Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15, 2011


First off, how did Dad's birthday go? I had it marked on my calender in Espoo and completely forgot about it when i was writing home two weeks ago. then I was going to apologize and ask about it in my last email but forgot again! I remembered this time?

I have replaced Elder Gorringe in Oulu. The ward here loves him. One of the recent converts who Elder Gorringe taught thinks I look like Elder Gorringe and calls me "Gorringe 2." One lady at church told me that I have some big shoes to fill cause of all the great work he did here. Pretty sweet. I am really happy to be here. Things have started super well though. We just got 2 baptismal dates with people we just started teaching this week. Awesome. We should have a lot of good things coming. 

I'm sooo tired. We travel soooo much. Last week, we went to Vaasa for splits which was a 4 hour drive there and 4 hours back. Today we leave for Savonlinna for a splits and district meeting. So that's 11 hour travel. We come back Wednesday. Thursday we leave for Kajaani which is another 4 hours. Then we head to Pietarsaari which is another 6 hours on Friday. Sitting in cars all day makes you so tired. but, it's great. Things are happening for us all over the place. 

You talked about suits. I'm done buying suits. I have bought 2 new ones last change. I'm good. They were pretty cheap. I don't need some super expensive suit. I think these are pretty good. I can just wait to get some shoes when I get home. Of course I'm bringing Grandma's scarf home. i don't have many scarves so I'm not sure what scarves you are talking about. Room in my bags is not so much the problem as weight. I have a lot of heavy books. We'll see. I also want to bring back some chocolate and other good things.

Great job for Ellie! 2nd place is great especially for her first year and she went undefeated! Awesome! That's so sweet that Dad is dominating people! How long is his season? Will he be playing when I get back?

I'm super stoked for fantasy football! Nathan Stanford wrote me and said that his dad is working on somekind of house in Provo so I may be in that type of deal come winter. We'll see and really not worried about that right now.

I saw a movie poster for the The Planet of the Apes is Born (direct translation from finnish so I don't know the real title). How does it look? Is it cool? Has anyone seen it?

I love you all and I will talk to you next week.

Vanhin Behnke

Monday, August 8, 2011

August 8, 2011

Hei Family,

So..... I'm in Oulu now. I got the call to come back to the North. I left last night on a night train up here at 10:30p.m. I got the call with my travel information at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday night. Elder Christiansen called and said, "You have 24 hours." So I got all packed up after church on Sunday and took the night train and got here at 8:30 this morning. Pretty wild. I got my own little room with my own little bathroom. A really tiny place but suprisingly super comfortable. I enjoyed the night train. there is two to a room but nobody else came so I just rode up by myself to Oulu. Cool. My new companion is Elder Boyer. We are the Zone Leaders up here and I am super stoked to be here. I am really excited. I will probably finsih my mission here ( I think :) ). 

That's sweet that Jorma wrote. He is a stud. He is such a cool guy. I really hope he can come out to America sometime and visit. That would be way sweet. It was a pretty big bummer that I couldn't go back but it makes sense. I talked with President Rawlings and he can't have missionaries riding around back and forth cause it would just cost way too much money and time especially with the rate of growth that is happening here. They are using Finland as the example of faith and growth in the MTC now. But President Rawlings  seemed a little bummed that couldn't give me permission to go. That is just so awesome that Jorma got baptized though. 

President Rawlings is the man. He is a very smart and realistic guy. It is always tons of fun with him. He has got a lot of big plans and changes and they are all working which is super cool to see. He is very intellegent. I'm a huge fan.

So cool to here that dad is playing tennis again and totally dominating people (including himself)! Yes, I got his package and I loved it. How is he feeling? Is he having fun? Is he still playing despite his injuries? Just tell him to rub some dirt on it :) So cool that Ellie is going to State. How does that work? How is she really doing? Is she really good? How good are the girls she is playing?

Elder Wessman sounds like he is doing just fine. He can't really expect to master the hardest language in 3 months. But I'm sure he is doing just fine. Just keep going. Is he coming out right now or is he still in the MTC? They are 4 new missionaries in the North zone so I will at least see him there if he comes to the north. 

Packing is a nightmare. I will have to throw a lot away. Is there anything again that I MUST take home besides the Cd player. What else does everyone want?

Fantasy Football. I want in! We can figure it out. Just send me the list of the top players and I can rerank them myslef and send it back with my draft stategies and picks. Let's do it! I can't come home to watch everyone else play.

I love you all,
Vanhin Behnke

I will talk to you all next week.

Monday, August 1, 2011

August 1, 2011

Hei Family,

Just kind of pushing along here. It was kind of a slow week for us. We learned that we are getting a mini-missionary! He is 16 from Tampere (a city a north of Helsinki). So he should be bummin' around with us for the week. 

My friend Jorma in Pori got baptized this past Saturday. Great to hear. He's a solid guy. 

I really have nothing to write. Change calls this Saturday. Who knows what could happen. President told us that a lot of changes are going to take place and not to be shocked with some of the moves. It just made everything so much more exciting. Anything can happen. I could be on the move next week. I really think Elder Fuchs is going to shotgun a place and train. We'll see. 

The wedding looked super nice. So what is this guy's name. Haha. This guy has been in tons of your letters for months and I only know that you call him Red. haha. What is his real name? It's no more Kristen Secor it's Kristen........ Red. Haha. 

Where should I send letters to Chris Collins? 

That's all I have. I hope everything is going well. 

Talk to you soon,
Vanhin Behnke

Monday, July 25, 2011

July 25, 2011

I left your letters at home so I may not be may able to remember them all and answer.
First off, thanks for the package! I really enjoyed the letters. Thank you! I really liked the stories of President Mayne's. Pretty awesome things.
How is everything at Gram's? I want to see a picture of the guy that Kristen is marrying. Is it a super exciting time? How are the Secors? What is Jimmy and Thomas up to these days? How is Scott and his buisness?
Things are just going by for us here in Espoo. We had a kind of a dud week. We haven't been able to find anyone or teach anyone. It's just been a little tough time. I'm getting really tired. Like  over a year and a half years of work tired. I'm alright though. I'm still fightin' on. Things are going well. I got some sweet and exciting news. Elders Groberg and Lytle called me last week and told some pretty sweet stuff. They said that President Kopischke of the Europe Area Presidency sent out a letter to all the Europe areas of how the little branch in Pori managed to get 11 nonmembers in church and how miraculous it was and how Pori will be forever blessed because of that. SWEET! That was my last Sunday in Pori. Things just went sweetly there. The mission is also collecting conversion stories of all recent converts in the mission. There is one convert in a city called Kuopio who is in the branch presidency there. he said that it all started when 2 missionaries in Savonlinna gave him a Book of Mormon over a year ago there. Sweet!!! The also told me that an investigator I was teaching during a good chunk of my stay in Pori has now decided to be baptized and will be baptized this Saturday hopefully. YES!!! Pretty sweet that all this stuff came to my attention in one phone call. Pretty nice of them to call.
That's great to hear that there is a full NFL season this year.

Things are going well and I hope Ellie's team can beat Inverness. Tell her Good luck!
I have nothing more. I love you all and take care.
Vanhin Behnke

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 18, 2011

Hei Family,

First off, today may be a short letter. I do not know what to say. Not too much has been happening. Elder Fuchs and I have been driving all around Finland going on splits with all the district leaders. We left Espoo and drove through Kotka to get to Lappeenranta for splits with Elders Arnesen and Carr. It was cool to be in Lappeenranta again and I got to see Henry too. He is doing well. He is a member now so that is sweet. He remebered me but it wasn't anything exciting. It was good though. After, we went through Kouvola and had dinner with Elders Higginson and Edelman. Then we went to Hyvinkää and had splits with Elders Ballam and Esplin. I included our little travel so you could see it on a map or something. But it was good.

Yes, I know HM is a store in America. but where is it? Is it super cheap like it is here? Is it the european style in America? The shirt is mine so tell Scott to give it back, unless it fits and he really wants it. Does the suit fit him? There is a huge sale at Dressmann so I might go get the suits now for when I come home and just keep them stored away. After emailing, Elder Fuchs and I are going berry picking to make some pie. So were going into the foreest (against the mosquitos) to find some blueberries and strawberries. It should be sweet.

I have a question. What kind of blessings have you gotten from me serving a mission? Just a curious question.

Chris lost his Finland band. That's super impressive that he has worn it for that long. I don't know where he is so I have no idea where to write him at. How is he doing? Is he still dating Sophie? She wrote me a letter with him so I'm not sure if I should still write her back if they aren't together anymore. How are all the rest of the guys doing? How is Abbey doing in Mass.?

What else has been happening at home? How is everyone doing? How's Gram? Has Tarja emailed you at all? I wrote them a letter, so we'll see.

Nothing else is really going on here. It has been a good week and we are trying to have good week. That is really all that has been happening.

I love you all,
Vanhin Behnke

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 11, 2011

Hei Family,

So I don't forget. I sent the suit home with a white shirt. The shirt was only 5 euros so don't freak out when you see it's worth 50 euros. Just had to make that point clear. The suit should be there soon. I think.

Things are going well here. Elder Fuchs and I are trying to find someone pretty solid to teach. We have a couple investigators that we just don't meet too often. So we are hoping to get tha going.

President Rawlings is a stud. He is very big on finding and teaching families, so that is what his big focus is. The members are super impressed that he still speaks finnish really well and even more impressed that Sister Rawlings is learning it and doing super well at it. They are awesome. We had a zone leader council with them with them which was super cool. We all went to the temple and after had lunch and a meeting at President's house. I got to see Elder Gorringe again. He is doing great. You asked about who is Elder Christiansen's companion and he is with Elder Horne and Elder Peterson. So there are 3 AP's for the moment. They are all just crazy busy. 

Elder Lytle is just going home at the normal time which is 3 weeks later. There is a choice: You go home 3 weeks early or 3 weeks later. Everyone usually goes home 3 weeks later unless they need to get home for something. I am going home 3 weeks later. I went in October 14th, 3 weeks later, I go home November 3rd. No one goes home on the exact day. So that is what's happening here.

I didn't get too much mail but it was sweet to get some for my birthday. I get tons of mail from Sister Folkman. She is consistent writer. I did get the facbook happy birthdays which was great. Thank you for that. I also got a happy birthday card from the Juutinen's back in Pori. As for the field, Elder Lytle sent me his typical, same box of expired pistacio pudding which he sent me last year fro my birthday and the same one that I resent back to him for his birthday. Then I got a couple phone calls from Elders Marlor, Higginson, and Pearson and Budd. It is pretty nice. It was fun.

I'm trying to write as many people back as possible but we just don't have too much time here to write. I'm working on it. Juts tell everyone thank you for the letters.

Story: So we got asked to do some service. We went and chopped up some trees in the forest. There were tons of mosquitos! Apparently, American blood is a more precious than the European blood ( Finnish and Austrian) so i just got eaten alive. We counted out about 80 on each arm and have tons on my head and neck. It has been a miserable past 2 days trying not to scratch my entire body. I have been covering myself in this anti-itch insect cream and it has barely helped. I feel a lot better though today.
I love you all and I thank you for everything. Tell Ellie good job and that I hope she keeps winning. That's great! Tell Matt hello for me and I hope you have a great week.
Brian's favorite friends from Pori
with President and Sister Brown
I love you all,
Vanhin Behnke

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4, 2011

Happy Independence day!
Thanks for the package! I got it this morning. I thought Scott's card was hilarious. Thank you very much for the See's candy and all the other cards. I loved it. My birthday was pretty much a regular missionary day. Not too much you can do really when your birthday falls on a Saturday as missionary. Elder Fuchs did all he could to make it as fun as possible. He started by waking me up at midnight and singing Happy Birthday to me. Then I got up at the nromal time and walk out of the bedroom and there is sticky notes everywhere wishing me a happy birthday. We also went out to eat with Elders Watson and Pope at some super expensive pizza restaurant. Elder Fuchs bought little party hats before I came so he handed those out. It was funny. He also drew me a picture and wrote at the bottom that I have made the right decision to be born haha. It was a nice birthday. I got to make up for it when I get back to Colorado.
So has Ellie won a match yet? How is she doing it? How many matches has she played? I was kind of confused of what has been happening with her there?
Yah, the Juutiset were pretty sad to see me leave. V seemed ok at least that I was heading out. Sister Juutinen ran out of the room crying. She couldn't really watch me leave. It was pretty sad but I think she will be fine though. They are doing great. They were definately a fun pair. I hope to stay in contact with them. Jorma K is the man! He was one of our investigators in Pori. He is a stud and so much fun. He was a pleasure to teach and hopefully a good friend for a long time to come. Great guy.
 I think I should be in Espoo until the end of my mission. Next change call should show for sure the rest of my mission. Elder Fuchs is going home a change before me for school so I should have a least one more companion after him. But I am super excited to serve with Elder Fuchs. He is a phenom in speaking Finnish! It's awesome!
We have a big week ahead. We meet President Rawlings on Wednesday. Exciting times. That's all I have. Tell everyone thank you for the birthday wishes.
Vanhin Behnke

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011

Hei Family,

I am leaving Pori. I'm heading back to Espoo. My new companion is Elder Fuchs! His mother is from Austria so I highly doubt she is on the Missionary Mom's or speaks english for that matter ( just so you know :) ) We will be the zone leaders of the Helsinki Zone. So I'm heading back to Helsinki which could be sweet. There is tons to do there on p-day where in Pori I just wrote letters haha. I'm kind of bummed to leave Pori. I definitely loved it here but I have been here for a while (though it doesn't feel that long) so I don't mind that much leaving. The work here is just going crazy. The shame is leaving right now at it's high point. Elder Baccile is coming down to take my place though so that's good. Espoo should be fun though and a lot better now that I don't need to take two buses to get to my area like the last time I was here with Butler. Now I can just walk out the door. 

I'm not sure what my address is in Espoo but you can just send it to:
   Brian Behnke
   Neitsytpolku 3 A 4
   00140 Helsinki

That should get to me just fine. It will just take an extra day. So you can send stuff to there until next week when I can send you my Espoo address. 

My week has been great though. We had a district meeting on Wednesday here in Pori. We all pitched in and made salmon soup. It's so super good. I gave a message on humility. It was a good time. The on Sunday we had 11 either investigators or potential investigators come to church! The most I have ever had before this was 3 haha. It was pretty awesome. It was a really fun Sunday.

That's sweet that Ellie won her match. I'm really excited to hear how she did on her own. That sucks about Scott's house. Why did he move there if it was such a dump? Hopefully he can go find a better place that he will actually want to stay in. How is everyone else doing? How are things going at Gram's place? Is Scott's work still going good? 

I don't have much else to write. I hope you all have a fantastic week and I will talk to you again when I am 21. I will then be legally able to drink in America and rent a car. I will officially be an adult. So I got that going for me :)  

I love you all,
Vanhin Behnke

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20, 2011

Hei Family,

Sister Juutinen was so excited when you wrote her back. She texted us at like 6:30 this morning haha. I gave her your email address because I figured you would love to talk with some people out here. I hope that was alright. She was very nervous to write to you in English. 

Our couple we are working with are fantastic. It is a big honor that he wants me to baptize him but chances are I'll be gone.  We will see. They are fantastic!

Everything is going well here. I just heard from Nathan. He is a stud. That is great that he is back. Whenever you talk to him next, you should tell him to send me his address. How was the wedding shower? What kind of stuff did she get? What all did you do?

I don't know if I need anything right now. Just hold off on sending anything until I know where I am. Chances are I leave next week. We'll see what happens. Everything really can happen with President putting everything in order for the new president to arrive. I think I leave my wonderful town of Pori though. We are going on splits tomorow with the Rauma missionaries (Pearson and Budd). We are going to another DA with Sister Salmi. That should be fun. Then on Wednesday is Distric Meetng I am making salmon soup for everyone. It should be good. I will take pictures. 

That is all I have for you. Thank you for the email. Have a fantastic Father's Day! What are you all going to do? Let me how it goes.

Vanhin Behnke

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 13, 2011

Hei Family!

I just got my first set of my going home papers today. I filled everything out already. I have my home address as Grandma's address. Hopefully, your phone number is still the same. If not, your email address is on there. I checked the box that you all are NOT coming to Finland to pick me up. So everything about my flight information is now taken care of. I will be flying in to DIA (just in case some new massive airport was built in Highlands Ranch :) ). Let me know when you get my flight information. I want to know.

Super cool that Nathan is home. Those 2 are studs. You should have them send me some emails with addresses attached because this chain letter takes about a half a year to get around haha. 

Our DA with Sister Salmi this week with Elders Groberg and Lytle was really good when they came down for spilts. We had lasagna with pickles and pineapple inside. It was really good! The salad was a salad with red onions, pear, grapes, apples, tomatoes, and this lemon itailian sytle dressing. Really good. And Ruisleipä (dark rye bread)

Things are going really well here. We have 14 investigators. It's awesome! Most I have ever had! I remeber when I girst got to Finland and all I wanted was a phone number. Just a spark of interest from something. I didn't even care to teach anyone just a number which was super hard to obtain. Now things are just rockin.' We are teaching a family who can't speak any finnish and knows only a tiny bit of english. They are from a small country near Indonesia. We use very simple, slow , short English and use pictures. It's a ton of fun. 

I spoke in Church again at a ward activity for members and non members. I spoke about how God is the same yesterday today and forever. I pretty just read 2 Nephi 29:7-11 and talked about it. It was simple but good.

Story: Elder Larson and I are riding to a teach with this couple and this guy rides up to me and says, in english, "I don't want to be rude, but GO BACK TO SALT LAKE CITY!!!" Whoa so we stopped the bikes and talked to this guy. He was just yelling at us telling us to go back to Utah. So I said, "I'm from Colorado." Larson: "I'm from Canada." The guy didn't know what to say. I think if he knew that Colorado was right next door to Utah he would have had somekind of comeback haha. Then he moved on to say that Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon are all frauds. So I asked if he had asked God about ti or Read the Book of Mormon and he said No. I told him that that was the problem and then he went off saying how Finland doesn't need us here and that The Bible has always been enough and to just go back to wherever we came from. We just said alright man and left and then he called us disciples of the devil.  It is a fantastic day. I want more of those days.

That's all I have for you. 

Vanhin Behnke

Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6, 2011

Hei Fam,

How was Ellie's birthday? Was it super fun? What are you all up to this week?

Helsinki was really good. It was a fun meeting. We played football every morning. I woke up at 4:45 in the moming to Elder Lytle sitting on my bed putting on my shoes for me haha. Football was a lot of fun though. I saw Elder Burt again. The first time since my 6th week in the country, Whoa! But the meetings went really well and we got pretty much the last of President Brown. One more meeting with him and then he is gone and President Rawlings comes in. I won't have too much time with th new mission president but I should get a good dose before I leave.

The investigators are going good. We have about 9 right now. It's the most I've ever had. 4 look like we might have to move on from but the others are doing really well. It's a very exciting time right now for us in the mission right now. It's a great thing to be apart of.

I have nothing to write really this week. Not much has happened. I speak in a investigator night class thing on Sunday and have like a 5 minute speech. That should be good. Not looking too forward to it but it could maybe be a good experience.

We are going on splits with Elders Groberg and Lytle this week. I am pretty excited for that. We have a DA together with this member who is hilariously fun and makes fun of us because we are American!

I'm coming home soon! Warning: I'm not trunky, it is just a fact. You should go download the song "Gone til November" by Wyclef. Just listen to that. It's perfect. Scott knows the song. have you made any plans for anything for when I get home?

I am getting a lot of emails. Sweet! I don't feel so forsaken anymore. Everyone sounds like they are doing well and nothing seems to have changed at all since I've been gone. Perfect! :)

I am excited to see pcitures of Scott's apartment. Is it cool? 

That's all I have.

I love you and will talk to you next week.

Vanhin Behnke

Monday, May 30, 2011

May 30, 2011


How is everything over there at Gram's? How is Scott doing at work? Where is his new house? Is Ellie really getting that car? How is everyone doing? Are you all going out to Kristen's wedding? What are the plans?

I got a email from Jake Wagner! SWEET! He left me his email address so I'm stuck and can't write him back. Everyone just leaves me there email address haha. That's super cool that Hunter B had his graduation. We went to a graduation party on Saturday and they played this game where you roll dice and what every number you get, is the amount of these huge marshmellows you have to put in your mouth. Then they give you a song to sing and teammates have to guess the songs. It's kind of cheating when the American missionaries don't know any finnish songs and it's their turn haha. So, basically, it was a struggle but we did alright. What did you do at Hunter's? That's super cool that you saw Kendall, Liza (Lisa?)(Finnish is messing me up!), and Emily. How are all they doing? I didn't get any letters from them. Maybe next week. This one member was giving me a hard time once about not having pictures of any girls I've dated so I just pointed to Emily's picture in the family book that you sent me for Christmas haha. It wasn't a lie because we did date for like 8 min. In 8th grade before she broke up with me. You can ask her about it. She never told me the reason why she shattered my small 8th grade heart :)

Elder Larson and I are headed down to Leadership Training Meeting in Helsinki for the next 5 days!!!! We leave tonight to Tampere to meet up with Elders Groberg and Lytle to drive down and stay with Elders Christiansen and Fuchs. It's like a big MTC reunion. It should be fun. I just recently relized that after this change, I have 3 more changes til I'm coming home. Next change, they start to send me my going home papers. Whoa. Not a lot of time left.

District meeting was great! I loved the stories you sent. I couldn't find a way to use them with what we needed to talk about but I'm thinking of ways to use some of them. We just set some goals with what we want to accomplish this change and we talked about the importance of helping our investigators come to sacrament meeting. Did you know that if you  bring a question to church, it will be answered there too like it would be in General Conference. I thought that was pretty cool. I spoke a little about the quote, "Be a creator of the circumstances, not a creature of circumstances." I'm trying to pump us up a little bit. We then read out of Alma about Ammon when the sheeps were scattered and his attitude and what he did to change and take advantage of his situation. I thought it was pretty cool.

We had a great sunday yesterday. There were 3 investigators in church! That's the most I have ever had in church on one Sunday. It went really well. Elder Larson gave his first talk in finnish and did a great job. Luckily, there wasn't a lot of time left, so I only had to get up and speak for 5 minutes. Sweet! Elder Larson spoke about fast offerings and I spoke about fasting. It was nice.

Things are going really well for us here. We have 3 porgressing investigators who are really making bounds. It has just been great lately. 

I don't really have anything else. I can try and talk with the AP's but I'm not really sure what they can do. I can ask. That is super awesome about Ella Bezzant wanting to befriend McKay! That would just be so awesome!!! You should tell him about it. I'm sure he would be up for it. I love you all. I hope you all have a great week. I will talk to you again next week.

Vanhin Behnke

Monday, May 23, 2011

May 23, 2011

Hei Family,

I'm sorry Dad didn't get my last letter. I most likely forgot to send it to him as well. I logged in today with tons of emails!! It was great!! After about a year and a half, I have finally heard from Zach and Justin. Haha. I think though that people think I can write them back because are leaving their email addresses at the bottom. You might want to make sure that you tell them that is their mailing address and not their email address that I can write to. But thank you so very much for setting that up because I'm hearing from so many people and it's great.

I got your package. Thanks a ton! It definately helps when you put my number on the package because when I'm not home and they call, I can just go pick it up because the place isn't too far away. I have been eating so much lucky charms it is awesome!! I average about 3 bowls a day. They are so good. Enough with this healthy Finnish cereal stuff. It just doesn't give me my daily dose of essential sugar in the morning. The See's candy was devoured in the first day. Someone (dad) put some weird like raspberry nutty cream thing in there that just wasn't very good haha. 

I saw the picture of Ellie's new car. Whoa! It is way super nice! That will be so awesome when she saves up for it. The tennis matches sound awesome. Ellie gets to go beat little girls up with her racket and totally dominate it bearing the Behnke name. That's great. Is it just for the summer? Is Ellie all registered up for middle school? Is she excited? You just all let me know when you know everything about her schedule and stuff.

Elder Larson and I got let in tracting the other day and we a talking to this woman and her way big, extremely drunk boyfriend who was hysterical and laughing the whole time. He goes out to give me a hand shake and just stares in my eyes for like 60 seconds and then says, "I'm not a gay but you are one good looking guy! Isn't he (asking his girlfriend)" It was really funny. Everyone was laughing. The woman was asking us if they only send the good looking mormon boys to Finland becuase every missionary she has seen has been "gorgeous" as she put it. It was funny-

We got a big week ahead. We have my first district meeting on wednesday then a splits with Rauma on friday and I give a talk on Sunday. Fun. Then the next week, I head down to leadership training meeting in Helsinki for the week. It's going to be pretty fun.

That's all I have for you. 

I love you all,
Vanhin Behnke

Monday, May 9, 2011

May 9, 2011

After having the most wonderful time chatting with Brian we received a short letter this morning and some pictures, which I love!

Hey Family,

It was really great to talk with you all last night. I hope all is well. I don't have much to say to you all because we talked about everything last night.

I hope you enjoy the pictures. 

(NÄSTI- pronounced "nasty"  . . . . .  I thought it was funny)

I love you all

Also, could you find out who Jeremy Irons is. He was the voice of Scar in The Lion King but we can't figure out what else he has been in.

Thanks and I love you all

Next time we will take will be face to face

Vanhin Behnke

A sign missionaries never like to see!  :)

Elder Lytle and Behnke at the Viking dinner!!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

May 2, 2011

Hey Family,
How is everything going?  As far as the calling on Mothers' Day goes, it is all the same as Christmas. Same number and stuff. I don't know what time for you to call yet but I will let you know in another letter today after everyone talks with their parents. So just wait on that email.
The threesome has ended. Elder Hunt is now in Seinäjoki. We did play putt putt last week. There was this one hole where you had to tee off with a putter off of a tire to get it on the course. It was crazy!  It was fun. But now it's just me and Elder Larson.
We are teaching a lot still and still rollin' well with our investigators. We have 5 at the moment. It has been fun.
So Chris is in Maine!? I haven't heard from him in a while. I got a letter from Abbey! She sounds like she is doing good. Also, since you put up my email address on facebook, i have heard from McKay. I don't think he knows at all when I come home. I think he thinks that I will be home for the fall semester. He was also talking about finding us an apartment for schooling. He said he was going to talk with you about that. Thank you for putting up my email address on facebook. I don't feel so forgotten :)
The language test works like this. There is vocab, reading, grammer, writing, listening, and speaking. There was like 10 vocab words. Then putting words in there correct cases in sentances. Then reading the article and answering questions. Then there is a writing prompt. Then there is listening (which kills me) and answering questions. The speaking is done over the phone with Elder Christiansen and he asks questions and has us read stuff. Kind of like that.
I'm doing good. I'm trying to get somekind of workout and eating plan. I have no idea what to do. You should find like a healthy food diet thing so I can have a more healthy eating plan. That would be great. Tomorrow, however, for district meeting, we will be dining in a viking restaurant. I'm so excited! We get viking hats!
That's all I have. I will have more for you hopefully when you call. I'll let you know soon.
Love you all,
Vanhin Behnke

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 26, 2011

Hei Family,

How's everything going? Are you still thinking about moving to California for the summer? How was Easter? What did you do? I feel like I ask you questions but I don't get answers to them. I guess, I now know how it feels :)

Our trip to Tampere went well. It is about a 3 hour drive having to swing down to Rauma and pick up the elders (Schoof and Budd) from there. I got thr latest on my language score. Because it is hard to tell one's language score from just one test, the test is set up in ranges. -9 to 0 to +9 is the right where you should be range and anything above is advacned and anything below is behind. I scored a -9. Right on the edge. And as you can guess, it's drives me insane! haha. But it's ok. It's a fun langauge.

We went bowling last week and there was just a ton of high school girls haha. Like 50 high school girls and 3 Mormon missionaries haha. It was fun. I just got this whole bowling thing down. ATHLETE! Dad remembers my bowling abilities. 

I got lettesr from Shubin, Sister Folkman, and a card from the Whitehursts! Sweet! Be sure to tell them thank you for me. That is cool that Austin has got his email address on his facebook. You should do the same for me! I can't email people back but if they leave their address I can write them back. That would be sweet to get some more mail. I will forever feel bad for never writing Jimmy or Thomas because I know the joy that letters bring now. haha.

I don't have much else going on. Things are going well here. We are having a lot of fun. The weather is warming up so the jackets are soon to be coming off. We're having a good time. 

Congratulations for your first double double and you first In-N-Out burger in Colorado. I hope you enjoyed it! Was it everything you imagined? I wish, somehow, there was a way to ship fresh Chipotle burritos. But at the same time, not, because it will make that first one back home so much sweeter.

How are all the guys doing? How is Alex liking the military? What is Matt England up to? Have you heard from McKay at all? 

How's Scotty? Is anything happening?

I love you all. I hope everything is going well over there. I haven't heard from dad in awhile? How is he doing? I figured I would be getting a letter from him sometime soon after the draft with all the reports and stuff so i will just be waiting for his letter and papers. Take care.

Vanhin Behnke

Monday, April 18, 2011

April 18, 2011

translation:  Happy Easter and up your keaster!

We had a pretty good week this week. He had 15 appointments. We were flying around. We got 4 new investigators this week and had 2 in church. We should be in shape for another good week this week. We are heading to Tampere this week for our final President interviews with President Brown. It should be pretty good. He is taking off soon. I am getting pretty old out here in the field. Next month, I'll only have 6 months left. Whoa. Time just takes off here. How's time there? I'm not getting trunky or anything so don't worrry. It's just weird. 

I really want to go to eat at this place called Harold's. It's a viking restaurant. They give you a viking helmet and gauntlet and just a knife for a eating utensil. The entire district is onboard I just have to convince the sisters. It's going to be tough. I think it would be so fun.

How's everything at home? How is scott doing? How's Gram? What is everyone doing? How is eric Zane doing? Alex Sawyer looked Korean when I first saw the picture. I couldn't even tell it was him. He looks bigger. Does he like the military?  How do the Sawyers like Atlanta? 

What is going on in America? I learned from a drunk guy on the street recently that America is bombing Libya. What?!  Crazy stuff.

I don't really know what to say.  Kristen Secor is getting married. Wow! Does the Secors like the guy? How are the rest of the Secor clan doing? 

I have an idea. You should tell Zach and Justin that I sent them a present from Finland. When they come and get it, have them open a package with just a pen and blank paper inside. hahaha. Maybe I'll hear from them then. Have you talked with them at all? What about McKay, Knapp, and Nathan? I haven't heard from Chris and Drew in a long while. I have now become forgotten :)

What are your easter plans? Easter here is the same here. Eggs and everything. There is a standup comedian who talked about Christmas. I think it was Jim Gaffigan. He was talking about how they people were coming up with holiday tradition. "What should we do do celebrate the death and resurection of Christ?" "How bout eggs?" "What!?" "Yah, and a bunny rabbit!" I thought it was pretty funny.

Anyway, we are going bowling today to start our Tri-Wizard Tournament to figure out which missionary of us is the best. I feel like I have a good chance at winning the bowling event but may be lacking in the Putt-Putt and Eat-A-thon. It's going be an intense match-up.

We are just pushing along here. I love you all and pray for my investigators to receive their answers and get baptized. Have a great Easter. I'll talk to you all next week.

Vanhin Behnke

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 11, 2011

Hei Family,

The threesome is going great! They are always a lot more fun but it just makes missionary work more awkward. We scare enough people away as a two some let only three of us now. But things are rockin' here. We have 4 investigators, 2 with baptismal dates and we have 6 other planned teaches with others we have met last week for this week already. 2 weeks ago we had 2 investigators and had 2 teaches. Now, if everything pans out perfectly, we could hit 20 teaches this week with 6 new investigators. We're stoked!  We got a shot at the title!! 20 teaches!! Just like that everything swtiched. For the past 2 and half months, we haven't had a new investigator but now it's just cruising here. It took 5 days to go from 2 teaches a week to a possible 20. It's great. I really love the people we are teaching. They are all doing so great. I'm so excited for what is happening in Pori.

I still can't get a licence. It's ridiculous. I had to pay 60 euros for a physical for this thing but they still won't give the licence to me and I'm really tired of trying to get this. So my attempts of getting a finnish licence may have ended right there. We'll see. At least I know I'm healthy and capable of driving.

Sister Brown is home. That's great. She is so funny. Do you still check my facebook? Has anybody from Finland sent a fried request or anything? I haven't become too good of friends with people here who would own a facebook. You should check and let me know if anyone has sent anything.

How is Scotty doing and the rest of the family? Have you heard from any of the guys lately? I got another letter from the Whitehurst's. That was nice of them. 

I don't have much else to tell you. I get to call home soon. I swear I just talked to you all. What else has been going on? Is the NFL going to have a season when I get back? What is teh draft looking like? I had a dream that Brett Favre signed with the New Jersey Devils Hockey team. I'm not sure what the Favre talk is nowadays but if he signs with the New Jersey Devils just let me know haha. Have you talked with anyone I know from BYU? So how many people are married now? 

I love you all. We have a big week ahead of us. 
I will talk with you on Monday

Elder Behnke

Monday, April 4, 2011

April 4, 2011

Hei Family,
Here is what is happening here. Elder Peck is leaving to Jyväskylä. I am staying here with Elders Larsen and Hunt. So I'm in another threesome. This will be my third one of my mission. It's always on the 4th change. I have been in a threesome my 4th, 8th, and now my 12th. So I should be in another one my last change haha. So that's what's going on here.
General Conference was good. I liked it. We don't get to see that last session so I missed Elder Holland's. What did he talk about? Was it good? It was fun being down there. Elder Lytle baptized someone while we were there so it was pretty cool. Elder Lytle kept giving me hard time about not wanting to be married right when I got back after every time when someone in general conference would speak about it haha. It was a good time. What did you like about confernce?
Packages. Don't worry about it. Just do your thing and just get all situated. Let me know where you move to. I'm interested to know. What is dad going to do while you two are in California, if you go?
I think I will try and sell the boots. They take up a lot of space and weight and I really don't think that I will use them. That would be really good if you sent the jacket to Elder Baccile. He has asked about it a lot and it's now the time of year where he needs it. So if you could send that to him at his address in Pietersaari, that would be best. You can grab the Pietersaari address and his phone number from online. I told him that you had already sent it a couple of weeks ago. So he is waiting.

Elder Groberg sent me some pictures. The ones with me in them is our sähly team for Leadership Training meeting. We thought it would fun if we made jersies for them. Mahtavat Ankat (The Mighty Ducks).

The Finnish Mighty Ducks

I don't have much else to say in this email. Thatnk you for everything and enjoy the week.
I love you all,
Vanhin Behnke

Monday, March 28, 2011

March 28, 2011

Hello Family,

I figured today, I would write you all in blue! How's is everything going back home?  How is the draft looking, Dad? What has been going on and happenning? How's Gram, Ellie, and Scott? How are the dogs (not puppies anymore, clearly)?

This weekend is General Conference. We are headed to Rauma for the weekend to watch it there becuase they have headphones there to watch it in English. So we are excited for that. It also means that we have change call night splits! Awesome! We should know what is happening to Elder Peck and I on Saturday night along with Elders Lytle and Budd. What are you all doing for conference? Conference bingo? I want to play conference bingo! For my next General Conference, you should send it to us!

For future packages. I will need more deordorant but no more Bear Creek easy make soups. I have reached my limit with those and am not becoming any better at cooking. I appreciate it though. Thank you very much for that.

I have a question regarging the boots I have here. I don't think I will use them at all really when I come home but I know they were expensive and I don't want to leave them. So I want to sell them. How much were they so I know a good price to sell them for? I am hoping I can sell them because that would free up a lot of weight in my bags. Let me know the price and what you think about selling them.

Dad asked about sähly. It is like floor hockey. You play in tennis shoes and have sticks that kind of look like hockey sticks but are more curvy shaped. I'm sure you can find it on the interent. The ball is a wuffle ball. It's really fun.

You talked about finnish food. I would like to go home and makesome stuff so I will grab some Cardenum beofre I leave to make pulla (it's like a pastry bread type thing). The food here is pretty good. We have a DA today and the member is making Fish soup, which is like my favorite thing in Finland. She made for us this one time, salmon fillet with blue cheese, lemon, and pesto. SO GOOD! I learned how to make it so maybe I can do it when I come home. Karjalien Piirakka, I don't think they are that awesome but I like them. The rye bread is what I want to take home. AWESOME! With chocolate

Investigators. We're struggling. We only have 2 right now. We need to find more. That is our plan this week. we're going to bust it. Hopefully, we can find more people to teach.

That's all I have this time.

I love you all and take care

Talk to next week
Vanhin Behnke

Monday, March 21, 2011

March 21, 2011


I feel like I have been cutting these letters kind of short to you lately. So I will try to write a little more. 

The Pictures. I hoped you like them. Did you like the Elder Peck and I on?  We want to get a really big one and frame and put it up on the wall for the next Pori-bound missionary to see. haha. 

So Elder Peck and I are still fighting our way in Pori. We had a ward meeting and presentation after church yesterday. We tried to get them fired up for referrals. It went ok. Hopefully they do it. Speaking of which.  We think Elder Peck and I are reaching the end. This will probably be the last change together. It's time for a change. I get along with him GREAT but 3 changes and it probably will be time for a switch.  

It's really funny how many similarities I can make the mission with the NFL. After you have been in a place for a while, everyone kind of wants to change cities. Ex: Elder Peck, after 6 changes in Pori, wants to leave. Of course, no one makes a big deal out it but it's pretty funny to relate it to like a disgruntled wide-receiver who wants a trade. "I WANT OUT!, TRADE ME OR RELEASE ME!" In most cases, the missionary is traded (ex: Elder Behnke was traded from Kerava to Pori to be the starter. Much like Matt Schaub backing up Vick and traded to Houston to be the franchise quarterback). Some cases the missionary is cut and the city relies on the draft to fill the need and the free agent is picked up by another team (ex: A couple changes ago, Elder Lytle's companion (Elder Isom) was cut and signed with Seinäjoki and Rauma scored a rookie (greenie) in the draft). So now you know a little bit of what is happening in my head come change calls.   :)  Here is my speculation:
                       The Call:  Behnke with GREENIE in Pori
                       Peck to Savonlinna with Pond

Sorry that you haven't gotten the the newsletter. I would send it to you but we get ours in letter form and not through email. Yes, Elder Horne is the AP which is why he could send it.

Yes, tons of frozen bikes everywhere. There was a really nice bike in the lake we saw in Savonlinna but we never got it. I know there is a missionary who got his bike from off a frozen lake. haha. They are tons of that everywhere.

So Scott's work has now expanded to 4 members. The Larsons are great! That is so cool. What are they going to do now for school and everything? How was their talks? What did they talk about?

I got your package! Great! Thanks a lot! The magazines are great too. Super distracting but WONDERFUL! It's crazy that they are comparing Rodgers to Brady and Manning. I don't know what we need to fill the teams rosters and stuff or what we need in the draft but I think, from my reading, we need to really resign Cullen Jenkins. That would be huge. Along with Mason Crosby, if not I hope we sign Ryan Longwell. Jenkins would be a huge resign. We can let Brandon Jackson go and snag a better player (like Darren Sproles!) or just no even worry about it with Grant back and Starks and Kuhn. It seems like we could really bulk up the o-line, we need O-line. I like Nate Solder from Colorado but it's unlikely he falls. If he doesn,t then I REALLY like Gabe Carimi from Wisconsin, Home town love. If we can't land Jenkins and by a miracle chance that the Alabama DT/DE falls that would be sweet. I told you to watch AJ Green and Julio Jones. They are studs!

I heard a little bit about the tsuanmi but not much. Pretty nuts, crazy, and sad story. I still have no idea why Japan would ever build a NUCLEAR power plant when they live on tectonic plate boundary. It was an accident waiting to happen. That was a super move. But now they are in a horrrible situation. Is the church helping?

Our investigators are still in the same spots as last time. They are coming along. The family is still awesome and working their way back. Fantastic.

That's all I have today, I hope you have a great week. I love you all

Vanhin Behnke

Monday, March 14, 2011

March 14, 2011

Hei Family,

How are things going? So Scott now has 2 cars. Why? Is he going to keep two cars? Is he going to try and sell his 4 runner? How are the puppies? Are they having a ton of fun? Are they trained at all?

My trip to Helsinki was great! I sent some pictures to you. I sent one of Elder Gorringe and I. I also included Sister Zimmerman's and my super awkward Sister-Elder picture. Hahaha. It was pretty fun week. We played basketball and sähly (floor hockey, professional sport here in Finland) every morning. I went down with Elder Weaver. We spent the nights in the chapel with Elders Grimm, Leppard, Linden, Weaver, Clegg, Groberg, and Powell. It was fun. We learned a ton down there from President Brown. We learned how to become better teachers and things like that. There is a ton to write about it so you can just see my notes when I can come unless you are really wanting to here them right now. It was just really great. Read DC 50 to really undterstand more of what we do when teaching an investigator. Sister Zimmerman sang I Know That My Redeemer Lives. It was awesome. 

The man and his wife we are teaching are doing great! He has been off alcohol for 3 weeks now and she has been off smoking for over a month. They both come to church regulary and are making huge steps back to church. It's great.

We are focused on finding a lot this week. We need more investigators. That is where we are putting our focus.

Poor Wandrys. I hope they are doing alright. New Bishop eh? "For the first pick of the 2011 Spring Gulch Bishopric Draft, The Elder Behnke's Finns select. . . . . . . . Ray Bezzant as Bishop. First Councelor is Ken Wandry and Second Counselor is James Griggs (just for kicks)." That's fun. Let me know who it is. 

The Larson's! I can't remember if it was Mike or Chris that wrote me but I have always felt bad that I never wrote back. I lost his address in the swtiching of email sites. That's good that they are back and loving it. I like the plan of wearing out the suits. I have already been doing that. My blue one is thrashed. 

I got to go. I will write more next week. Got to go. Elder Peck is making me leave.

Vanhin behnke
Elders Behnke and Peck......kinda awkward photo!  I think they were trying to be funny.   Didn't realize he took his glasses with him - he only got them when he was 12 - looks like it!  (looks like a wedding photo)  JK!
Their ride!
The boys in Helsinki
Elders Lytle, Christiansen, Fuchs and Gorringe
Higginson and Behnke
Sister Zimmerman and Brian - in the sister/elder missionary picture!  Goofs!
with Elder Gorringe