Thursday, January 20, 2011

Excerpts from letters

January 17, 2011


So I am now in Kajaani. It is a very cold place. It is away from the ocean, therefore it doesn't get the warm air from whatever ocean current that goes past and it's out more towards Russia. We are on bikes. This is the first city in which I am on a bike (not counting the three weeks on bikes in Kouvola). It is a branch here; there are about 30 active members. I also got sick last week and had a mild fever on Saturday. I really like it though. I almost feel more ''free.'' We can work much more in our own city and because we are always on the street, we get to talk to a lot more people than we would if we traveled by car. Even though the ward is small, they are so excited about missionary work. They have activities twice a month specifically designed for members to bring their friends/neighbors/family members to learn about the church and the Plan of Salvation. Last year there were three baptisms in the branch, which is really good, especially considering the size. This year they want 10, which is so possible. One lady we are teaching right now should be getting baptized in February. She is really busy with work and is pretty stressed with a bunch of things so it may have to get moved back a bit. We'll shoot for February.

Yeah the guy in Oulu got his citizenship papers sorted out the day that I left. Pretty much a miracle. He had his interview with the appropriate priesthood holder and he is all set and ready to go for baptism. He should be getting baptized within the next couple of weeks or so. I talked to him on the phone before I left and he was really excited. He is going to be a good member.

It's fun being a district leader because I can be a bit more hands on with the district members. I get to teach more often because we have district meetings every now and then and it's just nice because I get to apply all of the things that I learned as a zone leader on the zone level and apply them on a smaller/more concentrated scale. I am excited to see the results and success that will be coming.

January 10, 2011


Well, change calls came on Saturday. I am getting transferred to Kajaani, a city a couple hours away from Oulu. I leave tomorrow and will be companions with Elder Shumway, who has been out a little under a year. I'll be the district leader of the Oulu District, comprising of cities Kajaani, Oulu, and Rovaniemi. I was pretty shocked to get the call. I thought for sure that I would be here for at least another transfer, if not two.

The one investigator is still waiting for his citizenship. He wants to get baptized so badly but I think he is realizing that there really isn't anything anyone can do except wait. He is such a good missionary too. He invites friends to activities and gives copies of the Book of Mormon to everybody. He is so solid.

One of our other investigators made it to church yesterday. She is a young mother with two kids. We have met with her once and have been in contact with her for the last few weeks. I think that she really enjoyed the meetings (she stayed for all 3!). The members did a good job being her friend and helping her to feel welcome.

We are going to visit the family again tonight. We aren't really sure how willing they are to change their ways, but we'll go and see what we can do. They are super nice and will probably feed us dinner again. The one guy is Muslim and loves telling stories about the history of the Middle East and Islam and such. Really good people.

January 3, 2011


It's nice that the Holidays have been celebrated and that things are more back to normal. It was really special to celebrate Christmas and New Year's Finnish style. We had a lot of fun and I really enjoyed the Finnish culture. For New Year's Eve and Day we had to be in the apartment by 6 pm and weren't allowed to go tracting at all. We had a couple of appointments and didn't do too much else. On New Year's Eve we made some bread to give away, did a little cleaning, had a teaching appointment, and that's about it. On New Year's Day we ate breakfast again at the Calls place. Sister Call made ''sticky buns'' or as we would call it pull-apart bread. I wonder if other families are just more creative with their food names... :) After that we went to the Brower family for cake and to talk for a while. After that Elder Peterson and I delivered the bread we made to members/less-actives and such. It was pretty fun. We just spent our evening planning and discussing things we need to work on.

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