Idioms here are beautiful.
So, my companion has an Idiom dictionary. It has been the subject of much controversy as we attempt to translate why the idioms are what they are. The cool thing is, the idioms it gives aren't just a straight translation. It actually gives a Finnish-known parallel, which normally is similar to our English idioms. Like, it might just give a spoken equivalent of something, or it might just give a whole different idiom that makes sense to Finnish people, but not to us if you translate it back to English. For example! "Cleanliness is next to Godliness." Good little turn of phrase for all the germaphobes in America. HOWEVER. Finnish. The English, literal translation is "Cleanliness is half food". Hmm. Not the same to me at all. I got pictures of some really good ones, like "In Death's Beard" instead of "At death's door"!
We jogged to Provo! Wait, what?
There is a Beauty Lounge in Tampere named Provo, so we jogged there with the Zone Leaders for exercise when we were on splits and got some pictures. Way cool, but I don't have any of them! I need to get them from the Zone Leaders...
Artificial Sun: The basic necessity for all Finnish apartments.
There is a little light in our apartment that actually is quite a VERY BRIGHT LIGHT. It hurts to look at. It provides many of the same things as our sun, gives the same vitamin-producing rays and stuff to help prevent things like deficiencies and depression. It's gonna come in handy, it is way dark here already...
Elder Bednar came to Finland!!!
So, this is something that I have kept meaning to write about, but Elder Bednar came to Helsinki and spoke at a Mission Conference for us. He came on Friday the 12th, and it was really insightful. The things I want to share to everyone are 2 things specifically. First, he gave us reading material ahead of time, and asked that we all come to the Mission Conference prepared, having read all of what he gave to us. As you can imagine, we ate it up and loved the talks. The important thing is that when he came, he made a point to say that he felt we were prepared, and thanked us for doing so, because then he could talk about everything that he wanted to. That is what I want to mention, that I feel that we should strive to be prepared for every meeting, every General Conference, as best as we can, so that we can be as fully enlightened as possible. The second thing that I want to share is that he had a specific teaching style that day that he told us to try to use in our teaching. It was 3 parts, specifically.
1) He asked for us to bear testimony on what we read, and then asked little questions, not trying to force a specific answer out of us, but out of an honest desire to hear what we learned. That's important, because sometimes we play the "guess what's in my head" game with people. We keep asking and asking until we wrangle a very specific answer out of them, when the testimony they have about something might actually be very good and insightful.
2) He then opened up a questioning time, asking for us to abandon pre-prepared questions and follow what the Spirit told us to ask. He then turned the time over to various others, like the Mission President or Stake President to answer, following up with his own comments and testimony on what was said.
3) He then linked all of the testimonies we bore and the questions we asked together, pointing out that the Spirit was always involved in our discussion. We were either allowing the Spirit to help us answer his small questions, or letting the Spirit guide us to questions to ask. That taught me to get out of the way of the Spirit! Don't stick to one specific thing you want to talk about if you have the impression to go another way on the new needs of the investigator.
In short, this was a great experience, and I learned a TON. My notes are in my journal, so I will hopefully never forget my thoughts and impressions.
Now, I have some time to compile questions!
How many missionaries serve in Finland?
I don't quite know, for sure... let me ask...
Are there any native Finnish missionaries?
Yes! I know one, and also a Swedish missionary here. The Finnish one I know has family all over Finland, and he is currently serving in Pori. I got to go on splits with him last week, and it was fun to contact in either really good Finnish or really good English, depending on what they answered us with!
Did you have any opportunities to teach this week?
So weird, we have come into contact with SO many Jehovah's Witnesses this week... There were some when we were on splits in Pori that knocked on the apartment complex and rang us up specifically, because the last names listed were American and they wanted to add to their English speaking congregation. And then, that same day with the Finnish Elder, we ran into who apparently was a pretty big leader while we were Tracting our 10 doors when a potential doesn't answer. She was really nice and fun to talk to, even if it was in Finnish... And then, we found some here in Tampere the other day, just while walking! So crazy.
Any interesting foods added to your diet?
There are quite a few good foods here in Finland. I have especially liked the Kebab here. The kind I have had is all kinds of meat over French Fries with a cool sauce. Today, to celebrate my companions Birthday on Saturday, we ate a Kebab BUFFET. There was Pizza, Chicken, and Kebob, and I am SO content right now.
There's nothing else that I can think of to say, so I guess I'm done!
This is the British Airways airport in Chicago. That was Gate MI-6, I believe... :)
Well, despite the British Airways flight being an overnight one, I didn't sleep more than an hour. I was super-awake. But, I think that it was good for eliminating practically all forms of jet lag as soon as I fell asleep the first time in Finland!
I wondered at first why a map was on the ticket.
It's a small enough airport, right?
Then I realized: It's so you don't vanish into... Finnair. .................
I love the Finland Temple! Even though I haven't been inside yet, 'cuz we can't go if we're in Tampere... Missionary trips to the temple need to be able to happen in under 6 hours, travel time included. We take 7. Arghh... But, it's still beautiful!
When I was on splits in Pori, due to my companion being the District Leader, I saw an Angry Birds themed-playground! Did you know that the Angry Birds app was created by a Finnish developer? I learned that my 2nd week at the MTC during the visa trip, but forgot all about it until now! I couldn't get a better pic, 'cuz we were contacting at the time, but this is pretty good.
This is in memory of you, Mother... The Adventures of Piggley Winks! Correct the name for me, I know that the Vekarat! part is an exclamation, like Jenkies!, but I forget what the actual TV show was called! I have seen this here surprisingly quite a few times... I looked in the window of a bar and saw it on one of the TVs, and then saw this in a store we visited. Had to take a picture to remind you, Mother!
Mom: Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks. I just find this show adorable and couldn't get enough of it when it was new!