Monday, March 14, 2016

March 14, 2016 - ...WAIT! I'm Being Transferred WHERE?!!

Not too much to report on this week, besides transfers - but I'll keep up the suspense by writing a few things before reporting that.

My birthday ended well - we met with some members out here, and they helped me celebrate with cake. Ooh, that reminds me - my sister has been emailing me old pictures of me from when I was a kid, and I noticed a common occurrence from my birthday shots -  here's a sample from my first birthday.

Betty Crocker - Super Moist cake mix. Well. I was walking through a LIDL's out here, found an American-Imported section that they are displaying for a while. Guess what I got for my birthday?

I don't think that this is too likely to find all the way out here, especially since despite a little sticker on the back with the names of the ingredients in Finnish, this box only has American on it. Not English. American. Very different.

We also got to meet with the majority of all of the Mikkeli members this week. Good thing, too, because of transfers. That's coming up soon.

We also set 2 baptismal dates this week with different people! That was great to finally see some people have that be the focus and orientation out of our meeting with them. I hope that this area and its missionaries continue finding people that are prepared and ready to hear the gospel and act upon it!

Well, let's end the suspense and mystery here - to the Q's!

Were you transferred? Where? With who?

Various people have wished me luck with a new companion and/or new area. Technically, that's not the right thing to wish for, when it comes to the "new" side of things.

Am I being moved? Yes.

Do I have a different companion? Yes.

Are either of them new? No.

As much as I would love to report something crazily awesome, like, "I'm going back to Tampere ZL apartment (where I was trained) with Elder Greciano-Raiskila (with whom I've served), round 3 on both sets", there's something just as crazy happening.

I'm going back to the Office. With Elder Frey. WOO-HOO!!! I didn't even know that it was going to be an option! I was hoping for it, but didn't actually have faith that it could happen. But it did. And, in fact, my current companion, Elder Hyer, is getting... Elder Greciano-Raiskila as his new companion! YAY!!! I'm leaving this area in two sets of very capable hands. Love it.

When will you get to your new area? Or when will your new companion arrive? Or maybe nothing is changing, and these are silly questions?!

I will be leaving this Tuesday, and I will get to welcome Elder Greciano-Raiskila to this new area, too! He gets here at basically 13, and then I leave at 15:20. I will arrive in my new area at around 18:11 - 3 hours of travel is expected from Mikkeli to Helsinki.

Have you met Elder Jensen? He is the nephew of one of our ward members. He is serving in Jyväskylä. Someone said that is in your Zone?

I remember talking with his relatives, and someone also sending me a 19th-Birthday card that explained that Elder Jensen was his cousin. I haven't really met the man. Perhaps he is serving in Jyväskylä, but that isn't part of this Zone - we've got Kuopio, Joensuu, Savonlinna, Lappeenranta, Kotka, Kouvola, and, of course, Mikkeli. Jyväskylä is surprisingly close to us, but no. That's part of Tampere Zone.

What did you do for your birthday/P-day last week?

Ah - I already explained that. Harmi. See above. And I'll try to read the questions a little more in depth next time.

What did you teach this week?

We taught the Restoration twice to the same investigator this week - we felt it would be good for him to receive it once for information and beginning to think and pray about it, and again for new questions and teaching additional commandments. It went well - he completely understands our being there and what it is that we want to help him work towards - a testimony of Jesus Christ, and that His church is found in its fullness on the earth in these the latter days. He agreed to working towards a baptismal date after that second lesson! Yay! The Elders here are going to have such a good time teaching him - I hope to also stay in good contact with him as I go back to America.

What did you learn this week?

This week, I was trying to focus a lot on the orange boxes of Preach My Gospel. For those of you who don't have that book handy, the orange boxes generally give you things to work on in Personal Study, Companionship Study, or both. It works well for orienting yourself towards having a variety of study topics that orient you towards being a better missionary, not just getting new information and letting it sit untouched, non-applicable. Sometimes when reading the Old Testament, that happens... I don't really need to know the dimensions of Jerusalem, thank you, nor the amount of precious metal and gems around it. I'd rather learn about how Christ's ministry in that area displayed the different attributes he showed towards others, and how by following His example I can start to develop similar Christlike attributes. That sounds a little more effective than a blueprint for the city.

What did you share this week?

I shared a TON of "Todistus Pallo"s with the families that we got to visit this last week. I'm pretty sure I talked about this earlier, so I'll just give a quick explanation - "Testimony Ball"s. You take 12 different squares, fold them into each other, and it makes a ball. Hit the ball, the ball explodes into those 12 different pieces. I use this lesson to describe how our testimonies aren't just 1 statement, but rather a whole collection of beliefs and lessons learned over time. On each of the 12 pieces, I write different things, like, "I know that I have a Loving Heavenly Father" or "Families can be together forever". Little things like that, that mean a lot to me. Then, I invite the family to make their own Todistus Pallo using blank pieces that I have. After they've all written a few things, I make the ball, and it becomes a little mantle piece for them. Now that I know I'm leaving, I've carefully instructed Elder Hyer on how to form these things. He's got it down now - so if the family breaks the ball, he's still around to fix it! Yay for dexterity!

What is your favorite Finnish candy?

Has to be the chocolate. Almost nothing else, I feel, is all that enjoyable. Salmiakki is bearable, now, but still not a favorite. Gummies will always be gummies, and I generally don't like those. Chocolate, I normally don't like, but I take exception to Finnish chocolate, especially Bruneberg (Porvoo chocolate!). Yum. I did try a new candy-drink, though, that a Finnish family offered to us. You know how Finns think that Root Beer tastes like their cough syrup? Yeah, I found the reverse of that - they think it's candy-drink, I think it tastes EXACTLY like the red cough syrups in America. Blech.

Well, that's all! Expect my e-mails from here on out to get even shorter, honestly - the thing that I can promise to be coming is lots of chaos in the Office! I love it, though! Yay!

Be safe, all, and do a good deed today! I'll likely be e-mailing again on Saturday - perks of Office P-Days. Saturdays. Feels like it's really a weekend.

Vanhin David Milligan

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