Monday, August 30, 2010

August 30, 2010

Hey family
I have a request. I need socks. Everything in Finland is out-of-control expensive and i don't know where to find the gold toes wool socks I got from Mr. Mac. If you could, please, send me a ton of just the black socks (becuase black goes with everything) because I'm getting holes in my other ones. That would be wonderful!

Where does Drew want me to send his letter?

I'm turning my picks in next week. I hope that is what Dad wants.

We got 14 teaches this week. A lot of people are sick and a lot of teaches for us fell through. 14 is still way good though.

Elder Groberg and I on splits went and tried that burger place and it was really good. I really liked it. No In-n-Out but good enough. Quick story. Elder Schoof and I were contacting the streets and this Turkish man outside of his Kebab shop starts talking to us. He is muslim and we can't really preach to muslims so we just starting talking to him. he told us to come back to his shop and eat and he will give us free drinks. So we go back and he makes us this unbelievable kebab! He pulls out this fresh bread and stuffs extra meat in it with this two really good sauces (Kebab is lamb; information). It was awesome and only 5£. I think to really understand the awesomeness of this kebab experience is to have been a missionary in Finland. For you all though, just know that it was awesome. So far, I know the FedEx lady, Kebab lady,and the Bike guy (due to bike purchases and repairs frm Elder Schoof and I). My quest for taking Finland has some new additions to the team. :)

For dad, I had reindeer soup. It was pretty good. Just thought I would let you know

Everyone loves Ellie's braclets. Elder Gamblin and Groberg want one. They are a huge hit in the Finnish mission. 

It is getting colder. Woo! I kind of like the winter here. Everyone is so unhappy because it is dark and cold that it makes missionaries' smiles stand out so much more. :) Should be a colder one this year. Bring it on.

All i got. Love you. 

Nähdään (see you later)

Monday, August 23, 2010

August 23, 2010

Hey family,

We got 19 teaches with week. 

Nigerian man- never answered the phone
2 new investigators this week
2 new less actives we have met with that haven't been met with in years
1 less active, hasn't been to church in 50 years is now preparing for the Aaronic Priesthood
1 less active is committed to give up smoking ans doing a great job at it

HUGE WEEK! The best week of my mission! That less active work we had was amazing. We are goaling and working for getting 20 teaches this upcoming week.Hopefully, we can get some baptismal dates this week. It's looking good

I found a football fan in Finland! He is a less active and he loves the Seattle Seahawks. He loves this old player named Cortez Kennedy. I don't know him but dad might. The guy is way cool. Appartenly, Lappeenranta has a semi pro football team and they pay you to play. That is super intriging. A thought for the future. He was a manager for the team. It sounds cool. I'm hoping they are still playing and maybe Elder Schoof and I can go see a game (if it's allowed)

Who is this person in Turku that the Emmelkamps wnat me to visit? I would LOVE to go serve in Turku. It's in my top 3 places to go in Finland which means I will never go to those 3 places haha. 

I got your package. The FedEX woman now has my phone number and is just going to call me whenever i get another package haha. I gave her a pass along card with my number it. Hopefully, she calls twice :)

How tall is Ellie? She looks so tall!!!!  I like the picture of dad unzipping his hoody with the finnish flag underneath. I need to get him a new shirt. I noticed in the picture you took of grandma that she has the broach I made on! YAH! How did you get the picture on me and the guys at the BYU game from the newspaper?

HIGGINGSON IS COMING BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is the best news! I'm so pumped. My guess is he goes to Kerava with Hybarger. Just a thought. I was hoping to maybe be his companion but after the language test and everything, there is no way I go senior. Cool with me. I love not having all that responsibiity :)

Well, I'm going to learn how to cook something new today. Should be fun. 

Dad- "Heipa" is the word "hei" with "pa" on the end which is added for emphasis. I'm not too sure what the emphaisis entails but I hear Finns say it so I do too.

Well, I got to go. Off to the Tuen Grilli for a burger. I'll let you know how it goes.
I came across this little hut while googling Lappeenranta - a guy from California had a burger blog and he was in Finland and particularly Lappeenranta and loved their burgers and posted it - I sent the information with the address to Brian and as it turns out - it was only blocks from his apartment so they are going to give it a try.  The only issue is that the blog was written 3 years ago and we don't know if this little place is still there.
Here is the picture of the guys burger from the blog - looks super yummy to me!!!

Heidå (Swedish)

Vanhin Behnke

Monday, August 16, 2010

August 16, 2010

Hello family,

The langauge is coming along. It's hard. I'm not exactly a killer at this langauge but I wouldn't say I'm behind either. The mini missionary was a big help. His name was Nico Lahdenperä and he is from a city in the north called Kemi. He was funny. He knew very very very little english so we spoke Finnish the entire time which was way good. He taught us a bunch of stuff. He was way funny.We would make fun of each toher in Finnish. "Vanhin Penkki, Miks sä tykkäät pojista?" Elder Behnke, why do you like boys?" People say penkki, or benkki, because penkki sounds close to my name and it is a Finnish word. It mean bench or seat (not very cool). He was great though.

That's great about the shirts you made. Ellie is going to have a lot of fun. That's way cool that she is getting after tennis like that. Hopefully, she sticks with it.

What's the word on Scott's buisness.? Did he get the job again? Did he get the church job? How is work going for you? How's Gram?

Fantasy transfer. I think Elder Schoof and I stay another change here. It will be Elder Schoof's 7th change. WHOA! Have you heard anything about Elder Higginson? I hope he comes back! I want to re-train him haha.

I got your package. Sweet! Funny story about the package. I was riding through the city on SILVER WING (the name of my girl purple and white mountain bike) when a lady starts yelling at me "Behnke! Behnke!" I looked and it was the FedEX lady haha so I signed for it right there and got the package. I loved the package! Robert's story is hilarious. Drew wrote me. Heck ya! I thought for sure he would never write. I got the schedule, a little confusing on what to do but I think i got under control. I'm not sure what you want me to do with the See's candy list. Go ahead and send me the package. I'm not in the leadership training meetings because I'm not a leader. No worries about the package so go ahead and send it to me here in Lappeenranta.

Story number 1. Elder schoof and I were riding to a teach which was about an hour nike ride away. We got there, taught, and then left. About 5 minutes later, Elder Schoof's bike broke and he couldn't use the pedals but the tires could still turn. It was like 8:22 at night and we have to be in by at least 9:30 if we had a late night teach, which we did. Luckily, Elder Schoof was wearing Elder Beard's old belt for some reason. So he took off the belt and we tied around the back of my bike and I towed him home the rest of the trip. We were going down the highway and every car is staring at us. Every runner and dogwalker is stopped and just looking at us. It was pretty funny.

Story number 2. We went down to Mikkeli this weekend. Mikkeli is our visiting city. We stayed the nights in the chapel down there. We were shopping for food and we were waiting in line and the guy in front of us is staring at our tags and walks over to us. He is all excited to talk to us because he saw the Jeesuksen Kristuksen on our tags. He is from Nigeria. he wanted to meet. We meet with him and now he is a new investigator. He said he has a lot fo friends and he is brining them to the next teach with have with him.

Things are going well. We have 5 investgators at the moment. Looking good in LPR. I definitely want one of those burgers. I will try to find them. I'm stoked.

That's all I got today.

Vanhin Behnke

Pictures from Zone Conference - August 9, 2010:

Their "funny" picture
What a great group of missionaries, they all look so happy!

Monday, August 9, 2010

August 9, 2010

Dear family,

That's good to hear that Elder Bailey is good. 

Lappeenranta. A bigger city than Savonlinna (of course it is). It's like a little town. Outside of the city area is all forests and farmland and lakes. It's way cool. It's right where I want to be. You have the city, which is next to the largest lake in Finland called Saimaa, and then forests surround the city and then there is all kinds of farms and stuff scattered throughout the forests. All the members live out in the forest pretty much so it's way cool that we get to go out there all the time. I bought a bike to get around. Elder C paid me a good chunk of what he owed me. He said he will get the rest to me later.

We had zone conference last week. Zone conferences have been changed to be everyother chnage instead of every change. Sad. They showed us this new program ( same one as the missionaries there told you about ) and it loooks like it's pretty cool. Elder Schoof and I are already better teachers because of it. After zone conference, i now have only not met 6 missionaries in the field now. Interesting fact for you. Zone conference, we had another langauge test. Crash and burn! I got owned. My understanding is not very good. Looks like I'll be junior so at least another change haha. It's all going well though. 

I thought my talk went good. To start things off, a 15  yr old girl is speaking, then me, then the Elders Quorum President. This 15 yr old girl's talk was unbelievable! It was amazing. So then I got to go follow up on that. I thought my talk went ok. I brought Elder Schoof's voice recorder up with me to record myself and listen to it after. After I listened to it, and my pronunciation on words was so bad. I was bummed. It's all good though.

I like Dad's face in the the Favre body. Classic. What else is going on back home?

If Ellie is still making bracelets, she has two more requests. Elder Butler and Elder Baccile both want them. 
I don't have much else to say. Tell me some stories of the Adventures of Elder Gorringe from his mother. I don't get to talk to him at all anymore. Tell me any kind of story. I just like to read what's happening. 

I have another request. I have like no pictures, except for the christmas card pictures and the awesome Taylor Swift pictures. So I only have like 2 pictures to hang up on my wall. Could you get some recent pictures of the family and the all the guys and abbey and my other close friends so I have some nice decoartions around my desk and stuff. Would that be ok? 

I love you all. I will talk to you soon.
Vanhin Behnke

Monday, August 2, 2010

August 2, 2010

Dear Family,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY D-TRAIN!!! I hope you have a great day. Movie quote "It's called a lance...hellooooooo"

No Dad doesn't need to put in money. I have to buy a bike now.  The other bike broke. Elder C said he would pay me. I'm going to call him again. 

Yes! A memory stick. Just like the picture. Perfect. That's the one.

We have a baptismal date here. She is our only investigator, at the moment. She is having some troubles grasping what we teach. It all goes over her head. She believes it is true though and feels excellent at church. We are trying to help her give up coffee. It should be good. Very nice woman.

Lappeenranta is great! The best ward I've been in. They're awesome! I'm going to love it here. I speak in church this Sunday. I'll let you know how it goes on Monday. We get a mini missionary today. He is a young Finn between 16-18 years old and he serves with us for a week. We try and help him get fired up to go on a mission. It should be fun. It's going to be fun. Hopefully, he can help me with the langauge. We got zone conference on Wednesday. It should be fun. 

I don't have much to say this time around. I'll talk to you all soon.

Love you all,
Vanhin Behnke

p.s. Did you hear about Elder Gorringe? District leader. What a stud!!!