I hope that you all have had a wonderful start to your new year! Anyone make New Year's Resolutions?? I sure did! One of them I will tell you more about in the Spiritual Thought today. So, I guess I can tell you all about our awesome New Year Celebration! We were able to celebrate New Years Eve with the Siikavaara family. The same family we were at for Christmas Day. They have very quickly become my very good friends! I will be sad when I have to leave them, but we will definitely stay in touch! We were not allowed to proselyte on New Years Eve so we pretty much spent the day at their house eating really good food and having great conversations. The father of the family is not a member and can actually speak Finnish!! Have I told you that?? Anyway, Elder Rautio was able to talk with him and the two of them bonded, partly because of their love for hockey! So, that was cool.
This year the fireworks were just as crazy as last year. Very dangerous though. Little kids, mostly immigrants, are still running around with lit rockets and fire-crackers! Nuts! haha It still amazes me just how big fireworks are here. Sure, they miss out on the 4th of July, but they truly do make up for it on New Years!
Anyway, the work is going a bit slow right now, but that's mainly due to the holidays. But, those are over now. Time to bring the Gospel in! We are looking forward to a large upswing in the work, and we are working to see that happen!
I did know that BYU won their Bowl Game against Tulsa! Way to go Cougars! Always feels good to have another bowl game under your belt! Next season will be fun to watch and I am sure that we will do even better!
So, I was able to start my new year by giving another talk in church! haha I was called on Friday and asked to speak about something from General Conference. I read through the Liahona and found a great talk by Elder Richard G. Scott. It was exactly related to a District Meeting I had just given and really focused on something I have been thinking about recently. Agh! I am getting into my Spiritual Thought already!! haha I will just skip it for now and get to the e-mails before I forget!
Okay first up today is Matt! Okay, I guess I should come clean to you... You said in your e-mail that you wish we could have Skyped... I assume that you meant with the video and all... Well, funny you mention it.. We were actually given permission from President Newell to Skype home if we so desired. Heh heh.. lol! Dad had already purchased the calling cards plus I just didn't want to Skype with the video feed. I will see you all live soon enough. No need to do it now! ;) So, sorry about that! :) I had a great time though! You have asked about our P-days.. Lately they have been pretty boring. Not too much to do right now with the weather like this. Our preparation days normally consist of shopping for food or looking at shops, and of course e-mailing home to you! We take it easy and rest to get prepared for the week of work that we have ahead of us. So, BYU is doing well with sports! Very good to hear! Keep following them so you can fill me in! You took Molly to a palace?!?! Are you trying to make her love you more than me?? Watch it brotha.. haha ;) jkjk I am glad she was able to get some royal treatment! You found my old phone?? Where was it? Was it in my old things? Why are you going through all of that! You DO remember that I was there when Josh and Kevin were gone.. You can't have my clothes! :) hehe I think your idea of getting me an iPhone is a great one! I am completely okay with that. haha But that wont be for a long while. All in good time! Haha I love you Matt! I hope you drive carefully and take the Spirit with you wherever you go! By the way... Thanks for NOT telling me about the whole Suburban thing. You played me like a fiddle! jkjk I love you man! Have a great week!
Okay moving right along to Dad! I love you Dad! The weather here is just like you described it there. Warm and not too much snow. It comes every once and a while but it is basically just freezing rain and it all goes away by the next day. It is very strange that we still have green grass and green plants... Whats going on?!?! But like you, I am not complaining. I am a missionary for a living and the dry streets are no problem for me! ;) haha I think you have it right about the answers to prayers and fasting. I have been blessed and I am continuing to be blessed as I serve with all I got! You asked about the last transfer... It should happen sometime soon here probably in a week or so. Next e-mail might have some specific info for you but you know either way I will keep you informed! :) Am I learning Finnish?? Is that possible?? haha Yeah, Äldste Rautio is teaching me some cool phrases, but not too many.. Finnish is hard! ;) We will see how much more I can learn! So you got the Stratus up and running again? That is good! I am sure that Matt will treat it like a little angel! He better! Anyway, I love you very much Dad! Thank you for your strong Spirit and the love you send along with your e-mails every week! I love you!
Okay, now on to Mom! I love you Mom! Oh no. Oh NOOOOO!! Not 1PM Church!!! Anything but that! haha I am only kidding. It is not THAT bad, but I guess it is not the best time. We have to be fair to the other wards though! Right? Maybe?? :) It sounds like you truly are enjoying the music in Primary.. No surprise there! I agree completely with you about the simple yet vital truths talked about in the music of the church. It is awesome! Truly music has a power to touch the very souls of mankind at a level that no other form of communication can.. Except the Spirit of course.. but I believe that music can help us feel the Spirit. It is great!!! So, you also asked about the transfer. I continue to pray with you about the transfer. I know that it will be a good one no matter what happens! :) We will work hard and do all that we were sent here to do!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LANDON!!!! ONE YEAR!!!! haha That little man is awesome! Thank you sooooo very much for the awesome pictures! It looks like he enjoyed his cake and party get-up! could have used more cake on his face though.. ;) haha! He seems to be growing fast and I hope that he is always doing well! In my prayers every day! :)
Well Mom I can guarantee that I am continuing to smile and sing every single day! It's who I am! It's in my blood! I hope that you too do the very same thing! Be happy with everything life brings you! I love you very much Mom! Have a great week and a wonderful start to your New Year! Happy 2012!!!
Okay well everyone I better get to the Spiritual Thought I was telling you all about earlier! I have been thinking a lot lately about the scriptures. There is a song on one of the CD's Mom sent to me called "Stronger". It talks about how the scriptures can make us stronger and become the air that we need to breathe in every day. I have met many people who have experienced that incredible knowledge of the scriptures, and I have felt the power of the scriptures many times on my mission... But I want more. I want more of the wonderful Spirit that comes from DAILY scripture study. No, I am not talking about the 5 or 10 minutes before bed or in the morning, but a good sit down study of the scriptures every day. I hope that this year I can continue that and read from all of the standard works. The talk I used for my talk in church was by Elder Richard G. Scott. He focused on how scriptures can become friends that are not limited by distance or schedules. They provide support and guidance and give us strength when we need it. I have made many New Years resolutions and I hope that you all have too. Lets make this year great and do all that we can to focus on that which truly is important for us here in this life. I've decided to start with the "hand book" of life. The Scriptures! :) It will be great!
****I testify that our Father in Heaven loves us and cares about us. He wants us to GROW and DEVELOP while here on this Earth, not just endure or survive!****
Let us put our feet forward knowing and trusting in faith that our Father will help us do that which he has so lovingly asked us to do! I love you all so very much! You are incredible! I love my family! Have a great New Year!
Trogen och Stadig, Är Jag Redo!!!!!
Faithful and Steady, I AM Ready!!!!!
Äldste Kundis :) :) :)