Monday, July 28, 2014

Another Great Week!

Hello family and friends! Well, lots going on this week!

It started off on Monday when we got to go to a play the Young Adults in the stake were putting on. MY TURN ON EARTH! haha I knew all the songs and honestly, I was just giddy watching it! The littlest entertainment becomes just AMAZING when you're a missionary. But really, it was a very well put on play and they're preforming it in a couple weeks at this huge YSA conference in Finland. We also had to put together 700 bead bookmarks for this festival so that took up some of our time this week, but overall, it was pretty fun!

Highlight of the week came on Wednesday!! First off, the district hit a session at the temple. Loved it. And then afterwards, we had THREE recent converts meet us at the temple to do baptisms! So cool! One of them was H who got baptized last week and the other ones were G and A who have gone before. It is the COOLEST thing to see them progress and just come out of the temple BEAMING! Seriously, they are so happy and smiling and you can just tell that everything is right. Another one of those out-of-body experiences where I just took a step back and watched them three helping each other figure everything out in the baptismal room and watching them explain and learn together and I just smiled. What a lucky occasion. Also, one other funny thing. There was a group of kids from Lithuania there doing baptisms too so we were able to be confirmed in Finnish, but the only person there baptizing was from Lithuania and didn't speak any Finnish and only a little English so we all got baptized in Lithuanian! Fun stuff! 
Other cool things that happened:

-we met with our new investigator N from Russia and brought the other Elders' investigator with us since she speaks Russian! So that was pretty cool! I figured we can help people realize they have a testimony of the church as soon as they start telling other people about it!

-we met with a LOT of less-actives this week and there are 3 that we're working with specifically that are SO CLOSE to being reactivated. I can see the light of the gospel come back into their lives and they're remembering how happy it can make them and I'm so excited!! Some awesome miracles are going to happen this week from that!

-We had a ward picnic on Saturday and got to play Football and Frisbee (thanks dad for the football!) It was fun to put on some basketball shorts are fun around for a bit.

-After the ward picnic we headed out to a baptism in Espoo! H wanted to attend a baptismal service that wasn't her own and our other recent convert G from the Philippines was speaking. So on the bus ride there we were asked to sing at the service. Yeah, no problem. But then we were told that it was in Tagalog... Uh slight problem. But not for the missionaries! We quickly learned some Tagalog and sang Ako Ay Anak Ng Diyos (I am a child of God) flawlessly. Okay there were major flaws but the spirit was still there so I consider it a success.

-Yesterday we met an American girl who's a member and is here in Finland for a bit and took her to church with us! And then when we got there, H said the prayer! yep she's doing great! So proud of her :) We also got asked to teach relief society next week and then we got to attend the Young Women's class for a special birthday party thing! hehe It's fun being a missionary. 

-Today we visited a Lutheran church called temppeliaukio which translates into "temple square" So I guess today we visited temple square. It's this big church that's in a rock. Pretty cool stuff. The other sisters and our new American friend and H all came with us. and then we hit up a Frozen Yogurt place that is a lot like Zoyo or Yogurtland, but a lot less options. And then we got to help clean out and set up the new family history center here at the church! It's been a busy P-day but we love it!

There was also this rally race thing going on and for some reason the track went like around our apartment. So the tram we take home wasn't running and it just felt like I was in the middle of a Nascar race. Not anything too exciting, but it was weird to hear music again. There's a pic from that as well.

Sisar Johnston and I are doing great! We just found out that my former companion, Sisar Curtis, gets to come stay with us with her companion for a few days in a couple weeks and I'm so excited! Besides that, we're still preparing hard for this August 9th date and we're excited to see what miracles can come from that! I've also been studying a lot about becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ and what that really means. I've been reading a lot in the book of Acts and I love it! Man they sure had a lot of faith and power. So that's currently what I'm working on.

Overall, everything's going well! We're just trying to find new investigators and follow the Lord's will for our area here. Sorry this letter was a lot about the random things I DID and not a lot about missionary work, but it really was super productive and busy! I love those weeks.. Well I love you all! Thank you for the love! Have a wonderful week!

Sisar Crandall

Us girls after baptisms
District at the temple
Me and Sisar Johnston
Me and H :)

In the rock church at temple square
All of us at the baptism of the Filipino. The one we sang in Tagalog at. Fun stuff!
Pics of the rally race thing
Frozen Yogurt!
Me and some more Frozen Yogurt

Monday, July 21, 2014


Dear Family and friends!

Well this week was probably literally the highest point and the lowest point on my mission so far. Crazy how that happens. Well, I've already forgotten all of the bad stuff, so here's the good stuff! 

H GOT BAPTIZED!! It was such a great week for her! It started on Tuesday when we had the baptismal interview and she passed with flying colors :) She was so ready. And then we met with her on Friday and that experience was even cooler. She met with us and with our new investigator K and she was able to testify about how she received her answer and how she knows "varmasti" that this church is true. Earlier this week I already didn't have a doubt that Hanna had a testimony, but just sitting there watching her tell someone else about it I almost teared up realizing that yes, she knows this is true. And she's never going to fall away from it. She's just so strong. 

And also on Friday night she told us that her parents might come to the service! We've been praying that their heart would be softened and that they'd support her decision (She'd still get baptized either way, but it was just something she wanted) and GUESS WHAT?!!! THEY CAME TO THE SERVICE ON SATURDAY! Both her mom and dad showed up in a dress and a suit and supported her the entire time. H looked SO beautiful in her white dress and her mom teared up a little bit and it was just amazing. So the service took place in Espoo actually (that's H's hometown) and lots of people showed up to support her. Elder Smith was able to baptize her and the Bishop's wife gave a talk about baptism and us and the Pasila sisters sang a musical number while Elder Downs was on guitar and it was just perfect. And then yesterday she got confirmed!! And SO many members came up and hugged her and welcomed her into the family and she just looked so happy! And after church she had a meeting with Bishop (just like a little more formal get to know you thing) and she came out and said "Guess what?! Bishop gave me a temple recommend!" haha okay! That's pretty fast but if she's ready then why not! So now we get to go do baptisms with her in the Helsinki Temple on Wednesday! We were already going to go as a district to the temple to do a session and now Sisar Johnston and I get to stay and do baptisms as well! We're so excited! 

ANOTHER HUGE MIRACLE! We have a LA who we've been working with a lot, but she has an anxiety disorder and physically can't leave her home very often. So we've just been working with her spiritually and praying that once she has the desire, it will overcome her physical anxiety. So we had a lesson this week and she said she's read one chapter of Mormons Bok (it's Swedish) every day this week and that she's going to pay her tithing too! I was so happy! So then I asked her if we could go to the store to get some ice cream to celebrate and she said "sure! Why not?!" So all 3 of us walked out of her house together! And we went down to the store to get some ice cream! IT WAS SO COOL! And then we sat down and taught her outside! Seriously, this was a HUGE step and I was so excited! And also, while we were sitting outside, we were able to talk to this couple from CA. The dad is Finnish and the mom American and they live under some Elders in CA. They're not members, but they went off about how amazing these two young men were and how much their little son loves them. So that was super cool to see too. And this all happened on Friday so that was an AMAZING DAY!

So I've already told you some of you this, but a couple of weeks ago we got a challenge from President to pray and fast about when our next baptism could take place in our area. So we prayed and fasted about it a lot and came up with the date of August 9th. So now we've been doing everything in our power to prepare our area for that date. We've been going hard at it for the past couple of weeks but now it's crunch time. With H getting baptized yesterday we're now able to focus 100% on our new investigators and bringing down these miracles. 

 But we currently don't have an investigator with a baptismal date and it's only 3 weeks away. So yesterday we fasted that we would be able to know everything that Sisar Johnston and I can do to fulfill our end of the promise and let the Lord do the rest. And we saw miracles! 7 lessons taught and a new investigator and a couple potentials!! A random guy just came up to me on the tram and sat down and said "let's chat." And we talked all about the Book of Mormon and we exchanged numbers and it was just kind of a surreal "Did that just really happen?" moment. But it's true what they say, People ARE prepared here and now the Lord is just placing them in our path. And then late last night the Elders called and gave us an awesome referral! I'm so excited to see the miracles that will come in the next couple of weeks! Sisar Johnston and I are really staying focused and consecrating ourselves to the work and I have faith that in the end, the Lord's plan will prevail. We're a part of a great work :)

Thank you so much for the emails and letters and love and support and prayers and for everything! I feel them all the time and it really helps. Have a wonderful week everybody :) I can't wait to tell you about all the amazing miracles we see this week! I love you!

Sisar Crandall

Monday, July 14, 2014

Adventures with Mom and Hyrum!

Hello family and friends!!

Such a good week! Here's how it went!

Well last Sunday we had a "get to know you fireside" with President and Sisar Watson. All the missionaries in the area as well as the members were invited. Since President and Sisar Watson don't know Finnish yet, they spoke in English and just had translators the whole time (something Finns are used to) but then at the end of Sisar Watson's talk she just look straight at the audience (or straight at me as it felt like) and said "Minä tiedän että tämä kirkko on totta. Minä tiedän että Jeesus on Kristus. Minä tiedan että hän elää" not gonna lie, I just started bawling like a baby. It's seriously impossible to not feel the spirit on simple truths of statement like that. Just wanted to share that with everyone. Finnish isn't a barrier as long as you know how to speak the language of the spirit. And let me tell you, our mission president's wife sure does!

Well then it was Monday! Our district went out to a cool island called Seurasaari (see picture) and then fhe with our bishop and investigator H! She's getting baptized on Saturday!! Yay! The bishop's wife is also a convert about 6 years ago and her family also didn't approve of her joining the church (just like H's family doesn't) So them talking really helped. It was awesome! 

Tuesday! What a great day! First, Sisar Johnston and I tried some Kebab (see picture)

And then the best thing ever happened! Tomorrow is my dear mother's birthday, so for her birthday, SHE CAME TO VISIT ME! Yep! This week my mom and my nephew Hyrum were here in Finland! Here's what we did:

Well, I first picked them up at the train station! (see picture)

Then, we had district meeting and an interview with President. So while we were waiting, we played some pool (see picture)

Wednesday was zone conference! Seriously one of the best ones of my mission. So we all took the elevator (see picture) to get on the bus (see picture) to go to Haaga! yay! 

The meeting was all about our call and our special time that we're set apart as servants of the Lord. They had us all re-read our call letters and holy cow that one got me crying again... We read Jeremiah 20:9 and about how we have such a huge desire to share the gospel that we can't possible stay quiet about it! It was so cool! And then we talked a lot about how the Lord has entrusted Sisar Johnston and I with his part of the vineyard here in downtown Helsinki. So what am I going to do with it? Well, I want to be able to say that I've done everything I possibly could. And present it to the Lord proudly (see 2 Nephi 15:4). And now I get the chance! 

We just found out the ELDER DAVID A. BEDNAR is coming to Finland! September 12th! We're all so stinkin' excited! So, just as I present my area to the Lord each night in prayer, I'll be able to present it to one of his apostles in just a couple of months. So cool. So yeah, We both left that meeting just filled with the fire of missionary work! 

So on the train ride home, I talked to this AWESOME girl named K and she became a new investigator! She asked some amazing questions like "How do you pray? Will someone talk back to me? How can I pray if I don't really believe in things?" So we talked all about prayer and faith and we're meeting again tomorrow! So cool! 

So that night we had another lesson with H! We met at the church and showed her the baptismal font and found her a baptismal dress and planned the service and everything! She's so excited and so ready! She even told her family this week that she was going to get baptized. They don't approve, but she's so strong (and she's 25 so she doesn't need their approval) And she says she feels a lot better now that she's not hiding or lying about anything. She's so cool!

On Friday we had exchanges! Sisar Cribbs who I served with in Jyväskylä came and joined our companionship for the day! We really focused on talking with everyone and finding some new investigators! H is awesome, but besides that our pool is pretty non-progressing... 

Then on Saturday we had a lot of fun together! We went and did service in a member's garden! (see picture) and then visited and helped out a LA member (see picture).

On Sunday we took a wonderful walk through the park on the way to church (see picture) and then enjoyed a beautiful sacrament meeting and sang some hymns (see picture).

Today (Monday) We went to Suomenlinna! We enjoyed the boat ride there (see picture) And had a lot of fun eating ice cream (see picture) and just seeing all the nature! And then we had fun looking at a map of where I live. (see picture)

So yes, a VERY fun and successful week! Seriously, one of the best of my mission so far and they just keep on getting better! We're super excited to keep talking to everyone and making all these potentials we've found investigators! H's baptism is on Saturday and we're super excited! I'll have pics next week for sure! 

So I just wanted to wish my mom a very happy birthday! And thanks for coming to visit me! It was a nice little piece from home :) Well I love you all! Thanks for your support and letters and emails and everything! This church is so true. I can see it change people's lives everyday and also my own life. I love coming out here and seeing people react when they hear simple truths like "You have a Father in Heaven who wants to hear from you." "You can pray to him every day and he WILL listen". THAT'S why I'm on a mission.
Love, Sisar Crandall

(4th of July Fun)

Monday, July 7, 2014

4th of July and Sunday School

Hello family! Sorry I have like zero time today but here's what happened this week:
We mainly focused on planning and making our 4th of July party a success! And it was! We had a TON of non members and less actives and investigators there and of course, all the Americans came. Bishop came with his grill and we had potato salad and smores and all the works! The Finns absolutely loved it.

On the way home from the party we got a call asking if we could teach Sunday School on Sunday... Sure! So Sisar Johnston quickly learned all the vocab to teach about Rehobeam and jerobeam (those are their Finnish names...) and false gods and gold statues and it went really well! So that was a little tender mercy for the week.

Okay, now onto the big news. our investigator is getting baptized!! Her name is H and she's 25 and she's awesome! Her service is on the 19th of July and I can't wait! She's seriously so cool. So yeah, I'll tell you more about that when I have the time.

Also, WE GOT A NEW MISSION PRESIDENT! His name is President Watson and we got to meet him at zone conference on Thursday! It was basically just a get to know you zone conference and he's coming around to interview us all this week so that'll be fun! K sorry, I gotta run, I'm on a laptop today so it's super slow, but look out for some letters! I love you all!
Sisar Crandall
Goodbye Elder and Sister London :(

District and Gisel on 4th of July

God bless America

We have too much fun...