PIETARSAARI / JAKOBSTAD DISTRICT CONFERENCE
This is the area where the church all began in Finland!! The first missionaries to Finland came here from Sweden. It was great to be in this rich-in-church-history-area this weekend. We have felt of the great spirit here, felt of the greatness of this area, felt of the Swedes vs. Finns here! It has been a great weekend here.
We woke up this morning and looked out our 3rd floor hotel window (we had a corner room and therefore the advantage of windows on the side as well as the front) and saw a kaunis sunrise taking place.
It snowed a little more during the night and the snowflakes stuck to every part of the tree. Just KAUNIS!!!
We had a little time before Conference started so we decided to drive around just a bit. Statues are very unique here in Finland. We just love them.....this one was very cool we thought.
On to the District Conference. We decided we wanted to be there by 10:00 a.m. even though the meeting did not start until 11:00 a.m. Parking is a real issue here (well, actually all over Finland). There is just never enough space for everyone who needs to park a car. We didn't want to have to park several blocks away so Wayne decided to be there early. Wayne took this picture from the back of the chapel area well before Conference started. I don't think you can see it BUT up front there are TWO boards where the songs are listed.......one for the SWEDISH hymn book and one for the FINNISH hymn book! No foolin'!! Half of the congregation is Swedish and half Finnish!! Very unique. They handed out programs for the Conference....one in Swedish and one in Finnish!! EVERY Sunday there are translators to translate talks in both Finnish and Swedish. I am not sure of any other branch or ward in the church who has such a unique situation!! Our visiting authority today was Elder Ford of the 3rd quorum of the seventy. He and his wife were excellent speakers. Also President and Sisar Brown, Helsinki Finland Mission President and his wife.
After Conference, we had this good veli and his mother drive us to the area where the Church put a marker indicating where President Benson rededicated Finland (in 146) for the preaching of the Gospel. In the woods behind us in that marker.....about 200 meters. The snow was waist deep and we were not able to get there. We will have to come back during the summer so we can see it!!
After that we had time to walk around town just to see what there was here. Above is our hotel....Jugend Home Hotel. It has been a wonderful place to stay.....not as expensive as some of the others, very comfortable room and comfortable bed!! We will stay here again when we come back!
While walking around downtown we found this plaque on the side of one of the buildings! Jakobstad has a sister city in Jamestown, New York. Can you believe that!!
One of the homes in the Skata section......old wooden homes section. It is right beside of the hotel. Just a cool, cool area.
We asked the hotel receptionist (on the far left) where we could purchase some souvenirs before we leave town on Monday morning. She couldn't think of any place. But she did tell us of a lady she knew who handmade some 'faith, hope & love' things.....which is the famous saying in this town. It dates back to the sailing days for the sailors. She called her and she said she would bring her wares to the hotel for us to look at! Couldn't not believe that!! But we went down to the lobby and there she was.....with a little store all set up! We bought the one I am holding in my hand. I think the Hotel is going to have her start selling her items right there in the Hotel lobby!!! And are very nice wall hangings.
Tomorrow.....we are off to Pori by way of Vaasa!!! And our wonderful journey continues!