Monday, November 24, 2014


Well hello there everyone! This week has been a great one, as usual. Quickly I'll run you through some updates on what's going on. 

H is still progressing towards baptism on the 20th of dec. She's our only investigator with a baptismal date at the moment, but we'll change that this week :) I want to Lahti! The sisters there are amazing! I was with Sisar Owen and we had a great time. It was my first time in Lahti too so it was pretty fun to be able to see some of the city. Sister Dixon was with Sisar Rochette and they just rocked it as well! Really the sisters here are great. 
Friday we helped out at a murder mystery party the young men and young women invited us too. Saturday we taught a class at the stake youth activity all about Preach the Gospel and how to apply it into our pre-missionary lives too. Yesterday was stake conference and so many talks were about the joy the gospel brings and being happy and becoming better. And recently I've been overwhelmed by the love and support I feel and also by the gratitude I feel for everything the Lord has blessed me with. So I wanted to let you all know what I'm thankful for this week especially.

I'm grateful for...
- The winter weather :) it sure makes me appreciate the summer!
- The 3 hours of sunlight. I could be serving up in Rovaniemi with 0 hours so I'll take what I can get
- Sisar Dixon and I's adventures lost in the woods. We found a new investigator and now I know the city a little better!
- The hour of personal study I get each day. That time has become so precious to me as a time to refuel and re-energize for a day of spreading the gospel.
- The members who are always more than willing to feed us. Came in handy this week when we were stuck at the church for a couple hours and the members come to the rescue.
- A living prophet who helps us know what is right and is always there is comfort us with the word of God. I've enjoyed reading the general conference talks this week and I can't help but think how much more President Monson and all the apostles have to give us, if only we were ready!
- The Plan of Salvation. I've so grateful that we have a way to overcome both physical and spiritual death and that we know about it! We ended up teaching this lesson multiple times this week and every time just increased my testimony of it and my gratitude that I have knowledge of this plan and the comfort it gives me.
- The Book of Mormon. No matter what else happens in my life or on my mission I'm grateful for the Book of Mormon and the keystone it is in my life and in my testimony. I've had lots of questions came up (my own and also from my investigators) and I know I can always bank on the book of mormon to help us out.
- Finnish! I LOVE this language so much. I'm grateful that I've had the chance to learn it and how much it's helped me learn about the Finnish culture.
- Finns who always help us with the language. A Finn may not want to talk to me on the bus, but I'm grateful for the many people who answered my language questions this week and helped me learn some new words although they weren't interested in anything else.
- Cold runs in the morning that always wake me up and start my day off right!
- And on that note... hot showers! And that I'm able to live in such a blessed place as Finland and enjoy the blessings of hot, running water.
- The American peanut butter I found from Prisma that keeps me going :)
- Church music on Sunday to direct my thoughts and keep me focused on my purpose.
- Preach my Gospel. I've started studying it all the way through again this week and there are so many scriptures and quotes and things I've somehow missed! So I'm grateful for this guide to help us in our work and also to help me as a member when I'm home.
- My Mission President and his Wife. President and Sisar Watson were here in Tampere this week. I was also to have an interview with him and talk with her for a little bit as well. They truly are inspired people who answered a lot of my questions and helped me with some concerns as well. They gave great advice that I'm now able to apply in my mission and in my life. Thanks :)
- The temple. I have the opportunity to go to the temple this week on Friday and I never realized how great of a blessing it is and how it truly is the Lord's House until I wasn't able to go. I'll never take that blessing for granted again.
- All of my amazing companions who still continue to help me and reach out and love me even though they're in different cities and even countries. 
- All the sisters here in Finland. I've had the chance to go on exchanges with a lot of them (This week it was the Lahti sisters) and they've all taught me so much. I feel like I've had 30 companions! And I just love them all and I'm grateful they all made the decision to come out here and serve a mission so I could meet them.
- Train rides that allow me to see the beautiful Finnish countryside.
- My siblings who eagerly email me each week with pictures and stories and funny quotes and more. I love you all :)
- My dad who sends me hallmark cards with hugs in them just to let me know he loves me.
- My mom who constantly uplifts and supports me with spiritual insights and helps me learn and grow every day.
- My Savior and brother Jesus Christ who supports me in all that I do. He makes it possible for me to even be out here or for me to even be alive. I'm so thankful I'm a part of his work and I hope to keep it up the rest of my life.

As I've pondered all the things I'm grateful for, i've realized how small and insignificant I am in the grand scheme of things. But I'm also realized how important I am to the Lord that he's even taken the time to bless me with all of this and more. 

One scripture comes to mind specifically.
13 Wherefore, I call upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised, to thresh the nations by the power of my Spirit;

I am definitely one of "the weak things of the world". Especially out here in a foreign country with my broken Finnish. So I guess that makes me "unlearned and despised" as well. But still, somehow, the Lord is able to use me and my companion and my fellow missionaries to do his work in all the nations by the power of his spirit. How cool is that :)

I love you all! This week will be a great one with a trip to Helsinki on Friday (Also someone's birthday...) And a Thanksgiving dinner with an american family on Saturday! I'll let you know about all the amazing miracles next week! 

Sisar Crandall

Sorry no pictures this week except for one from the murder mystery party. Finns are so funny when they act :)  Mom here:  I can't post pictures of the Finns . . . sorry.

So, here's a picture of the sisters that will be Kathryn's roomies this winter.  I love it!

Monday, November 17, 2014

President Teixeira and the Book of Mormon Challenge

Hello there everyone!

Well this week I am astonished at all that has happened! It literally feels like I just emailed yesterday and yet, at the same time, last month... Well this week was one that probably changed my life. And not to sound dramatic or anything because that happens every week on a mission, but this one especially! Here's why:

On Monday I got a call from President Watson (which is either really bad or really good) but since I'm Sister Training Leader, I've gotten a little more used to it. So I answered and he asked if this was a good time and I said yes and so he proceeded "Sisar Crandall, I'd like for you to have an interview with President Teixeira" Well okay! President Teixeira is a member of the first quorum of the 70 and also the Area President of Europe. Here's a little more about him: He was the guest coming to our mission tour on Wednesday and now I got to interview with him! I thought President had picked a bunch of missionaries to interview, but it wasn't until Wednesday until I found out that it was only me and one other sister! And to make it even better/worse, they recorded the entire interview on camera to use for training purposes. So Sisar Nielsen and I (The other one that got interviewed) were slightly nervous, but it went great! On Wednesday morning we traveled to the Haaga chapel and has to be there by 8am... Then President Teixeira and his wife arrived so they and President and Sisar Watson and Sisar Nielsen and I all went into the chapel. President Teixeira started by asking us how we've found success on our missions. He said that for some reason President Watson wanted him to talk to us, so we must be doing something right and he wanted to know the secret! So we talked about it for a couple of minutes, and then he put us on the camera! We were on there individually and basically just repeated some of the ideas and thoughts we had just discussed. And for those of you wondering, there's not really a secret... it'a all in PMG! But most of mine and Sisar Nielsen's answers revolved around talking with everyone and doing it diligently and full time.  You never take a break of bring missionary minded! I talked a lot about how here in Finland, the culture and the weather and the people in general are very quiet and reserved and to themselves. And I like it! It makes the light of the gospel that we have in our eyes and in our smiles that much brighter! People literally are attracted to us and want to hear what we have to say because we're so happy about it! So I focused on being happy and positive and sharing this joyful message. Afterwards, President Teixeira came up to me and said "Most people would see this culture as a barrier, but you see it as a window!" I had never really thought about it, but it's true! A light burns brighter in the dark. And we're out here as a light and the dark is noticing it!

So all of this took place in the hour before the mission tour when most of the missionaries weren't even there yet. But then we headed into a leadership meeting with the Sister training leaders and the zone leaders and the assistants. President Teixeira and his wife really focused on if we want to help the missionary work go forth, we, as a mission, need to raise our goals. And that all starts with the leaders of the mission. He had us tell him what our goals were for last week and our actual numbers as well and then told us they weren't high enough! So this week Sisar Dixon and I really focused on raising them! 

Then we headed into the mission tour. All this had happened and the meeting hadn't even started yet! So a couple of weeks ago we all took a survey about PMG. How we're using it and how we'd still like some help and what things to focus on. So the meeting was centered around this. President Teixeira helped us out a lot with finding techniques and handing out more pass along cards and the Book of Mormon! We really focused on helping more people receive and then read the Book of Mormon. So Sisar Dixon and I set the goal of giving away 100 copies of the Book of Mormon before the end of the year. It sounds pretty hefty in our minds, but it'll be exciting! So we're talking to EVERYONE and it's been SOO exhausting, but also SO REWARDING! We were led to 3 new investigators and have some potentials we're meeting with this week! The work really is going well and this meeting just helped relight that fire :) 

The mission tour was also the whole Tampere and Helsinki zone together and then the North zone on another day so I got to see Sisar Johnston again! And she's training! And her trainee, Sisar Richards, and I wore the same shirt. So that explains that picture.
Since we were in Helsinki on Wednesday and then Turku on splits on Friday, the rest of the days were packed. We go from lesson to lesson, and run for buses and trains, but the members are helping us out and we're still having time to find. We're trying to focus on working with the Less actives a little more and really be balanced in all phases of missionary work.

Friday we were in Turku. I went on exchanges with Sisar Vincent. We were in the same district in the MTC so it was fun seeing her again. That meant Sisar Dixon and Sisar Ross were together. We had lots of appointments and spent the day talking to everyone and implementing the new finding and approaching techniques we had learned in the mission tour. It went really well and we had about an hour in the evening before we headed home and we ended up singing and contacting in the center. We handed out a lot of cards with our website on them and even got the phone number and address of a man who wants a Book of Mormon in Swedish! So it was a pretty fun and unique finding activity that really made a difference.

Yesterday we went to church in the Hämeenlinna branch. We ended up not having any investigators coming to church because they wanted to come to the music night instead. So after ward council, we drove down to Hämeenlinna. This is a pretty rare thing and may have been the only time we do this, but the bishop really wants us to work with the older single women and too many of them were confused when we would stop by or call them to set up an appointment so we figured they better know we at least exist. Well I ended up giving a talk and leading the music and Sisar Dixon and I did a musical number. Sisar Dixon also played the piano and translated for the less active we brought to church with us (she's from Thailand). We also were able to meet with a couple other less active women while we were there and the branch was SO nice and welcoming. They really just miss having sisters there. 

Sunday night was our musical concert. It's called "Tulkaa Kristuksen Luokse" "Come unto Christ" It's basically the restoration pamphlet that we give out to people in musical form. For example, there would be a short talk about how God is our loving Heavenly Father and then we sang "I am a Child of God" in all different languages and so forth for each page in the pamphlet. It went really well! Our investigator and a couple of less actives even sang and gave talks! And the members helped out by bringing desserts for afterwards and everyone came together and mingled. In all there were about 75 people there. So I consider it a success :) 

So overall this week was great. Super busy and a little crazy and hectic and all over the place, but great. We really and focusing on teaching those who are willing to progress and keep commitments and giving everyone else to the Lord and his timing. Sisar Dixon and I are going great and we're excited for this upcoming week. We're only gone 1 day this week in Lahti so it'll be nice to be able to continue hastening the work here in Tampere.

I love you all! I love being a missionary! Thank you for all the support and love! Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Sisar Crandall

Sisar Dowd and I
Sisar Seegmiller and I
Sisar Johnston and I

Sisar Howell and I!
Sisar Richards and I and our matching shirts
Sisar Thayne and I

(This was the last time I was going to see a lot of the sisters in the Helsinki zone so I took lots of pictures with them)

Burger King just opened up in Tampere :) And they have OREO SHAKES!! It was delicious. And totally satisfied my oreo cravings. 
Me with the fries
Sisar Richards who is being trained by Sisar Johnston who was trained by me

Monday, November 10, 2014

Tender Mercies :)

Hello there!

Well family and friends this week went faster than the last! We're super busy and ended up going on member splits twice this week so that was a new fun experience! 

This week we were asked to be in charge of the YSA "Chill Night" It's the fhe for all the ysa in both Tampere wards. So we planned some minute to win it games and the other missionaries were there with their investigator who's about to get baptized and then we had 2 potentials come! They LOVED it and they said they'll be there again this week! It's cool to see these people's reactions when they see a bunch of people coming together and having fun without any alcohol or anything and they're all so friendly and happy. They can't help but come back! 

We ended up dropping 2 investigators this week too because they just have no desire to act an anything we teach. We'll give them some time and go back to them later when the Lord wants us to. 
But on Tuesday we had an awesome lesson with our investigators M and R. They're a couple from Tanzania with 3 little kids who are adorable. They investigated maybe 3 years ago and Sisar Jones and I stopped by once and they said we could come back! So We taught them the restoration and they agreed to be baptized on the 20th of Dec if they receive their answer by then. So now we're meeting with them and just trying to help them recognize their answer and the spirit that is so strong there every time we go. They're active in the Catholic church so attending our ward on Sunday has been difficult but we'll just trust in the Lord on that one :)

Wednesday consisted of district meeting, meeting with some members, helping another member move out of our ward and into the 2nd ward, and meeting with L! She's the one from Columbia. She has read a ton in the LIbro de Mormon and even highlights her favorite verses and answers all on her own! We hadn't even shown her that yet! And we taught the restoration and she really likes it. SHe doesn't have a baptismal date yet because honestly we ran out of time. So we'll focus on short powerful lessons and get her progressing right along! She's seriously so cute and my favorite person to talk with because she always makes me so happy afterwards! She's just that in tune with the spirit.
Thursday we had an awesome lesson with B from Czech. We discussed the plan of salvation and then baptism. She has a really close relationship with her husband and wants him to understand and accept what she's doing and she wants to be sure about it. She said she'd talk to her husband about it and hopefully he'll join in on the lessons too because he wants to support his wife. 
Then we skyped with H from Hämeenlinna. It went well! We talked about prayer and how our scripture reading is going and then on Sunday we met with her again after church in Hämeenlinna. And we talked about baptism and she said she wants to KNOW that this is true, not just believe. But she agreed to prepare to be baptized on the 20th of december too! It'll be a white Christmas here in Finland :)

All day Friday we were on splits in Jyväskylä. I was with Sisar Dayton again!! We were together in the same area exactly one year ago! The whole day was deja vu! (no idea how to spell that word...) But I was able to see some old friends and members and actually do some things I had wanted to since I left Jyväskylä. It was a really good closure day for me. I realized that I had done what I needed to and what the Lord needed and that there are some amazing missionaries still in Jyväskylä and all my friends and members and investigators are all taken care of.I have full faith and confidence in the work here in Finland :) And it's so nice to think that I have nothing to worry about.

Saturday was a pretty busy day catching up from everything in the week and having our Ward mission leader meeting and practicing a song with the other missionaries for our concert next week. We were able to "accidentally" run into a former investigator and the Elders' investigator who is getting baptized in 2 weeks so it's the little moments like that when there doesn't seem to be a lot going on and you're not sure where you should go and you realize that you're doing exactly what the Lord wants you to. There were 3-4 experiences this week where I realized that Heavenly Father gave me the chance to make up for something I had done or not done in the past. I think I had let some opportunities slip through my fingers earlier in my mission and this week a lot of them came back up and I was able to teach and testify and really feel that I had done what the Lord had wanted me to. It's a very nice peaceful feeling. 

And the interesting thing is that I didn't 100% realize that until just this second as I was emailing. And as I started writing you all about it, the little tender mercies came back into my mind. And now I'm even more grateful for them. And I'm also thankful for this chance to review my week and really notice the Lord's hand in my life. 

Sunday was also a really special day because we got to Hämeenlinna just as their ward was getting out and we had tons of members coming up to us and greeting us and thanking us for being there. Apparently Hämeenlinna has been praying for sisters for years and even though the Elders are really needed there for the priesthood and all the good work they're doing, the older women that we would go visit really wanted sisters. And even though we're only there one day a week the whole ward is suddenly excited about missionary work! And with H getting baptized in December hopefully it will just snowball from there! But really. we were so loved! And we didn't even know any of these members, but we instantly felt like part of the family :) So I'm really glad I get to half way serve in another branch as well :)

I'm just grateful for everything that happened this week. Things are going well and looking even better! We're out of Tampere 3 days this week so that'll keep us on our toes but I love it! I'm so happy to be a missionary and to be doing the Lord's work and reaping all these seeds  planted years ago and even planting my own :) Have a wonderful week everyone! Take a moment or two to realize all the tender mercies in your life and even count your blessing one by one because I know this week I've sure been surprised by what the Lord has done. I love you all! Thank you for your love and support! 

Sisar Crandall

It REALLY snowed this week!

The snow on all the berries were GORGEOUS!

Sisar Dayton and I back together with our hot chocolate :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Tervetuloa Marraskuuhun!! (Welcome to November)

Hello everybody! 

Okay so many incredible things happened that I don't really know where to start. 
Well in case any of you are wondering, I think it's freezing here. But it's only about 0 degress C so it could be worse. I know how to dress now though so I'm nice and warm. It's been "Christmas Season" in Finland for weeks now. Lights are already up all over the town. I'll send some pictures of it. Christmas Music has also been playing in our apartment for about a month so hopefully that won't get old before December... The first Burger King just opened up here in Tamper near the train station. I know this is very important news so I felt the need to tell all of you. IT also gets dark around 16 so that's taking some getting used to again... Well anyway, on to the real important stuff
First off, I got my new companion! Sisar Dixon arrived on Tuesday and we've just hit the ground running this week! She's from Sandy, UT and went to Alta, but I don't think we have any common friends. Tuesday was spent driving everyone and their luggage all over Tampere, but all the sisters here in Tampere made their trains and arrived safely! That's a miracle! So we had the other Tampere sisters spending the night on Tuesday (Sisar Curtis and Sisar Elliott) so it was fun to catch up with them. 
We met with our investigator A this week. She's really wanting this to be a part of her life, but not quite sure yet if she wants to make all the changes. So we'll keep working with her. It may take a bit longer than we thought, but all in the Lord's timing.
Thursday we traveled down to Helsinki for MLC. All 6 sister training leaders were staying in the same apartment near the temple so that was a blast. I had served closely with a lot of them before and we were able to talk about old investigators and members and how everyone's doing. 

Friday was MLC!! and Halloween!! We ended up not going back to Tampere until Saturday morning so we missed the ward Halloween party, but it was one of the best Halloween's ever! We woke up and got to President's house by 9 for our meeting to start. We were fed some amazing food by Sisar Watson and really focused on the mission's training plan. We also discussed the upcoming mission tour. We found out that President Teixeira is coming. And  on Nov 12th we'll be traveling down to Helsinki again to meet with him. And then we got to go to the temple!! Each day they have an english session at 18 so we got to go to that! It was so cool!! I got to see what I think is the 3rd new temple movie. Sooo different but way cool! Kinda different insights came to that was interesting. One of the most special experiences was before the temple, all the sister training leaders and Sisar Watson were just sitting in the bridal room in the temple and talking. Sisar Watson is a very wise and experienced woman and she gave some great advice and the spirit was just so strong testifying about everything that we're doing to be true. That sure gave me some great fire for the rest of the week. 

Saturday we traveled back and had a lunch appointment with a member and she made us pumpkin pie!! It was so good! And so American! Definitely something I missed this season... We were also able to find a new investigator on the bus and meet some amazing potentials. One is a boy named P who we met at the door trying to find someone else (coincedence? I think not!) and was very interested in getting a book of mormon and we really just had a super spiritual experience right there in the hallway. And it was interesting to see his countenance change from not interested to wait I think you're on to something. The spirit really worked on him and it was one of the most visible changes I've seen. So we're going back to him this week too.

But the biggest news came at MLC! Sisar Dixon and I are now the sisters of the Hämeenlinna branch too! There is a 17 year old girl down there who needs to be taught by the sisters and we're the nearest ones! About 70 km away... But we're skyping with her on Thursday and going down every Sunday to teach her. Her name is H and she's amazing! Her mom is a member and her dad isn't, but is letting her decide for herself which church she wants to join. So since we're down there weekly now (we go by car) We had a meeting with the branch president and the ward missionary leader and the elders who serve there and talked about how we can best help. Basically we'll be teaching H and helping her progress and then working with and visiting the single women (active and less-active) that the Elders can't really go to. We're super excited and it'll definitely keep us busy!!

This week we're teaching the YSA tonight and are in charge of minute to win it games! I'll let ya know how it goes next week! We're also traveling in Jyväskylä on Friday for exchanges. October really flew by and November is quickly speeding up! So we're just working on using every minute the best we can! And I've got to admit that I've never been so tired in my life, but I'm loving it! Missionary Work is so much happier when you're busy and having fun! 

So I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love you so much! I'm grateful for all your help and support and I hope you can all feel my prayers. Stay safe and stay strong :)

Sisar Crandall

Dropping Sisar Jones off at the train station. She's off to Vaasa!
Us 6 Sister Training Leaders at the bus stop
Sisar Dixon and I on the bus

Sisar Bitner, Nielsen, and I in President's car on the way to the temple
Going into the temple at night
All the sisters after the temple session