Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October 28, 2009


Everything here is good.  Mom, you wanted to know my schedule.  I wake up, go to personal study for an hour, then go to breakfast, then companion study for an hour, then missionary directed training for 4 hours, then lunch, then gym for an hour, then missionary directed time for another 4 hours, then missionary directed time for 3 hours, then planning for a half hour and then I go to bed.  The times vary on some days and on Tuesdays we have devotionals.  In those missionary directed times some of the time we have teachers and some we don't depending on their schedules.  

Finnish is coming along.  I feel like it's a lot easier to learn Finnish than it was to learn Spanish so that's a plus.  We just moved on from the present tense case and got to the past tense case and I was feeling pretty good.  Then he gave us a list that we have 14 more cases to learn!  So, I got that going for me.  :)  It's fun though, I don't mind being in the classroom all day and learning these things.

There are 6 elders and 2 sisters who came into the MTC with me.  There are 2 elders and 1 sister who have been here 6 weeks longer than us.  When the 2 elders leave, a week later we will be getting 5 more Finnish missionaries.  The word for missionary in Finnish is lahetyssaarnaaja - just in case you were wondering.

Rumor has it, the flight pattern to Finland goes from SLC to Denver, to somewhere to somewhere to Helsinki.  So I might be making a stop in Denver.

Last Thursday, me and my companion had to talk to people from Finland for 15 minutes.  I could ask questions fine, but I had no idea what they said back.  We then gave them the first lesson in English.  It went pretty good.  I was impressed with us.  This week is the same thing again.

Today so far, has been a bit rough.  I bought Febreeze cause my shoes are starting to smell already (that's not a good sign).  I was opening the bottle and I dropped it and caught it.  I squeezed the bottle on the catch and it squirted all over my other suit.  I just took it to the cleaners cause I didn't want to deal with it.  Also today, I was in a hurry and I grabbed a quick sack lunch with a sandwich, then sandwich was egg salad sandwich.  People already hate the food here, WHY in the world would they even try to attempt an egg salad sandwich.  Another thing happened to - my top button on my collared shirt broke off and I can't find my sewing kit, did I bring one?  What a day.

I love reading what's going on at home so keep sending me mail.  Thank you for all the gifts.  Thank Grandma for the Halloween package and thanks for more cinnamon rolls


Elder Pond, Brian's companion in the MTC

Elder Gorringe

Elder Fuchs

Elder Baccile

Elder Watson

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Our first email from Elder Behnke

October 21, 2009

We were so thrilled to receive our first email from Brian.  I will include on his blog - parts of his letters so you will know how he is doing.

Dear Family,

I really loved the cinnamon rolls you sent me.  I'm not sure how to send email to more than one person so I'll probably just be writing to you mom and you can forward.

Things are pretty good here.  My companion is named Michael Pond.  He is from Santa Cruz, CA.  He was on the BYU track team and played football and surfed in high school.  He's a pretty cool guy and I get along with him well.  My whole Finnish group is pretty awesome.  There is 6 new Finns and 2 older Finns.  I room with the two older Finns.  One of my roommates is Elder Groberg, the nephew to the Elder Groberg in The Best Two Years.  There is a guy in my group from Austria, his name is Elder Fuchs.  He is fluent in German and English.  Could be one of the funniest people I've ever met.  He speaks unbelievable English.  Our Finnish squad sticks together for the most part.  We're pretty close with the Estonian Elders.  They're pretty cool.  I can't stand the Hungarians.  No one likes them cause they are so mean and think they're so mahtava (amazing in Finnish).  I don't really like the Polish either cause they're so loud.  When I say I don't like them, I say it in the nicest missionary-like way possible, hahaha.

My first day was kinda rough.  They spelled my name tag wrong so technically I've only been Elder Behnke for 2 days since I got my name fixed.  I saw TJ at dinner, it was good to see him.  Also, at dinner I dipped my suit sleeve in chicken cordon bleu sauce reaching across the table.  So, things haven't started off too well.

Finnish is OUT OF CONTROL hard.  The minute I think I understand something, the next thing we learn, totally changes everything I just learned so it's tough to figure things out.  However, I said my first Finnish prayer on Saturday, but I had to read it.  But now, I can introduce myself and pray with no help.  The sounds in Finnish are hard to catch onto.  The O with dots, the Y, and the A and A with dots are hard to pronounce.  All I can do is work hard and try my best and that's what I'm doing.  I have learned more in this first week of Finnish than I ever learned in 3 years of spanish - things are looking up.

I don't mind the MTC.  I spend about 11 hours a day in a classroom but I still feel like I don't have enough time.  Sorry if my spelling is wrong, they only give me 30 minutes of typing before they log me off and I lose everything.  I don't know why people complain about the food here because I like it.

Finland is booming in converts I guess ever since the temple open house.  So a lot of people are getting sent there.

I give my first lesson tomorrow to an "investigator", hopefully it goes well.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Brian heads to the MTC

It was a rainy Wednesday morning and we spent our "last supper" lunch at JDogs and then drove over to the MTC for pictures, hugs, and our final farewells before Brian was unloaded at the curb and whisked away by other missionaries.  He was excited and nervous but no tears were shed with made it easier for Brian - not until we drove away and then I of course - lost it!