. I chose to set a goal to become a volunteer missionary for the church. I enjoyed the service as a missionary in Japan, Nagoya for 2 years among the most wonderful people, learning the beautiful Japanese language.

What is the Book of Mormon?

For me, the Book of Mormon truly is another testimony of Jesus Christ and of what He has done for me and for all mankind. I know it, and I know that anyone who sincerely seeks the truth and reads the Book of Mormon and prays about it with real intent can know the same thing. The Book of Mormon keeps giving direction for my life even though it is a record made by ancient prophets who lived on the American continent. It keeps giving me hope and feeling of being protected and loved. Among the other scriptures that I study, like the Bible, it is of much value that I've treasured all my life. Show more Show less