Monday, December 7, 2009

We had been invited to come to Mikkeli to visit a long-lost contact that Wayne had from 45 years ago......Marketta. Found her through the Ojala's! With this trip having been planned several weeks ago, President Haikkola gave us permission to use the Chrysler mission van. We left after the temple on Saturday and arrived Saturday evening in time to have a fun evening with everyone!
I LOVE Sisar Ojala's stove....traditional german style stove! In Finland!! Go figure.
This is Veli ja Sisar Ojala with Marketta. It was fun for Wayne to catch up on what she has been doing these past 45 years. And to find out she is still active.......he was glad to see that. Wayne actually taught the Gospel to her former husband and he was baptized.
Sisar Ojala decided we should all load up and head to the Christmas Market in downtown Mikkeli! It was soooo fun. They were open until 12:00 midnight that particular night.
We found a lot of fun things.......didn't buy much but it was fun to be out and about in the local culture!
Loved the candles. The Finns love their candles too. They are everywhere!!
We stayed in the Cumulus Hotel in downtown Mikkeli. The view of the big local Lutheran church from our window on the 3rd floor was just pretty in the morning.....foggy and all! It snowed a little dusting during the night.
The Hotelli must have had a gingerbread contest recently because there were 8 'winners' from the contest. These are displayed in the restaurant area of the Hotelli.
This sweet young lady was my intrepeter at the Mikkeli Branch on Sunday. She was very good. I gave her a little round Helsinki Temple picture that I made. I had an 'extra' one with me just in case. I usually take one along for occasions like this! I usually find someone to give it too.
The Sunday Sacrament Meeting was actually the Primary Program! They had put it off until now because there had been so much sickness in the Branch. We were so lucky that we could be there for it. The Primary did a WONDERFUL job!! Mervi Multamaki is the Primary President. Her little girl, Leea (pictured here with Wayne and Mervi) had a little accident as they were headed to Primary after Sacrament Meeting. She fell and cut the back of her head. It was bleeding quite heavily. Mervi ran and got Wayne and he took care of her. Got her all bandaged up. She was as good as new. After church and lunch with the Ojala's we headed to the Multamaki's home to take a few gifts to them and check on Leea's head. The wound was all better but wanted to keep the bandage on 'because'!
Because Sunday, December 6th is Finnish Independence Day, all Finns were suppose to put candles in their windows and burn them. We were driving home from Mikkeli and wanted to make sure we got our candles a burning! There they are......with the nativity and temple in the background. What a wonderful day. Lots of highlights ....... actually EVERYTHING we did and saw! We love being here in Finland. It may be a bit hard to go home in a year!! Maybe we can get an
extension??? :-)

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