Let's go to the questions!
How is the Office?
So, it's pretty fun altogether! Like I said, it is just about all that I get to do as a missionary, but it is still rewarding in its own little ways. It's a lot of fun to be around the Senior Missionaries so often, because they all have a lot of interesting little tips about how things should work. Sometímes, it's a little out-dated, but often it is really insightful in its own little way.
Here's a good example of one of those moments. I was tasked with organizing the contact information of Missionaries here by alphabetical order of last name. No biggy, wasn't that hard, just cut-and-paste the name over to the front of the weird system that they use here. I was going through it very quick, and the Senior Missionaries were surprised by the speed at which I finished. I guarantee you, it wasn't absurdly fast. They have just gotten into the habit of going into each individual contact and typing up all of the information from scratch whenever they need to alter data. I was a little shocked by that reveal, but kept working on. Once I was done, I asked Elder Smith why exactly there was an extra Group-category on the contact lists. It wasn't used to organize the system at all - it just merely was in existence. The group was "A Very Special Missionary", listed on every single missionary's contact information card. I asked what its purpose was, intending on deleting the extraneous information unless there was a good reason for it. He then proceeded to inform me that every time that they wanted to think about the missionaries, he felt that the title "A Very Special Missionary" would direct them to remembering just how important all of us are. I opened my mouth to say something, but couldn't. I realized that every single time that they re-did the information from scratch, there was always this little thought of "this missionary is important to us" attached to each additional write-up. I, needless to say, have left the category intact, even if I've taken out the need to re-do the information every time. It's just a small thing, but it means a lot more now!
What did you learn this week?
I had been going through bits of the book of Alma, and been thinking about the teachings that Alma the Younger was giving to his less-faithful son. The part when Alma goes on about the restoration (not of the gospel, but the body in that time of resurrection of everyone) spoke to me quite a bit this week. He basically says good will be restored to good, evil will be restored to evil, righteousness to righteousness, and unrighteousness to unrighteousness. It made me start to evaluate how I've been acting at different points of my day. If my actions right now were being compounded into one final result, would I be happy with that result? In other words, if the last sentence I just said determined and defined how others perceived me and how I was able to perceive myself,would I be pleased with it, and would my Heavenly Father be pleased as well? Kinda makes you start to re-evaluate your actions and attitude!
What did you share this week?
There is an interesting situation with our area. We have a set of members that actually aren't members. They got baptized, but left the country before they got confirmed, among other things. It is all kind of interesting, as they are in the ward roster, they are very active, and they act like members in every single way - except they technically aren't. So we're getting it all sorted out. But, how that relates to "what did I share this week", I was talking with them about what they believe - what they had as a testimony. I was surprised to find out that one of the things they wanted to know more about was what exactly the modern-day prophets and apostles say. I asked if they had ever seen General Conference. They had not, and they actually can't understand it in to its fullest in English or Finnish, really. When I brought up that it could be accessed in more languages than just those, they got excited and pulled it up on their phones (they have the Gospel Library app on their devices). I showed them how to switch it over to French, which was the best common language between the family, and then they proceeded to hop over the whole set of talks through the rest of the night, even after we left. They were so excited to just be able to hear everything that we hear in General Conference, I'm now looking even more forward to the next one!
Were you able to teach anyone this week?
Other than that lesson, we weren't. We do have a few potentials that we have called, but it's really hard when you've only got barely over a handful of names and numbers, mostly from 2005. We do have some people coming to church this week, though! Looking forward to meeting them there!
Do you live in the mission home or have an apartment nearby?
We have our own apartment rather nearby. The Mission Office is in Leppävaara, Espoo, and we live in Myyrmäki, Vantaa, but it's only around a 15 minute travel by train, if you catch the right ones. First area that I've gotten where the transportation is by train! We may be receiving a car soon, though. That would keep my only-car-areas record intact, so I won't complain!
How is your health doing?
Mine is going alright, honestly. There aren't too many dangerous things going on with me, just the whole "be safe so you don't die" situation that's been going on my whole mission. My companion, however, has quite a few problems with his knees, and they don't seem to be getting better... So we are praying for him pretty regularly! I hope that he's doing better by next P-Day so that I have better news then!
Can you believe you have been in Finland for a year now?
NO. I can't! I still am shocked that I've been here SOOO LOOONG and I haven't even realized it! Elder Frey is the same way - to us, we've been out here for a few weeks, tops. Maybe days are better to count by. But still. We have progressed a lot, so that's good!
Can you send a picture of you and your new companion? We need more pics on the blog!
I'd love too... If my SD Card Reader hadn't gotten lost somewhere in the move, along with a MicroSD card that I was planning on using in my recorder... So right now, I'm kinda helpless to attach pictures of us! I'm hoping that I can send a few next week, provided that I am re-equipped with materials. Sorry that I've been so bad about pictures!
Well, that's all, I guess! I'm glad that I'm able to serve here in the Office, I hope that it lasts for a while! Thanks for all of the support, signing off!
Vanhin David Milligan
Vanhin Milligan and Vanhin Frey