Friday, February 13, 2015

Little Bit Of A Slow Time - February 10, 2015

Porvoo, although great, doesn't have much happening... So, be aware of that as I attempt to relate the happenings (or lack thereof) in this week!

We were not able to meet with our Mac&Cheese family yesterday due to family flying away/in and not being home 'til very late. Very saddening.

We had splits with the District Leaders yesterday, and it was pretty fun! I was mostly with Elder Lym, a missionary that is going home after this change, and who is looking forward with eager anticipation to all of the Brandon Sanderson books that he has missed. He really wants to read the 2nd Way of Kings book, and we ended up talking about the Sanderson Universe of books as we walked to and fro from fallen appointments. The good news: I figured out how to navigate Porvoo finally! Mostly. I did confuse one person's address with another and made it all the way to the house before realizing my mistake, but it was alright, because it was pretty close still. Phew!

We did have a little "miracle territory" this week, though! A young man referred himself through the website and asked to get into contact with us. Elder Saunders went to him on the Splits Day, so I haven't met him yet, but apparently he is very interested and already has accepted a baptismal date in late March. I am now kind of hoping to stay in Porvoo a bit, 'cuz he sounds really cool! He really likes Legend of Zelda, and is anticipating the next game. That makes 2 of us, but only 1 that can play it... Sigh.

Yeah, that's about it! So, onto the questions!

Do you plan to use the library computers each P-day? Is the library in Porvoo?

That was our considered plan, yes. The library is in Porvoo and has a bit faster connection on things, but sadly, you may only use it ½hour a day, and it locks you out of the system in the meantime. So, we are continuing to drive an hour down to the church to email every P-day, and then drive an hour back afterwards. It really hurts, 'cuz that's 2 hours of P-day just deleted to driving. Hmph. Once/If we get iPads, this won't really be a problem anymore...

Have you eaten any ethnic foods? What kind of fish do they eat?

I have only seen the foods, not eaten any of them yet. Flounder is a favorite around this area of Finland, but I don't know if that is due to the Swedish influence or the location of it within Finland.

Did you meet anyone interesting this week?

My companion did! I actually don't think that I met any people that were interesting beyond "interesting", if you know what I mean... Oh! I actually have met one person that is really fun here! She is our upstairs neighbor, and she is Swedish-Finnish and speaks English with us. She and the missionaries that opened up Porvoo were really close, and although she's not interested in continuing to receive lessons, she does always say Hi and talk with us! We made her some cookie-dough-Fudge thing, and she in turn made a little snow-lantern outside our window. It was pretty cool!

Pretty nice of her. She calls herself our "Finnish Mother", and says that our families can know that we're taken care of. She's a great person. (Mom: I love this woman!)
How is your companion?

Doing great, as far as I can tell! We are still really loving serving together, and it's pretty fun to story-tell back and forth all about various things that we're interested in. We both had pretty similar hobbies, so it's all pretty fun to hear new suggestions about stuff to do when I go back home. Still got about 1½ years til that, though, so not too anxious!

When is the next transfer date?

The 1st of March is when all of the moving around happens, I believe. The 27th/28th is when we receive change calls, so that's coming up! Probably should just send stuff to the Mission Office from now in instead of to my apartment.

Alright, there were more questions, but we actually need to go now... There were people who came for Family History this morning (despite the center being closed today) and kind of destroyed the schedule... So, we don't have much time at all! I'm gonna quickly send some stuff to family and then I'll just leave it at that. Thanks everyone for when you send me emails, they are great to read, even if I can't always answer!

Vanhin David Milligan

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Not much going on, altogether - February 3, 2015

Well, like the subject says, not much has been going on. We've been meeting with people, although a number of them (very eager for us to come) have had to cancel on us due to sicknesses going around. It's just a little sad that we don't have that much to do in Porvoo besides walk around talking to people, especially since not too many people that are walking around want to talk to us. Oh, well.

I am glad to say that it will be next week when we meet that family to make them Mac&Cheese, American style, although I'm sad that it wasn't yesterday. I'm looking forward to it!

Yeah, that's everything, so... I'm just gonna start answering questions!

1. Have you seen the boxes that new moms get for their babies in Finland? There is an article we have seen about the Finnish govt giving new moms a box of clothes and supplies for their newborn, and it says the box is often used as the baby's bed? Makes us curious!

While I've heard about these boxes send from the government for aid, I have not actually seen a set of them yet! Apparently, they're really handy, especially since sometimes it's the father staying home from work to care for the child. (I guess he gets Paternity leave instead of Maternity?) That's kind of an interesting concept, isn't it, altogether? The government providing to that extent for the nurturing and upbringing of children into the world.

2. Are you loving the snow?

It has been snowing for the last 4 days in Porvoo without stop. I have a ton of really pretty pictures now! And, yes, I am still loving it, even if it does get me all wet.

3. Did you meet anyone interesting this week?

Well, we met a lot of drunk Finns, they're always interesting... We talked with one less-active woman's husband outside when we were walking by, and he had a few questions about why it is that we were sometimes coming over to try to help. I think he's a bit skeptical altogether of us... But, I think he is at least willing to talk to us for a little, and not just slam a door in our face, so. Progress?

4. How much daylight do you see? Is there such a thing as sunrise and sunset for you?

So, although the sun has not been visible for quite some time due to cloud cover ALL OVER, we do see the sun above the horizon line occasionally. So, it's there. We just can't see it. Total daylight is kinda messed up now, due to snow always being around, so I can't really tell.

5. What is something you learned this week?

So, this week, I was reading a bunch of stuff from both Jesus the Christ and Preach My Gospel's Gospel of Christ section, and trying to see what examples of Christ it is that I need to work on trying to also have evident in my actions as well as what encouragement can I give to the few investigators we have.

6. What is something you taught this week?

This week, we taught quite a bit about Faith in Jesus Christ, and what it is that we see as a result of faith. There are a TON of blessings that come from exhibiting faith, and from even just trying to gain faith, so it's been really cool to be able to promise people that as they strive to know if this message that we are sharing is true that they will see all of the blessings start to become more present in their lives. We're excited for a few investigators, although we haven't been able to get anyone to church yet (due to the hour drive there, 3 hour service, and hour drive back making a 5 hour ordeal. And, no one that gives rides wants to leave after only the first hour, so investigators are potentially stuck there instead of maybe only attending sacrament meeting, due just to members that want to stay. Which is fine, but then we need to warn people that, and it scares them off a bit...). But, we're trying!

7. What is something you are grateful for this week?

The thing I think I'm most grateful for right now is other missionaries here. I know: That's a big change from some of what I talked about happening in Tampere. But, my companion is just SO cool (woo-hoo, Southerners!) and my district is really fun to be a part of. All of the Elders in our district are secret nerds. Shh! I keep making video game references that they all crack up to! Even the sisters are nerds to. I started practicing the piano out here, and learned how to sort of plunk out a two-handed Song of Storms, and when I started playing it, one of the freaked out about how much they loved Ocarina of Time. I was a little shocked!

In short, I am having a blast out here with all of the missionaries I am in contact with right now. The work is slow, but I have encouragement and support on all sides. I am grateful that I am where I am!

Well, that's about all. I wish that I could think of more, but there's not too much more to say... So, be good, everyone! I hope that you all are grateful for where you are now, too.

Vanhin David Milligan