Monday, November 28, 2011

They are starting to put up the Christmas decorations which is really exciting. We heard that the other day the "Officially started Christmas" which involved a santa clause (in Finnish its Joulu Pukki) to drive down a main road and throw candy and stuff. It’s sweet that it gets dark early because now we will have a chance to see Helsinki with the lights lit. It should be pretty cool. It gets dark now around 4:30 but the good thing is that the darkest day of the year is only a month away. Still no snow here....

We had a district meeting with the Mission President which was sweet because then we have interviews. I really love when our President Rawlings teaches us. He has a very mild and peaceful way of teaching. He explains things so well that at the end I always feel pumped up. My interview with him was also great. I always walk out of the President’s interviews with a lot more peace and comfort, a slight smile and a feeling that he is absolutely a man of God. I have an enormous amount of respect for him.

Then the next day was a Thanksgiving Zone Conference. We had all the missionaries gather together to share a some spiritual thoughts and have a big thanksgiving dinner. For the spiritual thought we had a short lesson about prayer and then a testimony meeting. I gave a little testimony about the previous day and how I know that President Rawlings is a man of God and that following him is the right thing to do. And then we all headed down for some food. The office staff did a great job preparing tons and tons of typical Thanksgiving food (which is really hard because a lot of the ingredients for the dishes are slightly different here, so they had to really search for some stuff) We ate, sang songs, played a thanksgiving game and had a real good time. It felt like home. Except.... no family haha.

At the end, they gave us tons of leftovers to take home. We had turkey, pie, and mashed potatoes. I noticed that the mashed potatoes were in a flimsy plastic container and I thought: " I hope that doesn’t break open in my bag, that would really blow. I know what will do the trick! Tape!" Tape did not do the trick. On the way home I smelled the slight scent of potatoes, and then realized that it was coming from my backpack. I looked in and the potatoes and spilled all over my bag and scripture case. It took forever to clean everything out but eventually I got most of it out.....Except the scent. But it is ok because I think it gives that backpack more character. That bag has been through high school, the MTC, its been stolen, its been found, and now has the faint smell of a Thanksgiving dinner. Pretty rich history for a backpack.

I love and miss you all. Have good weeks.

Heart, Vanhin Merk

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