Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I guess it has been a busy week so far. This is the first chance I have had since Monday to write anything down. Let me try to recap a couple of things.

This is Novosibirsk, Russia and Helsinki Stake Temple Week. That means we have people from near and far. And when I say 'far', I mean really, really far! On the other side of Russia!

As often happens here, we have missionaries come from Russia quite often because they have to renew their visas every 3 months. Crazy but that is what the Russian Government makes them do. They will stay here in the asuntola IF there is enough space for them. We have several senior missionary couples here this week. One couple (of whom we recognize from before) is here and serving in Moscow. Bless their hearts, as they were getting on a train in Moscow on Monday to come the husband was robbed!!! No foolin. That is the one greatest fear of missionaries in Russia. It is a common occurrence. Two men knocked him around as he was trying to get on the train. His wife was in front of him having already gotten on the train. Before he realized it they had his wallet out of his front pants pocket! And he had on heavy outerwear as well! They were pretty desperate. His credit card, all money and temple recommend were stolen....and whatever else he had in there. Fortunately, the passports were in a different pocket and his wife had their major credit card they use. It was a small debit type card in his wallet. While it could have been worse they were just grateful to have gotten away without any more harm to him.
The above picture was just pretty with the dim sun reflecting in the window.

On Monday, Wayne and I walked around the back of the temple just to check and see how 'things' looked! The snow was, of course, very, very deep. We we walked past the emergency exits I commented to Wayne that there would be no escape if those exits were needed. He got a shovel and started to work on clearing them.

He is still not quite finished. It may take a few days more of work on this!
This is my little seimi (nativity) I bought from a Finnish lady here in Espoo. She handmade it. We have purchased 9 of these sets so far........for a variety of folks who liked them when they saw ours. We have also purchased one to send to Brunswick to have in their Annual Main Street Auction. I generally make chocolate chip cookies. That, obviously, won't happen this year with us here in Finland. We thought this might be a 'fun' thing to offer at the auction. The cost of these seimi's is 65 euros (which, depending on the daily money market, is equivalent to about $95 US dollars. Not bad at all considering there are 14 pieces and they are all individually big machines here!)
I decided to try my hand at the snowblower. NOT a fun thing because the snow blows back on the driver!
BUT....Wayne loves operating this 'man-machine'!! Here are a couple of Russians headed up to the temple and passing a friendly hello as they go by. They were probably wishing they could drive that thing!!
Last week Wayne broke another tooth off. Fortunately this one was a it was in the back. He was able to get a dental appointment on Wednesday of this week (as in yesterday). That meant a trip downtown Helsinki. This was just another pretty picture of the temple as we walked up the street to the bus stop.
Well, Dentist visit completed and a few other errands close by the dentist office, and we are headed back up to Espoo. Wayne is sitting on the bench at the main train station where we often catch our bus (or train....depending on the schedule of both). Which ever one comes first is what we take. Today it was the bus first.
And right across the street from the train station is the POSTI....Main Office. Oh my....I do believe they recognize us there. It is a fun place to also shop for things other than stamps and mailing posti.
And back home in time to get ready for our afternoon shift at the temple. Look how clean that 'sidewalk' is! Of course you can't see the pavement but doesn't that look so nice! Wayne works really hard to keep it that way. The problem is there is so much snow that there is basically no place to put it anymore!! And that would be for anywhere around the Helsinki area. In fact, while we were downtown this morning, we watched as bulldozers scooped up truck loads of snow and were taking it down to the tori (Gulf of Finland) and dumping in there. The Gulf of Finland is totally frozen over so they are just dumping it on top of the ice. Can't wait to see what happens when it all begins to melt in a few months. Will be interesting!! :-)

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