Monday, February 22, 2010

February 22, 2010

I'm so glad you got the pictures and the cards I sent.  Were you able to see the movies?  Too bad the chocolate never got there.  Do I send more?

Language school was GREAT!  It was so good to see everyone again.  Helsinki is HUGE, I was in shock walking around down there.  My little town of Savonlinna is so tiny compared to that.  Elder Fuchs is really good at Finnish.

CTR rings.  I have no idea where you get them, I want one too.  I got a like .35 cent one from Elder Struthers but I want a real deal one.  He got all the little ones from the distribution center in Utah.

This letter will be very short, I have a lot going on today.  I had some awesome salmon and some more fish soup, pretty much the highlight of these past couple of days.

Sounds really cool about Christian's farewell and Sister Babcock's song.  When is Zach's farewell?  It felt like everyone had so much time before they left.  I have already been out for 4 months and closing in on 5, that's pretty crazy.

It got a letter from Chris, he seems to be having an awesome time at CSU which is good.  Did you send me the bell yet?  I'm anxiously waiting for it.

I'll talk with you soon,

Elder Behnke

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February 17, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TODAY MOM!!!!!  Hope it goes awesome for you.  What are you doing?  What did you get?  What did you do for Gram's birthday?

Hope you weren't freaking out about not getting an email on Monday and on Tuesday. We had to move our p-day to today because we have been doing school presentations. There is no separation between church and state here so it is required for students to be in a religon class. So we went and taught the students about us. It went well. They are so interested in me and Elder Beard just cause we are American. It is pretty awesome. They know so much english at there age. Its ridiculous. It makes me feel horrible cause of how well they know our language and how us in America don't even care about learning a new one.

Purchases. I bought a bike. I bought some snow tires (which are AWESOME). I feel invincible on snow tires. It's like im riding a lighter two wheel tank. The things are unbelieveable. The snow tires were 80 euros but the church reimburresses them so i will get the 80 euros back. I bought a helmet. The helmet is nothing special, it's the only one that wasn't 60 euros. I had to buy a beanie so i could fit it under my helmet. I bought a sweatshirt from dressman (the greatest store on earth). Sweatshirts were around 20 euros at the market for an ok looking sweatshirt but i got a nice one for 29 euros. I might as wells get the nicer one cause if it is still good at the end of the mission, i got a sweet nice sweatshirt going home. I also bought a new tie. Elder Beard and I got some compy ties. They're nice. as for shoes, im going to hold off for a while. I dont really need service shoes yet. I will, indeed, need another coat next year. The coat does horrible in the wet cold and in the wind. The winter is almost done so its too far away. Don't recommend people to go to mr. Mac's. Earlier in the previous change, first time a wore the gray slacks, they split down the middle. And a ot fo buttons on other pants and jackets are popping off. Sewing is my down fall haha. It's alright though. At least i will be good at sewing when i come home haha.

It finally got cold again. Its about -22 now here in the Savonlinna. The lady we were teaching  dropped us. she said she was too busy to meet with us and wanted to stop meeting for awhile. I dont'k know what happened because she felt the spirit so strongly. I don't know. Brighter note; We visited the woman Elder Wason and I found, is progressing! We taught her once and cut us off after everything but we went back again and she is half way through the book of mormon! It's awesome!  So we will see how it goes from here.

Language. I still have no idea what's going on. Next topic.

I have language school tomorrow. I leave at 1530 today for Helsinki. I am staying with Elder Baccile! I love that guy! Its good i get to see my crew again. I'm excited.

I got the package on the 15th. Thank you very much. Bordeaux was gone in 10 minutes. I love the card from ellie and the heart notebook form the book club. I read about the saints. Good for the saints. Thank you very much for eveything. It's so exciteing getting mail. We hear the mailman every morning dropping mail through people's slots and its so exciting when we get stuff. i love it

I do need some thinsg from you. I hear the deordoant here is terrible. If you could send me some no odor deororant or something that would be great. Also, as funny as this may sound, i really need the bell that Chris bought me for my birthday haha. I need a bell. So whenever you get a chance, this isn't urgent, just send it over. Thank you.

That's all from Savonlinna.

Love you all,
Vanhin Behnke

Monday, February 8, 2010

February 8, 2010

Hey Family,

The Saints won the Superbowl, that's awesome!  Did Favre retire again?  :)

Change night just passed, so I'm staying at least another 6 weeks in Savonlinna with Elder Beard.  It should be good.  We are going to buy bikes so we can get around.

Still haven't taught Sanna yet.  We taught this lady that Elder Watson and I tracted into and we taught her.  She has a serious problem of cutting people off when they speak.  I tried to say 2 sentences and then got cut off both times.  We will see how it goes.  We did sing to her though.  We sang He Sent His Son in Finnish.  It was nice.  Other than that, nothing too exciting.

I have language school next week.  It's in Helsinki for a day and that's all I really know about it.  I get to see everyone again.  The new Finns get in tomorrow which is awesome.  That's exciting because I'm in Savonlinna for another 6 weeks.  I get to speak in church again - woo hoo - another 20 minute talk.  :)

I'm liking what a lot of the Elders are doing here for when they home - they don't get to use Finnish so they are buying Finnish Disney movies so they can still watch and hear Finnish.  It's pretty cool, I might jump on that wagon sometime in the future.

The night all the time doesn't bother me.  It's light out when I leave the apartment and it just gets dark sooner.  It's not a big deal and I don't even notice it.  The summer is going to be a different story.

The ice cream here is unreal by the way, it's soooo good.

Be sure to thank Sister Logan for me for the card - that was so nice of  her.  Also, Deb Holub wrote me, she is awesome!

We still have not gone bowling yet - sometime soon.

Vanhin Behnke

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Pictures of Savonlinna

Here are some pictures of Savonlinna and also of our little apartment -

Our apartment:

Monday, February 1, 2010

February 1, 2010

Bad news: We couldn't go bowling. All the lanes were full. Totally ruined my p-day haha.

The talk went alright. Of course my companion says it was awesome cause he better say its awesome haha. I spoke for just under 25 minutes. O ya. I'm hardcore at this language haha. Elder Watson had to speak last week. He had to only speak for 7 minutes. Oh how much I would of loved that. But it went well. One lady is our ward wants a copy of it. I spoke about the atonement. I took a lot of my ideas in my farewell talk and transferred them over into finnish (with lots of help). I'm going to send you a copy once I get it written. Probably next week.

I sent a package home. About 20 euros of chocolate. I need you all (dad, mom, scott, ellie, gram, and or anyone else you want to share with) to go through it and let me know your favorites so i know what to send in the future. The candy out here is chocolate and black licorice. I sent you some of this stuff called salmiakki. I need to know your thoughts on that.


Scott. I would write scott but i don't have time. so relay this to him. He is the luckiest guy in the world and unluckiest at the same. What is he doing over there? I'm reading his story of his adventure in New Mexico and he is talking about an avalanche. I'm thinking, what a pansy, he just slipped on some snow. And then he starts describing it and I'm like oh my gosh. I want to know how intense that was? That sounds so scary. Dad and I would of just snowboarded out of it. We were sweet. Scott, I feel bad I didn't get you a present, so I'm buying you some kind of present. It won't be there for a while - but it will come.

Letters. I got dad's letter with the noodle recipe on Wednesday. Mom's letter and Gram's letter came between Thurdays and Saturday. Abbey's letter got here today.

Dad, that was a very interesting story. I never knew your conversion story. That was really good to read. It really helps me think of the work I'm doing that I don't know i'm doing.  :)

Splits. Elder Watson and Elder Struthers came down to Savonlinna and we swtiched companions for a day. I don't know if you are forwarding my letters to my teachers but if you aren't make sure you send this part to them. Elder Beard and I had a referral like a 45 minute drive away to go see and a member we set up to meet with who was also far away. So we split Elders Beard and Struthers to go visit these and left Me and Elder Watson in Savonlinna to contact and tract. So two greenies walking around the city, knocking on doors, trying to talk to people. Both of us could barely understand anyone. We could pick out very little of what people were saying but suprisingly, people were willing to talk to us. We were throwing around all kinds of wrong words, incorrect grammer principles, misunderstanding what people said. However, for our 2 hours of trying to speak to people, we somehow, got 2 return appointments! It is so hard for Elder Beard and I to get that in a day and here me and Elder Watson are and we swing it! We couldn't understand much but we did know how to get the appointments and Me and Elder Beard are going back this week to see them. Hahaha it was awesome. GREENIE POWER!

After splits were went and spent the night in Joensuu which is 2 hours away. Speaking of basketball short weather, like you were saying. We had a 6 hour drive the next day so we wore p-day clothes. I wore a t-shirt and basketball shorts. We went to the store to get some food and I walk in in these clothes and everyone is staring. It was -25 outside and I was walking around in my shorts. No weather holds me back!

Zone conference was good. It was exciting and fun. I was happy I got to go. President Brown is an awesome speaker! He is good at pumping us up.  It was way good.

No hockey game. We haven't talked to the guy in awhile. The lady we were teaching is back on the board. Things are going really well and I really believe she will go to baptism this next change.

Sister Voima is awesome. We went and saw her again when we had splits. I got a picture with her so I can send these to you when I send home the card. She calls me her adopted son haha. She is so rad.  (picture with Sister Voima).

How's America?

Vanhinn Behnke