We got to meet some interesting people, though. Finland likes to celebrate local community traditions, so you get a lot of interesting mini-Holidays. Kinda weird to walk outside and realize that everyone is partying on a normal day of the week. For example, we were contacting outside, and then realized that everyone out there was on a bike. We realized that when we had a +200 single-file line of bikes force us off of the sidewalk. That was a loooong wait.
Another one was an official Youth Drinking Day. There was some other name for it, but it essentially equaled out to all of the young adults in Finland walking around drunk in large hordes. We didn't even figure it out, until a few of them asked why we were wearing suits on a party-day. We did find some sober people, though, that were surprised we could be smart enough "at our age" to not go around drinking. Hope that something comes out of talking to them!
Yeah, that's about it for this week. I do have an interesting thing to mention, though - Hintasaarnajat. There is a set of commercials going on right now that a member showed us. They are for a cell-phone-service-providing company, and they star 2 Missionaries from Finland, talking to Americans about the "miracle of Saunalahti". It was quite hilarious, and all in English, so totally understandable to Americans! They can be found on YouTube as the Elisa Saunalahti Hintasaarnajat, but the best place to go is the website itself, with all of the videos there. It is http://elisa.fi/erikoiskokeet/hintasaarnaajat/ from what I wrote down. No promises that it will work, but there should be a search bar for typing Hintasaarnajat on the elisa.fi page, if nothing else.
To the Q's!
How are you sleeping?
It is going alright. I'm always really tired when I go to bed, so the excessive amount of brightness doesn't wake me up. We accidentally had an alarm go off at midnight, and when I got up to turn it off, it was so bright I thought it might actually be day-time still! Crazy.
How is your health?
It is fine! I'm eating well, and the members care a lot. I felt a bit under the weather this week due to the bug, but it passed. I'm alive!
Have you continued to have lots of people to teach?
In a sense. We don't get many new investigators, but the ones that we have are progressing well. Minus church attendance. That is always a big step for the people we teach. But they are trying to come, at least! It should be fun to continue teaching them, and hopefully we will find more people.
What have you been teaching?
We have been doing a lot of "How to Begin Teaching". That's the name of the process where we kinda establish where we are now, what they expect from us when we meet, and what they should do if they want to achieve their goals. It's a great little exercise, and we find out a lot of things that help us all to grow.
What did you learn this week?
In District Meeting, we covered a section in Preach My Gospel titled "Asking Inspired Questions". There was a lot of good discussion there, and we basically agreed that an 'inspired question' doesn't always have to reveal more information to us - in fact, almost always, it should be the investigator finding out something about their own testimony and belief. That's so cool that the Spirit can teach us as we try to teach!
Did you have any interesting foods recently?
Hmm. There was a Ward Potluck just last Sunday that was REALLY good! We had all sorts of pasta-salads that had interesting combinations of ingredients, but they were all fantastic. I found out that one had just about as close to raw fish as you can buy in Finland - guess which one was accidentally my favorite?! Just a little grossed out by that one...
Is there a chocolate shop in your new town?
No... I'm so sad... But! Because Porvoo is still in my Zone, and because Elder Saunders is still there, I have employed him many-a-time to secure chocolate to bring to Zone Conferences! Yay! (I'm going to have to contact Elder Saunders... ~Mom)
How many Districts are in each Zone?
Oooh, hmm... That's a good question. I'd guess between 4-5 in Tampere and Helsinki Zones, and 3-4 in the North and East Zones. Each, of course - not shared.
Have you given any talks in church? Or taught any Sunday School classes?
I haven't had to give one in church, beyond the standard "I'm new here, thanks for being nice to me" that you give your first Sunday. I have had to teach Gospel Principles more than once when I served in Porvoo, and I got to teach the Primary twice - once here, once in Tampere. It's always fun to try to teach to members, because you have a manual in front of you! That helps with the grammar and vocab remembering a LOT.
Well, that's all, folks! I can't think of anything else, so we'll quit while I'm ahead. Thanks for everyone that is out there, trying to keep up with everything I'm experiencing in the big, wide world! I love you all - stay safe!
Vanhin David Milligan
Pictures sent by his mission president to all the parents:
I have included 3 pictures from Finland. As we travel, each week, we see the incredible beauty of Finland. Each of these pictures are typical of Finland, with its forests, farms and lakes. The lake picture is just about ¼ mile from the mission home where Sister Watson and I live. The farm picture is a bit west of Helsinki as we drove to a city called Pietarsaari on the west coast. The temple picture is the temple and sky at 11:00 pm this past week. (Notice he says the picture of the temple is PM! So light so late! ~Mom)