Saturday, August 29, 2015

August 18, 2015 - Changes Approach the Lohja Homefront

Maybe that subject line is a little exaggerated - change calls are next Friday not this one. But still, it's on our minds! We are 99.99% certain that we are not gonna get to serve together another change (since it'd be crazy to serve in the same area with the same companion for ½ a year!), so we have each made "change-call guesses". We have a whiteboard filled with the companionships of the Espoo District, and also have plotted out the leadership. There's going to be huge changes no matter what, most of the leadership is "dying" (going home after 2 years of being here) this change.

Well, we had a Zone Training meeting this last week. It was pretty good, they were talking a lot about making sure that we are extending commitments to people that are applicable to their spiritual progression. Lots to learn from that!

Yeah, I'm boring... Can't think of much to talk about for this week... So! The questions shall hopefully inspire!

What did you share this week?

So, this week, we have been working hard on helping our investigator prepare for her baptism. It will hopefully take place this Saturday! Because I noticed how much she liked the pictures at the front of the Book of Mormon, I gave her an extra Gospel Art Book that we had in the apartment. It just has art depicting the Biblical stories she knows and the Book of Mormon stories she's learning, so I think it'll help her to find things that she understands while reading, or at least encourage her to look up certain stories because she likes the picture!

What did you teach this week?

We have a new investigator that we have started to teach, he has a baptismal date in September. So, we did a bit of a get-to-know-each-other lesson, where we just talked about all of our experiences and lives. It was a lot of fun to hear him talk about things that have meant a lot to him, and be able to relate how important that is to us, too. He is excited to keep learning, and we are going to be going over the Restoration with him this week. He already asked a lot of questions about modern-day prophets, so we think it will go well!

What did you learn this week?

I decided to start going through almost everything I've highlighted in the Bible (which is a LOT) and compare it to the Finnish set of scriptures I have. I started in the New Testament so I could make notes in my little portable Finnish New-Testament Bible that a Gideonite gave me. That Bible has been great to reference! It was really cool to see how my favorite verses have been translated into Finnish. Sometimes, the whole verse itself seems to change meaning and context, but it's still insightful! I've been blown away by the translations, both for good and bad. I've noticed that every time that the Bible talks about a "falling away", in English we know that it is referring to the Apostasy, although I've gotten in a few debates about that with English speakers. In the Finnish Bible, there's no room for doubt - it always calls it a Great Apostasy, or an Ending (temporary) of Faith. Way cool! But some verses loose their oomph. Like, John 7:17, encouraging people to act on what Christ has said? Yeah, that ain't the same. It becomes, like, "If you want to follow God's wants, then you'll know if it's from me or God." Which totally throws out the inspire-to-action bit that Christ was talking about there. *Sigh*

What scripture has impacted you this week?

This one might surprise you - it's 1 Timothy 4:12! The one that I got put on a plaque! Yeah, not too much of a surprise. But, I got to teach a lesson about it this week. We got called on to teach the Young Women (that was a weird experience), and we chose to go into depth on this scripture. I had recently listened to the John Bytheway talk, "Be Thou an Example of the Believers", so it was all great timing. We really drilled down into the different ways that we can be an example to people around us, and I even learned the Finnish equivalent of Potempkin Village when someone brought up that we shouldn't be just pretending and hypocritical - we should actually have a testimony and conversion along the lines of the example we are trying to be! Potemkinin kulissit - Potempkin's backdrops/set (theater). Very cool!

What is your favorite Finnish dessert?

Even if everyone is shocked, yes, I really did like Mämmi! But recently, I learned how to make super-cheap cheesecakes (I believe I talked about this last week?), and they are DELICIOUS. It only costs 10€ to make 2! Most of the ingredients need to be bought in bulk, so you've already gotten enough for 2. Super good, I've been experimenting with it. Trying to make caramel cheesecake this week!

How big is your ward?

The Ward Directory seems to have round-about 240 names in it, so I'd say that big! 40 of the active members (there EVERY Sunday) come from Lohja. This place really deserves a ward of its own.

Have you learned any Finnish Birthday traditions?

They have a Finnish version of Happy Birthday! It translates roughly "Much continuous happiness), if I can remember how the song goes... It's to the same tune that we've got. Other than that, no, I don't know any cool traditions! I'll ask some Finns this week.

Well, looks like that's it! I hope y'all are doing well, be safe, thanks for always reaching out and sending little thoughts my way!

Vanhin David Milligan

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