Mission Map

Monday, September 23, 2013

One Month Down

Devotional at MTC

Hello Everyone!! Mom thank you so much for all the news on everything I'm so excited for my Bruins!! 2-0 BOO YA!  And tell grandma that dear elder is a little weird sometimes, I get some letters randomly from like a week or two ago so I don't know what that deal is but it usually works fine but tell grandma I did get her letters and I appreciate them so much! I am so grateful that I got my visa so I don't have to waste my time learning finnish like Grandpa Hanks Grandson that learned Russian! And tell Chloe I love her and I loved her dear elder this week! She is the sweetest and it was so nice to hear from her! Tell Tyson that 2 years is not nearly enough time to get good enough to beat me in Risk hahaha Well this week seriously did fly by! I feel like I was just sitting here writing to you all! This week was great though so many cool things to tell you all! First off our first SYL day went great! It was super hard and by the end I was so ready to speak english but I feel like I learned so much and we are going to be doing SYL days every friday from now on so tomorrow is round 2! I'm pumped! As difficult as it is I absolutely love learning finnish, it is so much fun and so rewarding when it just starts to flow. I feel like when I'm giving a lesson I can just sort of flow with what I want to say but when I'm making small talk I kind of have to think about it and form sentences in my head but it will get better! Thanks so much for sending brother Richards my emails! I got an email from him and it was so good to hear from him! 

Well this week was great for a lot of reasons but the best part is that there's an actual Finnish Elder here! He just got in last Wednesday and he's going to the Ukraine but he always comes up to us and speaks to us in Finnish which is awesome! He speaks fast and is definitely hard to understand but I feel like I understand him fairly well for only having studied for 4 weeks so it's super encouraging! He is the coolest guy ever everybody loves him! He seriously speaks english as well as I do and when he realized Elder stegeby was from Sweden he went off in fluent Swedish to him hahaha so by the end of his mission he'll be speaking fluent Russian too so he makes us all feel pretty worthless about ourselves but he is awesome! Our teacher actually served in his ward when he was serving in Espoo so it's really cool! It just makes me even more excited to get out there and start teaching real people! The Finn's just sound awesome and they all seem to be incredible people. I'm already about half way done with my stay here at the MTC which is kind of crazy but I can't wait to get out there. Well this week I saw Kyle Nunez because he got transferred down here from the main MTC so that was so much fun! And I also saw Davey from UCLA up at the main campus and it was awesome!! Every week for the Sunday devotional one branch from the west campus goes up to the main campus for the devotional and it was our turn so I just happened to see him while I was up there! Well as well as we're all progressing in Finnish it seems that the more we learn the more I realize how little I know haha Finnish is absolutely crazy. Every single word (verb, noun, adjective, numbers, names, etc.) has a stem and they are all conjugated different ways according to what part of the sentence they are in like if I say I am grateful for this opportunity I say "Mina olen kiitollinen tasta tillaisuudesta" But if I say this opportunity is great I would say "Tama Tillaisuus on mahtava" so that's kind of a bad example but its just insanity hahaha but piece by piece it is coming to me. I'm starting to be able to hear what sounds right and I can guess how to put nouns in the partitive but I'm wrong about 80 percent of the time. What I'm terrified of is that I'll get to Finland and then be asked to learn Swedish as well hahaha one of the people we taught in TRC last week was this recently returned elder who spoke the best finnish I've heard yet and also spoke fluent Swedish to elder Stegeby. He was one of the Elders that was asked to learn swedish when he got to Finland but obviously he was able to handle it pretty well haha Well our devotionals this week were great. On Sunday one of the producers of "17 Miracles" and "Ephraim's Rescue" spoke to us all about the sacrifice of the early saints and told some really touching stories. It reiterated to me how grateful I am to live in this modern time and to be serving a mission at this time. One of the counselors in our branch presidency served his mission in Finland about 50 years ago and he said that all of us probably speak Finnish better after 9 weeks than he spoke after 6 months of being in Finland so I am just super grateful for everything we have been blessed with. 

On Tuesday our speaker was Gregory Schweitzer of the 70 and he actually lives in Cottonwood so maybe he's in your new stake! But it was great, he just talked all about how we need to completely forget about our own needs and work as hard as we possible can. Even if we can't speak well or are scared we will be more effective missionaries if we just lay it all down on the line and try our hardest. It was really encouraging and comforting to hear. I am physically exhausted every single day but I know I can work harder and push myself a little more. I had a cool experience this week with one of my teachers, Veli Stewart. They do one on one interviews with all of us every once in a while and just help us with whatever language principle we need help with. So he was helping me out and I was asking about this super confusing grammar principle I discovered in my workbook and I learned a lot from him. So then he told me that I have been very blessed and that I'm doing a great job! But he told me because I'm learning pretty quickly that the Lord expects more from me, and that I may even be put in positions early on in my mission which require these advanced grammar principles. It was just really cool to get such a big compliment from him and it really motivates me to work harder like I said earlier. My teachers are the best and they are working miracles with all of us. Well that has been the week! Today is actually Vanhin Hugie's birthday so we are going to walk down to Jamba Juice to celebrate haha (most depressing birthday ever) but I love you all so much! Mom I am so happy and proud of everything you're doing in school, you're motivation has always been an example to me and I know that you're probably at the top of your class already! I love you and please tell Brittanie that I love her and I can't wait for baby Rosie to get here! I am so glad that everything is going better with baby Rosie and I am praying for her every day. Rakastan Teita!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Week 3

Hey mom!! So good to here from you and dad thank you both so much for the email I love P day because I get to here from you and actually respond! Everything has been great here this week has gone fast! My tailbone is much better now with my sweet seat cushions haha thank you so much! I stack them and use them both so its very comfortable now thank you! Everything is going great my shirts are looking nice and I cant think of anything that I really need right now I think everything is going well and for my next package I dont even know just any cookies of yours are good! We have tons of food in our apartment and I have enough tic tacs to last the millennium so I think Im good on that front haha but anything you send is GREATLY appreciated. I am so sad to hear all that about Brittanie I cant even imagine... that sounds crazy, but tell her that I hope shes feeling ok and I'm praying for her every day. By the way, I know the grammar in this email is terrible I have the keyboard on this computer set to finnish and I can't change it back hahaha so the english will be choppy, but I will type some finnish too! That is so crazy about Kollin Galland too that breaks my heart I hope him and his family will all be ok. Mom would you tell sister Moore thank you for me, she wrote me a dear elder it was super sweet of her so tell her I appreciate it so much!                          
I loved your quote this week mom I have one for you too.. When life gets to hard to stand, kneel.... I love that and I think it goes right along with what you were saying. Ive been learning a lot about the power of prayer here at the MTC in fact Im teaching about it tonight! Like I said last week we had our first TRC where we do a little spiritual message with some people that speak finnish and it was a little frightening at first but once I got in there it was so much fun! It was extremely difficult but I found that I understood them pretty well and when I'm teaching something it starts to flow pretty nicely. 

I've been learning tons of Finnish this week and its really nice to expand our vocabulary and grammar techniques but at the same time it makes you realize how difficult it is haha so it's a bit overwhelming at times, but were doing the best we can! We basically all just speak Finenglish all day every day (we just speak as much finnish as possible and throw in english words we dont know) but tomorrow we are doing our very first SYL day! We are going to speak finnish ALL DAY LONG it will be extremely vaikkea (hard) and Im sure some of us will be brought to tears by the end but Im so excited to just try it. I feel like I learn a lot when we SYL (we only speak finnish every lunch period) so I think it will be a great learning experience. Well I have realized that I am extremely blessed to be going to Finland at this time rather than even five years ago. Finnish has only been a written language for the past 100 years or so and since nobody really wants to learn finnish there's not really any text books on it but.... a few of our awesome teachers got together like a year ago and literally wrote an entire Finnish Grammar book that is AWESOME! (you get really excited about stupid stuff as a missionary) But we seriously all love this book, we call it the mahtava kirja (the awesome book) and our teacher, Veli Stewart, who got home like three years ago says that he believes it's probably the single best book for an english speaker to use to learn Finnish from scratch in the whole world! Its pretty amazing how quickly we are all learning and it is so rewarding when I read a verse of the Finnish Mormonin Kirja and understand the entire verse! One of my teachers, Veli Arneson, is seriously the coolest guy of all time. All of the elders in my district have a massive man crush on him haha he is like the coolest, nicest, smartest guy ever and he's a fantastic teacher! Well everything is still good with my companions and everything, we all get along great and have a ton of fun. We got in three new missionaries yesterday to our branch so we were all so pumped!! We got two Hungarians and one Estonian, they are all really nice and one of the Hungarians is from Ireland! I just feel bad for the estonian though, I cant imagine being the only person learning estonian for nine weeks haha but we are all happy to have some new faces and now our branch is up to 19! 

I haven't seen Chloes friend around anywhere, but we did get a bunch of new Russians and Ukrainians in yesterday so maybe shes here somewhere. I haven't seen Davey either so maybe he's on the main campus. Well this Sunnuntai (Sunday) was a great one. Every Sunday the Branch president just asks two missionaries to give short five minute talks in sacrament meeting like on the spot and he asked me to speak. So it was a little scary, but I got up there and I even told the story of dad giving me man lessons and everyone loved it! (works every time) So it went really well and then me and my companions taught the lesson in our district meeting and it went great! So I got a lot of teaching opportunities on Sunday, but it was an awesome day! We live in the apartments and play basketball on outdoor hoops over by that little creamery in Raintree. I feel like I'm losing weight but I am eating a ton! The food is great I'm just losing all my muscle mass hahaha, but overall another great week! I'll send some pictures now but I'll leave you with a little finnish testimony.
Minä tiedän että tämä kirkko on totta. Minä olen kiitollinen vanhemmatsta ja minun perheesta. Minä olen tunti pyha Henkeä ja minä tiedän että Jumal vastaa meitä roukouksia. Rakastan Teita!!! 

by the way, look up the word for (chapel) in finnish..... its insane its like 20 letters long hahaha I tried to say it in a lesson this week and just started laughing hahaha anyway I love you all!!!  
A few study materials
P-Day Go Texans!