Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December 1, 2014 - Thanksgiving in Finland!

Well, this week I forgot my planner at the house, and I don't know how, but that means that I probably won't remember everything I wanted to say. Just warning you all right now.

We had quite a few good things happen this week! We were able to participate in the baptism of one of our investigators, with the other one having been out-of-city for the last week, so we are postponing his for 2 weeks. I got to talk about Baptism right before the actual baptizing, and then the member of the 70 here spoke about the Holy Ghost. Let's just say his was quite a bit better than mine, even taking into account my Finnish being quite a bit lower of a level than his. But, it was good, and we all felt the Spirit there!

After the baptism, we had the pleasure of joining several families for Thanksgiving at the Ward Missionaries' house, where quite a few American families all came together to remember that holiday. It was a lot of fun as well, and the food was great! I didn't see any rolls there, though. That was the only oversight. I miss my family's rolls...

Well, I can't really think of anything else! Yup, my emails are crippled without the aid of my handy-dandy planner... I guess I'll just share a language thing I used this week. A not-often implemented way of instrumentality-expressing (like, going by bicycle, or, eating with a spoon) is to put it into the Possessive case (Genitive), although it only works for a handful of words. So, this week's sentence is: Aika kului sivin - Time flew on wings (a more accurate translation is Time wore out on wings, but it's the same). There you go!

And now for the Questions.

Did you get snow?!

I've been seeing flecks, but not large accumulations. It has been more than cold enough lately for it, especially considering the amount of daylight we've had this month. So, I was wondering why it was getting so hard for me to remember what times I was seeing the sun, so I could say how much I saw and when. When I asked a member about it, he laughed, and told me that in all of the month of November, we have seen 12 hours of actual sunlight. TOTAL. It's been completely obscured by clouds for most of the time.

How is your health this week?

Fine, no complications on any front. My companion, though, has had to go to the doctor about his eye. Ever since I've been here, I've noticed that he has this part by his pupil on one eye that looks like it is bunched up, smeared from one part of the eye to accumulate there. He went to the doctor about it after Sister Watson took note of it, and has been told to return to find out if it's just a scar or if it is more than that.

Did you meet any new people?

I have met quite a few people on the bus systems here, but none with the intention of ever meeting again. It's rather interesting: my companion has started to brag about how I try to contact people on the bus all the time, but he does it in the context of admitting that he's "given up" on some of the aspects of missionary work (bus contacting and working with members being prevalent among those). It's just interesting to hear him say he has "trained me well" when he is doing... not what I'm doing. Well, my 12 week training is officially over, so, I can start calling him my companion instead of my trainer. Thank goodness. I started to think I was an animal kept like a pet!

What did you study this week?

I could be a lot more detailed if I had my planner present! I write what I study/studied/learned on each day, and it is very interesting to look back on it all. The thing I've most done this week is start to try reading Jesus the Christ, by James E. Thalmage, again. That man was brilliant, and it is hard for me to read his book. Not because of comprehension, because I understand what he says perfectly, even when he tells a joke described like a fact or statistic. But, if I read it too often, I start to get this overly-philosophical strain in me, and I start viewing the world as if I'm not a part of it, and then I start to just see everything very unbiased in all regards except religion, and then... it's just weird. I am trying to avoid out-of-body experiences like that, because I tend to come crashing hard down to earth once I start to try to shake it off.

What did you share this week?

I talked a lot about the missionary efforts of Ammon and Aaron this week with various investigators and members alike. I think that I mostly taught about King Lamoni's father saying that he would forsake all of his sins to know God. It is interesting to see that same reaction in some of our investigators, and I hope that I can help everyone come to receive that same desire.

What did you learn this week?

This is the harder part to summarize... Well, I have been studying a lot from Jesus the Christ, like I've said, and in the midst of all of this I feel I have come to understand the Fall of Adam and Eve a bit better. I've always tried to describe that the Fall was a necessary part of God's Plan, and that he wasn't surprised by it, but rather, he had already set apart a Redeemer for us, Jesus Christ, and that Adam's and Eve's sin does not affect our lives in the concept of "original sin" that some have. Rather, each person after they are physically and mentally accountable for their actions (age 8, according to latter-day revelation) is susceptible only to their own sins, and that we are not held accountable for Adam's transgression. That means that little children are still regarded as innocent, despite should something as tragic as death befall them. Jesus the Christ has helped me to understand how to convey that a bit better now.

Have you taken any fun pictures?

Yes, I have, so let me try to find a few!

This is at 8 AM on Sunday. Yes, it's DARK. Those Christmas lights are pretty, though! Also, NO ONE is walking outside until around 10 on Sunday. There are also no cars at this time, really. Just very empty.

​Look at that pretty sunset! That is the sun, for one of the only times I've seen it this week, setting at... 1:30 PM. Sigh. It is getting really dark.

Were your investigators able to be baptized?

Yup! I wish I could send a picture, but I need to ask for her permission before I do that. Hopefully next week then!

Are you teaching anyone new?

In a sense, yes. There are quite a few people that we are talking to, but it bounces between the gospel and the world, so I can't really say that these people are progressing gospel-wise from our meetings. We're trying to talk more about religion, but it gets very easy to instead talk about other things!

Have you learned any Finnish Christmas customs that are different from American?

I have not learned any yet! The thing I will quickly mention: This Christmas time (24-26) has been labelled a "non-proselyting" time due to the dangers associated with Finnish tendencies to be drinking during these times or with family and not wanting to lose time together. We are allowed to be with members, provided we have an appointment with them beforehand. This means that I will be studying the scriptures a LOT these 3 days. If you all have any talks that you could send as a recommendation, I would love it!

Well, that's all I can think of right now! Have fun, family and friends! Be safe, all of you, and enjoy the upcoming winter!

Vanhin David Milligan

P.S. It's supposed to get to -10 degrees C tomorrow in Tampere. The high is 0.

P.P.S. Everyone should watch the new video called He is the Gift. It's going to be exploding on YouTube soon, so make sure to see it! Or you can go to

The next day, after the baptism, we found out that the Young Women of our ward made us Gingerbread houses! They also made some for the sisters, but mine is definitely the best one. It has frosting icicles!

This is me filling up the water of the font for the baptism! My companion is close by, don't worry...

Driving in our car. We're so lucky to have one out here! I'm not allowed to drive, due to certain fainting spells a bit back...

So. I was trying to catch a Sähly ball flying towards my face. And my eye got in the way. Yup. This is 3 days after the fact. But it's okay. I still got it. Hope it doesn't scar.

This is a Sähly ball.

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