Monday, June 28, 2010


So the week has been interesting. We went to Värska for two days, it was nice but nothing much to write about, a little rainy, a little boring. We booked the trip about a month ago, and it turned out that it was on the same day as my graduation! Of course I didn't know that at the time I booked the trip. I went and picked up my Diploma today, so it is officially all over. Here is a picture to prove it! For what it's worth, I have a master degree from the University of Tartu in EU-Russian studies.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Aura Keskus

So the defense of my thesis did not go so well, they didn't like my thesis as much as I did. Friday was a downer, the good news is that I finished my program! I have a MA in EU-Russian studies from the University of Tartu. It was too bad to end on a low note, but it happened at BYU too. I guess I am getting used to it. Saturday we went to the Aura Keskus, one of my favorite places in Tartu. It is a small water park, we got free passes as a wedding present. It was nice to relax in the hot tubs, and in the saunas. They had 3 different types, a typical Finnish sauna (85 Celsius) a Turkey Sauna (65 Celsius) and an aroma sauna which had Japanese herbs as the aroma (45 Celsius) Monday we are going to a spa for a few days to celebrate our graduation, it turns out that it is on the same day as my graduation ceremony, so I won't be able to attend. But I didn't attend my BYU graduation either, so I'm starting to see a pattern. But it is nice to be done with another step in life and a new one will be starting soon. We're not sure what it will be but we hope it will be good! Today in church President Dance talked about having faith and not fear. It felt like he was talking right to me.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Peace for my soul, trans fat for my belly

We just got back from the temple last night! It was fantastic. We left for Tallinn Thursday night, we met up with Stela who sold books with Maris in Ohio a few years back. Then early Friday morning we went to Espoo Finland to the temple. It was a great experience, very peaceful very nice. The people there are always so nice. I saw a girl there who went to the same branch as me when I was living in St. Petersburg 4 years ago, she is now going on a mission to Samara! I didn't recognize her at first but it was nice to see her and it was great to see that she was going on a mission. After the temple we ate at McDonald's, I haven't eaten there forever. I got a quarter pounder with cheese! It was fantastic. In Finland they also sell lots of good stuff that you can't get in Estonia, we got chocolate frosted mini doughnuts. Saturday was the seminary/institute graduation in Tallinn. After that we went to the Kompressor and ate pancakes. All in all it was a great trip where I felt peace in my soul and trans fat in my belly. I can't think of a better weekend!

Here is a picture of the boat we took to Helsinki.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

To Tõrva and Beyond!

We recently got back from our Tõrva trip. We were pretty busy at the end of the semester so it was time to go visit Maris's family. We had a nice time and we even got to barbecue lots of meat! Estonians love to grill pork, there is lots of good meat in the stores this time of year. We don't have a chance to grill at our apartment, so we have to take advantage of the grilling chances we get. There were also lots of mosquitoes, but we had some OFF with us so we were fine. Here is a map to show where we went. Maris's grandma lives in Tõrva, her Dad and cousin lives in Linna and her mom lives in karjatnurme. They are the three places we visited, and are the three dots in the red circle if you can see it on the map.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Elder Scott is the real deal!

Yesterday there was a church leadership training meeting for the Baltics, Ukraine, Bulgaria and most of Russia. Elder Scott gave most of the training, which was located in Kiev. We watched it over the Internet. Elder Scott gave lots of good teaching, and good insight. He also explained why he always stares into people's eyes and right into the camera! Most people know that as his trademark. He does it because his wife once taught him to look people in the eyes when he was talking to them. The best part of the meeting was his testimony "Jesus Christ is a living, glorified, resurrected being of perfect love. He knows you perfectly. He lives. I can say that with total authority, knowing that it is true because I know him." When I heard this I felt the holy spirit hit me like a lightning bolt! This man really does know the savior. Everyone knows about the savior, but do we know him? That is a good question for all of us to think about.

Some interesting facts about Elder Richard G. Scott:

1. He was born in Pocatello Idaho in 1928

2. Served a mission in Uruguay

3. Graduated from George Washington University in mechanical engineering

4. He was a nuclear engineer, who worked on nuclear fuel for nuclear submarines.

5. His wife died in 1995
6. He was called to be an apostle in 1988

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

White Nights

Life has never been better. I handed in my MA thesis on the May 31st and I turned in my PHD application on June 1st. We'll have to wait until July to see what the future holds. Right now life is fantastic. Summer is starting and I think it will be a good one! I de-cluttered the apartment today. I took all my books back to the library, an organized the huge stack of papers that had accumulated through out the semester. Maris took her books back a while ago, so my stack was the last to go! June will be a very nice month. It is starting to get light here very early. Here is a picture from May 31st at 3:52 AM Nothing is prettier than the sun rises here. The longest day of the year is June 23rd. I will have more time to blog now and I will keep you updated on the magical summer! It will be hard to beat last summer (Japan, trip with Bryant to Sweden and Romania, trip home, and the Estonian summer song festival) but we will give it a try! This week I have some friends coming to visit from Germany, we studied here in 2005 together and we will go to the new Miley Cyrus movie! Not a bad start eh?