Monday, February 29, 2016

February Tour with Pictures

Sister Hunt's Blue Ribbon Banana Bread
has made it's way into Finland.
Mail from home is extra special
in the midst of our busy daily schedule.
This is leap year day and we are enjoying this extra day in February. We have learned much and still finding out new things. Finland is a beautiful country with beautiful people. We want to share some pictures and take you on a tour of some exciting things that happened in February.

Beautiful and Peaceful Helsinki Temple
Valentine's Day is called friendship day. We visited many friends. We helped members move. We assisted the Elders in teaching investigators. We taught Institute. We held Family Home Evening every Monday night in our home. We drove a lot on the icy and snowy roads. We gained longer sunlight. We have been learning more of the Finnish language. We attended the Senior Missionary Day in Helsinki and attended the Temple there. We made and served a lot of homemade treats. We drove to many places. We made many good friends that we will never forget. We love our mission and love the people we serve.

Nice day at the temple.
Thank you for your prayers, love and support in every way. Thank you for your emails, letters and packages. Our prayers are with you. We are very blessed. We love you very much. Enjoy the photo tour. :-)
Stairway to the temple.
Beautiful from every angle.
At the temple with
President& Sister Watson
Senior Missionaries 2016
Good company, good meal.
The best baked salmon
The best dessert.

Snow makes everything beautiful.
Snowy roads but safe.

Country scenery.
More country road.
Ski poles & a worn out broom.
Walkers ski everywhere.

People ride their bikes in the snow.
People ride bikes everywhere.

Train Station
Many travel by train.
Road into the City Center.

Mailboxes are yellow.
Elder Hunt mailing a letter.
A popular gas station eatery.

Looking across the river.
You can only get this rare item
in the mail from home in America.
Elder Hunt's Car Wash 
Don't forget to wash the wheels.
Playing patty cake with Sister Hunt
Winter birds in feeder & in the bushes.
Walkway snow remover.
It comes comes every morning. 

Logs being railed away. 
Missionaries on the way to
Zone Conference In Mikkeli

Missionaries walking from
Zone Conference
Elder & Sister Hunt with a
Friendly Bear in the country

Saturday, February 20, 2016

February Snowflake

We are enjoying the month of February. We have been very busy and working hard that we did not realize that it was mid month. The days are now getting longer with more sunlight. The river in front of our house started to thaw but it froze again. Every now and then we see a white rabbit hopping across the frozen river. We always try to get a picture of it but we are never in a situation to do so. All we have are his tracks as he passes our house on his way to the river.

For our district meetings we go to another city, Kuopio. It is a two hour drive. We take with us our young Elders to the meeting every week. It is always a lively and a happy trip. There is a Senior Couple there and a set of Sisters and a set of  Elders. The common language used there is English with Finnish for parts of the meeting. After the meeting we eat our lunch and then drive home. Lately our trips have been on snowy days. It is a beautiful drive with lots of frozen lakes and rivers along the way.

Every Monday we have Family Home Evening in our home. We have six people who come regularly, and a few others who show up on occasion. We have a short meaningful lesson and then play a game or games and serve refreshments.
Sister Hunt has been making the refreshments by baking a delicious sweet bread or cake like banana bread or crazy cake. It is fun for her since she loves to bake. She says some of the tools and gadgets in the kitchen are still unfamiliar to her. Also new to her is the way of baking by lining the pan with a baking sheet (paper) and then place the bread or cake mixture on it and bake it.

On February 9th we attended a Senior Day Conference in Helsinki. All the senior missionaries in Finland got together at the Mission Home for an uplifting and fun meeting.
There were senior couple missionaries, mission home office workers, temple workers and President and Sister Watson. It started out with President Watson telling about "Life's Defining Moments". Many of the stories were from the Book of Mormon. An example story is Lehi taking his family across the ocean to escape the destruction of Jerusalem, his homeland. That was Lehi's defining moment when he and his family left his beloved homeland and everything they owned except a few things that would help them survive. They left to find a new home on a land far away across the ocean. He probably experienced great stresses, difficulties, challenges and trials. But through it all it was his faith and trust in God that helped him and his family to establish a new home in peace and prosperity.

Then each person told about their life's defining moment. It was interesting of what each person's defining moment was. Next each couple was given 30 minutes to present a previously-assigned gospel topic to present and lead a discussion. The Assistants to the President also presented.
 Some of the topics were Charity Never Faileth, How to Strength Young Single Adults, Visiting the Temple Often, Finland, The Creation - Fall - Atonement, and Blessings of the Book of Mormon. They were interesting presentations. Then the closing remarks were given by President Watson. He told us that we were all chosen to serve here in Finland at this time and that we are angels to all we serve. His words and counsel are always uplifting.

The next day we attended the Helsinki temple. It is very beautiful.
The meals were so delicious and all healthy foods. Different couples brought their food assigments. Then all the sisters prepared the food. The desserts were so wonderful in sight and taste. It was truly a rewarding day. We renewed friendships with old friends and made new friends. We stayed at the mission home upstairs where the new incoming elders stay. Another senior couple, the Melbys stayed in the suite where we stayed when we first arrived in Finland in November.

Other events this month: We helped moved a family and stored their things in their summer country cottage. It was so beautiful with snow everywhere with a country home. There was a rug loom that the family used for generations. It still had an unfinished rug on it.

We have been visiting a member out in the country. She lives in a beautiful place with fields, forsest, and lakes all around her. We loved helping her shovel the snow and clearing pathway between her house and garage.

The school gives their students a winter break. Then a new session begins with a new start in all subjects. There was a parade of students in trucks to celebrate this occasion.

We also got a new car. The best thing it has is an updated navigator which every car should have. Without it we would be lost all the time. It speaks English :) so we are never lost with its directions. We have to plug the car in every night to keep it from freezing.

We love Finland and the wonderful and kind Finnish people. We see them walking and skiing on the walkways every day. Some play with their children in the snow. Some throw snowballs onto the frozen river. When we visit them we are greeted at the door kindly and they invite us in. It is customary to take off your shoes or winter boots and coats, hats and scarf and hang them up before entering the main part of the home. Then we are served pastry and herbal tea. Many times we have been invited to have dinner with them. We have made many good friends. We are happy to serve as the Lord's missionaries in Finland. We love the Lord. Our testimonies have been strengthen by living here.

Thank you all for your love, prayers and support in every way. We love your emails and letters. We love you very much.