We have had an Elder companionship here in Helsinki this week, due to the fact that one broke their hand riding their bike with no handlebars, no handlebars, no handlebars. So. Lots of ferrying people around for things.
Speaking of crippled people, my companion's knee problems have had a great update! We hadn't been able to meet the physical therapist, due to him being in Barcelona for the last two weeks, but when he just got back, he set up an appointment for us. He told us that at the conference, just about the only subject that they were talking about was concerning Patella tendons. Guess what my companion's problem with his knees is focused around? Yay! So, we got a lot of new information, some clarification as to how some stuff we have been doing is not helpful / very harmful, and everything is peachy-keen right now.
By the way, threw that phrase out (peachy-keen) in front of the Elders here, and everyone was very confused. Turns out not only had they not heard of it, but the Finnish particle of adding "-kin" (pronounced keen) to mean "also" had confused even the really good English users. Whoops. Finnish has become a little too ingrained into our systems.
This week in the office, we have been trying to get a LOT of materials all printed out for Zone Conferences. Lots of crazy, getting things approved, getting things edited, getting already-printed things thrown out, etc.
I got trained how to use the giant van here. Wow. That was an experience. Apparently, it was a big deal, though. Elder Smith trained me, it was pretty straight-forward, but then he, President, and the vehicle-coordinator had to follow up with me on different things about how I am now "qualified". Kinda weird... I understand gettting me on the insurance for the giant van, but it kinda escalated, because now I am good to drive it "whenever and wherever", according to all three of those parties. Which then resulted in me driving everyone around to deliver boxes of the Book of Mormon all throughout Helsinki. In a giant van. Woo-hoo, road trip!
I got given a buisness IKEA card, too. Yes, Ikea is Swedish. We had to shop for 56 mattress pads, so that is part of the reason that I was granted permission for the van. Woot-woot.
This week has also been filled with us getting fed at the Mission Home by Sister Watson. Soooo good to have food cooked by her.
I really don't have anything else to say, and I didn't get any questions, so... I'll share a little spiritual thought, and then I'm out!
This morning, we picked up the Elders from the Mission Home, and walked in on President asking them about how their personal studies went, basically conducting companionship studies. They talked about what they read, and thought that they were done at that point. President continued to ask what they learned during it, so they went a little deeper into the information of what they studied. President then kind of changed the emphasis of his question, saying, "No, Elders, what did you learn? How is what you studied today going to affect you for today, tomorrow, and the rest of your life?" Needless to say, the Elders were a little flabber-gasted at the exchange, and in the end, resolved that the thing that they learned was the need to conduct better personal studies. After a small laugh, President then turned to us, and asked for the same things. It was actually perfect for me, because I had been going over a bit of a theme that I've had my whole mission about how to study.
I started off with what I'd learned from Helaman 1 and 2, which I'd read, and said how the Lamanites recklessly charging into the midst of the Nephite lands was probably not a good strategy, because they were then cut off and surrounded. I drew a comparison to those Zone Conference packets, how different things had progressed rather similarly with us just going ahead and getting ourselves tons of papers, only to find some of our efforts overlooking large, encompassing details on what we need to send out. I said that I'm planning on learning from that as I'm going through the rest of the packets today (yes, our P-Day will not be a P-Day. I get to email for a while, and then I go back to work. SIGH), since I don't want to find us surrounded by those mistakes.
The last bit of my studies was focused on the concept of pondering, mostly because I finally got the chance to read the talk about "ponderizing". I thought it was a nice talk, and started to really get down into how pondering and "treasuring up the word of God" really is something that can orient me during studies. Basically, during studies, I had been thinking about how personal studies need to change me and influence the rest of my day, and then had gone straight from that to talking with President about the same thing! It was pretty cool, and I feel that I learned a lot.
There I am! I'm sorry, but not too much in the way of 'cool' happened this week. We also had splits with the District Leader, Elder Hansen, and his trainee, Elder Grooms. Elder Grooms is a TON of fun to be with, we are pretty similar in likes and attitude, so there was a fair amount of nerding-out. He invited me to come over once we're off our missions, 'cuz he lives about 5 minutes from BYU campus, and he wants to introduce me to quite a few video games. Trying not to think about that too hard, want to be able to focus on the work I can do out here! It is hard, though, to not think about that when the Sisters (whoops, just the one) from your group are going home soon... 'Cuz that means that I'm pretty close behind... I only have, like, 4 changes left! Don't think about it, don't think about it, don't think about it...
Thanks, everyone, for the efforts that you take to make someone's day a little bit brighter. It takes only a smile from a near-stranger, sometimes, to just make me feel good inside. Here's hoping that everyone is doing well!
Vanhin David Milligan
P.S. Mom forgot to email the questions to him on time, but luckily he was working in the office for P-day, so he was able to get back on and answer them later!
What did you learn this week?
I learned a lot about the importance of pondering and applying, just like I sent in the mass email... So, I think I'll leave that as my answer! Woo-hoo!
What did you teach this week?
We got to teach a lesson this week! We taught an American from New Jersey(?), too! He's a bus driver that has constantly seen and been in contact with the missionaries, at least in a sort of "hey, you all are American, nice to see you in Finland" sort-of-way. We got to sit down with him and have a get-to-know-you teach, and he's really interested in finding out if this is the truth or not. He always is pulling out his analogy to a bell ringing inside him if it is right. He agrees that if he's gonna see if the bell rings, he's gotta keep checking on it and try his best to make sure the bell is in a place he can hear it. Very interesting, so we'll see!
What did you share this week?
I got to share Taco-roni Laatikko with visiting Elders, does that count? :) They really want my recipe now, so I'll take that as a success, especially since it was gluten-free and not nearly as good as it could have been...
What are you looking forward to in the next months as we approach the holiday season?
SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm waiting for it to be dark ALL the time, and for blizzards to come, and for lakes to freeze over, and for snowmans to pop up, and ALL things winter-y!
I'm also waiting for the sales, because I might want to actually treat myself to a European suit, if it's cheap enough at Dressmanns or Stockmanns. We'll see, but I'm not gonna get my hopes up. No need to spend, like, 100€ for something that will be a bit of a hassle to carefully pack. Only if it gets really cheap, which I saw it do when I was in Tampere, especially for my size. Oooh, might get some vests, too. Those are always on sale for my size. I haven't gone clothes-shopping often, but I'm starting to look forward to being able to wear things once I'm home. Still all things that I can wear as a missionary, so I'm not trunky or anything! I promise!