Monday, September 29, 2014

Wake me up when September ends....

Hello family! 

Well Missionary work is certainly interesting... I'm having so much fun and just working hard and I've never been so tired in my life! But Sisar Jones and I just had a nice half hour run (sprint... She's really fast) to the church so I'm bright and awake now! Life's going great and we're nice and busy here in Tampere! The Sisters in this zone are just amazing and are going to go so far in life! It's cool to get to work with them and see their goals and dreams and realize that they're a sure lot further along in the mission than I was at their age! 

Well Monday started off after email with a lesson with our investigator V. He had a LOT of questions about works and faith and mercy. Pretty deep stuff for me to explain in Finnish, but luckily that week I had just listened to 2 talks "Jesus knows I'm a Christian" by John Bytheway and "After all that I can do" by Brad Wilcox and it explained it super well and I think he gets it more now. 

Also on Monday/Tuesday, WINTER CAME. Holy cow it was freezing this week! I think the lowest it got while we were outdoors was probably 3 C. So Sisar Jones and I broke out our winter coats and boots! It's only September! But yeah, I guess I'm used to it now. I was back to my fall jacket later in the week but still had my big black one and my boots for a couple of days.
Tuesday was an awesome district meeting and we focused a lot of planning by the spirit. We're really focusing on using a whole half hour each night to plan really well and I think a lot less people are slipping through the cracks. We talk to a lot of people and get a lot of phone numbers and potentials and now we're making sure we follow up with every one of them! Then we had a lunch appointment with an older lady in the ward and then headed out to one of one investigators! This awesome couple, the M, who are some of the pioneer members here in Finland came with us. and the investigator wasn't home... which is weird since he's ALWAYS home and has never missed an appointment yet... Well then later in the week we had another appointment at the church and they came as well. And our other investigator who has never missed a lesson either didn't show up! So we felt SO bad that this couple came out with us twice and both the lessons fell through. So I'm just grateful for them anyway. It was fun to get to know them a little better while we waited, but I still felt bad... But they're so cool! After driving away from our investigator's house, we saw someone had  put a box of apples on the side of the road for people to just take for free (very typical here in FInland this time of year. I think I've eaten 100 apples the last 3 weeks...) So the wife told her husband to pull over and said "If this man is nice enough to put a bunch of apples outside, maybe he'll accept the gospel!" And she got out of the car and rang the doorbell! Well the man came to the door and it wasn't really a good time (I think he was like half dressed) but he said we could come back! So yes. There are some AWESOME members here in Finland and I get to work with them! 

And we had exchanges this week! Two of them! On Wednesday I was with Sisar Elliott from Turku here in Tampere and then on Friday I was with Sisar Thayne (from the Tampere 2nd ward) here in my area as well. And they both went great! SIsar Elliott and I talked to a lot of people on the street and taught 2 less actives about preparing to go to the temple. She's only been in the country about 3 months (2nd to youngest sister in the mission) but she's doing so well! Her faith is seriously so strong and it was just the missionary fire I needed that very cold day. We also ended the day by playing sähly and out less active and her non member boyfriend came! Seriously the miraculous highlight of the day! Sisar Thayne is way cool as well. The 2nd ward is SO different from the first ward so we have different challenges, but we talked about them a lot and what the other one has done in their ward to help. She's way cool. She's only 2 transfers (4 months) behind me in the mission and she's training so she's doing well. We had an appointment to go pick apples at our investigator's Mökki (i don't know how to translate that one...) and we knocked on her door and she wasn't home :( so after waiting for a couple of minutes, we started walking back to the bus stop and making other plans. But then our investigator came running off the bus from the other side of the street and stopped us right before we stepped on the bus and it all worked out! Pretty cool timing! So we were able to go help her. Lots of tiny miracles this week I can't even count them!

For example, we've been struggling to have the members do their own missionary work. They're great about coming out with us, but applying these skills into their daily lives is what we're working on now. but on Saturday we had a member ask US if we could come and teach her how to do missionary work and then on Sundayanother member came up to us and said she wanted us to come over and meet her friend that day! so we rearranged our schedule and went and she's a new investigator!
And Sunday was the best day of the week! Throughout the week we've been focusing on just loving and serving everyone. Whether that be in the form of service or heart attacking or little notes or cookies or anything, we did it! And this Sunday was fast and testimony meeting and 5 different people talked about how the sisters had done something for them that week. It was kinda funny actually because I was translating in Sunday School and in Relief Society for our mission president's wife, Sisar Watson, who was in Tampere visiting and someone said "This week the sisters made my day!" And I laughed and she made me translate it like "Uhhh this week we made her day..." This now sound really prideful but it was just super funny/awkward translating things about yourself... So I think the missionary/member relationships are really improving here. There's also a ward fast in the month of October where a member family fasts each day. And lots of people signed up for that so I'll let you know how it goes! Also, that couple that came to the two cancelled lessons made a comment in Relief Society about how it was so cool to go out with the sisters this week and even if it was cold and rainy and dark that they always have a smile on their face and are having fun. So I'm glad that she didn't focus on the cancelled lessons and was able to have fun with us anyway.

We also had a Dinner with a girl who's about to leave on a mission and her mom. She's so excited! And then on the way home I sat down and talked to a man who had these crazy tattoos all over his head and then he got up and left and another man came and sat down to talk to me which has NEVER happened in my whole mission. And he asked about what I was talking about and if our church had any activities to come to! Miracle! So we exchanged numbers and he's coming to Sähly on Wednesday! So cool!

Well sorry this email is all over the place, but I'm doing well! Lots of miracles and lots of cool goals coming up that I'm working on. 

Oh! One more thing! General Conference is this week!!! So when Elder Bednar was here, one of the questions he answered was "How can I prepare for General Conference?" And Elder Bednar's promise was that if you have a question and you pray and study it out this week and that you come to conference with it in your mind that EVERY TALK will answer you question. Not just one or two talks. EVERY SINGLE ONE! So I give that challenge to all of you. Put it to the test! And let me know all the amazing insights you receive! I'm SO SO SO excited for this weekend! Conference is way up there with Christmas for a missionary and we've had a countdown chain for a month leading up to it!

Well life's good and there's never much to complain about on the Lord's errand! I love you all and I hope you have a great, inspired week!

Sisar Crandall

Me and Sisar Elliott at a bus stop
Me and Sisar Thayne with our street sign (long story)
Sisar Thayne, Forrest, Jones, and me (it was pretty cold...)

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