Tuesday, December 17, 2013

First Transfer: I Am So Happy to Be Staying in Espoo!

Hey Family & Friends!

So this email might be a little shorter than usual.  Partly because I forgot my journal and I cant remember what really happened this week and partly because this week was a little bit slower than usual.
Ward Christmas party with Sisar Fronk, our new convert and Joulupukki 
Finnish Christmas Market
Well, last Monday I got to go to a Finnish Christmas Market which was SO cool!  But the worst part is that because we were of course in such a big hurry I forgot to take pictures of it!  Sorry!  It is nothing like the Christmas Markets that we went to in Vienna.  Vienna's markets are SO Christmasy everywhere and Finland's are more like a normal market with a ton of homemade socks and scarfs and mittens and hats and everything everywhere.  Finns love to knit!  There was a few Christmas booths but not too many.  It was still a ton of fun to see more what Finland is like and I will still admit that it is the most Americanized European country that I have been to but I do love it!  
Coming home from a service project.  Pants are the best invention EVER!

Playing Sahly with the Most Amazing Family
I also got to play Sahly for the first time!  It is one of the favorite sports here in Finland and basically everyone plays it.  It is basically floor hockey, so hockey in a gym and there aren't any rules really.  At least that was how we played anyway.  The no rules thing was a good thing for me because I had no idea what I was doing the entire time!  It is also really hard when someone explains what to do in Finnish... So basically I just watched other people do it and went for it!  I have to say that the first time I played it I was really, really bad at it!  I messed up a lot and kinda felt awkward and silly the entire time!  We went because one of the families in our ward really wanted us to meet their friends and so we did.  It had been a month in the planning since it was out in Lohja and really hard to get out there without a car so we had to work around the elders.  But it finally happened and it was so much fun!  The family that we met is amazing!  They are so nice!  And we actually found out that they were really impressed with us for trying so hard and called the family in our ward about us!  So that was so cool!  We then got to set up a time with them later that week to go and share a Christmas story.  They are an amazing family and so much fun.  They have 3 of the cutest kids!  And the parents are so nice and speak way good English so that really helped when I didn't understand what they were saying!  We also got to show them the Book of Mormon which they were really interested in and we are going to get to meet with them again to talk about it hopefully!  There are now elders in Lohja so it might be them that gets to go. We are kinda sad that we don't because they are such an awesome family!  The elders are so lucky!  But it was so funny because after meeting with them they said that they had something for me and pulled out a Sahly stick and taught me how to hold it right and everything. Haha, that was funny.  Apparently I was really doing it wrong before.  They then told me that when I play with them the next day that I got to use that stick.  So I did!  And whatever they taught me helped a ton!  I am still not very good but I scored like 5 goals so that felt good!  It is a way fun game that all of us missionaries want to bring to the states! :) 
Emailing home with Sister Fronk. So glad I get to stay with her!
Transfer Week
This week was also transfer week! So I have officially made it through one transfer and I am staying here in Espoo with Sister Fronk!  Not a huge surprise since I am not actually done with my training yet. I have decided that I don't really love transfers because things change and people leave.  But I guess that is the life of a missionary.  You never know where you are going to be or anything.  You just go and do what you are asked.  So,  my district changed a bit.  We have 2 new Elders out in Lohja!  So that is really fun! Kinda sad that we won't be going out to the "promised land" anymore.  I love Lohja.  Elder Waite is heading out there to train one of my Baby Finns (a missionary that comes out after you but overlaps with you in the MTC) that is just now coming out of the MTC!  I am really excited to see who that is!  Elder Crofts is still my zone leader, now with Elder Kääriä. So that is the change just within my ward.  There were quite a few other changes in our district though.  Now we have 4 elders in our ward and 2 sisters!  So that is way exciting!   I am super happy to be staying in Espoo though!  I would be fine not moving anywhere my whole mission! :) 
Jouloupukki (aka Santa)
Well, I also learned all about Christmas here in Finland!  Apparently Joulupukki (Santa) comes to everyone's house on Christmas Eve and passes out all of the presents and everyone opens their presents on Christmas Eve!  So they actually get to see Santa!  It is really funny because you can actually hire a santa to come to your house from the newspaper and stuff. But I think most often friends just do it for each other.  It is kinda a fun tradition!  So unlike the U.S.,  they actually get to see Santa while we are all sleeping when he comes! They also eat this rye porridge thing for a Christmas tradition.  It has an almond in it and if you are the one that gets the almond then that means you will get married within a year!  I still haven't learned all of the traditions about Christmas here in Finland but I am so excited to see what it is like!  Oh, but one fun thing is that since Santa actually lives in Finland kids everywhere will write to Santa and he will actually write you back!  It takes a couple of months to get a response but we might send him a letter just for fun haha!   I mean, how many times will we have a chance to write a letter to THE Santa!  

Other than that things are going really well here in Finland!  We are hoping for a White Christmas since all of the snow is now gone but we aren't sure if we will actually get that!  Hopefully!  I hope all of you are having a wonderful Christmas Season!  I love all of you! 

Sister Knapp

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