Sunday, February 28, 2010


The halls of the asuntola are kind of quiet right now. The Mäkinen's, The Jäkkö's, TheZaretckja's, and The Groberg's have all their homes here in Finland or St. Petersburg, Russia or Idaho (for the Groberg's). Later tonight the Pecuilius leave for their home on Lithuania. Tomorrow the Johnson's leave for Sweden and Denmark (where the will do a little genealogy fact-finding). That will leave US here! We leave early on Wednesday for our Western Finland road-trip. (See our post from yesterday with our agenda)
This morning we drove the Groberg's to the airport. We missed Sacrament Meeting in Haaga but went straight there for Sunday School and Sacrament Meeting. I had made a bookmark for Jonna several weeks ago. Today was the first chance I had seen her to give it to her.
And since we did not make it for Sacrament Meeting we decided to go on over to Espoo 1st Ward for that. Glad we did. It was a wonderful Sacrament Meeting. That ward is so talented with singers!! This is a beautiful rock area that we pass going to and from the chapel. Wayne wanted me to take a picture. It actually turned out quite well I think. It is beautiful Finnish Rock with sock and ice all around it!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

S - P - R - I - N - G
B - R - E - A - K........

At the temple for the next two week!

We finished up Tampere Week here at the Temple. It has been a great week. And lots of Russians have been here as well. That seems to be the norm these days.
We looked out the window and what did we see?? NO, it was NOT popcorn popping on the apricot tree. It was the thermometer ABOVE the freezing mark for the first time since mid-December! That is a sure sign that SPRING may well be on its way. The snow was melting some when we got out of the temple this afternoon. Almost warm enough we could take our coats off! And a couple of days ago I heard 'spring birds' singing in the morning. They surely must know something that we are hoping for!

Wayne and I are headed to western Finland for the break. Here is our itinerary, feel free to follow us on your local Finland map:


During the 2-week closure of the Helsinki Finland Temple

Veli Wayne ja Sisar Vicki Allgaier

Updated: 26 February 2010

MARCH 3 – Drive to Seinäjoki (Sokos Hotel Lakeus – 35864195111)


MARCH 4 - Kemi (Hotel Merihovi - 016 458 0100)


MARCH 5 - Oulu (Hotel Cumulus - 0035888827111)


MARCH 6 & 7 - Pietarsaari (Jugend Home Hotel -- 35867814300)

Saturday & Sunday

Attend church at Pietarsaari Branch

MARCH 8 - Pori (Cumulus Pori - +358 (0)2 550900) This is a change from Vaasa


MARCH 9 - Rauma (Hotelli CityHovi - +358 2 8376 9200)



Wednesday night arrival

Thursday, February 25, 2010

We had to run over to Sello to pick up a few groceries. On our way to the car we stopped to talk to the Haikkola's (Temple president and matron). There were also running errands. They are such great people. We sure love working with them!!
This is what our HUGE mission van looks like parked in the Sello parking lot! It is so big and not easily lost anywhere!!
When we got home we found Veli Peciulius bringing his car battery in to warm up. He has not started his car for the 3 months they have been here from Lithuania. They will be driving home for the two-week shutdown and he couldn't get his car started! Hopefully it will start so they can leave on Sunday night!

Even the Finns will agree with that! They say they have not seen a winter like this in southern Finland for decades!! Global warming or some such thing I guess. 'This is a Lapland Winter' many Finns have also said. And we didn't even have to travel to Lapland to see it! Sweet!
Wayne went on a 'picture taking adventure' around the temple grounds Thursday morning. This is the result of many, many pictures....but I will only share a few here. Not enough room for all of them. Above.....SOME of the tools of the trade of snow-shoveling. The snow blower is stored in a 'shed' at the end of the asuntola.
Steps leading to the temple. I can not even count the number of times these steps have been swept, shoveled and swept and shoveled again and again.....sometimes many times a day!
The sidewalk leading out of the asuntola.....notice you can see a small patch of sidewalk! Matti got down on his hands and knees and chipped that out!! Who is anxious for SPRING!! (Matti works at the asuntola desk during the daytime hours Monday through Friday)
Another view of the front door of the asuntola with the 'tools of the trade' parked right there!
The 'warming posts' where we plug our cars in to warm the engines up. This one is warming the mission Volkswagen Van.
The walkway around the sides and back of the temple also have to be cleared for emergency events....if we were to ever have one!
And Wayne has personally cleared both emergency exits! He is such a hard worker.
I guess the sun must have shone for a minute yesterday because Wayne was able to get a picture of the reflection of it on the stone of the temple.
A different view of the front door of the temple.
And of the temple spire......
And 'Frosty' loving this beautiful kaunis suomenlinen talvi!!
View of the temple from the side street
I came out to find Wayne so he could come in for lunch! He wanted a picture of that too!!

Bless their little pea-pickin hearts! Piispa ja Sisar Duke sent Wayne a birthday gift.
And lookie what it is!!! CRUNCHY PEANUT BUTTER!!
A missionary can never have too much of this because it is our 'staple' here in Finland. And it is basically non-existant here! We will often have an apple with peanut butter for our dinner because of the crazy hours we work in the temple. We are often working during regular meal hours. Or we get home late and too tired to prepare a meal. Apples and peanut butter are a great substitute! :-) Kiitos Paljon Piispa ja Sisar Duke!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

S - P - R - I - N - G

I know it doesn't look like it BUT the sun is shining and it feels warm like it could be spring!
See that sun come up and shine on the temple. The days are getting longer too. The picture below was taken at about 7:30 a.m.! Sweet!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

W * H * A * T

YES, this IS Finland!! But enough is just enough!! The snow today has just been incredible. It just won't let up!!!
Wayne went out shoveling for 2 1/2 hours this morning (6:00 a.m. to be exact) We are on the afternoon shift and so he didn't get to shovel any more until AFTER we finished with our shift tonight. You know it is bad when the PRESIDENT is out there shoveling (President Haikkola is on the left with Veli Zaretski is on the right)
Once upon a time (about a month or so ago), Tina Marie asked us what would happen when the sidewalk lights got covered with snow. Well, here you have the answer! They just DIG them out!!
And another view of the dug out sidewalk lights with the temple in the background.
Give it up Mother Nature!! SPRING has to be out there somewhere!! :-)

It is 9:05 p.m. and guess where Veli Wayne is?? YUP.....out shoveling!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

THIS IS A L - O - N - G ONE!!!




Because the weather on Friday, Wayne's birthday....February 19th, was so miserable, we decided to postpone the trip until today and let the weather clear a bit. And it did indeed get better......only snowed terrible winds and blizzard conditions like Friday. Still very, very cold but overall a nice day! Typical Finnish winter day.
On the walk up to the bus stop we passed some boys trying out their snowboards on the bank. They were kind enough to let us get a picture or two. School is 'off' this week for 'skiing week' or something like that!
It took 4 different modes of transportation to get to the Island......Bus (#35) to Sello where we........
caught an 'A' train to downtown Helsinki Train Station, where we got a........
'3T' trolley to the torri, where we got a........
ferry boat over to Suomenlinna! And guess what.....we did all of that transferring on ONE pass! Sweet!!! Worked slick as a whistle!!
And, guess what again!!! We got on the boat and there were two of the missionaries, Veli Stewart from St. George and Veli Bryant from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We saw them in Marjaniemi Ward yesterday. They are the AP's for the Mission President. They were the ones to actually translate into English those in the ward that needed that service yesterday when we spoke there (we spoke in Finnish). What a FUN surprise to find them there. We ended up spending the day pretty much with them!!
The ICE was just incredible going over on the Ferry Boat.
We are entering onto the Island.
Just a small little snow bank along our walking path.
Headed down to the 'King's Gate' where the King would dock and enter the Island.......back in the 1800's. The King only used this entrance ONCE!!
This nice lady let us take a picture of her beautiful Husky dogs as we were walking around.
Standing at the PIER before boarding the Ferry Boat and heading back to Helsinki (off in the distance)

The 'path' we were to follow was quite evident. The Ferry Boat travels back and forth a number of times a day. There are about 1,000 residents who live on the Island. That is their mode of transportation, so the Ferry's run quite often!
Getting close to the dock on the Helsinki side of the Gulf. Once we got back to Helsinki, we and the missionaries walked up to FAZER for a bowl of soup for lunch. We found out it was Veli Stewart's birthday!! What a pleasant surprise for us. And we could celebrate Wayne's birthday and his birthday all at the same time. How fun.

What a GREAT p-day.........

This week at the temple......TAMPERE WEEK. These weeks are going by way too fast!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Wayne and I had been asked about 3 weeks ago to speak in Sacrament Meeting of the Marjaniemi Ward today. These talk, as usual, would be in Finnish. This was my 4th talk in Finnish so far while we have been on our mission! Wayne has given more than that.

It seems as if the adversary did not want to us get there for whatever reason! Maybe because we are missionaries and 'he' is trying to keep the work of the Lord from progressing. BUT....we had a lot of 'tender mercies' along our 'road' to getting to Marjaniemi. Lots of snow, a car that would not start (dead battery or some such thing because it was so cold outside!)......but, with the Lord's help, we were able to make it.
The parking lot of the chapel as we arrived. Veli ja Sisar Pecilius (the missionary couple from Lithuania) went with us. They are great traveling companions!! We love them! They will be speaking in Marjamiemi in April.
This is the inside of the chapel. Very pretty, clean lines. Veli Pecilius commented on how dark the stone is. They like the 'lighter' color because they say it brightens 'things' up a bit! Interesting observation. Wayne commented that this was my best talk so far. He said my pronunciation of the language was excellent. I had many comments from many of the saints on how much they enjoyed my talk. Mine was 10 minutes; Wayne's was 20 minutes. Even a young man came up to us afterwards and thanked us for our Finnish! So rewarding and makes it all so worth it!
I was waiting for a young lady to join me for a picture. The gal who had my camera decided to take a picture of me while I was waiting. I did not know she was taking the picture! How cute of her. Sorry, I just needed to put it here for 'recording' sake!!
Meet Elina Bjöorn. She has been a member of the church for 5 years. She came to the temple just 2 weeks ago for her own endowment! She is a doll. She is wonderful. She is a real 'pioneer' in her family as she is the only member of the church so far. She LOVES the temple. She has been several times a week since her first time. I will be making her a bookmark this week and give it to her when I see her there on Thursday! She is serving as the Young Women's President in the ward. She has a very strong testimony.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet......wait a minute!! This is Finland where it is always cold and snowy and the wind in blowing which makes it even colder!! And NOTHING ever gets cancelled because of weather! Never.......

The mission Volkswagen van has a dead battery and that is not a good thing. Especially when we need both cars for church tomorrow. Wayne and I are speaking in Marjanimi Ward tomorrow. The other missionary couples will be going to Haaga!
And because Wayne is 'in charge' of the mission cars, he has to take care of it.
For some reason, it is just NOT starting! Too cold!
STAY TUNED!!!..........

Friday, February 19, 2010



So....what happened to Plan 'A' and Plan 'B'?? Well, we are in Finland.....the land of snow and cold! Where nothing, and I mean nothing, gets canceled or delayed because of the weather. But....we decided to make adjustments because of the weather.

We are on the morning shift at the temple this week. We decided that when we finished at the temple this afternoon, we would take a bus and a train and a trolley and finally a ferry boat over to Suomenlinna Island and walk around and have a birthday dinner there. What we didn't count on was it being like a blizzard when we left the temple! :-(

Plan 'A' was.......have di
nner on the Island
Plan 'B' ........ go to the Island so we could take a ferry boat (behind the ice breaker boat) and walk around and then go back to Helsinki for a birthday dinner.
Plan 'C', which we never planned on!, was to stay local this afternoon, have a late lunch, early dinner at a restaurant at Sello and come home so Wayne could go out and shovel and snow-blow the snow that was piling up outside!

Plan 'C' it was......we found a little restaurant that had an 'Indian' buffet. We decided to try that to be different. It was fairly good.

Did a coule of other errands while we were there and then home, sweet apartment, home. Wayne has been outside for 2 hours so far shoveling. At some point he does have to come in for some birthday hot chocolate doesn't he!? :-)

Just plain craziness it is!!