Saturday, March 23, 2013

First Pics From Finland!!!

Elder Golling is having a great time on his mission.  He sent home some first pics from the field and a huge long letter.  We email weekly but I really do love to get the letters.  The main part of his letter is talking about all that he is learning.  Here are some highlights:

The language coordinator taught them was about the gift of tongues.  But this could be applied to anything hard or challenging

1.  Have Faith
2.  Hard Work
3.  Pure Motive

He says if you need help with any of this pray for it.  Pray for more Faith, pray to work harder and pray to have a strong motive to do it.

He also talks about dealing with people.  This, I would say, was always a challenge for him so it is good to hear what he has to say and I am sure I can apply it in my life.

When dealing with people, "build people up to the point so that they will realize that they should be better.  Love even better - pure love.  Give into their will until they realize that they should do the same.  If everyone becomes submissive, everyone will feel the Spirit.  More submissiveness is the key to getting along (not in all things but there are lines - follow the Spirit)".

He says that Finnish is crazy hard but it is starting to get easier.  My favorite thing he said about it was when he doesn't know, he just guesses and the Spirit helps him with that.

He sounds awesome and is absolutely loving his mission.  He and his companion are relying on riding bikes everywhere.  He said riding bikes in the snow is not as hard as he thought it would be.

Here are some pics!

Monday, February 11, 2013

First Email from the Field

We got our first email from Michael this morning.  He sounds wonderful!  His companion's name is Elder Ogden.  He says Finland is so cool!  It is also chilly there and there is 3-6 feet of snow everywhere.  He said it is like Mutual Dell with more snow and no mountains.  But, you don't really notice that there are no mountains because there are trees and tall buildings everywhere.  The architecture is very contemporary and they use a lot of granite in the buildings.

He said I would like it there because everyone walks everyday, everywhere.  He said they love granola and have great bread!

He has been there less than a week and they have had two new investigators and taught 19 lessons.  He also said that he gets fed very well.  He had a liver casserole this week and really liked it.  They are teaching three men from Ghana and they apparently speak English very well.

He still says the language is crazy hard but he is loving his mission.  I will keep you all posted as I get more information.  Thanks for the love and prayers!

Friday, February 8, 2013

MTC Pics to go with the last post

 I believe this is his group of Fins
 There were a lot of shots with friends.  I am not sure if he was one of the Fins
 This is some kind of assignment chart
 These were his two companions
 I love this picture!

 This is one of his teachers.  I think Michael is older, what do you think?
 I am assuming this is Christmas at the MTC
I believe this is the Fin group again - Michael or Elder Golling was Zone Leader

Safely in Finland at Last!

Elder Golling has made it safely to Finland.  He left Monday morning with a stop in Chicago and London before landing safely in Helsinki.  We didn't hear anything until yesterday morning from his Mission President but early, early this morning he emailed us and told us quickly that he made it safely.

The area he is in is Jyväskylä, Finland.  Try saying that!  I looked it up on Google Maps and it is very nice there.  There are many water ways and this area is smack dab in the middle of them all.  It is more central to southern Finland.  The name of the area means "Grain Village" but when I looked it up at street level on Google it didn't look like a village to me.  It is very much a city with clean and beautiful street.  At least the area that I Googled looked like that.

Well, his email was short, just "Hi, made it safe, I am in Jyväskylä, I need to buy a bike, I am on a biking mission".  I am sure he is absolutely thrilled to be on a bike.  Michael is all about a good workout.  He actually got super fit (as if he wasn't already) while he was in the MTC.  

He sounds wonderful.  I am supposed to be getting his camera card from when he was in the MTC so I will post pics as soon as I can.  I just wanted to give everyone an update.  

Thanks for all your love and support, Michael has really felt it so far!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Love the Pictures!!!

I do not have any names but there is someone who works with these young men at the MTC who went to Finland 23 years ago.  This week while we were at the Salt Lake Temple lights I received an email with this picture.  The caption on the letter said that these fine young men are doing well with the Finnish language.  It absolutely made my day to get this picture.  I miss seeing my son and an occasional picture is AWESOME!  Don't they look great!

His letters are great.  He said he has many, many meetings.  He also spends whatever free time he has working out.  He said he is the champ at the rowing machine.  That kid...always so competitive!  He sounds so happy.  One of his favorite things is receiving letters.  He loves to hear from everyone.  We have made a point for the whole family to each write a letter to him each week.  I need to keep everyone doing that because he really loves hearing from home.

If we thought his spelling was bad before he left, it is horrible now.  Apparently the vowels are completely different in Finnish and he struggles to write in English.  He write an email home each week and a nice long letter as well.

I just wanted everyone to know that Michael is doing great.  He is loving the MTC and loving being a missionary.  He is extremely appreciative of his mom and dad, which is awesome.  He raves about how well he said he was raised and continually apologizing for anything he may have done growing up.  That part is really fun!  I know he misses home but I also know he is exactly where he wants to be doing exactly what he wants to be doing.  Thanks for loving and caring for him!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Happy in the MTC!

We were fortunate enough to have a couple in our ward work at the MTC.  They saw Elder G and gave him a hug for us.  That was actually a very sweet blessing for meant so much to me. She went back the next week to work at the MTC with her camera and took this picture for us of Michael with his companion.  He looks so good!  He is a District Leader for his group and spends hours in meetings as well as other classes.  I asked him to tell me about what his days and duties are like so hopefully I will hear about that in his next letter.

I have been asking him for advice as to what to study.  He has told me to study the "Preach my Gospel" manual.  He said to start with the Charity section in chapter six.

Elder Golling is doing great.  He is studying very hard and is teaching lessons in Finnish now.  His letters are mixed with English and Finnish.  On one of his emails he went from English to Finnish in mid sentence.  He was in a really big hurry when he emailed and I don't even know if he did that. He said his spelling has gotten really bad.  It wasn't that good to begin with.  

In his spare time at the MTC he is working out very hard.  He is a very physical guy.  He has mastered the rowing machine and is apparently the champ at it.  He has lost inches but is gaining in muscle weight.

He has never been so happy before.  Our friend told us that he just glows of the spirit and is everything a missionary should be.  We are so happy for him!

He really did go to Los Angeles to get his visa.  He and his companions flew to LA and back in a day.  They had lunch in Beverly Hills and said he saw some really "sick" cars there.

He misses his friends and family but he is exactly where he wants to be.  Hopefully I will post again soon.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

First Letter Home

I did not have a new picture so this is a picture we took the Sunday of his farewell.
This was the picture we took of him modeling his new P coat, he loves that thing...Hope it is warm enough!

We received our first letter from Elder Golling (finally!).  I know it has not been that long but when Monday came and went and we did not hear from him I was sad about that.  Anyway, turns out his Pday (preparation day to do laundry, email home, go to the temple, etc) is on Wednesday so he cannot email home until tomorrow.  Anyway...his letter was great.

I forgot to mention that the day Michael left we had to take him to the doctor because his throat looked scary to say the least.  So, the culture was negative for strep but the doctor went ahead and gave him an antibiotic.  It turns out that he got some sort of itchy rash and he was getting worse.  He went to the MTC doctor and they drew blood.  He has mono!  Crazy!  It has not slowed him down at all.

Elder Golling is loving the MTC.  He was made District Leader.  There are four missionaries total that are going to Finland, three young men and one young woman.  His companionship is the three young men.  He is learning the language but I will quote his letter to let you know how that is going,

"The language is absolutely ridiculously hard.....I feel like my brain has been scrambled but slowly my mind is growing back and pieces come together."

He says that he can pray, bear testimony and say hi and bye and how are you in Finnish now.  He loves the language and the way it is organized.  He says it is a beautiful language.

He is extremely happy and so glad to be on his mission.  His letter was wonderful and he sounds great.  A couple of his teachers know some of his friends and he thought that was great.  Oh, also, he says the food is great and he can eat as many bananas and he wants!

Please keep him in your prayers that he gets well and learns the language.  Thanks for supporting Elder Golling with your thoughts and prayers!