Monday, December 15, 2014

Faith, Obedience, and Role Plays

Hello family! 

Well this week has been a very faith trying one. But you know what they say, "you receive no witness until after the trial of your faith". So that means that this week was also full of lots of witnesses!! Holy cow my testimony has almost been strengthen more in the past week than it has in the past 18 months. It's kinda like when Satan tries to discourage you, you know you must be on the right path. 

So I'll just run through two of my favorite people of all time and then some other experiences that have happened. 

First. P. She's our investigator who's daughter is a member and she's about 65. She's awesome!! I just love her so much! She wants to meet with us at least every other day and immediately acts on our message and is receiving answers like crazy! She's come to church 2 weeks in a row and has a very solid baptismal date for Dec 27th! What a white Christmas that will be? She's given up drinking coffee and studies the scriptures and prays about it all the time all by herself! She's just awesome. It's just really cool to see how willing she is to change once the spirit has started working on her. We had 3 AWESOME lessons this week with her with members and the members were just shocked with how perfectly every lesson has gone. Well when we found P, Sisar Dixon and I committed to not mess it up! So we've planned SO well and role played EVERYTHING! Even phone conversations! Just to make sure we're following the spirit and saying what she needs to hear. Holy cow everything has gone exactly as planned and I'm just amazed by it every time! But I've started to expect it now! If we plan and role play by the spirit, our lessons and contacts and others things will go a lot more as planned and as we want it to! So I've picked my jaw off the ground a couple times and strengthened my faith that YES there and these people and we find them all the time and people are 100% ready to act on this gospel because it's true! and Yes, our lessons will go as we role played because the spirit was with us in our planning! Makes sense if you ask me :)

So then we have H. She's way cool as well. She's the 17 year old in Hämeenlinna. A lot of our investigators are super different from each other, but it's interesting to see how the spirit can still work on all of them. So H has been struggling recently with a couple questions about prophets and commandments and not really understanding the importance of some things. Some we've been addressing her concerns and nothing's really been getting sorted out... until this week that is! Saturday night, H texted us telling us she's been reading and praying and not really getting an answer and still wanting to be baptized and just not sure what to do about it all. So Sisar Dixon and I really prayed and fasted to know what to teach her when we saw her on Sunday. Well this time we changed the way we thought about H and her testimony. She's grown up around the church her whole life (her mom is a member) and knows what the church believes, but has a hard time applying it to her personal life. So instead of asking her what her questions and concerns are, we focus on what she knows to be true.  We both read and studied Elder Holland's talk "Lord, I believe" (We completely owe this idea and the success of this lesson to him) and realized that we've been too focused on figuring out her concerns that she (and us) are loosing sight of what she already knows to be true. So as we started the lesson and read through some of the talk in Finnish, we had her make a list of all the things she KNOWS to be true. We had her first state and hold fast to what she knows and then we'll work on the faith that the rest of the knowledge will come. Well it worked! She wrote a HUGE list of gospel principles she has a testimony of. Like the book of mormon, the power of prayer, love, and God's goodness. She just started tearing up while realizing that maybe she has already received her answer. She yeah, she's still working on some things, but she's progressing right along and will get baptized soon, but she currently doesn't have a date (she needs her dad's permission first) But the important thing is that she's recognizing this progression and even expressed her desire to be baptized again and it just went great! just like we role played :)

So those are the cool experiences with our 2 progressing investigators this week. Other events that happened:

The Joulutori (Christmas market) opened up this week so we enjoyed exploring that on monday (see the pictures)

Ward Christmas Party: Both Tampere wards had a Christmas party together and last minute all the missionaries got roped into playing Lucia and her attendants (It's a swedish christmas thing I think) So there are some pictures of that. The missionaries also acted out the poem "The grinch" and it went great! It's about a missionary who didn't get any presents for christmas last year so he goes around stealing all the other missionaries presents. But the missionaries don't really care because they have each other and the gospel and the grinch learns all about giving presents all out of love :)  The other skits were HILARIOUS and it was so fun to see the Finns loosen up a little bit. We even had a cool potential and our less active come so that night was a success!

On Sunday was the Ward Christmas Song Night. The missionaries also got roped into singing a song last minute and it went great! I'll show it to you all sometime but it's called "Tulkoon Joulu" And we had a potential that came to that as well! His name is J and we met him caroling in the town center last week and invited him to the concert and he showed up! Honestly, Siasr Dixon and I talk to and invite 100s of people a week to different things so when he showed up and waved to us, we didn't ever remember who he was! But after talking to him for a sec we figured it all out. But out of the TONS of people we invited to that night, he was probably (in my mind) the least likely to come because when we gave him an invitation, he crumpled it up and threw it in his pocket. Well the Lord works in mysterious ways and we taught him at the church and got his phone number and we'll go tell him all about the book of mormon! Cool stuff!

Other than that this week was great! Sisar Dixon and I are still just trying to be 100% obedient and are enjoying it whether we immediately see the blessings or not. FInland is awesome and I just LOVE Tampere! I hope you all have a wonderful week preparing for Christmas and enjoy the real spirit of the season! I love you all!

Sisar Crandall

Sisar Dixon and I at the Joulutori
Still at the Joulutori with the nutcrackers :)
Driving through Finland :) I LOVE our 45 minute drive to Hämeenlinna each week!

Us singing in Finnish and Swedish around Lucia
The sisters with Tanya
Tanya and the Elders

WE thought we looked like the thing on the door... maybe not...
I love the snow :)
We both tried moose sausage. Pretty good actually!

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