Monday, November 30, 2009


And a nice day to stay home and catch up on a lot of sleep, laundry, cleaning the apartment, sewing, ironing, cross stitch, scrapbooking, e-mails.......did I miss anything!? Wayne helped me get our Christmas tree on the outside of our apartment door. We are ready for the 'countdown' to Christmas Eve.

It has been a very productive day too......even got a little nap in! We are retired and we can do that, you know. Even as missionaries.

With the Temple Nativity up now, the lights go on every afternoon at about 3:00 p.m. (when it gets dark!!) and stay on all night. There is also music that plays (Tabernacle Choir). Wayne went out and used the remote to get the music going. One of the missionaries have to do that each afternoon.

Tonight we had a FHE with the Temple Missionaries. The Groberg's taught the lesson. It was on MUSIC and the importance of it. It was fun.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


That event began at about 6 p.m. It is always fun to catch up with the young missionaries and what they are doing! We think they also enjoy 'catching' up with us as Temple workers. Notice those reflectors just a-shinnin' with the picture being taken!

Not a very good picture of the crowd or the nativity scene but wanted to get the events with the temple in the background.

The program was very brief which was nice considering how cold it was! No snow for the event but very festive nonetheless!

Then it was inside the asuntola to have some warm mehu (finnish drink) and some ginger cookies. I also contributed some homemade sugar cookies that we had made the night before. We couldn't eat them all so we offered to bring some. Sisar Haikkola was very kind to let me bring them.

The missionaries were quite fascinated with my electronic 'gadgets'......couldn't believe that this old grandma had any!! Digital camera, ipod nano (they loved the purple color and were amazed that I knew how to take video with it) and an iphone and knew how to use it!! Impressed easily!! :-) If they only knew just how handicapped I really am with all of this stuff!!
It has been a very full and wonderful day. I am pooped and ready for bed!! Tomorrow is P-Day and I am ready to do laundry and clean the apartment!!
TURKU WARD..........

This was the week for us to attend Turku Ward. Turku is the oldest village / city in Finland. The capital used to be here until Turku was burned to the ground in 1827. After it was rebuilt the Capital was then moved to Helsinki, where it remains today. There were 4 missionary couples who attended the ward there today.......2 American, 1 Lithuanian and 1 Russian!

There is a very famous book about the history of the Mormon Church in Finland. The lady who wrote it was at church today and we got a picture taken with her. Her name is Anna-Liisa Rinne. She will be 90 years old in January! What a sweet lady she is! And very patient with all of us who wanted our picture taken with her. She speaks about 5 languages!

The Sisar Missionary in the middle was at the MTC with us. I was giving her a little 'motherly chat' about a problem she was having with her ankle! Her companion loved the instruction I was giving her because it was the exact same thing she had told her!! Go figure......

After church we drove around to a couple of 'sites' like the Turku Castle.....oldest in Finland and built by the Swedes. It was built in the 13th century! And completed in about 1500! Now, we are talking old. Veli Wayne and Veli Peciulis are 'knocking' on the door to see if anyone is 'interested' in what they have to offer! No one answered the door however.

We also stopped by the Lutheran Church in town. It is the oldest in all of Finland. It was beautiful. They had a very large Christmas tree out front that they 'lite' last night to begin the Christmas season! It too was impressive.

And the trip would not be complete without a group picture in front of the Castle as we were leaving. A nice young Finnish fellow didn't mind taking the picture for us.......with 4 different cameras.......

At midnight Saturday night (Sunday morning) I woke up because there was a lot of light coming in the living room window (we forgot to close the curtain when we went to bed). I got up to investigate. Well, the light was from our Christmas candles on the window. I turned them off and noticed there was this BIG white ball in the sky.....called the MOON!!! We haven't seen that for a while. It was just too pretty to not get a picture! Camera in hand and picture taken I then went back to bed!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tomorrow, Sunday, we are headed on a road-trip with 3 other missionary couples and will be going to church in Turku! We are excited about visiting the saints there. It is about 1 1/2 hours northwest of here. We will be taking along our own food to eat and I was asked to bake some cookies.

I decided it was time to try out the Christmas cookie cutters that I have bought here in Finland and make some sugar cookies.

It was to be a 'team' making the cookies and Veli decorating them!

Wayne did such a GREAT job in decorating them. And they even tasted good too.......getting us in the Christmas mood!!
Even though the Alakoski's have been out sick all week from the temple, and tonight was their 'farewell' as a member of the previous temple presidency, they were unable to attend because of that sickness!! BUT.....the 'show must go on' and so we had a little party for them!!! It was so nice and and we were so sorry that they had to miss their own party!!

The cake was a delicious and moist Finnish cake.....real whip cream and fresh fruit inside and out!!! Oh my......we just got to eat more since there were fewer people there!

A group picture of those who were able to be there.....picture taken by Pavel! He HATES his picture taken.

The attendees were: President ja Sisar Haikkola, President ja Sisar Vorimo, Veli ja Sisar Peciulines, Veli ja Sisar Zaretskijs, Veli ja Sisar Johnson ja Veli ja Sisar Allgaier.

President Haikkola DID get Pavel to have ONE picture taken and he stook there with him just to give him moral support. How sweet of both of them. Sometimes we do what we have to do whether we like it or not!

And President ja Sisar Vorimo sharing the same chair and just hanging out a bit.....relaxing after a hard day of work in the temple! We all need that once in a while! :-)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Today (Thursday) is our long day of the week. We have 6 endowment sessions instead of the usual 5. On the way home from the temple this afternoon we noticed that 'additional scenery' pieces had been added to the manger that was set up on Monday (or was it Tuesday). It is turning out very nicely. Can't wait to see what else they will add!!

Then we noticed that the main gate for the new temple fence is almost complete! It looks really nice. Notice that it is a little darker......that is because the picture was taken at about 3:00 p.m. and it is already getting darker.

We did not get a chance to have lunch at the temple so we brought it home to eat. When we sat down we realized that this was not just any Thursday!! Oh my goodness.......THIS WAS THANKSGIVING DAY!!! We had forgotten all about that!! Our little cheese sandwich just didn't taste quite like the 'real turkey' we are used to having. Oh two years we can have a real turkey again....maybe, if we are home! It has been a great day though!

SOOOOOOO, Let me catch up a minute!! Last night, Wednesday, I 'found' 3 of my little Russian gals to give them their bookmarks I had made for them. It was so fun to surprise them. They seemed to love them.....they gave me big hugs and kisses!! These are the bookmarks I made......

Sisar Lazarenko, Sisar Valentina Kalacheva, and Sisar Nina Trofimova......all from Yekaterinburg, Russia.

At the asuntola desk is Sisar Lazarenko watching a video of a russian brother 'performing' a solo when they were here back in July. Sisar Peciliuene watched as we laughed!

Then, my two little sweeties......the one with the pigtales was just so cute. They are both you can tell from me. I am only 5' 1-1/2 inches....I was bending over to give them a hug. They were just so appreciative!

And, Sisar Lazarenko got her bookmark! She asked me to make one for her friend that was endowed on Tuesday......Svetlana Astafyeva. I did make it and she was also thrilled!!

We also had our traditional Tuesday night meeting with the Temple President and Matron....which has now been moved to Wednesday night (under the direction of our new temple president). After the meeting the 4 of us sisters just lined up outside of their apartment and started the massages! AHHH they were so nice!! I think we all needed them!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

SUNRISE.......and on our way to the Temple!

At 7:45 a.m. it is still quite can see just a sliver of what might be the sun trying to come up! It never made it today......just dark all day long! It was a nice try though! :-)

As we were leaving the temple today, Sisar Soininen was coming! I have been trying to get a picture of her with the bookmark I made her. She had the bookmark with her and I grabbed the chance to get that foto!!! KIITOS PALJON Sisar Soininen! What a sweetie you are!!!

Walking down the steps from the temple to the asuntola we took the opportunity to get a good picture of the manger 'building' which had been put in 'place' on Monday night. Can't wait to see what goes up next!! It MUST be the season!!

Monday, November 23, 2009


Even though it was dreary, gloomy, cloudy, drizzly day we decided we were going downtown Helsinki anyway. Haven't been there for several weeks. Had to see if anything had changed! You to make sure everything is okay! :-)

We decided this time we were going to ride the trolly car all the way around the City to get an overview....took about 1 hour and 15 minutes......still on the original 'bus' ticket that we used in getting from Leppavarra to the train station. Not bad!! These first few shots were taken from the trolly!
The street person is quite typical. We see quite a few of them actually.

When we rode all the way around, we decided to get off the trolly at a small park close to the downtown torri. Wayne had always wanted to go there so this was the time! It was quite a climb up to the top. There was a beautiful view from up there! There was an observatory at the top as well. That would be fun to go back there sometime and see what they have to 'look' at!

From there we walked by up toward the esplanade to a few of the shops. We ended up at Stockman's. We seem to always migrate there. They have everything.....why not. (Stockman's is like the huge Macy's in New York) This Christmas tree is huge and hangs from the ceiling. You can see some of the different floors across the way.

It was about 3 p.m. when we got back to Sello (by train). We needed a couple of cartons of milk so decided to stop in at City Market and pick those up. It was very dark. It felt like it should have been about 9 p.m.!

We did see a lady weighing a turkey (yes, a turkey) at an indoor meat market down by the torri! It was cool to see one again! First one we have seen here. The price for this one (which looked to be about 16 - 20 lbs) was priced at 109 euros!!! Yikes....that would equal about $165 American dollars!! No turkey for us this year.....or next!! :-(

Sunday, November 22, 2009

We started the day off by scraping some very thick frost off of all of the car windows....we had 4 cars going to church today.....3 to Haaga and one to Marjaniemi where the Johnson's and we went to church. We had a lot of 'extra' folks to transport because of missionaries from Russia being here and needing rides long with a sister and her son from Oulu who were on their way home by way of Marjaniemi.

This is the Marjaniemi is a very nice building, much like the Kereva Ward Building.

When we got home from church we were able to relax a bit. I always have my cross stitch bookmarks in 'progress'! And Wayne has his genealogy that he is working on.

While I was fixing dinner we had a surprise video chat with Steven and Tim and Sam! That was fun. They looked good. The boys are getting bigger and are growing into young men. Tim turns 12 years old tomorrow!! Is that really possible!! Can you really be that old Tim?? Come on, fess up!!

AND.....the frustration of it all.....that being computers!!! All of a sudden I couldn't download any of my pictures from my camera. Go figure......I HATE COMPUTERS!!!! AND ALL ELECTRONIC THINGIES FOR THAT MATTER!!
After a frustrating time of reading our camera booklet and doing everything we could, we e-mailed Kevin to get suggestions from him. In the meantime, Wayne took a picture of my frustration AND I decided to 'REBOOT'. After all.....that is what I have been 'taught' to do IF all else fails......REBOOT!!! :-) IT WORKED. I was able to get this blog posted!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


As if I needed one more thing, I have decided (with Wayne's encouragement) to start keeping track of all of the counted cross Helsinki Temple bookmarks and little round pictures that I make as gifts! I should have done this from the beginning. Trying to recreate after almost 6 months is hard, but......better now than a year from now. It has been fun for me to go back through all of the hundreds of pictures we have taken and see just how our lives have been touched by so many, many wonderful people. And just how many of these I have made. I have accounted for 50 so far. I know I have done more than that but don't have the pictures to go with the names. I will put this 'project' in my 'Vieraskirja' book (guest book). It should be fun and hope others will enjoy looking at it! Okay....that truly is ALL for today!


So..... when I finished taking pictures, it was time for our Saturday tradition of going out to eat somewhere!! Anywhere!! We normally go to Hesburger but today we decided to go to IKEA because it is very large and they apparently have a great cafeteria inside! Johnson's have been there before. So, off the 3 American couples went!

Johnson's, Groberg's and Allgaier's! We don't know that it was meant to be a tradition, but it seems like that is the way it is headed. That is okay because we are having fun!!

I have been looking for a winter robe.....and one that I can use when we go to sauna! I was not even looking and there it was right there in the sauna / bathroom section of IKEA! PURPLE and warm and meant for me!! And a decent price (at least for Finland!) When we got home, we were checking e-mail and there was a little 'skype' chat screen thingie from Kevin. Unbeknownst to me, Kevin took a picture and sent it our way. He said it was okay to use it. How fun is that. The amazing thing is that this is the first time I think I have used that feature and I figured it out all by myself. I heard this 'funny little noise' and saw my little skype icon bouncing up and down so I figured that meant something! Sure DID!! I am getting better at this computer stuff! But don't tell the kids! :-)

The weeks are just by way too fast. We are almost 1/3 of the way through our mission. Not liking that. Can we make time stand still!!

After the temple today I grabbed my camera and went out to take some pictures. The new 'temple fence' is almost completed. Just the mail gate left to complete. Wayne and Veli Zaretskij (Russian Temple Missionary) were looking it over.

Then I turned around and saw the beautiful clouds blowing by and the blue sky appearing (haven't seen blue sky for a while!). Had to take a picture of that.....pinkish because the sun is setting and it is about 2:45 p.m.

Then I turned around again and there was Veli Groberg and Veli Peciulis (Lithuanian Temple Missionary) coming down the steps from the temple. Great men ..... everyone of them....and so much power standing right there!!

Then I turned around and saw the Christmas lights glowing in the 3 American Missionary apartments and decided I needed to take a picture of that too!! Our apartment in the one on the left in the corner (over the doorway). Okay, that is enough for one 'turn-around'!!