Mission Map

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Winter has Arrived!

Sabbath day in Finland!
Wow, I've already been in Finland for 6 weeks, how did that happen? The Time is starting to fly by, the days are very long,  but the weeks just keep rolling. It will be Christmas so soon! Well we had a great week here! We got a bit of a warm front which sounds like a good thing, but basically it means that you're still biking through snow and ice and then it starts raining on top of that so I was very wet this week. I fell off my bike like three times (which does not help the whole image), but it's ok! I successfully put snow tires on my bike, so I am good to go! And also I bought my snow boots last week, they are some nice echo snow boots so I'm pumped about them, they will keep me feet nice and toasty! So, it feels weird to email on a Sunday! We are at the church just emailing before church starts and so I don't have a ton of time, but basically we are just going to email then after church we have a lesson with one investigator and our branch president is going with us, and then we go home, eat and head out for Helsiniki! 

I'm super pumped to go to Helsinki! It is going to be way fun, we are staying in Espoo at the zone leader's apartment and then every night we go on splits with the zone leaders. So, we basically just have like three days of training from the mission president and then on Thursday we have language school which will be great! And yes my whole group from the MTC will be there this week so I'm so excited to see them! It's going to be awesome and I will take lots of pictures of Helsinki! I'm also just really excited to listen to our mission president for a few days, he is a really amazing guy. He is a lawyer from California, and everyone says that he was like the BEST lawyer in California, he is this crazy smart guy, has a photographic memory and is just a spiritual powerhouse. He is so motivated and dedicated to helping us serve our purpose here in Finland. When President Rawlings got to Finland 2 years ago the mission was averaging about 5 lessons per week, now the mission is averaging close to 20 lessons per week. The work in Finland is moving forward like crazy, the baptisms still are a bit slow I guess, like theres 100 missionaries in Finland and this year there have been somewhere around 80 baptisms. So I guess it is still difficult in that way like most European countries are, but since me and elder Christiansen have come to Seinäjoki we have taught about 20 lessons a week and receieved 5 baptismal dates and have found about 3 new investigators a week which is fantastic! So it is just a really exciting time here. 
A few hours of sunlight and that sweet powder blue bike!
I have been learning tons of Finnish, but at a certain point I realize that even if we learn Finnish the rest of our lives we will never be able to speak like a Finn. It's just absolutely insane hahaha I was talking to this Finnish guy this week who has studied english his entire life and I was asking him a grammar question about Finnish and so after I asked it he was like.... I honestly have no idea why we say it that way, and there's really no way to know whether you should use the partitive there or not, you kind of just have to listen and memorize which form of the word they use in every situation for every word in finnish hahaha and I know that doesn't make any sense but trust me.... it wasn't good news hahaha he said to us I mean I probably shouldn't say that Finnish is confusing because I'm a Finn and that would be discouraging but truthfully...  Finnish is very confusing hahaha so anyway, Finnish is coming along and I love learning it, it is a lot of fun. 
View from the Elders apartment in Vaasa.
Well we found a couple really solid potential investigators this week which we're excited about! One guy we saw on the street was wearing a UFC sweatshirt so I started talking to him about UFC which maybe I shouldn't admit to people that I love UFC since I'm a missionary and all but apparently conversations about MMA can lead in to gospel topics because we talked to him about the church for like 20 minutes and then he gave his address and number and we have an appointment with him! We also have a new investigator who lives in the building right next to us! We would see him sitting on his balcony a lot as we would be walking home and he was always out there smoking so we would always talk to him and so he let us come in to his home this week and we taught him and gave him a book of mormon and he seems super interested and it went great! So, little things like that are happening all over the country and we are truly seeing miracles out here. Our Burmese family is progressing as well, and the 12 year old daughter is coming to church today! The others have a soccer game (the problems of trying to baptize a 12 year old girl) But, we are so excited that at least one of them is coming! Yes, last week I gave my talk in Sacrament! It went really well I think, ya here they kind of just tell you to give a talk and they never assign topics or anything so I talked for 15 minutes about the atonement and how we can apply it in to our daily lives. I even talked about how my dad gave me man lessons when I was a young man haha everyone loved it. The Branch president got up after me and was like "Well I don't think I can speak finnish as well as Vanhin Wilson, but I will try" hahaha so everyone is just super nice and supportive and loving. Well, unfortunately I have to go out and shovel snow! church starts at 11! But I love you all so much! Have a great week!

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