Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January 4, 2010

Dearest Family,

Wow this place is incredible, I liked that description you gave of Jyväskylä, It is quite accurate. Yes it is a college town, yes it is beautiful. But the Finns only say it is beautiful in the summer time, I kind of enjoy it right now. Yes it is quite a bit colder than Pori, hahah I am so thankful I had those boots on my feet when we were tracting last Saturday, lol it was -22 degrees hahaha and we thought there were apartments where we were going, but we were wrong. It was a good experience though :) I learned that I need to keep those little hand warmer things in my backpack at all times!

Jyväskylä has one of the most incredible wards ever. It is just like the ward in Pori but bigger. The ward has 230 or so members, but only about half are active... Lots to do here :) the people here are so friendly and so nice I love it. I'm had my Finnish vocabulary stretched quite a bit being here talking with these people as I try to get to know them. Yesterday was fast Sunday, I got this little paper passed to me at the beginning of the meeting asking me to prepare myself to bear my testimony to the ward. I thought I did a pretty good job, but I'm not going to lie it was a lot more intimidating in front of 100 people rather than the 30 in Pori. I think I am here in Jyväskylä because I was developing kind of a comfort zone with the people and the members in Pori. You can't grow when you are comfortable where you are at. It's been good.

Haha Sorry to laugh about your story cheese, But I just imagined it all... I had kind of a similar day my 2nd day in Pori. You learned to be more careful, I learned to not get caught up in a rush and do things wrong haha. So here is how my day went. It was a Wednesday, we were a little late out of the apartment to get Elder Beard (the elder I replaced) to his train on time. So we had to jog a little bit to get there. We got there and the train did it's little departing message and was about to leave for Helsinki. We hurried and stopped the train (opened one of the doors) and went and got his ticket that we hadn't bought yet. We had to show the ticket attendant the phone that had the train voucher on it. Elder Beard then slipped the phone in his pocket and left on his train. Walking home, Elder Slade and I realized that he had the phone... We had no phone and there are no payphones here. So we had to go to a member's house ask if we could use their phone to call him. We got that all figured out and he was going to send it in the mail. We still didn't have a phone, but we had peace of mind. We went to get a few things done later that day, I had to buy groceries so we went to an atm... I guess i was hurrying too fast and typed my pin in wrong... the ATM ate my card... I wanted to cry a little... But we used some other people's phones and got it all figured out.. hopefully! So anyways I learned that I need to just slow down, relax and plan. So that is what that 40 euro charge is on my card, I took out some back up money.

So wow I had an incredible week, I learned a lot. It sounds like you guys did too! First I will go through and clarify some things I noticed in the emails :) haha. First Kyle, thank you for your email, I love that little PMG you gave me. Every missionary that sees it complements it and yes it is extremely useful. I love reading it and imagining the stories you had in your mission. No we don't have our meetings in Finnish, they are in English. Just the songs and the prayers are in Finnish. I like it that way because you are supposed to hear the gospel in your native tongue :) Sounds like a fun weekend with Elder Chung!

Those pictures I just forwarded from president. They take one of those every zone conference, So hopefully I will be a little more on the ball and forward them right when I get them. Thank you Kimberlie for taking care of my blog, you are a champion! I'm looking forward to having that picture of Boston, because he is a stud! :) oh you Waddoups :)

Ryan and Julia sound like they are doing good! Hope you enjoyed your christmas vacations! love ya!

Fromage that is a pretty lofty goal... when I read that I thought... Wow I guess that much faith is really the end goal. Why not cut to the chase and make it a goal now ;) HAHA I'm so glad I have the family I do. I learn so much from your stories and examples, but there is always a good laugh intermittent (I don't know if that is the right word).

Challenge for you guys this week. Find the February 2003 ensign and read Three Parables by James Talmage. Then read Strenthening the Inner Self by James E. Faust. Then I really liked teaching children principles of happiness by D. Micheael Barret. And our thorns in the flesh was good! Wow that Ensign is loaded with tons of stuff that applies to everyone whatever stage they are at!

I'm so thankful I'm here in Jyväskylä. This place is incredible I love it! Love you all and thank you for all you do for me!

Sincerely, With love

Vanhin Nielsen

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