Tuesday, August 11, 2015

August 11, 2015 - Crazy Week!

So much crazy stuff happened this week! We had the worst day, like, ever, followed up by one of the most miracle-moment-filled ones the very next day! I'll explain in brief.

We had 3 lessons set up this last Wednesday. We went to District Meeting, which had TONS of missionaries there (there was a thing where Finns got to go on Mini-Missions - they spent a week with missionaries and did missionary work with them) which made, of course, for a giant district picture at the end. All this was good and nice. Then came the lessons. In which the first one had someone drop us pretty hard, the second go pretty badly with a commitment extension, and the third get interrupted by a phone call, leaving the rest of the lesson in tatters. It was pretty bad.

The next day, we met with someone that we had talked to extensively on the street, about a month ago. He wasn't interested in actually meeting then, but liked what we thought and did. This last Tuesday, we bumped into him, and he asked us to come over and teach him! So, the lesson was scheduled for Thursday. Due to a sudden travel-plan change, we ended up meeting at the public bus stop instead, about a block from our place. While there, we got 2 other potentials and 1 new investigator, just from people interested in hearing what we had to talk about with this man! It went great, I was very glad that we saw that success. I definitely needed it at that point.

Siinä on kaikki... (That's everything...)To the Q's!

Where does your ward meet?

We meet in Espoo, about 40 minutes (if there's no traffic or construction) (and there's always construction) away from Lohja. It is west-Helsinki, basically. We meet there at 2, and it ends at 5. We have a meeting beforehand with the Ward Mission Leader (it used to be after until we all needed a better-accomadating schedule) at 1, so we head down right after studies and lunch. We get back for dinner, and go out for about 2 hours to do what missionary work we can!

Is your ward building anywhere near the temple?

It is rather close - missionaries in our ward have it officially in their area. It says it's the Helsinki temple, but it is, yes, in Espoo. I've only gotten to visit once so far to do baptisms for the dead, but I can't wait to go back!

What kind of trees are found in Finland/your area?

Oh, wow. I have no idea what they are called. They are almost all trees that have no low-hanging branches - everything is just trunk until a couple of meters up. Plus, it looks orange-ish and stripped bare, minus the straggling-leaves at the top. So, those. Plus, they've got quite a few coniferous ones up north, but there aren't too many here, I think. I don't really know, when I came here it was already really green everywhere!

Is hiking a hobby in Finland? Are there trails to hike on P-day?

It is! Our Mission Leader, for example, normally takes time to go hiking with investigators and less-active people that also enjoy it. I'd say that the hiking trails are mostly used by older people, though - have you heard of Nordic stick-walking? That's what EVERYONE here does. It's huge. That's a really cool thing - you see tons of seniors and elderly folk on bikes, walking with Nordic sticks, or even on walkers that are built like 2 scooters. Man, they go fast!

There are places to hike for P-Day, but it's hard enough to get the stuff I want done without worrying about getting to a cool hiking location, so I guess we always opt out of that. We might actually try that, now that you mention it! Thanks!

What is your favorite P-day activity? (Besides emailing your mother!)

Well, most P-days are spent cleaning, shopping, emailing, and then having a lesson that takes up the rest of the time. We can't help it - there are people that we need to meet with that can only be met then, and we aren't allowed to transplant P-Day time. When we do have a spare moment, normally we plan to let my companion play tennis with some members here. He has a lot of fun, and I can entertain myself somehow with watching them pummel a poor little greenish-yellow ball back-and-forth.

What did you teach this week?

We taught quite a bit about the Plan of Salvation at the bus stop. People were just so interested in hearing our thoughts on those 3 big questions: Where did I come from, Why am I here, and Where am I going? Seriously, so many people asked that same set of questions as we kept talking! Well, we brightened quite a few people's day with our enthusiasm to teach, apparently, 'cuz we saw so much success from it.

What is something you learned this week?

I learned a TON of idioms from members! I've also learned the longest word that they have, it holds a Guiness World Record for something, I just don't if it's the longest in the world or the longest in the English character system. It goes like this:


It doesn't really get an English equivalent, of course. After a bit of my companion and I staring at it, we concurred that if any equivalent could be formed, it would look something like this:

One wonders if it is surely not even possible with his lack of disorganizedness?

Yes, as a question. It is, by literary standards, 100% grammatically correct, although I am a little confused about how they got away with two ä's before the -nsäkäänköhän. I trust them, though, to know their language better than I do!

What is something you shared this week?

Something that got shared with ME (because, you know, I'm bad at addressing the real questions) was a super-cheap recipe for Cheesecake. When I went shopping for all of the ingredients today, I saw how cheap it was - total, the recipe ingredients cost under 5€! That's crazy! Should taste great, I've already had it twice at the members' house (that's where I had Salmiakki cheesecake, surprisingly delicious).

Are there bears in Finland?

Yes. 'Nuff said.

Actually, here's a funny story that was told to me by a Finn (for confidential-security, I will leave them unnamed 😜) about polar bears. Some Finns were guiding around some foreign-exchange students. When they passed one of the crosswalk lights, they mentioned that it wasn't quite that simple - it was a Polar-Bear detector. If the light went red, that meant a polar bear was that direction, and that you needed to get inside quick. The rest of the day went without incident.

A couple months later, the Finns met up again with those same students. To their surprise and great laughter, the students had taken them quite seriously, spending most of their time in Finland indoors whenever such a thing would happen.

Well, there we go! That's it for my week, thanks everyone for caring enough to send words of encouragement so often! May you all be safe!

Vanhin David Milligan

P.S. It's been a while since this thing has let me upload pictures. Which means no one has seen me for a while. So. This was the day that my 'Murican umbrella gave up. Finnish rain was just too much for it!

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