Monday, February 22, 2016

February 22, 2016 - This Week Is Gonna Be Crazy-Busy

Well. This week is shaping up to be very interesting. We essentially don't get a P-Day this week. There is an MLC being planned for tomorrow and Wednesday. We will be gone all day, both days. We leave early Tuesday morning and get back late Wednesday night. After that, we have a day to work, a day to plan and visit a semi-far-away part of our Branch to visit less-active members with our Branch President, another day to work, and then a day of church and travel to Joensuu. We were supposed to go there this week on Thursday, but the amount of time to get there did not match up with our schedule to actually be there in all phases of the work, like planning, studying, and proselyting. So we will head up there on Sunday, special permission of our Mission President. Wow. Busy week.

I've got another Post-It note for this week! I have quite a few things to mention, and then some of it files down into the questions that I will be answering later.

We got to go to Savonlinna on exchanges this week. It was a lot of fun, and the "share" section is over a cool little spontaneous-service project we got to do there! Here's a picture (kinda dark, sorry) of the last time I went on splits there and saw the castle, Olavin Linna.

The semi-far-away part of our Branch that I mentioned above is Mäntyharju. It's a bit of a really dark drive away from Mikkeli (very few streetlights along the fairly-icy highway). We got to go there this last week since our Branch President lives there, and he told us about quite a few people that live in that area that are people that have investigated the church, but wasn't ever written down anywhere for future missionaries to try to go and visit. We visited a few people, got a return appointment, and are going to meet with a nice family there this Friday! We had the testimony-paper-craft lesson that I talked about last week, we did it with the Branch President's family and helped them craft their own together. That was really fun!

So. I found out the origin of the name of the town Mikkeli. Here is a picture of a signpost with the traditional crest or something, as well as the distances to various destinations. Pretty cool!

The origin of the name "Mikkeli" becomes a little more obvious from the Swedish name of the town, St. Michel. Apparently, Michael the Archangel from the Bible is the inspiration for this town's name. How do you like that! Pretty neat, I thought.

I'm likely going to be e-mailing in the library for the rest of my time here in Mikkeli... Oh, well!

We just finished Zone Training today, and it went well, I feel. At least, I hope. We spoke about teaching the commandments and working with members. I also had experimented in making mini-heart-shaped cheesecakes using a rubber mold, and they turned out well. I ended up bringing them to Zone Training, since I had just enough to feed everyone there! 'Twas fun.

Well, let's do the expected and head over to the questions! To the Q's!

What did you teach this week?

We had two lessons this week to two different people about Repentance. One was here in Mikkeli, the other one was in Savonlinna with an investigator of theirs. Both of them had the similar opinion that repentance is merely the confession of wrongs done to God - that after repenting, you are clean up until you do the same sin again, at which point you "repent" again. But that's not the purpose or point! If we are only confessing to wash away sins, and aren't truly willing and wanting to CHANGE to the point where that temptation of that sin is no longer a problem, it's just an acknowledgement of weakness and a refusal to do anything about it besides admit to it. They hadn't considered that side of repentance - that true repentance represents a turning away of our will to sin, and instead turning to God's will to be better. The pamphlet that we had about the Gospel of Jesus Christ helped a lot in teaching this.

A funny follow-up - the investigator in Savonlinna thought that I was a really nice missionary, and was impressed by my attitude and teaching. Elders Allen and Piggott told me that in their last lesson with him (he showed up to church!), he talked about me for a while, and then ended with the comment, "he's a good fisherman". They were a bit confused, until the investigator started sharing that bit in the Bible where Christ calls his apostles to be "fishers of men", at which point he said, "yeah, that Elder Milligan was a good fisher of man - he put the hook right were I could see it, right where it mattered. I just think I tried to tug him into the water before he got me!" Really funny, I hope he continues to do well!

What did you share this week?

Here we go - service in Savonlinna! So, we decided to eat out at a Chinese buffet for lunch. We met up there after proselyting a little bit, and went in to go eat. There wasn't too much variety, just some rice and vegetable sauce, and some chicken that we found a bit later. We were regretting eating there a bit, but started to dig in. After about 10 minutes, tops, the owner came up and motioned for us to follow her with these 2 guys in manual-labor outfits. We thought maybe that she needed help with us translating, but we quickly found out the problem once we stepped outside - there were two pallets full of rice, chicken, and all sorts of different foods and seasonings. The pallets were about 50 feet or more from the door to the restaurant, and a bit further away from the doors to their kitchen. The pallets couldn't be brought any further, as it was too heavy a load for the pulley with that much ice on the ground (there wasn't enough traction). The workers were speaking English, actually, and she couldn't understand them. When they explained to us the specifics of the problem and said they needed to leave on their next delivery right now, we translated to the woman and her husband, shrugged to each other, and volunteered our services in getting all of the materials to their kitchen. They couldn't believe the last part, but then we asked if they had a car to throw these bags into, to help with the journey's speed. They pulled out their car, the workers left, and we got to service work! It was a lot of fun to see, I'm sure - 4 suited Elders (no winter coats, we forgot them indoors, not knowing the extent of the project) making 5 total rounds of filling up a car with bags of food product and emptying it into their kitchen. They kept wanting us to stop after a load and go eat instead, but there was no halting the work! They were very grateful for the help - it was a lot of fun for us, too!

What did you learn this week?

Well, this week was mostly spent studying for the Zone Training that we just had. I think the best thing that I've done lately to study (I really hope I haven't talked about this already) is that I've been filling out a pocket-set of the standard works - Old and New Testaments, Book of Mormon, so forth - and filling them out by following along Preach My Gospel. As I read through, if it references a scripture, I highlight it, and mark which chapter it's from. If it suggests an activity for better learning a principle, I do it in a special study journal. I hope that once I'm done with my mission, I'll have a good example set of how Preach My Gospel has affected my studies. Yay!

What is your favorite Finnish word or phrase?

Favorite word is still a toss-up between "höpö höpö", "nonsense" (the first Finnish word I ever learned - don't ask me how to pronounce it, it needs to sound like you're getting punched in the gut for the letter ö) and "aiheuttaa", "to cause", because of the MTC. When I kept getting bloody noses every day, I realized that Utah's dryness was causing it. If you have MTC emphasis on that word (which is to say, the wrong emphasis on saying a Finnish word), it sounds like " I hate Utah". Lots of fun, but just 'cuz of context.

My favorite Finnish phrase is likely "Suu söis, vatsa vetäis, mutta ei kanna heikot jalat" - essentially meaning "The mouth would eat, and the stomach would pull it in, but my weak legs couldn't carry/support me". A little off, I'm certain, but that's the principle of the thing. You say it when you're too full to want to eat more.

What color is your toothbrush? (Nathan's Q)

Orange grip, white and blue brushes.

Have you met anyone interesting lately?

Umm, not really... Wait, I've got one! We met a really cool guy and his girlfriend that knew who we were and invited us to come talk to them. The guy used to be quite skinny, but got tired of being teased about it and decided to buff up. He's on a 3000 calorie diet, and he is quite fit. His friend has gone on a mission for our church to London, and he's interested in learning about what we have to say and we we are so driven to do what we do. He thinks it's awesome that we care so much about people to give up 2 years of our lives to help others learn about God and how he loves us. He and his girlfriend are great, I hope they learn and progress!

What songs have you learned on the mandolin? (do you still have it?)

Oh, I still have the mandolin... It's awesome. I don't know, I'll give a quick run-down of the songs, but I play by ear, so technically I could play anything that I know. I know: the 4 chords, Village Dance (Tangled), Still Alive (Portal), Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring, the main theme of Zelda: Wind Waker, Pachabel's Canon, Hoedown (Who's Line Is It, Anyways), Animal Crossing Theme (3DS version, New Leaf), and a couple other things. That's all I really remember right now!

Will you be able to bring the mandolin home, or will it be passed along to another missionary?

Could I bring it home? Yeah. Would it take space, weight, and caution in transportation that I don't wish to expend, largely due to the likelihood of it still getting busted from air pressure or something? Also yes. So it will likely be passed on to some musically-oriented person. Or, if I stay in Mikkeli for the rest of my mission, I'll give it to the Multamäki family! They already have a working-order mandolin, but since mine is tuned far differently, it's really it's own instrument! Made in the USSR. I'll miss that mandolin.

That's all! I've got nothing else! I love you all, and I hope that everything is going well! Be safe, be happy!

"Life is a cheesy metaphor - Get inspired by it!" 😊 -Vanhin David Milligan

Vanhin David Milligan

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

February 16, 2016 - Back In The Library...

 Well, the church computers are now disabled entirely... The one that wasn't sometimes able to access the internet? Turns out it wasn't ever supposed to. Some sort of "security reason". Hmpf. Anyways, we are now in the library. First time I've tried to email in this one, but it isn't too bad so far. Just odd to explain to the workers that we need to locate 2 computers that can see each other's monitors... Normally that's not wanted at all... We have moved some around, though, with their permission, and all is well.

I made a list, this week, of stuff to talk about! It's rather short, though...

One thing I said I need to do is attach 2 pictures. Here's hoping that the library computers don't delete everything I own after connecting. The pictures have already been chosen, I just need to send them off after explaining them in their proper places. For example:

This last P-Day, I found a fantastic little toy. This thing is a 3-in-1 deal - a pen, pointer, and laser pointer, all in one little contraption. Of course, I don't have it extended all the way, here - it's really hard to write, too, when it is on the end of the extended pointer! But when it's all compact, it works very well. Yay for point-less things - or should I say it's pointful? It has 2 ways to do it...

Okay, we'll stop with the weird word-plays.

We also got to go to Kuopio this last week. We attended their District Meeting, which was really fun. It was cool to get to hear a Finnish person in a District Meeting again - especially when we started going over the Language Point. It was a simple topic - question words - but it still had things to be learned from. This is why no missionary here ever truly masters the language...

We had a meeting with our Branch Presidency, in which they gave us lots of information about members, less-active members, and part-member families to go visit, now that we have this car fully functional in this area. It was great! The following Sunday, none of them were present - and neither was the Elder's Quorum President! We were one step away from having to lead the meeting... too close for comfort! Thankfully, the Branch President called people and arranged things to work out. We did have 2 nonmembers in church, though, and my companion gave a good talk about the importance of missionary work. That was fun, and now we are starting to meet these nonmembers more regularly!

Okay, having briefly gone over the questions, I have determined that I have nothing else to write of my own creativity. Oh, well. To the Q's!

What did you teach this week?

This week, I had a fun little origami-utilizing lesson. I had made a few Butterfly-Balls, the things that break apart into lots of little pieces of paper, and my companion and I came up with a way to make a fun little lesson for the kids in the family we were teaching. We wrote little points on the pieces of paper that we felt were basic elements in a testimony, like, "I have a loving Heavenly Father", and "My family can be together forever". When we walked in with this little paper ball, the kids just were staring at it, trying to guess what it was. The lesson started working even before the lesson started... After many guesses, I said that it was a testimony. They stared. I don't think they'd ever actually seen a testimony. Neither had I, but this was a good opportunity. I threw the ball in the air, whacked it, and all of the different pieces came out. They thought it was really cool. The lesson was then about the parts of the gospel that all work together and how important it is that we have a testimony. After that lesson, they all wanted one - which was a bit of a problem, 'cuz I only had the one... Return-appointment! 😜😊

What did you share this week?

This week, Elder Hyer and I started to call different District Leaders in our Zone every night (as in, we call one Monday and Thursday, another Tuesday and Friday, and the other Wednesday and Saturday, with call-ins on Sunday for everyone). It was fun to follow-up on some different commitments given, see how the district itself was doing, and then aid in what ways we could to current questions and concerns. I guess that's a mixture of sharing time and advice, and trying to do my best not just to administer, but to minister. That's a fun little study topic right there, if anyone is interested...

What did you learn this week?

Hmm, I think the majority of my Personal Studies this week were oriented towards the upcoming Zone Training that we are having here. We need to talk about teaching the commandments and working with members. It's been great to get ideas from the district members about this - what Elder Hyer and I did, in an attempt to address things that our Zone actually wanted to talk about / needed help on, was got them all to submit questions they have and topics they want to contribute to if they come up. We found that almost all of the questions that groups had were also points that other district members wanted to talk about to give ideas - so that worked well! We also have had the opportunity to rely on 2 sets of Sister Training Leaders for this meeting. The Sister Training Leaders in Oulu normally stay in contact and conduct exchanges with the 2 sets of Sisters in this Zone, but President just changed that to make conducting splits take less travel. We now have the Helsinki Sister Trainers over one set and the Oulu Sister Training Leaders over the other. Wow. Lots of advice and opinions to fit into one meeting... It'll all work out. I hope.

Do you have snow, yet?

Yay! Just when all of the slush went away, it started to snow. Perfect timing - I didn't want the snow to just add to the wet. It's been great to walk in a winter-wonderland again.

How have you been feeling?

Mostly good - I feel sometimes that I have this prolonged feverish-temperature, but I think it's just me getting dehydrated sometimes. We, as a companionship, are trying to drink a LOT of water now. We have a high-tech scale in our bedroom that can measure things like % of body fat, water, and muscle by sending an electronic pulse through you. Tingly. I'm doing great: 5% body fat, near-on 69% water, and 51% muscle. I think that's 125% altogether... Just kidding, I understand how this works! By the way - I had written it like "I'm doing great - 5% body fat" with the hyphen like I normally do, but then I realized that it looked like I had -5% body fat... Hmm...

What is your favorite memory from your time in Finland so far?

Well, I'm pretty certain that I've shared these things before... I have 2 favorite memories here, but I think that I will hold those back unless I have permission from people. They heavily involve 2 of the converts that I've had out here in Finland. They are awesome people, and the moments when they have chosen to accept the gospel and act upon it in different ways in their lives have been truly astounding and awesome. Besides those two, though, I think my next favorite memory is of when I had all of my 2015 companions with me for the change of the New Year! That was really cool! I hope that you all got to see the picture of that. (Here it is again for those who missed it! ~Mom)

Well, that's the end. I'm not too interesting, I guess... But! I'll keep on shouting into the wind through these emails until someone tells me to stop! 😜

Thanks for all that you all do, in your own little parts of the world. I often say this, I feel - but it seriously is great to see the good people do! Be safe, all - you're all needed by someone, and they need you safe and happy.

Vanhin David Milligan

February 9, 2016 - Crazy Week of Finding

More about the specifics of the title later. We found a lot of people this last week!

There's a lot of snow-slush coming down. It was solid ice, the snow came and covered it, the rain came and is killing it all. But it also keeps snowing with the rain. Typical Finnish weather - looks pretty, then dreary, then pretty dreary. And then winter comes again. Yay! I do love it, though!

My companion is a big car-expert. He knows just about everything about cars, and this is an area in which I am very lacking. I know the big names of companies, but my knowledge both begins and ends there. But I'm learning, now! My companion points out things on cars, ways they've been changed, ways that they are better and worse than each other, stuff like that. Fun to see what people see as "cool" out here. Generally includes cutting off or removing the muffler so that we can hear them a mile away...

I don't really know what else to talk about - the bulk of what we did this week was finding... So! I will go to the questions!

What did you teach this week?

We unfortunately  had every lesson drop. We had something like 8 specific lesson plans with investigators and members both being present, and a few potential "come-back-sometime-this-day" lessons, and everything flopped out during the course of the week. It was a little disheartening, but that's what happens, I guess. We did everything we could - I feel like we did good, in that case. We did get to have a fun little moment with a member family this week, though! We did a lesson (not really a lesson, it was just a fun activity with a spiritual thought behind it) about the importance of good communication, where I made a picture that a person would see and try to explain to their teammate-family member. It was fun - it was something like a rectangle under a circle that has a line through it with a triangle making it look like a bicycle flag. The circle also had a smiley-face. Trying to describe how to draw this specifically was rather difficult - the drawer and describer couldn't see each other's pictures, and the drawer could only ask clarification questions that were "yes-no" answers. The circle tends to be the wrong size, connected with the rectangle in a weird way (or not connected at all) with the line being vertical instead of horizontal - oh, and by the way, the drawing has, like, a 30 second time limit to do. So people get hasty, loud, irritated, and try to explain what is soooo clear to THEM to someone who is now having no clue what they're talking about. It's fun to them pull out scriptures that talk about how we need to be uplifting in our speech - that we need to know that the words used can be more powerful than almost anything else. It's a great little lesson - they just can't get too competitive, because then people sit on opposite ends of the room and don't talk to each other any more... Yikes. Hasn't happened to me, yet!

What did you share this week?

This week, we had 2 sets of Elders coming over for splits. I seem to remember talking a bit about one set coming, the Assistants, to do Weekly Planning with us. We impressed them. We also had our District Leader in the area. Because of having to coordinate these two events and not being able to get in contact with potentials and investigators, we decided that we would go through what I have now deemed the Crazy Week of Finding. To put a bit of an indicator on what we did out here - we surpassed in that one week contacting and talking in-depth about the gospel to what any one district normally achieves in a week. We did the work of 4-5 missionaries when it came to finding and getting potentials. We feel pretty good about our finding this week, and we got several copies of the Book of Mormon given out with commitments to read and people that are interested in us coming back. I should probably add in, though - these didn't directly aid the key indicators that we have as missionaries. Contacting someone on the street is just that - a contact. It's not a lesson, it doesn't start with a prayer, and despite whatever amount of teaching you do, it really is more like a conversation. Those aren't lessons, despite whatever some missionaries may say. Stepping off of the soap box now...

What did you learn this week?

Hmm, I was going through the Fundamentals of Preach My Gospel that I learned back in training. I think I talked about this before - the study is ongoing! There's a lot to focus on when it comes to trying to be able to teach effectively and help find people to teach. I feel that this mission doesn't get as many teaching opportunities as other areas - I haven't taught in a change as many people as some missionaries around the world teach in a week - but I feel that the strong suit of what we have in this mission is obedience. I hear about all kinds of crazy stuff from missionaries every week - and I just get shocked! I don't know - it's like I said last week, though. I want to be able to recount 100% of the actions that I did here to my family and friends without keeping back little or big things that were inappropriate. I hope that I keep to that goal, and that the other missionaries that I encounter know that obedience really does keep you happier. No guilt, no concerns over being 'found out', no worries! Hakuna Matata.

What is something funny you saw recently?

Something funny... Well, my companion has suggested the time this week that we saw a really junky car that was lowered and had a duct-taped-on Plexiglas sunroof. I was, surprisingly enough, the one that pointed it out. I saw it on the other side of the street and quickly asked, "okay, car fashion check - does that look good, or laughable? Because I'm thinking the latter." He looked to where I was pointing, and answered my question by laughter at seeing it. I'm proud - I'm starting to recognize when to mock cars! ...Hmm, that sounded better in my head...

What is something fun you have done recently?

Okay, I think that I'm running dry on fun/funny things... Elder Hyer has this funny little trick that he does on ice and snow. His philosophy is that he can either slip and slide on accident without control, or on purpose with control. This generally results in him having his traction-less shoes (we are too old as missionaries... no traction left on high-duty shoes...) and him sliding down the entire length of a hill, looking like a snowboarder / skateboarder / guy having way too much fun in the snow. It's fun to see, though! I haven't done it, yet, mostly because I've been wearing my boots. But my shoes do have, like, no traction on them anymore... I'll be switching to my second pair soon!

Oh, we also got our apartment name switched! We requested a name-change on the door, since it still said the names of missionaries from 2012 or 2010, I forget which. Today the guy came by to put on the change! It was great!

What is something strange you have seen/done recently?

This question is a little easier! Let's see... Okay, maybe it's not. Oh, wait, YUUUCK, I just figured out what to write about. Warning for all squeamish people - SKIP THIS QUESTION. So. Here we go. Elder Hyer and I decided, "you know what, our kitchen drain is doing really poorly, despite the giant bottle that Elder Milligan bought in order to clear it out." (Occasionally, Elder Hyer and Elder Milligan refer to themselves in the third person.) So what did we decide? Deep clean time! 9:30 PM, we started piece-by-piece to dismantle the sink's drains. And, oh, what horrors did we find. It's all just PVC piping, but it was entirely full with mold, gunk, hair, all sorts of just disgusting things. Like, ENTIRELY FULL. I'm surprised any water was getting through at all. We deep cleaned it, put it all back together, felt super proud - and then turned the sink on. All of our work? Didn't help. Oh, we put it back together correctly - but something just is out of our control in the piping below. Sigh. Well, I might try round-two of the drain cleaner and see if that doesn't help. But, I'm not sure if it's a cloggage-problem any more - because when we decided to figure out, "what's the limiting element of this, our pipe design, the sink drain, or the apartment piping" by taking out one piece right at the bottom of the twisty mess of pipes and have the water just waterfall down the bottom pipe that we can't clean (connection to the apartment stuff below our floors), there was no problem. As in, the pipes didn't back up at all, the bottom pipe didn't start overflowing, and there was no backing up anywhere. When the piece went back on, the sink started not draining well again. Meaning that there's a problem because it's all vacuum sealed? I don't know. If you know, tell me! I want to have good drains, especially after all of this work...

Well, that's the end. I don't have anything else to say - we worked hard, we hope to have our finding efforts lead to other investigators, and we are looking forward to how we can help more people, too! I love being out here - it's definitely the best place for me to be right now. Hope everyone is well and safe - y'all are awesome!

Vanhin David Milligan

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February 2, 2016 - There Are No More Good Titles

Until I have something that strikes my mind, I am keeping this as the subject line. So I expect this to be a pretty quick e-mail, seeing as I can't find a defining moment from this last week to wrap up the week's activities.

MLC was fun - it was great to see everyone, especially people from my MTC group that are serving as a Zone Leader Tripe up in Oulu, as well as my former Lohja companion, Elder Greciano, now serving in Tampere, the area where I got trained!

There was a pretty cool thing that happened on Sunday, actually! The Elder Jouttenus and his wife came to Mikkeli then, and it was great to see them both. They told me all about what's been happening lately, especially with the person that got baptized there. It was great to hear about! Everyone is doing well, and I need to be especially diligent at contacting them after I return home. It really is a blessing to get to interact with so many wonderful people out here. There are people now in my life that I'll only ever communicate in Finnish with - how cool is that?!

Well, I'm afraid that I'm rather boring, so... To the Questions!

What did you teach this week?

This last week, we got to have a fun lesson with members. I had, for their Primary Program, made them little paper missionary shirts, since I learned how to make them last year and re-learned when Elder Dyckes came to visit. They had really wanted to learn how to make them, so we sat down after a dinner appointment with them and gave it as the spiritual thought. As we went through each fold, we talked about how changes and experiences, happy and sad, help us grow in life. If we keep on doing our best to let the changes bring us in the right direction, we can end up becoming someone that is happier and able to help other people better - cue the missionary shirt now completed! It was a fun little lesson, and the family is eager to have us back soon. Wow! We are trying to find people living close to them that want to learn about the gospel - they would be very open to having us all at a Family Home Evening, and it would be a great experience for someone learning about the gospel. Trying our best!

What did you share this week?

This last Saturday, we had a dinner appointment of sorts - the YSA had invited some less-active members and friends to have lunch at the church with them, and we were invited. In order to contribute to the meal, we brought Cheesecake (made by my companion, although we called it Fluffycake in order to disguise what went wrong with the recipe...) and Peanut Butter Brownies (our secret family recipe!). They were a huge hit, the brownies a little more so (finger-sized bite versus slice of cake/pie with plate and fork), and we got to meet a lot of good people. We hope to have some people visiting church more often, now - they really are awesome people!

What did you learn this week?

This week, I was going through a lot of the scriptures that the Assistants gave us to look at and select. I needed to pick 50, which seemed impossible out of such a long list, but at the end of it all, I was at 49! So, I wrote in my favorite scripture, 1st Timothy 4:12, since they said I could and it hadn't made it onto the list. They don't quite know when they will have the 50 compiled. Hope that I get to see the selections before I go home!

Did you attempt to freeze a bubble for us? Did it work? Did you take a video/picture?

I tried to find bubble solution, and was unsuccessful... I tried to make my own solution... and was also unsuccessful... I just don't have anything that can make a wire ring! We tried, but I think it's too warm now, anyways - despite the giant snow storms and solid ice on the ground nearly killing me, the temperature itself feels quite warm, now. Still below 0 C, but it feels warmer. Like Oklahoman spring temperatures. Weird.

Have you eaten anymore reindeer pancakes?

No, not yet - but we might do so, soon! We will have the Assistants over this Friday for exchanges, so we'll see if we can convince them to shell out a bit. Weird thing, it being on Friday - that's the day that we do Weekly Planning. The Assistants are kind of using us as a beta-testing group for seeing how effective it would be to occasionally have the District/Zone Leaders go on exchanges to view, evaluate, and aid their method of Weekly Planning. Should be interesting, but they better watch out - we have pulled out the most intense planning schedule possible, so it's very in-depth and to-the-minute. Elder Hyer did it with a past companion, and it worked well - even if it hurt your brain a bit... We tried it, and it still works great! Should be good to display.

Have you been fed by the members in your area?

Oh, wow, I didn't even see this question - yes! The members here are great. Now that we have a car, people living in further out areas are asking for us to come there. We explained that the car should probably only be used if there is proselyting work to be done in those areas - and they responded by starting to invite friends there to Family Home Evenings and saying that once it goes through, we'll be invited, too. Sweet! Yup, the members are great, and they really like to feed us. I love the members here, for all they do!

Do you ever get to play on the Angry Birds playground?

There isn't an Angry Birds playground, here - just in Pori that I've seen, so far. I actually was thinking about it, the other day - I'm pretty sure that we broke some rules playing the way that we did that day. Not legal rules - mission rules. It was my first change, but still. We played hide-and-seek. That's not really a game you can play with 4 people when 2 of you need to be together at all times. We had split up, and were nowhere NEAR sight and sound. That's the purpose of hide-and-seek. Wow, I blushed thinking back on that. The mission area I'm in has really changed - we are a VERY obedient mission. I am proud to look at that as my mission. I hope that everyone on a mission can live the way we do, because it really is more fulfilling to be obedient, and ends up being more fun, rather than full of embarrassing memories that you can't recount to anyone without being called out for disobedience. I want to be able to relate 100% of my mission to other people, knowing that I was in the right place at the right time, doing the right things. It's not enough to just be physically on a mission - you have to live it! That's the thing of advice I'd give to any missionary going out, right behind knowing what it is you're going out to do.

Looking back on this e-mail, it got kinda preachy, even in all of the fun-comment sections. Hmm. Oh, well! That's the way I'm thinking right now - everything I'm doing is just coming back to the missionary work I'm trying to do. Woo-hoo! So much fun!

Hope everyone is doing well, and being safe. Here's an impromptu picture of my companion and I together.

And one of the ice castle! It looks small here, but you can see how big it is when kids are on it - but then I can't take a picture of it... Hmm... Those slides are quite fun, it seems! There are always children playing on it.

Vanhin David Milligan