December Zone Conference
Yep, I'm moving from Pori
Good to hear Christmas was a fine one! Fromage, I loved those pictures thank you so much! But unfortunately my inbox is getting close to full (only can hold 52 megabytes) So at least for this next week don't send pictures and I'll try and get it all cleaned up and ready for more pictures :)
Hold on, THE BFG!?!?! [Whitney got the movie "The BFG" for Christmas] Where on earth did Santa find that? lol that's hilarious, I remember that was like one of Whitney's favorite shows in the entire world, they only thing that I remember from that show is the song "wiz pop wiz *something* feel the bubbles go down" haha Whitney, is that the same Show? Also I really like that hat Sarah, Í could use one of those here ;) haha jk. What did Natalie get from Santa I didn't see a picture of her stuff! Oh ya and the Wii, you guys are lucky! So that picture of the phone call was pretty much exactly how I pictured it when I was on the phone with you guys :D I look back to that phone call and really all I did was make jokes... lol sorry I should have been a little more spiritual, but like Fromage said in her email "Perfection comes slowly" I really like that thought, thank you. Thank you for that scripture dad, I'll try and get some things that president said about change sent off to you, maybe they will help you in your quest for the perfect passage to describe your feelings.
For now I'll just share some things that president Uchtdorf shared in last general conference (p.s fromage thank you for these ensigns, my last two weeks of teaching have pretty much all came from these talks) First off about change. His big quote from the talk "Two Principles for any economy" says "It is often in the trial of adversity that we learn those most critical lessons that form our character and shape our destiny" sometimes it takes a bum kicking to learn what you need to learn, sometimes you don't. I've had a few off both of those out here in Finland, both are incredible and both have helped shape me little by little. (read this talk, I'll let you guys learn from your own personal thoughts and revelations) :) haha
Another thing that I would like to share about change was a couple quotes that came up last Zone conference (I don't remember if I have shared these yet. Sorry if I repeat) One was an Elder (Elder Struthers) that said "the potential of the Clay is not in the Clay. It is in the hands of the Potter" I think there is a lot to be learned from this, one that we are going to be molded by Someone who can see the big picture, One that can see what we can become. He knows that we can become somethings greater than this blob of clay we are right now. Second thing I learned from this was when I thought even a little deeper because yes it is true that the potential of the Clay is in the Hands of the Potter, but if that clay is dry and useless (hard-hearted and lazy) the potter wont be able to use him. It is up to the clay and its agency… Hopefully that was understandable.
Next thing I would like to share was a quick little thing that President Brown shared in Zone conference. It is in reference to a man that made beautiful carvings of horses (I thought Nat might like this one ;) ) So this guy takes ordinary blocks of wood and turns them into beautiful sculptures of horses. Someone asked him, "How do you do it?" The sculptor said “It’s easy, I just cut away anything that doesn’t look like a horse.” Such is the same with us. We are becoming like Him, we are nowhere near. But little by little, scrape by scrape we are transformed into different creatures. That is why Perfection comes slowly. Eikö niin?
Ok so I guess I better tell you guys where I am going Wednesday. I’m leaving this beautiful town of Pori and going to a town named Jyväskylä ( good luck pronouncing that, I struggle saying it right ;) ) I’m going to be there with Elder Slade, I think he is one transfer older that Elder Quinn. Elder Hamner is staying in Pori and training (same age as Elder Quinn when he trained me) It is crazy to see so many young missionaries as leaders. I think it is because #1 they are super solid missionaries and #2 Because there are 8 more missionaries in Finland this transfer. Finland is getting incredible amounts of missionaries. It is one of 2 places in Europe that is actually increasing missionaries rather that decreasing. President Brown said it is because they are trying to get 1 set of missionaries for every single ward in the world (probably except Utah) So we are getting tons of missionaries! YAY!! Ok so I’ll tell you all what I know about Jyväskylä… It is in central Finland pretty much smack dab in the middle of the bottom half. It is surrounded by lakes and I hear that it is absolutely gorgeous! (everyone always says its gorgeous only in the summer though)
Yes, my boots are soo warm, I’m enjoying them! They make tracting a lot better! I haven’t heard of that negative 30 degree rule, maybe. I think Finland was a lot colder when Brother Rockhill was here. It only gets that cold up in the north like in Rovaniemi. Oh yes my boots, They are legit! They were on sale from 155 euros to only 99 pretty sweet deal! They are eccco and they are also gore tex so i think they will work just great! Thank you for the Christmas you guys sent me, I laughed when I saw the remote controlled helicopter, I might have to check the white handbook on that one ;) hehe jk the cards were great! Thank you. I’m glad you liked your letter fromage, I hope everyone else did too. Did Kim and Nate get their package? I’ll try and get your birthday package off with my SD card full of pictures. Unfortunately its going to be late for your birthday. (don’t worry it’s nothing too serious.. I not going to lie I’m re-gifting some of it ;) hahaha frugality)
Congratulate David on his eagle from me!
I love you all so much, it truly was nice to hear your voice! Thank you all for all you do. Hope you followed some of my random thoughts in this email and in the phone call. Hopefully this season continues to be as great as it has been.
Vanhin Thomas Neal Nielsen
p.s The Finns celebrate Christmas season for about the same amount of time as us… Maybe a little longer.. and maybe a little more extreme ;) lol