Monday, January 25, 2010

January 25, 2010

IT'S COMING!!!!!!!  I can understand more and more as days go on.  I still have no idea what the meaning of most things said are but I am picking out a lot more stuff.  With time and patience, I should be ok here.

Ya, I'm having fun.  It's been just work all the time though.  Even P-Day isn't a break.  We're going bowling today though so that should be fun.  I bought mittens and a beanie.  But it was a really cool beanie.  I don't know if I can wear it but it was really cool so at least I got a sweet beanie in 2 years to wear.  But the gloves are really nice.  They are leather with sheep fur inside.  They are good.  Also, I'm buying a dictionary today so that might be the next thing you see.

I got the guys chainletter, don't know if I told you or not.  So I got updates from McKay, Nathan and Kanpp.  They are doing good.  They want to include you in the chainletter :) - I told McKay to plan it out.

No pickled herring.  But we went to this place and had kebabs.  Kebab is my dream.  It is soooo good.  I also had this mint ice cream that was the best mint ice cream I have ever had.

I speak this Sunday.  Brother Lampila who is a returned missionary from Finland and Elder Beard's old companion is translating my farewell talk for me.  So I'll at least have that in Finnish but I am still here for another change, I have to give another one.  Hopefully, I will know more Finnish by then.  They don't give me a topic - I just get to choose.  So that's good.

I really want to check out the castle.  For the most part, P-Day is laundry, cleaning, grocery store, then P-Day is over.  We planned our time pretty good so we got bowling time - woo hoo!

We don't have a car because this area is small and brand new.  Plus cars are expensive.  Bikes would be sweet.  But we're just foot soldiers right now.  It takes forever to get anywhere.  We'll see what happens.

Zone conference this week and splits. We have splits on wednesday and elders struthers and watson are coming into Savonlinna. Then, we are driving back to Joensuu with them and spending the night there. Thursday we get up and drive to Oulu for zone conference. We stay with the zone leaders there. Friday is zone conference. Saturday we drive back. So that's whats going on this week.

We went this guy walking home from tracting and he wants us to come to this religious seminar where they talk about religion and things. This can either be really awesome or really, really, bad haha. We'll see that should be fun. It's tomorrow.

I love Sisar Voima. She is the most awesome lady of all time. She calls practically related. She is awesome! So so nice. 

I know what I want for birthday and christmas. As a gift, I want you to tell me "Brian, we are giving you X amount of money. Go buy some stuff" The stores here are awesome. There is this store called Dressman. Its got argyll everything. So sweet.

One of these p-days, i might switch with another day. So i might not be writing you on a monday but a different day of the week. One of potential investigators is the goalie on Savonlinna's professional hockey team. So we might go watch one of his games. That will be sweet.

ATTENTION: I have now started to regain my weight. This is important and exciting news. I didn't tell you this before. I have lost 17 pounds since entering the MTC. The weight has reached a standstill and is coming back. WOO! Things are looking up. I entered that MTC at 164 and reached a low of 147. Currently, I'm back to 148. Brick by brick haha.

I took some pictures. I'll send those to you sometime. Have you heard from the guys at all? If they are ever around you and complain about giving a 20 minute presentationin school. Just tell them at least its not in finnish ahaha.

I got an email from Chris Larson. What a stud. He's a great guy. It's so crazy to think about the guys from our ward. Duncun and tagolic, Mike Larson and korean, Chris Larson and armenian, soon to be Holub and spamish i think plus Christian and Greg all around the world. It's cool.

Story: We were going to visit an unactive memeber. Ahe lives in an apartment and the doors to get in are locked. Her door is right by the outside door. We buzz her to talk to her. her doesn't answer but instead just comes out to see who buzzed her. It's pitch black out, -22 so we are and bundled up with scarves over our face, we both in all black, she opens the door and sees these two guys. She stares bug eyed for a second, we wave, and she sneaks back into her room and slams the door. Either she hates missionaries or she thought we were going to rob her haha.

Well fam, I'm going to hit the lanes. Oh ya! Love you all and take care

Vanhin Behnke

Monday, January 18, 2010

January 18, 2010

Hello my family,

To start off, I did get your package that you sent with all the "green" stuff.  I got that on the first day I got in.  I got the dearelder you sent that was pretty old.  I think it was before I left the MTC.  Stick to sending me emails because takes so long.

Thank you for the "green" package - I loved it.  I used like everything from it already.  I needed so many things from the store and then I opened the package and it had all of the things in it that I needed, it was good.

Things here are going ok.  The lady we have been teaching keeps canceling on us last minute.  She is so shy and we don't know how to meet with her.  We have taught a couple of other people but no one right now is really interested.

Finnish is way hard.  No big breakthrough there.  :)  It's hard talking to people when you have no idea what they are saying back.  And it also is hard talking to people when you have no idea what you are saying in the first place.  :)  The tunnel is long and dark but there's a small light and I'm working towards it.

Savonlinna is a beautiful place.  It is going to be incredible in the summer.  Who knows, I might still be here.

The food here is amazing.  I love dinner appointments.  They are the greatest events of all time.  I have no idea what anyone is saying at the dinner table but I focus on the little victories like "Yes, I got 2 words in that conversation!"  But it's ok.  The juice here is unbelievable.  It's all freshly squeezed and awesome.  This one dinner that was made for us was this fish.  It was so good but I was stuffing the rafters.  :)  The ice cream here is unlike anything you can find in America.  It's awesome.  Every flavor, brand, everything.  They chop up their ice cream.   They slice it up like loaves of bread and you take a couple slabs.  It's awesome.  One dinner appointment, we were served fish soup. would have loved it.  There are some weird things though like some of their pizza toppings.  We had tuna and mushroom pizza.  It was alright but I could have done without it.

There are these kebab places, they are so good.  I got this 2 foot burrito thing that was awesome.  This is a great place.  Finland is one of a kind.

I speak in church in 2 weeks.  It's not a big deal.  It only has to be like a 20-30 minute talk in a language I don't really understand.  Should be easy!

We do our emails in the library here.  There is only one computer that we can't use for more than 15 minutes so we have to take turns using it.

Tell me what is going on at home, I love to hear about all your news.

Vanhin Behnke

Monday, January 11, 2010

January 11, 2010

Hey Fam,

How are things at home?  I hope things are going well in America.  In Finland,  it's freezing!  Everyone in Finland is saying the winter's are back.  I guess it has been pretty warm for the past 7 years and the cold winters have returned.  GREAT!!!!  I have to go buy new mittens today and maybe a new beanie.  I think I'm going to stick with the coat for awhile, it's not giving me trouble.  The boots work fine.  I need to buy a big dictionary too.  Plus, a bike - I'm pretty sure I need one cause this whole walking around on foot thing isn't getting us too far in our half hour walk to church and stuff.

I got your FedEx package.  It was weird in your letter, I read that Auli is Sister Vomia's daughter as we were leaving to go visit Sister Vomia  She is awesome!  She is so nice!  It's also a good feeling when we go and see her.

I am still trying to get a hold of things.  Language is coming super slowly but it's coming.  It's still pretty nerve-racking walking up to people and just opening into the gospel but I'm doing it.  I have no idea what is said but so I just bear my testimony, it's all I can do anyway.  :)

We do have an investigator.  WOO HOO!!   Her friend lives in Helsinki asked us to take her a Book of Mormon with her testimony inside.  We knocked on her door, gave it to her, and asked her if we could come back and she said yes.  The assistants to the president called us after they talked to her friend in Helsinki and told us that she said that she "felt so good when they were here".  This is great!  We taught her once, she is reading the Book of Mormon, and we meet again tomorrow.  She is coming to church this week.  I have a really good feeling about her.  My hopes are high.  I can't wait to actually understand a word she says! She has a different dialect than everyone else.  She's from Turku and I'm trying to learn these eastern dialects.  It's tough.

I had a guy answer the door naked!! That was the end of the story.  Nothing happened in that door approach.  :)

Other than that, I'm trying to get adjusted.

Love you all

Monday, January 4, 2010

January 4, 2010

Hey family,

I just re-opened an area called Savonlinna.  So me and my trainer companion, Elder James Beard, have been shotgunned into the place.  It's a pretty small city.  Our apartment is right next to a castle, so it's pretty cool.  It's been kinda stressful so far.  We spent our first couple days settling in, building furniture, and stuff like that.  Still haven't done any laundry yet cause we needed an extension cord for the washer.

We tracted and contacted a little bit, it's pretty cold here!  It was -25 degrees yesterday.  That was an adventure.  My Finnish is horrible!  But I can understand more words than I thought I was going to be able to.  But really have no idea what's going on in any conversation.  :)  We were talking with this one lady on the street and I have no idea what was going on.  It was like jhdkssshtncdachnaaaiiiss KRISTUS hjwstgngr.  So, I was like alright!  We're talking about Christ, RIGHT ON!  :)  So that's what's up.

The branch here is pretty small.  Only about 30 members but only about 15 go.  So I've a lot of work to do here.  I think everyone is pretty nice.  Don't really know what is being said but they look friendly.  It was fast and testimony meeting so I bore a terrible-grammer in Finnish and gave the closing prayer.  It's tough stuff.

I hope everything is going well at home.  I don't know my address.

I love you Fami, got to go.

Vanhin Behnke

My companion - Elder Beard: