Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Week

The end of December at the lightest part of the day.  The days are finally getting longer!
Skyping Home & Finnish Pets
This week was such an amazing week! I love Christmas season! And I loved talking to MY FAMILY!!! That was the best Christmas present that I have ever gotten in my life.  Besides the inital shock of Landon's incredibly deeper and more grown up voice it was the best couple hours in the world! I think that is one good thing about a mission.  You really learn how much you love your family because I absolutely love them to death.  It was also quite the adventure because of the random distracting bunny that would come hopping into the room (closet) that I was skyping in every few minutes.  Have I ever told you how much Finns LOVE pets?  Well they really love them! Dogs are the normal pets of course and it feels like almost everyone has one which is often the best conversation starter by telling them how wonderful their dog is :)  Finns also often have cats and then the next most common pet that I have seen is bunnies.  And the bunny just gets to hop anywhere it wants in the house. That is just a small side comment about Finns.:)  Anyway, I loved being able to Skype home to you all and I will tell more about Christmas day in a minute.

Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve is when Finns really celebrate Christmas and "Santa" comes to each and everyone of their houses. Whether it be a friend dressed up as Santa or a Santa that was hired out of a newspaper, he comes on Christmas Eve. Thus, the mystery of how Santa visits every nation in the world is slowly becoming more clear. Finns like to say that he just likes them more and that is why they get to actually see Santa and why he comes to the U.S while we are all just sleeping. haha. Christmas Eve was so much fun. We got to spend most of the day with a family in our ward.  They are wonderful and I honestly love them!  They also invited our recent convert, Hai, to come over as well, which I have to admit was really nice because that meant that we would all be speaking English.  It was so much fun too because the elders were there with us since it was a bishopric member's home.  So that was fun and we got to see the elders get all dressed up as Santa and an elf to go to one of the family's relatives and play Joulupukki (Santa). They really go all out with make up and costumes and everything!  Unfortunately, because we were with an family with older kids Santa didn't come and visit us. But we got to have an amazing dinner with grills on the table and meat, cheese, veggies, and bread. It was so good!  It is not their traditional Christmas dinner but I actually liked it better!  Then we had a Christmas message and opened presents.  We were not expecting anything, of course, but they got each of us 4 or 5 presents and even found out our first names and put them on the presents!  That was a suprise!  They are the sweetest family in the world!  They also spoiled us with tons of desserts too!  I was ready to pop after eating so much food!  It was such a fun Christmas!
Christmas Dinner

Elders dressed up as Santa & his elf
Christmas Morning
Christmas Day is when my Companion Sister Fronk and I decided to actually celebrate Christmas!  So we woke up and did our studies, made a big breakfast and then opened presents! After that we got to plan for the next week.  So we had our weekly planning and then headed to the Members house to go and Skype home.  The only problem was that all of the public transportation was closed for Christmas so we had to walk there.  We were way to stubborn to call the Elders and ask for a ride. haha So thats what we did.  We walked the entire way to the members house! Which was only 3.3 miles so it wasnt even that bad!  One thing that I noticed was that I had probably the warmest Christmas ever this year and I am in Finland!  It was so warm in fact, we walked in short sleeves all the way there! But everyone says even though this isnt normal, the cold will be coming soon and we will be freezing!  But when we finally got to the members house, the Elders were still there finishing up Skype and then we both got invited to eat dinner with the family.  Which we had no idea what to do because Elders and Sisters are not allowed to be at the same house together unless it is a Bishopbrick member... But we were STUCK!  So we ended up all eating together and it was fine.  We had a traditional Christmas Dinner this time with Ham and Turkey and mashed potatoes and some kind of sweet mashed something that I really dont like and rolls and all that good stuff.  It was really good and I had absolutely no idea what anyone was saying the entire time but that was ok because I just got to eat in my own little world!  After that we got to skype and that was the best part of the whole day!  
Our stalker prevention shirts from mom.  "Sorry Mister, I'm a Sister!"

The Rest of the Week
The rest of the week was pretty slow.  I got sick a couple days later and so it was really hard to do things.  It was all probably thanks to the loads of really good European chocolate that I received from everyone.  But we did manage to find two new Investigators!  One is from Ghana and has met with the missionaries before and the other is from Ethiopia!  We are still teaching people from all over the world and it is so cool! I love it!  So even though I was sick and the week was kinda crazy we were still able to find more people to teach which we were really excited about since we lost a lot of our investigators to the new elders in Lohja!  Anyway, I love you all and I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas!  Thank you for all of your love, support, and prayers! :)
The Finnish sunshine

Sister Knapp

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