-->

Monday, October 28, 2013

Week One in Finland With The Nicest People I Have Ever Met

Moi!
I am in Finland! Can you believe it!? I sure can't.  Well I hope you can bear with me while I try and write this. I am using a Finnish keyboard that I am not used to.  Finland is beautiful and I have a wonderful companion, Sisar Fronk!  We are serving in Kilo, which is a suburb of Espoo, which is just outside of the capital, Helsinki, and I love it! The people of Finland are amazing and seriously the nicest people I have ever met!  Another upside is that I am serving in the area of the temple and am actually within walking distance of the temple!
Arriving in Finland
Anyway, when I first arrived in Finland we met up with our mission president and the AP's then we went to the temple and wrote down some of our thoughts and then we went to the president's house and had dinner, got interviewed and went to bed. We got to sleep in the next morning before we went to the offices in Nietsytpolku and had a meeting where we would find out where and who we would be serving with.  To be honest, I don't remember much of this meeting because of the jetlag which was awful!  I still don't think that I have fully recovered from it! 
People From All Over the World
The first day was crazy! When we got to Kilo we actually had an appointment that night to go and teach one of our investigators, Alva Rewell her dad is actually already a member of the church but her mom isn't, but we realized that we had lost the keys and so we couldn't get into our apartment.  It is a brand new apartment so there are no keys at the main offices either! Sisar Nyman and Sisar Francis were also staying with us but it turns out that we were homeless. So they watched our luggage while we went to teach Alva. That was my first lesson in Finnish and it was so scary! I thought that I knew how to speak Finnish and then I got to Finland and learned that I actually don't know how to say anything. Sisar Fronk would just turn and look at me and say' what about you?' and I would then have to say something in awful Finnish.  But the language is sort of coming.  The hard thing is that we are in an area where there are a ton of people from all over the world who are in Finland just for school. So we teach in English all the time! I have actually taught more lessons in English than I have in Finnish, which is awesome because then I can actually say something!
Planted Seeds and Baptisms
We have an investigator, Hai, who is Vietnamese and is getting baptized on Saturday!  He is awesome and we love him! We are so excited for him and it is crazy because it is actually someone who Veli Arneson (my teacher from the MTC) taught while he was here.
Never Enough Time
 I wish I had more time to tell you about the amazing experiences and stories that I have to share since being here. But it looks like we are out of time and I don't know if we will be getting back on or not. But If we do I will send a second email letting you know all about it and if not then I will write it and send it to you and then you can here all about my first week here in Finland! Just know that I love all of you and thank you for all of your support!
Love,
Sisar Knapp

A little about Espoo

Nokia Headquarters is in Espoo
Espoo  is the second largest municipality in Finland with the population of 248,355. It is part of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and contains the national park of Nuuksio,  situated in northwest. 
The main campus of the Aalto University is based in Otaniemi, Espoo, along with a thriving technology community that includes numerous IT companies and VTT – the Technical Research Center of Finland. Nokia is headquartered  Espoo, along with other high-tech companies such as KONE, Tekla and Fortum.
Lake Tavel Wallpapers Pictures Finland Espoo Kaitalampi Lake Design 1440x900 Pixel
Kaitalampi Lake, Espoo, Finland
The city of Espoo is officially bilingual.  The majority of the population, 84%, speaks Finnish as their mother tongue, while a minority of 9% speaks Swedish (down from 70% in the 1920s). 8%of Espoo's population has a first language other than Finnish or Swedish. 
The population is roughly 95% Finnish and 5% other nationalities. Religious affiliation is about 77% Lutheran, 1% Orthodox, 1% other and 20% no religious affiliation.
Espoo contains many high income suburbs, and six out of the ten highest average income postal areas in Finland are in Espoo.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bearing Sweet Testimony


video

When Hayley left the MTC she rode the train from Provo to Salt Lake City.  We knew what time she was leaving the MTC but didn't know if she was going by bus (that is what she thought) or train or which train she would be on.  In fact, her 4:30 departure time led us to believe that she would be leaving Provo earlier than she did.  Her sister, Kara, has been riding the train to Murray for an internship for several weeks and we wondered if they might end up on the same train.  Kara says that she prayed the night before that whatever was right would happen.  Sure enough, they were on the same train and got to visit for 45 minutes during which Kara took this video of Hayley bearing her testimony in Finnish.
We were also able to talk to Hayley from the airport a couple of hours later who reported that she was having a very difficult time leaving and praying that Kara might end up on her train.  She was anxiously looking out the window when Kara boarded behind her only to be nudged by her companion when Kara entered the train.  Hayley turned around and saw Kara, burst into tears and ran to hug her.  What a sweet, tender blessing that they will both remember for a lifetime.
We had a wonderful conversation and painfully said goodbye as she left Chicago headed for London and then Helsinki.  She was happy and excited.  We received the following email this morning:

Hey Mom, 

We get to email home to let you know that we made it safe and sound and that everything is alright!  I don't know where I will be serving yet because we actually don't find out until tomorrowmorning. I have already had my interview which went well I think and Finland is beautiful.  Well I miss you and everyone! I will write you next week on p-day and let you know where I will be serving.  Thank you for all that you do for me.  I couldn't have asked for a better family.  I love you!  Talk to you soon! 

Love, 
Hayley
With her mission president and his wife shortly after arriving in Finland

And so the waiting for the next contact begins...
So proud of this girl and even though we miss her like crazy we are so excited for all that lies ahead for her in the next 16 months!

I May Not Speak Finnish Yet But My Charade Skills are Amazing!

10/17/2013

Terve!
Me with my companions and branch president
How Do You Not Know What That Means?!
Well, this week has been crazy and really difficult but we have had some amazing experiences.  Finnish is hard--there is no other way to put it--and  speaking it all day every day is even harder.  But I really do love this language.  The cool thing was that I got to the point where I would say something in Finnish and get really confused looks from non-Finnish missionaries and then I would be confused, because I would say something like minä ymärään or minä tiedan and they wouldn't know what I said and all I could think is "how do you not know what that means?! It sounds the exact same as the English word!"  But then I would realize that minä ymärään sounds NOTHING like I understand and minä tieden sounds NOTHING like I know.  So... I guess that is a good thing! My charade skills are also amazing.  Let's just say that when you have to speak to someone who doesn't speak Finnish your acting skills improve a lot but you look ridiculous and most of the time the person you are talking to is laughing the whole time.  I guess at least I get my point across while putting a smile on someone's face. :)

Study....study...study.. This language is HARD


























The Blessing of Text Messaging MTC Style
We have also had a really good week with our investigators (our teachers pretending to be investigators).  On Saturday we had a great lesson with Jesse!  We had to give the whole second half of the Plan of Salvation in 10 minutes which we were super nervous about but it was probably one of our best lessons yet and we also got him to come to a 'baptism' of some of the elders in our districts. So that was awesome.  We then went to lunch and TALL and when we came back to class we had received a 'text message' from Jesse (a message written on the white board) and he told us that he really enjoyed the baptismal service and that he only had one question...when could his baptismal service be?  Ah!  We were so excited!  We love our investigator, Jesse, and are so excited for him!  A similar thing happened with our investigator Sheila.  She has been doing great and progressing.  We had a date that we had to move back a week but we wanted to 'text' her and see how she was still feeling about baptism.  She told us how excited she was to be baptized and that made us so happy and so excited for her!  We love our investigators even though they are really just our teachers they feel like real investigators and our teachers really act like real investigators.  They can and will 'drop us' if we aren't helping them progress.  So we do our best to invite the Spirit and then He does all the work.  We are very, very blessed.
Saying goodbye to  our teacher, Br. Stewart

Great MTC teachers
Speaking of teachers, I have the best teachers in the world!  They are all so patient and understanding and really just want to help us!  They are great and we are all going to miss them a lot.  We had to say goodbye to one of our teachers, Br. Stewart, on Monday and it was so sad.  We are all super excited to go to Finland.  I'm excited, terrified, nervous, and stressed to go so I really just want to get there already.  I am definitely going to miss all the friends I have made here at the MTC though.
Knights in Shining Armor (aka Elders)
We got to host again!!! We were all so excited when we got asked to host again because the Finnish missionaries were coming (they came a week early so they wouldn't arrive in Finland on Christmas day)!  It was crazy hosting because they didn't assign enough sisters to host and there was more sisters that came on Wednesday than I have ever seen!  It was crazy!  So each sister had to host four sisters the first round, and sisters have a lot of luggage!  As a host you have to help them carry it all!  If you haven't carried 4 suitcases at once then you should try it sometime because it is HARD.  But about 200 meters away from their apartment a knight in shinning armor came and saved me and the four sisters trying to carry everything, Elder Hugie!  Can I just say that the Finnish districts have some of the nicest elders in the world!  The second group we had about 30 girls come and now that was again another challenge to carry more suitcases.  But my second knight in shining armor came, Elder Wilson!  I love elders!  I don't know what we sisters would do without them.  They are life savers!  The Finnish missionaries that came are amazing!  We Finnish missionaries seriously feel like a big family and it is awesome!  So when the Finnish missionaries stopped off the bus they seriously felt like a part of the family and we love them!

No Wonder They Worry About Gym Time!
So here are the funny happenings with the elders down at the West Campus.  Fortunately none of our vanhimmat (elders) have been drinking Coke with Mentos but they are still boys...basketball is their love at the MTC (along with their teachers that they also love).  Well, their basketball games can get just a little too tense--we have had to refer to the Missionary Handbook a few times. :) The first incident was when Vanhin Chapman got hit in the head by Vanhin Call and gashed his head open.  Then Vanhin Lee got knocked over, hit his head, blacked out and got a mild concussion.  Then Vanhin Alquist tried to block Vanhin Call with his nose and got a bad bloody nose that they thought was broken but fortunately wasn't.  Then Vanhin McMaster was falling backwards and kicked the basketball pole and broke his toe.  And lastly, Vanhin McMaster hit Vanhin Wilson in the face and gave him a black eye.  Haha.  The last two were just this past week!  No wonder they worry about gym time! 
Last week in the MTC as a district.  I love these missionaries!
As (Missionary) Sisters in Zion
I got to give a talk on Sunday in Sacrament Meeting.  In the MTC they require everyone to prepare a talk and then the branch president calls on two people to speak.  I just happened to be one of those lucky people and I was scared to death!  But I said a quick prayer, got up and was just all of a sudden comforted.  I was able to just follow the Spirit and speak.  The amazing thing is that I didn't exactly use word for word what I had prepared.  I just opened my mouth and it was filled.  That was such a neat experience!  Church is just amazing.  I love every Sunday at the MTC.  One of my favorite things is right before Relief Society we sing an MTC version of As Sisters in Zion.  We personally named it Lahetyssaarnaja (Missionary).  Here are the lyrics:

As Sisters in Zion we're called to God's labor
We willingly serve Him with spirit and might.
We go to all nations with truth everlasting
We teach of the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ.

We thank thee oh God for a prophet to guide us.
We trust in His word and our purpose is clear.
The angels of heaven are walking beside us
We'll share our glad message with all who will hear.

We go forth enlisted with Helaman's Army.
In numbers far greater than ever before.
With power and spirit we'll faithfully witness
The heavens have spoken and truth is restored.

I just love these lyrics.  I can't remember who they said wrote them but I get the chills every time we sing it and it makes me so excited to be a missionary.  We just had to hurry and scribble these lyrics down so we could take them with us because they are amazing and bring the spirit so strong.
I saw Ryan (Br. Eggett, who directs the MTC choir and also directed the choir I was in growing up) one last time at the last devotional.
Praise to the Man
We also had a devotional Tuesday and Elder Oaks came!  That was so exciting!  It was exactly what I needed because he answered a question that I have been needing answered.  So I can promise that if you have a question and write it down, pray about it and listen to the prophets apostles, any devotionals and read scriptures that you will find an answer.  We also got to sing in the choir for one last time and we sang one of my favorite songs that we also sung with the Utah Valley Children's Choir, Praise to the Man.  I again had my testimony strengthened that I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that he really did see God the Father and the Son and that God restored His gospel to the earth through Him.  I am so grateful for that!

Thank you for all of the love and support!
Love,
Sisar Knapp
Mom, thank you for the Chinese food!!! (a blessing of having a friend that works in the MTC)



Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Frozen Chosen

Terve!! 


Accidental False Doctrine
Well the kind of dreaded week has finally arrived! Consecration week!  We just started today ONLY speaking Finnish! It is 100% Finnish and no translating for eachother unless it is absolutely necessary.  Yeah, its going to be a long hard week.  But I love this language so it should be a lot of fun as well!  I just so wish that my language was better than it is.  But it is coming... slowly but surely it is coming!  We do get told constantly that we are learning the hardest language in the MTC. I have decided that every language is hard so there is no need to put a label on it.  I also made my first language mistake (that I actually recognized, I am sure there are tons of others).  But we were teaching our investigator the blessings that we receive from baptism and instead of saying 'we can live with God' I told them they 'can apartment with God'... They understood what I meant though and committed to baptism so we are SO excited! One of my companions, Sisar Ross, also told her investigator that they could become Jesus... Yeah there might be a little bit of accidental false doctrine floating around! Fortunately we will have a senior companion in Finland to correct our mistakes!
Elder Wilson and Elder Hugie
Me and my companions in our usual spots!
Elder Chapman and Elder Richards



















Deer Caught in the Headlights!
Guess what?!  We finally got to host the new incoming Missionaries!!  I have never seen so many deer caught in the headlights looks ever. But I am sure that is how most of us looked anyway.  It was nice to actually be able to help them and tell then that it is going to be o.k. and to just make it to Sunday!  Really, you kind of have to say that to yourself every week because Sundays are the best and the days that you really have the time to focus on yourself.  It is amazing! We also had a random branch, that has gym with us, ask us  to come be the Sister Training Leaders for the night in their branch because they were finally getting sisters and hadn't had any for months!  That was fun! While we were explaining where we were serving (since, surprise, some of the sisters had never heard of Finland or they just had no idea where it was) the Zone Leader called us the Frozen Chosen, haha!  So apparently to some missionaries we are not known as the Finns anymore but The Frozen Chosen.  I think it is a very suitable name for us! :) 

With Sister Ross and Sister Farnworth hosting new missionaries


My Zone hosting the new missionaries
Seeing Old Friends
I also got to see so many people I knew this week because of Conference!  We had to spend all day up on the Main Campus both Saturday and Sunday so I saw Breanne again!  She is the best! I also saw Taylor Williamson who is doing wonderfully!  She is going to be such an awesome missionary! I also see Elder Hickey EVERYWHERE!  I try to take pictures for his mom but he just doesn't allow such a thing.  But he is also doing really well and I get to hear a little bit of Taglog which is way cool.  Lets just say that I love seeing people that I know everywhere! It makes my day! 
With Sister Taylor Williamson, a friend from home.  I love seeing people I know!

We spent all of General Conference Weekend at the Main Campus where I saw my former roommate Breanne again!
"Doubt Your Doubts"
Well, wasn't Conference just AMAZING?!! I absolutely loved Conference and have about 8 or 9 favorite talks to read again.  I know this is probably the Facebook and Pinterest post of Conference but I love it so I am going to share it anyways! :) "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." I just loved that because I could really apply it to myself and I think everyone.  It is so easy to have doubts and in turn start doubting your faith before you doubt your doubts.  I know personally I have had many doubts about being able to learn this difficult language and becoming that consecrated missionary but I remember that with the Lord's help I can do anything and everything! Our Savior loves us SO much and is always there for us to help us if we will just have faith in Him and turn to Him.  He knows we aren't perfect and that is why he suffered the Atonement so that through him we could become perfect. He doesn't expect us to be perfect all at once.  He doesn't expect us to become that steadfast disciple overnight. But through faith in him and following His perfect example we can become like Him.  We can be perfect even as He is perfect through his Atonement.  I know that to be true! I know that our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ are so proud of us when we are just making the small steps towards Him and having faith in Him.  So "doubt you doubts before you doubt your faith" because your through faith in your Savior Jesus Christ I know you can get through any trial and any doubt that you face in your lifetime.  Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us more than words can express and their love "simply is always there".  

I love all of you!  Kirkko on Totta!

Sisar Knapp

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Choir, Conference, Candy and Other Tender Mercies

Terve!  

Well I have to admit that being a missionary is like riding an emotional roller coaster!  Some days you are at the your peak of the "Best Day Ever" and others are the hard days where you just learn a little bit more than others. :)  This week has definitely had its ups and downs but it has mostly been amazing!  I guess I will try and stay in order of how things happened this week.
At the Conference Center preparing for the Relief Society Broadcast
Tough Times at the TRC
Last Thursday night we had TRC, which is where members that speak Finnish come and we get to teach them as though they are investigators and give them a spiritual thought.  We do this every Thursday. Most of the time I absolutely love it but other times it is just rough.  So as I mentioned last week, I am really struggling with understanding the language and after I asked a question to our 'investigator' she shot a question right back at me with a look that said "are you serious?".  The only problem was I didn't know what she had said and so I just stared at her not knowing what to do and then my companion looked at me with the same look because I didn't understand!  It was rough.  Lets just say that that investigator was a little sassy and I didn't know how to handle it... So after that 20 minute lesson I ran into the bathroom and cried for 20 minutes (since that is the only place you can be alone). Poor Brother Boyer (my teacher) didn't know what to do or how to help, but he offered me an amazing blessing of comfort that helped me be able to go in and sit through the next lesson while my companions taught.  The next lesson was good but I couldn't bring myself to say anything in Finnish. It was with a girl who had to come home early from her mission to Finland due to an accident and severely injured her leg and as she was walking out she gave me a Finnish candy (a mint with chocolate in the middle... SO GOOD) and told me to have a good day.  It was so sweet of her!  Then I was surprised by my favorite dessert waiting for me! (Thank you mom! It was so needed!) I can honestly say that all of those little experiences were 'tender mercies from the Lord.'
Another tender mercy is the getting to see friends from home at the MTC.  I get to see Elder Jake Hickey and Sister Jessica Benson almost everyday!











The Happiest Moment of My Life!
Saturday was honestly the best day ever!! It was the day that we Finnish sisters got to sing in the General Relief Society Broadcast and got to be away from the MTC all day!  That day started with a great lesson to our investigator.  We then went to main campus for lunch and you will never believe who I finally saw?!  Breanne (my roommate from last year)!! I was seriously so so excited! It was the best thing in the world to see her!  I honestly thought I was going to go 9 weeks in the MTC and not see her! I love her to death! 
With my freshman roommate, Breanne, who works at the Main Campus Cafeteria!

We went to the Conference Center early to practice singing for that night.  It was so neat to get to sit in those choir seats again. I honestly never thought that would happen.  But one of the highlights was when we came out to sit on the stage and I saw my family--Mom, Kara, and Cassie!! That had to be like the happiest moment of my entire life!  I couldn't stop smiling the rest of the night!  When we were leaving I actually got so talk to them and tell them that I love them (in Finnish... which they were all way overly impressed by... haha) and I honestly was on Cloud Nine!  
Seeing my family--The happiest moment of my entire life!


















It was so great to sing our testimonies to the whole world, to have angels singing along side us, and to hear and see the Prophet in person!  I am so blessed to be in the MTC right now! Yet another blessing was that my cold that I had had for the previous few days (that I got from playing four square in the rain) went away during the broadcast so I could actually sing! But yes, it did come right back after it ended haha. :) 

















Top of the Mornin' To You
Guess what family?!  I am learning to have an Irish accent!!  Since you all make fun of my British and German accents I have officially now have an accent tutor.  Everytime we get to walk to main campus for a devotional or during gym or dinner, the Irish Elder (Elder Cathcart) gives me new sayings to practice, haha.  He says I am pretty awful though so I guess nothing has really changed, but I am improving.  His favorite saying for me to practice is "Top of the mornin' to you"  (even though they really don't say that in Ireland.) It makes me laugh because it reminds me of the movie "Pink Pather" when he is trying to say "I would like to buy a hamburger" because I can never say it right and it makes Elder Cathcart so frustrated!  So I have two and a half more weeks to master an Irish accent and Finnish so you all can't make fun of me anymore! ;) 

SLOWLY Learning the Language
As for Finnish it is coming... SLOWLY... but I know it is coming!  We SYL on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, which is so hard but it helps me learn.  I just really wish I could speak English sometimes on those days!  I occasionally quickly switch to English, which is bad, and I really need to work on not doing that!  We start Consecration week next Thursday where we can only speak Finnish for an entire week and I am so nervous about that!! Hopefully I can do it! 
Me with Sisters Ross, Hansen and Nyman outside the Conference Center
Real Food, Dr. Pepper, Discounts and Donations :)
Today I got to finally go to Brigham's Landing which I will admit it was kinda weird and everyone comes to talk to you, haha, the blessings of Utah!  Here are three awesome things about Brigham's Landing:  (1) Real Food and Dr. Pepper! (2) Everything is discounted for missionaries!  Score! and (3) People buy things for you!
So #1--Real Food & Dr. Pepper.  I'm not saying that MTC food isn't great.  It actually is surprisingly good but there is nothing like fast food when you eat the same foods every day for weeks!  Subzero, Burger Supreme, and Great Harvest.  It is so good!
#2--Everything is discounted.  How cool is that?!  I didn't even notice at first, they just say, "Oh, you're a missionary.  Here is a discount.  I am "saving money all over the place" as Uncle Ralph would say, haha.
#3--People buy things for you.  O.K, this is the coolest story ever.  We all decided to go to Great Harvest because Sisar Ross and I LOVE bread and really just had to get some.  So as we walked in, the Staff all said, "Welcome sisters!" (By the way they said it this must be a pretty regular accurance).  We said hi back of course, when a lady at the cash register who was checking out said, "I am buying you all lunch!"  haha.  We said thanks but that we weren't getting lunch.  She then asked what we were there for and we told her that we simply wanted to buy a loaf of bread.  She laughed then said, "Well, then I am going to buy you a loaf of bread and each of you a cookie or brownie or something."  I am not even kidding.  This really happened!  She was an angel!  She bought us a loaf of bread and then we all insisted that we would just share a brownie.  It was so funny because her son was with her and had just gotten off his mission and said, "I never had anyone offer to buy me anything!"  So yeah, she was so sweet and we got to talk to her for a while and it was so fun.  She is really an angel and we are so blessed.  That will probably never happen to us again.  Another tender mercy from the Lord!
At Sub-Zero on our P-day
The Curse of Being Blonde
Well, here is an embarrassing story.  After emailing we went to do laundry and I was moving my laundry to the dryer and an elder asked me if I was done with the washer.  Right off I noticed his accent and asked him where he was from and he said Wales.  Yes, a British accent!  Oh my goodness, I love British accents!  So while on the other side of the laundry room I was talking to Sister Ross about how much I loved his accent when I noticed he was listening!  So embarrassing!  He then talked to me again and I was already so embarrassed and felt my face turning bright red so I just flat out said, "I'm sorry, I just really love your accent."  He just laughed and said, "Don't worry about it," but oh my goodness, just the fact that my face was red and I knew it was red made it go even redder.  Oh the curse of being blonde!  

The Tender Mercy of General Conference
Well, I just want to share a spiritual thought. Mom and Dad, thank you so much for the talks that you send! I love to read them and actually read 3 of them last night!  One of them was "Trust in God Then Go and Do" by President Eyring. Something that really stuck out to me as I prepare for Conference was this: "

"You show your trust in Him when you listen with the intent to learn and repent then go and do whatever He asks.  If you trust in God enough to listen for His message in every sermon and prayer this Conference, you will find it.  And if you then go and do what He would have you do, your power and trust in Him will grow, and in time you will be overwhelmed with gratitude to find that He has come to trust you."  

Sister Hansen, Sister Nyman, me and Sister Ross
I just love that! We truly need to listen to Conference every time to really apply what is being taught and ask for ourselves what God is wanting us to learn and what He would have us do. Because it is by doing that, by listening and then by acting, that we will grow to trust The Lord.  Bad days won't seem so bad and even when we are going through trials, we will know that He will help us see the light.  We will be better able to follow His will and find that everlasting peace and joy that we all long for.  Then as we show our faith in Him and trust and follow Him, He will be able to trust us.  I know this is so important as a missionary.  Through my trust in the Savior and my willingness to follow Him, even when things are hard, He will be able to trust me to be a tool in His hands and bring the people of Finland unto Him to partake of His atonement and come to feel the peach, happiness, and everlasting joy that the gospel can bring.  
I also read "The Tender Mercies of the Lord" and I absolutely love it as well.  Sometimes it is easy to get so caught up in the ups and downs of life that we forget or don't recognize the small tender mercies of the Lord in our lives.  I know that personally seeing my family this past weekend was a tender mercy of the Lord.  Being able to sing praises unto the Lord and sing my testimony with 300 other sister missionaries was a tender mercy of the Lord.  Being in the same room as the Prophet of the Lord was a tender mercy of the Lord.  I could go on for pages about all of the tender mercies I have seen from the Lord in just this past week.  But I just want to share something that again stood out to me as I prepare for Conference this weekend that we all can keep in our hearts and minds as we prepare.  
Elder Bednar says, "... The very conference which we are participating this weekend is yet another example of the Lord's Tender Mercies.  We have been blessed to receive inspired counsel from the leaders of the Savior's Church--timely counsel for our day and for our circumstances and for our challenges."  
I have never before thought of Conference as a tender mercy of the Lord.  But really how great of a tender mercy it is!  I can't even begin to explain the blessings that I have received from conferences in the past.  It has given me guidance, comfort and so much more.  It truly is a tender mercy in each of our lives to have the opportunity to hear from the leaders of the Church that serve as mouth pieces to the Lord.  If it weren't for the announcement last October of the age change then I would not be here.  I wouldn't be receiving the tender mercies that I receive daily.  I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I am so grateful to hear from the prophet and apostles of the Lord this coming weekend!  I am so excited to learn and grow from their teachings!  I love this gospel! 

Kirkko on totta! 

Rakkaus, 
Sisar Knapp