Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Walking with the Full Moon

I got the call that I will be headed up to a place called Kuopio. It is a city next to Joensuu (my previous city) and on the eastern side of Finland. I’ve visited there and it is a pretty place and will be fun. They have a car which will be interesting and a first for me as a missionary. Having a car makes getting places really easy, but its also harder to talk to people throughout the day. To be honest, I would rather be in a bike city.... even in the winter. I’m more of a biker than a sitter, but there are definite benefits to the car and we will find a way to still talk to people. The weird thing is that it could very well be my last city... Pretty crazy. My companion will be a native Finn named Vanhin Helistö. I have met him and he is a funny guy and I’m thinking we will get along fine. I leave on Wednesday and take a 5 hour train right to Kuopio. I am excited.

I have now been in Turku for 5 months. It is quite a long time, but still it will be hard to leave. There are some really cool sites and feel to the city, and the people are even better. I have a lot of fond memories and would like to come back to visit some day. Saying goodbye to the members is always sad but that is just how it is. We still have a few people that we are going to try and see before I leave.  One of our investigators gave us a good compliment when he said "You are both missionaries but when I see you, it is like seeing my friends again." I thought that was really nice. I have noticed that the people is always what makes a place the most memorable.

This week was a good one. We had splits with the Rauma elders. I went on splits with Vanhin Troff. He told me all about how his brother is almost a chess master. Haha apparently there is a lot more to chess than I thought and his brother is training with a renowned coach and learning different moves. It was really interesting to hear about. And then we started talking to a guy who looked like Aang from avatar. It turned out he was a Krishna Monk and was traveling around doing his Monky business. (Hehe... I meant to do that)  I asked how long he was doing it for and he said that it could last a couple lifetimes... haha it really put serving 2 years in perspective for me. I also asked if he was a vegetarian, which he was, and I proudly told him that I was too. It was a good day of contacting.

Conference was really great. I have learned to love conference more and more. It's true that it's a whole lot of sitting, and can be tiring, the speakers always seem like they are talking straight to you. There were a couple of times where I was almost shocked because of how directly related what they were saying had to do with where I am at and the questions I have. One of the great ones was Elder Hollands. At the end of it I wanted to stand on my chair and shout "Hallelujah" it was so good.

I’ll also quickly tell you of the sweet service we did. We had planned to do some service with a member, but it started quite late so we weren’t sure if we could make it. But we decided to go. On our way we got distracted and overshot his house and so we had to wander back and try and find the place and by that time it was already getting a bit dark. We were double guessing if it was worth because it was dark, and we were getting hungry and tired but then eventually found the place. He was really grateful for us coming out and we helped him shovel a part of his driveway. Afterwards, he gave us some apple pie to go. It was a good moment: Walking in the dark with the full moon shining down, eating some delicious apple pie, laughing with your companion and feeling that satisfied feeling of helping out a friend. The whole ordeal started off a little unsure, but it turned out being a lot of fun and a cool memory.

That's all from me. I hope your all doing well. Love you all,
Vanhin Merkley

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