Date

December 28, 2021

Area

Tampere

Companion

Mia Johnson

Hyvää Joulua and Merry Christmas

Welp Im writing this from my couch at 9.58 pm on monday night aka peve aka pday eve. Ive got a bucket of fried rice and were laughing about the pictures we took in our christmas onesies while simulataneously planning the seven layer dip were going to make tomorrow to feed our mexican cravings. This is what we call Christmas week hangover.

It was such a fun week. Sorry for the late email last week. We were BUSY. But sending emails is literally my favorite thing so I couldnt miss a week and I already had it drafted.

We started out with a little trip to Espoo during the last two hours of pday. We got to ride with a ton of missionaries. We visited some YSA and one of them served in AZ and her sisters both lived in my ward in Vaasa so we had a good little chat.

The next day we caught a tram to Marjaniemi and then a bus full of only missionaries to the church. The entire mission had a Christmas conference and lets just say it was the hypest party thats happened in the era of corona. (Side note an elder described his homecoming date to my companion today as the 12th day of the 1st month in the third year of corona and we died laughing) We were in charge of the spiritual program and by we I mean us STLs and the Tampere Zone Leaders. It went so well!!! We had some really cool people share some really cool testimonies. One of the senior couple elders was taught finnish in the MTC by another one of the senior couple sisters. It was really cute when he thanked her in Finnish during his testimony. The conference consisted of that meeting, karaoke, a talent show where an elder sang a remix to Let it Go in which he roasted us all so bad, and a giant white elephant gift exchange. I got to see all my favorites and took a sad selfie with Pabst just incase I never see him in the mission again. Its weird that Im getting that old. Four and a half more minutes.

We spent Christmas Eve with our bishops family and their cousins. It was so fun. Its finnish tradition to go to the cemetery and place candles for your loved ones. Me and J both put candles for our grandpas. Santa comes and they open presents on Christmas eve so we got to experience that. He brought us gifts too. If you didnt know, the north pole is in Rovaniemi, Finland and Santa's village is there.

On Christmas we spent time with another family and I could not get over how cute the little grandkids were. As we ate the 2 year old would say Hyvää! after every bite. We played Finnish scrabble and that was the hardest game Ive ever played. We read the Christmas story but not the classic, we read the Book of Mormon version and that was really cool. Me and J had made a quiche in the morning so we brought that to the church after our member appointment and had a family dinner with the other missionaries.

Fun fact in Finland Christmas is 3 days long so on Sunday we also celebrated. After church, which we went to two different wards of because one of the elders was speaking, we went to a members house and had some really stinking good salmon. Here they have this ranch like sauce that they put on the salmon and its SO GOOD. We went to the cemetery with them also. 2 different cemeteries and played with the cutest kids. One of them climbed on the chair behind me and started playing with my hair and I was in literal heaven.

Also another fun fact which is not so fun... in Finland Christmas food is basically baby food. They have like 7 different types of traditional casseroles and sometimes theyre good but most of the time theyre just mush. Liver, Carrot, potato, sweet potato, etc.... mush. But I survived.

We spent today (monday) planning the week but we took a break to follow a prompting J felt to go walk around this neighborhood we accidentally found while driving to the church one day. 14 months into the mission and I finally knocked my first door. I dont know if thats legal or what but I had a Mormonin Kirja in hand and a heck ton of confidence and when I made eye contact with the wife of the man I had seen through the window I knew there was a family inside and we had to go talk to them. The son answered and said his parents were home. The mom came and rejected us but she was nice. We went on our way but I'd still call it a success. We knocked 2 more doors and talked to a couple people on the streets. I left a Book of Mormon in the stroller basket on one of the porches we knocked at. You gotta get creative sometimes you know. Haha its been a really good week you guys. God is good.

From reading the story of Jesus Christ's birth in the Book of Mormon I thought it was really interesting the contrast between his birth and death. I've always really liked contrast (thats the reason I go through phases of hating the fact that my hair and skin are the same color) Contrast is cool. There has to be an opposite for us to really appreciate the true blessing. Strange but its true. When Christ was born it was a marvelous thing. The sun set but it was still light. When He died it was dark, so dark that no form of light could have any impact until He rose again. He is the light of the world and He is the source of all blessings and joy. He shows us that there is contrast in this life. For every bad there is an even better good because of Him. I am grateful for the birth of my Savior but in contrast I am also grateful for the death of my Savior because in His death blessings were made a reality.

I love you and God loves you infinitely more! Our Heavenly Father, Heavenly Mother, and Jesus Christ would do anything for you. They love you so much!

Love,
Sisar Keeks Johnson

P.s. I somehow managed to break a tag and lose a tag all in one week so now Im down to one and Im terrified of losing it

Pics
The most epic onesies
Got to see Bagwell finally
First time the whole MTC districts been together ever
Sweet members
Christmas eve dinner
Candles
Me i




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Finland Helsinki Mission
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