Wednesday, September 30, 2009


As you may recall from several months ago, the permanent Temple Fence was finally started! Albeit very slowly. This has been 3 very long years in the making!! Local politics has had a lot to do with the delays, of course! President and Sister Luthy were so hoping to see part of it completed before they leave Finland the end of October. Their wish, at least in part, may be a reality for them!!

The other day we noticed more 'activity' out on the grounds. Wayne decided that he, along with several of the other brother missionaries, would go investigate!

Here Veli Goodliffe is getting up close and personal with a picture!
We LOVE the solid rock that the temple is built on! We think it will indeed stand for centuries to come!
And......part of the newest section to be put up! It will indeed look nice when completed. We just don't know when that will be. Even my hairdress, Tuula, said on Monday that she hoped the company is doing a good job with the footings. Like she said.....'with the winter weather here, freezing, thawing, and more freezing'. She wants to make sure the company is doing a good job! Bless her heart!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


A tradition that our ward at home, Monocacy Ward, has is having a Missionary Plaque for those serving full-time missions. And since we are a senior missionary couple, we QUALIFY! Love it! I have always looked at those plaques wondering if we would be one of 'those' some day. Well......we are! And we have a plaque.

Steven, being 1st counselor in the Bishopric, has the responsibility of keeping those plaques up to date! That comes in handy for us.

We had just a 'regular' picture in there to begin with. Once we got in the mission field and were able to take a real missionary picture, we asked him to switch it out for us. We were excited to see what he was able to do.

Great job Steven! KIITOS PALJON!

BEFORE shot of plaque

AFTER shot of 'new' look of plaque!

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Sunday, and we decided we would go to the Kerava Ward with the Goodliffe's and the Groberg's. Sister's Goodliffe and Groberg had been asked to play a musical duet after the Sacrament and before Testimony meeting. They did a wonderful job. Really set the tone for the meeting.

I got ahead of myself though. The chapel was built in the early 1980's. It is very pretty and quite unique.

EveryTHING is Finland is built on a rock, or so it seems. There are so many rocks everyWHERE! The church property was no exception. This particular rock was 'dug out' of where the basement of the church is. It was suggested by the architect that it put positioned in front of the church.
President Alakoski (counselor in the temple presidency and a member of this ward) told us that "this is THE ROCK spoken of in Daniel 2:34-45, cut out without hands that smote the idol in King Nebuchadnezzar's dream and filled the whole earth". So there you have it! It must be true.
This is the inside of the church. Quite unique. Bose speakers all around. I was impressed.
Sisar Goodliffe and Sisar Groberg playing their duet during Sacrament Meeting (actually, we did NOT take this picture at that time.....would not have been appropriate. Wayne actually took it after church.)
LOVE, the table cloth on the table in Relief Society. I believe Sisar Alakoski made this as well. She is quite talented! It says.....'1842, Charity Never Faileth.......Relief Society'. What else would you find in a Relief Society Room? And, yes, there were very pretty flowers on the table as well.

We truly feel a great spirit of the Gospel everywhere we visit in Finland. Wards, Branches....all the Saints seem to be strong in the Gospel. We just need it to 'grow' more and faster!!

Now we are off to our every other week FHE with the Temple Missionaries here in the asuntola. This week it is Velli ja Sisar Valiliev's turn to give the lesson. They are the missionary couple from Russia. They will complete their mission in about 3 weeks!
Saturday, the end of a great Young Single Adult Temple Week......

Most of the Young Single Adults had left for various parts of Russia, Sweden and Finland. There were these 4 gals left who would leave on Sunday afternoon to head back to their home in Lithuania. They were just the cutest things. ALL of these young adults we have been so impressed with. With each group of saints that come here, we feel like they just can't get any better. And somehow, they DO!! This group was no exception.

Well, these gals had 'made some food' and they made 'way too much' and said they couldn't eat it by themselves. The temple missionaries got a phone call about 5:30 p.m. and said......'Join us at 6:00 p.m. for some food'! And that we did. What a treat. These gals had fixed a real spread!
Got back to the apartment and looked out the window and what did we see......Another gorgeous temple sunset!!! Man, how do we get so lucky all the time at this great view!

Friday, September 25, 2009

MEET 'VIKA' (or Vicki in English)

Yup, there is another Vicki in the world. Actually, Vika lives in Moscow. We met her two months ago when she came tot he temple. She is here this week with the Young Single Adults from Russia, Lithuania, Sweden and Finland. She is a real sweetie. She hopes to be back next March or April and looks forward to seeing us then. It may be the last time we will get to see her while we are here on our mission!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Виктория – Victoria

Вики -- Vicki

And that would be in Russian!

Why do I ask you may say! Well, you are all aware of the cross stitch Helsinki Temple bookmarks and pictures that I make and give as gifts. Yesterday, I was talking with this sweet young single adult sister that we had met the last time we was here in July. I did not know her name them but we asked what her name guessed it! Victoria or Vika for short (or Vicki in English).

I decided as soon as we met her that I would be making her a bookmark! And here it is. I will give it to her later today.

Brief 'history' of how I came about making these as gifts. When we got our mission call to come to Finland, I knew I would have a difficult time with the language. I would not give up, I wanted to at least be able to read it even if I could not speak it fluently!

I wanted to be able to share 'something' with the great people that I knew we would meet.....Finns and otherwise. I thought about my 'talent' of being able to count (as in doing counted cross stitch......anybody can count, right!?) and make cross stitch pictures.

I had Wayne design a miniature Helsinki Finland pattern. I started making them as little gifts for special friends even before we left on our mission. I brought a ton of supplies with me. I quickly ran out and had to 'e-mail home' for reinforcements! I am sure i will run out again, and I will e-mail for more reinforcements. I have made countless framed pictures and bookmarks!

Here are several that I have given to Finns, Russians and Estonians.......these can be found in the far reaches of all of these countries! Maybe I can make a cross stitch at a time!
This sweet gal came to the temple for the first time in July. She is from Savonlinna, eastern part of Finland.

The sweetest couple ever. She was previously endowed, her husband was endowed on this trip and then they were sealed. They just loved their little cross stitch picture!

And below there was Angelikka from Ukraine. She used to do baptisms all the time. She will be coming back soon to receive her own endowment. This was in July 2009

These are just a few of the cross stitch bookmarks that I have made for a variety of folks.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


AND......It is YOUNG SINGLE ADULT WEEK here at the Temple.

We are on the morning shift this week. We were up at 5:45 a.m. to get ready. Looked out our living room window at 7:15 a.m. and found this beautiful sunrise!! I knew it was going to be a great beginning to a great week back in the temple. We have a wonderful group of young single adults here this week from all parts of Russia, Lithuania and Finland. None from Estonia this time.

Then, when we got home this afternoon, there was a package waiting for us. It had a few things that I had requested from America PLUS, a bonus bag of CRAB CHIPS!!! Can you believe that! Wow, we were totally stoked about that. We LOVE crab chips. And a big bag too. We will savor every single mouthful. KIITOS PALJON S & E for sending them!
That even called for a P,B & J sandwich to go with them. We were in Heaven!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Even after a 2-week shut-down for regular Temple maintenance, we still had our

I had gotten an e-mail recipe from LDS Living and there was a good-looking dinner roll from Lion House cookbook. I had to try it out today.

The picture below shows the flour and yeast ingredients with a bowl of the dough just starting to rise. I knew I would have to take a picture of the ingredients so I could remember what to buy next time! There are way too many options and different kinds of flours!
Once the dough got started to rise on the first go round, I got a phone call from Sister Luthy (matron) asking if I could come help with putting some things 'in order' before the temple opens again tomorrow. Sure, I said, I will be right up! That meant I had to give Wayne instructions to finish up the rolls!! This was to be a FIRST for him!! :-)
With his apron on, he has seen me wearing an apron for the last 40 years and bless his heart for putting one on, he was ready to shape those rolls!! Right on schedule!
He got two pans shaped and ready to rise again. Bless his heart.....he only had to call me once at the temple with a 'cooking question'......when was I going to be coming home!! Just in case.....he said!
The rolls turned out fantastic. We had enough to share with all of the temple missionaries in the asuntola. They loved it. The asuntola smelled so good.
We looked out our living room window and noticed the Vorimo's car outside. President Vormio was dropping something off at the desk. Wayne rushed a plate of rolls down to them as well!

We are back in full swing with temple activity now. A bus from Moscow, Russia arrived this afternoon with lots of patrons for the housing......which means lots of temple activity for the week! Good day.....great week beginning!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


In deed a rare occurrence because we are usually working in the Temple on Saturday! But.....the temple does not open until next Tuesday, so we took advantage and decided to go downtown Helsinki again. On the bus trip there, Brother & Sister Vasiliev, temple missionaries from Russia, decided to go with us. The picture below shows Brother Vasiliev striking up a conversation with another Russian lady and her daughter on the bus. Fun to watch them talk to each other!
Being able to purchase 'fresh fish' right off the boat at the docks edge is a very popular thing to do! If you like to do that sort of thing. And many of the native Finns love that. Here is the 'action'!
And the fresh fruits and vegetables are always so attractive as well as delicious. Today we bought TWO ears of corn for 2 euro! Quite expensive but we decided to treat ourselves. We have not been able to find corn on the cob at all this summer! Now that it is fall weather, we find it. Go figure!
Street musicians are always fun to watch. This guys was actually quite good! Had quite a few folks dropping coins in his little can too!
We rounded out our trip by going to the City Museum and the National Museum! Almost 'Museum overload'! A lot to take in but we were determined to do it. The National Museum is not open on Monday's, which is our normal Preparation Day. It was a fun day!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


What a wonderful week it has been. We have done and seen some amazing things! The temple opens again next week and we are ready to get back to being temple missionaries!

We are NOT going back to Espoo without one unexpected souvenir! Wayne woke up Wednesday morning to find his wrist really swollen! Mosquito bite? We are not sure....but definitely a bit of some kind.
We bought a picture of a Norther Night that was closest to the one we saw on Tuesday night. This was the display 'case' at the Lapland Gift Shop in Ivalo. The closest to the one we saw is located on the next to bottom row, 2nd from right. Our little point-and-shoot-camera would not take a picture for us!
As we were driving around yesterday we just had to take a picture of this little bus stop. This was so typical of bus stops along Route #4.
We saw a lot more reindeer while driving again today. These 2 white ones are for tourist driving along. Their names are 'Ping Pong' and 'Roope'......aren't they cute! Don't know who came up with those names!
This is our sleeper train that we took back from Rovaniemi to Helsinki. It was a 13 hour train ride. This is what Wayne used to call 'Blue Beeper' when he was on his mission here 45 years ago. They are very old .......
And the inside of our sleeper compartment. I took the upstairs bunk and Wayne had the downstairs bunk.
Here I am looking at him from the upstairs bunk. They were actually quite comfortable!
And we arrived back to our Home Sweet Asuntola Home safe and sound. What a wonderful week. We are ready to get back to work now!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


We were so hopeful that we would be able to see the Northern Lights before we left the Arctic Circle area. That is one thing this area is known for! We really wanted to see them.
While having dinner in the Hotel Inari restaurant, we looked out the window admiring the sunset. It kind of looked like it could be the Northern Lights, so we took this picture, thinking this is as close as we would get to seeing them:

We had several people tell us that is was too early in the season, and too cloudy.....we would not be able to see anything! We just kept saying to ourselves that the trip would end perfectly IF we could see the northern lights. It has to be really dark to see it.

We had been told by a clerk in the Siida Museum earlier in the evening that she had seen a little display the night before. We were hopeful!!

At almost 10:00 p.m. we headed out to the 'country' where there were no street lights, etc. so we could have a really good view.....and hoped we knew what we were looking for! The sky was actually pretty clear (we were able to see the Milky Way). We stood out there in the chilly air until about 10:30, saw nothing, so we headed back to the hotel.

At about 11:00 p.m. we turned the lights off and hit the bed. We usually sleep with the curtain open a smidge so the morning light can wake us naturally. Dad was the last one in bed.....I reminded him we needed the curtain open a smidge. He grumbled a little and got back out of bed, looked out the window, put a shirt on and said he would be right back. Before I could even ask what he was up to he was out of the room.

When he came back he said he was getting dressed (not in PJ's) and going outside.....there was something in the sky and he wasn't sure if it was Northern Lights or not but he was going to investigate. I jumped out of bed too, of course, because I was not going to miss this 'party'!

Got outside in back of the hotel (where the hotel lights were not as bright) and there is was........big as day (or night) ..... NORTHERN LIGHTS!! It was a fantastic show.......greens, a little red, all dancing in the sky, and changing 'directions' quite often. When we thought it might be over, low and behold, it was back again in another spot. It was quite large and very impressive.

A hotel employee came to empty the trash and we (Dad....speaking in Finnish of course) told him what we doing! He was impressed with the display because he said normally it is not evident this early in the season...usually later in September!

We felt that it was Heavenly Father's way of giving us exactly what we wanted for the end of our trip. Today, Wednesday, it is cloudy! You can NOT see Northern Lights if it is cloudy. It has to be clear skies! And we also saw the Milky Way......great night for being outside!

P.S.: Couldn't take a picture -- not enough light. You just have to see them to appreciate them.


Even though my birthday is not until October, Wayne bought me a beautiful pair of earrings in a silver jewelry shop in Inari today. This is the silversmith who made them for me.
I had seen a similar pair on one of the other sister missionaries. She had purchased them here in Lapland somewhere. When I saw this shop we stopped to see if they had them. I described them to this couple who owned the shop. They showed me some options and said they could make them right then! What a pleasant surprise!
And I LOVE them!! Kittos paljon honey for a wonderful birthday surprise!! You are the BEST!!

And we saw plenty more of the cute little things today!

Here is a small herd deciding that sine they own the road, they can cross anytime they want and take their good ole sweet time about it! Not much a driver can do to hurry them....except, of course, hit them! That would hurt the car!!
A little motor scooter was coming the other way. He had to wait right along with us coming the opposite direction. When the scooter passed us, the driver looked like he was about 70 years old! Bless his little heart.

The reindeer are just such pretty things! Head down, eating....not a problem. Head up, watch out because they could run right in front of you!
We found that there were usually 5 to 6 in a group.
This guys was NOT alone....the rest of the herd was very close by.
Pretty, pretty, pretty!
Loved this pretty white baby one! Antlers not very big yet!


The sign below tells where we are headed! First to Utsjoki and then north east to Nuorgam. Check them out on a map and see if you can find them. Nuorgam is the farther most northern city in all of the Arctic Circle....anywhere in the world! And we have now been there!
We found out that these contraptions are used to catch fish in the summer. During the winter months (which we are in now even though it is only September) they bring them up by the side of the roads to 'store' them! Interesting!!

Beautiful little stream along the way. Finland has some 55,000 (yes, 55,000) lakes. I think we saw most of them on this trip!! And a lot of marsh land too!

Who would have even thought you could prop a big boulder like this up with 4 little twigs from a tree. If you look closely you can see at least 3 of those twigs.

The typical 'mail box' at the residences along Route #4 traveling north. The public buses that travel up and down this road often bring the mail with them. Not sure how often these folks actually get them mail delivered. Come rain, shine, snow, sleet, etc., etc., etc.!! You get the idea.
Beautiful little church dating back to the 1850's. There were little 'church dwellings' where families from outlying areas would travel to at least 4 times a year for church. The family would stay in the little houses and spend the night. It was too far to travel to church in one day. There were about 14 of the little 'family dwellings' that had been preserved.
Loving this barren country side....peaceful and quiet!!