The subject this week comes for many different reasons. One of which is that I am not quite certain what we did this week. Another is that people keep on referencing a certain date as to when I cease, shall we say, working in this capacity. I was told by several different members of the Office staff this week that a specific set of itinerary plans for travel home just came in. I was almost shown mine as one of them asked me to confirm my final destination (they forgot that I was an Oklahoman for a bit). Yikes. So, in an effort to throw away all these thoughts and comments, I have thrown my calendar off of the 4th-floor balcony. Okay, not really, but I'm half considering it.
Well, I do remember now a bit of what we did this week - a lot of Office work. We finished a set of Mission History for good. Yay! Finally going to sign it and send it away! We will soon be finishing up 2 other sets. I am excited - my name will go on the final one for 2015, because of how much I've written in and for it. Woo-hoo!
Other than that, there's not been too much crazy this week. I really am boring, now, when it comes to recounting things to tell. To the Q's!
What did you share this week?
Oh, this week, I shared some American candy with the Mission President. Root Beer Barrels. Yum. If anyone wants to send a little letter with something to make me smile inside, send Root Beer Barrels. Missionaries will pay a pretty penny to get that American taste out here.
What did you teach this week?
We got to teach a few times, actually. The lessons this week were centered mostly on why it is that God has given us our families. I know that I spoke a bit last week about the role of God as a loving Heavenly Father, and this just tends to go hand-in-hand with that. God loves us, so he has given us families to help us learn and grow, especially in being able to feel His love with greater capacity. Simple as that! It reminds me, though, that what I've learned about teaching the gospel very simply is going to have direct relevance when I have a family of my own, and I start having to teach my children those basic principles. I hope that my example to them shows that I know that our Heavenly Father loves us, and that I want them to learn how to greater feel His love. If I can even just get that across, I know that the people I meet out here and the children that I have in the future will find comfort even without me being by them.
What did you learn this week?
I am trying very hard to go through my mini-scripture set and mark all of the references in Preach My Gospel, as well as do all of the activities in my mini-study journal. I went through a lot of Chapter 2 of Preach My Gospel this week, which gives quite a bit of instruction over how to study more effectively. The things that it suggests are pretty good - I'm surprised by how often the scriptures can teach something in a way that I had never considered before! If I learn how to study them better, I think I can learn how to get even more out of studying them, so it isn't just a rote read-through of stuff that I don't see as too applicable. Almost everything in the scriptures applies in some way to our lives today - that's why they are called God's words through prophets to us!
What are your goals for next week?
The number one thing that I have as a recurring goal is "work on my PmG study journal". Next to that, I have written "Scripture Memorization and 1 Hymn". There are those weekly-scriptures, now, and I'm trying hard to find time to memorize them in Finnish and English alike. Honestly, though, due to us serving in the office, our studies seem to get sacrificed so often by tasks that we need to do. It's not even us putting aside our studies willingly ('cuz you couldn't get me to do that) - it's that people like President call us and need things done RIGHT THEN. Sigh. I am trying still, though, and I also want to memorize a few hymns in Finnish. I can pretty much get along through the first verses and the choruses, but it would be nice to have a few hymns in their entirety memorized.
Have you seen your travel itinerary for July? It arrived at our house on Monday! (Don't think too much about it! It was just fun to see the plans for returning you to America!)
ACK! Even my family is bringing it up now! No, I haven't seen it, although if I wanted to, I would just open up a file on the computer here. But I won't do that. Because I would have nowhere to mark it all down. My calendar has been thrown off of the balcony, remember.
When is the next transfer?
Don't need my calendar for this one - we get our next change call (for some of us, our last one...) this next Friday. Next Saturday, we will have to do all of the travel plans. That means that you all are likely getting a VERY short e-mail, because there will be a lot to do, and then we have Stake Conference after that. I also am doing a musical number on Saturday there with Elder Frey - the same one that I did for the ward 6 months ago! Fun!
Would it be weird for you to end up in the North for the first time?
As an actual transfer call? A bit, yeah - I'm not certain where I would go up there... Plus, it would just be so sunny up there, I think I would die... It was bright and sunny, looking like the middle of the day, at 6 AM today. Wow, that's early. At 10 PM, it is still very, VERY bright outside. I think we have hit the "eternal day" side of the calendar... And it's not even the Summer Solstice yet!
Any new recipes for us?
Well, I think that I can finally spill the Cheesecake Basic recipe, although I can't promise that you can find all of the ingredients in an American store... I have faith.
200 g digestive cookies, or just graham crackers!
75 g butter (I generally do 100 g, though, if I'm doing gluten-free)
Crush the cookies/crackers, melt the butter, add all together, press to bottom of cheesecake pan. Put in fridge (to both cool the butter and make sure you have room to keep cheesecake in the fridge!)
200g Cream Cheese (the Philadelphia kind! America!)
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract (if I remember my conversion from vanilla sugar right)
2dL Whipped Cream (can probably just buy in America as pre-whipped cream - here you need to beat it)
Optional - 2 Tablespoons of a juice concentrate (if you want a light flavor to it)
3 Gelatin Leaves
2 Tablespoons of boiling water
Add the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and juice all together, mix until blended. Whip the cream (unless already done). Put the 3 Gelatin leaves into a plate of COLD water for 5 minutes. (Probably at the 3 minute point, put a mug of hot water into the microwave and start to boil it there.) After the 5 minutes, squeeze the gelatin leaves free of water (squeeze well, otherwise the consistency will be weird) and put into a small bowl. Add the boiling water it, prod the mass of gelatin with a butter knife and aid the dissolving of it completely. Add the gelatin liquid to the cream cheese and sugar bowl, mix well. (Don't mix too fast, or the gelatin will just bond to itself!) After mixing well, put in the Whipped cream, mix well. Once it all looks to be the same, pour into the cheesecake pan over the crust. Even out, put into fridge for at least 1½ hours. (I just like to put it in overnight.)
2 Gelatin leaves
2 Tablespoons of boiling water
2dL of mashed berries (quicker option - use baby food. Yes, yes, I know - gross - but it will taste fine!)
Do the same gelatin process, just with 2 leaves. Add liquid mixture to bowl of berries / baby food. Spread over cheesecake, let set in fridge for 1 hour.
I like it. It tastes good.
Well, that's all I've got! I love you all - I hope that you don't mind getting a short e-mail next week! I should know then where I'll be going to finish my mission (there, I said it), since I'll be arranging my own travel away... Yay!
Hope that you all will be safe and happy these coming weeks! Closing out with a picture of my latest District - my District Leader is in the top right corner, glowing... It's been fun!
Vanhin David Milligan