My goodness, this is the 1 month anniversary of getting on a plane to go to Finland! Tuesday will mark the month of arrival, and Wednesday will be the time of 1 month in Tampere! WOW. Doesn't feel like I've been here that long at ALL. Really crazy.
You know, sometimes, there is absolutely NOTHING to talk about? This is one of those weeks. We had a lot of appointments, they almost all fell through, and the contacting we did was mostly with people that were only interested in our American accents. Anyone that talked to us for long periods of time were often sharing their philosophies on religion, and although that's really fun to hear, they would reject us wanting to come talk with them more. Makes sense, 2 foreigners asking to come into your house and talk about one of the things you just don't talk about in Finland (religion) would freak out most Finns.
We've been getting a surprising amount of progress with our investigators that are more foreign. I think that the one I like most is from Zimbabwe, and has had some way awesome experiences. One that he just told us about was when we complimented him on all of the charity he shows to others. He then started to tell a story about when an act of charity from him started going south. So, to condense a really long story into a few sentences, his friend asked for him to temporarily house some friends of his from England and Africa. These 2 friends were supposed to be there for 2 days, but as 2 days turned into 2 weeks, he got very frustrated. Mostly because these 2 people kept on having TONS of people in his fairly small apartment, like 15 or so people crammed in, all speaking in a tongue he doesn't know or understand. He found out that the 2 people were dealing with drugs (taking advantage of the fact that another "friend" that showed up looked like a medicine man, so apparently the airlines didn't mess with him? Weird) and the whole operation was starting to go south for them, which ended causing a 15-person fight in our investigator's apartment. Well, apparently our investigator had some police training, so after futilely trying to get the 2 men's bags out the door (they kept bringing them right back in while fighting), he gave up, went to his kitchen, and got a wickedly sharp knife out, took one of the 15 in a headlock, and shouted that he didn't care what they did right now, but no matter what, this man (in the headlock) was going to die. Everyone started to get calm, they all filed out after he sternly said that the matter could be dealt with outside, and then he kicked out the bags and the men at the same time. I'm very happy that I've never had to deal with that!
I got to go on another split this week to Rauma and go contacting with another Elder. It's really fun to take part in the progression of another area, and then see how I can better help my own. So glad that my companion is the District Leader, but I don't want that role myself!
That's about all I can think of, so now I have a few questions to answer!
How do you say, "Nathan is my favorite brother"?
Well. Guess who asked that one. My ONLY brother. The Finnish for this is pretty easy to make and say, so I shouldn't complain. If ever someone wants to know how to say something in Finnish, probably don't break out Google Translate. It doesn't take into account that Finnish doesn't have a future tense and that a single verb normally means very different things then a strictly literal English equivalent.
"Nathan is my favorite brother" becomes "Nathan on minun lempiveljeni". Lempi- is how you make something a "favorite".
It started to snow when it was raining one day, but it was really like a light fog-snow, and quickly was replaced by the continuing rain. :( We've been told, though, that since we had a hot summer (up in the 70¤ F, oh so hot) it'll be a very cold winter. I'm a little concerned about that, but I have the proper gear now! Except gloves/mittens. Kinda need those if I want my fingers too.
How was your week?
Relatively good, relatively uneventful. OH! Just remembered something! The Tampere Wards are putting together a bit of a Restoration musical event, like the Cantata back home, but a little less large-scale. It's being created by the Sisters in my ward. They're doing it because we are having a Ward Fasting month during October for the missionary work. How interesting is that? People pick a day they want to fast, and then do so for the missionary work here. I'm hoping that we can hear about some interesting experiences from this. The idea of the pageant-esque event came from the desire for each member to consider a friend to hear our message, and to be with us for the first teach and hopefully more thereafter. The musical event would be a good way to specifically invite people, the Sisters think. It sounds fun, I'm game, a few of the Brethren have asked me to join them in a musical number or two, so I'm hoping that I don't get transferred away from Tampere before November!
What did you learn this week?
That's a very broad question! One thing that I liked in my studies this week was how closely linked the attributes of Patience and Humility are. Kinda weird sounding at first, but let me break it down a bit. Humility means accepting that all is made possible through God's efforts, not so much your own. It means not taking credit for the work of the Holy Ghost, either, when our investigators progress. The humility that we feel leads us to act upon the words of Christ to a greater degree, either because we accept that he will and wants to offer us aid, or because we know that he has commanded it, and if that is so, then it is for our own good. So, to sum up, Humility leads us to actions of faith, because we trust that the Lord can see the end from the beginning, and we need to just act upon it with a knowledge that it will help. That leads to 2 ways patience is involved. It means having the patience to endure whatever struggle you are going through during your actions made with humility, or it means being patient for the consequences (blessings) to make themselves either apparent or great enough that we can start to see His hand in all things. With that confirmation of the Lord's help and His answer to our concerns, we gain even greater humility and patience, because we have seen His works and we know that they will come, and that we can endure whatever we need to if we desire to have the blessings. That was interesting to me, because I never connected them like that before.
What did you share?
Hmm. We shared cookies in Rauma! :) Lesson-wise, we shared about the upcoming General Conference, and how it is we can better prepare for it. I brought up the fact that Mother has been sending me a spiritual thought in E-mails every day, and when I get to read them all, I feel edified by what it is that she thinks can help me in my mission, and help me in my life afterwards. The involvement of our families in our spiritual progression can act as a catalyst in bringing that conversion that we desire, not of our investigators, but of our own testimonies.
Well, it's time to wrap up from here. No more pictures again, drat... The amount of time it takes to upload anything is quite ridiculous... But, I love you all, and want you to eventually see what it is that I am seeing! Maybe next email, I'll just combine a bunch of pictures from this next week and tell the events based off of those? I'll try to get more specific pictures this week, then!
Write y'all later,
Vanhin David Milligan
P.S: The mark of a true Oklahoman can be found in their writing of the word "y'all".