Friday, December 31, 2010

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As the 'fireworks' kept going off from dark onward (which was about 4:15 p.m.) when midnight struck it was really CRAZY!!! We were able to get a couple of good shots from our apartment window......

Welcome 2011.....
Can't believe we have less than 4 months before we return to our family and friends in America! These past 19 months have gone by so quickly!

This is the face of a 'happy camper'!!! Read the story Wayne's own words as written to our children and grandchildren!
"Summary: I lost my keys somewhere in downtown Helsinki about three weeks ago. Looked at the central P.D. Lost and Found, but they weren't in the "Found" department. So I got some new keys, pocket knife, etc., and started over again. This time, I decided to put our email address on the key ring just in case I might loose them again (of course that would never happen). Went shopping to Sello shopping center this evening. In a hurry, and left my keys in the shopping cart. Those who have been here know how that works. Andy and Geralyn, you'll find out when you come to visit. Got home and discovered that my keys were gone.

Went back to Sello. All the shopping carts were gone from the place where I had left mine. Checked with the lost and found upstairs at both K-City Market and Prisma. Not there. Asked a couple of the guys that round up the shopping carts -- they hadn't seen any keys. Checked back a couple of times with K-City Market and Prisma. Still no keys. Checked about 300 shopping carts that were all lined up. No keys. Returned home a little dejected, but still having faith that the keys would show up, and said a little prayer hoping this would be the case. Mom, who had stayed home, had also been praying.

As I was explaining to her everything I had done to try to find the keys, we got the email that I forwarded to you. Translated, it says: "Subject: Abloy [brand name] key. Message: Found key Call number 040-5796966." Brief and to the point. So I called, and the man on the other end said his wife had found these keys while shopping this evening. It turns out he lives about 1.5 miles from us, so we hopped in the car and drove to his house, to find him standing in the driveway waiting for us. Nice guy, probably about my age, but not interested in carrying on a conversation (Finns are really to themselves until they get to know you). We had brought a box of chocolates to give him, and I almost had to force him to take it.

So tonight will be a happy celebration to bring in the new year. It could have been a lot different, had it not been for the honesty of this good Finnish man.

--Dad" is the e-mail that we got on the computer:
Date: December 31, 2010 10:26:14 AM EST
Subject: Abloy avain

löytynyt avain

soitta no 0405796966


Short, sweet and the answer to our prayers!
Bottom Line: Prayers are heard and answered after we have done all that we can do! We are a believer in that!!
(Good New Year.......Google 'style')
We only had 3 sessions in the temple today due to closing early for the NEW YEARS EVE. It has been PERHE VIIKO with a LOT of Russian Families here. As we left today, we walked down to the asuntola with some of our good friends......Brat Smelov (to Wayne's left) and Brat Iljin on the far right. Veli Zaretskji is standing between the two brothers.
It was the GROBERG's last day.....they head home to Idaho Falls, Idaho on Monday morning early! We will miss them so much.....they have been wonderful to work with!
Had to run over to Sello for a quick trip to CIYT MARKET!!! Wayne got a picture of me at 'CHECK-OUT'.........bagging our groceries. That is what you have to do here......
The trees were so FROSTY 'covered' even in the dark!
Now we are settling in for a nice relaxing evening here at home while the Finns are out partying for the NEW YEAR!! If you can believe it, FIREWORKS have been going off since DARK.....that would be about 4:15 p.m. It could be a very long night!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


People........ it just keeps on SNOWING. When we think it might slow down a little bit, it doesn't........
It is a KAUNIS (beautiful) snow!! This is on the way up to the temple this afternoon.
Another shot as we walked up the steps......all 62 of them!
And as we came home tonight....... the snow is just piling up........
and if you look closely, you can see it SPARKLE, SPARKLE, SPARKLE!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


It was quite the day on Wednesday! Lots of fun things going on before and after working our afternoon shift in the temple!

First of all........PIGS, PIGS AND MORE PIGS seem to be the 'THING' here in Finland. Have not been able to figure out why. The Finns have this fascination with PIGS though. We got a little gift from Matti and his wife for Christmas....part of which was a CHOCOLATE MARZIPAN PIG. And it was made in Norway and not Finland. Go was good though.
I mentioned before on a different 'post' that this is PERHE VIIKKO (family week). There are lots of great people here this week.....ones we call dear friends that we have met and made over the past 19 months.
The VASILYEV's were a Russian Temple Missionary Couple serving here when we arrived in June 2009! They were back this week for a visit to the temple and to reacquaint with their long lost friends! How good to have them here again!
And then there are the KAZAKOV's from Moscow! Yes, we met them the first time also 19 months ago. ANASTASIA was so young then. She has literally grown into a beautiful young lady right before our very eyes. We will NOT be able to see them again. They won't be back to the Helsinki Temple before summer of 2011......and we will be home by then! We will miss them!
As we were coming home to our apartment after our shift in the temple, we 'found' this cute young lady babysitting a young sibling......and showing him our Christmas tree on our apartment door. It was so cute to watch them be fascinated!
THEN......8:00 p..m. when we normally have our Wednesday night Missionary Meeting with the President, we had a GOING AWAY PARTY with the GROBERG'S instead. It was kind of way to get rid of things that you can not pack and take home with you!
To quote Veli Groberg.......One Man's Junk Is Another Man's Treasure!!
We haven't seen Veli Groberg smile so much in the past 18 months! He was loving every single minute of it!
LOTS OF GOODIES FOR EVERYONE TO PASS AROUND AND SHARE!! I guess we will do 'doing' much the same thing in 4 months when we go home!
As if we don't have enough pictures of the TEMPLE from our apartment window, Wayne thought it would be fun to see a picture from the Groberg's bedroom window.
A FUN evening was had by all.......
we have a little
time in the A.M. hours to do a few errands!

In fact, we had time to go to the CARWASH and clean the mission vans today....they were filthy and needed a was badly!
It was FUN to take pictures as we drove around......
incredible how the snow is filed HIGH everywhere we go.
A little different shot of the temple from the LEPPÄSILLANTIE side.
We 'found' a MOVING PARTY INVITATION on our chair outside of our apartment this morning! I guess the Groberg's are serious about going home next Monday!
GIVING THINGS AWAY and HAVING REFRESHMENTS (to use up left over foods!) that is being creative!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

By tradition, this week between Christmas and New Years is FAMILY WEEK.....this is always a fun time for the families.
We actually have a number of families staying here this week.....the asuntola is FULL beyond capacity! Not to worry....Pavel has it all worked out so everyone coming and going has a bed and a room! Bless his heart for being able to figure it all out.
As we were leaving on Monday afternoon to take care of some errands these two cars from RUSSIA arrived. Two families. And great friends that we have had over the past 19 months that we have been here. many familiar faces in the group....Russians and Finns alike. We are going to miss them so much when we go home! We will hopefully be able to share pictures toward the end of the week when we are able to get them.

DISCLAIMER: YES......this does look familiar doesn't it. I wanted to make sure you saw it and that I got all of the information included!! is and I can make sure you got it the first time around! :-)

Monday, December 27, 2010


If we can't be with our children and grandchildren today, there is no better way to celebrate our 42nd wedding anniversary than to be right here in FINLAND serving a TEMPLE MISSION!

And this is the beginning of PERHE VIIKO......FAMILY WEEK!
These two cars arrived this afternoon as we were leaving to go 'out on a date'.....they are from RUSSIA! And our dear friends that we have not seen in about 6 months!
We were on the 'hunt' for a few things like a new bathroom rug (ours is falling apart)....we thought we would give the HONG KONG SHOP a try. Have never been there before. It seems to be like a K-Mart in America. We were not very impressed although we did find a couple of small things to buy.....including the bathroom rug!! :-)
We then headed over to SELLO where we would have some dinner and do some grocery shopping at CITY MARKET. We ate at CHICO'S.....becoming one of our favorite restaurants close by.
When we got back to the ASUNTOLA, we decided to walk around and see what 'snow work' Wayne would need to do later.......the snow finally stopped coming down after 2 days of snowing. And no more snow is expected until Thursday.....a little reprieve!! Thank goodness!
The snow is just PILED HIGH everywhere.......and this is just December with January, February and March to go!
Around the back of the temple......pretty, pretty, pretty........
and those are the 'steps' going to the front door of the temple from the side.....only you can't find the steps right now.
Veli Zaretskji decided to grab our camera and take one more shot before we went inside for the evening.
It has been a WONDERFUL anniversary day......we are ready for the next 42 years!

I finished reading the MORMONIN KIRJA
(Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants)

in FINNISH for the 2nd time while we have been here on our mission.
The date I finished reading it was December 23rd. My goal is to finish reading the KALLISARVOINEN HELMI (Pearl of Great Price) before we complete our mission the end of April.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


We attended the HAAGA WARD today with the Michie's ja Groberg's ja Zaretskji's. It was a beautiful snow falling......and piling up everywhere.
We have SACRAMENT MEETING ONLY today.....because of the continued 'celebration'. It was a nice meeting.
The Groberg's and we had a DINNER APPOINTMENT with SISAR NOSA at 2:00 p.m. She is such a sweet lady. She is so faithful in coming to the temple every week.
I made and gave her a cross stitch bookmark. When my 'supply' runs out, it will be OUT and I won't be making any more.
Sisar Nosa had quite the array of delicious foods.....and so much! These Finns just know how to take care of their missionaries. Bless her sweet heart!

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Christmas Day started off with some CRISPY BACON (no little smokies over here) and homemade PULLA (made by Sisar Multamäki).
We went to see the VOUTILAINEN PERHE in th
e afternoon. I left my camera there so I have to add a picture from their home when I get it back hopefully later on Sunday, December 26th. The Haikkola's are going to bring it home from church for me!
AND THEN......the kids are all awake and moving in their own homes all across AMERICA.....even David and Alyssa (living in Shanghai, China) who are visiting Alyssa's family in California. was SKYPE-TIME with all of them...... We started with STEVEN AND ELINN and their kids in Brunswick, Maryland. Can you believe we talked to them for over an hour and forgot to take a picture! Sunday.....we will try and get a SKYPE call so we can get a picture! After that we talked to KEVIN AND LAUREN and their children in Mapleton, Utah.
Then down to Peoria, Arizona to talk with BECKY AND DAVID and their children..........
Up to Lindon, Utah to catch ANDREW AND GERALYN and their 5 boys.....

Back out to Urbana, Maryland with JONATHAN AND TINA and their kids......
Back to the west coast, sunny San Diego, California to talk with DAVID AND ALYSSA and their girls......
We kind of felt like SANTA criss-crossing the good ole US of A trying to catch up with all of our family. It was sooo fun. We finally finished talking to all of them about midnight our time. Could and would have liked to talk longer but we were pooped!! Wonderful started snowing while we were talking to them and looks like it will be snowing all night!

P.S.........AS PROMISED.......Here is a picture with the
VOUTILAINEN PERHE.....that means I got my camera back!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Over the River and Through the Woods......
to the
for Christmas Eve Day Finnish Traditions......

Several months ago the Michie's and Allgaier's had been invited to spend CHRISTMAS EVE DAY with the Kataja Perhe........this is the day which is more celebrated than the actual Christmas Day.
It was a beautiful drive up north....about an hours drive from Espoo. The SUN made it appearance oh so slightly....above, this was high noon!
And it was a FRIGIDLY COLD day at that....too cold for 'human consumption' as I say!
They had put their CHRISTMAS TREE up and decorated it on December 23rd....normally it is put up and decorated on December 24th as well.
Leena was in the KITCHEN a lot during the day. (Leena is one of the MULTAMÄKI tytar's, daughters)
SISAR ANJA MULTAMÄKI was always close by and ready to help at a moments notice. She is just such a cutie.......
The young missionaries joined in on the festivities for the day.....their 'job' was to play with the young kids outside for a while. LOVE the traditional sled above.....soooo cute! And very functional. It is a SHOPPING / SCHOOL can see why it would be used for that.
I went outside for a few minutes to take pictures......not knowing that Wayne was inside taking a picture of me.
And here they are getting ready to go down the hill. It looked fun.......
What a sweet little 'Chessie' cat they have......looks just like our sweet little Chessie that we had at home. I miss my animals at home......
Sisar Multamäki and Wayne and I visiting for a few minutes......
And then it was time to play a HAT GAME with was played like musical chairs. It was a lot of fun......
OH, and lest we was time for JOULUPUKKI to all his glory (AKA as Veli Michie).
Wayne got a pair of birchwood slippers. He was so excited (and so was I) because we have been looking for some for the past 18 months. KIITOS JOULUPUKKI!!
Lots of gifts were handed out.
JOULUPUKKI only had one little problem the entire evening.....his pants were coming down. Got a picture of it as he made his exit!
Sisar Multamäki gave us a beautiful warm wrap to use on cold sweet of her.
We got a group picture of us with the young missionaries before we left the Kataja Home for the evening.
We drove out to the ORIMATTILA KIRKKO CEMETERY to put candles out in remembrance of Veli Multamäki. This is a tradition to do as well.
As COLD as it was, we took time for a quick group picture. MAN is was soooo cold!
This is the little plot dedicated to placing lit candles for loved ones. We then headed back home.....getting here about 11:15 p.m. What a fun-filled, great day with a great family.