Monday, May 5, 2014

Vappu Celebrations and Agency!

Family and Friends,

Well, last week I spoke a little too soon. So I want to take it back. Spring has NOT sprung. It SNOWED a bunch this week. I feel like that cook from Nanny McPhee who just stands outside in awe saying "snow? Snow in May?" Yep, this is Finland. So I have my winter boots and hat and jacket on again haha gotta love it :)

Well, this week was just about as crazy as the weather. But of course, there were lots of tender mercies and miracles and AMAZING experiences I'm excited to share with you all:
- SISAR JOHNSTON. Everybody, She's awesome. She is the most dedicated hard working missionary I have never met and she wants to improve and learn and get out there and it's just so easy being her companion. I've really been blessed by some amazing companions and Sisar Johnston fits right in among all of them. She's extremely thoughtful and I just can't ever thank her enough :)

- This week was Vappu! Well, I'm not 100% sure how to describe Vappu, but it's a holiday in Finland (and probably other Scandinavian countries) on the first of May and it celebrates summer and workers and some other stuff.. I'm not even sure... But what I do know about it is that Finns use it as a time to get drunk. And VERY drunk. 

So, Wednesday and Thursday we had RED days which means we have to be indoors unless we're in appointments. Well, we had some miraculous Red days! We had 5-6 appointments during the RED day and it was one of our most productive times this week! So I was kinda scared that the work would go down this week but I guess I learned that the Lord's work never takes a break! 

- Also, another Vappu miracle. Our investigator V came to the Young Adult Picnic at the institute center! It was awesome! And she loved it! She said it was the best Vappu ever! And the coolest part of it was that Sisar Johnston and I were talking to another investigator and then our investigator called the MEMBER and said she was here and the member went out and got her and introduced her to everyone and we didn't notice for a couple of minutes that she was even there because the members just fellowshipped her so well. So yes, members are key.

This week has had some rough patches as well. I've come to learn that the thing that frustrates me the most is also our biggest blessing: Agency. Can't I just make everyone accept the gospel and keep commitments and do missionary work? Well, we had 4 amazing people who were going to come to church with us - Two older ladies, a family (mom and 6 kids) and our investigator V. So we were SO excited and we had members set up to walk with them all and we were going with some of them and everything was going to work out perfect! Except for the fact that none of them came... So yeah, kinda a bummer day yesterday, but it's definitely strengthened my testimony of the Lord's timing. Trust me, I definitely wish everyone (including me) could progress a lot faster than we do, but I guess that's the point of life. We struggle and learn and stumble and fall and get up and keep going stronger than before. So I guess that's the main lesson I learned this week - Trust in the Lord AND His timing. And just like President Hinckley always said, "Things will work out."

I'm so grateful for the wonderful experience I had this week! I get to go to the temple AGAIN on Thursday and I'm so excited! I love that place :) So yes, more updates on that to come. I hope everyone has a wonderful month of May and an even better Mother's Day! I know I will! And family, See ya on Sunday :)

Sisar Crandall

Snowy day on the tram, Vappu Balloons and Picnics, Sisar Johnston and I

Saying Goodbye to Sisar Curtis, Cool building in Neitsytpolku, Downtown Helsinki

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