Sunday, November 16, 2014

Home Again in the Helsinki Temple!!!

Elder and Sister Brasher at the front door of the Helsinki Temple
The exciting news of the week is that we were called and set apart this week as ordinance workers in the Helsinki Temple!  It was an emotional experience for both of us - We love the temple!  Brother Marjanen, the 2nd counselor in the temple presidency set us apart.  I'm not being disrespectful when I refer to him as Brother - in Finland the title President is reserved for leaders of countries only.  The one exception in the church is the prophet who is referred to as President Monson. Here are a few pictures of the Helsinki Temple.  It is a little smaller than the Sacramento Temple, but has the same general floor plan.  The location is excellent - on a rock bluff next to a major road.  We have been attending the temple weekly since we arrived, and it has been a blessing.  We have participated in ordinances in Finnish, Russian and English.

We begin our service next week and will be studying the ordinances in both Finnish and Russian.  We will generally work two mornings a week (usually Tuesday and Thursday) from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Mornings are pretty quiet for us with the YSA so this will be a welcome addition to our service.

Russian members come from the Saint Petersbur Stake about one week a month, but there have Russians there almost every time we have been there.  Plenty of opportunity to practice my Russian, I even got to perform some baptisms in Russian a few weeks ago.  It does get a little confusing as I find myself inserting Finnish words into Russian conversations and Russian words into Finnish conversations.  So far I haven't had that problem in English conversations.

Anne's Finnish is coming, although it is too easy to get by here in English.  But she continues to work at it.  Below are a few more pictures of the temple.  On our previous mission in Vladivostok we were able to serve as restricted ordinance workers in the Russian language when we took members to the Seoul Korea Temple.  And we were able to do a few ordinances in Russian in the Sacramento Temple, so they should come back to us pretty quickly.  The Finnish ordinances may take a bit longer since we haven't done them as ordinance workers yet.

Some of the autumn colors on the temple grounds.

We stopped by the temple on the way home from a meeting with some young
adults.  It was a clear night with an almost full moon.  The temple stood as
beacon on a hill to all who drove by.

This building is at the bottom of the hill and has apartments for temple missionaries
 and members who travel from Northern  Finland, Russia, Estonia, and Latvia
to come to the temple.  There is also a very nice double kitchen and dining area that
we use when we have young single adult temple activities.

Elder Brasher with Seija Loven Puikonen and her husband.  Seija was taught by Elder Brasher and Elder Martin 45 years ago.  She and husband live in Utah now, but spent most of the last summer in Finland.  We were able to meet them at the temple just before they returned back to the states in September.

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