Sunday, October 2, 2011

Work! Worry! Wonderful!

Who can guess what this is? Everyone guess...we will put the answer at the end of the blog.
Let me know who guesses right!

Hello again! Has it really been three weeks since our last blog update?  We have been working and working and working.  We are trying to catch up with what needs to be done and we are beginning to know what to do.  We stay late at the office when necessary and worked Saturday.  We have had a few challenging mistakes, which of course, challenges attitude and perspective. But, we are remaining diligent and determined!

It has also been weeks of worry and prayer concerning my older sister who had heart surgery.  She is doing better, but has been and still is in ICU.  Her family, goodness, special ways and my favorite memories have been on our minds daily.


We have had some very special spiritual experiences with missionary work and the power of prayer. We have had several opportunities to go to "teachs" with the young elders and sisters.  Those have been interesting and enlightening.  These young people know how to love investigators with open hearts and minds. We attended a baptism for a gentleman from the Congo who has made Finland his home for the past 14 years.  It is Conference week end and watching it at our chapel has been great.  I especially appreciated a talk that one of our leaders gave for the women of our church.  Forget Me Not  It is funny and gives some amazing advice applicable for all christian women.  He is such a fine speaker!

Last Blog entry I mentioned the street signs,
but I neglected to give you examples.
Here's how they are on 99% of the streets.
You can't see them? Nope, neither can we.
These are not helpful when driving!


I want to share a few photos now of some of the architecture of the buildings.

It is beautiful and unusual!


First, here is a photo taken off our balcony...notice the date on the building itself...1907.  
The building and those around our office are very old buildings.  This one is 104 years old!
Sometimes we go out on the balcony to take a breath of fresh air and look down to the sea.  




Fountain in center of town...
 



This is where the President of Finland does business...see the soldier guarding the entrance!    

He stands very still all day...but he is alive!

It has turned fall here very quickly and the leaves are all turning red. 
We are wearing coats and the wind has a chill in it foretelling that winter is around the corner.

This is the entrance to a beautiful park in downtown Helsinki.

At the temple grounds...

This is a tree near our home, but I know the photo does not do the color change justice.
It was beautiful with the sunlight beaming through.
We go to the Sports park each week and thought we would share a few photos taken there outside.

Entrance to the Sports Park...
there are beautiful birch trees all over  Finland.
Ikea uses their excellent lumber to build some of their furniture.
Finland does a wonderful job of managing their forests
...always planting  new trees whenever they cut them down.
Consequently, lumber is one of Finland's best exports.
The last time we went to swim we were not able to swim, again.  More competitions going on!
However, this time it was local youth competitions.  Swimming...which we loved watching and 
another new sport we had never seen before called "European Team Handball". 
It was so fascinating and such a fun sport! We watched some amazing young women athletes compete.

There are several of these fields at the Sports Park.
 Look along the sides how they fix them so that the fans can sit and watch.
 It works almost like bleachers... 
This is instructions on how to do exercises on the outdoor equipment  provided.
The Finnish people generally are very health conscious concerning their diet and exercise!
 There is a terrible problem with their young people smoking that they are trying to thwart.




This photo above is for the Grandkids to see!  Remember what we had on our vacation shirts?
You are are in our thoughts every day...

Remember this funny photo!
Thanks for the heart back there..we love ALL your funny faces!

This photo shows a sailboat race...it was fast and furious!
In each boat is a young person trying to finish the race as a winner...hey, just like each of us!

Did you make your guess about the first photo?  
Here's a hint photo...the machine is at the grocery store.  
See Grandma packing up our groceries.  

In Finland you pack all your own groceries and 
you bring your own bags or you can pay .17 Euros per bag.  
We save our bags, take them each time and reuse them. 
Finland is very big on recycling everything!
  
All our garbage at our apartment has to be sorted and placed in its appropriate bin.  
Grandpa had to pay someone in Kanab so that he could recycle.  Here everyone does it!


Okay...here's the answer:  It is a Bottle Recycling machine.

You put your bottles (glass or plastic) in the hole and the machine tallies what you have put in.  
Then it gives you a credit slip to use inside the grocery store...
sort of like when we used to get money for collecting pop bottles. 

Thanks for reading our blog...it is fun for us to do.  We have some fun ideas for upcoming blogs:
"Churches of Finland"  - "Cruise to Sweden" - "Soumenlinna" 

We love your emails keeping us up to date on what's going on.  
Thank you especially to you Grandchildren for your fun messages!
Keep them coming, we need them to keep 
Mr. Lonesome monster away!

Signing off for now...
Love to all!

2 comments:

Vacation Rental Owner said...

grandma and grandpa we read your blog tonight for family home evening.

Jael says: I was the first one to guess what the recycling machine was, I guessed it right off. I love you and pray for you a lot. Hope you have a great week!!

Conner says: I think the details on the buildings were awesome, I hope you have a great week at missionary work... love you!

Cooper says: I hope you are having a great mission, I love you, I love the trees over there, they are very pretty.

Dad says: Gar sounds like you have found your fellow men, as far as the recycling goes. I am sure you are in heaven. My burn barrel just doesn't seem to be as needed any more. :) Hunting season has been wonderful. Spent last week with Steve Banks he was able to get the biggest buck of his illustrious hunting career. We did have a good time.. Love you both.

Mom says: Thanks for making family home evening fun and and easy..., that's all.

Keenan says: wanna piece of me, pappa... little quote he has been saying as of late.

We love you both very much!!!

John and Peggy said...

Brother and Sister France,
Just got caught up on your blog. What a wonderful and beautiful place. I have a cousin who served there almost forty years ago and still speaks fondly of his time there.
We spent our first Sunday in new surroundings yesterday. It was a little odd to be in Fredonia, but were made very welcome there. Hopefully the new building will go up quickly.
Good luck and God bless you,
John and Peggy Schmutz