First off I just want to say thank you to everyone for all of the love and support that I have received! You are all amazing and I absolutely love hearing from you and writing you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! The first week and a half has been really hard and a big adjustment but it can only get better from here! (Knock on wood, haha.)
|The Finnish Temple grounds. Notice the beautiful trees (photo credit: Meridian Magazine)|
Finland is really beautiful though. It kind of feels like you are camping all of the time, depending where you are walking, and you get to walk through swampy areas and puddles and it is awesome! I am so grateful for boots because they are miracle workers. Probably the weirdest thing so far has been the weather for me. It is raining all of the time and there is constant cloud cover! I think I have seen more clouds in the past 2 weeks then I have in my life time! I didn't even see a glimmer of the sun for an entire week! I was beginning to wonder if it existed in Finland! haha But it did come out for a few minutes eventually. Also it gets light around 9ish and then is dark again by 4. So by the time we get out of church on Sundays it is pitch black outside, which makes you feel like it is bed time but nope!
The way the sun looks as it rises in the morning around 9:00 am. This is by the Helsinki Temple where I run every morning (but much earlier and in the dark) (Photo credit: Meridian Magazine)
|This is more what it is like when I run past it (Photo Credit: Meridian Magazine)|
The food here is really good and is actually a lot like food back home which is awesome! Plus I haven't had any seafood yet!! The only thing that I have had that I really didn't like was salmiakki, which is this salty black licorice. Yeah... I think that I could live without that. I also had my first dinner appointment where we had that and then this hard candy that was like the same thing but 10 times worse. Trust me. There was no hiding facial expressions on that one! The family got a big kick out of it though! I am the greenie that hasn't tried anything. haha.
Strong Promptings (and how to get trick your stalkers)
Also an exciting thing about Finland is that it is actually very diverse. Which really surprised me but actually most of our investigators are not Finnish and I have only taught one lesson in Finnish. The rest have been in English which I think has kind of been a blessing in disguise. I have enjoyed that anyway, haha. I also have two stalkers but fortunately I haven't run into any of them again or received any weird texts. They are both from Nepal. One started texting us saying how pretty I am and that he wanted to have a friendship. We asked who it was and he told us but we had not met him before and so we called him. But he only knew my name and kept trying to meet up and everything. We had to explain that we were missionaries and invited him to church but to a different ward haha. :) The next guy was a little weirder. We got off the bus to go and visit a less-active member and I saw this guy and made eye contact and then immediately felt like we needed to leave. I felt sick. So I grabbed my companion and we started walking away. Once we were about 200 meters away we stopped to look at the map. But the feeling wouldn't go away and I just thought I was being ridiculous. So I looked back to where the bus stop was and saw that he was watching us! Ah! Creepy! So I told my companion what I was feeling and about the guy and told her that we needed to leave now! So we started to leave and I noticed that he started to follow us. So I started walking as fast as I could and we went to cross the street but he ran up to us! So Sister Fronk turned and started talking to him in Finnish. I could understand the whole thing and he was asking her questions about me and wouldn't stop looking at me. I have never felt so uncomfortable in my life! He then asked why I wasn't saying anything and she told him that I didn't speak Finnish so he asked what I spoke and she told him Swahili. hahahaha Yeah that made him really confused. So he started talking to me in English and asked what language I spoke and I told him English. He then went on to explain that he is a really good person that doesn't drink or anything and is looking to have a friendship and kept asking my name and saying that I just really look like a nice person etc. So I then had to explain with Sister Fronk that we are missionaries and don't date and only teach people about the gospel. But he wouldn't stop pushing for my number or anything so we eventually gave him the address of the church and the other ward's time and told him we had to go. But he insisted on giving me his number. Wow... It was crazy. But after about 10 minutes of being kinda freaked out, I was fine! Finland is so safe though and it is amazing! You never feel like you aren't safe walking anywhere and it is great!Polite Rejection & Exciting News!But here is the exciting news! Our investigator, Hai, got baptized this past Saturday! He is amazing and was so happy so it was really cool to see the joy that the gospel can bring into other's lives! He is the best and wants to come with us to teach lessons now, haha. He also makes us food all the time when we go to teach him. He really is just awesome and we are so excited for him! That was really exciting for us this past week. Especially after having a difficult week. The work really is moving forward out here in Finland and it is really really cool to see! The people here are wonderful. They are the kindest and most polite people I think that I have ever met. Even when they are rejecting you, haha, they are so polite about it. It is weird though in Kilo because there are so many people here that don't actually speak Finnish so I have only taught one lesson in Finnish and it was the first day that I got here. So we are hoping to find some Finnish investigators since all the ones that we have speak English. Thank you for all of your support! I love you all!Love,
Sister KnappP.S. I will send Pictures soon!