Sunday, November 29, 2015

Oneaa Kiitospäivää!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thanksgiving is not an official holiday in Finland, but that didn't mean that we missed the traditional turkey dinner - in fact we enjoyed no less than four Thanksgiving dinners in the past eight days!  And all of them were delicious.

On Friday, 20 Nov we had a Thanksgiving dinner in our ward for investigators and fellowshippers.  It was a lot of fun and we had a good turnout.

Carving the turkey and adding the finishing touches for our ward Thanksgiving
dinner.  Sisters Kwok and Carter, and Elder Grooms.

Oh boy!!!  This looks good enough to eat!  And it was delicious.

Our Thanksgiving dinner group for the Helsinki 3rd ward investigators, new members and friendshippers!
Saturday morning we went with the young adults to the Temple.  It was the first time for Gökmen - one of my Turkish adopted sons.  He was baptized in October.

On Sunday afternoon some of the senior missionaries went to the traditional Christmas opening on Senate Square in front of the big Lutheran cathedral.  About an hour of entertainment preceded the official lighting of the Christmas tree and street lights in the shopping district.  One number which brought some nostalgia was "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" sung in English.  I even got to dance with my sweetheart, although we were the only ones to take advantage of the opportunity.

The lighting of the tree was followed by the Christmas parade.  Unfortunately, due to the cold we missed the parade, but enjoyed hot chocolate and cookies in our apartment!
From left to right Anne and I, Sister Wade, Sister Racker (in back with blue scarf), Sister Peckham, Elder Racker's hat (dark blue hat behind Sister Peckham, Pres. and Sister Watson.

Then on Monday, 23 Nov we had another turkey dinner with the Temple and office missionaries at the Temple guesthouse.  What a wonderful group of missionaries we are able to serve with, including three who served at the same time as me 47 years ago!

Fruit skewer appetizer turkey!

Our dinner table with the Temple and office missionaries.

Our Temple and office missionary group picture.
On Wednesday evening Anne prepared another Thanksgiving dinner for the YSA pre-institute dinner!  They loved it - so much that there was nothing left for Anner and me!!!

On Thursday, the traditional Thanksgiving day, Anne and I went to the Temple for our regular morning shift.  We got home at 3 just in time for a missionary discussion with Tilson, an investigator who we were helping the Elders teach the final discussions before his baptism on Saturday (which ended up being postponed).  The there was another discussion that I had with Urs, a young man from Germany who had some questions about the Book of Mormon, and then finally a discussion with Jean-Louis, who will be baptized this coming Saturday.  Jean-Louis wanted some help getting started on FamilySearch.  It was fun working with him.  While Jean-Louis has been preparing for baptism here in Finland, he learned that his 10 year old daughter and her mother, were also preparing for baptism in Paris!!!

Jean-Louis and I working on his family history on FamilySearch.  Jean-Louis is also in my Finnish class and English language institute class!  He is a good man!!
We were able to get up early Friday morning and FaceTime with our family in California as they enjoyed their Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday afternoon.  We are so grateful for modern technology which allows us to communicate - but we still miss the hugs!!!

Finally, yesterday we went with Pres. and Sister Watson, and Sister Peckham to Kouvola, a few hours north of Helsinki, for their ward Thanksgiving dinner.  What fun we had!  We were able to help the local missionaries in an activity with the primary children making pilgrim hats and Indian headbands.

Carved my third turkey of the Thanksgiving season!

It's been a wonderful Thanksgiving week.  We are so blessed to have this opportunity of serving in Finland.  We are thankful for our family and their goodness. ...for good friends. ...for good health and a comfortable home, and plenty to eat.  We are mindful of so many who are in need and seek to do what we are able to help them.  We are grateful for the church and the opportunity which it affords us to contribute to those in need with the assurance that our donations will be well applied.

Most of all we are grateful for our Heavenly Father's love, and for His Son, Jesus Christ!

No comments:

Post a Comment