Well, another week, another e-mail for everyone! It is weird being able to have so many people emailing me now, I like it a lot! It also means I have more questions, so bear with me a bit here...
Paper is a different size here. Not much more to say about that. It's longer and skinnier, probably because they use some kind of metric system measurement and we Americans have to be "different"...
We had Interim last week! More on that in the questions, because a lot were oriented around that.
I found the Finnish Dollar Tree. It's not really, because it's not even remotely the same in any way except prices. It's Tiger, and they have lots of cool little arts-and-crafts things as well as just little fun trinkets. They are really cheap and almost all recycled. I have a few ideas for things I'm going to get as light, enjoyable presents for my family. Light, because it costs an arm and a leg to send packages from here...
I got to eat an 80 cm pizza with another companionship. It was HUGE. I plan to actually attach pictures to these emails, so hopefully that happens...
By the way, family and missionaries, did you know that Finnish apartments come with portable DVD players inside? They play all the music we have, they let us watch the District videos required for training on them, and they're just very efficient.
So, the companionship in Rauma had to stay with us Friday night. Why is that? Because an Elder that is in Pori decided that it would be a funny trick to play if he took Rauma's cellphone and put it in another companionship's pockets. AND NO ONE FOUND OUT. So, when leaving, Rauma discovered the lack of communication, and we had to coordinate the receiving of the phone with Elders that were coming back down south, for some reason... It was a lot of hectic craziness that ended with me being with one of the Rauma Elders studying my Kieli stuff (language stuff) as my companion and the other Rauma Elder rushed off to the train station at untold speeds... I say untold, because the trip was supposed to take about 30 minutes, but the train was stopping only for a brief bit 15 minutes from then, and they still made it "with time to spare", in their own words... I'm not questioning it! Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil... Wait, write no evil isn't there. Guess I'm in the clear, then.
To the questions!
Did you enjoy being in Helsinki for a few days with your MTC district?
No, I despise them. Next Q. Just kidding, I had a TON of fun exchanging fun stories and experiences with them, and reminiscing about the days when we thought that the Finnish language could actually be understood if a Finn said it!!!
Did you have a zone conference/meeting type with them? What was something you talked about?
So, for Tuesday and Wednesday, it was a very meeting-type structure. We learned about different things that we should prioritize, we did some role-plays, and we even had a part when we focused on the language and difficulties that were included with it. I was lucky, and got in a group with a native Finn that was at Interim because he was waiting for his visa to Ukraine. I wish him the best of luck...
Do you have investigators that you are teaching regularly? I liked hearing that you had one almost ready for baptism, but were making sure they were truly ready before going ahead with the baptism. What an important lesson you taught them!
Yes, we have a number that we are meeting every week. I believe right now we have the 1 with the baptismal date, 2 that we are confident will accept a baptismal date once we extend it to them, and 3 more that we have tried to extend baptismal dates, but want to be certain before making a commitment like that. I want you to know, though, that when I thought of these people I didn't divide them into the categories that I just did. I just couldn't think of another way to describe them! We meet with them all about the same amount, 1-2 a week, and they are almost all having progression. I'm so happy to learn from these peoples' testimonies!
Have you tried any new Finnish foods?
I cannot say yes to that, really, because most of the food that I've had lately has been the Finnish twist on other foods. Finnish pizza is interesting, it's a really thin crust all the way around the pizza, so you have to eat it with fork and knife!
Some of the pictures you included were beautiful churches. Are those in Tampere?
Yes, they are all in Tampere. I think the architecture of churches is fascinating, and sometimes you get a Finnish twist in the original style of building!
How cold is it usually, now?
The lows hover above and below the 0`mark, and the highs around 7, but soon to be around 4. It's pretty cold, but no snow has stuck. More on that later.
How much daylight do you have most days?
That's tricky. Technically speaking, there is light in the sky finally around 7:30 am, and there is no more light around 6:30. However, the sun has still not made an appearance today, and it is 11 am. I haven't looked for its disappearance lately, so I'll make a note of that to remember!
Is there snow?
That's the question that's easy to answer and hard to hear, for me included. Yes, there has been a bit of snow. No, it's not thick, it comes with the misty rain and you have to look hard for the snowflakes. What's making me frustrated is that this week, places further south than us have Snow forecasts, but we are "sunny" (if you can still call a lack of sun sunny) all week. GRR. Places up north have had snow, people in Interim were talking about it, but it also hasn't stuck there.
Are you staying warm?!!?
Yup! No frostbite here.
Have you had a snowball fight, yet?
...No... But it's high on my to-do list once the snow comes!
Wow, that was really quick to answer! I still have a lot of time left, so I think I'll be trying to write some personal emails out. I've already written a handful today, but this is good enough for now, I believe. Hope everyone is safe and doing alright, talk to you all next week!