The emails, pictures, stories, and adventures of Sisar Kathryn Crandall in Helsinki, Finland
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!
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!