Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas in the North Pole

Family and friends!

Hei! How was everybody’s Christmas?Wonderful and full of Christ I’m sure. Mine was just fantastic. I had an amazing time skyping my family on Wednesday with no technical difficulties or anything. That was a miracle in and of itself. It’s funny though, at the end of almost every week I look back and think ”wow, that was one of the hardest weeks of my mission” And yet I also think ”Man! That was one of the best weeks of my mission!” This week was no exception. A mission is the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, but I love it! This Christmas was probably one of my favorite ones of all time. Which may sound weird since I’m in Finland and we had zero snow and it’s freezing and I was away from my family, but I also got to wear the name of Christ on my chest as we remembered his birth. What could be better than that? And it was my only Christmas in Finland so I sure made the most of it! I loved just going around and reminding people why we’re even celebrating. However, I thought more people would be open to hearing the message of Christ around this time of year, but surprisingly, we had less lessons than usual and way more slammed doors than usual. Weird huh? I guess the opposite thing kinda happens around Christmas time. People get too caught up in the presents and in the food (that’s a big one here in Finland) that the no longer have time for Christ. I can’t tell you how many times I heard ”Nyt on huono hetki. Tulkaa takaisin Joulun jalkeen” (Now’s a bad time, come back after Christmas) So the up side is that we'll have a lot of work to do this week! But I really wish that people here would remember the reason for the season a little more. Oh well, I guess that's what we're here for.

Well anyway, my Christmas was AMAZING! Man the ward here sure knows how to take care of you! Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were "Red days" So we couldn't go outside or anything so we actually did a lot of cleaning and planning and things like that whenever we weren't at member's houses. Tuesday (Christmas Eve) Is actually bigger than Christmas here. We started off at 12 going to the Primary President's home and eating a wonderful Christmas lunch with her. Finland does this cool thing at noon on Christmas Eve where everyone is just silent and all the TVs and radios broadcast the reading of something I'm not sure of but still! It's pretty cool! Then we went out to another family in the ward. They have 5 boys and a HUGE farm with tons of animals so it was really fun for them to have the sisters over. We had our Christmas eve meal over there and went to the cemetary (Finnish tradition) and put candles out for all our lost loved ones. 

Then Santa came! Santa comes on Christmas eve and he personally hands out the presents to the kids so he came and gave everyone (including us) lots of chocolate and it was really fun. Then, on Christmas day we opened all our presents and I very much enjoyed my many packages! So thank you to Grandma and Grandpa Crandall, Mom and the fam, Dad, Ally and Justin, the Atwoods in my home ward, Melissa and Joseph, and a ton of other fun things I got in the mail! I am way too spoiled... Then, that evening we went to our stake president's to skype and have Christmas dinner with them! So fun! And then on Thursday we went to our dear neighbors and had another huge Christmas meal! Man, all these Christmas meals are each bigger than an american thanksgiving... I was dying! But the food is super delicious so I'll have to make it all for you sometime.

On Friday we traveled to Tampere for our zone conference! President and Sisar Rawlings were there as well as a member of the 70 and his wife and I have no idea how to pronounce his name but he's a Finn so it was cool talking to them all in Finnish. It was an amazing meeting that ended with a testimony meeting and I took a lot out of it. I came home and just started setting goals for the new year and for this transfer and everything I wanted to do and change and it was awesome :) I love meetings that you just come out of thinking "wow, that was perfect. and exactly what I needed right now" Another one of those meetings came on Sunday when we had a combined Priesthood and Relief Society. We talked about the mission plan for the ward and everything that's going to happen in carrying forth the work this year in the Jyväskylä ward! I'm so excited to be a part of it! I really hope all of you participate in your home ward's mission goals this year! Make it a part of your new year's resolution or something. Have fun with it! Missionary work is fun! And it's always worth it :)

Well, this week was great :) Thank you for all the wonderful Christmas wishes and presents and cards and everything! I love and miss you all so much! Have a wonderful new year!

Sisar Crandall

Monday, December 23, 2013

Hyvää Joulua!! (Merry Christmas!)

Well I've been getting emails from people telling me how it's finally looking like Christmas and I just laugh and think "what? It was Christmas here in Finland about 2 months ago!" These people here are more than ready and there's no where I'd rather be than up here in the North Pole! It's actually been fairly warm recently. I can just wear my big coat and I don't even need a scarf or anything! Mittens are a must though! It actually rained this week as well (instead of snow) so it's been in the positives and all the Finns are upset that it's going to be a "black Christmas". I don't mind there not being snow. It's not as cold, but it's also WAY darker when there's not snow so it's kind of a trade off. But hey! It's now past the winter solstice and things can start getting brighter! The Finns are so excited about that. Now the sun will set at 3pm instead of 2pm! yay! It's weird how on days we do weekly planning we don't end up leaving the apartment until 3 and it's already dark... So yep, lots of Vitamin d! But don't worry, we always have the light of the gospel :) Oh man I'm cheesy but hey! It's true! People can definitely see the light of Christ more when it's pitch black outside! Well enough about the weather.

This week was one full of change. I said good-bye to my dear companion Sisar Dayton as she left to go to Lahti and I said hello to my new companion Sisar Lund! She's been in the country 6 months (2 more than me) And is from Lindon, Utah. We're getting along well and I'm excited to see where this transfer will go.

Well, this week I learned a lot. I probably learn a TON every week, but this week I really noticed it. I gave a talk in church yesterday. (I know what you're thinking "you've been on a mission for 6 months and this is your first talk in church?") Well give me a break... this is Finnish! and there are 6 missionaries in our ward so we don't get asked to speak that much actually. And of course I've prayed and sung and bore my testimony and things like that, but this was my first talk in Finnish so it was kinda intimidating. Anyway, I spoke about how we are like the sheperds that the angel appeared to. We have our own witness of Christ and now we must "go with haste" to find Christ and share the gospel with everyone! Anyway, the talk went really well actually. And I had a bunch of members come up to me and tell me how good my language was. (Well Finns think you speak well if you can even say "How are you?" in Finnish is this isn't saying much) But really the breakthrough of the day came when people who almost always talk to me in English (because they're fluent in English and assume I can't understand Finnish) spoke to me in Finnish! People are finally realizing that hey, these missionaries have the gift of tongues and can understand our language. And I did understand! It was totally one of those Best Two Years moments when I talk to someone and then walk away and then stop for a sec and think "wait, was that conversation in English or Finnish?" And then I realize it was in Finnish! Man, I love it when that happens. So the language hasn't been as big of a trial as I thought it would have been. Obviously I've definitely struggled with it as any missionary has, but I'm fairly confident in being able to talk and comprehend things now and just use body language and context clues to figure out what people are saying. My comprehension is almost a 0 though when people talk about non-churchy subjects because those are the only words I know! haha but at church or in lessons I do just fine :) so to answer the question I get very often, the language is coming just fine. I've learned it's not the most important (or even second most important) thing to learn on a mission but If I focus on the work and having the spirit, it'll come much faster than it ever would've if I would've studied it for hours. 

Also, after my talk a man in our ward came up to me and told me what he learned from my talk! And I definitely know he didn't get all that through my broken Finnish so it's nice to know that the spirit can still teach! That was so cool! I wish everyone would do that! So, just an idea. Next time you hear a talk in church, go up to the speaker and tell them what you learned. It'll make their day I promise.

Well shoot! I forgot to mention one of the coolest things! I attended my first baptism in Finland! The Elders in our ward had a baptism on Saturday and we got to go to it! It was a beautiful service with lots of music and tons of food and I love it! It just gives me the chills when I see things like that. Finland IS a place where baptisms happen and people DO want the gospel here. Maybe I'm just saying that sentence to remind myself, but I hope you all know it too! 
I also got to watch the Christmas devotional this week (In Finnish) And what I got out of it, I really liked! I also loved hearing the music in English. Yep, definitely the little things like that you come to miss...

Well, I have lots of packages sitting under my paper tree on my wall decorated with all the pictures of my family! You guys spoil me way too much... Well I hope you got everything I sent home for Christmas! I can't wait to skype you on Wednesday! I love you! And I miss you all!  But just know there's no place I'd rather be around Christmas time than up here in the North Pole with Christ's name pinned on my chest. It's weird to think that next year I won't have this opportunity any more so I'm definitely making the most out of it! I have a testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ and I hope we can all remember him this week.

Til next week, 
Sisar Crandall

Pics:  Sisar Lund and the Star, Presents from the Ward

Monday, December 16, 2013

STAYING IN JYVÄSKYLÄ - Good-bye Sisar Dayton :(

Well, we got our transfers this week! I'm staying in Jyväskylä! I'm actually really grateful because I really didn't want to pack up and move a week before Christmas, but I'm sad because Sisar Dayton is leaving me. We've been together 4 months now and she's off to Lahti to serve with another sister! My new companion is Sisar Lund. I've never met her and I don't know a lot about her but I do know she's been serving up in Kuopio with Sisar Dayton's former companion and before that she was in Espoo so she's been out longer than me so I'm excited to meet her tomorrow! 

Well, our transfers are 9 weeks long (most missions are 6) So I'm pretty much guaranteed to be in Jyväskylä for the next 2 months (mid February ish are our next transfers) So it looks like I won't have to be too for north for the winter! (Apparently "the winter" comes in January and February so this is nothing...) Anyway, so my address and everything stayed the same so I should still get any mail sent to me fine.

Our District leader is going home and another sister here in Jyväskylä is going to Helsinki so there are lots of changes! I'll let you all know about it next week when I actually meet them all!
So Sisar Dayton and I knew this week was probably going to be our last week together so we, of course, had to try some of the cool places we've been wanting to try. Namely The Classic American Diner. haha what a fun experience! We got a nice good ol' American Hamburger and fries (I won't tell you how much it cost...) but it was so worth it and totally the most American thing I've had since being here (pictures included).

This week was also our ward Christmas party! The missionaries always have to do a recital of some sort so this year we did "the cup song" (Go Youtube it if you don't know what I'm talking about) but we did it to the song "Niin Suuri Oot" which is "How Great Thou Art" in Finnish. It went great! We were slightly nervous about it because we didn't practice that much but it onnistui! It was a success! I'm trying to get a video of it to send home from a girl in our ward so look out for that. So after we performed and another couple musical numbers, Joulupukki tuli! (Santa came!) Santa always comes on Christmas Eve here and that's when they have their huge celebration. Then, Christmas day is a lot more relaxed and peaceful and a lot more family oriented. It's really nice actually. Anyway, so santa came and brought little goodie bags for everyone, but the tradition is that you have to sing for Santa (a specific song) and then he sings back and then gives everyone their presents. So I got to participate in that and see how it's done! I had no idea what I was singing, but I sang it because hey, missionaries need presents too :) So then we ate the traditional riisipuuro (rice porridge) and a fruit and syrupy mixture that goes on top that's delicious! (don't worry, I'll make it for us all next Christmas) and they have a huge pot of the rice stuff and they put an almond (or two or three) in it and if you get the almond, then your christmas wish comes true! Guess who got an almond! Yep! Me! So now all my Christmas wishes come true :) 

Well, this week we've been struggling again to have more lessons with a member present. As missionaries, we always try to involve the member every step of the work, but recently it's been more difficult than it should be. Either our lesson/investigator falls through or our member backs out. And then (since for some reason a lot of our investigators are men) we have to cancel the lesson because we can't go without another woman and we've already called everyone. So I guess the point of me telling this is that I hope all you awesome member missionaries are helping out the missionaries in your home ward any way you can. You're never too busy for the gospel and I think that sometimes (especially around the holiday season which is super ironic) we forget that. So call them up and let them know when you're available and I promise they'll have a lesson for you to go to! Example: We have an awesome woman in our ward who really is extremely busy (as many of you are). She just opened up her own business with her husband and has 3 kids and multiple church callings and really just has a lot going on. Well, we called her this week to come to a lesson with us and she couldn't :( even though she really wanted to. So we said "Oh, that's okay. hopefully next time" and hung up. But then she called us back 5 minutes later and said, "Hey, I'm available Wednesday night at 8. Do you have a lesson then?" and We said "Nope! but we'll get one!" So we scheduled an appointment with an investigator Wed night and she came with us! So just goes to show that you shouldn't focus on what you can't give, focus on what you can! Every little bit helps! Just do your part and the missionaries will be tremendously grateful, trust me.

Well, I'm out of time again! Just wanted to say thanks for all the great emails! I loved them! It was so fun to see pictures of the Christmas train and the program and everything! Have a wonderful week and I can't wait to skype you all next Wednesday! (p.s. I'll call around 6 or 7 Finland time) Okay, I love you all! Have a great week!

Sisar Crandall

Sun setting at 2:19 p.m.

Monday, December 9, 2013


It's finally December! Well, I guess last P-Day was kinda December as well, but now it really feels and looks like it! 

This email might be a little shorter, but there's just a couple things I wanted to tell you all!

Transfer calls are this Friday! and then we move on Monday/Tuesday! So send anything and everything to the mission office (the Neitsytpolku address) and i'll get it for sure that way. 

Mission Home Address:
Sisar Kathryn Crandall
Neitsytpolku 3 A 4
00140 Helsinki
Or just wait til next week when I tell you my new/current address! We have no idea what's going to happen, but we've all been in Jyväskylä for a while so we're pretty sure that both of us won't stay, we just don't know who's going where yet! We'll see!

Well this week was sure a fun one! We had lots of awesome lessons with some amazing members who are always willing to sacrifice for us and it helps so much! (The little rides and things make a huge difference when it's -8 outside...)

And then on Friday was Finland's independence day! Which means for us missionaries that we've gotta be inside unless we're in an appointment. Things get pretty crazy on that day apparently... So we ended up doing out weekly planning that day and taking an hour bus ride out to Tikkakoski (google it) to have dinner with our bishop and his family. It ended up being like a 4 hour round trip so independence day was the perfect day to do it since we couldn't do anything else! Out there, we were just outside the city and it was absolutely beautiful! It feels like Narnia out here! Everything is so white and peaceful and I just love it :)

This week we also had a long wait at a bus stop so instead of standing there and freezing to death we walked down to the lake and took a bunch of pictures on it! (No one was outside to talk to...) So those were all the pictures of Sisar Dayton and I on the lake! It's about 1:30 outside. You can tell since the sun is setting... yep, definitely getting used to that! I'm also finally sending home all the birthday and thanksgiving pictures so maybe that'll make up for this short email.

I was very sad to hear about Aunt Marilyn. She is a wonderful lady who always had the spirit with her. She definitely knew who she was and where she was going and I've always looked up to her. I'm praying for her and her family. Sometimes things like this just happen and we all take a step back to re-order our priorities and realize what is really important. And Aunt Marilyn sure had hers straight. I hope we can all remember the reason for the season this month and keep our family close and our testimonies closer. I have great faith in the atonement though and I know that if we can all just try a little harder to be a little better and continue to progress throughout our lives that we will be prepared when our day comes.

Well, I'm doing well. The work is chugging right along and so is the language. I'm excited to see what changes the Lord has in store for me this week and for the rest of my mission. I love and miss you all!

Sisar Crandall

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving and Birthday!

Whoa, whoa, whoa where to even start this week??

Well, first off, sorry this email is a lot later than the other ones. We had a mishap with the internet at the church this morning and ended up having to go to a library and apply for a library card and figure out the Finnish internet and now I'm finally on! 

So, first off, This week was great! Lots of celebrating and lots of love coming from all my friend and family! You guys are awesome :) 

Well, I got mom/the family's birthday package on Wednesday and yes, I opened it up a day early, it was too fun! I took lots of pics so hopefully they can show my excitement! The tree was such a great idea! Now it feels like Christmas in our apartment and I love it! I put up a couple ornaments everyday and I get to read cool messages from all my family and I just love it :) (p.s. I just realized I can't send pics from this computer so I may have to wait til next week to send them. Just imagine me smiling holding a box.) I absolutely loved the tape and basically have Rhett and Savanna's piano pieces memorized from listening to it so many times! My companion is probably sick of it, but too bad!Wednesday night we also got locked out of our apartment... yep, we both forgot our keys... So, after calling some people in the ward and a locksmith we went over to our neighbors house to wait somewhere where it was warm. Little did I know that the neighbors had a birthday present for me! A hand-knitted scarf and hat and socks and mittens! Man I'm spoiled! There's a pic of me wearing them all. They're super thick and super warm and I sweat if I put them on indoors so it's perfect for Finland! 

Then... THURSDAY! What a great day :) It started out by listening to some awesome new Hilary Weeks while we worked out and then... Chocolate chip pancakes! And lots of presents! My companions (Sisar Ballif included even though she was already home) gave me a skirt, two shirts, a Marimekko bag that I've been dying to have, and an adorable snowflake reflector that I've been looking for everywhere and some peanut butter (I have a weird obsession with it and it's kinda hard to find), and some popcorn (my other obsession) and Sisar Dayton decorated the apartment with a Happy Birthday banner and some cute notes everywhere and it was just a great morning :) And then.... Posti came!! I got like 7 letters ON my birthday! No idea how anyone could have planned that, but it was so fun! Needless to say, not much language study got done that day... oops... But I got a fun package from the Beechers with some socks that I definitely needed and some VERY american candy that was awesome! And then, I got Dad's package too! So cool! I loved the shirt and the video and everything! Thanks so much! 

So then, we went to visit some investigators and taught a lesson and stopped by some members house and they gave me some pumpkin pie (they're American) and wished me a Happy Birthday! And thennn... THANKSGIVING!! So this awesome family (they aren't members) invited us over for Thanksgiving with them and all their work buddies (also Americans) We all brought our favorite American Thanksgiving dish and they provided the turkey and it was awesome! Sisar Dayton and I made an awesome Blueberry pie with a recipe we got from a Finn so they all thought it was delicious of course :) The Macy's Thanksgiving day parade was also streaming on their computer so while that was playing in the background I glanced over and saw Mountain View! So that was a cool little piece of home! Catherine (the mom) also made me an awesome cake with 20! candles and they all sang happy birthday to me (even though none of them even knew me) and it was just awesome :) So yeah, that was my packed full of fun birthday! 

Oh, we also got directions from our mission president that backpacks were no longer allowed :( So I retired my backpack that I loved so much and bought a new side pick at a Kirppi (Thrift store. It's where everyone shops here in Finland) for 3 euro! So yeah that was a cool find!

Then, on Friday, we played basketball! Sisar Dayton had organized a bunch of people to come play since she knew I loved it so we made some awesome German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan frosting and celebrated again after a fun game of basketball!

But wait, there's more! Yesterday (Sunday) The family of the boy I'm tutoring in math found out it was my birthday and invited us over! It was also their other son's birthday earlier this week so we had even more cake and ice cream! Yeah... having your birthday fall on Thanksgiving is probably too much food but oh well! I loved it! 

So sorry I didn't write a lot about our investigators or lessons this week... Just wanted to let you guys know all I did to celebrate! And that it was an awesome week! I swear we actually do missionary work out here in Finland though... So now, it's Monday and we're actually going to a bakery after this to try this cake I've been wanting to try for a while now. Yeah, I'm extremely spoiled I know... 

Well, since this week was Thanksgiving I wanted to let you all know that I'm grateful to you all. I really reflected this week (since I'm now 20 and do that kind of thing...) on how much my life has been impacted by positive role models and examples. I have countless friends and family members who have helped get me to where I am today and I owe them a lot. I hope you know how much I love you all! I'm so very grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how much I'm able to rely on it everyday. Things don't get easier, but with the Lord's help we can always get through :)

Well, I hope you all had a wonderful week because I sure did! And shout out to Courtney for her mission call to Oregon! So cool! I'm so proud of you!  I love you all! 

Til next week,

Sisar Crandall

(From Kathryn's Mom)  P.S.  I wanted to share a paragraph from Kathryn's personal letter to me.  "I've been incredibly blessed with the language recently.  Like I can pull words I've seen/heard once out of my brain and it's so cool!  And I'll say something really fast in Finnish and then stop and think about it and realize it was right and I didn't even have to think about it before I said it!  It just came out!  Very cool, wow experiences.  Can't wait 'til Christmas so I can speak some of it to you over Skype!"

Monday, November 25, 2013

Week "I lost count after 3..."

Hello my dear friends and family!
How's everyone doing? Well, I'm just great. This week was sure an adventurous one! It started off on Monday getting my dear trainer/companion all packed up! We took her to the train station on Tuesday and sent her off to California! I really hope she reads this and knows that we miss and love her! 

Well anyway, I've had a dinner appointment (sometimes 2) everyday this week. So don't worry, I'm getting fed waaayyy more than I need haha. Must be the Christmas spirit or something. But the good part is that I get to know all the members! They have such sweet spirits and I absolutely love being in their homes.

We started teaching this new family this week. The have 3 kids and are pretty open/interested in religion. The mom only speak Thai though so we've had a little or a language barrier (well, more than usual) So we now talk to the daughter or dad in Finnish and they try to translate it into Thai and then the lesson goes on like that. So, it takes a lot longer, but we're getting there! Luckily, the Restoration movie is in Thai so we were able to show that to her and get the message across much more easily. (I've seen that movie so many times I could watch it in any language and still quote it perfectly).

We had a great little Brunch with a bunch of the older Relief Society women in the ward. They taught us Finnish Christmas songs and talked about the families and traditions and it was a really fun time. 

Then, On Thursday and again on Saturday, I tutored again. This time, it's integrals. So glad I paid attention when I had to learn those in English because now I have to explain it in Finnish. I mean, a lot of the words are the same so it comes along surprisingly well.

Well, a couple cool experiences to share this week. 1st, we were walking to meet a member to go to an appointment when we said "terve" to this lady. This is super weird to Finns and we often get weird looks and "ei kiitos" but this lady just stopped and said "Do I know you?" And we were like "nope!" but then she said "but you're Mormons right?" Yes Ma'am we are. She told us all about her religious experiences and how she's been to a lot of different churches and just never felt anything different. Then she said that she was just sitting at home tonight and decided to go to the Kioski (like a gas station store) and get something to drink for no reason. Ah, little does she know, she'd meet us! So we ended up talking for over a half hour just right there on the street corner and were slightly late to meeting our member (sorry!) But we gave her a Book of Mormon and she asked us for our number and address so we could come back! It was just a really reassuring experience that there ARE people here, and everywhere, more than prepared to hear the gospel. All we have to do is get out there and find them. So I'm really excited to go back there this week and meet with her again.

Well, another cool experience (kinda 2 in 1) happened another night when our investigator cancelled last minute. It was about 8 o'clock and we're not allowed to knock on doors after this time, but we don't have to be home til 9 so it's kinda hard to find "missionary work" to do since there's no one outside to talk to. Well, we figured we might as well go where there's more likely to be people. So we started walking towards the center near some stores where people often hang out who we could talk to. And who did we run into? Our investigators two sons! It was really cool because we'd only ever met them at their door, but we were able to stop and talk to them! And then we talked to them and after a phone call to their dad, they invited us over for dinner on Sunday! So cool! This specific instance was even more miraculous because they live right next to us, but we've been trying so hard to get in contact with them and it just hasn't worked out recently until now! So, we ended up going over there yesterday and eating dinner with the whole family and talking all about the book of mormon and christmas and everything! It was just a really cool night. Yep, the Lord knows where his missionaries are and where they need to be. And although we're so very imperfect and it might take some time, he'll get us there :) I'm really grateful for that.
Well, that was basically my week! A lot of adjusting since I'm now only in a twosome, but we're doing great! I'm surprisingly able to understand what I need to and haven't had too many miscommunications.

Well, it's snowed a ton this week so I definitely wore my snow boots everyday! And I probably will until about March! Can't wait!

I was really excited to hear about Shane and Vendla! Congrats to them! And congrats to Cami and her new baby coming soon and Allyson and her permit and the twins with their duet! Yep, lots of reasons to be proud of my family!

Thanks so much for all your love and support! I feel it everyday. I love you all and I miss you!

Sisar Crandall

Me and my companions on our last day together.
Me and Sisar Dayton freezing at about 5pm. yeah it's pretty dark...

 A cool looking tree. Actually, these are all over now and everything is so white!
Me with me early birthday presents - An awesome ring from Melissa, Joseph, Camille and fam. and then my new sweater courtesy of Grandpa Larsen. I definitely wear it any time we're in the apartment and it's sooooo warm!

Monday, November 18, 2013


Her address in Jyvaskya is:

Polkkakuja 5 C 27

Hello my family and friends!
Yep! I'm still in Jyväskylä! I finished my 12 week training yesterday (Funny how I've been on a mission 5 months and was still in training...) and my trainer goes home tomorrow! So now my threesome goes down to just 2 and it's really sad :( Sisar Ballif is amazing and I'm so glad I got to serve with her! I really couldn't have asked for or imagined a better trainer. I was so blessed in that aspect. So now Sisar Dayton and I are together and on our own. I'm really glad I don't have to leave this beautiful city because I LOVE it here and I'm finally learning my way around and getting to know all the members really well (It kinda takes longer with a language barrier...) But I'm glad I get at least a little more time here! But the next week of my mission will probably be one of the hardest ones so far since we'll be doing lots of adjusting and having to do things on our own but I'm excited to learn a lot! So my Jyväskylä address is still valid and I'll always get anything sent to the mission office anyway. Thanks!
Well This week was sure an adventurous one! Definitely another one for the books. It started off on Monday when we went to an investigator's classic guitar concert. So cool! And then later in the week (I think on Wednesday) we had an AMAZING lesson with an investigator and invitied him to be baptized and he accepted! And then right at the end of the lesson, the Stake President showed up and got to meet him! (The lesson was at the church). And there are only 2 stakes in Finland which means only 2 stake presidents so this was a big deal and such a great experience for the investigator. 

Oh! On Tuesday, we were on our way to choir practice at the church and ran into a lady at the bus stop. She actually stopped us and asked when the bus was coming and started chatting it up and then she told us that she stopped us because of the light we had. It was pretty cool, especially now that it's pitch black outside at about 4. So then we got on the bus and she sat down right next to me and said "So what's this book you were talking about? Can you tell me about it?" Uhhh Yeah I can! (Okay, that's not really a quote since she said it in Finnish...) So we gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon and got her name and number and we're going back there this week to teach her and her kids! We were pretty late to choir practice, but who cares! She was definitely a prepared person and I gain a testimony of that more and more everyday. 

We also had a great "family night" With a couple in the ward and their non-member daughter-in-law and her son. We made some Finnish food (Karelian pirakka - look it up) and taught her all about Enos and prayer and she agreed to read Alma 32 and let us talk to her about it so that was an amazing experience as well! So yeah. lots of way cool things going on in this area! We've had the goal to split the ward and have 2 wards here in Jyväskylä and we're just working on finding and teaching families to accomplish that goal! 

On Sunday we traveled to Tampere for Stake Conference. All the Jyväskylä missionaries sang in the choir and a huge group of young women sand "Daughter of a King" In Finnish and I just bawled through the whole thing! Maybe I was crying because I actually understood, but the spirit was really strong there. We had a wonderful speaker, Elder De Feo (I think) and he talked all about giving all we can to the Lord and not worrying if it's enough. He will multiply our efforts to achieve his goals. I loved it :) Just what I needed to hear :)
I'm so excited to be a missionary at this time! (Uhh I just somehow centered my email and I have no idea how to uncenter it in Finnish so that's what you get!) Things of course have their ups and downs, but Finland is just gonna explode soon (if it's not already...) And I can't wait! 

Oh, also this week my companions and the other sisters took me out to lunch for my birthday since Sisar Ballif wanted to be there so that's what one of the pictures is. The other picture is of me and Sisar Dayton on the way to a 4 O'CLOCK APPOINTMENT and it's completely dark outside. Jyväskylä had this huge "Christmas kick-off" party thing and it's officially the Christmas season here with Christmas trees and lights on every corner and store and music everywhere and little Christmas shops opening up everywhere and a huge star hung in the city center and I just love it :) Finland really is a magical place to be for Christmas. (Wow I just attached both of those pictures and I just look frozen and fat in both of them... I swear it's just the jacket!)

AH! I forgot the best part of the week! I got a bunch of mail and got Melissa and Joseph and Camille's present!!! THANKS! I absolutely love it! And it fits perfectly! You guys are awesome! (Sorry I already opened it...)
Well, basically I'm doing great and this week will be difficult and full of change but I can't wait to see how it'll go! Thanks for all the pictues! Sounds like lots of fun things going on at home! I love you all so much! Thanks for all your love and support!

Sisar Crandall

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hello There from Sisar Crandall!

Well, not much time to email this week but here's what's new!

Monday was Sisar Dayton's birthday and I enjoyed some wonderful reindeer meat pizza! haha It's actually not that weird and kinda tastes like Tuna Fish, but not as fishy. We also had a great American family in the ward have us over for fhe and celebrated her birthday with a very American chocolate chip pumpkin cake. yum :)

Tuesday we had zone conference and traveled to Tampere for it! We have a new Zone Leader and we're excited to see where the work goes here in the middle part of Finland!

This week has been a pretty up/down one (they usually are on a mission). We've had some amazing experiences with less actives and youth. We also really had the members step up to help us out this week and went on splits multiple times (it's easy to do that with a threesome). However, now the thing we're struggling with is getting the investigators to meet. Three times this week we had a member there and a lesson scheduled and everything was great and the investigator didn't show up or answer the door or something like that. So now we just need all of our member work and investigator work to coincide and take place in the same week and we'll be set!

Well, the good thing with all these splits is that I go out with Sisar Dayton every time (my companion who's been out the same amount of time as me). So we're becoming a lot more confident in the work and in the language since we don't have our trainer with us to cover in case we don't understand. So hopefully we'll be okay when she leaves! (which is next week btw). I also could possibly be in another city or companionship next week so anything that won't get to me by the 18th just wait to send. I'll let you all know next P day!

Well, Christmas has started here in Finland already. They don't celebrate Thanksgiving, obviously, so it jumps to Christmas as soon as Halloween is over. There's snow and lights and Santa and everything already and I just love it! Finns are very proud of their Christmas here and if you ask anyone what their favorite thing to do during Christmas time they'll all say "syödä" "eat" So hopefully I'll be able to make it through this season!

There's also a newspaper here called the Ilta Lehti and it had a HUGE 4 spread page on the missionaries here in Espoo, Finland. It's awesome that we're getting some more exposure! It was all very positive and informative and really helping the work move forward!

Well, Sunday we sang in church in Finnish. Sounds intimidating, but I loved it :) The ward just gets some sort of excitement from seeing the missionaries up there and It's awesome :)

Well I want to wish Allyson a special happy birthday! Hope you have a great day! 
I love you and I miss you all so much! Sorry this is short, but the work's gotta go on here in Jyväskylä! We've got a great week planned this week and I can't wait to tell you all about it! Stay awesome you all :)

Sisar Crandall

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Week for the Books!


Well, as the subject line says, this week was definitely one for the books. It was awesome!! All those weeks of having almost straight zeros and trying to build up this brand new area really paid off! Some AMAZING things happened this week and every day I came home thinking "Man, today is one of those days that makes missionaries say this was the best two years" And that happened everyday this week! So cool!! I don't even know where to start! I guess I just gotta say that slow and steady pays off. 

Well, to start it off, on Monday night we went to FHE with the YSA. We invited a bunch of investigators and potentials to come, but no one had told us they were coming so we were a little bummed out. BUT THEN, Our investigator (the one I've been tutoring in math) texted us right before it started and was like "Oh, yeah, I guess I could come" Haha he thinks he's too cool for all this stuff. Well, he came! And he loved it! And the funniest part was that in the middle of fhe, the ysa leader asked us to run to the store to grab something real quick. So us three ran out, and our investigator wanted to come with. So we were in the store and, of course, still talking to everybody which is interesting when you have someone watching you. So anyway, we talked to this man who seemed interested and we all introduced ourselves and so did our investigator! He just joined in on the lesson and talked to the man and it was great. We all went home thinking "Man, that guy will make a great missionary" So it was pretty cool to have our investigator see us doing what we do everyday outside of his home. Well, then we went back to fhe and he met tons of members and recent RMs and it was great! 

Then, on Tuesday we went to visit this less active lady in the ward. We had gone over right when I had arrived in the country and she did not want us there. So we decided to let her be for a while and not to push anything. Well she came to church a couple times so we decided to call and try to meet with her. Well, she invited us right over! So we were very excited and we went in and she was happy and welcoming and had all these doctrinal questions for us and lots of food and she wanted us to help her order her triple combination and it was amazing! She was a totally different person! It was so cool to see the gospel change someone that much and that fast. It definitely helped my testimony. She was even asking how she could help us and later in the lesson I happened to mention that I really like the blueberry pie everybody makes here in Finland (It's a really big thing) And she was like "Oh! Here's a huge thing of blueberries!" So yeah, I love her! I mean, of course I loved her anyway, but she's just so happy now and it's seeing this change in people that makes me so motivated to just get out there and try to share it even more!

Then, Wednesday came! And for the first time since I've been in Finland, I got to play basketball! It was awesome! And not to brag or anything, but since no one in Finland really plays basketball, I looked really pro at it haha it was awesome. So anyway, our investigator (the same one who came to fhe) came and played with us and a ton of the ysa and the elders and their investigator came and it was so awesome! And then we got to show them all around the church and talk about what happens there and it was great! It's kinda hard to explain but just allowing them to feel the spirit that's there in the church made such a difference.

So, On Thursday 2 cool things happened. First, we texted our investigator (a different one) asking if he could meet tonight and he said he couldn't. So we were kinda bummer when we got that text. But then, before we even texted back, he texted again and said "But I want to come on church on Sunday" And he's never even been to church before! And we hadn't even invited yet! So, yeah, us three were freaking our at that one. It's just awesome that after months of asking and inviting and have no one show up to things that suddenly it's paying off! Also, on Thursday, which happened to be Halloween, a got a package! I got some wonderful pumpkin chocolate chip things from Dad! Thanks! I absolutely loved them and I haven't made them quite yet, but I can't wait!

Friday was so good! Man I know I've said that about everyday this week but it was! We had our ward Halloween party!! This is the first time they've had a ward Halloween party because really no one here celebrated Halloween. So we were really unsure about how it was going to turn out because there are only like 2 American families in the ward who were kinda in charge of it so we didn't know if any of the Finns would even show up or participate or anything. Boy, were we wrong. IT WAS AWESOME!! Everyone showed up! Even the bishop and his whole family and the stake president and his family and ALL the young women and young men put on booths and it was so fun! The entire ward really came together and had a wonderful time! And they all invited their friends!! We sat down as missionaries and tried to count how many non members came and we lost track after 30! It was a wonderful finding activity and we all got to meet each other's friends and investigators and it was so awesome! I can't even describe how big of a deal this was for this ward. Like in America ward parties happen all the time, but this was the first times I've seen the ward so unified! And it was a hit! Man, great things happen when we're unified that's for sure!

Then, Saturday came! Boy oh boy I loved Saturday haha. First off, Here in Finland November 2nd is a national holiday. It's called pyhäpaivää or literally, Holy Day. It's called All Saints Day in English and it's comparable to Dia de los Muertos. So absolutely EVERYTHING was closed. Which was kinda weird because in America even Walmart is open on holidays or something. But every single little store close down. So anyway, The day started off great with me finishing the Book of Mormon! In the MTC I got a brand new copy and marked it all up and read it straight through. And then, On Sunday, I started it again! In a brand new copy that i'll get to mark all the way through and see what I find different this time! Man I'm so excited! So anyway, then we went out to a couple lessons and had a wonderful Dinner appointment at the church with the returned missionary from Mesa. He made us Mexican food. Holy cow it was delicious. It wasn't until right then that I realized how much I missed Arizona! That definitely made Saturday special.

Then on Sunday, Our investigator and her son came to church! And so did another investigator! For the first time, all three of us were super busy trying to get them all to the right classes! But I loved it! It's always interesting sitting next to a nonmember during sacrament meeting and wondering "Oh man, what are they thinking?!" So we'll have a lesson with them this week and find out! The cool thing is, that whatever they're thinking, I know they're feeling the spirit. We had an amazing testimony meeting and a musical number by the other sisters and the whole day was just really a blessing :)

And Today is my wonderful companion's, Sisar Dayton, birthday! She's 22!! Yay! We've had a great morning so far that included an amazing run, some presents, and chocolate chip pancakes! The rest of the day is planned to include a buffet for lunch and some reindeer meat for dinner! I'll letcha know how it goes next week!
Well, I guess the main thing I've learned this week is that no matter what your numbers show, as long as you're doing your best to constantly be led by the spirit, you'll be blessed. We've had some slow weeks, I'll admit, but this area is just started to pick up and soon we'll be so busy we won't know what to do! It's gonna explode any day now! So, the work is great :) I'm great, healthy, happy, warm, and can't wait to get back out there! And most importantly, the church is true.
Thanks so much for the wonderful letters and love and support this week! I'll write back asap! Cute costumes everyone! Especially Allyson haha you're so funny. Have a great week! I love you all!

Sisar Crandall
p.s. I was Sisar Ballif for Halloween. And sorry that I look like a mess, me and Sisar Dayton got caught in the rain right before the party! Anyway, enjoy the pics!

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Week with the Members

Hei Hei!

This week has been...uhh... interesting... As most weeks are on a mission. I sit down each night to write in my journal and it'll say "Today was the best day ever!" And then, "Today was so difficult..." In the same journal entry so yep, lots of ups and downs, but I'm still happy and healthy and involved in a great work so that's all that matters!
Well this week I wanted to write about all the member experiences we had this week. Man I love it when members step up to the plate to help us out! 

Well, on Tuesday, we went out with a recent RM who served in, yep, you guessed it, Mesa, Arizona. It was sooo cool being able to talk to him! I also found out that he had taught and baptized two people from my high school who I knew! I was so happy I almost cried. (Which is pretty weird considering I knew these people, but wasn't super close with them) but still, It was awesome! I also couldn't help wondering if I could've done something to help share the gospel with them a little more. They have a billion mormon friends and have been to church/mutual a bunch, but never had a formal invitation to hear from the missionaries. That's all it takes! One formal, bold invitation can make all the difference. Man, I loved hearing about all the work going on in my home state. 

So anyway, We went out with this Elder and sometimes it just takes a fresh, eager, RM to remind you of the spirit of missionary work. Sometimes when we're involved in it every day, we forget the joy of it. So, while we were out with him, we taught tons of lessons and found 3 new investigators! It was awesome.

Then, on Wednesday we held a lesson at a members home where we watched the Restoration movie. Finns are very sensitive and careful about how they use their time, so agreeing to meet with you is a big deal for them. Because of this, we like to keep our lessons shorter, so they know that we value their time and don't want to take hours of their day. Well, this is sometimes difficult because the movie is already 20 minutes long. But, these wonderful members had everything so perfectly set up and ready and all we had to do was sit down and teach. It made such a difference to the investigator when she could just learn and be receptive to the spirit and not worry about how much time we're taking up or anything. So yeah, members rock.

Then, we had another lesson on Saturday with this same investigator. She lives quite a ways away and it takes us over an hour to get there because of the way the bus schedule is and where the bus stop is and walking there and everything. But, once again, a wonderful member agreed to come to the lesson with us and give us a ride and made everything waayyyy easier. (It's only like a 15 minute drive on the freeway) We were able to go to more lessons that day and get way more done because of the help of this member.
Okay, so here are some other cool experiences that happened this week that aren't really member related.
We have a former investigator and her son who we've been trying to get in contact with. We've talked to her on the phone and she said we could come over anytime, but we've gone probably 5 or 6 times now and she's never home. Well, about a week ago we were walking over there to try to contact her again and while we walk places, we usually try to talk to everyone we pass/see (Which isn't a lot of people now that it's cold and snowy outside). So, we were walking and kinda in a hurry and saw a lady on the other side of the street walking the opposite direction and reasoned with ourselves that it would be too out of our way/awkward to talk to her and we were in a hurry so we just kept walking and went to this former's home and she wasn't there :( So then we just went on our day and didn't think much of it. Well, this week we went over there again and she was home! And guess what?! It was the same lady!! The Lord had put her perfectly in our path, but because we didn't talk to absolutely everyone we passed, we missed her. So yeah, we definitely repented of that one. But I learned a valuable lesson: The Lord won't keep someone from hearing the gospel just because he has imperfect people as his missionaries. This work is guided by him and the Lord patiently provided another way for us to get in contact with her. So, moral of the story, talk to everyone.

The second cool experience this week came when, as a companionship, we were prayerfully trying to pick a baptismal date for our investigator. When we started talking about it, the date November 28th popped into my head. And I though "No, Sister Crandall, that date just popped into your hear because it's your birthday. Plus, it's a Thursday and people aren't baptized on thursdays." So, in my mind, I picked the date November 30th, the closest Saturday. Well, then Sister Ballif went on to tell us that baptismal dates should be picked by the spirit regardless if they follow the normal circumstances regarding baptism i.e. On Saturdays, being in church 3 times,... So, then, Sister Dayton and I decided to say the dates we were both thinking outloud at the same time. And guess what, she said November 28th! ! She commented how she though that date had just popped into her head because it's Thanksgiving, but apparently it's the right date! So it was just cool that we both thought of a non-Saturday date. Just goes to show what can happen when your companionship is in unity: the spirit takes over.
So, those are my many stories/experiences for this week. It rained this week which is awesome because that means it's warm enough to not snow. I'm doing well and I'm happy and healthy! Oh, this week was also transfers and the two elders in my district got transferred and we got a new district leader and his brand new companion out of the MTC. Elder Cook and Elder Cummings. I'm way excited to work with them and get to know them more. We've got some great things happening in our area and I just can't wait to see where it'll go!
The pictures included are with Elder Downs and Elder Anderson who got transferred and a picture of me out freezing... p.s. Camille I'm wearing the hat you gave me and it's awesome :)
I love you all and I can feel your support each day! Keep up the great work at home and I'll talk to you next week!
Sisar Crandalla

Monday, October 21, 2013

Winter's Here!

Hey family and friends!!
Well, this week sure has been one of change and learning!

It started off Monday with me buying some winter boots. I didn't really think I'd need them for a while but there was a sale and I wanted to get them sooner rather than later. Well, I NEEDED THEM! It snowed this week! And all of the Finns were warning us that talvi tulee (winter will come) but I didn't really understand until now. It snowed a bunch and then quickly turned into ice so I was really grateful for some good boots. I also had to break out my winter coat this week, but I got pretty toastly in it pretty fast. So I was plenty warm, don't worry. Then, Finland likes to do this thing where they put rocks all over the sidewalk because they have something against salt. So now there is a weird mixture of rocks and ice and slush and snow all over the sidewalks that makes it pretty hard to exercise in the mornings, let alone walk to the bus stop, but we still go running everyday! I wonder how long that will last, but it sure helps wake you up when it's still pitch black outside. I'm glad I have companions who make me get outside. The whole day just starts off right when we do.

Well, then on Tuesday we went to Turku! We had exchanges there and I went out with Sisar Kunz. She's out Sister Training Leader (Sister Zone Leader) and it was way fun. We even went and visited a former investigator from Mexico and got to use some of my spanish! My oh my I've forgotten a lot of it... I had to struggle for like 10 minutes just to invite her to church! But she thoroughly enjoyed me saying a couple sentences in Spanish. (The rest of the conversation was in Finnish). So that was fun!

Then, on Wednesday we had our non-member neighbor invite us to go see this old church in Jyväskylä so we went! It's closed in the winter, but the grounds and the cemetary around it are open so we went and visited it and it was very cool. Attached are some pictures. On the day we went, it was still fall and nice and sunny and beautiful. The pictures of the snow are from Thursday, so it literally became winter overnight! 

Thursday we had district meeting and it was Elder Anderson's birthday so we celebrated with some very American 7 layer dip that was delicious. It's the little things that make us missionaries happy.
Well, the language is still improving daily! I sometimes have a hard time switching from Finnish to English though. Like this week someone asked me "Oletko sinä greenie" (Are you a greenie?) And I was like uhhh  mitä? what? And it just didn't register in my mind that the word greenie was in english and I didn't understand at all... And then later at the store, Sisar Ballif said they bought a suklaamufinni And I was sooo confused because I knew the word suklaa meant chocolate (you learn that word pretty fast here) but I couldn't for the life of me figure out what mufinni meant. (Yeah, it means muffin.) So maybe I just make this language harded for myself, but we laugh at it all the time and it's great!

The rest of the week involved tutoring and decorating and cleaning up for a wedding that was held at the church and overall, it was a great week!I also got Camille and Mom's and Dad's letters this week! Thank you so much! And I got a bunch of pictures of Camille and Hyrum and I loved them! Keep them coming! 

This week I've really learned that the Book of Mormon can truly change people. We had another missionary in our ward come home from her mission in Temple Square and she gave an amazing talk about it. I love hearing these type of stories because I experience them first hand! I see people completely turn their lives around because they know this gospel is worth it. So just remember, you're never too busy for the gospel. Make a priority of scripture study and family prayer and missionary work. The blessings will be repaid far more than you can ever imagine!
I hope all is well wherever in the world you may be! I'm praying for you all and I appreciate your love and support! Stay happy, healthy, and warm and I will too!
Sisar Crandall

P.S. I forgot to mention that this week was transfers and nothing happened in my companionship so im for sure in jyväskylä until at least Nov. 21st when my trainer goes home. I'll letcha know as soon as something changes! But for now my same polkkakuja address should be fine! 
K love you all!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Another Great Week!

Wow wow wow! I don't even know where to start! 

Well this week was sure one of ups and downs (as I'm sure most weeks are as a missionary) It started off normal with P-day and a visit to the Panda Factory (pictures to come). Then, on Wednesday we traveled to Tampere for zone conference and miraculously took the correct train both there and back by ourselves. I know you're probably all thinking that's easy, but this is the first time it's happened in a while so we were grateful for that!

Then, the rest of the week we got pretty busy! Here are the main stories of what happened:
So we have this film producer of a neighbor who is extremely busy, but super willing to meet. He has a cute little family with two sons and is seriously just so golden. So after struggling for weeks to set up an appointment with him and stopping by and talking to his wife and texting and everything, we were kinda discouraged. I mean, come one, no one's too busy for the gospel. So, we decided we'd do something unheard of for a Finn. We decided to make them dinner. So we went to the store and got some random ingredients and ended up making a lasagna and garlic bread and some hot chocolate and bringing it over to them. We just left it on their doorstep with a note that said "We know you're busy, so we saved you some time, and we'd like to reserve it for ourselves. Call us." (Something along those lines, idk it was in Finnish) So then we rang the door bell and ran away. It's weird how much of missionary work is taking cookies to people or bread  or heart attacking or just things like that (we did all of those things this week), So then we got a very long text about 10 minutes later and it was awesome! He was so apologetic for being so busy and wanted to know when he could come return our pan and it was awesome. So, the next day, we ran into him and he gave us our pan back and he invited us over for dinner and to meet the whole family! So, although it isn't the traditional way of tracting, it worked! We knew we had to do something drastic to show this family that they really do need this gospel, no matter how busy they are. So it was a great reminder to us that no matter how busy you may seem, things really work out when you put the Lord first. 

Okay, second story: 
On Saturdays we still go over and do service and I tutor in trigonometry. It's coming along pretty well, but everytime I go over there I realize how many English words (especially math words) I've forgotten because I haven't had to use them in months! I was trying to describe the Quadratic Equation to him in English (he speaks really good english) and couldn't think of any of the words! we finally had to google it, so I could remember what it was. So yeah, my everyday english is still fine, but anything beyond that is debateable. We also had the experience with that family of not being able to remember the word Excuvator. And the family only knew the work in German so that didn't help at all... But once again we just googled it and everyone had a big laugh about it. Well anyway, that wasn't the main part of the story. The cool part was after this service, we got to sit down and have lunch with the entire family (including the husband who we had barely met before) and had a nice discussion and invited them to come to young mens activities and meet the elders and it was awesome. So, slowly, but surely, the Lord is softening the hearts of those we come in contact with.

K, last story.
Saturday night we had an appointment with our investigator who used to be a former investigator and recently just started meeting with the missionaries again. She's an awesome lady with a really cute 5 year old son we all love. Well anyway, On Saturday night we invited her to be baptized, and she accepted! She has such incredible faith and is just super busy working on here doctrate. So, once again we testified of how if she puts the Lord first, we know she'll receive an answer to the truthfulness of this message. So she's preparing to be baptized next month!

So overall, I'm doing great :) Lots of ups and downs this week with some discouraging cancelled appointments and missed buses, but I always just remember this quote given to me by a good friend from Gordon B Hinckly "The best cure for worry is work..." So I just put my mittens and headband and hat and scarf and tights and socks and leggings and socks again and boots and skirt and cardigan and jacket and coat on and get back out there! (not necessarily in that order, but you get the idea) P.s. I was told "winter" was coming this week. Not sure what that means, but I'll let you know! 

Oh and p.s. an Elder here in our ward in Jyväskylä just came home from his mission in Mesa! It was great hearing his homecoming talk and being reminded of home!

Thank you so much for the wonderful letters and tons of emails I got this week! I'll write back to you all (my siblings) today don't worry! (Oh I'm also going to Turku tomorrow for exchanges so lots of writing time on my train rides!) Stay safe and know I'm praying for you all! I love you!

Sisar Crandall

 (Love the Sunset!)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Jyväskylä is way better than Helsinki...

Hope all is going well at home!  I was so extremely happy to hear of Hyrum's birth! I loved all of the pictures so much! And I get home right in time to become the favorite aunt again! perfect :)

Well this past week, Sunday through Friday, I was in Helsinki for Interim training and Language School. President Rawlings met with us and we talked a lot about how to improve our area and where we're going as a mission. It was very inspiring. I learned a lot from role playing inviting investigators to be baptized and I'm excited to go implement it all this week! Zone conference about a week and a half ago was great and I have another one this week in Tampere, so lots of traveling! We've only taken the wrong bus 50 times and the wrong train 2 so yeah, we're slowly figuring it out... But we've met some amazing people on those trains/buses so I guess it's all in the Lord's timing! 

Other than that, not a ton is new, I know I say that often, but it's hard to have a bunch of new stories when you're out of your area all week. There's still this family that we go and do service for every Saturday and I'm still tutoring their son in Trigonometry. It's going fairly well and he has a huge test coming up (Much like an AP test) So hopefully he won't fail! haha He'll do great. 

Well we had the opportunity to watch Conference this weekend! Best weekend ever! It started off by going to the mall and getting Conference Candy (mission tradition) and watching the Relief Society sessions and then Sat morning. Then,on Sunday, we watched Sat afternoon and sun morning. I haven't had the chance to watch Sun afternoon yet because it's already Monday here so hopefully I can read/watch it soon! I love Elder Uchtdorf's talk as well as Elder Dube and Elder Nielsen! Wow Missionary work is sure going forth and I love it! People back home ask me all the time what I need or what they can do to help. Really, the most help anyone could be to me, is to support your own missionaries back home. Call them up and let them know you're available to hold lessons or give a ride to church or anything! It makes such an incredible difference when we know we can count on a member. So get in contact with them ASAP! It's the least you can do.

So. all is well here in good old Finland. It's already snowed a couple times so of course we went out and bought some ice cream so there are some pictures of that. I wear tights/leggings everyday and usually a hat too so sorry if I look goofy in some of the pictures, it's the only way to stay warm! I'm also going to the Panda Factory today and I'm very excited! Panda is a huge chocolate manufacturing company so we've been making Willy Wonka jokes all day and the Elders in our district are sick of it, but I love it!

Oh! And I almost forgot! I got a package this week! Thanks Dad!! The best part by far was the Apple Cinnamon Cheerios. Wow I did not realize how much I missed those. Of course I'm fine without them, but for some reason it's the little things that help :) So thanks everyone for sending your love and support! I got letters from Camille and Mom so I'll be writing home again today! And congrats again to Melissa and Joseph! I love you too!
Sisar Crandall