Monday, August 26, 2013

Terve Jyväskylästa!! (Hello from Jyväskylä!!)

(Before I get to the letter, Kathryn said that this is her address for the next 10 weeks.  You can ALWAYS send letters to the mission home, they will just take a few extra days:

Polkkakuja 5 C 27
40520 JYVÄSKYLÄFinland

Well I made it! I'm in Finland now!
Jyväskylä to be exact. I really wish I could see you all try to pronounce that word.  haha It kinda sounds like you vas coo la (In English). Its amazing here! And so beautiful! I feel bad for my friends in South America and Africa because my apartment is so nice! Everything looks like it came out of on Ikea magazine and its all white and clean and European and I really am spoiled. We have a sauna in our apartment! Everyone does! So yeah, life's good.

Okay so I'm in a threesome! Most of the sisters are because there are so many new sisters and not enough trainers! So its me, Sisar Dayton who was in my district in the MTC, and my trainer Sisar Ballif. We all are hilarious and laugh all the time. And everything is funnier in Finnish so that helps a lot.

Well, there are now 7 missionaries assigned to the same ward in Jyväskylä. 5 sisters and 3 Elders. Us three sisters are kinda in a new area so this week was hard because we have 0 investigators and have to start from scratch. W'eve just been working on setting up appointments and getting referrals because theres not much else we can do!

Well I got all of your emails and stuff, I just don't have much time to read them so I'll print them off and read them and respond to anything next week. The internet is surprisingly slow here for being such a European city.

Well this past week was crazy. I said all my goodbyes last Sunday and flew to Chicago and then London and then  Helsinki. Miraculously, every missionary arrived with all their luggage and easily got into the country so that was awesome! We then went to the Helsinki temple and hung out on the grounds. Its beautiful! We just sat there and tried to take in the fact that were in Finland now! Then we went to the mission home where about 20 of us slept that night. We had an interview with the mission president and as soon as I shook his hand he said Hold on a sec. And then he turned around and wrote down a city and then said I know where you're going. So that was super cool! He knew right where I should go without even talking to me! Not sure how leaders do it, but they're always right!

The food here is absolutely delicious. I'm easily going to gain weight here, no doubt. We had a lunch appointment and then a dinner appointment. Bad idea. Both places had wonderful food and the dinner appointment was originally for all 5 sisters in the area, but only us 3 went so we sure ate a lot! The member there also gave us Reeses. haha it was funny to see American candy even though I've only been here a week. Oh! The Chocolate! Finland has amazing chocolate! There are a billion different kinds! Ill be sure to send some home because they're wonderful! My favorite so far is pear with almond. Sounds super weird, but it is by far the best chocolate I've ever had in Europe or America.

Well the language is difficult of course. We had church in Finnish and I was able to understand the talk one of the missionaries gave because I'm used to slowed American Finnish but the other speakers went right over my head. We talk to the members a lot and when they realize we've been here less than a week they're so impressed that we can even have a basic conversation with them! Every single person I've talked to always say that I speak good Finnish (compared to most Americans I guess) for only being here a week so thats always a confidence booster. This is my trainers last transfer so she's really good at the language so we look to her in emergencies if we don't understand what's going on.

Well I'm sure I have more to write but I'm out of time! Ill try to include some pictures if I can though. Thanks for all the wonderful emails and letters of love and support! I'm so lucky! I loved talking to you all on Monday and special shout out to Uncle Lamar for showing up at the right time!

Well, this work is great and I learn more and more about how amazing God is with his timing and everything else that goes on in a mission!

Talk to y'all next week!

Sisar Crandall

Her first views of Finland

Sister Dayton and the Finland Temple

 Goodbyes at the MTC

Friday, August 23, 2013

The First Contact From Finland!!

Kathryn  Wrote on Tuesday:
Hey everyone! 
I'm here in the mission home safe and sound! I'm about to head to bed, exhausted and I love and miss you all! It was so great getting to talk to you all today! I'll let you know more details like where and who I'm with as soon as I find out! 

Love you!
Sisar Crandall
Her Mission President Wrote on Friday:

We thought you would like to see pictures of your daughter after she arrived in Finland.  This is a wonderful group of missionaries.  We a very happy that they all arrived safely.

With Mission President 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Last Week in the MTC!

Hello there!

So I got my travel plans! I leave the MTC around 7:30 Monday morning and fly to Chicago and then we fly all night to London and then I land in Helsinki around 3:30 Tuesday afternoon (Finland time). I'm so extremely excited! And I've spent the past couple days slowly trying to pack and get ready! I might have a problem with weight because I'm not exaggerating at all, but we have over 15 pounds in books (We weighed them). Apparently Finnish is a hard language, who knew?

So besides getting ready to leave, this week has been crazy! We finnished (haha that joke never gets old) our consecration week yesterday so I'm finally able to speak english again and it feels so weird! I just love the Finnish language so much I'll probably never want (or be able) to speak English again!

Well tomorrow we have "In-field orientation" when we practice street contacting and things like that. So I won't have class and I'm really excited to have a break.
Last Thursday at TRC we taught a real Finnish lady who now lives in Provo to be closer to her family. So it was intimidating teaching a real Finn who spoke very fast (instead of just RMs) but I loved it! Melissa/Camille, do you remember when some elders came to our Elmwood house and taught us about fortifying our families just like Moroni fortified his city in the war chapters? Well we taught this same lesson. We used paper cutouts and it was just a blast. We easily went over our 40 minute lesson allotment because we were having such a good and spiritual experience! I loved it!

Well then on Tuesday we went to the devotional like normal. And guess who spoke?? RICHARD G SCOTT!! He came and talked to us about making our prayers more meaningful and it was awesome. and then at the end of his talk it got all quiet and he very boldly (almost yelling into the microphone) he said "With apostolic authority, I evoke a blessing upon those of you learning a language that you may have the gift of tongues according to your faith" Man that sure was good to hear coming from an apostle with only a couple of days before I get out into the field.

Well I got to go to the temple this morning for my last time in English for a while and it was awesome! I only got to go twice in the MTC so I enjoyed it so much!

Also, this week Aunt Corrine sent my some family reunion pictures! Everyone looks so good! And family, you are all so tan! Holy cow! I also saw the group picture of everyone and I gotta admit I'm pretty sure there were some Evans grandkids I didn't even know existed. And I'm sure that'll continue while I'm gone so keep me updated!

Well really this week was great and surprisingly I'm not nervous to go to Finland or anything. Maybe it just hasn't hit me yet. Yeah I don't think I'll really ever grasp this concept for at least 16 months. Maybe on my plane ride home I'll realize how lucky I am to have this opportunity to serve!

Well I love this work and I love all of you! Thank you all for your support and love and letters. They just make my week :) I hope you're all praying for missionary experiences in your own life as well as supporting your local missionaries. Trust me, they need it!
Well I know this church is true and I love this gospel! I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world right now! (Okay maybe in Finland already...) Look forward to my exciting email next week! I'm sure I'll have a lot to say!

My address in Finland is:

Sisar Crandall
Finland, Helsinki Mission
Neitsytpolku 3 A 4
FI-00140 Helsinki

And my email is:
Sisar Crandall

District Picture and Alyssa Hundley from BYU

Elder Friends

Jordynn Alston from Mountain View and Steven Grossen from BYU

Thursday, August 8, 2013

One a Week and a Half Left!

Well I only have about a week and a half left in the MTC and it's very exciting!! This week is Consecration Week where we choose things to give up so we can really focus on the Lord. We're (the Finns) all giving up English, which means I haven't said a word of English in about 2 days and right now it's pretty weird writing in English as well. It's teaching me a lot about how much more I need to learn, but also showing me how much I know and it's a really great experience to completely rely on the Lord to get by on a daily basis. So I won't speak English until next Wednesday! Finnish is coming along slowly, but steadily. We're still learning new things (like entirely new tenses/grammar principles) every day and it's kinda frustrating that we haven't even been exposed to all of Finnish yet, but I'm so excited to get to Finland and just learn exponentially!!
Other than that nothing is too exciting here in the MTC. We got a new investigator this week named Emma who's excited to come to church but her boyfriend doesn't want her too... Oh well, I can work with that:) We also had another investigator get baptized last Saturday which means we get to teach all the post baptism lessons now and I'm excited for that!
Mom, I'm glad you were able to meet the other moms, sounds fun! I should also get my travel plans this week so I'll send them to you as soon as I know!! 2 weeks from today I'll be teaching lessons in Finnish in Finland!! It's crazy but I absolutely can not wait!!
The reunion sounds awesome! All the kids told me about their favorite parts and I sure do miss Uncle Chris' silly songs! I also heard multiple times how adorable Matthew and Hailey's kids were so I'm glad you guys love your cousins so much :) I also heard about Grandpa and Grandmas testimonies and Matthew's lesson and Heber's baptism and I'm just so glad I have such an awesome family :)
Thank you so much for the wonderful letters and Dear Elders this week! I'm way too spoiled! I got some very cute ones from Allyson and Justin's family and I'm excited to write them back!!
Also, Shout out to Camille for starting school this week, let me know how it goes!! And shout out to Rhett for writing me a letter completely in Finnish!! The grammar was perfect as well and I could totally understand it!! Way to go bud!! I also get to go to the temple next week for the first time in about 6 weeks and I'm very excited!! And pretty soon I get to go to the Helsinki temple!!
Well I have a lot of pictures to send home today (I ran into Sister Bailey, my roommate, and it was awesome!) So today's letter is a little shorter, but I'm just so excited to be on a mission! I've had some wonderful and happy times in my life, but I don't think I've ever been as happy as I am when i'm in the MTC preparing to serve the Lord! And I'm sure it'll only get better in Finland! It really is awesome to always have the spirit with me. Not because I want it, but because I NEED it.. There's no way I could teach 3 Finnish lessons a day without it.
This week my challenge is to all of you to look up your favorite scripture and send it to me. I'm always looking for new good ones!! I know you all have one so please let me know what they are!!
I love you all so much!! Minä rakastan teitä tosi paljon!! Thanks for all the love and support! I couldn't do it without you! Til next week!

Sisar Crandall

Favorite Chileans

Another District Pic . . . I love these gals!

Sister Evans and Elder Bailey (BYU Roomate and Friend)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Week 6


Well I've now been in the MTC for over 6 weeks now, which is a pretty long time in mission time. This week a lot of fun and exciting things happened so this email might be all over the place but I gotta type fast so here goes.

So on Thursday we taught TRC where we teach other people who play themselves (not investigators) We taught about how the scriptures can be so inspiring and so we all shared our favorite scriptures (In Finnish of course) and then they shared theirs and it was just a really cool lesson. One of the ones I shared was Romans 8:31. Very inspiring. Go look it up.

On Saturday I kinda got dumped on with a lot of new Finnish grammar. And they told us we'd be learning new grammar concepts up until the day we left so I felt a little bit overwhelmed. So I sat down and made a goal to not be overwhelmed by this and take it one baby grammar principle at a time. I study the little vocab book I carry around with my constantlly and we're now up to 4 All Finnish days a week. (Our last week here we have concecration week where there's no english so we're practicing for that) It's hard when I see my friends and have to have my companion translate everything I say, but it's way fun! I also literally have to sit down and just read from this huge grammar book as often as I can to try to grasp the concepts, but I must say it's still coming along great. Obviously very difficult, but never impossible when I keep in mind that I'm doing the Lord's work. My English is getting a little messed up though. Like in Finnish you have to ask questions from people, so in English I sometimes catch myself saying "Yeah I'll just go ask from my teacher" And It sounds weird, but my brain is being rewired so there's bound to be some mistakes! Oh and in Finnish every adjective just adds er or est to the end so in english i've started saying beautifuller (Instead of more beautiful) and making up words all the time but I love it!

Well on Sunday we had our typical Sunday night devo and guess who spoke?? Uncle John and Aunt Cheryl!! Pretty cool huh?? They gave some awesome and inspiring talks and I really wanted to go up and hug them but I'm at West Campus so I only see it broadcasted... But it was really nice seeing some family, even if it was just extended. Every Sunday night we get to watch movies but since I'm at west, there aren't very many options so I've seen Legacy, the testaments, and Bednar's talk "The Character of Christ" multiple times. But I still love them all every time!

Tuesday nights we get to go to a devotional at the Marriot Center and here's where I get to see most of my friends from main campus. I sing in the choir at the devo, but that's not saying mucch since the choir literally has more people in it than the rest of the audience does, and I love it!

This week a lot of my dear friends who I've been with constantly at every meal and gym time left (they were 6 weekers) so that's what a lot of the pictures are.

So since I'm at West campus, our cafeteria has been a make shirt pool house cafeteria and its kinda funny i think. I've had cereal every day for breakfast since I've been on a mission because there is no other option. but I love it! (Mom, they even have Blueberry Muffin Cereal!) I also grab a banana and throw some peanut butter on it or something so don't worry, i'm eating plenty. The new cafeteria opened today though actually, but its still the same food until next week (Yep cereal again this morning) The head cafeteria manager guy is our best friend and sneaks us nutella to put on our bagels or rolls or whatever and gives us food and sends our family pictures. His name is Chris Justice (We all call him Chief Justice) and he's awesome. Those little things make a big difference on a mission.

Well on Monday we had gym, like usual, but it just poured! And since there's no indoor gym option at west and there wasn't any lighting, all of us got to keep playing in it! Basketball in the rain is awesome! That's seriously been one of the funnest days at the MTC so far.

Well life is great and I absolutely can't wait to get out into the field in about 3 and a half weeks! Mission life is awesome and I'm so thankful for all the love and support I constantly feel from home and from my awesome friends on missions! I love you all!
Sisar Crandall

Finnish Sisters and Zone Leaders
Zone with Estonians, Hungarians, and Finns

Sister Trainees leaving to Hungary
Chilean Friends

Jessie Washburn (long-time friends)
Pink Wednesdays