Monday, August 25, 2014

Niin Suuri Oot

Hello Family and Friends!

Wow I just feel so much love from everybody every time I get on here! Okay this week was AWESOME! No idea where to start...

This week we hit up the Sea Life aquarium here in Helsinki with the other sisters. It was super fun and cool so look for some pictures of that. It's also been raining non stop for a couple of days, so the pictures of us soaking wet are from that :) We also went to a tour of the parliament building (Helsinki is a tourist place if you can't tell) so that was fun! Pictures coming of that as well!

We were able to go do baptisms with our recent convert, H!! and then do an endowment session with G!!! She went to the temple! It was such an amazing experience! So I walked into the temple with Sisar Johnston and Sisar Andersen (An american member who so graciously gave us a ride there when we missed the train... Don't worry, she was going to the temple anyway) and then we go change and so we're all in there and we're all wearing white and I see G and she just looks SO happy! We hug and cry and she was so glowing! She had been waiting for this moment for a year now and it was kind of a surreal moment for all of us. But she made it! She's from the Philippines so everything was in Tagalog (with headphones for everyone in Finnish) and the spirit was so strong! I just loved it! Another one of those huge "THIS is why I'm on a mission" moments. I think I have one of those at least every day but being with H to do baptisms again and then in the temple with G were 2 HUGE ones this week. I think sometimes I'm too blind or too prideful to see them but then the Lord opens my eyes to the obvious ones and I'm able to put everything into perspective again. 

We were able to work with our AWESOME less actives again. S came to church again! 3 weeks in a row, but who's counting! And we finally got some appointments with ones we've been trying to get in to and another one set up for tonight and we're so excited! I've been praying and fasting a lot to be able to find new investigators, but I've now shifted my focus to knowing what the Lord needs us to do here in Neitsytpolku right now. And it's ended up being to strengthen the members and less actives. So that's become our focus and it's turned out super well! 

The main thing was through the ward activity this week! It was a Music and the Spoken Word fireside entitled "Niin Suuri Oot" "How great Thou Art" It went awesome!! We had 11 musical performances from various members and missionaries and non members! Including some guitar and violin! and then 4 poems mingled throughout from some members and it went so well! A lot of non members and potentials came to support us singing and then we ended the night with brownies and berries and whipped cream! It was a huge success!! I even had a member of the bishopric come up to me and say "Wow Sisar Crandall, there are like 70 people here..." He was pleasantly surprised! It's just kind of been the deal the past couple of years that ward activities are really lame and no one wants to come or invite their friends to them, but the past couple of ones (planned by the missionaries) have been awesome!! I attribute this ALL to the Lord. Seriously, things were pretty hectic, but a bunch of tender mercies and miracles made it all possible. So I think the ward is finally catching on and is excited to get their friends involved as well! So yeah, that had kinda been mine and Sisar Johnston's project the past couple of weeks so we're glad it all pulled through! I think we'll let the other sisters plan the next one though...

Well this week we have a packed day today and tomorrow and Wednesday already with hopefully some more plans coming later this week! Oh, we also had an awesome lesson with a member with our investigator I. We watched the Restoration DVD and he had some questions about the priesthood and the difference between a reformation and a restoration, but it went really well! He's going through a death in the family right now so we've really been praying that he'll be able to find comfort through the gospel and the Book of Mormon. He's been reading and praying everyday though so we're excited for that!

And in case anyone has forgotten, Elder Bednar is coming September 12th!! So cool! We're having a MISSION CONFERENCE! Which means ALL the missionaries are getting together here in Helsinki! So fun! Transfers are also THIS WEEK. So next week I'll have some big news for you all! It's likely that I stay, but I've been here 6 months already so it's also just as likely that I leave so I'll be just as surprised as all of you are! I LOVE Neitsytpolku and the ward here and serving in a big city, but I think I'd fall in love with anywhere I serve. So I'll go where the Lord wants me to go! And I'm excited to find that out on Friday. I'm 95% sure though that I won't be with Sisar Johnston anymore :( We're super bummed, but we're going to go all out this week and end our 19 week companionship on a high note! Finnishing strong!

Well I love you all! Keep on praying and spreading the gospel and I'll do the same! :)
Sisar Crandall
Us with Sisar Locke (A senior Sister missionary who we LOVE who went home this week)
Me soaking wet
Sisar Johnston and I loving the rain!
After Baptisms with H

The parliament building!! LOTS of steps...
Us 4 sisters again.
Me and Sisar Johnston :)

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