Monday, November 29, 2010


The Christmas Tori's will be starting this week so we decided to stay home and take care of a few errands today. We will be 'venturing out' to go to those Tori's! It was a beautiful day.....very frigidly cold weather but no snow. Beautiful blue sky.
The picture above was taken at SUNRISE at about 9:46 a.m. The sun is shining on Joseph and Mary and baby Jesus.
We went to JORVIN HOSPITAL to visit Sisar Olga Roslöf again. Bless her heart. She had to have surgery again this past Saturday. She has had sooooo much trouble when she fell and broke her hip. This was her 3rd surgery in just under 2 months. She did seem in good spirits though.....and she looked really good to.
The trees were just beautiful as we drove home.
As we were pulling into the asuntola we decided to take a picture of the temple at SUNSET. This was taken at 3:54 p.m. The sun these days just barely 'skims' the horizon before it disappears for the long winter days.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

at the end of the 'lighting' event for the SEIMI, Wayne borrowed Kent Michie's FUR HAT for a picture by Joseph & Mary statue. He looks like he should be warm huh! Except where is his coat!? Oh, he forgot that inside!

we stayed close to 'home' and did not travel long distances this weekend. That was nice for a change. I took the picture below out across the porch on the back of the asuntola. The sun, at 9:30 a.m., is just beginning to peek it's little head on the horizon. At this time of the year that is about all we get.....a little PEEK!! Better than up in Lapland where they basically don't even get a peek!
SISAR SUONPÄÄ in the librarian in the Haaga Ward. She is a sweetheart. She always makes sure we get our manuals each year....for me in English and Wayne in Finnish. She had seen the cross stitch temple I made for Sisar Roslöf and really wanted one. I made her a bookmark instead of the picture. She was tickled to get it.
After church I made a delicious meatloaf (even if I must say so....found the recipe on site). Then Wayne and I were able to get the Christmas BOXES finished and ready to take to the POSTI on Monday. And the Christmas cards will be mailed as well. That is a good feeling to have that done.
Hopefully everyone will received them in a TIMELY way and will enjoy a little something from us for Christmas!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


This has been a tradition at the Helsinki Temple since it was dedicated 4 years ago. Last year it was COLD but we had no snow.
We also got a NEW STABLE because the other one was too big and could not be 'folded' in the off-season.
And this year we had PLENTY OF SNOW AND PLENTY OF COLD WEATHER!!! It was 7 degrees outside. Just LOVE the way these little Finn kids are so cute with their snow suits on.
Members of the Helsinki Stake Choir performed a couple of musical numbers for the program.
It was fun to 'chat' with Sisar Haikkola (matron) and Sisar Vorimo (one of the assistants to the matron) before the event started....heating up the GLÖGI.....sssoooooo good!!
Us Sisar Missionaries made homemade cookies for the 'gathering' inside to warm up after the event was over. We had a nice turnout.
Got to 'grab' our little group pictures when we can......L to R: Sisar Zina Peciuliene (Lithuanian temple missionary), me, Sisar Groberg and Sisar Haikkola.
Barbara Michie (left) missed out on the first picture so we had to take another one!
A FUN evening.....but nice to be inside our apartment with a nice warm thick robe on!!

Friday, November 26, 2010


Wayne had the 'Asuntola Duty' tonight and it was a hopping place to be. I sat down there with him to enjoy all of the 'visiting' going on and looking for a couple of sisters to give cross stitch bookmarks to!

The evening started off with the WEDDING RECEPTION of BRAT DMITRI NIKIFOROV and his new bride. They are from VIBORG RUSSIA. He served his mission here in Finland and returned home about 6 months ago. What a great looking couple they make!
Along came SISAR VAIMAN from Estonia. I made her a cross stitch bookmark. She is so sweet. She is the one who taught me my Estonian ordinances in the temple.
There were a whole bunch of people attending the wedding reception from the Espoo Ward. There is where Brat Nikiforvo served the longest. A group of the young people came out to the desk and were talking with us. They were headed over to their Friday night Seminary Activity. A little late because of the reception. We told them we would 'vouch' for them!
The along came SISAR WELLING! She is a Service Missionary and works in the temple office a couple of days a week. I was able to give her cross stitch bookmark to her as well. What a cutie-pie she is.
And last, but certainly not least, was sweet SISTRA OGANOVA from Tallinn (Russian speaking branch). She has been a huge help this week. Not much English but somehow we always seem to be able to communicate!
Great Friday evening...couldn't think of spending it in a better way!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

(Happy Thanksgiving Day)
Because Finland does NOT celebrate Thanksgiving, the 4 American couples 'celebrated' the best we could last night and went to dinner at the LAGUNA RESTAURANT not far from the asuntola. We celebrated last year at this same restaurant with the Groberg's. The scenery outside was beautiful and well worth a picture.
Our dinner was very good......just not the turkey and stuffing and cream corn and cranberry sauce that we would have liked to have.
I got the pork 'something' dish, and
Wayne got the chicken breast. I guess that was as close as we could get to turkey. The glasses of milk were HUGE as you can tell!! Maybe next year we will be able to be with our children and grandchildren!!

Under PRESIDENT HAIKKOLA'S supervision (and taking pictures!) the Christmas tree was put up and decorated on Monday night. We were not here to help because we were driving back from our trip up north to SEINÄJOKI. President Haikkola did a great job!
Veli Zaretski took care of the top of the tree from the steps going up to the 2nd floor.
We have had a LOT of snow this week......Wayne has been out shoveling almost every day at the O'DARK HOUR of about 4:30 a.m. Got to get that snow removed before anyone walks on it and gets it packed!
And then.....MATTI and his crew put the SEIMI up on the grounds between the asuntola and the temple steps! This is a NEW platform made just a few weeks ago. Smaller but still nice!

We will be going out to dinner tonight with the American Temple Missionaries....but it won't be TURKEY! The picture below was taken this morning at 7:30 a.m. on our way up to the temple.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We can not believe it has been a year since we celebrated our last Christmas here. Where did that year go!

I was able to get our apartment ready for the upcoming Christmas Holidays this afternoon. It really doesn't take very long when the apartment is on the 'small' size! But adequate for us nonetheless!
The red 'runner' is one I purchased on one of our weekend trips a couple of months ago....and it was even on SALE!! We have to love our sales now don't we!
We have TWO CHRISTMAS TREES this can see them on our table! Now that is our kind of tree decorating. Easy to put up and take down....and no needles all over. Actually, we purchased the taller wooden tree from the Christmas Tori last year. The small beeswax tree is from the German Christmas Tori given to us last year by a member of the Temple Presidency. The handmade porcelain nativity set we also purchased at the Christmas Tori last year and was made by a sweet Finnish lady. I will be hand carrying that one home with us in April!

With a light gentle snow falling outside and everything white it feels like it should be Christmas next week. Alas....there are many 'things' going on between now and then so we definitely do not want to rush it!

Monday, November 22, 2010


We checked out of our JUGEND HOTTELI in Jacobstad / Pietarsaari on Monday morning and headed up to LARSMO to look for the 'monument'! The little white car where Wayne is standing was our rental car for the weekend. It turned out to be a great little car.
The monument is on private property. We tried to get permission from the owners of the property but they were not home. We took a chance and started walking in the direction that we had been told we could 'find' it! We were hoping we were not on a wild goose chase!
But through the trees we could see it....up on a little rise just like we had been told. And on SOLID ROCK...of course. This is Finland and we would expect nothing less than that.
If you look carefully you can see writing on the plaque.....3 languages of course. Top is Finnish, middle Swedish and bottom is English. Here on this sacred spot on July 16, 1946 President Ezra Taft Benson rededicated Finland for the preaching of the gospel. Very historic day for Finland.
We then started on our long trip back down to Espoo.....we were driving on fumes when in the middle of nowhere we 'found' this ABC!!!! We were ever so grateful to 'find' it. We love our little ABC's!
There was a lot of snow up north where we were and it was a beautiful drive home. Here is just a sample of the beauty we saw.
And another 'beauty'!! So many frosty trees.....
because the temperatures were so cold that the moisture in the air just stuck to the trees like glitter or frosting or sugar or whatever you want to call it.
After traveling over just 1,000 km. we made it home safe and sound. And TIRED!! But very grateful for yet another wonderful weekend trip! We love these trips. Our 'next trip' may not be until January when we head over, hopefully, to St. Petersburg for a weekend visit with the Michie's.

THIS WEEK: The Baltic area. We will see which familiar faces will be here this week! And what languages we will brush up on!! :-)

Sunday, November 21, 2010


As we checked out of our hotel before church this morning, there were these cute little Holiday Decorations in the window. Very simple but very cute.
The Branch meets in a rented space for right now. It is a very small branch. There were about 12 people there......counting the young missionaries and Wayne and myself and one more American teenager who was visiting. You will meet her in a picture or two. Wayne and I were the speakers for Sacrament meeting. In the small branches, we have just a 2-hour block. Today was Priesthood and Relief Society combined. That was at 11:00 a.m. with Sacrament Meeting at 12:00 noon.
Here is a little group picture of part of the branch right after church at the front door of the rented space. The church has obtained a NEW space where they can call their own as soon as renovations are completed! And they will be able to have the name of the church out front as well. 'FOOD WEST' just doesn't seem to be quite right for the name of the church
Our American visitor, ANNELI IZATT from Provo. She is an exchange student in Pori. She is on the swim team there and they had a 'meet' in Seinäjoki on the weekend. Anneli chose to come to church instead of participating in the meet! Good for her.....she has been taught well!! And....a small world story.....her grandfather, Reed Izatt, was one of Wayne's professors while he attended BYU way back in the day (of Chemistry). And Wayne actually worked a part time job for him as well!!! Only in the church can you 'find' these kinds of things.
President ja Sisar Liukki had us along with Anneli over for dinner after church. Anneli was nice enough to take a picture of the 4 of us. What a wonderful meal!! And such warm and loving people. Just like all of the other Finns we have met!
We drove up to PIETARSAARI / JACOBSTAD to our Hotel JUGEND for Sunday night. We will go 'exploring' Monday morning to try and find the rededication monument where President Benson rededicated Finland to the preaching of the Gospel.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Because it was our 'free' Saturday off, we decided we would head NORTH. We had been invited to speak in the Seinäjoki Branch. It is a small branch and they LOVE visitors.
However, we needed to make one little 'stop' just outside of Helsinki first. And that was at the MARTIN MARKKINAT FESTIVAL.....ESTONIAN FESTIVAL!
It turned out to be a wonderful event. And quite BIG too. They even brought one of their 'roasted nut carts' from Tallinn over for the event. We LOVE those roasted nuts. And the weather was perfect.....COLD AND SNOWY!
Even Wayne enjoyed himself.
The drive up to SEINÄJOKE was a very pleasant and beautiful drive. We just love those FROSTY TREES!!! SO Northern Finland....although we had them down south last year as well!
We will be speaking in church tomorrow. We are looking forward to a great day with the Saints here.