Mission Map

Monday, November 4, 2013

Zone Conference in Oulu
Hello all!!!! Well it has been a great week here in Seinäjoki!! We had a busy week again but it was so good! Tuesday we took a train up to Oulu which is a beautiful city, we slept there Tuesday night just in the chapel on little sleeping rolls and then we had the zone meeting on Wednesday then came back that afternoon. It's way fun being able to travel all over for meetings like that, and the North zone of Finland is so sweet! All the missionaries here are awesome! Finland is on fire for missionary work, the standard of excellence for the mission is 20 lessons a week and this week we taught 19, so were almost there! Honestly Seinäjoki is a bit of a challenging area just because there really is like 12 people there each Sunday and when we want to bring members to lessons we only have like 2 people that live in Seinäjoki to chose from hahaha so its challenging, but the members are fantastic. They are all so sweet and are so excited to do missionary work with us! They love us and all want to feed us whenever possible haha we had two dinner appointments this week and o man.... it was so good. The people go all out here when they feed the missionaries. Full on 4 course meals and its all like steak and potatoes and the most delicious home made pastry things for dessert.... wow. hahaha I love dinner appointments so much. We ate at this families house on Thursday and we wanted to share a brief message and be in and out in an hour, but they just wouldn't let us go haha they just talk to us forever and they love having us over. 
Finnish was definitely better this week! It's obviously extremely hard to understand people still, and will be for a while, but when we talk to people on the street I feel like I'm able to recognize more words and I'm picking up a lot of common phrases that we hear alot (usually indicating that we should get lost) but I'm actually really surpised how many people talk to us on the street. There's a pretty big portion of like born again christians in Seinäjoki and also Jehova Witnesses so they always want to discuss a little doctrine with us, but there are actually a lot of people that are just religious and hear us out for a few minutes. Unfortunately, most people feel that their faith is sufficient and there's no need for organized religion or that their childhood baptism was sufficient, so it's difficult to find people that actually want to investigate the church on the street, but we actually did get one new investigator this week from street contacting! He's this really cool 20 year old guy and we gave him the first lesson on Saturday and he seems very interested and were meeting him again on Saturday so we are really excited about that! We also have met a lot of international people that go to the little college here and a lot of the African and Asian students are interested and talk with us so we're  building a pretty solid pool of potential investigators. We're basically building from nothing here in Seinäjoki, we came in with two investigators for us, one is the 90 year old man and the other is 77 and has some dimentia..... so not extremely effective to teach him because he doesn't remember anything that he learns. So it's difficult but the work is moving forward and it is awesome! I am definitely getting more confident and talk a lot more in lessons. Finns are way helpful too and they're very kind people. They are quiet and reserved, but they're always willing to help you and they're very courteous, we've really only been yelled at like 1 time so that's pretty solid I would say haha. Most Finns are just very impressed that we speak some finnish. They all ask where we're from and how long we've studied Finnish, and when I say I studied for 8 weeks then got here last week they are amazed haha, so they are really cool people. The culture is very similar, so it's not really like a huge culture shock in that way.
One funny thing though is that in apartment buildings here a lot of the time they will have like 1 sauna for every floor, so the floor of apartments has a schedule and everyone has their designated sauna night. And when they have their sauna night there is literally nothing in the world more important hahaha like if you ask a ward member to teach a lesson with you but it conflicts with his sauna night there's not a chance hahaha. Well anyway, so we were knocking a few doors in this apartment building this week and this guy answers the door. He's about 40 and he's in his underwear and a robe that's just open and nothing else, so he sees us and he's like oh you're the mormons!!! COME IN! So we walk in and him and his buddy are sitting at the kitchen table (his friend is wearing the same thing) and they are just totally drunk, but they wanted us to share a scripture with them hahaha so they tell us "Our sauna time begins in twenty minutes so you must be done by that time" So we shared a scripture with them, one of them threw up on the table about halfway through and then when we left they gave us both hugs so it was quite an experience hahahaha. Definitely doesn't happen every day but they had spoken with missionaries before so they were pumped to see us. 
Well the weather is definitely getting chilly, and of course riding a bike doesn't help because the wind is just blowing in your face haha but I'm going to buy my big coat right after I send this email! Seinäjoki has a train station for long distance trains but theres no public transportation locally so we just ride our bikes everywhere. 
Well that's pretty much the report for the week, Oh we had these two investigators in church on Sunday which was great! They are from Morocco and are Muslim, one speaks Finnish and one speaks english and they speak to each other in Arabic so its way confusing when we teach them hahaha, but they came to church! So it was awesome! Well I love you all so much! Have a fantastic week! The pictures of the babies were so cute!!! I miss those kids and I can't believe that Wilson bore his testimony hahaha that is the cutest thing ever! I miss you and I love you all! 
Biking before the big coat ha ha!

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