Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15, 2011


First off, how did Dad's birthday go? I had it marked on my calender in Espoo and completely forgot about it when i was writing home two weeks ago. then I was going to apologize and ask about it in my last email but forgot again! I remembered this time?

I have replaced Elder Gorringe in Oulu. The ward here loves him. One of the recent converts who Elder Gorringe taught thinks I look like Elder Gorringe and calls me "Gorringe 2." One lady at church told me that I have some big shoes to fill cause of all the great work he did here. Pretty sweet. I am really happy to be here. Things have started super well though. We just got 2 baptismal dates with people we just started teaching this week. Awesome. We should have a lot of good things coming. 

I'm sooo tired. We travel soooo much. Last week, we went to Vaasa for splits which was a 4 hour drive there and 4 hours back. Today we leave for Savonlinna for a splits and district meeting. So that's 11 hour travel. We come back Wednesday. Thursday we leave for Kajaani which is another 4 hours. Then we head to Pietarsaari which is another 6 hours on Friday. Sitting in cars all day makes you so tired. but, it's great. Things are happening for us all over the place. 

You talked about suits. I'm done buying suits. I have bought 2 new ones last change. I'm good. They were pretty cheap. I don't need some super expensive suit. I think these are pretty good. I can just wait to get some shoes when I get home. Of course I'm bringing Grandma's scarf home. i don't have many scarves so I'm not sure what scarves you are talking about. Room in my bags is not so much the problem as weight. I have a lot of heavy books. We'll see. I also want to bring back some chocolate and other good things.

Great job for Ellie! 2nd place is great especially for her first year and she went undefeated! Awesome! That's so sweet that Dad is dominating people! How long is his season? Will he be playing when I get back?

I'm super stoked for fantasy football! Nathan Stanford wrote me and said that his dad is working on somekind of house in Provo so I may be in that type of deal come winter. We'll see and really not worried about that right now.

I saw a movie poster for the The Planet of the Apes is Born (direct translation from finnish so I don't know the real title). How does it look? Is it cool? Has anyone seen it?

I love you all and I will talk to you next week.

Vanhin Behnke

Monday, August 8, 2011

August 8, 2011

Hei Family,

So..... I'm in Oulu now. I got the call to come back to the North. I left last night on a night train up here at 10:30p.m. I got the call with my travel information at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday night. Elder Christiansen called and said, "You have 24 hours." So I got all packed up after church on Sunday and took the night train and got here at 8:30 this morning. Pretty wild. I got my own little room with my own little bathroom. A really tiny place but suprisingly super comfortable. I enjoyed the night train. there is two to a room but nobody else came so I just rode up by myself to Oulu. Cool. My new companion is Elder Boyer. We are the Zone Leaders up here and I am super stoked to be here. I am really excited. I will probably finsih my mission here ( I think :) ). 

That's sweet that Jorma wrote. He is a stud. He is such a cool guy. I really hope he can come out to America sometime and visit. That would be way sweet. It was a pretty big bummer that I couldn't go back but it makes sense. I talked with President Rawlings and he can't have missionaries riding around back and forth cause it would just cost way too much money and time especially with the rate of growth that is happening here. They are using Finland as the example of faith and growth in the MTC now. But President Rawlings  seemed a little bummed that couldn't give me permission to go. That is just so awesome that Jorma got baptized though. 

President Rawlings is the man. He is a very smart and realistic guy. It is always tons of fun with him. He has got a lot of big plans and changes and they are all working which is super cool to see. He is very intellegent. I'm a huge fan.

So cool to here that dad is playing tennis again and totally dominating people (including himself)! Yes, I got his package and I loved it. How is he feeling? Is he having fun? Is he still playing despite his injuries? Just tell him to rub some dirt on it :) So cool that Ellie is going to State. How does that work? How is she really doing? Is she really good? How good are the girls she is playing?

Elder Wessman sounds like he is doing just fine. He can't really expect to master the hardest language in 3 months. But I'm sure he is doing just fine. Just keep going. Is he coming out right now or is he still in the MTC? They are 4 new missionaries in the North zone so I will at least see him there if he comes to the north. 

Packing is a nightmare. I will have to throw a lot away. Is there anything again that I MUST take home besides the Cd player. What else does everyone want?

Fantasy Football. I want in! We can figure it out. Just send me the list of the top players and I can rerank them myslef and send it back with my draft stategies and picks. Let's do it! I can't come home to watch everyone else play.

I love you all,
Vanhin Behnke

I will talk to you all next week.

Monday, August 1, 2011

August 1, 2011

Hei Family,

Just kind of pushing along here. It was kind of a slow week for us. We learned that we are getting a mini-missionary! He is 16 from Tampere (a city a north of Helsinki). So he should be bummin' around with us for the week. 

My friend Jorma in Pori got baptized this past Saturday. Great to hear. He's a solid guy. 

I really have nothing to write. Change calls this Saturday. Who knows what could happen. President told us that a lot of changes are going to take place and not to be shocked with some of the moves. It just made everything so much more exciting. Anything can happen. I could be on the move next week. I really think Elder Fuchs is going to shotgun a place and train. We'll see. 

The wedding looked super nice. So what is this guy's name. Haha. This guy has been in tons of your letters for months and I only know that you call him Red. haha. What is his real name? It's no more Kristen Secor it's Kristen........ Red. Haha. 

Where should I send letters to Chris Collins? 

That's all I have. I hope everything is going well. 

Talk to you soon,
Vanhin Behnke

Monday, July 25, 2011

July 25, 2011

I left your letters at home so I may not be may able to remember them all and answer.
First off, thanks for the package! I really enjoyed the letters. Thank you! I really liked the stories of President Mayne's. Pretty awesome things.
How is everything at Gram's? I want to see a picture of the guy that Kristen is marrying. Is it a super exciting time? How are the Secors? What is Jimmy and Thomas up to these days? How is Scott and his buisness?
Things are just going by for us here in Espoo. We had a kind of a dud week. We haven't been able to find anyone or teach anyone. It's just been a little tough time. I'm getting really tired. Like  over a year and a half years of work tired. I'm alright though. I'm still fightin' on. Things are going well. I got some sweet and exciting news. Elders Groberg and Lytle called me last week and told some pretty sweet stuff. They said that President Kopischke of the Europe Area Presidency sent out a letter to all the Europe areas of how the little branch in Pori managed to get 11 nonmembers in church and how miraculous it was and how Pori will be forever blessed because of that. SWEET! That was my last Sunday in Pori. Things just went sweetly there. The mission is also collecting conversion stories of all recent converts in the mission. There is one convert in a city called Kuopio who is in the branch presidency there. he said that it all started when 2 missionaries in Savonlinna gave him a Book of Mormon over a year ago there. Sweet!!! The also told me that an investigator I was teaching during a good chunk of my stay in Pori has now decided to be baptized and will be baptized this Saturday hopefully. YES!!! Pretty sweet that all this stuff came to my attention in one phone call. Pretty nice of them to call.
That's great to hear that there is a full NFL season this year.

Things are going well and I hope Ellie's team can beat Inverness. Tell her Good luck!
I have nothing more. I love you all and take care.
Vanhin Behnke

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 18, 2011

Hei Family,

First off, today may be a short letter. I do not know what to say. Not too much has been happening. Elder Fuchs and I have been driving all around Finland going on splits with all the district leaders. We left Espoo and drove through Kotka to get to Lappeenranta for splits with Elders Arnesen and Carr. It was cool to be in Lappeenranta again and I got to see Henry too. He is doing well. He is a member now so that is sweet. He remebered me but it wasn't anything exciting. It was good though. After, we went through Kouvola and had dinner with Elders Higginson and Edelman. Then we went to Hyvinkää and had splits with Elders Ballam and Esplin. I included our little travel so you could see it on a map or something. But it was good.

Yes, I know HM is a store in America. but where is it? Is it super cheap like it is here? Is it the european style in America? The shirt is mine so tell Scott to give it back, unless it fits and he really wants it. Does the suit fit him? There is a huge sale at Dressmann so I might go get the suits now for when I come home and just keep them stored away. After emailing, Elder Fuchs and I are going berry picking to make some pie. So were going into the foreest (against the mosquitos) to find some blueberries and strawberries. It should be sweet.

I have a question. What kind of blessings have you gotten from me serving a mission? Just a curious question.

Chris lost his Finland band. That's super impressive that he has worn it for that long. I don't know where he is so I have no idea where to write him at. How is he doing? Is he still dating Sophie? She wrote me a letter with him so I'm not sure if I should still write her back if they aren't together anymore. How are all the rest of the guys doing? How is Abbey doing in Mass.?

What else has been happening at home? How is everyone doing? How's Gram? Has Tarja emailed you at all? I wrote them a letter, so we'll see.

Nothing else is really going on here. It has been a good week and we are trying to have good week. That is really all that has been happening.

I love you all,
Vanhin Behnke

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 11, 2011

Hei Family,

So I don't forget. I sent the suit home with a white shirt. The shirt was only 5 euros so don't freak out when you see it's worth 50 euros. Just had to make that point clear. The suit should be there soon. I think.

Things are going well here. Elder Fuchs and I are trying to find someone pretty solid to teach. We have a couple investigators that we just don't meet too often. So we are hoping to get tha going.

President Rawlings is a stud. He is very big on finding and teaching families, so that is what his big focus is. The members are super impressed that he still speaks finnish really well and even more impressed that Sister Rawlings is learning it and doing super well at it. They are awesome. We had a zone leader council with them with them which was super cool. We all went to the temple and after had lunch and a meeting at President's house. I got to see Elder Gorringe again. He is doing great. You asked about who is Elder Christiansen's companion and he is with Elder Horne and Elder Peterson. So there are 3 AP's for the moment. They are all just crazy busy. 

Elder Lytle is just going home at the normal time which is 3 weeks later. There is a choice: You go home 3 weeks early or 3 weeks later. Everyone usually goes home 3 weeks later unless they need to get home for something. I am going home 3 weeks later. I went in October 14th, 3 weeks later, I go home November 3rd. No one goes home on the exact day. So that is what's happening here.

I didn't get too much mail but it was sweet to get some for my birthday. I get tons of mail from Sister Folkman. She is consistent writer. I did get the facbook happy birthdays which was great. Thank you for that. I also got a happy birthday card from the Juutinen's back in Pori. As for the field, Elder Lytle sent me his typical, same box of expired pistacio pudding which he sent me last year fro my birthday and the same one that I resent back to him for his birthday. Then I got a couple phone calls from Elders Marlor, Higginson, and Pearson and Budd. It is pretty nice. It was fun.

I'm trying to write as many people back as possible but we just don't have too much time here to write. I'm working on it. Juts tell everyone thank you for the letters.

Story: So we got asked to do some service. We went and chopped up some trees in the forest. There were tons of mosquitos! Apparently, American blood is a more precious than the European blood ( Finnish and Austrian) so i just got eaten alive. We counted out about 80 on each arm and have tons on my head and neck. It has been a miserable past 2 days trying not to scratch my entire body. I have been covering myself in this anti-itch insect cream and it has barely helped. I feel a lot better though today.
I love you all and I thank you for everything. Tell Ellie good job and that I hope she keeps winning. That's great! Tell Matt hello for me and I hope you have a great week.
Brian's favorite friends from Pori
with President and Sister Brown
I love you all,
Vanhin Behnke

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4, 2011

Happy Independence day!
Thanks for the package! I got it this morning. I thought Scott's card was hilarious. Thank you very much for the See's candy and all the other cards. I loved it. My birthday was pretty much a regular missionary day. Not too much you can do really when your birthday falls on a Saturday as missionary. Elder Fuchs did all he could to make it as fun as possible. He started by waking me up at midnight and singing Happy Birthday to me. Then I got up at the nromal time and walk out of the bedroom and there is sticky notes everywhere wishing me a happy birthday. We also went out to eat with Elders Watson and Pope at some super expensive pizza restaurant. Elder Fuchs bought little party hats before I came so he handed those out. It was funny. He also drew me a picture and wrote at the bottom that I have made the right decision to be born haha. It was a nice birthday. I got to make up for it when I get back to Colorado.
So has Ellie won a match yet? How is she doing it? How many matches has she played? I was kind of confused of what has been happening with her there?
Yah, the Juutiset were pretty sad to see me leave. V seemed ok at least that I was heading out. Sister Juutinen ran out of the room crying. She couldn't really watch me leave. It was pretty sad but I think she will be fine though. They are doing great. They were definately a fun pair. I hope to stay in contact with them. Jorma K is the man! He was one of our investigators in Pori. He is a stud and so much fun. He was a pleasure to teach and hopefully a good friend for a long time to come. Great guy.
 I think I should be in Espoo until the end of my mission. Next change call should show for sure the rest of my mission. Elder Fuchs is going home a change before me for school so I should have a least one more companion after him. But I am super excited to serve with Elder Fuchs. He is a phenom in speaking Finnish! It's awesome!
We have a big week ahead. We meet President Rawlings on Wednesday. Exciting times. That's all I have. Tell everyone thank you for the birthday wishes.
Vanhin Behnke