Hope you're all having a beautiful sunny December day where ever you are around the world! A member told us that the news came out with the statistics that the entire month of November , we had only 16 HOURS OF SUNLIGHT. Yep. That's less sun then we get in ONE DAY in the summer here in Finland. So yes, I really miss the sun :) and the warmth it brings :) but good thing we have the light of the gospel! First off I want to start off with a cool story:
Yesterday we were on the bus coming to church with our investigator P! (I'll tell you about her in a sec). As Sisar Dixon and I got on the bus we both noticed a girl sitting there who just looked so different and stood out for some reason we couldn't really tell. Then both of us had the thought, "She looks like she could be a member" But since we were with our investigator, we all sat down together and rode to church. I also know all the members here in Tampere, so I just dismissed the thought. Well, when we got off the bus, she got off too! She was going to church! And she WAS a member! She is from Rovaniemi, living in Helsinki, and came to church in Tampere. It was probably one of the first times where this "light of the gospel'" things was SO obvious to me, It's a very different culture here in Finland. The people really aren't spiritual at all and somehow it shows in their countenances. This bus was PACKED full of Finnish people, all dressed the same, and all just sitting their on the bus, but she specifically stood out. And now I realize just how obvious it all is. If a hundred Finnish people were standing in a line and one of them was a member with the light of the gospel, I could easily pick out which one it was. So I really hope that's what the Finns see when we get on a bus happy and smiling and talking to everyone. You can't help but be attracted to it!
So other things that happened this week,
-We went on exchanges with the Turku Sisaret. Sister Pack and Sister Forrest. They are both awesome. I was with Sisar Pack who isn't too much younger than me in the mission and we had a blast. I got to meet a couple who had just gotten married and baptized and they're way cool! I love meeting recent converts and seeing their zeal for the gospel :)
-We've been working with H who lives in Hämeenlinna. We're trying to help her still receive a testimony of the prophet and how this knowledge that there is a living prophet helps us. She still has a date for Dec 20th, but it's not as solid as before. So just pray for her.
-P came to church! Her daughter is a member in Turku and we met her at the bus stop and she became our investigator! We had a great lesson last week and have another one planned for today! She really understands that she needs to study and pray and figure this out for herself which is awesome because she's really willing to. She also has a husband who is kinda sick and not that interested, but we'll work on him as well.
-So our ward Christmas party is coming up on Saturday the 13th and the missionaries (8 of us) were asked to do a little skit in it. So after some brainstorming, we came up with THE GRINCH!! Slight problem though... The grinch doesn't exist in Finnish.... Well no problem for Sisar Crandall and Sisar Dixon! We wrote our own! So this week for part of our language study, we've been working on writing The Grinch (Missionary Style) in Finnish. AND IT RHYMES! So just coll me Dr. Seuss everyone. Dad, I TOLD you all those days of memorizing the grinch movie would come in handy! It sounds AWESOME! And we went over it at district meeting last week and everyone loved it! I'll send home a copy (It'll be in Finnish though...) next week with pictures letting you all know how it went. Just know that I'm SUPER excited for it!
-The Joulutori (Christmas market) opened up here last week so all the missionaries went and caroled there! 6 missionaries sang while 2 contacted and handed out "He is the Gift" cards and taught people and just spread some Christmas spirit. I was one of the 2 contacting (I kinda got sick this week and lost my voice a bit... not the point.) and had some interesting contacts. One man was very interested and we ended up teaching the whole restoration with "joy to the World" being sung in the background. Another woman came up to me and said, (in English) "Are you Christians?" It kinda startled me because it was in English, but I turned around and smiled and said "Yes!" She looked at me for about 3 seconds kinda confused, got a little scared, and then yelled (still in English) "No, you're not! You're going to Heck!" (Except for the fact that she didn't say heck...) She walked away and I honestly started laughing to myself. I had gotten that earlier on my mission, but it was always in Finnish and mixed in with a lot of other words I don't understand... but for some reason, hearing it in english just made me smile and feel reassured that I must be doing something right if there are people against it!
-We had an AWESOME lesson with L this week. She's out investigator who knows some members and has a husband and 2 little girls who are ADORABLE! Her girls were sick so we couldn't meet again last week, but she's been reading and praying and shows lots of potential so we're really excited about her!
Well we had LOTS of members out with us and literally did EVERYTHING exactly by the book and by PMG and are really working hard to do everything in our power to help these miracles come to pass and then to give everything else over to the Lord. It's been a little rough number wise, but Sisar Dixon and I really feel like we're doing what we need to be so I guess that's what matters in the end.
Well I'm off to do some Christmas shopping at the market! Have a wonderful week remembering the true meaning of Christmas and that "He is the Gift" I love you all!!
Peppermint Chocolate with the Turku sisters. Sisar Pack and Sisar Forrest