Sunday, October 12, 2008

{our love story}

How did a girl from Finland meet a guy from Canada and end up together with him? I have promised to share our story and what better time to do it than our anniversary. I have been going down the memory lane today as Jay is out of town and I couldn't spend the day with him. So here we go. This is a long story. I'll try to shorten it as much as I can.
There were two spirits in pre-existence who came to know each other and fell in love. Eventually it was time to go to earth and these two promised that they would find each other there.
Okay, of course I don't know this for sure but I like to think that's how it all started. I have my reasons to believe so. Just go with it, will you. :)
The girl ended up in Finland, the boy was born in the States but grew up in Canada. Many, many miles separated them. But don't worry - they will find each other.
The girl joins the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when she's 18 (one of the best decisions of her life, she might want to tell you). She's living by herself in her cute little apartment and works at a large engineering company.
Few years later she is feeling anxious about her life. A change needs to happen but she can't seem to figure out what she is supposed to do. She almost starts make up artist studies, almost goes to Africa to do volunteer work... Nothing seems right. Ever since she joined the church, she has wanted to be a missionary. She feels that the gospel has changed her life for better. Where there was darkness, now there was light. She wants to share that light with anyone who is willing to listen. Once she figures out Heavenly Father does want her to serve a mission, she is so excited and begins the process of applying to be a missionary.
One day when she comes home from work, there is a letter waiting.
Her hands shake, tears run down her cheeks, she is almost too emotional to open the letter.
But eventually she gets the courage to open it. This is a big moment for to-be-missionaries. The letter will tell her where she is to serve her mission.
She feels a great calm in her heart and knows that it's meant to be. She doesn't have the internet (it wasn't around yet) to do a search to find out about Ireland. Otherwise she would. She wants to know all there is to know about the country that would be her home for the next little while (18 months).
She arrives in England to attend MTC (missionary training center). After a brief, but very spiritual time there, she goes to the airport with a fellow missionary from Sweden who is going to Ireland as well. They are waiting around for their flight to go to Dublin when they notice a bunch of other missionaries who will be taking that same flight. They are arriving from the Provo Utah MTC. There are quite many of them. They all shake hands. The girl shakes hands with the boy. Some distant memory must have triggered something in her mind as the boy is the only one she can remember after meeting all those missionaries. To this day, about 19 years later, she can still envision him walking towards him, all tired, pushing his luggage cart. The girl thinks nothing of it and barely notices it as she is a missionariy now and everyone knows it's against the rules for missionaries to date. The time as a missionary is devoted to selfless service, not for personal pursuits.
(The above picture - digital shot of a picture, hastily taken as are all the pictures in this posting, is taken just before the girl leaves on her mission. Her camera stopped functioning as soon as she got to Ireland so she hardly has any pictures of her mission.)
In Dublin, all these new "green" missionaries have an orientation at the mission president's house. The girl is the only "sister missionary" (=girl) and when everyone is visiting with each other, she feels a bit ackward amongst all the "elders" (=the boy missionaries). She decides to go sit in the sunroom pretending to read. The boy eventually ends up sitting opposite to her and they chat for a few minutes.
They get their assignments in the mission field. The girl is to stay in Dublin, the boy is heading way up north to Bangor. It's time for everyone to go and the girl and boy shake hands at the front entrance quickly telling each other where they are going. Again, the girl can only remember the boy afterwards. All the other elders are pretty much a blur. She still doesn't think anything about it though.
After six weeks, the girl gets emergency moved to Bangor. The girl and her companion and the boy and his companion are the only missonaries in that town. The girl doesn't know it but the boy already knows that "this is her!". He had got that feeling during the few minutes of chatting in the mission home. He didn't know what to do as you all know - missionaries don't date and love stuff is put on back burner. He decides to tell his companion what is going on and that he would help him stay away from this girl as much as possible so that he can concentrate on the work and "be good". But these two still spend time together at church and even bump into each other on the streets etc. They are instant friends and get along so well. It's like they have always known each other (!). They have the same sense of humor. The girl can't help but notice that this elder is very handsome. She has to work on concentrating on her work too. But she is a missionary so she doesn't think any more than that of this all.
Then it's Christmas time. The boy and the girl with their missionary companions have spent an evening at a church member's house and are walking home (they live just a few blocks away from each other). The girl has noticed that the boy has seemed a bit down lately. The girl knows how much he loves his family and must be missing them at Christmas time. All the missionaries miss their families but somehow the girl feels that this boy has a very special love for his family so that must be the reason for his quietness and inner turmoil. The girl asks her companion to talk to the boy and cheer him up. They then shake hands as they say their goodbyes and go their separate ways.
When the girl gets in her apartment with her companion they start to talk. The girl asks if she was able to cheer him up. To her surprise, her companion tells her that the girl is the reason why the boy is so troubled and down. The boy in his frustration had told the girl's companion everything - how he was going nuts as he "just knew" the girl was the one for him and there was nothing he could do as he was a missionary. The boy had written a poem to the girl but felt he just couldn't give it to her. He wanted to be a good missionary. Yet he wanted her to know so badly. He decided to give the poem to the girl's companion and told her she could decide what to do with it.
As soon as they got to their apartment, this companion blurted all out and gave the girl the poem. She read it and read it and listen to her companion tell her about the boy's feelings toward her. A great calm came over her. It was as if her heart was showing her that this was right. Meant to be. She examined her heart and realized that she had felt the same way about the boy from the beginning. She had just not noticed it as she was "being a good missionary". She was so surprised about the way she felt. The peace in her heart wouldn't leave her. She knew "he was the one". She couldn't stop smiling. But what on earth was she supposed to do? Thanks a lot boy for putting the girl in the same position you were in. :)
The girl decided that her feelings were real and trusted her heart. She wrote the boy a letter telling him that she didn't know how but she knew that they were going to get married after their missions. Couple of letters to explain feelings were exchanged between the two. They still had the dilemma of what to do as they both just wanted to serve good missions and keep all the rules. They decided that it was time to tell the mission president. They assured him that nothing wrong had happened between them (except the few letters, which were against the mission rules but were a necessity too) and that they wanted to be separated so that they could concentrate on the work. Eventually it was time for moving day (periodically, missionaries are shifted around, they don't stay in one area for too long, it keeps things fresh and gives them lots of experience). The girl was racking her brain how to make the boy realize that she really was serious about all this. She didn't want the boy to worry about her while they served.
This is a good time to say that the girl is known at times to be a bit crazy and somewhat impulsive.
She got a beautiful button up shirt and on the back she wrote the above. Now the boy knew that the girl was serious. Or utterly crazy. :)
Off they went to serve in separate areas. But by some miracle, these two somehow always ended up close enough to each other to meet during Christmas and other conferences. All eyes were on these two as rumors of course fly like crazy in the mission field. These two didn't care. They were just happy to say hi to each other and to see how the other was doing.
The mission rules stated that they couldn't keep in touch with each other during their missions. So the boy wrote letters to the girl every week and kept them for her to give when she'd finish her mission (6 months earlier than the boy). The girl started to write letters in a book for the boy to give to him at that same time.
The time arrived when it was time for the girl to go back home to Finland. On the plane home she eagerly read all the many letters the boy had already written to her. He did the same with the book the girl left behind for him.
The girl arrived home, started working to save money for a one-way ticket to Canada. She only had six months to prepare. Letters started flying between the boy and the girl. The above folder is full of the girl's letters to the boy. They shared their hearts, dreams and experiences in these letters. It's amazing how you can really get to know someone through letters. I guess this was their dating period. :)

The boy returned home. The girl was in his home town three days later. :) They were married three months later.
This happens to be the girl's favorite wedding picture as it is the very first picture of them together as husband and wife. They got married in the Cardston, Alberta temple. No cameras allowed in temples as they are sacred places. There couples get sealed together for time and all eternity. Just the way the two like. "Till death us apart" just isn't long enough.
17 years has passed.
They still know "it was meant to be" and that theirs is that "true love" kind of love that is mentioned in the Princess Bride movie.


  1. It's official - my blog is the most personal blog there is. Jay is going to die when he sees this posting. :) Like it was said - the girl tends to be a bit crazy at times. :)

  2. voi ei mikä tarina! oikein paljon onnea vuosipäivänä ja paljon onnellisia yhteisiä vuosia!

  3. Ihana ihana tarina. Luin pitkään hitaasti ja kaikkeen eläytyn ja miettien kaikki paikat antaumuksella. :)

    Olette tarkoitettu toisillenne ja ihanaa miten rakkautenne on säilynyt kaikki nämä vuodet.

    Tarinassanne oli paljon samoja ominaisuuksia kuin omassani mikä on kestänytkin saman verran (+vuosi) kuin teillä.

    Onnea vuosipäivänänne!

  4. Oikein hyvää vuosipäivää teille molemmille. ♥

    Ihana tarina, kiitos Sinulle, kun jaoit sen meille. Ihanasti olet säilyttänyt kaiken ja kuvat... ne kertovat paljon. tarina ei ole niin tavallinen, ja siksikin hyvin sykähdyttävä. ♥

  5. Ihanista ihanin tarina. Luin oikein antaumuksella kahvikuppi kädessä. Kiitos kun kerroit!

    Teidän elämän käänteet ei missään muodossa ole niitä "tavallisia tarinoita" :D

  6. Your blog is very creative! Nice posting and very nice photos. Good inspiration!!!
    Have a nice week,

  7. Kiitos tästä tarinasta, tosi ihana! Uskon että kun kaksi ihmistä on tarkoitettu toisilleen, siinä on juuri tuollaista "kohtalon tuntua" ja tuntuu tosiaan kuin tuntisi toisensa jostain "toisesta elämästä", tuo mormonien pre-existence näkökulma onkin sikäli mielenkiintoinen. Sama fiilis oli myös minun ja mieheni tutustumisessa. Pitääkin kirjoittaa siitä joskus.

    Onnea vuosipäivästä!

  8. Wuch a sweet, lovely story! And to imagine it's all true!

    ha way you now shared this with us proves how strong, special and wonderful your love is. :)

    And I just loved the photos to go with it ! Such sweet, beautiul couple on those pics.

    Harmittaa kun en lukenut tata kuin vasta tanaan... Olisin halunnut olla hengessa mukana oikeana paivana. Mutta rakakutenne on jokapaivaista, eli nain paiva jalkeenpain onnittelut haapaivastanne!!

  9. Wuch - such
    ha -the (luulen?)
    apua eika kirjoitusvirheet ees lopu tahan...hayvin tasta!

    ... simmut ristissa kirjoitan taalla.. ;)

    Itseasiassa tamanpaivaisen kuvani omistan teille. Tarinanne kosketti sen verran. :)

  10. Sie osaat kirjoittaa todella kauniisti:)

    Olkoon tuleva vuotenne täynnään haasteita, jotka kääntää mahdollisuuksiksi kehittää hyveitänne. Toivon teille myös seesteisiä onnentäyttämiä aikoja, jolloin kerkeätte huomata maailman pienet ihmeet sekä rakkautta ja mahdollisuuksia palveluun:)


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