Monday, November 18, 2013

Miracle Week!!


That is the Life of a Missionary
Well this week has been really great but first I want to answer all of the questions that Mom asked before I talk about the past few days!  This is a normal day in Finland :) We start by waking up at 6:30 and going for a run around the Temple with it all lit up and everything!  It is absolutely amazing and so beautiful!  I am so lucky to live so close to the temple and get to see it almost everyday because some missionaries only see the temple a few times throughout their entire mission and I see it everyday!  Just one small tender mercy from the Lord!  After our run we have an hour to get ready and eat breakfast, then we have an hour of personal study, two hours of companion study, and an hour of language study!  So we usually don't leave the apartment until around noon unless we are going to do language study with a member in the ward.  After that we go about the day.  It has been really rough the past few weeks since our ward is brand new and we had practically no investigators and no former investigators.  We had to start from scratch! We  spend a lot of time finding people by meeting with members and getting referrals, contacting on the street, and tracting by going 10 doors on either side of the house when we go and visit an inactive member!  We do that all day until about 8 when we finally come home for dinner :)  So that is the life of a missionary!  We try and talk to everyone and find new people that we can meet with and teach the gospel. Most of the time we do this  on the train or knocking on doors or when meeting people  in the street!  
With my amazing companion, Sisar Fronk!
Sleeping is Wonderful
P-days are pretty normal.  We do our studies in the morning and then we get to go to the temple to email home! That is so fun because we get to see the other missionaries in our district and meet temple missionaries too! After that we walk to the grocery store and  try and lug our food  all the way home.  That is when we wish we could run into some missionaries that would be willing to help us.  haha. :)  Then we do laundry and write letters and sometimes we just sleep (because sleeping is wonderful and we can always use more sleep! :)  
Finland is Peaceful Everywhere You Go
Now all about Finland!  Finland is absolutely beautiful and probably the most 'American' country in Europe.  You can practically find everything here that you can find in the U.S... well besides restaurants and things like that.  It also kind of feels like you are camping because there are trees everywhere and forests that you get to walk through nearby.  I love it.  Plus, Finland is so quiet!  It is just peaceful everywhere you go.  The only time that Finns are not quiet is when they are drunk, so it is really easy to tell.  It is so different because people just live their lives and when they are sitting on a train they never talk or anything.  It is just silent!  (Unless you are talking to us Mormon Missionaries! :)  It does still have normal European things to it but it isn't much like Spain at all (except for the fact that you do have to weigh your fruit and insert coins to get a cart at the grocery store, and everyone travels by train or bus.) Public transportation is huge here.  Really Finland is great and and the people are so nice and so polite, even when they are rejecting you.  So that is a nice thing! :)
This week went really well. I had my first exchange with the Neitsytpolku (a suburb of Helsinki) sisters and so my companions for a day were Sister Ehlin and Sister Jones.  They are wonderful and we had a really good day.  I got to see an example of what to do in a situation where you have a ton of appointments and think you will be crazy busy but then have everything fall through.  I can imagine that happens a lot in some places,  but we have a lot of blank days right now in our area as we are trying to find new people to teach.  I also learned that I love Espoo!  In Helsinki people are always in a rush and really just don't want to talk to you, haha, so I love getting to talk to people in Espoo because they are so much more relaxed and it is so nice!  
Things are starting to Happen
I have also learned to "come what may, and love it!"  I read that talk this week and it really did apply!  Sometimes you think that things can't get worse. I have learned that they can.  But I have learned to just laugh about it and after the hard tough days and weeks come the miracles!  For instance, on Friday we had the opportunity to go to a dinner appointment at the Nuutinen's  in Lohja and we were running late.  We got stuck in a different area so the zone leaders were just waiting to drive us out there (since it is an hour away and they were going to do some work up there while we were at the dinner appointment.)  We barely got there on time and we were hurrying up the stairs to the door when we realized it was the wrong door!  So we hurried back down, but on the way down I slipped and fell and twisted my ankle so badly that I couldn't walk!  The worst part was that they heard us and yelled down to us to come in, but we didn't know how to tell them in Finnish that I fell and twisted my ankle. So embarrassing.  After  about 5 minutes I could limp over to the door and we were able to make it inside.  They bandaged up my foot and put ice on it and everything.  They are the sweetest. :) Walking around after that was so hard!  Sister Nuutinen was dying to introduce us to a friend of hers, though, so I limped my way to her house.  She was so sweet and invited us in and fed us donuts, haha, and in the end said that she would love it if we came back!  We were able to set up a return appointment and we are so excited!  After weeks of feeling like things were not moving forward things were starting to happen!  
A Day of Miracles and Tender Mercies
I don't know if you remember when I talked about "The Tender Mercies of the Lord" talk by Elder Bednar when I was in the MTC.   I got to read that again this week!  I absolutely love that talk and have made it a goal to notice one small tender mercy every day.  It  is amazing how much this has changed my outlook on everything! Saturday was a huge turn around day for us and was honestly filled with tender mercies from the Lord!   
A Finnish Student and The Angel Lady
We started by teaching our investigator, Hai, that recently got baptized.  After teaching him with another recently baptized member, Gisel, we were going to go to the temple for her 3rd month anniversary of being baptized.  On the way we decided that we wanted to stop by a referral of ours, a Finnish student.  We got to talk to him about the gospel of course and he said that he would love to learn more and investigate the church!  After  weeks of praying we were able to find a new investigator and set up a return appointment!  That was just one small tender mercy! After that we were on our way to the temple but I felt like we should stop by the Angel Lady's house, Tina, and give her some cookies that we made.  She is seriously the sweetest lady in the world.  I found the courage to knock on the door and give her the cookies she was honestly so touched.  It  made us feel so good! :)  She explained that we should have called ahead of time so she could have invited us in but that she is  a writer and her book had been published and so she was hurrying to a conference.  We just shared a quick message with her about how families can be together forever (since her husband had passed away 3 years ago) and told her that we would call her ahead of time next time!  She is seriously amazing!  I love her! 
With Hai at his baptism a couple of weeks ago (added with permission)
Miracle Meetings
After that we continued to walk towards the temple and of course we were trying to talk to people as we walked.  Coincidentally, one of the people we started talking to is actually really good friends with an investigator that the other Espoo sisters are teaching.  The investigator they are teaching amazing and really wants to get baptized.  Unfortunately,  she is 17 and her parents won't let her so she is waiting until she turns 18.  Anyway, this girl we ran into has actually been interested in meeting with missionaries before!  So we got her number and found out that she lives in Kilo really close to us!  She said to call her and we could meet but that she first wanted to talk to her friend who is currently taking lessons.  But really, what are the chances?! We are so excited for her!  After that we were walking down the street and saw this girl, Victoria, carrying a big bag of groceries so we went up to her and asked if we could help and she said surprisingly said yes!  That was a miracle in and of itself because most people just tell us no and don't let us serve them!  Anyway, the amazing thing was that she was actually a referral that we had received from the elders a few weeks before that we had tried to contact and had even talked to on the phone!  It was really funny because she said that when she saw the elders she really just wanted to ignore them but felt like she should be nice and she ended up giving them her number.  She said that God must really be trying to tell her something if she was now running into us so she invited us in.  When we were in her house we were able to meet her friend (who had actually met with missionaries before).  Her best friend is Mormon and promised her a Book of Mormon but she never received one!  We told her that we would love to bring her one and meet with her sometime and she said she would love that!  So she gave us her number and told us that she expects a call soon!  Oh my goodness!  We were seriously being so blessed! 
With our amazing convert Gezelle at Subway! (posted with permission)
An Amazing Convert & More Sweet Blessings
After that we finally went to the temple and taught Gisel a lesson.  She is so wonderful!  She is the most amazing person in the world and one of the best examples.  She absolutely loves missionary work and loves the missionaries!  Anytime she has free time she spends it serving as a missionary with other missionaries and her friends.  She is an amazing example to us and is always encouraging us to talk to everyone no matter what!  Plus, she spoils us and loves to take us out to lunch so she took us to Subway  (yes, they have Subway here!)  She is so great! 
For our last miracle that day we went to an inactive member family to invite them to church and give them cookies but unfortunately they weren't home so we left a quick note and invited them to church. Later that night we received a text saying that they loved the sweet surprise cookies and that they would try and make it to church!.  And  guess what?!   They came!   
This week has been so great for us and such a turn-around week!  Really, as you trust in the Lord and keep doing your best,  He will bless you in everything!  I am so grateful for all of the tender mercies that I see everyday!  
Thank you everyone for all of your love and support! :)

Sister Knapp

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