Tuesday, September 28, 2010

OH MY.......
Can it really be that time of the year again, already!

We woke up this morning to find the 'delivery truck' had arrived.....with the FALL FLOWERS to be planted! The beautiful SUMMER FLOWERS are being pulled up.
Caught SISAR KAILANKO as she was leaving the temple today (and we were arriving to work on the afternoon shift) so I could give her the cross stitch bookmark I made for her. She loved it....she is so cute. And I love that she is actually shorter than I am!!
While in the temple Tuesday afternoon, we saw SISAR MULTAMÄKKI! We did not know she was coming this week. How fun to see her. She is only here until Thursday. We decided, along with the Michie's, that we needed to take her out to dinner Tuesday night. It was off to the IKEA CAFETERIA we went....they have great salmon dinner!! We also brought Sisar Hintikki because she just needed a little 'break'! She is from Jyvaskylä.
OKIE--DOKIE FOLKS!!! It is HERE.......FREEZING TEMPS ARE OFFICIALLY HERE!! This is how our thermometer registered this morning as we looked out the window! Ready or not....here comes WINTER!! Bring it on....we are ready.

Monday, September 27, 2010

At least a little more 'normal' than what we have had the last 3 weeks or so.
The FALL WEATHER is settling in nicely. Just beautiful color everywhere.
The beautiful summer flowers are being pulled out and will be replaced with FALL FLOWERS. Not sure what they will look like.....in a few days we will know.
Had a very nice WALK to my hair appointment this morning. Even at 10:00 a.m. our 'shadows' were l - o - n - g!! Does that mean the days are shorter and the sun does NOT rise as high in the sky? I think so!
A few shots of us as we were walking to the appointment.....it is a brisk 40 minute walk each way.....great exercise!
We found these TWO POSTI WORKERS along the way. They were so kind to let us take their picture. And come to find out, there are from ESTONIA!!
The sky seemed to be exceptional pretty today.....as if we don't already have enough temple pictures.....but hey, what's one more!!
OH MY.......and look what we found at the little TORI by the POSTI where we put some mail in the slot!!!! GREAT DESSERT.....and we do deserve it since it was such a long walk. Right? RIGHT!!
Great day........THIS WEEK at the temple? TAMPERE! We will see just how busy we are!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


It has been literally months since we have been to 'our' HAAGA WARD. We have been traveling every weekend with at least one or two other missionary couples to visit the outlying branches and wards to speak and talk about attending the temple.

SO.....today we attended Haaga Ward again. It was good to see our 'old friends' that we don't get to see too often. I had made a cross stitch bookmark for SISAR TOPELIUS. I also made her a red lace doily. Just because!! I have been meaning to do that for a long, long time and just never got to see her and give it to her. Today was THE day. She and her husband are off next week for a 6 week 'vacation' to warmer parts of the EU. They do this about twice a year. They don't like the dark, cold winters in Finland!!


Saturday, September 25, 2010

We woke up this morning to ONE MORE shot of the FULL MOON.....Just gorgeous. Had to take one more picture.

We worked part of our shift this morning at the Temple before heading up to LAHTI to give our Temple presentation at the
Finland-wide Youth Conference. The theme was:

(Live Your Life Well...in English)

We ended up teaching 3 times, which worked out well. We had a total of about 110 youth come to the 3 classes.

Here is CLASS #1......it turned out to be the best of the 3 classes.
And CLASS #2....... a bit more challenging.
And last but certainly not least, CLASS #3......wonder why teenagers have to be 'challenging' at times. Somehow, they tend to 'turn-out' okay by the time they become adults though.
Wayne had a little chalkboard activity.....here is one of the 'results' of the drawing they did.
They loved the handouts we had made for them. Remember I made 65 of the cross stitch Helsinki Temples? Well, that was my handout. Wayne's was a picture of the temple with a writing on it.......Look to the Temple.
On our drive home we 'found' some beautiful fall colors in all their glory. It has been a very successful day.

Temple-wise........This has been St. Petersburg Viiko (week). What wonderful patrons and workers they had this week. Love each one of them. And so good to see so may here. It will be a while before they return.

NEXT WEEK: TAMPERE week......a lot of Finns with a couple of Lithuanians and Russians in the mix!! Yea! Good for all of them.

Friday, September 24, 2010


We think we have completed our preparations for the
for tomorrow in Lahti.

("Live Your Life Well")

There will be about 200 youth from all over Finland attending. They will have choices of 6 different classes to attend. They will be only to choose only 4. We have 65 Young Men and 65 Young Women who will be attending our class (being taught 4 times).

Our handouts have been made:
I made 65 cross stitch Temple pictures, framed and blue ribbon hanging.
Wayne created a Temple picture with a saying on it (with the help of Kevin, of course)

Ready or not....we are anxious to 'get the show on the road'. We are excited to have been asked to do this.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Did I mention that we officially have our mission here at the
extended until APRIL 30, 2011???
We just simply could not imagine leaving here in a short 8 weeks. We feel like we are not finished with what we are suppose to do here yet. Don't know what that is, but.......
We are very, very excited.
We love the work we are doing here.
We love the country of Finland.
We love the people we meet and work with and call our FRIENDS!
Not just those people here in Finland but also Russia, Estonia, Sweden, Lithuania and other parts of the Baltic area that come. They are wonderful, dedicated and the 'cream of the crop'!
We feel very grateful to have this opportunity!

Many, many good things going on today!
We woke up to a gorgeous FULL MOON (found out later that it is the Harvest Moon.....equinox!) It definitely feels like FALL here in Finland. Don't know how well the moon shows up but look a little to the left of the steeple.
On the way up to the temple this morning we asked Veli Marjanen if he would take our picture. Again, not very good but maybe you can tell a little at how pretty the fall colors are coming into 'play'.
Our afternoon nap was interrupted by a phone call from an Elder Boone in the church office in Frankfurt Germany. He was calling to ask if we wanted to 'extend' our mission by 5-months!! President Haikkola had put the request in a while back. We were so excited to receive the phone call!! OF COURSE WE WANTED TO EXTEND! We had had a 'family council' with our children several weeks ago to get their feelings on this possibility. All of them were very supportive.
Again this morning at the Temple, Elder Boone called and I talked with him this time (Wayne was busy doing some ordinances in the temple and couldn't come to the phone right away). Our instructions from him (via Salt Lake City Mission Department) were that we needed to go to our local equivalent of a FOREIGN AFFAIRS OFFICE here in Finland. After talking with Pavel (in the office) we found out we needed to go to the Poliisi Office in Espoo to take care of the process. As soon as we finished our shift this morning we headed over there. And we needed MORE mug shots!!!! We were 'go' again. I think these turned out better than the ones we took for our Drivers License. NOW.....we have an appointment to go back on Monday, NOVEMBER 1, 2010 to make the extension official (we hope!). Can't do it any sooner than ONE MONTH of our original release date which was / is December 1, 2010.
AND.....to top it off......I finished reading the MORMONIN KIRJA for the 2nd time. IT IS SO EXCITING for me to accomplish that. And, YES, it is still true no matter the language!! Now on to the OPPI JA LIITOT.... also for the 2nd time.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


The last FULL day the kids were here (Tuesday) we took advantage of the temple being open again after the 2-week maintenance closure. Wayne and I and J & T and S & E went to the temple in the afternoon. Wayne and I worked in the temple on the Morning Shift. It was so good to be in the temple again.....and with them with us it was even better.
We saw Brat Balashov on our way up. He is from St. Petersburg. We stopped to chat with him for a minute. He is so nice. We see him often here.
Matti, the asuntolda desk 'guy', took our picture for us before going up to the temple. On the count of 1-2-3 everyone put their umbrellas behind us so the temple would show in the background.
After a very short night (on sleep that is) we headed to the airport at 5:00 a.m. to see the kids off on their journey back home.
We know all of the kids are anxiously awaiting for their parents to return home! It was a wonderful 2-week stay here.
Tonight, Wednesday, all things are getting 'back to normal'. We even had a great missionary meeting with President ja Sisar Haikkola (we have these on Wednesday's). And had a beautiful sunset as well........AAAAHHHH.....!!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

(having internet is sure a nice thing, isn't it!!)

We woke up this morning to a beautiful day....beautiful SUNRISE at about 6:30 a.m. It was suppose to rain....but fortunately it did not do much of that.
The kids did some re-packing in preparation for their journey back home to their families on Wednesday morning.

At about noon we headed over to SELLO for a couple of quick errands. We got the kids on a TRAIN headed to Helsinki so they could do some last minute errands there.
Fortunately, our directions were good enough that they made it back home safe and sound. And we had a FINNISH dinner that I prepared.....boiled potatoes, makara (sausage) and beets with a side salad.
The temple reopens tomorrow and the kids plan to be there most of the day helping where help is needed (probably the baptistry) and then as a family in the afternoon. We are on the morning shift this week. And the saints from ST. PETERSBURG RUSSIA are here this week. Good to see some familiar faces again!
SEPTEMBER 18, 2010


Because we did not get to the asuntola until 3:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, we chose to attend church in the ESPOO 2ND WARD which met in the afternoon from 2 - 5 p.m. That gave us a chance to sleep in a bit. We all needed that!
We had a dinner invitation to the VOUTILAINEN'S. They are such a great family. We have been here 3 times now.
Sisar made homemade soup....tasted sooo good on a chilly day.
And TWO CAKES for dessert.......
A cheesecake with fresh berries on top and a chocolate / orange cheesecake. Boy, was it ever delicious!! We are so much going to miss all of our friends here in Finland when we have to go home.

Back home here in Espoo....J & T and S & E leave in a short 2 1/2 days. It has been a wonderful time with them.

P.S. A little side note: We got a new STAKE PRESIDENCY today in our Frederick, Maryland Stake. President Suhaka was released. Jeff Cook (Westminster Ward) was called as the new Stake President. His 1st Counselor: Steve Duke (our Monocacy Ward Bishop!) and Jim Olson of Frederick Ward. Should be a great new Presidency. That means we will be getting a new Bishopric in a few weeks. Steven is currently serving as 1st Counselor in that Bishopric so he will be released in a couple of weeks! He has done a great job!!
SEPTEMBER 18, 2010

Fussen, Germany

No trip is complete here without going to the Castle! It is beautiful and we love coming here.....never tire of it.
We had just enough time to take a tour (in English of course) before heading up to Muchen for a soccer game.
Taken from the 4th floor of the inside of the castle overlooking the area below. What a great view.
BUT....alas.....we did NOT know there was to be a VIEHSCHEID here in Fussen today! And that would delay our getting off of the mountain and to our car by ONE HOUR!!! Not good...we had tickets to pick up at will-call and get to the game early! Could we do it!?
I was driving 140 KM per hour! Not sure how fast that was in 'real english' but it sure felt
F A S T ....
The plan was to drop Jonathan off as close to the WILL CALL office as possible. HE got the tickets are we were off to the entrance gate to see the KICK-OFF!!
It was a packed house of 86,000 people......exciting to be there.
I think this was the most funniest part for Jonathan!! He loves his soccer!!
Steven and Elinn seemed to enjoy it as well.
Dad and I enjoyed the 'hot dogs' and pretzels.....everything was BIG!!
And here are Jonathan and Tina's hot dogs.......not like American ones.
Needed a picture by the official SIGN.
And outside the stadium as well....
yup....us too!
After the game we headed to the AIRPORT to catch our flight back to Helsinki!!
What a WHIRLWIND 4 days in Germany...but a wonderful time was had by all!!! :-)