HÄMEENLINNA BRANCH TODAY!
About 1 1/2 hours north of Espoo is a little town called Hämeenlinna. There is a big beautiful castle there. Wayne and I visited there last July with the Gee's before they finished their mission and headed back to Utah. We decided (as has been encouraged of us by our Temple President) it was time for a visit to this little branch!
So on this snowy, kaunis suomalainen talvi day the Zaretskij's (Russian temple missionary couple in the back of the van) and the Peciulis (Lithuanian temple missionary couple in the middle) and Wayne and I headed north.
This is the Hämeenlinna Chapel.....the very FIRST LDS chapel in all of Finland. It dates back to 1959. Quite a few chapels built after this have the same design. It was the beginning of the 'building era' in Finland.
The 3 temple missionary girls just had to have their picture taken in front of the Church sign.
This is Jenny Massinen playing the piano. She is the daughter of the elder Sisar Massinen of Savonlinna Branch.......where Wayne served as a young missionary 45 years ago. Jenny is the Branch Pianist. She, unfortunately, will only be in the branch a few more weeks. At that time she will graduate from college (with a textile design degree) and will be getting a job....doesn't know where or when yet. But probably not the area...therefore, she will be moving.
Inside of the chapel. As it turned out, I (Vicki) was asked to bear my testimony in Sacrament Meeting along with Veli Zaretskij and Veli Kelley (a visiting missionary from the Lathi area). Wayne translated for me. I was not prepared with a written Finnish talk so I had to improvise.
We had our picture taken in front of the chapel before we left.
Because the Hämeenlinna Castle is only about one kilometer away, we decided we would drive past it and let the others see it. This is the three stooges 'missionaries'! Great guys!
Wayne took a picture of all of us at the entrance of the castle....which we actually came OUT of instead of going INTO! We just reversed our little 'tour' a bit.
When we arrived back at the asuntola we noticed that the snow had really done a number on the steps leading up to the temple. Wayne and Veli Peciulis take great pride in having the cleanest steps for the patrons to use! That will be quite the work load on Monday...P-Day.
Boys will be boys.....because Wayne fell once on the slippery snow back at the castle and slipped several other times (including once more when we got out of the van back at the asuntola, Veli Pecilius told him to get on the shovel and he would give him a ride back up to the front door. That was probably the safest way for him to get there since he had trouble staying on his feet! (The guys had put the shovel in the back 'just in case' we got stuck in a snowdrift somewhere and needed to be shoveled out! Now, that was a brilliant idea they had!)
It was a wonderful day. All three of us couples have a 'return' invitation to speak in another Sacrament Meeting in Hämeenlinna...us on March 21st, Pecilius on March 27th and Zaretskij's in April. By then I will have a Finnish talk prepared! It was a WONDERFUL Sabbath day.