Monday, August 4, 2014

I Am Ammon!

Hello there!

Well this week was surprisingly busy, but for some reason I can't remember a thing we did so we'll see... I think I'll just talk about all the people we've been working with a lot recently

First, H is doing really well! We had a fhe with her at the church! We had spaghetti and some other delicious food and learned all about prophets and Joseph Smith History and General Conference and Thomas S. Monson and it went great! The ward is really reaching out to her now and she even helped us and the other sisters prepare our Relief Society lesson for Sunday.

Second, G is going to the temple! She got baptized one year ago on August 15th, right before I came into the country. So now we get to go through the temple with her! We've been teaching her all about temples and going through that "preparing to enter the holy house of the Lord" book and it's been going awesome! so next Friday I get to experience that and I'm so excited!

Third, We've been working with an older less-active lady named S and Man I love that woman so much. She is so sweet and so dear and has such a testimony and apparently just feels like she's been gone too long to ever come back. We went to pick her up for church last Sunday (she didn't end up coming) And she said "I thought after me not coming last week you two would have just given up on me" I was slightly taken back by her comment because I don't think she realized how precious she is in God's eyes and thus in our eyes. She is a daughter of God and HE will never give up on her which means that WE will never give up on her. So trust me, she will be coming to church sometime very soon and when that day happens, I'm just going to cry because it's been a year long journey, but she's ready! It reminded me of that quote by Elder Holland that goes something like "It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines."How true that is. 

Fourth, We've been working with T a lot. She's the one who really struggles leaving her house, but we now have her reading and praying everyday and this week we walked all the way to the bank together so she could get some financial things in order so she can pay her tithing! She's making HUGE steps and it seriously is something that even 4 months ago when I was with Sisar Curtis I never thought was possible. But she is progressing so fast and the Lord really can change and soften and heal people's hearts! She's getting there!

Our last LA we've been working a lot with is E. She's a young girl from China who joined the church here in Finland. She ended up getting baptized because her other friend got baptized too and the Elder were nice and she felt like it was the right thing to do so she just did it and then fell away immediately. Kinda sad actually. So we've started over with her almost as an investigator. We've spent about 3 lessons on prayer and the last one was on How to read the Book of Mormon. But she's willing to put all of these things to the test and see if it'll make a difference and she's WAY open to learning more and she always asks "okay what are you guys teaching me today?" It's really cute actually. And last time she bought us shakes from Burger King too so yeah, I think she likes us :)

So yeah, LOTS of awesome things going on. We also had a BREAKTHROUGH yesterday! Well, backstory. Our teaching pool (investigator wise) is pretty small. Lots of people are out of town and we talk to lots of people and have great potentials who just cant seem to commit to finding out if this is really true. So I was reading a Liahona article about Ammon. And how he was such a great missionary and I was just thinking "Holy cow If I could just testify as Ammon did, this entire country would get baptized" But then it goes on to point out that Ammon's first responsibility was to serve the King and take care of the sheep. So I thought "Well, since we don't really have people to teach, I'll just focus on the Less-actives and strengthening the ward here and going about doing service." So Sisar Johnston and I talked about this and prayed about it and it's about 9 in the morning and as soon as we finnished our prayer, the phone rang! It was a brother in the ward asking if we could fill in to teach the Finnish Adult Sunday School class on Sunday (today was Friday) So I said sure! Sisar Johnston kinda looked at me like "What.." But we both knew we had just prayed for it so we better accept our answer! And it turned out to be such a blessing! So Sisar Johnston and I got to teach the Finnish Sunday School all about Proverbs (LOTS of new vocab...) and then the 4 sisters in the ward taught Relief Society too! My brain and mouth hurt from all the Finnish, but it went great! For some reason, something just clicked with all the members. They're finally realizing that we're here to HELP them do missionary work, not just drag them along to lessons. I think they're finally catching the spirt of it and Im so excited!

So I've learned a lot about what the Lord really wants me and my companionship to do here in Neitsytpolku and I'm determined to spend the rest of the transfer doing it! We're trying to trust in the Lord 100% because I definitely would've messed up this work months ago if I was just out here on my own.

We're still preparing hard for our baptismal date on the 9th of August and just praying that we'll know what to do for that. 

Thank you for all your love and support! I'm sending some cool pictures too! We got to go to the COOLEST art museum this week so some of the pics are from that. I love you all so much! I love this work and even though it's frustrating at times and i'm always tired it's by far the happiest I've ever been and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else :)

Sisar Crandall

Me walking out of this giant thing of ribbons
Sisar Johnston and I in the ribbons
Me inside of a Russian Orthodox church

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