Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Every day there is an assigned brother to 'man' the desk in the asuntola (guest house) where guests to the temple stay. Wayne got the opportunity to be there today. It was a special day because the Russians that had been here this week were leaving and he got to be there for the send off!!!
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
These are the 2 young people here from Russia with their parents attending the temple. They are NOT brother and sister. They attend the temple twice a day (once in the morning and once in the afternoon) to do baptisms. The young lady (Anastasia) is from just outside Moscow and Armon is from Kasakstan (sp?). They are both pointing to their 'homes'. You can see just how far they have traveled to get to the temple. A very, very long, long way!
And YES, that was a very steep hill we climbed up yesterday. We will walk to the market again this morning to get a few daily things. The stores close today at 3:00 p.m. and stay closed until, we think, Monday because of Juhanas Paiva celebration (the longest day). And it is raining!! Bummer. Oh well......
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Thought I'd wait until the sun was no longer shining on Moroni before sending this picture (taken a few minutes ago). It is now 10:40 pm, and there is still just a glimmer on sunlight on the statue. I'm not staying up any longer to watch. Another missionary couple has invited us to join them on their daily walk on some paths through the forests at 7 am. Night, night!
So how do you like our dishwasher? We think the dish drainer over the sink is the greatest.
Since we are on the afternoon shift this week, we have time to walk to the tori ja grocery store to do our every-other-day shopping! Today we walked about 2 miles round trip to do that. The top picture is of the temple from the side. This shows better the solid rock that the temple sits on.
The picture below was taken in the tori area (open air market). We take our shopping bags with us as that is the custom. And, true to form, I found my little 'hooters'!!! They were so friendly and so cute!! I hope Punkin is doing okay. I hope she won't get jealous with my being friendly with another one of her kind!!
We keep waking up at night because it is so light outside. I should have taken a picture at 3:00 a.m. today and sent it to you. I will take one tonight so you can see how light it is. SATURDAY is the BIG celebration of the longest day of the year with very little dark time!!! We hope to get some pictures!
Monday, June 15, 2009
Just a quick little note while I have a minute!! It has been a full day today!! We started out with our breakfast (top photo) with our 'view' of the temple. This was taken from our dining room table!! It is still amazing to us to be this close.
The Luthy's took us grocery shopping this morning. That was nice to have them with us to help us pick out good brands and 'normal' foods that we were looking for. We found on this trip that food tends to be TWICE the amount that we would pay for it at home. Fortunately, we were expecting that but now we know it is really true!
Dad LOVED pushing the cart down the escalator......the cart kind of locks into grooves on the escalator so it won't go down on it's own. Cool!
After we got our groceries put away the Luthy's took us to the Espoo Magistrate Office where we had to show them our 'certified' copy of our marriage license! They had to make sure we were married and then they would register us as a 'permanent' residence of Finland. We proved it and we are now official citizens of Finland. Basically, that means we can get a drivers license in 6 months if we pass the test. Dad will definitely have to have one as he has been asked to be the 'fleet' caretaker for the temple vehicles!
Then it was off to visit with President and Sister Brown, Helsinki Finland Mission President and his wife. President Luthy wanted to make an introduction so that dad can be available as a mission doctor if he is needed. That went well and the Brown's seemed very happy to have dad close at hand!
Back to the apartment. Quick nap (we have done extremely well with our jet lag......we have been blessed with that!) Sister Luthy asked me to help her in the distribution center since the Russians arrived this afternoon and needed to purchase clothes. There is a very nice, small distribution center here in the apartment complex. I was taught how to check people out (using a computer!!!!). I am amazed at how well I was able to do since I have never done that on a computer before. Dad came along to watch and see how it was done. He was a huge help. It was amazing to me that we were able to communicate with not being able to speak Russian!!!! Smiles go a long, long, long way! These are the same folks that will be here all week and several receiving their own endowments. Dad is in a meeting with President Luthy talking to them in preparation for tomorrow and the rest of the week. He was invited to attend. I can't believe how much we have learned in just such a short couple of days we have been here.
We have been assigned to work on the afternoon shift this week (it alternates each week.....morning or afternoon). That will be kind of nice for us to begin with that. President Luthy will set us apart tomorrow when we get to the temple tomorrow as temple workers. Up till now we have been set apart as missionaries in general but tomorrow it will become specific to being temple missionaries.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
These pictures were taken this evening after our Family Home Evening. The temple missionaries (currently 6 couples) meet every other Sunday evening in Pres. Luthy's apartment for FHE.
It's 9:30 pm, and the sky is still bright. Going to sleep is tough, even when recovering from jet lag.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Saturday!! We have made it to Finland!!! We were so excited that the sky cleared enough that we could get this picture as we were landing at the airport in Espoo!!! President and Sister Luthy were there to greet us!! Oh what a welcomed sight!!
We arrived in our NEW HOME for the next 18 months at 7:00 p.m. (not having been to bed since Thursday night). The Luthy's gave us 20 minutes to freshen up and then over to their apartment where they had prepared a dinner for us!! It was a delicious homemade soup (by Sister Luthy, of course) ........ potatoe and salmon!!! I told her it was perfect because we LOVE salmon and it was delicious!! We visited with them until about 10:00 p.m. before we realized that we needed to get some unpacking done. Which is what dad is doing in the bottom picture! WE LOVE OUR NEW HOME!!! A WHOLE LOT more spacious than the MTC 'suite' that we had!! And Sister Luthy even had some food in the fridge for us. Bless her heart.
President Luthy already has assignments for dad and he said he would talk about more tomorrow afternoon when we have lunch with them in their apartment again!! And tomorrow is Stake Conference and President Luthy wants to make sure we get introduced to President Brown, the Helsinki Finland Mission President. So much in such a small amount of time!!
Our flight over was fairly uneventful, thank goodness! JUST LONG!!! And our butts hurt from so much sitting. Now, we are ready for a good night's sleep in our comfy looking bed here.
Remember that as of Monday, our cell phones will no longer be in operation as far as the 'phone' portion. We will be on skype and e-mail. We think we may end up with a cell phone over here but of course that will probably not work for you kids.
We love you. Thank you for all of your prayers!! They are felt and greatly appreciated!!
Friday, June 12, 2009
We are completing a wonderful 2 weeks here at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. We will be leaving this afternoon for our assignment in the Helsinki, Finland Temple where we will arrive Saturday evening. We anticipate being met by our Temple President, President and Sister Luthy. We look forward to seeing them!!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
We only have one more day of 'temple training' with Elder Rex D. and Sister Bonnie Pinegar. We took a group photo after we finished our training today. There are 10 of us couples in our 'class'. We are going to a wide variety of temples around the world: Manilla Philippines (2 couples), Dominican Republic (1 couple), Ghana, Africa (1 couple), Recife, Brazil (1 couple), Nova Scotia, Canada (1 couple), Washington D.C. Temple (2 couples), Panama City (1 couple) and Helsinki Finland (you know who!!). It has been a wonderful week. We finish up tomorrow. We leave on Friday!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Precautions are still in effect here at the MTC to curtail the spread of the flu. Here's a picture of the MTC handshake:
We learned that we have a relative here. After considerable searching, we were finally able to hook up with Elder Paul Rasmussen. He is Uncle Glen's grandson, the son of Alene and Ken Rasmussen. He's the one beside me:
Saturday, June 6, 2009
This was the parting photo from yesterday. This is everyone who came in with us last Monday. It has been a great 1st week and we have made some lasting friendships!! 23 couples and 1 senior sister (she is actually standing to my left). We are off to do a couple of errands today and spend a couple of hours with A & G and K & L and families. We are totally exhausted! But I guess that means success!!
Friday, June 5, 2009
As those of you who have had the "MTC experience" know, part of our training consists of working with volunteers who pose as investigators. Today we opened the door to welcome our "newly-baptized" members, with whom we were assigned to teach about the importance of enduring to the end, with special attention to the temple and family history. When we saw the name tags, we thought we were looking in a mirror (can you blow this picture up enough to read them?). It turns out they live in Maple Grove, not too far from Kevin and, in fact, he once picked up Kevin's shirts at the cleaners by mistake. Kevin can tell you more about that story. Anyone remember about the story about the Crabcakes bowling team that four of you put together while you were at BYU, and the team you were matched up with one time made up of 4 men whose last names were Allgaier? Someone needs to write down the details of that event for posterity.
--Love, Dad (and Mom)
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Okay......we are not finished yet but thought I would send a quick little note! We have been in "preach my gospel" classes most of the day. A bit taxing!! We meet with our Finnish tutor in about 40 minutes and have classes with her tonight. Can't wait to meet her. Had about 500 new missionaries check in here at the MTC today!! They even have the orange dork dots on their badges. Why did we not get our dork dots?? I feel slighted!! There are now about 40 'quarantined' missionaries. We saw the Finnish language classrooms today of the two districts headed to Finland (young missionaries). We are going to try and sneak into their class tomorrow!! It was cool to see all of their great teaching aids. Guess you can have things like that when you are in an actual classroom. Hopefully we won't get caught sneaking in OR more importantly, get sick!!
We talked with Sister Luthy in the Finland Temple today (as requested by us). They are planning to pick us up at the Airport next week and excited for our arrival. We also got notice today that we have a meeting tomorrow afternoon about our travel to Europe. There are 6 of us couples headed there and have to take that class.
This is an amazing place. It is a very nice protected little 'bubble' here. Just wish I personally felt more adequate!!
Hope all is going well with everyone. Prayers are always welcomed and needed!!!
Monday, June 1, 2009
Okay, I'm about to break my first rule at the MTC: "Limit your communications with your families to your Preparation Days." But we have had such a fantastic day, we just had to share a few things with you.
First of all, the MTC has been quarantined because a few of the younger missionaries have come down with the flu, and they don't want it to spread (imagine all these missionaries going out all over the world from here...). This means we can't eat in the cafeteria with them (darn!) and in general have to avoid mingling with them. And we can't shake hands with anyone -- some of the staff look like they don't know what to do. Also, the "little kids" weren't able to come inside the MTC to see us off, so we had to do our farewells out on the lawn in front of the MTC.
There are about 25 couples in our group. Sister Berg (a native of Finland) served a mission in Finland the same time I was there. Sister Erickson was in Arlington Ward when I was a kid there. Sister Rowe lived in Potomac Maryland for some time and knows a lot of people that we know from there. Two of the couples are on their way to serve in the Washington D.C. temple (took two of them to replace us, I guess). Small world situations seem to be more concentrated in the MTC.
We love you ALL and appreciate your love and support and prayers as we serve our mission!!!