Monday, April 25, 2011

The kids speak Finnish way better than me

Hi everyone.

The flight was long but fun because we traveled with my whole district. the jet lag was killing me but im about over it now. it was strange to not be able to listen to music or watch the movie... you can probably all imagine the devasted look on my face when i saw that they were playing - the tourist-. haha. how can i not watch angelina jolie and johnny depp while on the same screen at the same time! In Venice! thats near impossible! haha. i swear i glanced up and saw the same scene on a wild boat ride at least 10 times....

My area is in downtown helsinki and my trainer is elder hamner. He is a great guy. he knows this place super well and is great with the language. He loves reading from preach my gospel and he told me this week that we are going to have our weekly planning session- which should last about 3 hours. i just raised my eyebrows and said- really...? ok then. 3 hours it is. in my head i was thinking- what on earth could we possibly plan about for three hours. but then he showed me. he likes to talk about every investigator and make a plan for how to reach them and what we need to study and all that. so im learning a lot from him. he definitely knows how to plan. My companion is super obedient but not in an annoying way. he is nice about all of it... ha it makes me laugh sometimes. He knows the area and missionary work really well. He is also very helpful with the language... im really happy he is my trainer. hes a good guy.

Its crazy trying to speak finnish. i say something to a finn and they answer with the smallest phrase but i have absolutely no idea what it means... so its pretty tough. im learning a lot every single day though, so i just need to stay positive. My companion is a really helpful and positive guy and is helping me a lot with the language.

Finland is really pretty. We are on the coast so we can see the sea. it still has ice. There are tons of sweet boats and just good vibes all around. we dont have a car or bikes so we take the bus and tram around. The sun is staying out longer these days. it is weird to be heading home at 8 and the sun is still fully blazin.

Finland has some very beautiful people. Many blonde haired and blue eyes. The little kids are also really cute. I dont think i saw one kid at church who did not have blonde hair. I think it is so cute, until i hear them speaking finnish way better than me..... then theyre just annoying. haha jk.

This week has been a lot better than the first... Im not as tired as I was (even though im still tired. Im always tired. But with jetlag i was ridiculously tired instead of just tired) and I have gotten the schedule down. It is very intense in the field, but on the other hand we have a lot of down time (people bail often) Its ironic how hard we try to plan our lives to every last detail but then one little thing comes along and throws it all off. Like in Batman the dark night, there are a lot of schemers in missionary work. They want everything to go according to the plan. Im more of a go with the flow guy. But its good for me to learn how to plan.

It is very interesting here. We talk to many people, but it is very rare where an actual finn is interested in the gospel... most the time it is the immigrants who we get numbers from. It is fun to talk to so many different kinds of people and hear what their beliefs are. We were talking to a lady yesterday who told us that a cool breeze comes out of her head when she meditates. She was into some sort of relaxation/religious group. But it was interesting. It has opened my eyes to a lot of things and I am really coming to a more solid realization of what i believe about life and people.

We are teaching a guy who has a baptismal date, and it is awesome cuz he actually is a finn. he is a super good person and i really hope he pulls thru with it.... the teaches are way hard to pay attention too because i dont understand anything. My job right now is to sit and say things like "hmm....", "hyvää (good)" and then i bear my testimony about how the book of mormon is good. haha.

Learning a language is hard. This work is also hard. I feel like im being purified in a strainer, getting all the bad out of me. Thats what i like to think when im hating it

Love you all and whatnot. OK thats all from up north.

Vanhim Merkley

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