Tuesday, January 5, 2016

January 5, 2016 - One Last Week

My companion is doing fantastically. Can I just say how proud I am that this mission has missionaries that die well and on their feet? He is striving his hardest to do the best he can - not for his own pride, but for the final chance he has at really cementing the changes he's experienced, and desiring for other people to learn about and experience a similar conversion in Christ. Wow. He's great. Good job, Elder Smith!

This next Friday, we will be receiving change calls. President has already informed me in an interview that I will be the Senior Zone Leader here in Mikkeli, but he hasn't told me who my new companion will be. While I am holding out for Elder Hastings from my group, I know that whoever comes will be a hard-working, diligent missionary. I'm eager to serve with and learn from them!

We had the Extended MLC this last New Year's Eve - but that's a whole Question in and of itself. With a picture, too. Other than that, we found a new investigator the day that we went traveling down to Helsinki. He's really cool, and we have another appointment with him today!

Okay, brain is exhausted from thinking too much about additional stuff to say. To the Q's!

What have you taught this week?

We got to teach this new guy, that was pretty cool. He is going through quite a few trials right now, including a surgery that may or may not take his leg along with it. Yet, he has a very strong faith in the fact that God is a loving Heavenly Father. He said that so often, he's been completely out of energy, with nothing going for him, and God will reach down and help him up a bit - never lifting him all the way up without any effort on his part, but always guiding him upwards in order to make it past the current trial. Man, this guy is cool! He really likes the things that we are teaching so far, so I hope that we can continue to see him progress as Elder Smith prepares to go home.

What have you shared this week?

I got to make some Peanut Butter Brownies for sharing, so I'm listing that. Mostly because after making them, I got called by our District Leader with an assignment to give the language thought at District Meeting over the Past Active Participle. Missionaries affectionately refer to this as the "NUT case" (on account of it making most verbs end with NUT). It's pretty funny that I had just decided to share these Peanut Butter Brownies during the District Meeting, and then got a call about sharing other kinds of NUTs!

What have you learned this week?

I learned quite a bit from the Fundamentals of Preach My Gospel. I found out that I am quite lacking on the concepts put forward in the 12 Week Training Program - so I'm studying it again, despite being out of training for some time! It's been pretty good, and I think I got some good ideas on how to instruct missionaries in the East Zone on a few of these PmG concepts that we might be having trouble with.

How was your MLC?

MLC was great! There was a lot of learning, a lot of preparing, and a lot of eating good food. I love Sister Watson's and the Office Sisters' cooking...

Another cool thing - I got reunited with 100% of my companions of 2015! They are all leaders, and we were together for the New Year! So many memories. Here's a picture of us all.

Left to right, since not all of them have name-tags visible - Elders Frey (Office/Myyrmäki), Karttunen (Office/Myyrmäki), Greciano-Raiskila (Lohja), Milligan (Me!), Smith (Mikkeli), and Saunders (Porvoo).

Did you pick up your car? What is the standard European Mission car?

Yup. We got the car. Around a 3-4 hour drive. Wow. Lots of great views of the countryside, though! The standard car is a Toyota Yaris - but the one I've got here is a new model of it, at least new comparative to what I've had my whole mission. A return missionary in Mikkeli said it might be a Hybrid - it's completely quiet while running. My companion is driving it this week, and from then on, it's my responsibility again. Woo-hoo, I know we'll get to be a lot more effective with this!

What is/are your New Year's Resolution(s)?

I have been trying to write down and be accountable for the things that I study every Personal Study. Hasn't been going so well - I've already botched a few days... and we're only at Day 5...

So, that's all! I love you all, and know that you each are helping people as you can, in whatever capacity possible! Stay safe, be cool, this is the temperature right now here in Mikkeli -

High   8°F   -13°C
Low   -4°F   -20°C

Although right now, according to the digital thermometer, it is -20 C at this moment. Not too bright out, even though it's 12:20 (noon-ish), so I can see why. Hmm. Anyways! You are all amazing.

Vanhin David Milligan

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