Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July 7, 2015 - Aaaand the Change Calls are in!

I think that I need to first say that nothing super crazy happened last week, beyond the fact that once again, our investigator came to church! She's very excited about the gospel and is more than willing to make the trek to the church with her new member-friends to find out if it is true or not. We're excited to see her keep progressing!

The questions will basically answer all other things that happened, sooo... To the Q's!

Are you being transferred? (And all the questions that go with that! Old area, same companion? Old area, new companion? New area, old companion? New area, new companion?)

I am staying in Lohja! That's great! And, I'm still staying with Elder Greciano!! I told him so, I said that so far, I've kept serving 2 changes with the same companion in the same area, so we prepped for us both sticking around. It payed off! We are planning for a lot of continuing fun this change. So. Old area, old companion, new-found fun upcoming.

What is your address?

The Lohja address is still the same -

Sepänkatu 3-5 A 5
08100 LOHJA

The mission office has officially changed locations now, so that new address is in effect.

Upseerinkatu 3 C
02600 Espoo 

What is something you learned this week?

So, I went and started going through the Preach My Gospel manual, from the very beginning, in an attempt to fully go through everything that the manual says. To make sure that I'm actually thinking about everything, I go through it during my language study, too, but comparing the Finnish and the English translations, learning stuff in the language and seeing the importance of certain principles highlighted through the nice 'emphasis' cases in Finnish. Kinda cool that they do that - they have about 6 endings for words (enclentic particles, or something like that) that give a different emphasis for each one - one to make it a question-based sentence, a few more positive emphasis of different degrees and perspectives, and likewise for the negative emphasis. Super fun to mess around with.

What is something you taught this week?

Well, the thing we repeatedly brought up with people was the concept of Agency and the ability to choose. It's still a little shocking to see some people have the definition of 'agency' be roughly, "I can do what I want", and they get shocked when you mention that with the ability to choose comes natural consequences for our choices. Hopefully, our choices bring positive consequences - we help someone, we feel happy. It's weird, though, to hear some people say that the choices they make shouldn't have bad consequences - they have "freedom" to choose. Yes, there's freedom - but that's like saying that just because we have the freedom to mix two dangerous chemicals together, when we do so, it won't blow up in our face. It's interesting to talk about it with people, but everyone does think about it, so that's good.

What is something you shared this week?

I actually got the chance to talk with the church youth about, in a round-about way, enduring to the end. I was put in charge of talking to them for about 5 minutes or so, and I just started talking about how sometimes, no matter how you look at it, what we are doing can feel hard. I know that sometimes I roll out of bed and want to roll right back in, but I have this responsibility to try to help people while I'm in Finland. We can do our best, be keeping all of the standards we have, visit church weekly, absolutely love the church, and still find it just hard, sometimes. So, I read with them that bit in Jacob 3:1-2, where these pure-in-heart people that I think most of the youth are are directly spoken to. It seemed pretty nice, we felt the Spirit, and it really just got summed up to be, hey, if you know what you're doing is right, then take heart - you're not alone, and He's gonna be helping you every day.

What is something you would like us to know?

Finnish is a crazy language. You can say all sorts of complex, grammatically-correct things, and it'll still get shot down by the inflected (or infected) bits of the language. A good example - did you know that in order to most appropriately say that the time is, say, 1:30, you say that it is ½ of 2? No matter what prep you do, the correct casings of things you throw on to very specifically say that "the time we are referring to is 30 minutes past 1" with all sorts of language principles applied correctly, Finns will nod and then say, "so, ½ of 2?". Sigh. I try too hard, sometimes.

Other than that, I think the most important thing to know right now is that I am having a BLAST out here in Finland! I'm definitely supposed to be out here at this time, and I am looking forward to all of the experiences I'm gonna have this time around with Elder Greciano!

Do you need any new clothing items? Are your suits holding up? Your shoes? Your white shirts? Anything?

Hmm. No, I think I'm good! Shoes are fine, haven't even needed to switch over to the second set yet. I've been sewing the pants of my slacks, so they can survive a bit longer. (sewing the pants of my slacks? I think he is losing his English! ~Mom) If anything, I might need short-sleeve white shirts, but that doesn't bother me so much as it kinda could hurt my companion if I don't have them - although he is from Spain and used to the heat, he really feels more comfortable if he is wearing a short-sleeve white shirt. He has some, but he can't wear them unless I'm wearing some at the same time. New mission policy on companionship unity, I don't know. We got this rule instead of the wearing-suits-24/7 rule being continued into the summer, so I'll take it without complaint, knowing the alternatives.

Has anything funny happened lately?

Other than the situation where I tried to explain it would take 1½ hours to do something, thinking that the time-rule still applied, and got a lot of Finns to laugh because of it, not too much has been hilarious...

Come to think of it, there was one time recently when we started talking about "taking risks" and "raising the stakes", and the idioms associated with them. When a non-member asked if I knew a different way to phrase "raising the stakes" beyond the Finnish equivalents in a way that only "someone like me" (English-speaking?) would understand, I mentioned that if the stakes we were talking about were Mormon Stakes (as in, the buildings where many individual wards all gather), then we would be talking about something else entirely. It got some chuckles out of the members present, at which point one of the non-member Finns looked at me confused and said, "Man, that must be a really good one, 'cuz I don't get it", to which the Finns that were members bust up laughing. Didn't realize that the misunderstanding of Stakes could spread so far into other languages... Side point: part of the reason why it was funny was because he thought I had started talking about formal clothing - the words for Stake and Belt are the same basic word in Finnish. But that's another conversation.

Yup, that's all! I'm staying put, looking forward to the good times to come. Hope you all stay safe. Write y'all next week!

Vanhin David Milligan

A Finnish CTR Ring

Flashback Picture From One Year Ago In The MTC!

 And The Most Recent Photo I Have Of Him...:

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