Monday, January 31, 2011

WITH YOU......

We haven't been downtown for a while so TODAY was the day! And a great one at that. We knew we were in for a 'nice' day when we woke up and had this gorgeous SUNRISE at about 8:15 a.m. Our days are definitely getting longer now......we like that!
On our way up to the bus stop at about 10:00 a.m. we noticed a BABY BUGGY sitting outside in the cold....NAP TIME!!! One of the Finnish sistars was babysitting her grandbaby. This is a Finnish custom....wrap the baby up and put them in the cold to take naps. This gets them adjusted to the cold climate. We think it works because the Finns are used to the cold! In America parents would be charged with 'neglect' and probably have the child taken away from them.
We were on a 'HUNT' for Wayne's old apartment where he lived for about 2 months some 46 years ago. He was there for such a short time because he developed appendicitis and had to have surgery. He then was sent to the mission home / office to recover. We never found the exact apartment but Wayne seemed to remember it was on this block. 46 years is a long time and things can change!
While in the neighborhood we went to see this very large Cathedral. Wayne had always wanted to go inside and see this and never did.....and it took us 20 months this time to get there. But FINALLY......we made it!
We can 'check' one more thing off of our to-do-list for P-Days!
Then it was to the real downtown to visit some of our favorite shops!! And we seem to have developed certain ones......we have gotten picky about where we spend our money!
The shop ABOVE is our favorite half Finnish / half Russian shop. They have very nice things there. And the shop BELOW is our favorite tourist shop on the ESPLANADE.
About lunch time we connected with Kent and Barbara Michie for lunch at the CAFE ESPLANADE. It was very, very good and we enjoyed the company!
Next stop on the 'route' was at STOCKMAN's Department Store. This store is one huge block big and about 7 - 8 stories high. They just opened a BIG NEW GROCERY STORE inside too! We had to check it out and see what the 'buzz' was all about! Barbara and I just had to get our picture taken by the CHOCOLATE POSTER! What is it about the chocolate here!!
Our LAST STOP for the day was another tourist shop headed on our way home out of downtown Helsinki. We have been here before, of course! This is just the sweetest lady ever. She wants to visit America so badly. By the time we finished talking with her she was genuinely in tears with emotion and passion! Got to love her. She wanted to give us a book on Finland for free....we said we wanted to give her a book to. Wayne had a 'pass-along' card in his pocket that he gave her. We told her when we came back to see her before we leave in April to go home, we wanted her to have gotten her free book. She said she would!
And YES we bought this beautiful FINLAND plate to take home with us. She wrapped it so well. We will just put it in a box that we will be mailing soon!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The picture above was taken after church this morning. We, along with the Michie's and Smith's, attended the Kerava Ward. Michie's are here with us serving a Temple Mission in the Helsinki Temple. The Smith's (Richard and Liisa) were in the first 'wave' of temple missionaries here when it was dedicated and opened. Richard is the great-great-great grandson of Hymun Smith (yes, as in the brother Hyrum to Joseph Smith, Jr.).

It was a beautiful Sabbath sky and wintery looking.....wind blowing a bit and that made it a little cold....but, otherwise very nice. This shot of the temple is not our 'normal' shot because Wayne took it as we were driving past it out of the neighborhood. Nice to have different views once in a while.
We attended the KERAVA WARD with the Michie's. It was their ward conference and we were anxious to be there to enjoy it with them. This HUGE ROCK sits in the front yard of the church. It looked so pretty with the snow.
After church these boys were just being.......well, BOYS! Where there is a pile of snow that ISO (big) in the church yard, you just don't pass that up!! No way!! They were having a great time on it!! Good for them.......
Wayne and I decided to stand at the bottom.......after all we are missionaries and we are not suppose to do things like that!!
After church we had dinner at Veli ja Sisar AIRAKSINEN's home. His wife had to work and we missed not being able to see her. It was so fun to be in their home again.
It was a great afternoon of relaxing, great food and sharing 'stories' about lots of fun things. It was very interesting to have Richard share 'stories' about the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum (his great-great-great grandfather).
We gave Veli ja Sisar Airaksinen a little 'KIITOS PALJON' gift for their generous hospitality! Another wonderful Sabbath day........

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Pavel and Elina have been trying to get us over to their apartment since August 2010!! FINALLY, we were able to find a 'date' that would work for both of us.....and we even scheduled this one 2 months ago!! Busy, busy people!!
We work with Pavel in the Temple office. He is so smart and we love working with him. Elina is also a temple worker and comes often when her work schedule allows it!!
Pavel did a GREAT job in fixing his 'speciality' of LAMB!!! He is a great cook......
And Elina made a GREAT dessert too!!! A type of cheesecake! Way to go guys....we LOVED being in your home last night......
But....we are hopeful they will come visit us in America!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Very Active

Starting with a gorgeous SUNRISE this morning. The missionaries from Russia (here to renew their visas) also liked it! They left this afternoon to head back to their mission in Russia.
Sistra Marina Arsyonova came in from the temple. She got a cross stitch bookmark too (besides the other two Russian friends not long before her)! She is from Vyborg, Russia. I will get to see her one more time in March (if all goes well for her and she is able to get back!).
Just had to get a little 'family shot' in front of the MAP.
I came home at about 5:00 p.m. because we were suppose to have had dinner guests and I was going to get dinner fixed. When I left the temple I got to see a gorgeous SUNSET!!! Can they get any prettier!!! Love them.....
Unfortunately, our dinner guests were sick (there seems to be a little 'bug' going around). They were so sad that they had to cancel on us today. Not to worry......we would have the dinner next Friday night.......BUT.......
we now had food that needed to be eaten. What to do?? Well, we invited the 'afternoon' shift of temple missionaries. I still came home early and prepared the dinner. We had a good time and we were able to use the food for a good reason!
KIITOS PALJON Peciulius, Metsätähti's and Michie's!!! Fun Friday night Date Night.
(or more accurately, late-week!)

We ran a couple of errands over to SELLO on Thursday....quick ones. I had bought a small little SNOWGLOBE for Claire because Crew had dropped one she had and broken it! She was very upset that it was broken. While we were in Tampere over the weekend, I saw a cute little 'moose' one and thought it would be easy enough to mail to her. As I was walking into the POSTI I was taking off my gloves and the little 'package' dropped out of my hand. Well, guess what.......water went everywhere and the snowglobe was in a gazillion pieces!!! :-( Just like her other one. I guess this little snowglobe was just not meant to be mailed!! If you look carefully at the package laying on the dashboard of the van you can see one little corner that appears DRY. That is because it IS dry!!
After going to Sello we headed over to IKEA to get some meatballs and potatoes. They have a little grocery store section there and have great foods and great prices.......considering it is Finland where lots of things are more expensive!! I happened to look down at my lap where my purse was laying. Decided it was another FOTO OP showing my favorite store.....MARIMEKKO! Love all of their products....will miss that store......
The WINTER scene was just beautiful ....... like a dump load of SUGAR had been dropped from the sky. Just had to have a picture of that since my camera was in my hand!
We are beginning a lot of LASTS!!! These two sweet Russian sistras will not be back here to the temple until summer......after we are gone. We just love them......and YES, I made a bookmark for each of them........
They wanted to have a 'group' picture.....even though none of us had our coats on......and take it outside with the snow and temple in the background! Left: Sistra Larisa Ignatieve and between Wayne and I is Sistra Liubov Sergeeva. We told them we would come visit their branch next time we are in St. Petersburg!!
What wonderful people....ALL of them......

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It has been a while!!

When we saw a really pretty BLUE SKY and the sun coming up.....yup....just had to grab the camera and take a couple of pictures. Everything is so pretty and white because of all of the fresh snow........
On our walk up to the temple this afternoon (we are on the p.m. shift this week), we had to stop at the 'trash storage shed' and drop off some trash.....had another FOTO OP with the snow piled so high!
Meet SISAR WALTZER. She is from Tampere Ward. She was our personal tour guide at the OPEN HOUSE on Saturday night.
She is a real stalwart in the here in Finland. I wanted to make a cross stitch book mark for her. It was quite a surprise for her and she seemed very pleased.
We are going to miss these great people sooooo much.....

Monday, January 24, 2011


While visiting the TUOMIOKIRKKO in Tampere (the BIG Lutheran Cathedral) before we left to go home to Espoo, there was one original painting that I really, really wanted to see. I think I said that in a post from our Monday walking around Tampere. However, what I didn't say was a cute little 'analogy' that Wayne spontaneously said as we were able to see this painting up close and personal.
Below you can see the painting from a distance, as the balcony area was closed off. I was willing to let that suffice and 'say I had seen it' although it would have been really, really nice to see it better than from the mail floor of the church.
As we were looking over some booklets that were available to purchase, I noticed a sign saying there were small 'pins' for sale. I am a 'pin' them and collect them from ALL OVER!! Just one of those crazy thing I like to do. Well, in checking with the grounds guy (as we were leaving).....he, by the way, was shoveling snow!, we asked him about those pins. He made a cell phone call to a lady who would be right here to help us. She came within about 3 minutes. We told her of my desire to purchase a pin. We followed her and waiting outside the closed shop. Upon her return, Wayne asked about our being able to go upstairs on the balcony and see that picture closer up. Sorry but the balcony is closed right now. Upon further explanation by Wayne (in Finnish, of course) I heard him mention something about our being from America and we were currently living in Espoo and that I really wanted to see that picture.
With a very pleasant smile on her face, we said 'Follow me' and I will take you up there. She could have very easily said "Sorry that is the law (Justice calls for the law)" but instead she said "It is the law but I will take you up so you can see the picture (Mercy)"!
It was just a brief but very special lesson on JUSTICE and MERCY!
And I am sticking to it!
Kiitos Paljon great husband of mine!!

We had a few hours before we needed to head back to Espoo, so with the car parked at the hotel parking (and with their permission to leave it there while we walked around) we decided to go exploring the sights of Tampere......and so glad we did!
This 'hidden' lion was on the steps leading up to a museum or some type of building. There was so much snow there.....and so pretty......
We 'found' the store-front building where the TAMPERE BRANCH met when Wayne was a young missionary here some 46 years ago....he remembered it well. Tampere was his 1st area when he arrived to Finland. Amazing that just last week a very beautiful, large 3-story building with state-of-the-art equipment was dedicated for the 2-wards and stake center!! Wonderful to see the growth in this area!!
There is a river that divides the city.....and there are a number of bridges that criss-cross back and forth. We walked on quite a few of them.
This one was quite interesting with all of the LOCKS fastened to the fence. We were not quite sure why....but there were hundreds of them!
This was the TUOMIOKIRKKO which I really wanted to see the inside of! It is very large and very beautiful inside!!
It has 3 ORIGINAL PAINTINGS that we had seen copies of at the ATENENUM ART MUSEUM in downtown Helsinki. Here are two of them......above: "The Resurrection" which is very large and is in the front of the chapel. Below: "The Wounded Angel" which is smaller and found in the upstairs area. The lady who works there was very kind and took us up there so we could see it better!! KIITOS PALJON!!
As we were walking around downtown and exploring, Wayne wanted to get a closer look at the river......and we 'found' a statue there as well......
the PROBLEM was that there were no real paths made to get there at this part. We had to make our own 'path'. The snow was very deep.....
Cool statue......but,
I had a little trouble getting back out to the real path!! It reminded me of the commercial which says......"Help, I have fallen and can't get up!" I felt like that because it was just hard to move in it!! It was funny.....and the snow was so soft to fall in!!
On our drive back to Espoo we went past HÄMMENLINNA and the beautiful castle off in the distance!

This week at the temple: TAMPERE STAKE!! How appropriate since we were just there!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


We visited both Tampere Wards today......2nd Ward in the morning and 1st Ward in the afternoon. This branch new building was dedicated last Sunday while we were in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is a beautiful building......3 stories high.

Very IMPRESSIVE from the outside as well as the inside!
We met Kyllikki and her husband, Veijo, at church and had dinner with them afterwards! By way of reminder....Kyllikki was baptized a member of the church about 46 years ago by Wayne when he was a young missionary here!!
The above picture is the very large and very impressive Lutheran Church......TUOMIO in Tampere. We plan to go see the inside of it tomorrow because it has some very famous paintings inside. And they are the originals.
We drove out to Kyllikki and Veijo's home.....just couldn't believe how much snow there is here.....maybe more than what we have in Espoo......
And at their home....just a gorgeous Finnish Winter!!
Back at the Hotel we walked across 'the bridge' that Wayne remembers so well from serving here in Tampere as a young missionary. He has talked several times about this bridge. I think this is where he and his companion got 'separated' by a red light! And Wayne was a brand new missionary and trying to learn his way around!!
The bridge goes over a RIVER.....just beautiful......
You can see our CUMULUS HOTEL in the distance from the bridge. It has been a great day....back to ESPOO tomorrow afternoon!