Monday, February 25, 2013

Jared is still out there

I loved the photo haha thanks! its good to know that it still snows in utah and its not so hot all over the world. Its summer in Brazil still and the everyday rain is coming to an end so now its just hot hot hot. Im proud of the self control you all had to go to church the other day. Also its starting to sound like I wont recognise our house when I get home. haha thats funny the oven caught on fire.
       I didnt know about the new missions. Not even the new ones in Brasil. So I'm guessing that it wont affect my mission.
  Well for this week I'm just super happy for Roberto. He is now going to church and activities by himself and Sunday a member gave him a batch of church shirts, ties, a tie clip and some stuff for soccer because he loves to play Tuesday nights with the Elders quorum. He is doing super well and I'm hoping to be able to reach his brothers. Also we had a huge blessing Sunday. A member that moved to a place without the church at 8 years of age now moved back but with her husband and she brought him to church and he is super cool and I think he will be a great member. He told us he just wanted to understand a couple things. so ya I think this will go well. Only problem is he doesn't want us to come to his house until next week because they just moved in. Anyways I'm setting up a couple family nights and stuff like that so that we can get going on his teaching this weeek. Other than this we are starting in a new part of our area and I'm thinking this month we will get a lot of work done.
      In other news, out chapel was broken into for the third time this month and this time they took our piano. The best part is that they tried to then sell it to a member on his way to church- haha.
 well rock on --- Elder Schmidt

Monday, February 4, 2013



So, this will be the last of the mission emails. I'm at the end of the line. It is a weird place to be.

But, we are still working hard. This last week was probably the best week of my whole mission. Kuopio is just really taking of now and things are happening all over the place. We taught 30 lessons this week, and had 11 member teaches. Im not sure what it is, everything is just falling into place. Our investigators are solid and progressing well, our members are excited and giving referrals and coming to teaches, it's exploding here. We have set a couple baptismal dates and have found new investigators with potential. The down side is I take a train to Helsinki tomorrow and somebody else takes my place. Its been bittersweet to see a lot of exciting things happen but in the back of my mind know that I wont be here for much longer... I've had a good time here in Kuopio and am thankful for what I have seen going on here in this city. I'm sure the next guy will do a fine job. Fine indeed. We got word last week that the next guy will be a fresh out of the MTC greenie. Some greenie fire is what this city needs to take those next steps.

Like I said, it has been bittersweet all week. In church they sang "Til we meet again" because I was leaving. This is a powerhouse branch and there are a lot of really great people here. It sucks to say goodbye, but that is just how it goes. Plus, Im going to a place where I can use facebook. So, it's not too bad.

We had the final District Meeting of my mission this last week. It was pretty cool. I made district trading cards of every member in the district and listed some strengths they have and gave those out as awards. We have a solid district. We also did the trust drop game (where someone stands on something and falls back and everyone catches them) Haha then after that we had saved some Pday time and we went bowling. I bowled terribly but it was still fun.

It is strange being so close to the end. It really has gone by pretty dang fast (in hindsight of course). I have a lot of different emotions going through me. It is so happy and exciting, yet so sad and intimidating at the same time. I feel like my life has always been pretty planned up until this point, but now there are many different twists and turns it could take. But, overall I'm pretty excited and can't wait to see you all. Sometimes when we are out trudging in the cold I let my mind wander to a warm happy place. In other words, Disneyland.

But, until then.
Love you all.
Thanks for all the support.
Thanks for not forgetting about me.
See ya soon.
Vanhin Merkley

Hip Hooray moment

This week we had the best week we have had here in Kuopio. We set three baptismal dates and found 7 new investigators. It was really awesome to see everything work out. The baptismal dates are solid and are looking good. Unfortunately, the first one is set for 2 days after I leave Finland.... It is a rough pill to swallow, but still very rewarding to see how excited she is. We were teaching a lot this week and had a lot of cool things happen. We checked up on another investigator who did not know if he could stop smoking, but he had written down a plan to help him stop and was going to go to a help group that week. It was another hip hooray moment.

I'm excited to see you all. But until then yall.
Love you.
Vanhin Merkley

Friday, February 1, 2013

Lady Vikings Garden section

This week we had splits which went well. We were in Savonlinna and I got to be with Vanhin Rogers again. They have been having an interesting time down there. They lost their keys and couldn’t get into their apartment, so basically they were living in the chapel for the past week. Taking sponge baths and sleeping on the floor and everything haha. But luckily, when we got there, a locksmith had made them a replacement key a few days earlier and we were able to sleep in the actual apartment. The bike lock was still locked though so we took the bike to a guy and he hacked the lock off. haha Just another day in Savonlinna.

We also had splits with the Zone Leaders and also a district meeting. It was pretty funny because I had been busy and had not really planned a lot for the District Meeting so the day of I was sort of scrambling to get everything together and then I called the ZL and said "Ok, so do you guys have a little message you would like to share today in the meeting" Short pause. Then they go on to explain that they thought they had mentioned that they were taking the WHOLE meeting. He-he-he ew... But I guess that is my payback for not planning in advance. Haha. It was a good meeting and we did a lot of role plays. For those of you who don’t know what a role play is its where you practice teaching and someone pretends to be an investigator. They are slightly awkward at first, but after the first 100 you get used to them. Yep Andy, you will know exactly what I mean shortly....

We have a tradition to do something fun on saturday night (and plus it was my 2 year mark yee-haw)  So we went out to eat at this really sweet Viking style restaurant called Harolds. They have the whole shebang with fiddle music playing, flickering candles, and even viking hats. The waitresses are dressed up all medieval style. It has really cool style and the food was way good. My companion is a big meat eater so he got a big viking style steak. I... ordered from the "Lady Vikings Garden" section... and got a vegetarian salad type thing. But, it was way good and my viking man pride only took a few hits.

It was a solid week.  We are working hard and I am trying to not get too trunky. Haha It actually hasn’t been too bad.
Love you all.
Have a good week.
Vanhin Merkley



This week was good. We had 11 teaches fall through which was fun. But even with that, we have been teaching a lot and its been cool. We had a solid mother investigator in church who said she really liked it, and then a random guy we had talked to and invited just showed up to church and is now an investigator. Pretty sweet.

We have this other funny older man investigator. His house is a very interesting smell. I would never use the word `good´ to describe it, but maybe something like ´damp´. Ya, damp is more fitting. But the good thing is that after a few breaths, you get used to it. The problem is getting through those first initial breaths... He is a really nice guy though and has been dry from alcohol for over 10 years. It is sad how many Finns drink too much, it is a problem and seems to be even worse in the winter time. One more fun fact about this guy is he collect VHS of recorded t.v. shows. Right now he is up to 850 recorded and saved. I told Elder Oberhansley that I want to be there for the memorial 1000 VHS saved and recorded.

This sunday, President and Sister Rawlings were in Kuopio and giving a talk. We picked them up from the airport, but apparently were supposed to give them a ride to church the next day. We were not aware. 10 minutes before church starts we got a call that said they were ready and waiting... We had walked to church and did not have any way to get them. We asked a member to go grab them as fast as we could. They eventually got there, 10 minutes late. I just sheepishly looked at President Rawlings and gave him a look of ´please don’t fire me´ look. But of course, he just laughed and afterward apologized that he forgot to make it more clear that they needed a ride. Haha as you can imagine, we felt pretty dumb.

Thats about all.
Have a good week.
Love you guys.
Vanhin Merkley