Monday, February 17, 2014

Transfers -- Allyson was right!

Yep! I bet you're all dying to hear about transfers. Well... Allyson was right! I'm off to Neitsytpolku! My family took guesses about where/if I was going and Allyson won. Onneksi Olkoon! (Congrats!) so, I head out early tomorrow morning at about 8 to take a train to Helsinki! Helsinki is kinda broken up into smaller "neighborhoods" so that's what Neitsytpolku is. It's right in the middle of Helsinki and I'm so excited! And my new companion is.... Sisar Curtis! She came to Finland when I did so we've both been in the country 6 months and then she served with me in Jyväskylä for 4 months so we know each other very well. I'm very sad to leave Jyväskylä, my one and only stomping ground thus far, but I'm excited to get to a little bigger city and see what it's like in a bigger ward and everything!

 Neitsytpolku is also where the mission office is so I get to work a lot more closely with all the senior couples and missionaries down there. So, I don't know my new address yet, but since I live really close to the mission office, any mail (including packages) can just be sent to the mission home address and I'll get it just as fast. 

So I've been trying to pack whenever I have free time (yeah that never happens as a missionary...) And still say goodbye to all the awesome members here and not be too overwhelmed by it all. I had many members tell me that I'm welcome to come back and stay at their home so it looks like I'm going to have to come back and visit! And, since I'm now in the Helsinki zone, I should be able to go to the temple! I'm way excited! I haven't gone in about 6 months and it's been a bummer, but hopefully it'll all work out that I can go this transfer! 

Well, here's how my week went!

Monday, Sisar Lund and I got asked to give the "lesson" at YSA so we went to their fhe and showed the Come unto Christ video (still gets me every time) and talked about what we can do to come closer to christ (read, pray, serve) And it went great! I kinda got the idea from mom who did this at home for fhe so thanks! 

Tuesday, we had 2 lessons with a member present work out in the same day! Way fun! One of them was a former investigator we picked up, and the other one was one of our new investigators! And they're both males (future priesthood holders) so we had some awesome members step up and help us out!

Wednesday, Soooo this week I lost my bus pass ;( So I had to go to the train station today and get a new one which was a bummer, but while we were there we ran into a potential and got his address, so who knows, maybe it was meant to be! We also got little Valentine's Day packages from dad/the fam today! Thank you so much! Sisar Lund and I enjoyed them very much! Today we also baked a TON of heart sugar cookies (the kind mom makes) during our lunch and dinner hours and got them all ready to take to investigators and members later this week. Thanks mom for the recipe! They turned out great! Not as good as yours of course, but we made do. It took us a while to find Almond extract in the store last P day, (probably because I didn't know the word for Almond or extract...) but we found it and it went great! 

Oh! We also had a less-active lady who we've been trying to meet with "break-up" with us last week and said she didn't want to meet because she was too busy. Well we stopped by and dropped off a cookie for her and just left it because she wasn't home or wouldn't answer the door for us and then she texted us a couple hours later asking to meet next week! Miracle! 

Thursday, So this day was the last day of school for the seniors here in Finland. The school system here is always super interesting, but I think Finns are pretty smart so maybe it works. The seniors now don't have school for a month and they just use that time to study for all their finals which they take end of march and then the graduate! I'm impressed with how diligent these finns are at actually studying on their own at home and preparing themselves for these huge tests (like AP tests.) Well, since it was their last day of school, there was a huge parade going all throughout the city. Every student dresses up in a costume (like you would for halloween) and rides in the back of trucks and throws candy and is just celebrating no more school really. So that's what a lot of the pictures are from. It was kinda weird to see anything in Finland that was like loud and celebratory because Finns are very quiet and to themselves people.

There was also a "protest" in the city center the other day, but the people in it were walking in a very straight line and some of them had signs, but no one was shouting or anything. But the best part was that when they went to cross the street, everyone stopped and waited for the light to turn green. Yep, that's how peaceful and quiet it is here. Even the "protesters" obey the laws. I love it :) Crime is super low and everyone is very honest. And the other day, we heard people on the bus just talking and Sisar Lund and I both thought "Wow, why are those people talking so loud?" And then after a minute we realized that it was because they were American. So yeah. It'll be werid going home to a loud busy place like America when everything here is so peaceful and content. 

Friday, Valentine's Day! Finns do celebrate Valentine's day, but it's called "Ystävänpäivä" Which means "Friend day". So it's a lot less romanticy here and you can give valentine's to anyone just as a friend so I really like that part of it. Well, the past couple of Monday we've had lessons or other things that have taken chunks out of our Pday time so we decided to go to a museum today! All the museums are free on Fridays in Finland so that worked out really nice. We went to the Keski-Suomen Museo (Museum of Central Finland) here in Jyväskylä and it was pretty cool! I learned a lot of the history of Finland and specifically Jyväskylä so I'm glad I got to go before I left. We had a lesson with a member present fall through today ;( But then a really cool experience happened! We went to visit a potential who owns this little store out on the outskirts of Jyväskylä in a little village names Säynätsalo. So we were in her store talking to her and 2 other people there and found out they were really good friends with a man in our ward! So we kept talking to them and she then said we could call her sometime to meet! Awesome! So she handed me her phone and I went to put in our phone number and I saw the name of one of our investigators in her phone! So I asked if she knew her and she said yep! We're really good friends! And then she called up our investigator and invited her to our relief society activity that night for us! Yep, that was pretty cool. Sisar Lund and I walked out of that one like "uhh, well, I don't know what just happened, but that was cool!" And then the member found out that we were talking to all his friends and he sent us the best text ever thanking us for the work we're doing and that he's been trying to share the gospel with these friends for forever and they just weren't ready, but now's the time :)

So, then we headed out to our relief society activity! The RS invited all the girls age 8 and older to make cupcakes and necklaces at the church. It was a huge success! I learned lots of new vocab and met a lot of the younger girls I haven't had the chance to work with and really got to know the members in our ward a lot better.

And then, at about 10:29, I'm lying in bed trying to fall asleep and the phone rings... and it was President with our transfers! We thought he'd just call in the morning since it was so late, but we still got them on Friday!

Saturday, We had another lesson with a member present fall through so we spent the day taking cookies to investigators and members for valentine's day and visiting some potentials and in the evening I did a bunch of packing and that was a pretty normal day.

Sunday, I had to say goodbye to all my dear ward members here that I love so much and finnished packing and now I'm all realy to go!
We also met with a lot of members this week and played the "word game" that I think I talked about last week with them and they're all excited to start doing their own missionay work! And we've also ran into this "problem" of us talking to people on the street or at the door and them telling us they're not interested in the gospel, but they keep talking to us for about 20 minutes because we know how to speak Finnish. So they're more interested in us as foreigners who can speak Finnish instead of our message, but we still get to share some of the gospel with them so I guess we'll make do.

So, this week was pretty great, Our district started doing this thing where we stopped counting "total lessons taught" and just tried to focus and sharing the gospel with people out of love and our desire to truly help them and get to know them instead of just throwing doctrine at them so that we can count it as a lesson. It went really well and really helped me see where our priorities are and how we can really relate the gospel to someone's life. It helped me realize a lot about what it talks about in PMG with "teach people, not lessons" These people here in Finland are true sons and daughters of God and i'm just grateful for the opportunity to share this message with them.

Well, I'm sure this week will be a crazy one full of change, but I'm so excited! No idea what time I'll be emailing next week, so don't freak out if it's later in the day. Well I love you all so much! Have a great week and keep on praying :)

Sisar Crandall

Jyvaskyla district, School-ending parade, Jyvaskyla chapel

Jyvaskyla crest, placing a book of mormon at the museum, a map of Jyvaskyla

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