Sunday, March 15, 2015

Mustelma - Bruise

We drove with Sana-Maria from Helsinki to Lahti (B) where we picked up Ella;
then on to Oulu (C) where the event was held: On Sunday we stopped for church in
Kajaani (D) on the way home.
A couple of weeks ago we drove with two young adult sisters to an annual YSA event in Oulu (see map on the right).  The event is called Mustelma or Bruise.  There is a dance on Friday evening, workshops and winter games on Saturday, and a dance Saturday evening.  Not sure where the name comes from - perhaps the snow games on Saturday.  This year there wasn't enough snow for outdoor games, so they played some inside games - but I'm sure a few people were bruised in some of the more active games.

This is a typical winter scene in the country - a red house tucked away in the trees, gray sky, white snow.  It is beautiful!  Unfortunately my photography doesn't do it justice.
Saturday lunch included grillattu makkaraa (roasted hot dogs), although most
people chose the build your own sandwiches inside.

The event was held in a school, with those staying overnight sleeping on the floors in the halls and classrooms.  Here they are playing Wizards, Gnomes and Bears.  It's kind of like rock-paper-scissors.  Each team huddles and decides what they will be.  Then the teams face each other and on the count of three make the sign for the agreed upon character - Wizards beat Bears, Bears beat Gnomes, and Gnomes beat Wizards.  Depending on your character you either chase and capture the opposing team members, or run to safety at the end of the gym.  It was a lively game and I'm sure there were a few bruises!

Sunday morning we went to church in Kajaani.  We also started a
photo collection of these road signs.  Each community has its own
crest.  We collected about 20 of them on the way home.

Here we are with Ella and Sanna-Maria, our two traveling companions.  This is after church in Kajaani.  The branch here is fairly small and they were happy to welcome us.  They meet in a rent hall, that is very nice.  I had the opportunity of chatting in Russian with one of the Elders' investigators.
As we drove around the south harbor in Helsinki, just a few blocks from our apartment we saw this beautiful scene.  The sky had been overcast for most of our trip, and cleared up just as we came into Helsinki.
A few of our young adults - one of the smaller groups we had for dinner.  The young man next to Anne was just baptized a few hours previous.  And the other two joined us to celebrate with dinner.  He is Nepalese and is amazing!

We finished up the month with another young adult dinner.  The couple on the left are Maria and Fredrik malsten - she is Finnish and he is Swedish.  He served a mission in Vladivostok, and so we have a few things in common.  Mirelle and Helianna, the other two young ladies are sisters, and the young men are their boyfriends, Jonne and Stuart.

We continue to love our mission and our association with these remarkable young people.  The gospel is true and is wonderful to see how it blesses their lives and adds purpose to what they do.  As much as we love them, we also look forward to the opportunities to FaceTime with our family at home.  It's almost like being with them!

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