Tuesday, October 22, 2013

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


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!
Sisar Knapp
Mom, thank you for the Chinese food!!! (a blessing of having a friend that works in the MTC)

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