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.

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