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