Hei! (that’s how to say “hey” in Finnish),
Sorry I didn’t write yesterday, i didn’t get time in finland to do the whole email thing. I’d like to quickly say a few things before I forget (I probably will only get about 20 minutes to write this email).
I got a package from the YM of Innsbrook ward, including CD’s by Brock! Thanks a lot, guys! For some reason it took a pretty long time to get to me (no one can figure out what the Russian post does with packages and letters. Sometimes they come in a week, sometimes they don’t ever come). It was really nice to get the candy and games and letters– i really appreciated it!
Jeff and Emily– thanks for your letter. I got it just before leaving on my visa trip and it was really nice to hear from you guys. It’s wild to hear how fast your family is growing up! Did I ever send the picture of me holding that ferret? If not I’ll have to send it next time (I don’t have my hard drive with me).
Zoe– I got your letter– thanks so much! It was so fun to hear from you. I’ve got another letter already in the mail for you– hopefully it’ll get to you before you leave to college(??)
My report on Helsinki:
So we flew in to Moscow Tuesday morning. We got permission to take a small group of missionaries down to Red Square in the city where we took some cool pictures, browsed the Russian souvenirs, and headed back on the metro to the airport. It was interesting to be in the city with all the hype about the fires in Moscow. Apparently smog has been really awful lately because of fires, which has caused all sorts of problems in Moscow. While we were there the smog wasn’t as bad as I’ve seen it in some dramatic photographs, but it was very noticable.
We made it into Helsinki Tuesday evening and had a little bit of time to head out into the city, walk around a bit, find some food and then make it to the temple housing by night. We walked down by the river, took some fun pictures, and just spent lots of time together talking and enjoying each other’s company. This was the last visa trip of Sister Calderwood, who has been with me since the beginning of the mission in the MTC! (She was in our district of 12; 6 of those 12 went to Novosibirsk along with missionaries from other districts) So it was pretty unnverving to realize that a sister missionary from my group will be going home soon– that means that I’m getting old (according to “mission life”)!
We spent time in the Helsinki temple, where I bumped into Roman Ignatyev– my second companion on the mission who served with me my second transfer in Kemerovo– and his WIFE! That was also a shocker: seeing someone who would still be serving a mission if it weren’t for his knee problems already MARRIED (he got married back in April). It was lots of fun to talk to him and hear how his life is working out.
Then we headed back to the airport, flew through the night, got home early Thursday and slept.
I think I had a deeper thought to share with you but I can’t think of it right now and I’m pretty much out of time. I’ll try to send you a couple pictures from my trip!
PS We have 3 baptisms coming up TOMORROW! 😀 Our investigator Alexei and his wife, Marina and an investigator of the Office Elders, Vitali. So we’d appreciate your prayers that everything will work out fine and that they’ll all three continue on to be strong members in the church.