Mission Map

Monday, July 28, 2014

Finland Gets Hot?!!

Setting Up For Fest De Nord
Trying to Remember Guitar Skills
What the hey, how can sammy be turning 16 this week?! I can't believe it! I’m sure the entire week will be a pretty miserable experience for everyone involved, ha ha.  But, still I wish I could be there to celebrate with you guys! Well, I’m insanely jealous that you guys got to chill in Hawaii all week. sounds like it was awesome and that Sammy got an early birthday present from that bird haha Don't worry sammy a bird pooped on my head a few months ago here. Just right on top in all my hair and stuff it was pretty gross, but I'm a survivor I'm sure you'll shake it off haha. Well it's been super hot here! It’s been over 30 Celsius every day for like a week and it's pretty miserable because there's no air conditioning here anywhere. So, in church yesterday I was literally sitting there amongst a few hundred people in like a sauna with sun streaming in through the windows and trying to translate all of Sacrament meeting with one of the speakers talking about the histroy of the Catholic church during the apostasy and all of these different Ceasars of Rome, so it was pretty miserable. I was just dying. So, I never expected to deal with the heat in Finland haha but it’s made me glad that I'm not in  a country that is hot and humid with no AC all year long. Well, mom that training that you have to do in San Francisco or Philladelphia sounds awesome! Sounds like you'll be a super posh psychologist with all sorts of training throughout the world in no time. I miss learning science and secular things haha I’ve literally forgotten everything about chemistry and math... pretty bad. Well, we had a pretty good week here we had a ton of people at basketball on Friday like 15 people it was awesome. A couple of less actives and one less active brought a friend so that was sweet! Everyone had a good time there and one of the less actives that was there came to church on Sunday which was great! We spent a couple days helping members set up for Fest Di Nord which is this week! I'm super excited about Fest Di Nord. I think I’ve mentioned it before, it’s like a giant EFY for young single adults throughout the Nordic countries, but this year they have people from all over the place coming, there will be people from 27 different countries and like 600 people there so it will be awesome. So, this week we were working at that almost every day and the APs and the zone leaders are coming to help too and President Watson will be there as well, so it's going to be awesome. We are doing a mini MTC with people one day and then later that night going on splits with some people and we will have a car we can use and stuff so we’ll take a few guys out to lessons and stuff like that. So, that will take up most of the week, but it's going to be the funnest week ever. We'll mainly be hosting people to their rooms and then working at different stations while they do activites and stuff so we'll do all sorts of cool stuff, and the whole thing is up in Naantali which is sweet so we'll be chilling out on the beach or on cliffs on the ocean most of the time. That was pretty much the excitement of the week though. Oh, the new senior couple that just got here last week was at our district meeting and church on Sunday and they are way cool! I like them a lot. They've been living in Murray for the last thirty years but elder Puikkonen was born here in Turku and met elder Mortenson (the last senior couple) when elder Mortenson was serving his first mission in Finland a long time ago and he served in Turku. So they are like lifelong friends and remind me so much of each other it's way funny. Well that's all to report on this week. I love you guys so much! Have an awesome week and an awesome birthday Sammy!!!
District Meeting Fun
Elder Wilson teaching a lesson got some help from the kids

11 Months Out

July 21, 2014
Elder Wilson had to buy some new pants.

Well today is my 11 month mark as a missionary! Pretty insane! Next month is the big one and then it's all down hill from there. We had a good week, it seemed to go by especially fast. But we got to do lots of fun stuff! Last Monday we had a normal p day and then played basketball then for family night we did this way fun activity that was like water balloon volley ball, where you pass water balloons back and forth with towels and anyway we had like 20 people there which was awesome! I got to talk to this one non member guy for a while who is this awesome guy that used to live in California and rode motocross and stuff so we were talking all about motorcycles and California and stuff and turns out he really likes working out so I sent him the big workout plan that Jefferies and I made. So, that was a super good experience. Hopefully, he keeps coming to YSA stuff. So then Tuesday we were able to set up lessons with two less active guys, one of them I just called out of the blue from the ward list and asked if we could come get to know him better and he said he wasn't really a member anymore, but agreed to let us come over sometime! Unfortunately, both of the lessons fell through, one guy had to leave Turku for something then the other guys phone broke and couldn't get a hold of him, but hopefully they will both be willing to meet this week. Wednesday we had a fun district meeting, elder Alqhist got a little mini ping pong net and paddles from his parents so we all played some ping pong which was pretty fun then all ate some cake afterwards for one of the sister's birthdays. Oh, also the new senior couple is here in Turku! I haven't met them yet but will meet them this week. They are both Finns originally from Turku that have been living in America for like 30 years, but that should be cool. So, we may help them move in to their apartment this week a bit I'm not sure. Well, on Friday we did splits with the other elders which was way fun. I was with Elder Barnheart for the day who's a way nice guy and we had a good time. Went to a pizza buffet for lunch and everything. Had a lesson with some guys from Nepal that was pretty fun, they are just college students here and I felt right at home hanging out with Nepalese college students again.Then we just had basketball and after basketball we taught a Finnish class at the church! We are going to do Finnish classes every Friday from now on and just invite members and investigators that are trying to learn Finnish. So, I was asked to teach the class and just this Chinese guy was there who is a member in the other ward, but it was pretty cool! It's actually way fun to teach, and when you teach even the most basic things it reminds you of how crazy hard Finnish is, like there were so many points throughout the class where I would come up with an example sentence or he would ask a question and then I would just have to change it or not answer his question because it seemed so basic but brought up like tons of grammar rules that he doesn't know, so it was kind of hard to teach it haha, but it was fun. Saturday I made the Wilson's legendary pancakes with a bunch of members and some of the guys that have been off at the army so it was tons of fun! We made a huge bach and feasted. They all loved them so much, they think it's crazy that we put butter on pancakes, but they all enjoyed it haha and don't worry dad I kept the recipe confidential, it's still in Wilson hands. Thanks so much for sending me the recipe though! After the pancakes we walked around with those guys at this little world fair going on in Turku and got some crazy fish again and all sorts of weird candy, but it was fun. Saturday night there was a baptism! The sisters had this cool 24 year old African guy that got baptized and so we were there and the whole service was in English which was super weird. And we got to sing hymns in english which was the weirdest/best part! But it was a sweet baptismal service and everyone had a good time. Yesterday an older couple in our ward invited us to go eat with them after church which was sweet and they also always give one of our members a ride to and from church, this member is this awesome Nigerian guy that got baptized last here. So, anyway they invited him over to dinner as well so it was us missionaries, older Finnish people, and a Nigerian guy. Quite a group haha especially since the Finns speak like no English at all, so I was just translating back and forth between them the entire time, but it was a ton of fun. Everyone had a good time. But, that was pretty much the week! I hope you all have an awesome week, I love you so much!

Another Week in the Life of A Missionary

July 14

Hello! Well How's everyone doing?! Well this week was pretty good! It started out with a fun P day last week! After emailing you guys we bought groceries and then I bopped in to H&M to buy new slacks because my last ones ripped way bad haha so I had to retire them. So, anyway I found a super sweet super euro pair of pants for like 30 euros and I love them. Everyone has been commenting on how posh they are and all the other elders are jealous so I will include a picture of the new pants of course. After that we just played basketball and had a family night with ysas so that's always fun. Then Wednesday we went to Tampere and had a zone meeting which was great! We talked about coming up with visions for our areas and made plans and goals and stuff like that, so that was cool! After zone meeting I got to go out to lunch with the other turku elders and elder anderson (my old companion) and it was a ton of fun. Throughout the week we actually found a couple pretty good potentials. We talked to this one woman on the street right outside of her house who said that her husband had gotten a Book of Mormon from missionaries a really long time ago and they read a little bit back then, but haven't read it since, but she said we could come by sometime to explain more about it so she was way nice! Another day we did a little tracting near a members house that we were going to for dinner and we gave this young guy a book of mormon and he said we could stop by again some other time. A couple people have some referralls for us as well that we are trying to get appointments with so that is always promising! So, there's some good stuff happening for sure. On Friday we had a great basketball night, we had two less actives come out and one member brought a friend so it was awesome! Then yesterday we had a good day of church, unfortunately our investigator had to work again so couldn't make it, we may just have to hold out till the end of August or something till he can come I don't know, I sure hope he can find someone to work there in his place so that he can come at least a couple times a month. But he's doing well though, he's a way nice guy and pretty dedicated to reading and praying and learning about the gospel so he's doing well. But this week we are hoping to go out with a lot of home teaching companionships to get in contact with some less actives and hopefully use the ward more in teaching less actives, we think that would be more effective than just us missionaries showing up at their doors. Well anyways that's the whole week! Today we just have a normal P day of going to buy groceries and basketball and family night and all that stuff! So I love you guys and hope you have an awesome week!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Meeting President Watson

July 7, 2014
Elder Wilson and his new companion Elder Stephenson
Hello! Well it sounds like you guys had an awesome 4th of July with the family! I'm jealous I couldn't be there to see all the sweet fireworks and whatnot! We had a little celebration of our own but it was just us 4 elders and our buddy M from the ward here who is like 18 and we just all chilled at this little outdoor pavilion thing right outside of the other elders apartment and we bought tons of sausages and went all out with american chips and root beer and stuff and just had tons of food and we just all sat around and talked about how awesome America is. So, it was pretty fun I had a good time! I’ll include a few pictures of our sweet little grill and stuff haha. But, earlier in the week we had tons of fun too! Last Monday we went up to this place on the ocean with a little pavilion and grill and stuff and did pretty much the exact same thing with all the YSAs of both Turku wards, we threw a frisbee around and just ate food and all that good stuff which was way fun! A bunch of the youth are all leaving for the army and missions soon so it was our last activity all together which was way sad, but it’s cool to see all these kids moving on to the next phase of life and getting ready to go on missions and stuff like that. Our good friend in our ward here that always comes out with us to lessons and stuff actually left for the army this morning so that was pretty sad. But, we still have awesome members here and everything is going well. On Wednesday we woke up early and went off to Tampere for our big zone meeting to meet President Watson! It was awesome! President Watson is an amazing guy and him and his wife are super super nice. President Watson served his mission in Finland and then went home, got married and all that and then worked as a nurse for a while and then got in to medical business like he worked for some medical insurance company and found the best doctors for people to go to and stuff like that. So pretty cool that he worked in the medical field, I can't wait to get to know him better and tell him that's what I would like to do as well. He said that he has forgotten most of his Finnish, but has been studying hard and I’m sure he’ll be way good at Finnish really soon. 
Oh, I found out some exciting news this week, I found out that they have buttermilk in Finland so I'm going to make some of Dad's famous pancakes this week! I'm way excited! The buttermilk here is called piimä and they just drink it as a normal drink, I’ve always heard people talk about how nasty it is so I never tried it and so I never knew that it was just buttermilk haha. But also I made some american pancakes for a couple cool guys in the ward here this week with just a normal store bought mix but they thought it was delicious! They wouldn't believe me when I told them we put butter on the pancakes but I convinced them to try it and they loved it! Well in addition to all the fun stuff we had a way good lesson with our investigator about the plan of salvation and a member came along which was way good. The member has studied a lot of French and our investigator's mother tongue is French so it was cool they talked a little bit in French together. Our investigator just has a tough situation since he owns and runs a little restaurant by himself, he has nobody that can cover it for him on Sundays so that he can come to church so we're trying to figure out what to do about that. We also got in contact with a few less active guys this week who I have been trying to get in contact with for a long time so that was way good! Hopefully we're able to keep meeting with them regularly. Well yesterday we had an awesome Sunday! We had our normal fast sunday, went to church and all that and then in the middle of church this family asked if we could come over to there place right after church to eat with them and they had some relative that would be there that is a non member so we went over there and it was great! The relative isn’t super interested to learn about the church, but she was very nice and participated in the spiritual thought and everything like that so it was a ton of fun! Well that is pretty much it for the week! I love you all! Have a great week!

Transfers, Training, and Visiting a Mokki

June 23, 2014

Finnish Country Home
Hello everyone! Well I had one of the funnest weeks of my mission this week! First off I'll tell you about changes, I found out I'll be staying here in Turku and I'll be training again so I go down to Helsinki on Tuesday with elder Jefferies to pick up my new companion and then head back to Turku on Wednesday. So I'm excited for that! It should be fun! Mostly though I'm just way excited to be staying in Turku!! I love it here so much. We had a way fun activity on Monday with the YSAs and we all played ultimate frisbee. There was this guy there who is a recently reactivated member that is like a way good friend to me now. He is like 32 and was baptized about 10 years ago in Helsinki, then moved to Turku and just stopped coming to church but one day about 2 months ago a sister here in Turku called him by accident and realized that she had called the wrong number on the ward list but just invited him to come to General Conference and stuff. Since then he has come to church every single week and plays basketball with us every monday and is completely active and AWESOME. The missionaries didn't even realize that he was an inactive member for like a month, they all thought he was somebody elses investigator haha it was a crazy story. But anyway he was there with his girlfriend who is a nonmember so that was a really good thing! Elder Jeffereries and I of course had a crazy week of working out and our buddy from the ward here who hangs out with us a lot and is like 18 did a lot of the workouts with us so it was way fun! We did some cool runs out to this place called Ruissalo which is this big beautiful island that ends at a beach and it was tons of fun. I've gained three pounds in the last month so that's way good for me haha! 

So, then on Thursday the sisters organized this little YSA party and so we were at that and there were quite a few nonmembers there which was great! After the party we slept over at the other elders apartment so that we could do splits with them on Friday! Splits was tons of fun but Friday and Saturday were both red days so we couldn't do actual missionary work and everything the other elders had planned pretty much fell through. On Friday all four of us elders went over to this members place who feeds us a lot and is the nicest guy ever and he was feeding us pizza and asked if we had anything to do the following day for Juhannus and we said no so he invited us to go out to his mökki with him for the day! So, Friday evening we just chilled at the other elders apartment again and grilled sausage on their balcony with a little grill that works for like 1 hour and then on Saturday the member picked us up and drove us out to the country side to his mökki! It was so awesome! Such a finnish experience, it was just a little log cottage basically but way nice and surrounded by forest and fields and stuff. We sat around the fire pit grilling makara for a while and then played badmington for hours which was way fun! Then the member drove us back to Turku and we just had a normal Sunday yesterday.
Grilling During Juhannus
 So overall a super fun week! Unfortunately we couldn't really do a whole lot of missionary work with all the holidays and stuff but we were able to meet with this one guy a few times this week who got baptized about 8 months ago and is in a pretty tough situation. He is a 24 year old guy from Nigeria and is doing amazing and is a solid convert, passed the sacrament on Sunday and everything but unfortunately there was some problem with his visa and now may be sent back to Nigeria. He's not positive yet, but he asked me to give him a blessing and is pretty worried because he doens't want to go back to Nigeria at all. He's having a rough time so I'm worried for him but I think he was comforted a lot by the blessing and is a very meek person so I know he'll make the best of whatever happens to him. Well This week should be tons of fun too and I'll tell you all about it next week! I love you all!