Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wanted to document what a dinner for us would look like! A very simple meal.......chicken purchased as a 'roaster chicken' from City Market, Voida (butter), fresh carrots and potatoes cooked together, fresh beets purchased at the 'tori' and a juice drink made out of a concentrate. I like the lace-looking table cloth we purchased at Sello.....it is a very nice plastic table cloth! I have really enjoyed having it. Looks like lace but just have to wipe it down with a cloth. Not a fancy meal....simple. I am still learning how to 'cook' with ingredients I am not used to.

Monday, June 29, 2009

On our p-day today, we took a train into downtown Helsinki with Veli ja Sisar Johnson! It was a fun trip and a fun day. We visited the Russian Orthodox Church along with the big Lutheran Church. We also went shopping to the 'tori' which is a large open-air shopping area down by the docks. We bought some fun things! It was a beautiful day......sunny, mid 70's temperatures! Great P-Day.

When we came back we took the mission car to Sello to do some shopping!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

We didn't have a really nice picture of Wayne and I as we were off to work in the temple. We got one this morning. One of the Russian guests took this for us. This was also the morning Wayne was assigned to work at the desk in the Asuntola.

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!!!

The young man with Wayne is one of the Russian youth. He was very anxious to get a picture with Veli Allgaier before he left! What a great group of youth and adults that were here.

This was a picture of the group as they were loading the bus to head back to Russia. There were many tears of joy shed......joy that they could be here for a week; and also tears of sadness......that they had to leave and won't be back for a very, very long time. Some of them may not be able to come back again because it costs a lot for them to come! We will miss them and look forward to seeing them again.....sometime, somewhere!

Friday, June 26, 2009

So, knowing that we will not be able to walk to a store tomorrow (Saturday) after we finish working in the temple, we decided we better do our WEEKEND shopping this afternoon. When we finished working we headed off to the little market that has my raw peanuts and our pickles that we like. You know.......the necessities of life! We found some ready-made waffles as well. We will try the syrup out and see what it tastes like. And that, our dear children, is our diet for the weekend!! No junk food......all healthy food!!! :-)

We are going to take the train into downtown Helsinki on our P-Day on Monday. Just to see a few tourist things this time.....will keep you posted!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

So when Dad and I finished working in the temple today, we decided we had a couple of errands to do.......pick up some things at Sello (the very 'iso' .....large.....shopping center that is a 3 mile round trip walk! We have sure been doing our fair share of walking. And the weather today was beautiful so we were excited about that. We needed to buy a fan in the Clas Ohlson store (a big hardware type store that has literally everything). Can you believe they had a scrapbooking section.....albeit a small one. They still HAD it!! I was impressed. But very thankful for the great variety we have at home in America!!! Count your blessings girls.....even if you don't scrapbook you still probably use some of those supplies for making cards, handouts for Primary, YW, etc.!!

Tomorrow afternoon when we finish at the temple we need to walk to another little store to pick up a jar of pickles and raw peanuts and 'maito' (milk).

Another great day....we are pooped, the sun is still up and it is 8:45 p.m. We are going to bed early probably! Anybody want to SKYPE this weekend???? Let us know. We will try and stay up late so we can do that if that works out for anyone!!

Love, Mom (and Dad)

P.S. Have we told you how much we LOVE our heated towel racks and heated floors in the bathroom. They just may spoil us when we go back home!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Here are a couple of pictures we took yesterday as we were walking around downtown Helsinki trying to find the right location to get our new charger for the Mac computer!! The top picture was the FIRST stop. 2nd picture was the SECOND stop. We ended up getting the new charger at the THIRD stop!! And we found a FOURTH store after we left there!! Never knew there were so many MAC stores in one city!! At least we had a pretty day to be walking around finding the place!!

Love, Mom and Dad

P.S. It is so nice to be 'connected' properly again!!! :-)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Craft Table

I have a makeshift craft table set up by the living room window. The ironing board makes a great table when not in use for its real purpose!!! I am working on our 'Christmas Tree' for this year. Thought I better get a head start. It will take a bit of sewing to put it together!! Will show you the end product in a few months!!

Father's Day

We don't know if it is Fathers Day here in Finland. I suppose we will find out once we get to church this morning.

Top photo......Dad getting his Fathers Day Haircut!! (Yes, I did it. The 1st time in about 35 years! No barber shops around here!!)

Dad having his Fathers Day Breakfast!! So nice to have time to prepare a decent breakfast and NOT a 'breakfast in a can'!

Friday, June 19, 2009

midnight last night / this morning

So Dad and I were hunkered down for the night when at 10:00 p.m. last night we got a phone call. It was the Gee's (another senior missionary couple here......in fact, the ones that we went walking with the other morning). Did we want to go 'find' a bonfire celebration of the longest day of the year? We decided that 'why not'!! Put our p-day clothes on, grabbed the GPS and the camera and off we went! Are we crazy or what!! And we had to get up at 6:00 a.m. this morning because we needed to be at the temple early.

We drove to the coast and found the shore dotted with a lot of little bonfires. We also found this swan just eating away at her midnight snack!! We got back home at around midnight, had a snack of butter cookies and milk and headed back to bed. The sky was light all night long. Nap time this afternoon when we get home!!!!

Trash Day

Hey kids.......

Can I just share my POTD for today real quick before dad gets back!!! I got this shot of him taking the trash to the outside dumpster after dinner tonight. Isn't he cute!! And being such a dutiful husband!! I often took the trash out before we got here. Now he is doing it on his own!! Retirement and a mission combination have been really good!! He is learning lots of fun new things!

Love, Mom

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Our FAVORITE Things!!!!

We have learned in a very, very short time some of our favorite little snakie thingies! They are the great licorice found here in Finland and MY all time favorite.......raw peanuts!! Both are exceptional here!! You haven't had licorice until you have had it here. Not at all like the kind we get at home. The Luthy's introduced us to their favorite kind and indeed, it has become our favorite!! And the raw peanuts.......such a pleasant surprise to find them here and I wasn't even looking for them. Expensive, like everything is here, but oh so good.

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......


Dad and I took a walk this morning at 7:00 a.m. with one of the other missionary couples here in the apartments. It was a VERY brisk walk (which we are not use to!!) for a 5 K walk!! We used their walking sticks part of the way. Does this count for a 5 K RACE!!!! There are so very many walking / biking / running paths around here. IF any of our children get the chance to come over, we will definitely have to go on some of these paths!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Midnight Sun

Here are photos of the midnight sky........taken at 12:00 midnight ...

3:00 a.m.

6:00 a.m.

Beautiful isn't it!!!

The sun shines on Moroni in Finland

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!

Our Kitchen & Anastasia

So how do you like our dishwasher? We think the dish drainer over the sink is the greatest.

This is a picture of Anastasia, age 12. She is one of two youth who came with the group from the Moscow West Mission. [The other is a 13 year old boy from Kazakstan (sp?) -- Look that one up on the map!]

While their parents are doing endowments all day, they are doing baptisms for the dead twice a day. As we came home from the temple this evening, we saw Anastasia sitting in the stairwell of our little apartment building, sketching portraits of one of the couple in the Russian group (from a picture on her cell phone, which she is holding in her hand). We talked her into doing a sketch of us, so she's going to do a portrait for us, too. We think (she speaks no English, but I think we got the message across). In return, Mom is making a counted cross stitch picture of the temple for her.

Our walk & Punkin look-alike

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

Grocery Shopping

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

Midnight view of the Temple

This was the picture we took out our living room window at 11:45 p.m. last night! Notice the sky still somewhat light. You can not have a better view than this!!!

Off to stake conference today!

Have a wonderful sabbath!

Hello Finland!

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're off to the airport!

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

Laundry at the MTC

Doing our laundry in preparation for our departure tomorrow morning. Does this picture bring back any memories?

Thursday afternoon

Thursday -- the last day of training in the Provo temple.  It has been a wonderful four days under the direction of Elder and Sister Rex Pinegar.  Looking forward to applying all we have learned in the temple in Helsinki.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Temple Training with Elder Pinegar

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

Flu & Relative at MTC

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

MTC Senior Group

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

Meet the Allgaiers

Dear Kids:

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

Wednesday Update

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!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009

We're in love with the MTC!

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!!!

testing 1-2-3

Worked with Becky today in setting up this blog. This will be our "public journal" of our mission. Kiitos, Becky!

We have arrived at the MTC