Monday, February 8, 2010

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

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