Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Finally in the land of 18,000 lakes!‏

Woooohhhooooo, finally here in Finland, first letter!!!!
Ok, so I havent been able to have a pday last week since this time last week I was traveling to Finland so there has been a bunch that has happened.  So this is going to be a pretty long letter.
So I left the MTC at 6am. Normally missionaries, especially international missionaries leave at 3 30am so we got to sleep in a bit.  We first flew from SLC to Dallas, and then from Dallas to England.  It was weird leaving Utah knowing I wouldnt be seeing those beautiful rocky mountains for two years, but thats ok! On the 12 hour flight to England I sat next to a scottish guy named Charles. He was a really nice guy, and me and him chatted most of the flight. I told him what I was doing and he seemed genuinly interested.  I ended up giving him a book of mormon which he said he would really read, so im hoping he will.  He even asked if it would be ok if he got some Alchohol because he knew I didnt drink and said he would respect that and not drink next to me haha. But I just said that he has the agency to do what he wants, but I still got the word in that Alchohol isnt good for you. But he was a really cool guy, and his son looked like Justin Bieber, except hes 11 haha.  It was weird.  Anyway, in the British airport, Vanhin Monterosso and I ended up talking to a guy from India, he was really cool. The cool thing about Elder Monterosso is hes been a convert for only 2 years, and hes 23 now. He knows about every religion super well because thats what he studied in college before he joined the church, so hes SUPER knowlegable about other religions and can show the similarities to people of there church and ours. Super cool elder.  
Anyway, the flight to Helsinki was about 3 hours and I slept most of the time. We landed in Helsinki, and went right to the mission home. For a house, the mission home is super nice in Finland. Very modern and big.  We had a really good dinner and slept over. The next morning we got to meet our trainers and mine is Vanhin Findley. Super cool guy from Seattle Washington. He went to USU though before he came so he knows Utah.  We then went off to our areas.  My area is in a pretty decent sized town called jyväskylä. Its a pretty city, very modern. Are apartment is super modern and nice.  The train ride from Helsinki to Jyväskylä was about 3 hours. I ended up in the train station placing to pass along cards. I really cant understand much of what the Finns are saying haha, but I try my best and I can get the message across.  But I ended up giving away two handout cards speaking in Finnish.  Then on the trainride I talked (more of struggled through a conversation)  to a Finn and ended up getting his contact info to give to other missionaries. I can speak a lot better Finnish then I can understand.  In lessons I dont understand much, but everyday I can understand more and more of conversations which is good.  Most of the time I bear my testimony, or teach short part of lessons.  Most people speak english here to, so if I have a question sometimes Ill ask them how to say a word in Finnish.  
Right now Vanhin Findley and I are in a rebuilding phase, because most of our investigators dont want to meet.  We have this couple, whos names are Keijo and Saari. Saari was baptised not to long ago, but Keijo hasnt been yet. He still has trouble with smoking which were trying to help him out with.  But the thing about it, is EVERYONE smokes in Europe. EVERYBODY. Its not good. Most teens even smoke.  But through the atonement of Jesus Christ everything is possible. Anyway so we keep trying with him, Jyväskylä is also a cool college town so theres some people here who just speak english. They come from other countries because schooling in Finland is free.  We may have a few potential investigators, a couple from russia, and other african countries. 
But I know the Book of Mormon is true and if we listen to gods council he will bless our lives.  
Mina rakastan kaikki sinua
I love all of you!
Vanhin Ford
PS  the apartments here are super solid, and all the houses. They have super think insulation so the heat stays trapped in super good and thats good cause heating is expensive in finland.  We also have a sauna in our bathroom except we cant use it.

PSS also the temple is super pretty here to. Pictures dont do much justice.

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