Monday, January 20, 2014

Winter is Here :)

Hello everyone! Well it was a nice brisk -18 walk to the church this morning to email! Gotta love it! It's been that cold all week, but the sun shone for the first time in months so that was good! This week I've been experimenting on how to stay warm. And after many cold nights freezing at bus stops I think I figured it out! It consists of the following:

On the bottom: long garments, thermals, normal cotton socks, wool socks that go way past my knee, a pair of leggings, and then a big pair of socks again.
On the top: garments, shade shirt, normal shirt, cardigan, my huge jacket, a multi scarf that I can pull up over my face, a hat, my hood, and a huge scarf wrapped around it all. 
Pretty fun huh? well I literally weight like 10 pounds more when I'm dressed and it takes me a solid 5 minutes standing by the door putting in all on, but I love it! We're happy and healthy and surviving! 

Well, I bet you're all wanting to find out how this week went... It went great! Well every week goes great, but especially this one! 

So here are some great things that happened! (In no particular order of greatness)
1. WE GOT A REACTIVATION! So this less active lady that we picked up and started working with when I got into the country is fully active as of this week!! Man her story is a miracle one! The first couple times we went over she didn't want us there and she didn't want us to stay and it just wasn't really working. We committed her to reading one verse a day and we would send her a verse via text message and that was all the communication we had with her. But then, after not meeting with her for many weeks, we called her up and she said we could come over. So we went and it was a complete 180 transformation! We sat down and she said "So I've been trying to order a new triple combination in Finnish, can you help me" uhh yeah! So we order her one and she's been studying and reading ever since! We had the great idea of calling her up and asking if we could do Finnish language study with her. It worked! We've been going over their routinely for a couple weeks now to do language study and then teach her and help her progress! And on Sundays when she didn't jaksaa to come to church, we'd call her and ask her for a ride (She's the most generous person ever) So it got us both to church! But now she willingly comes ever week and anytime we talk to her she always says "See you in church!" Man I just love it! That right there is why I'm a missionary. She comes to all the ward activities and firesides and is just awesome. The ward welcomed her back so openly and multiple people commented to me about how great it is to see her here and happy again. Yep, it's true, the gospel really does make people happy. 

2. We found 3 new investigators! One came from tracting with a member, one came from calling up a former investigator who's now interested, and the other one came from tracting around a different former investigator. The last one is a funny story, we knocked on his door and started talking about the book of mormon and he's like "yeah I've read the whole thing" uhhh wut. part of me hates it when this happens, because it catches me so off guard, but the other part loves it because now he wants to meet! yay!

3. Well I'm not sure if this is a "great" thing, but it was a big one so I'll talk about it anyway. This week I got my heart broken. Sister Dayton and I always joked that being a missionary is worse than dating because you're whole heart and soul is in it and it's just at the whim of someone else. Well not sure if that makes sense, but this week it happened. We were tracting a building and we really felt that we should be there for some reason. So we knocked on this door and a mom and her 5 kids opened the door. We started talking about something (I can't remember) and she said she wasn't interested and we asked for a referral (of course) and she didn't know anyone so we thanked her and moved on. No big deal. We've had much more rude rejections than that. But then after we had walked downstairs, we felt like we didn't handle that door quite right. So we had the crazy idea to go back. And it's usually not a good idea to go back to a door that just told you no (in case they get mad or something) so we usually don't do that, but we decided that we didn't really help them feel the spirit so we needed to go back. So we decided to sing her a song. We sang a child's prayer and we even did the parts and everything (wayy harder in Finnish than I thought) and then we bore such powerful testimony (not gonna lie, the spirit was really strong) and I was almost crying while talking and the mom just looks at us and in the kindest way, with tears in her eyes, said "No thanks, I'm really not interested, but thank you for the beautiful song" Ahh. that one got to me. When I can look at someone and know that they feel the spirit and I can see how much God loves them and they just say no, it really hits me. So yeah, a random lady and her family broke my heart this week. It's okay though, the Lord will always give them another chance :) And next time she meets missionaries she'll remember than once, two cold American sisters came back to her door and sang her a song. 

4. This week we planned a bunch of activities at the church to invite our investigators to so that they could come meet members and see the church building and everything. We invited so many and they all said they wanted to come and guess what?? No one came. Yep, that's the life of a missionary for ya. So it was saturday night and we had planned to all make cookies and watch the testaments together (one of the few church movies in finnish). Well, since no one showed up (members did so it was still fun) we decided to help a lady in the ward who was at the church to clean it help clean the church. We simply offered to vacuum and to do the trashed and it took us like 20 minutes maybe, and literally was no big deal for us. But holy cow it meant a lot to her. She came to us in tears about how she tried to get her husband and kids to come help her clean but they had family in town and didn't want to and how she prayed that somehow she wouldn't have to spend hours at the church cleaning on a Saturday night and that she could go home and enjoy her mom who was in town and then we showed up to help her! (well I'm pretty sure she said something like that, Finnish is very difficult to understand by itself, but especially when someone is crying) So we made her day :) another reason right there why I'm a missionary.

5. I contacted someone in Spanish this week! We ran into this man that we see all the time on the bus but just never had the opportunity to talk to him so I started talking to him (assuming he spoke finnish) and he very brokenly told me he didn't speak finnish. So I asked if he spoke english and he said "ei, espanjaa" Okay! Now I get to practice my Spanish! One little problem... I don't speak spanish... So I very brokedly told him that we were missionarios de iglesia de Jesu Cristo de los Ultimos Dias (something like that) and talked like 2 sentences about that Libro de Mormon. And he listened and then nodded and said "Minä Muslim" and walked away. I kinda just stood there laughing but yeah! That was my funny experience for the week! 

6. I had the goal to have a significant discussion about the church on every single bus ride I was on this week. This is sometimes hard because our bus rides are only like 5 minutes or less and we speak slow... But I was determined to do it! So one day, we were on a bus ride home and it was a longer one (like 20 minutes) so I though great, I can totally talk to someone for a long time. So we get on the bus and there wasn't a single person on the bus. Great. I was so upset that I was gonna miss my goal because there wasn't anyone on there except for me, Sisar Lund, and the bus driver. Well, jokes on all of you, I contacted the bus driver! I just sat in the seat next to him and talked to him the whole ride! I thought it was cool! He asked a ton of questions about why i'm here and what we do all day and what we talk to people about and it was awesome! So yeah, even when you don't think so, the Lord will always put someone in you path for you to talk to. (p.s. we're bffs now. I'll randomly see this driver at the bus station and he always says Moi to us!)

Well, that was my exciting and great week! Thank you to everyone who joined in fasting and prayers with us here in Jyväskylä! We definitely saw miracles this week! I'm so grateful to be out here and serving the Lord! Some of you asked, Transfers are the week of Feb 17th and there's a pretty big chance I'll be moved since I will have been here 6 months by that time, but we'll see! Missionaries have stayed in places much longer than that! 

I love the Lord and I love this work! I hope you're all taking part in it and enjoying the missionary work you can do! Stay safe and stay warm and I'll try to do the same! I love you all!

Sisar Crandall

Picture at Youth Conference

No comments:

Post a Comment