The emails, pictures, stories, and adventures of Sisar Kathryn Crandall in Helsinki, Finland
Monday, March 3, 2014
Another Week of Miracles!
Hello Family and Friends!
Wow, A week full of miracles that's for sure! I'll try to write them all down, but this letter may be all over the place so bear with me.
So, major cool things that happened this week:
On Thursday we had a zone conference and President Dyches who is in our Area Presidency and the Quorum of the 70 came! The entire meeting was about sukututkimus (family history) and how we can use it in missionary work. There are 28 family history centers here in Finland and we're getting them all up and running with specialists manning them at certain times and getting our investigators interested in it and it's awesome!
Also on Thursday, I finished the Book of Mormon! I wanted to finnish it a little bit ago, but I got stuck studying Moroni 7 for a couple days. That is such an awesome chapter packed full of way cool insights. If you haven't read it recently, I'd strongly encourage you to.
This week I also re-read a lot of chapters in PMG. Especially Chapter 9 (Finding People) And realized that the promises made in that chapter in missionaries is that people are prepared around us to accept The Restoration. So Sisar Curtis and I made a goal that whenever we teach a lesson on the trams of buses or street, it needs to be the Restoration. So although we can teach the plan of salvation and about temples and about a billion other things, that's not what people are prepared to receive. So we've been using the Book of Mormon and the Questions of the Soul paper that is inside every copy and it's been going really well! Two cool miracles experiences came from this:
First, We had a referral of someone who (way back in 2006 at the Helsinki Temple Open House) said they wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon. So our office just gave us this HUGE list of people to go contact and give a book of mormon too who might still be interested so we went out! Now it's really hard to just go find someone here in Helsinki because every apartment building is locked and you have to know the door code to get in. So we either have to wait outside the apartment and awkwardly go in when someone comes in or out, or we can't ever get to their door. So we went to contact this referral and we were standing by the front door for a minute or two and then we saw someone go out the back door for a smoke break. So we decided that we'd go stand by the back door because it's like 0 degress outside and that guy wasn't really wearing a jacket so he's going to have to come back inside pretty soon. So we walked away from the front door and on our way to the back door, we passed a lady on the street and said "terve" and she smiled, but just kept walking. So then we realized that she was walking to the front door so we quickly turned around, but she had already gone in and the door shut behind her. But then, another man came out the front door, and we finally got in. So now we're in the building and we figure out which apartment we want and as we're walking up the stairs, we see this same lady who we said hi to on the street walk out of her apartment (which "coincidentally" happened to be the door we needed to go to) and go down the elevator. So yeah, we missed her 2 TIMES! Sheesh. But then we could still hear someone in the apartment so we decided to knock anyway. Her husband answered and we talked to them for a couple minutes, but he said he already had a copy of the book of mormon and he wasn't interested. bummer. So we start walking down the stairs, and guess who comes walking up! The same lady! don't worry everyone, we got her this time. We stopped her and explained that we had just talked to her husband and we were talking about the book of mormon and she was interested! And she said we could come back this week! Man, third time's the charm. So yeah, the Lord is super patient with us and when we miss an opportunity to share the gospel with a prepared person, her will continue to put them in our path until they hear what they need to hear. So cool. This story reminded me a lot of the quote by Elder Holland"Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son,imperfect people areall God has ever had to work with. Thatmust be terribly frustrating toHim, but He deals with it. So should we."
Man I'm so comforted by that fact.
Okay here's the second experience that happened:
We were on a tram talking to this lady and she was kinda interested, but not really. She just told us a lot about her church and we tried to talk to her, but then she just got off. So we kinda didn't really think that much about it because it was like a 4 minute conversation. But then, about an hour later, we were coming out of a lesson and passed her again on the street! So, after having learned our lesson from the previous experience, we stopped her and talked to her again, and she was a lot more open! She gave us her number right then and there and we told her we'd come bring her a Swedish Book of Mormon this week! (We only had Finnish ones with us.) So yeah, the Lord has a much better plan than all of us and he sure is patient with two imperfect missionaries like me and Sisar Curtis.
Then, yesterday we had another miracle while waiting outside this locked apartment building. We had sat there for about 10 minutes and didn't want to waste any more time and all we knew was that this was a 31 year old less active man so we couldn't even go in and talk to him because it was just us 2 so we didn't really know why we were there, but for some reason we kept waiting. Pretty soon, a man came in and opened the door for us so we got in the building (probably because we were still fasting from fast sunday) and just knocked on his door! Well, it turns out that this man had a wife! Who wasn't a member so she didn't show up on our records! So we went in and talked to them and got to know them and taught them a lesson and ended up being there for about 45 minutes! It was so cool! We're meeting with them again this week to do language study and hopefully they're coming to the ward party on saturday! Just one of those experiences where you walk away and you're like "uhhh what just happened?" Gotta love that.
This week we've been focusing on talking with everyone, even if it's just a 2 minute tram ride. I think we got the motivation from a quote we read from President Uchtdorf "Some sins are committed because we do wrong; other sins are committed because we do nothing." So we decided to get over ourselves and talk with everyone because I sure don't want to be held accountable for someone not receiving the gospel because I didn't feel like talking to them or because I judged them and already told myself they wouldn't want to join the church.
Like I said last week, Sisar Curtis and I are A LOT alike and we have the same weaknesses, but we really push each other and I can see a HUGE growth in what's happened just the past 2 weeks and I'm so excited for the rest of the transfer!
Well, the best part of this upcoming week is that I get to go to the temple! Yep! Now that I'm in Helsinki I got to go every 6 weeks! And since a transfer is 9 weeks long, then I get to go twice this transfer! So I'm going on Wednesday and I get to do a session in Finnish and I'm so excited!
I'll tell y'all all about it next week!
Well I heard about Kelson and Halee coming home. So fun! Tell them hi for me! And also about Allyson's new calling and all the fun stuff going on at home! Sounds awesome :)
Well this week was awesome. Full of Unity and the Spirit and missionary work. What could be better? I hope you all have a wonderful week and I just love you all so much!
A church we visited that's inside of a rock. I think it's called "The church in the rock" church. Finns are very creative.
My first reindeer in Finland
Me and some other sister missionaries (All of us happened to be companions with Sisar Ballif) at zone conference
Me and Sisar Curtis on our way to our zone conference with a GA!