Monday, August 11, 2014

Miracles Happen!

Hello family and friends! Well this week was a great one! Let me tell you all about it!

It started when Sisar Johnston and I started a little competition. I got the idea from Camille and Melissa and Joseph. So we each have 6 goals that we want to do and each day we try to do all 6 goals and we get points for each one with a prize after 3 weeks! So we've been working on that a lot and it's gone really well! We each have as one of our 6 goals the goal to talk to someone on every tram no matter how short amount of time we're on there. So we've been talking with everyone! And it's been really fun! I was able to have some awesome conversations with lots of Finns, but also people from Morocco, Philippines, Hungary, America, Norway, Germany and lots of other places I can't even remember. Finland is surprisingly diverse, especially here in Helsinki. I even got to speak some Swedish! Ok, not really. I just turned to a lady and asked how her day was going in Finnish and she responded in Swedish which would've been no big deal for any Finn (they're almost all fluent in Finnish, Swedish, and English). So I just said "Oh, Sorry, I don't speak Swedish" In Swedish and the conversation died... I'll keep working on that... Anyway! The goals have been going really well!

We've also been struggling to find new investigators. Our teaching pool has gone pretty low so we've just been focusing on what we CAN do here to strengthen this area and this ward. So we really prayed and started focusing on the Less Actives and on serving the members and it's gone GREAT! So even though we've not really teaching a lot of investigators right now, we've seen some miracles!

And a lot of you are probably wondering how our "August 9th" baptism went. Well, we didn't have a baptism on Saturday, but we still saw MIRACLES! The less-active lady S who we've been working with a lot CAME TO CHURCH! And she stayed for ALL 3 HOURS and she loved it! SO COOL! We went to pick her up for church just like we had the past 4 weeks and I was pretty sure she wasn't going to come because we hadn't been able to reach her a lot that week. Like she hadn't responded to any calls or texts. But we went to pick her up anyway and before we even rang the doorbell she flung open the door all dressed and ready with her shoes on and bag in hand! My jaw literally dropped as I stared at her and just mumbles out "Oletko valmis?!" "Are you ready?!" "Olen!" "I am!" So cool! So we sat down to say prayer before we headed out and I just started crying because I was so happy! The mission really has turned me into a baby... But I didn't even care because I was so happy!! So we rode the tram all the way to church and it was amazing! DEFINITELY one of the best days of my mission. Seriously, all the hard work with less actives not wanting to meet or come to church or read their scriptures is TOTALLY WORTH IT just for this one lady who came to church. I really have come to love her so much as I've seen the light of the gospel come back into her eyes. 

But wait. There's more. Our other Less Active E that we've been working with (the girl from China that I talked about last week) CAME TO CHURCH TOO!! She's not quite as re-activated as S is yet, but she's getting there! And we already have plans to meet later this week and I'm so excited! 

The Lord truly does answer prayers in his own way and in his own time and all though we were praying and fasting to bring someone into the church by means of baptism, the Lord still helped us do what we needed to do this weekend and S is here to stay! We'll probably walk with her again the next couple of weeks, but she's solid and I'm so happy!!

Well, that was the highlight, but here are some other random things we did this week:
Monday and Tuesday: helped the Thelins (an older missionary couple here) pack and clean up their apartment to go back to America :( I'm really going to miss them! There's a picture I'll send with them.

Wednesday: ZONE CONFERENCE IN HAAGA! We all met and talked a lot about our name tags and our calls as missionaries and our personal title of liberties. Way cool stuff that I'll write you all about.

Thursday: Natural History Museum! We took our P-day time from helping the Thelins move on Mondayand headed to a museum with the district! Pretty fun stuff! 

Friday: We just had a family from Sri Lanka move into our ward from another city in Finland and they invited us over for their 1 year old daughter's birthday! Fun stuff with some delicious food!

Saturday: We stumbled upon a International Foods Market in the center while meeting with our recent convert from Estonia A so we grabbed a snack and had fun there! Then we played volleyball with some less actives and recent converts and other missionaries and then by a weird set of circumstances ended up going to the Helsinki World Dog Show. Sounds weird I know, but it was some way cool stuff! So there are some pictures from that as well.

I'm also sad to report that I was SO excited to have my old companion Sisar Curtis come stay with us this week because her and her companion had training, but now they're not coming :( So yeah, no crazy Crandall and Curtis adventures to report on.
We're looking forward to a great week though! We get to go to the temple with G (A recent convert) to get her endowments on Friday! So excited! Also, a HUGE shout out to Hermana Evans who gets home this week. I'm so extremely proud of her and all the awesome work she's done in Chile! I love you Hanna!
Okay okay, Sorry this letter is all over the place, but that's basically the life of a missionary. I just hope you all know that no matter how many ups and downs we have here in the mission field or just in life in general that the gospel is always constant. The promises and blessings never change and it's that firmness that's keeping me going. I love you all and I love this gospel. I'm praying for you all to have a safe week. Thanks for everything
Sisar Crandall

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