Monday, January 6, 2014

Hyvää Uutta Vuotta!! (Happy New Year)

Well, it is officially Tammikuu! (January!) This week, of course, had its ups and downs, but I'm in an amazing city where some amazing things are happening and I love being a part of it! 
This week started off with the a Youth Conference held right here in Jyväskylä! It started on Monday and went until Wednesday. Youth from all over Finland came and it really was amazing. And since Tuesday and Wednesday are "red days" here (we can't be outside/proselyte) we ended up helping out a lot at the conference and teaching one of the lessons there. The new theme for the 2014 year for the youth is "Tulkaa Kristuksen luokse" (Come unto Christ) Allyson told me about this a couple weeks ago so it was cool to see it implemented here in Finland too! In one of the classes at the youth conference we watched an amazing video. I'm sure some of you have seen it, but I encourage you all to go watch it right now! It's so good! I've seen it 7 or 8 times and I cry every single one! It's just a great reminder that no matter what is going on in our lives, Christ is there to help us. I love how it focuses on physical challenges, friend challenges, temptations, or even family problems. The Lord is always there to take away anything that we will give to him. Here's the link;
I absolutely love the music and the video and everything. Let me know what your thoughts are on it, even if you've seen it before. 

So anyway, that Youth Conference was amazing! The 6 Jyväskylä missionaries taught one of the classes and we had the youth write their testimonies in Books of Mormon and then we practiced giving them out to their friends. Man the youth here in Finland are amazing. I was doing a role play with a girl and I asked her to think of someone she could give the book of mormon to and she said "Well, I can't really think of anyway..." And I've heard that answer before so I was about to say something and then she said "I already gave away 9 copies to all my friends for Christmas" uhh... okay never mind then. Someone just needs to give you a name tag and you're good to go! So yeah, Finland's rockin the missionary work right now and the members, especially the youth, are super excited about it. 

Tuesday night was New Years Eve and Sisar Lund and I sure had fun celebrating! We watched the fireworks above the city from our window and we drank apple cider and hot chocolate and really just enjoyed out time locked inside out apartment. Sisar Lund's family also has a cool Christmas Eve tradition where they make ice cream balls covered in coconut and put a candle in it and then see who can eat all the ice cream, but not let their candle go out. So we did that fun tradition too so that's what those pictures are of. We also found some sparklers and took a couple pictures out on our balcony and welcomed in the new year (At 22:00 of course).
So, this week has been full of goal setting and thinking of where I want to be at the end of this year (which also happens to coincide with the end of my mission) I've got some big goals for this transfer and I'm really excited to see where it'll go. 

Well, on Saturday we had an awesome lesson with one of our investigators from Africa (Ivory coast I think ) And we gave him a church tour and he loved it. We were able to show him the baptismal font and the sacrament table and the spirit was so strong. There's something about just being in the church that instantly invites the spirit. I love it when that happens :) But then, we invited him to come to church and he said he'd think about it. So at the end of the lesson we invited him to pray if he should come to church tomorrow and we promised him that he'd receive an answer that it was the right thing to do. So he prayed and then said it was up to God whether he came or not. Well, we of course know that coming to church is what Heavenly Father wants for him, but... he didn't show up. So yeah, kinda a bummer. I've learned a lot about how it's the intent of someone's heart that really matters. 

Also, we had our first "Bible bash" discussion this week. I've successfully avoided them this far, but then we had a guy say he wanted to meet with us so we set up an appointment and got another woman to come with us and the lesson just went terribly... The entire time he was pointing out everything that was wrong with the Book of Mormon and our religion and it's just really hard to have the spirit in a situation like that. So although I was completely safe, it's definitely a place a never want to be in again. So, yep, as always, ups and downs, but at the end of the week I'm always so incredibly grateful to be a missionary and to be a part of this amazing work here in Finland.

Well, those are all my thoughts for today! Oh! I did get an awesome package from dad last Monday and some waayyy good caramels from grandma and an awesome necklace from Melissa! so yeah, i'm spoiled, but I swear you'll all get letters in return! So, I heard about the way fun time the family had skiing and I'm super jealous. You all have way more snow in Utah and Wyoming than we do here. I kinda like it that way though, not too cold :) oh and I've never heard of Roxberry. Sounds good though! Also, thanks to all those who sent my dear companion something for her birthday. We're excited to celebrate tomorrow! I think we'll try a Thai restaurant :) Yeah the life of a missionary in Europe is just so hard... Shout out to all my friends in third world countries!

Well anyway, I hope you all have a great week! Keep up those awesome missionary experiences and keep letting your light shine! I love you all and I miss you! 


Sisar Crandall


Coca Cola Add:  see the Good (in Finnish)
I Bike Jyvaskyla
Cocoa and Apple Cider

Ice Cream Coconut Balls w/Candle
New Necklace (called to serve)
Book of Mormon Tower

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