Monday, August 31, 2009

Fun P-Day in downtown Helsinki

Great story behind this book! Wayne wanted a larger version of a Finnish-English Dictionary. There was one here in the apartment left by the previous missionary couple who lived here, the Larson's. We found one on E-bay or Amazon but it was $50, plus shipping. We decided we would look in used book stores. We went in this one used book store this morning. Wayne told the guys what he was looking for. The guy walked over to a shelf, pulled the book down and said (in Finnish) you mean this? Sure enough....excactly like that! And the date in the book was 1962, the very year Wayne arrived here on his mission. And the best part.....5 euros!!! We bought it quickly before the guys realized that the price was really cheap!! Wayne was like a kid in a candy store!! Love the look on his face. He says he is going to take this book to bed with us!! :-)
We love the rocks here in Finland. They are everywhere! This rock is next to a city building (in the background). They are just so cool looking!
This was the cutest little souvenir shop that the Gee's had suggested we go to. They had some unique things. The lady was just as sweet as could be. We just chatted away for several minutes.....told her we were missionaries here for the Mormon Church and serving in the Mormon Temple. She knew what and where that was!

All in all.....a great P-Day!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Baking in Finland.....this is NOT American baking, Houston!!

I decided we have been in Finland long enough, and it was about time I tried baking some cookies! NOT my chocolate chip about oatmeal, chocolate chip, nut cookies!

Wayne and I went shopping to find the right kind of flour (they must have 30 different kinds of flour! NO fooling!), brown sugar (which is also NOT like American brown sugar), vanilla flavoring was left in the apartment, thank goodness. The flavoring here is powdered! Chocolate chips do NOT exist here either!! How to get a large chocolate bar and cut it into chunks!! Yup, that's how you get chocolate chips here!

Sunday afternoon seemed like a good time to try my 'experiment'! Relaxing afternoon. I mixed up the batter, sifted my flour and other dry ingredients together, chopped my chocolate and ready to bake.
Oh, and did I tell you......they don't have cookie sheets here either!! SO.....broiler pans are what they use! With baking paper over top of the pan. What can I say. Do as the Finns do.

Actually, they turned out pretty good. Not like mine at home, but hey, we are not at home!

I suppose I will be ready to do more baking when I need to!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

An Apostle and a large group of church leaders come to Helsinki Finland Temple!

Let's back up a month or so. President Luthy announced to us temple missionaries that we had some very special guests coming on August 27th and that we were not to talk about it.....which we have not! Hard to keep a secret like this one though. Coming would be Elder L. Tom Perry, Sister Perry, one of their granddaughters, Elder Rasband (senior president of the 7 presidents of the 1st quorum of seventy), Sister Rasband, the entire Area Presidency and all Mission Presidents and their wives from all of the Europe East and Russia Missions.

Elder Perry, President Rasband and the other Area Presidency have been in Europe doing training with Mission President and the Wife. They had training last week in west Europe, ending with a session for all of them in the London Temple. This week they have come to Estonia, Tallinn to have training with the Europe East and Russia Mission President. They have been meeting all week. They ended their meetings by having a session together in the Helsinki Temple! We could not have been more excited!!

Knowing they were coming, I had to make bookmarks for Sister Perry and their granddaughter, Diana. Sister Luthy would see that they got them for me. Since I would probably only get to see them in the temple, that would not be appropriate for me to give to her there.

Wayne and I had been asked to officiate the temple session for the group! We were thrilled. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity! Wayne did a great job......."perfect" to quote one of the leader. In fact, this particular leader said to me afterward....."NO pressure, just a general authority, an entire area presidency and all of those mission president and their worry"! He was right......but Wayne did a beautiful job.
After the session and short meeting in the asuntola were finished, Wayne was also asked to help drive folks to the airport. He was happy to help. This is a picture he was able to get of Elder Perry headed inside at the airport.

What a wonderful event! One that we will not soon forget!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We came home from the temple this afternoon to find sweet little notes on our apartment door! We think we know who did this! A sweet little russian gal (27 yrs old) from Samara. She is the only member of the church in her family and has to go over 3 hours to get to church on Sunday. Her name is Natalia.
I made her a cross stitch bookmark and gave to her.
And a front few of our front door!
Yesterday, Tuesday, we came home from the temple to find some freshly picked blueberries and a jar of homemade raspberry jam (also freshly made) by a sweet little Finn lady.
People are so sweet here. They are very thoughtful in their actions!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Time for haircut #2!!

It is amazing how fast my hair seems to grow! It has been 5 weeks since the last hair cut! I was in dire need of this haircut! Glad the day finally arrived.....Monday, August 24th 1:30 P.M.

And here is the result! Shorter, easier to take care of I hope. With rainy, windy, snowy weather here I needed something really easy. I hope this will do the trick! :-)


And the name of my hairdresser here in Finland is Tuula Vanttila (with 2 dots over both a's) She knows how to work those scissors!

Monday, August 24, 2009

This deserves a separate entry all on its own!! My FIRST REAL FINNISH SAUNA!!! Wayne couldn't believe I agreed to do this. While visiting the Multamaki's in Mantyharu this weekend, they invited us to use their newly finished in-home sauna! I said yes before I realized what I had said!! They would not let me back out of this now.....I had actually said YES!!! Oh we go......heat and all!!!
It actually turned out quite nice. I could go for another sauna AGAIN!! I think I might be hooked on them. Here are a couple of shots taken inside the sauna......with appropriate robes on for the pictures. That was the only way we could take the pictures! :-)

It was a very nice sauna too. I don't mind this kind!
After we finished in the sauna, we sat out on their upstairs deck relaxing in the cool evening air! I could get used to this! Next time we visit the Multimaki's!

Our Weekend Trip to Mantyharu!!

Forty-five years ago, when Wayne was serving here as a young missionary, he taught a family by the name of Mulkamaki. They were baptized one week after he was transferred. Sister Mulkamaki well remembered the young Veli Allgaier! We were very excited to see her after all of these years! Her husband passed away in July 2008. Too bad he was not still alive so Wayne could have seen him as well. Here is a picture of Sisar Multamaki as we arrived at her home. (Her home is actually on the grounds of her young son and his family. Makes it v
ery convenient for them to look after 'grandma' and still let her have her
independence! And be close to some of her 25 grandchildren!)

Here is a picture of her youngest son, Laurri, and his wife, Mervi,
and their 3 children. They are such a sweet family!

Wayne was asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting in the Mikkeli Ward on Sunday. It is about a 30 minute drive from their home. We both spoke in Primary about the importance of keeping the Sabbath Day holy and how that can strengthen our families if we do. It was fun to be in their ward!

On Sunday afternoon Mervi and Eelis (their youngest son) took Wayne and I on a walk in the woods along the lake and on the ridge to pick some berries! It was a beautiful walk and a beautiful view of the lake!

I have to include the importance of these 'ridges' along the lake. When Russia had control of Finland they somehow knew the German's were going to invade. They made the Finns dig these huge trenches along the lakes so the German's could not invade. If you could see all of the rock and how huge they are, you could realize that this was no small task! There are many, many, many of these trenches that had been dug. There is a map that shows how many miles of trenches had been dug.

And then it was Sunday evening and time to take us back to the Mantyharu Train Station so we could head back to Espoo!! What a wonderful 'weekend'......all 30 hours of it! Both Sisar Multamaki's took us to the train station. We look forward to going back again!! Thank you Multamaki's for a wonderful mission memory....both from 45 years ago and from 2009!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Woke up this morning and checked the weather forecast for today! Low and is a cool temperature outside. Fall is definitely here and it is only August 20th! Where or where did the summer go.
And had to throw this one in for good senior missionaries we can do our laundry anytime we feel the need. I did our laundry last night. I wanted to include a picture of our laundry room.....nice, 2 washers, 2 dryers and an exercise bike (for those snowy, winter days when we can't get outside but want some exercise! You have to have a key to get in this room, which the 5 missionary couples have.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A fun visit with someone Wayne has not seen in 45 years!! Bruce Matis. Bruce and Wayne were on a mission here 45 years ago. Bruce's dad was the first mission president here in Finland many years ago. So he was actually here as a little tyke! His son, who accompanied him on this trip, also served a mission here to Finland. How fun it was to spend a little time with them. They flew in this afternoon, will spend the night here in the asuntola and head over to Talliin, Estonia in the morning where Bruce will give a lecture. They fly back to the US tomorrow night!

He e-mailed us a few days ago to ask what we might want brought over. PEANUT BUTER.....CRUNCHY, JIF would be wonderful!! We were expecting a small little jar! Well, guess what......he brought a whole bunch with him!!! Bless his little pea-picking heart! We will be able to share these jars with the other american missionaries here!! They will love it as much as we do, I am sure!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Boys will be boys.....Elders will be Elders. Having to experiment with anything fascinating!! This was no exception. There is a new, permanent fence being erected around the temple grounds. The holes have been dug for quite some time with a temporary fence in place. Today, the new fence was begun. This is the first piece!! Right outside of the temple presidents apartment! After we finished our traditional Tuesday evening temple missionary meeting with President and Sister Luthy, these elder just had to go look!! And I just had to go take a picture of the big event! Doesn't take a whole lot to excite these guys!! :-) Now we will see just how long it takes before the entire fence is completed.

Another small world story in the temple today! (We sure seem to have them often). Wayne brought a lot of his mission pictures with us 'just in case'! Today in the temple Wayne got to talking to an American and found out his last name was a Finnish name! In talking with him more he found out that his mother is from Finland and that they were living in America. What town had his mother grown up in here in Finland? Lappeenaranta! Wayne had served there as a young missionary!! He thought he might know her. We met them as they were coming out of the temple and sure enough it was her!!! What a great reunion. We caught up on her family and she caught up on ours. She is working as a professor at BYU Hawaii. Here is a picture of Helena Hannonen and her son Marcus. We were standing in front of the temple main doors.

Monday, August 17, 2009 goodness, these days come around so quickly! That means our mission time is flying by way tooo fast! We went to the iittala glass factory about 1 1/2 hours north of Espoo. We went with the Goodliffe's (who only have 6 weeks left on their mission, then they return home to Idaho) and the Groberg's (who arrived here just one week ago also from Idaho and also the brother to Elder John Groberg). It was a fun little trip. Here are somepictures. We did not buy anything because everything was way over priced!! Pretty but not what we wanted to spend our money on!

Then, we were all hungry so we decided to get a bite of lunch at the little restaurant on site. It was really good......these Finns know how to cook their salmon and potatoes!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

We had 'movie night' tonight for FHE. Goodliffe's were in charge. We watched the NEW 90 minute version of Johnny Lingo. It was really good......popcorn, candy and soda. Then at the end we had Mangum bars! It was a great, fun evening.
We attended the Neitsytpolku Ward in Helsinki this morning. Wayne attended there 45 years ago as a young missionary. We had been wanting to go there but just had not gotten there. There was a missionary there that Wayne had been asked to see for a little medical 'thing' so we felt it was time to get down there. (The missionaries phone has not been working for the past 4 - 5 days that he has been trying to reach him.......President Brown and Sisar Brown knew about the phone problems) We are so glad we went. It is a great little ward. Wayne was asked right off the bat to help bless the sacrament! That was great. Then we attended an English speaking Sunday School class.....taught by Pavel Bashkavtov (who is the Temple Recorder). He did a great job. This picture is of our Sunday School class. The lesson was on Eternal Marriage.....right up our ally as temple missionaries!
We needed to scoot over to the end of Haaga Ward so I could deliver a cross stitch scripture bookmark to Sisar Havu. She is such a sweet lady! She is one of the first Finns I met at the temple and was able to help her with some of the Finnish! She was just thrilled to get this little gift.
We got home and I fixed a salmon steak dinner! Oh my goodness......people over here in this part of the world just don't know how good they have it with all of this wonderful Norwegain Salmon so readily available! It is just soooooo good no matter how you fix it. I pan fried it today. We tend to have Salmon at least once a week it seems. Can not get enough of it!

Tonight we have FHE with the temple missionaries here in the asuntola. It is going to be a 'movie night' we are told. We just don't know which movie yet! :-)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Honest, last post for today!! With our shopping at Sello, we were able to find a coat for Wayne to purchase. Fall is in the air now with daytime high's in the 60's and nighttime in the 50's. When we go up to Lapland in a few weeks, we will need our coats as the temps are 50's daytime and 40's nighttime! Bring it on......we are ready!

And ONE last post for today! At the end of our temple shift Wayne and I needed to walk over to Sello to pick up some needed things for the maito (milk), salmon steaks, Fanta (orange soda), you know the IMPORTANT things in life!! We have 4 full bags to carry home on our 3 mile round trip walk! Good exercise! And a well deserved bowl of ice cream when we got home too!! :-)

This was a BIG wedding day for Y.C. Ho. She was taught the gospel a little over a year ago by Sisar Bethwith, our MTC Tutor. That was so fun to meet her and to know that she is doing well in the gospel. What a great young man she married! They will do well!!