Wednesday, February 24, 2010

February 15, 2010

Dearest family,

Welll.... I messed up and accidentally deleted my entire email as I was trying to attach a picture ahahah so I guess this week is lost forever ;) hehe no, It was a good week and it is going to be a good week next week. Sorry I deleted it.. I just told some stories about last week... Don't have time to type them again. Hmm.. I talked about President Uchtdorf's talk titled "Happiness, Your Heritage" read that.. It is a good one!

Sounds like you guys are warming up! Fun stuff!

I love you all! I promise I will make it up to you all! Maybe I will send a letter today or something!


Vanhin Thomas Neal Nielsen

P.s I sent some jerseys home to you guys (DAD KYLE AND RYAN)

p.p.s I guess I'll try and attach that picture again so you guys can at least have that... HAHA sorry lol...

Monday, February 8, 2010

February 8, 2010

Dearest Family,

So last Saturday was change call night and guess what, we really didn't get called. So that means we are together another transfer. This kinda feels weird because I have never stayed with the same companion 2 transfers in a row yet. So I guess I will give you a quick rundown of Jyväskylä this week. (this is actually what I type to president this week haha 2 birds 1 stone :) )

Things in Jyväskylä are great, I am so happy to be here. The ward is so incredibly helpful, everyone wants to help us in every way possible. This is a great place. We actually tracted into an older man last week named Pentti he didn't really seem interested at first but after a little bit of talking he invited us in and we talked about our beliefs about life after death. He is a very intelligent man that really has thought a lot about God and life after death. We taught the 2nd lesson and he really liked it and asked some very intelligent questions... I'm so grateful for the Gift of Tongue and Understanding.

The other new investigator this week is named M T and she was actually a former investigator. She really has seemed to change from what her progress record said about her. Elder Slade and I talked about her a lot with our ward mission leader and we all decided that she does truly have a testimony of the church, we just have to help her understand the blessings of baptism as soon as possible. Do you have any Scriptures that come to mind that could help her?

Our other investigators are doing well. We had two investigators at church last week! One was MT and the other was Kike who we picked back up last week (new investigator last week, Former investigator) We had a good time translating class for her. It really helped us probably as much as it helped her. It was a good week in Jyväskylä. The work is going forward here and I think people here really are having softened hearts. It is incredible, people just keep saying yes!

So, as you can see Jyväskylä is and incredible place! I love being here. So this last week was a pretty incredible week! we got 2 new investigators, and 2 of our investigators came to church. hahaha one of them only spoke English (kike- from nigeria) and the ward only translated sacrament. So investigator class was up to Elder Slade and I to translate (I'm sure the ward would have translated... but I kinda wanted to try) It actually ended up being me translating the whole time and I actually felt like I did a pretty good job :) Translating is one of the toughest things ever! It really stretched my thinking... It was like I had to let everything else go and just allow myself to think in 2 different languages at once. I'm not going to lie though I really enjoyed it!

So I got a phone call from the office and I guess I have a Waddoups package waiting for me in Helsinki :) Thanks Waddoups family! and It sounds like one from the family is on the way... I'm sooo lucky, you guys are too sweet!

haha Oh man mom, Sister T is a good lady! I really like her a lot! And she makes really really good food. I cannot wait for that dinner appointment on the 25th. She really enjoyed your email, and she said the Finnish was remarkable, I thought you found an online translator, I'll have to tell her that Mitzi hasn't lost her Finnish one bit. I'm pretty lucky, because Mitzi speaks Finnish, so when I get home... We are going to own in Rook :) also, I give Mitzi permission to watch any of the movies I'm currently sending home, or read any of the books! I've been collecting some good ones! :) haha I found a couple Harry Potter books in Finnish :) lol... anyways enough with the worldly stuff ;)

So last week we had a service project for the L family... We hauled soooo much snow, 3 hours straight of snow... We cleaned of there entire roof which was covered in snow. (also I asked a Finnish how much snow we have here because I thought me 6-10 inch guess was pretty bad, he said over 40 centimeters.. that's like 16 inches... but it doesn't look like that much to me) The Finns have been saying this is the snowiest winter in a long long time :) I'M SOOOOOO LUCKY TO BE IN FINLAND!!! :D

So anyways, after that our pants were soaked/frozen so the told us to come in and change, and they gave us some European pants and said take these because we can't give you money because you are missionaries... So now Elder Slade and I have so European jeans :) haha

Elder Slade and I are having soo much fun, But still working our tails off here! This place is miraculous. I think back to what Kyle said about personal worthiness and companionship unity. They really are the key to the spirit and the Spirit is the key to missionary work! That's something President helped me understand last conference... Well that is about it for this week!

I love you all and hope all goes well. This work is the greatest thing I have ever been a part of in my whole life! I love it so much. I have used a lot a exclamation marks this email, but I just wanted you all to see how great Finland is ;) wow I probably the weirdest missionary you guys have ever had lol

Love you all!

Vanhin Nielsen

February 1, 2010

Dearest Family,

Wow, I think I say this every single email but it's so true... I LOVE FINLAND!! This is the greatest place on earth. I sure dad, Ryan, and Kyle feel the same about Germany, Korea, and France.... but they have never been to Finland ;) Mitzi Knows :) haha

So anyways, sounds like another good week of ups and downs, that is how it goes. The snow, Holy Cow! We only have like between 6 and 10 inches of snow on the ground here. It got up to negative 8 the other day, I almost went contacting in just my white shirt. haha It's kinda nice to have a variety in the weather. From what I heard last winter in Finland was just about the most boring, gray, snowless winter ever. This winter has been so much fun :) Cold yes, but then people think you are a real man when you tell them you tracted outside in negative 26 degree weather :) haha anyways.

Wow, Zone Conference was incredible (hopefully by next week I will have the conference picture). President really taught about how to become the absolute best you can be. He talked a lot about what he did in our interview together, the desire. If we have desire to be a good tool in the hands of the Lord, we will. It's pretty simple but sometimes a daunting task. So, no matter who we are or what kind of weaknesses we have as long as we want to serve the Lord with all our heart we will be able to. It takes a WHOLE LOT of work though... Wow :)

So mom, You'll be proud of elder Slade and I. We decided we wanted to celebrate how well Jyväskylä is doing, and it was my first district leader's birthday (last Friday) so we made 61 cinnamon rolls. hahaha I took nearly our entire p-day. We took them to Zone conference and Everyone loved them! Fromage, Your recipes are getting pretty famous here. You might want to make a missionary cook book ;) so hopefully I will get a picture attached of all 61 cinnamon rolls sitting on our study table, it was pretty intense!

So Jyväskylä continues to be an incredible place, It is growing sooo much, I just am grateful I was able to come at a time to see it grow. This last week we had 3 teaches with a member present, 2 other teaches, and 3 less active teaches. Now it might not be a lot for other places, but considering that when I very first arrived here we didn't have a single teach for a week. And they had only had a few teaches in the last month or so... Jyväskylä is changing :) :) :) we even have a investigator who is going to church with us next week. I really wish I could explain in this little email how many things are going on here.... Like President Brown said, this year is a year of change :) :) I got here just before the new year started and this last month has just sky rocketed :)

So I would kinda be interested to know what cities Mitzi served in... could you guys get that information for me? :)

Oh good you guys got the pictures.. haha well I wasn't sure if that was kosher.. But Sister T took our pictures at a dinner appointment and said, Oh I'm going to send these to your parents haha.. So I hope you enjoyed them. If I remember correctly I didn't really look ready in one of them haha I love Finnish people they are so.... not American :)

Alright what else happened cool this week? Well we had 4 dinner appointments, so don't worry mom the Finns are keeping me fat. haha The last one however I think I lost weight by the time all was said and done. So this is how it went down. I accidentally got us on the wrong bus haha but it was going to Vaajakoski (the small town we needed to go to in order to get to Sister H's house) and I said "aw we don't need to get on the other bus, we can just walk to her house from the center of vaajakoski" but it ended up being a 4 kilometer walk.... ya... and we speed walked... in the snow... I felt kind of bad, but sometimes that is how it goes lol... It was good food though.

Alright question time:

Dad's Questions:
There are 3 Zones in Finland, There was 2 the very first transfer I was here in Finland. Zone Conference was incredible... I learned a lot because president is such a powerful speaker. He also shared a talk by Jeffrey R Holland when he visited the MTC, called the Divine Companionship that helped me alot! You might want to look it up, it talks about missionaries alot, But I think it applies to anyone who wants to teach with the power of the Holy Ghost.
We are not the most north, there are missionaries clear up in Rouvaniemi.... haha that is pretty far north... There are actually quite a few missionaries North of us. 6 in Oulu, and 2 in Vaasa, And probably 12 others in cities north of us. There is an Entire Zone that is north of us.

Mom's Questions:
I actually don't remember any of them... But I know you had some.... hahah sorry! I still love you haha

Well... I guess I have 2 Questions, 1st, could you guys look up special witnesses of Christ and see if you could find the CD's I think that is what I want for my Birthday (haha mom it's just like when I was 10.... Still picking out my presents months before Christmas or Birthday... some people never change ;) )

The 2nd is, How is Kyle's Face?

That is all! I love you all! Hope you have a Great week!
(especially Ryan! Happy birthday Friday!!) I will try and get something cool sent of to you... something Finnish :) hehe
You guys are the best... again this email is kinda all over the place and random, but I hope you guys can at least feel a little bit of the love I have for you :)


Vanhin Thomas Neal Nielsen

P.s. Fromage, could you maybe email a list of everyone in our families birthdays so I dón't miss any haha I would feel bad if I did... :)

pps I also attached a picture of me making a snow angel so you guys could get an idea of the snow here :) not quite like there though