The emails, pictures, stories, and adventures of Sisar Kathryn Crandall in Helsinki, Finland
Monday, March 10, 2014
Temple Trip and Taxis
Hello family and friends! Another great week here in Helsinki!
Blahhh I don't even know where to start! so much happened and I can only type so fast! Well first off, the most important thing was that I got to go to the temple!!! It was my first time in the Helsinki temple and it was amazing! We took P-day on Wednesday and took a train to Espoo (where the temple really is) and hit the 10am session. And yes, the session was in Finnish and yes, I understood :) Finally! About half-way through my mission, you'd hope I'd be able to do that. It was super cool to go in Finnish and all the workers are speaking Finnish and I just get to sit there and enjoy it all :) And since it was P-day and everyone around me was a member (because I'm in the temple) it was probably the first time in about 9 months that I didn't have to worry about talking to someone or what I was supposed to be doing or anything. I could just sit there and feel the spirit in the celestial room and read the scriptures in Finnish. ah :) perfect.
So, that was definitely the highlight of the week, but lots of other cool things happened. On Monday/Tuesday Sister Pugmire came and joined our companionship to be on splits. Going out with other sisters is always fun. I also kinda knew Sister Pugmire pre-mission from BYU-I so that was fun to finally see her for real in the field. It was also Laskiaspäivä (go google it) on Tuesday and everyone eats these pastries on this day so of course we stopped and got some so that's what I'm eating in the picture and why we were at a bakery.
On Tuesday, this awesome potential that we met last week called us up and insisted on taking us out for dinner. She was literally crying that we talked to her on the bus because Finns will literally go miles and miles in complete silence on a completely packed tram. And we said hi and talked to this lady and she was so touched and is now reading the Book of Mormon! All because we said hi to her. So it's good to see that people really do appreciate the little things.
Also on Wednesday, after the temple, we had a cool lesson with a potential who became a new investigator! He's half Italian and half finnish so we teach him in English. We gave him a church tour and talked about the importance of taking the sacrament and he had a billion questions and we're really excited about him!
On Thursday we had dinner with a member family who has a 7 year old girl who is scared to get baptized next month. (She thinks she'll drown) So we explained baptism and what it was and what happens and that her dad will be there to baptize her and she kinda got it, but then we started talking about the Holy Ghost and she got really excited about that. We played that little object lesson game where you set up a kinda obstacle course and "the still small voice" has to lead you through it blindfolded to get some chocolate at the end. She loved it! The lesson went great and the mom was so grateful and she's getting baptized next month so we're super excited for that!
Also on Thursday we went to help a woman in our ward who was getting eye surgery. We were going to meet her at the hospital and then walk her home so she was safe. Well, we came out of the hospital and said "okay, where are the taxis?" And we were super confused because no one used taxis here except the rich foreigners and we all have tram passes but she insisted on taking a taxi! So all three of us climbed in the taxi and had a nice talk with the driver! He was super funny though because we sat down and asked him about his day and he was just like "Minä?" "Me?" Because no one ever talks to people they don't know here and we were like "Yep!" So we made his day :) And it as my first time ever in a taxi! Pretty cool, not all that I though it'd be, but still!
On Saturday we met with our potential investigator and taught the restoration and invited her to baptized and the lesson went great and she became a new investigator too! That makes two new investigators this week!
So basically this week we focused on inviting people to be baptized early and often so that we don't create eternal investigators. We've started teaching the restoration on trams and have gotten fairly good and transitioning into it so that we're actually giving people the opportunity to accept out unique message instead of just talking to them about the church to get in our lesson for the day. We're also trying not to just chit chat on trams with people as much. A lot of times we'll talk to people all around us and they're just interested in the fact that we're Americans and can speak Finnish, but that's not while we're here! Now that we both know Finnish a little better and know more vocab besides just church vocab, it's almost harder to teach! Because we could talk about other things if we wanted to. But we're working on it and have some awesome goals set for this week so I can't wait to see how it goes!
One of the biggest things we're struggling with right now is less-actives and also finding families to teach. No one in the Helsinki area has kids older than about 10 years because the apartments are all too small so they all move away. So even though we have a very big, nice ward, we have one young woman and no young men. That makes it pretty difficult to invite youth to church and activities when there's no one there to be friends with them. So we're trying really hard to find some more families with teenagers to join the church. Also, we have a lot of less actives that literally no one in the ward knows about so we're slowly trying to get around to them all. The only problem is that every building/apartment building in finland is locked and requires a code or someone who lives there to buzz you in. So a lot of times we pray and do all that we can to be able to get into these building and talk with these less actives and some days, like one a couple weeks ago, we hit 10 or so buildings, and somehow (The Lord) we got into every one. But then, on Saturday, we tried to do the same thing, and we didn't get into a single one. So I'm not sure why it works sometimes, and not others, but we'll just keep on praying and trusting in the Lord!
So that was basically my week! Sisar Curtis are doing awesome together and had fun re arranging our apartment this P-day and getting rid of a TON of Elders' old stuff that has been there for years.
Well anyway, this week was wonderful. Hope you all have a great week and I love you all!