Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December 15, 2015 - ....Wait, it's almost CHRISTMAS?!?

Ever have that little bit of shock from something that you've known, but not really recognized, hitting you with the reality of its existence all at once? That's what I just felt looking at the day and reading my emails. I was thinking, "What do they mean, 10 more days? It's only the... WUT." But I'm loving it!

Wow, lots of travel! We went up to Oulu, went down to Helsinki via train, and, oh, I forgot to mention, we nearly came back by CAR. Yup. Mikkeli has just been made a car area. The only reason that we don't have it currently is because we didn't yet have a parking place to put it in, and I guess that President doesn't want us just parking it at the church. It appears that its primary purposes for being granted to us are traveling to far-out areas in Mikkeli, emergency situations that might arise, and for going out on splits via car instead of train. But, do y'all know what this means? 100% Car Areas for Elder Milligan. I couldn't escape it. Not that I'm complaining, I feel that I know how to effectively use a car in combination with proselyting very well now.

There's limited time, as always, so I'll hop over to the Q's!

What did you teach this week?

We had a bit of a rough week. At the beginning, we found our new investigator, but after that, it was traveling around and very little time in area. All of the plans of lessons that we made for Sunday and Monday fell through. It was very saddening. But, we ran into a few peoplethat were really cool, and were fine with us coming over soon, so we still have hope!

What did you share this week?

This last Sunday was Mikkeli's Primary Program. There were 6 children singing, and they were pretty good! I made them each a little origami Missionary-styled-shirt-and-tie. They really liked it, and so did all of their parents, mostly because I put a little language joke on there. I think I've mentioned this, but the word for "missionary" in Finnish is "lähetyssaarnaaja", or "sent-preacher". That's too long for most people to want to say in one breath, so the members all call a missionary a "lähkäri". Essentially, they combine the Finnish word for "doctor" ("lääkäri") with the "sent" part of missionary. It's quite funny, but most missionaries don't use it, of course. I signed all of these cards from the "lähkärit", though. They loved it.

What did you learn this week?

With Elder and Sister Dyches visiting, there was a lot to learn from the Mission Tour and the special MLC along with it. No, they didn't announce iPads, in case any of you were wondering. I doubt I'll see them out here, at this rate. Which is completely fine. Anyways. There was quite a bit over how to become better teachers, which I appreciated. The main point of it seemed to be, "Base everything you say off of the fundamentals of reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and attending church. You can't make them feel the Spirit, they have to search for it themselves. Just make sure that you are giving them the opportunity to find it." Pretty good thought!

Is your "new" area full of people that want to speak English? Or do they speak another language?

I have met a surprising amount of people that speak English, with that being the only language that we have in common. With the situations that Europe is having and with the fact that this is the first place I've been in with a professional college and student-housing section so close by, we are meeting a lot of foreigners on the streets. We are still mostly teaching Finns, but it's fun to talk with people about where they are from and what they're doing out here. Not too many people go out of their way to speak with them, so they are down to talk with us for a small chat.

Is Oulu far enough north that you got to try reindeer while you were visiting?

I didn't get to have reindeer in Oulu - right after the meeting, there was lunch provided, which was essentially a nice sloppy-joe, and then I got rushed off to a plane. HOWEVER. There is a place here in Mikkeli that a member gave us a giant coupon for. It's a PancakeHouse (Pannukakkutalo), and we could, for just under 2€, buy 2 large pancakes. Like, LARGE pancakes. 1 for each of us. These pancakes were wonderfully adorned with Bacon, Cheese, and, yes, REINDEER. It was delicious. I will probably be going back soon. Here's a picture for the idea of it all.

Well, that's about all! I feel that there haven't been, like, any pictures of me going out, so I'll attach one more to the end of this. In the meantime, I hope that you all know that I'm loving my time out here. I just know that I'm learning a lot, and learning things that'll help me know how to be a better person to everyone. I just want to learn how to love people. Thanks for everyone that make themselves easy to love! Be safe, all, and have a very Merry Christmas!

Vanhin David Milligan

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