Monday, January 27, 2014

Just another day in Paradise... errr.... I mean the North Pole

Oh dear Family and Friends of mine all over the world,

Well this week it hit the warm temperature of -23. Boy oh boy I just love Finland in the winter. The weird thing is that it's actually gorgeous here. The sun has been out almost every day this week and with all the snow on the ground, everything just sparkles! I love it. And one of my most favorite things ever is that when it snows, the snowflakes look like real snowflakes! They'll land on my jacket and I can see the outline of the snowflake perfectly! It's so beautiful! And sometimes I'm just standing at a bus stop staring at my jacket because it's so cool! And my companion probably thinks I'm weird but oh well, I love it!

Oh! And Finland is also full of lakes, and now, they're all frozen completely over! So instead of having to go across bridges and take detours around them, we can just walk straight across! So we walked across the huge Jyväsjärvi on our way to church yesterday so that's what a lot of the pictures are from. It's so fun and we get to walk under the bridges and just enjoy the beautiful sights of finland while everyone around us ice skates and cross country skis to work! So cool!

So this week we had a bunch of miracles!! Surprise! Actually not at all. We're missionaries... Hello... We see miracles everyday! all we have to do is open our eyes :

So this week we got in with 2 less actives!
First one: I personally have been knocking on her door every week since I've been in Jyväskylä (That's 5 months for those of you who are playing along at home) And she's never answered. I don't think she's ever even been home... And we got on different days and different times and no luck. So, this week we were going to catch a bus and we decided to just knock and ask to use her bathroom (We kinda do that a lot...) And she was home! And she answered! And she let us in! And then she asked us to stay! So we did! We missed our bus, but we were able to teach a great lesson and we're going back there again this week! I guess persistence pays off!

Second one: This one we had tried and she had answered and said we could come back, but then we could never find a time that worked for her or she has too busy and she just kept saying "oh yeah sometime. We'll see" and nothing really worked. Well this week we were in her area and we stopped by and we just asked when we could come back and she said "How about Tuesday at 9:30?" And we said "YES!" so that was a pretty cool experience too! 

Another miracle: We (Us and the spirit) had an awesome lesson this week! We met this man tracting who I think I talked about in my last letter who had received a book of mormon from a member a while ago and he said we could come back. So we went back! We went and taught about the book of mormon and moroni's promise and when we asked him if he'd pray about it he said "tottakai!" (oh course!) And he's coming to church next week (That's a big deal) and we have an appointment this week! I'm super excited about this one. The lesson was just so powerful and man, it was just awesome. I can't really explain it so you'll all just have to take my word on it.

Miracle #27842: We met this lady on the street about a month ago with her boyfriend and other friend and her 3 kids. She knew a lot about the church and really wanted to meet and gave us her number, but said she was going out of town to Mozambique for 3 weeks and couldn't meet until after that. bummer. So honestly, we kinda forgot about it because we had to wait 3 weeks. And then we were tracting this building next to where we live and we knocked on her door! And she opened it and said that she had just got back in town the day before! We had NO idea where she lived and we "happened" to knock on her door right when she got back? well that's cool! So we set up an appointment to come back and teach her and her boyfriend and we're super excited for that! 

One more miracle: We were tracting again (This sometimes happens a lot in the winter when no one is outside) and we knocked on this lady's door and she immediately said no. But we kept talking to her anyway about non-church related stuff, like her family and work and what not and she asked us a TON of questions about us and why we're here and how we speak Finnish so well and things like that. We talked to her all about the Book of Mormon and the Bible and she had a lot of questions about it and ended up having a 45 minute discussion right there at her door. Like literally, I had to consciously not lock my knees so I wouldn't pass out since we were standing there so long. But it was awesome! And the weird thing was, all throughout that time we were talking to her we invited her to come to things and she said no and we asked to meet again and she said she wasn't interested and we tried to give her a book of mormon and she wouldn't take it, but she kept talking to us anyway! And in the end she just said "So I have time Thursday night if you want to come back" She had literally said no to us 7 times and then just offered us a return appointment. uhh okay! We'll take it! the Lord works in mysterious ways, but I'm not going to complain! 

So we ended up getting 3 new investigators this week and meeting a bunch of less actives and it was just a great week!

We ended the week with a dinner with all the young women for mutual on Friday and a "American Cookie Making Night" With a lot of the girls and their non-member friends on Saturday! See, missionary work can be fun! 

So I guess my point of all of this is that hard work pays off and the Lord is aware of us and everyone around us and he's just waiting for the timing to line up. So as long as we trust in the Lord, we'll never go astray.

I'm so grateful to be a missionary and there's no where else I'd rather be! Take care at home and abroad and be safe! I love you all!

Sisar Crandall

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