Thursday, January 21, 2016

January 19, 2016 - Woo-hoo, We're a Great Team!

My new companion is a lot of fun! It's been great serving with Elder Hyer. There's a whole question dedicated to him. It's great.

Lots of snow here, now. It's everywhere. I also have pictures.

I just fixed a computer's internet, and I feel great. I'm back in communication with the world!

Sorry, I'm getting short-winded and boring. It comes with age. (Is short-winded actually a thing? I don't think so...)

I made another cheesecake, this time using some Light Glögi, with a mixture-gingerbread-and-digestive-cookies crust. Probably the best caramel-Christmas cheesecake I've made thus far. Very light and fluffy, hadn't managed that yet with caramel!

Okay, I think I've dragged this on with random thoughts and comments long enough. To the Q's!

What did you teach this week?

This week we got 2 new investigators! The lessons we had on Monday all worked out, and we got to follow-up with them throughout the week as my companion got used to the area. I think this has been a pretty busy week, all in all. Hope that we get to keep on teaching well together!

One of the really good lessons we had this week was about the Plan of Salvation. It just all made sense to our investigator. As we kept teaching, he kept on asking things like, "wait, so, if I can make certain, you believe this?" At which point we would nod, give a point or two of clarification and testimony, and he would just start staring. We thought maybe something was wrong - we were saying too many things, not speaking the language correctly, something - but then he just nodded and said how he personally believed all of the same things - he just hadn't known how to express some things or that they could be backed up by scripture. All good, and really cool to see how someone's testimony of God as a loving Heavenly Father guides them to knowing the truth when they hear it. Great lesson!

What did you share this week?

Other than the secrets of the Milligan Cheesecake recipe with my companion... which will eventually spread through the internet of email, as soon as I think to write down and take a picture of the recipe... I do it all in my head, so I need to put it all down and then send it out.

Well, like I said, other than that, we got to share scriptures with the assistants for what we think would be good for the mission to have and potentially memorize in the future. President is thinking about putting together a list of 50 scriptures for missionaries to work on throughout the year, both in Finnish and English. Wow, that would be cool to come home with!

What did you learn this week?

Okay, I realize that I am breaking from the normal spiritual thought, but I just found out something awesome. Like, really, REALLY awesome. The totally-awesome guy that joined the church when I was in Porvoo, JUST GOT HIS MISSION CALL. Yes, it's in all caps, 'cuz it's that awesome. He is going to the England London South Mission, beginning May 25th! Yay!!! I just know he's gonna be great and help so many people. He's the best - he really is.

What is your new companion like? How long has he been in Finland?

My new companion, Elder Hyer, is really funny and hard-working! We have so much in common. Let me put it this way. My past companions have only had a passing knowledge of Pokémon, generally who Pikachu is. He loves the franchise to death. We're already best of friends. He knows more about cars than me, which makes his companionship a welcome addition to this city and the new car. I'm looking forward to being home and nerding out with all of these awesome missionaries, but I'm looking even more forward to what these next months of us serving together have in store! Yay!

Elder Hyer started his mission October 29th, and came into Finland January 1st. He's 1 year in - and we have plenty of time left, right? I know I'M not dying any time soon... he-heh... *trying to forget the inevitable*. (I just can't get used to this phrasing of "dying" when their mission is over! I wish they would choose something else!!! ~Mom)

How has the weather been?

Cold. It's been awesome. Lots of snow and ice. We are considering walking across a very large body of water. We have been seeing sports cars and snowmobiles going top-speed across it, so there's relatively 0 danger. But still. We'll have to be very crazy to do that. Good thing I forgot to bring my sanity along today...

What is the strangest thing in your apartment?

Okay, this is a crazy story, and this will never, EVER happen again in this mission, I hope. It's a bit of an old story. It was a seriously bad idea on behalf of the missionaries involved, but they are all dead and gone from the field by this point. The story is fair game.

On the desk of Elder Smith sat a glass bottle of water with specks of orange-ish seaweed inside. When I asked where it came from, he told me this story. Now that he is gone, I have banished the bottle to the top of a shelf, hidden from view. I almost just emptied it out, but then the story would die, and I think that it needs to serve as a point of fear before it goes away. Keep the mission rules, everyone.

Two Elders, both of which I only ever met on one occasion, were serving in the furthest north place in Finland to serve in - Rovaniemi. Take a map. You've still got almost a third of Finland to go before you're in the extreme-north, even if Rovaniemi lies on the line of the Arctic Circle. Santa's Village is there - look it up! The city is in the shape of a reindeer's head and antlers. Pretty cool. Anyways. They decided to take a trek up north via car. Faaaar north. As in, out-of-Finland, into-Norway-north. Yeah. That's not allowed, by the way. And it's a huge waste of time and money, too. Well, they went up there, and they took with them a couple of glass bottles to fill up. With Arctic Sea water. As a souvenier of apostasy. Well, they were this close to being sent home as a result of that, but they finished out their missions anyways. Cue the glass bottle with seaweed... Elder Smith served in Rovaniemi, and inherited this souvenier. He took it to Mikkeli, and there it will stay, until the time when Finland has learned to not do that again. So. That's the strangest thing in our apartment.

Well, that's all! Hope that the pictures gave you a sight of Finland that I'm seeing now - it really is the most beautiful place I've lived in. Love it! I hope that the memories I make here last a long time. Make sure that the life you are living is something that you would like to dwell on in the future. Put yourself in good places. Do good things. Be a better person every day! I love you all, thanks for the ways that you have inspired me to be here doing what I am! Be safe!

Vanhin David Milligan

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