Well everyone, I FINALLY MADE TO FINLAND! It is so amazing here, the people here are really amazing and I just cant say how amazing everything is. It was a very long and boring flight. Since you can’t use media as a missionary, it was me staring at a seat in front of me for 21 hours. England was really weird. I was looking out of the window of the plane and I saw Buckingham palace and I was just like “That place is actually real? I thought it was only in the movies!” We had a quick layover in the airport and we checked out the duty free mall. I mean everything was still really expensive, but hey at least you dont have to pay taxes. England was the first time I had two horrendous realizations 1. I dont use american money anymore 2. EUROPE DOESNT HAVE DRINKING FOUNTAINS AND IT MAKES ME SO ANGRY. Why for all that is good and holy would people not having drinking fountains? What do people do when they are thirsty? Die? But anyway that is besides the point. Then, when we got to Finland we were met by our mission president President Wattson and he sort of reminds me of that grandfather figure everyone points to as the person who changed their lives. He took us all across Espoo and we got to see the outside of the temple. It is weird how small it is but it means so much more for them. They have people come from as far as Russia to do work at the temple. For them it means so much more than for most people in the United States does. But finally I got a new companion. It feels really weird not being with Vanhin Jaccard anymore. It feels that a part of me is gone. When you are with someone for 24/7 you really feel weird without them. My new companion is Vanhin Nelson. Hes a really cool guy from Alpine Utah and this is his last transfer. Hes been having those realizations such as I am his last companion and his last area and so on and so forth. He is really dedicated to this work and because of him we have been able to do extremely well here. The area we got sent to was Kokkola. A really cute town in the middle of Finland. It is really nice here. It has that small but big town feel ya feel? But we have been grinding at the work. We have several new investigators and they are all super pumped to hear about the gospel. It feels weird to finally be doing this work and being able to help people accept the gospel. The branch here is also amazing. IT is really tiny but it has so much faith. We had a dinner appointment where we shared a lesson about the fruit from the tree of life and how we want to share that with our friends and family. You could feel the spirit so strong that night that I almost cried because of how strong it was. But we could only have done the work we have done because of the members and for that I am eternally grateful that they are willing to help so much. One of the best parts about being in Finland is the rejection. I know that sounds really weird to say but everyone here is so polite. They simply say no thank you and then they move on their way. I mean we have had a few people who were a little rude but nothing unbearable. Worst I have heard so far is “I dont want to hear your crap” which as a missionary that isnt that bad. The drunk people are interesting. Whenever there is a serious hockey game such as the finland vs russia game everyone hits the streets wasted. We had one guy who wanted to fight us but he was too far away and we just walked away. Also during this week we had district meeting and that is held in Vaasa which is one of the more northern parts of Finland. But there I finally met the man and the legend. Vanhin V! (I dont think I can give specifics on everyones names. The privacy laws here are really strict and while I dont think it would be that big of a deal, I dont want to risk it. I am going to find out more about this later because I need to talk about people. But Vanhin V is one of Vanhin Farkas´ best friends growing up and he would always talk about him and now I finally meet the legend himself! Its so cool that I can be in the same district that he is in, and I think we will have a lot of adventures together!
But one last story.
We take trains a lot and that is the main form of transportation in Finland. We take it for transfers and from getting from one place to another. My companion needed to get his bike from a train and we went in to get it and the moment we were about to get to the door it closed, and the train started to move. It was really bad becuase the train is really costly , like the return trip would cost us over 100 euros. Luckily we talked to the conducter and hes like “amerikkalainen” (americans) as he shakes his head and we got off for free which was really nice.
But I can tell that a lot is going to go on here and I am really excited to be part of this work and I know that this is a good work.
pic 1: It is tradition that people who leave take a photo with their flag. It feels weird to be finaly doing that.
pic 2:Finland temple