Not too much happened, other than hearing that the new Star Wars movie is coming out in, like, a week. I miss working at the theater - I used to know all of this stuff... So, that information has fueled the subject line for this week.
Got to celebrate Finnish Independence Day! No fireworks. No one on the streets. Can't tract around. It was a little disappointing. But 'yay' for freedom.
There isn't anything else to really share, so... THE QUESTIONS AWAIT.
What did you learn this week?
I went through quite a bit of Preach My Gospel again this week. I was mostly going through the definitions at the end of each of the first three lessons, and it was kind of interesting to read. Mostly just because it made me focus on those things that I need to clearly and simply explain to someone to help them understand not only a concept, but why the concept is personally applicable to them.
What did you share this week?
This week, I got to share my umbrella with some older people. We go and walk with people in the local rest home on Mondays, and this Monday, it was really stormy (just wind and rain and sleet, no outright snow), but everyone still wanted to go outside. So I got to walk around trying to contain the force of the wind and block it with my umbrella. Thank goodness I got gifted a really nice one, any other one would've broken from the sheer wind-speed. Almost as hard as Oklahoma winds, it felt. The seniors are really starting to like us, especially since almost all of the idioms and little phrases that I have were very popular in their youth, and they haven't heard them in a while. It's a fun little 'blast from the past' for them, and I've gotten a few good phrases from them, too!
What did you teach this week?
Yay, we have a new investigator! He's a younger Finn, he is pretty religiously focused and wondering how God answers prayers and concerns. He really liked the Christmas video we showed him, and invited us back. We got to teach him, and now have another appointment, too! We're excited, he's awesome.
What did you eat this week? (anything new?)
We tried making a form of hash browns with sausage, potatoes, carrots, green beans, meatballs, corn, peas, and onions. Needless to say, very filling. Wow. I think even my companion got stuffed from that.
We also went to a Nepalese buffet that a member works at. It was pretty good! We went with another member that just got back from his mission, and found out that today, another missionary will get home to his family in Mikkeli! So many Return-Missionaries... My companion is getting a little on-edge, with his time approaching. I have plenty of time left, so I'm just enjoying these families getting their loved ones back to treat well and spoil.
How did your baking experiment go?
I have now dubbed it "Christmas Cheesecake". It turned out AMAZING. I thought it would be nice, just a good twist, but it went above and beyond. I accidentally used too much brown sugar and Glögi, but my attempts to correct it made it work well! There is a 3-step-flavor-hit. You taste caramel. Then you taste... I can't explain it. It's because of the Glögi and the brown sugar combining in a weird way, so it doesn't taste like either - it's been granted the title "the taste of Christmas" by my companion. Then you get the taste of the gingerbread crust at the end. Oh, my. It's really good.
Are you going to share your recipes? Some of us get hungry when we read your posts!
I can write them up, but I'm not certain if we can make some of these things in America! Example - no Glögi. We could use Apple Cider, but it's not the same. (Personally, I like Apple Cider MUCH more than Glögi, and Hot Chocolate more than those both, but still.) I will work on getting those recipes compiled and sent off, if y'all want... Cheesecake, at least. I'm not givin' up the family Peanut Butter Brownie recipe!!!
What are your plans for Christmas?
Members have already invited us to celebrate Christmas and Christmas Eve! It's great! We have a place to Skype and everything. Right now, it looks like we are going over to the home with the today-returned-missionary on Christmas Eve, and then we are at the Branch President's home on Christmas. Yay!
Do people ice-skate on the frozen lakes?
They do - they also ice-skate on the frozen soccer (sorry, football) fields. Very fun to see a place where people played soccer when I was first here a place where they now play ice hockey.
Are there any bikes frozen in your area like last year?
If there would be frozen lakes, there would be frozen-in bikes. Such things always work in tandem. (That was a pun on tandem bikes, in case anyone missed that...)
Describe someone interesting that you have met in Finland.
I guess that I'll talk about our Branch President's wife, since she was the one who kindly extended the invitation to us to go there on Christmas! She is a very voice-oriented person in her occupation. She has done quite a few CD's with her singing Finnish, and apparently (I haven't yet confirmed this with a ton of people, but it seems to be true) she voiced Belle in the Finnish Beauty and the Beast. I need to get that one, now. I've heard that she'll gift missionaries with her CD's, so it sounds like that's a good place to go for Christmas! Even if in Finland, they receive and open all their gifts of Christmas Eve...
Well, that's all! I will be getting to go to Oulu on Thursday, fly down to Helsinki on Friday, and get back up here Saturday night. Yoi. Busy week. Happy to be serving, though! Be safe, everyone. Christmas approaches - smile a little!
Vanhin David Milligan