Monday, November 10, 2014

Snow, Snow, Snow, SNOW!!!!!!!!

Guess what happened this week?!!!!!!!

But, more on that later...

Today I am going to be outfitted with a Holter Monitor. I am a little anxious about it, but that's bound to help determine if anything is wrong with my heart. Hopefully there's not a problem that makes it difficult to perform as much missionary work as I would like!

This week has been interesting, as we have dealt with doctor visits and concerned members. They saw me faint when I got whacked really hard with a door, and now are all on board with trying to get me fattened up. I'm not as enthused about it, but at least they have shown a lot of concern that has made me realize just how much people here can love and care for the missionaries!

The questions for this week are pretty easy to answer, so I'll just yammer on about what else happened this week.

Kebab Sauce / An AWESOME Dinner Appointment
Well, this last Tuesday, our investigator from Turkey/Afghanistan (he describes how that works much better than I can) invited us over to his house to have dinner. We didn't even ask or make ANY comment about food to him, he just randomly said, "Hey, come eat at my house. I'll make you some traditional food." So, of course, we said YES. I should have really thought about what he meant by "traditional", because I probably could have guessed what he was going to serve us. That's right. KEBAB. So, I was able to ask him about what's in Kebab Sauce, and he told me how to make it. It's basically oil, onions, tomato paste, black pepper, and then whatever you want to add. Sounds simple~ish, I think I could wrestle a recipe out of him for it specifically.

One more interesting thing about this Dinner Appointment. When we walk in, he was playing music that I recognized from my companion's workouts. This investigator had stumbled upon EFY music, and started to really like it. I love this man. The whole conversations we have with him switch between English and Finnish at weird point, but no one ever gets confused, even me!
(Mom: EFY stands for Especially For Youth, which is a church camp the kids can go to between the ages of 14-18. They have music written especially for it each year.)

Member of the 70 in Tampere who looks really familiar...
There is a member of the 70 in our ward in Tampere. We've helped his wife pick potatoes and he's helped us in teaching lessons to our investigators. The really weird thing is that he looks EXACTLY like Spock. I'm not even a Star Trek fan, but he looks EXACTLY like him. He doesn't sound like him, but if you pointed his ears a bit, you'd have a very convincing imitation.
(Mom: "the 70" refers to "The Quorum of the 70" which is made up of men around the world that oversee/lead parts of our Church in one area of the globe. They can be sent from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world!)

The Testaments in Finnish
You remember that The Testaments movie that shows the Book of Mormon times before Christ came to the Americas, and it kept flashing over to specific events in the Bible where Christ was ministering? Yeah, that movie. That movie is AWESOME in Finnish. All copies of it have the Finnish audio and subtitles, even though they don't match up like they should. After hearing the Finnish audio and seeing the people, I had thought that the English must be pretty good. (Since it was filmed, you know, in English? And the actors are speaking, you know, English?) But, just recently, the other Elders turned it on with English audio and Finnish subtitles. Then I heard the voices. Now I am certain that the movie was SUPPOSED to be with Finnish audio, because it looks amazing but sounds so weird. Just try watching it in Finnish, and then switch over really quick to hear the difference in voices. SO weird.
(Mom: The movie he refers to is shown in LDS visitors centers around the world. It is also available on DVD with all the fun subtitles and audios he mentions! Here is the link for ordering a copy: $4.50, and I think it is free shipping?
OR, even easier, we do happen to own a copy if you just want to borrow it! After we watch it in Finnish!!)

American Diner
So, we went to a restaurant called American Diner. It was pretty good, even though I just had a Kid's burger (I couldn't handle much more of the greasy food than that), but the real prize was that the Kid's burger came with a giant paper car! It's really sturdy, too, so I think it'll be holding some stuff like small papers for the rest of my mission. It looks pretty sweet.

Finnish Father's Day!!!
Yesterday was Father's Day in Finland! So, Happy Father's Day! The Young Women in Tampere 2 made little packets out of envelopes that look like Sunday shirts to hold a gift of candy for the dads. I thought it was pretty nice, and then they came up to us and gave us special ones: Sunday shirts with Missionary Tags! So cute!

Question Time!
1. How much daylight?

I can say this: we are emailing, it is 9:51am, and I am now finally seeing light. Not sunlight, just light. I can't even remember the last time I saw sunlight. It is pitch black at 4 o'clock now, and that's just really weird, because then it is difficult to contact anyone, because people are understandably hesitant to speak to strangers when it is cold and dark and no one is around.

2. Any snow?

YES. AND IT STUCK. I'm SO happy! It was around for 3 full days, but has basically all melted now. Kinda sad. But, I was really happy during that whole time! Now it's just dark all the time. Sigh.

3. How is your health?

Hmm. Well, I've fainted twice this week, both on Thursday. In the morning, the doctor said I went into shock from cold-to-warm happening a bit too fast and I freaked out my companion right before I was about to eat lunch by collapsing with no warning. That night was when I got whacked by the door of the church (it was switched on automatic and closed a full 2 seconds before it should have) and fainted in my companion's arms (he caught me pretty quickly). But, yeah. Getting a Holter Monitor today so that I can know about my heart, and then not this Wednesday but next, I'm going to get an ECG and an Ultrasound done by a cardiologist.
(Mom: I am not freaking out. I am not freaking out. I am not freaking out. Really.)

4. How are your investigators progressing?

Very well, can't wait to see them get baptized! Sadly, I can't really give a lot of specifics since their progress has been in small bursts of testimonies here and there, but suffice it to say that they have a knowledge of the truth of the Book of Mormon and are anxious to hear everything that prophets are telling us about in our day. So exciting!

5. What is your typical schedule for the day?

If you look at the Missionary Handbook, that little white one, that's basically exactly it. The morning changes a bit, since 8 is Personal Study, 9 is Companionship Study, 10 is looking at the 12 week Training, and 11 is Lunch, but then from 12 on it is missionary work, like contacting on buses and in the streets, visiting/calling potentials, meeting investigators, meeting members (we have been challenged to try to have "investi-members", where we teach a fully active member the lessons and then inviting them to share with others or come with us to teach), and meeting less-active members. Pretty varied, but I love it! Dinner happens at different times between 4 and 6, but it does happen. 9 is Planning, and 10 is final preparations for the next day, including updating our Area Book.
(Mom: We also have a copy of "the Missionary Handbook" if you are curious!)

6. What is your typical p-day schedule?

Umm. This is pretty Unorthodox. We do Personal Study at 8, normally also do a Comp. Study at 9, email at 10:30, wash the car at 11:30, get lunch, and then... random. We shop for groceries for next week, look for stuff we need, shop for what we want (Elder Nemelka always wants to spend about 2 hours bouncing between shoe stores only to buy absolutely NOTHING. Grr), and then preparing to teach investigators after 6, after we've had dinner at 5. Yeah, so it gets kinda random, and sometimes we have to teach on those days, too. Or got to the doctor. Like today.
(Mom: I'm sure he just forgot to mention laundry...right?)

7. What is something you learned this week?

I have been studying from Christlike Attributes again, and tried to each day, pray for different areas of help in attaining those. But yeah, that's what I've been focusing on!

8. Have you made any funny language mistakes lately?

I've only known about one, and I knew it the moment I said it! I have a habit of treating Finnish like a code, where I say what I'm thinking in Finnish after a direct translation, which sometimes gets me into trouble. For example, this one was when I was talking in Institute, which we taught because it was about Missionary Work. I was trying to bring up that when we are in areas with not as many members, unlike Utah, we feel a bit alone sometimes when we are trying to make correct choices. (They'd just given my companion a hard time since he's from Utah, and said he can't understand, so I popped up and said I could!) When I was trying to say that I was one of the only guys that was a member in school, I accidentally said that I was Only a man who is a member in High School. As in, I was JUST a Member Man. As soon as I said this, I said, wait, that wasn't right, and then I was called Man who is a Member (implied Gangster status) for the rest of the evening. It was fun, though.
(Mom: Institute is a religious class for college students. I am doing a lot of translating during this email! And it's not even in Finnish!)

9. What is an interesting Finnish word you have learned?

Jaksaa. It doesn't have a straight translation into English, but it's a verb that essentially means To feel like, without always that lazy connotation. For example, it is normally said, En Jaksaa, as in I don't feel like, but it's more like "I can't work up the energy to". It's kind of interesting. Pronounced like, En Yawksaw. Missionaries say it all the time, as in, I can't jaksaa enough to do this. They just throw the Finnish word into the English sentence. Interesting.

Well, that's basically it! Hope that you all are doing well, can't wait to hear from all of you again! Be strong! Lots of exclamation marks your way!!!

Vanhin David Milligan

P.S.  Ok. Maybe ONE Snow Picture:
This is the church parking lot when it was snowing the day following the snowy night.

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