Baby Carriages, Fly Dressed People, Speedos…
Is it really already time to write again?? Wow… well here goes…
First off thanks for all the birthday love! I was spoiled rotten from people all around the world:) My companion Sisar Lafferty really made the day special from the second I woke up to the second I went to bed. First she made me a cute little scavenger hunt (that was all in Finnish) to do, as well as made me pancakes, told everyone we met it was my birthday, made brownies with me (shocking I know!), and so so much more! In between everything we played a lot of Skip-Bo (I love that she likes playing games as much as me, and may even be more competitive as me. She didn’t even let me win even though it was my birthday!). Our ward was so cute to me as well. The Relief Society President got me a little bag of treats, and then everyone who found out came up and gave me hugs/sang me happy birthday/etc. It was a really fun day. After church we made dinner and went and ate it down by the river which was probably my favorite part of the day. I felt so lucky to be able to just relax and take in just how lucky I was. I mean I was sitting in a beautiful city in Finland, next to a really cool river, eating delicious food, had fantastic company… what more can a girl ask for?
The rest of the week was pretty great too… We had zone conference so we were able to travel to Tampere (about 2 hours away by train). It was fun to meet new people, see Sisar Toomey again, and visit a new city. We also ate at the Chinese Buffet where I was able to get curry!! I was in heaven! I’ve missed curry so much (hint hint… if anyone has any easy, good recipes send them my way:). The next day our STL’s came and did splits. It was really fun to mix things up a bit and they’re both darling girls so it was pretty much just having a fun girl party for two days.
Beyond all that it’s been relatively normal. We had a few dinner appointments. Sometimes they’re really hard because of the language barrier but then there are other times (like our one last night) that are just a blast! Everyone is always really kind and loving which is something I really appreciate about the members here in Finland. They always want to help and are very eager to do missionary work. Generally we ask them to write down their testimonies so that we can put them in the Book of Mormon’s we give out which has proven to be pretty cool. But anyway, back to last night! The couple we ate with was darling! They were both super spunky and fun to joke around with. We ate crepes with meat, and salad. Then for desert we used the rest of the crepes and filled them with ice cream, carmel, jam, strawberries…. mmmm it was divine! They are also very fluent in English (and german, and swedish, and many other languages – that’s Finns for ya they all know at least 3 languages generally), which made it fun because I could still joke around with them in English when I ran out of the few Finnish words I know. They were just interesting people in general. Which speaking about Finnish… it’s coming I suppose. I still have my hard days, the past couple of days have been better than normal though so that’s reassuring! A lot of the time though I just sit there and have no idea what’s happening, like seriously it’s a successful day when I can pick out 3 words from a conversation ha. They just talk so fast!
Well that’s it… I don’t have much more to say for this week so I’ll sign off with some of my favorite things about Finland and Turku!
+ The Dad’s with their kids… this may sound super weird but it’s become one of my favorite things. Dad’s and Mom’s get maternity leave here for a year or so. So you always see Dad’s (a lot of times there these tatted up tough looking guys) walking with baby carriages. It’s my favorite! Also, in general you just see Dad’s with their kids and families going to the parks a lot more here than I’ve ever seen before. Family is a big deal to Finns which is really cool!
+ Baby carriages… everyone uses them instead of strollers, it’s super cute!
+ Drying racks… random cool thing. In every home the cabinets above the sink are actually full of drying racks instead of shelves allowing the water to drip into the sink. And then you don’t have to have your dishes drying on the counter, and your kitchen looks a lot cleaner! It’s pretty cool actually. (I’ll try to remember and send pictures).
+ No shame… Finns and Europeans in general have no shame. For example yesterday we saw a really old, wrinkly, tan, man mowing his lawn in a speedo… cause no one wants a farmer’s tan when they go to Sauna on Saturday night! lol, that would just be an embarrassment!
+ This city… Turku is magical. I love it and even though I don’t really have much to compare it to I could absolutely see myself choosing to live here. There’s everything here! I also really love that it’s a huge city and yet it’s still really pretty quite. Like we were walking through the Tori (city center) last Saturday night and it was still so peaceful. Plus everyone is super fly dressers and have cool hair, like I’m pretty sure they all just walked out of an H&M of Marrimeko Catalog.
I love you all! Have an incredible week!