Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Change Calls: My First Actual Change


Well, this has been a pretty fun week!  And really I think the best would be to start will what happened each day and explain it that way because then hopefully I can remember it all. :)
What Missionaries Do For Fun
Monday after discovering that we were not supposed to be back in Espoo, we made a quick rush back to the apartment in Helsinki before President would even know.  It was pretty smooth of us I must say and then we finally had more clothes and things to keep ourselves busy while we were hanging out inside all day!  And that is basically all that we did! I read more of the Book of Mormon and got all the way to Mosiah in just a short few days!  It was the best and really actually a ton of fun!  Yes, that is kinda what we missionaries do for "fun"! Just kidding, we do a lot of other fun things like throw snowballs at each other, lose things on trains and call other missionaries further down the line to run out and grab stuff, run for trains and buses... and miss them.... and a ton more. :)  I'll explain later.
Last district meeting with this group 
Missionary All Nighter! 
Tuesday was fun.  We got to go to district meeting back in Espoo.  We tried to ask President Rawlings if it was alright for us to go but he didn't answer so... we just went anyway!  We love our district and we knew that it was going to be one of the last times that we would get to be with them.  But then there was that awkward moment when we discovered that our mission president was there giving interviews and was really surprised to see us.... oops! haha  We both got to get interviews and he told me what the doctor had said about Sister Fronk and the results!  So really she is having seizures and isn't actually passing out.  They just need to do another EEG scan when she is sleep deprived and then get some medicine and she will be fine!  That is a relief!   I am really excited for her to be better.  So tonight we get to stay up all night for her EEG!  So I get to pull an all nighter and keep her up all night on a mission with permission!!  :) SWEET!!! It is going to be really fun!  Plus, it is our last night as companions.
The Three Finger Hold
Anyway (back to Tuesday) after district meeting we had to go back to our apartment in Kilo because Sister Fronk couldn't make it to the train station, so the Lohja elders ended up driving us to our apartment.  Elder Hunter finally realized that something was wrong with Sister Fronk and kept looking back at her and asking if she was ok. I kept having to tell him to keep his eyes on the road because he was driving! I don't know how he had just noticed because she had a big seizure right in front of him!  Oh Elder Hunter! haha  But then when we got to the apartment, I was carrying all of her stuff and she was trying to stand up outside the car but was falling forward. So Elder Waite was trying to hold her up with three fingers, because he's an elder and she is a sister...but she was going to fall on her face!  So I had to tell him that he had permission to touch her--not sure what good permission from me does--but it worked!  Actually, better than I thought because he ended up bending down and picking her up and carrying her into the apartment where he plopped her on the couch, completely out of it, and then left!  Haha it was pretty funny. Sister Fronk was so upset about it later! But she needed help, so I feel fine about it!  It was just embarrassing I guess... haha.  Then later we went to the temple and taught a less active family, which was really amazing!  Then we went back to Neitsytpolku (Helsinki).  
Exchange with Sisar Ross
Exchange with my MTC Companion
Wednesday I got to go on exchanges with Sister Ross and Sister Gasser!  It was really fun to be able to see my MTC companion again! I love her so much! Plus I got to hear all about her mission so far and the work that they have been doing and everything. And I got to experience some miracles with them! They had this potential investigator who just wanted a CD of the Tabernacle Chior and so they took her the CD  and she ended up letting us in.  We were able to teach the first lesson and she asked for a Book of Mormon and told us that we could come back the following week!  So that was really cool to see. We also went to a less active's home and her son is actually not a member and usually doesn't come out to listen to anything, but he came out and listened to the whole lesson and joined in on the prayer and everything!  It was really cool to see that!  
Giving out Valentine's cookies with Sister Fronk
Train Difficulties & Miracles
Thursday I was back with Sister Fronk and we ended up going back to Espoo because both her and I really missed it and knew that one of us, if not both, would probably be leaving Espoo soon. So we took all of our stuff  (including Elder Ahlquist's 17lb package) with us... 2 backpacks, a small suitcase each and this big package!  Let's just say it was the most interesting difficult trip back to Espoo ever! And that is when Sister Fronk ended up leaving her shoulder bag on the train!  It practically had her life in it!  So we hurried and called the Espoo sisters further down the line and they ran out and got it off the train!  A miracle!  That night, we invited a potential to a ping pong activity that was happening at the church and she said she could come but then ended up not being able to because her roommate didn't have a key and she needed to wait until they got home. Super sad!  But hopefully we can do something later with her! 

Valentine's Day
Friday... YSTÄVÄNPÄIVA!!!!  So Friday morning Sister Fronk was really struggling and so I got to spend the whole morning making heart shaped sugar cookies! Later that day we printed off little notes to put on the cookies with a scripture on it (Moroni 7: 45-47.)  It was super fun and then we went to people's doors and to people on the street and wished them a "hyvää ystävanpäiva" and gave them cookies.  We got to sing "Love one Another" to some of them and it was super fun! Plus, it really made people feel good when we were giving them cookies. (Though someone flat out rejected my cookie on the train... rude... so I went to a different cart and gave it to someone else! :) haha
Change Calls
Later that night we finally received our change calls!  I will be staying her in Espoo and my new companion Sister Egan will be coming to Espoo.  Sister Fronk will be going to Haaga which is right next to Espoo. So we are all close by and I am still serving with Elder Waite, Elder Hunter, Elder Crofts and Elder Kääria!  So that will be really fun! 
With our investigator Anna
Finally Teaching Anna
Saturday and Sunday were really good! We still continued to give out belated valentine's cookies and that was fun.  We also got to teach Anna before church on Sunday!  FINALLY!! We were so excited! She is so wonderful and we love her so much!  The lesson went really well and we had 2 members there who are now her really good friends which was awesome! She has now come to church 5 times and yesterday she prayed for the first time.  She is reading the Book of Mormon and we are meeting with her again tonight!  We are so excited!  She loves coming to church and doesn't want to leave!  She has even had people call her in between classes at church and she will tell them that she can't talk because she is at church and that she will call back later!  She is honestly amazing!  Yesterday, we also got to go visit a less active member who is in the hospital and sing to her and to some of the cutest old ladies ever in the hospital who were all so sweet!  It was super fun!  
TOIVO!! Cutest little boy in the world!  (I still want to name one of my kids after him! haha)

Well, the church it true!!  I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve here in Finland and share it with so many! Thank you for all of your love and support! 

I love you! 

Sister Knapp

Monday, February 10, 2014

I Love Finland!

Time Drags When You're Locked Inside
I don't really have a ton to report this week, so this email will probably end up being shorter than usual!  This past Monday and Tuesday I got the flu again--throwing up, fever, and everything!  Talk about not much fun at all!  We really didn't get to do anything those two days and were stuck inside just hoping that I would get better in time for the Zone Meeting that was being held on Wednesday that we both were helping to conduct.  To be honest, this week has honestly been one of the LONGEST weeks of my life.  When you can't go outside and work, the time just seems to drag on.
Zone Meeting Blessings--Heavenly Father Loves Us!
Fortunately, we were able to go to the Zone Meeting on Wednesday! Haha, and the Zone Leaders were kind enough to even let me do the Statement in front of everyone! Every morning and before every meeting one person (or as a companionship) gets to say the following statement:

"We can stand in the place and stead of the Lord Jesus Christ in administering salvation to the children of men, He preached the Gospel.  So can we.  He spoke by the power of the Holy Ghost. So can we. He served as a missionary.  So can we.  He went about doing good. So can we.  He preformed the ordinances of Salvation. So can we. He kept the commandments.  So can we.  He wrought miracles, such also is our privilege if we are true and faithful in all things. We are his agents, we represent him, we are expected to do and say what he would do and say, if he personally were administering among men at this time. " - Elder Bruce R. Mckonkie. 

My district in Espoo:  (not in order) Sister Fronk, Elder Crofts, Elder Kääriä,
Elder Waite, Elder Hunter, Elder Gustafson, Elder Ahlquist, Elder Call,
Elder Ryan, Sister West and Sister Venz
Following the statement we all get to recite D&C 4 in Finnish!  So, I may not have it memorized completely in English! But I do in Finnish!   The meeting ended up being super good and a lot of what we focused on was how we are all children of God and how much our Father in Heaven loves us.  It is so easy on a mission, and at home, to lose sight of how much your Father loves and cares about you. I know that may seem funny to lose sight of that on a mission but when you may not be seeing the number successes that you want and feel like it is your fault in some way, you forget where we came from and how proud of us he really is!  He knows each and everyone of us.  One thing that I have been thinking a lot about is how he knows each and everyone of us and how he sees us.  I have been wanting to be able to see more clearly how my Father in Heaven sees me.  Sometimes, I personally struggle with feeling like he may be disappointed in me. That I am not doing enough, I may have slept in, or been sick, or just been grumpy and frustrated with people around me and tend to think that he must be so frustrated and mad and disappointed in me himself!  But really that is completely false!  Our Heavenly Father is a loving Heavenly Father. He loves us and wants us to be happy. He knows us perfectly and we are his children.  If you really think about it, him being frustrated or mad at us would be like a parent getting mad at their child who is learning to walk for falling.  You just don't do that!  He knows we are going to fall, but he is always there to pick us right back up.  He loves us and wants to help us and when we are doing the best we can.  Though we may stumble and fall, if we just get up, lift up our heads to him we will find he is really just looking at us and smiling as a proud father would.
 Sister Gasser, Me, Sister Ross, Sister Nabatnikova, Sister Fronk, Sister Ladd
Helsinki House Arrest
This week was also rather crazy later in the week as well.  My companion has this thing where she passes out a lot, and we finally decided that we needed to do something about it.  So we called our president and the doctor and the following day we were told that we needed to pack for 4 to 5 days and that the zone leaders were going to rush us to the office in Helsinki where an ambulance could take her to the hospital so they could look at her head and speed up apparently this lengthy process to getting her to a neurologist.  Talk about exciting!  The elders ended up having to leave an appointment they were in and come and pick us up and drive us there.  Then the ambulance got there (more like a minivan) and they talked to her and me and then took her to the hospital, and I was left with the sisters in Helsinki for the night.  Fortunately, she was out of the hospital that night and she has an appointment with the neurologist later this week or next week.  But for the next few days we were under 'house arrest' in Helsinki and the president wouldn't let us go back to Espoo! Let's just say it gave me a lot of time to study the Book of Mormon!  But when Sunday came around we really wanted to go to church in Espoo... So we got permission and went and never ended up going back to Helsinki!  We just love Espoo too much! (It looks like that is changing today, though, and we are headed back to Helsinki to help in the office for the week.)
 Me with Elder Brown and Elder Green (the Assistants to the President and first missionaries I met when I got to Finland), and Elder Anderton who are all going home this week!
But It's Free!
We had the coolest thing happen on the way to church though!  We got on the train and we really didn't feel like talking to anyone and were about to go and sit off by ourselves when Sister Fronk and I saw this lady that Sister Fronk felt like we really needed to go and talk to.  So we went and sat accross the aisle from her not having any idea what to say or if we could even do it, when she started talking to us to make sure this was the right train for her!  Perfect!  So we started talking to her and she started talking about her church and we naturally started talking about ours.  She had known a Mormon family and had seen the Mormon Tabernacle Choirr before and everything but had no idea what we believed and really wanted to know!  So we told her all about it and ended up giving her a Book of Mormon that she just hugged and asked us to write our names in it and number and then she insisted on giving us $20 for it.  We tried countless times to give it back to her and to explain that the book is free, but she insisted, saying that she knows it is free but that she wants us to take the money and buy some candy, haha, or just give it to the poor if we want to!  This lady was seriously the nicest lady in the world!  Sadly, she isn't in our area but she wants to learn more and wrote her phone number really big in our planners and gave us her email too. So miracles do happen!  
Transfer Calls Are Coming
So this week is transfer calls so we got to take a lot of pictures at zone meeting with the departing missionaries going home and just the missionaries in the zone because who knows where we will all be soon.  But I've got to say that whatever happens,  I have loved serving in Espoo and have served with some of the best people (my district) I have ever met:  Sister Fronk, Elder Crofts, Elder Kääriä, Elder Waite, Elder Hunter, Elder Gustafson, Elder Ahlquist, Elder Call, Elder Ryan, Sister West and Sister Venz.  They are all truly amazing.  I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have had to serve with them.   They have each taught me so much and really have helped me to grow. I love this area, I love this people, and I love this country! 

I love you all!  Thank you for all of your love and support and prayers!  You are all wonderful! 

Sister Knapp

Monday, February 3, 2014

Learning Through Embarrassment :)


This week was definitely one for the books, haha!  As crazy and embarrassing as it all was, it was a lot of fun!  I have to say that this was just a really good week!  I don't think that I have laughed so much in a week as I did this week! 
Serving "With" My Friends
Monday was great!  Writing home and all that jazz is seriously always one of the high lights of my week!  I love being able to write home and receive emails and hear about everything that is going on back home and in friends' missions. It is seriously one of the coolest things ever to be out serving at the same time as SO many of my friends!  I love it!  
With Sisar Fronk eating out :)
"Searching For Joy"
Well, one profession that Sister Fronk and I have started up is coming up with "Book Titles" for missionaries' missions from stories that they tell or things that are going on!  So, for instance, once Elder Waite and Elder Hunter were talking about how they feel really separated from the ward out in Lohja and from everyone else because well.... they are!  So they are "Lost in Lohja".  We also had some sisters come and tell us how they were trying to find a former investigator named Fabrizio and how they used it as a door contacting approach, haha, by asking if Fabrizio lived there.  So "Finding Fabrizio" is their book title!  (though they haven't found him yet).  Well, we finally came up with ours!   We were with Gisel, a new convert, who is absolutely wonderful by the way, and she wanted to introduce us to her friend who isn't a member and also from the Philippines and her name is Joy.  So we were looking everywhere for her in this big mall and couldn't find her anywhere and we just started joking about how we are all "Searching for Joy".  So that became our title for our mission! And guess what!  We found Joy!  We also got to have a great lesson with her in the middle of this big mall that made her cry because the Spirit was so strong and now she is our new investigator!  So the spirit really can work anywhere :) 
Go Hide in The Woods
Tuesday was super great too!  The Lohja elders were at interim training in Helsinki for the week and so they weren't going to be in Lohja all week but there were sisters in the ward that our relief society president really wanted us to go visit that lived out in Lohja.  Well, it was the perfect situation because we got to "move in" for the day and take over their stomping grounds.  The only problem was that the elders forgot to tell us that it was Lohja's personal 'go hide in the woods'  holiday and practically no one was around!  We had gone to what seemed to be a ton of homes to find that no one was home!  So we decided to go and visit a half Finnish, half American family out in Lohja that has the cutest little 5 year old boy in the world, Toivo, that everyone just loves to death!  And guess what?!  They were home!  The best part of the whole day was that when we went and knocked on their door, before the door even opens, we hear "OH MY GOSH!!" from this overly excited little boy who is just in shock to see us! haha  He ended up showing us practically all of his belongings.  He is the cutest!  It was so much fun!  We also got to visit the family that the Relief Society President wanted us to visit, Sister Blair, and they have 2 of the cutest little girls that just love to run and talk and so we decided to divide and conquer.  Sister Fronk took over talking to the mom, while I took over distracting the kids!  It was perfect!  I love visiting Lohja!
Elder Ahlquist (center) in my district and from my MTC group accidentally forgot to wear a tie one day and went all day with out a tie and with his top button undone and he didn't even notice until the end of the day!  So the kind elders in the district all showed up to District meeting without ties.... hahaha.   I get to serve with some of the best elders ever!  They are great! :)
Running Crazy!
Wednesday was completely and totally crazy busy all day, much to my over planning things with not much time in between... whoops.!  We were on exchanges and I was left in our area to run things!  Talk about pressure to know how to get everywhere.  Plus, that day we happened to have lessons at each corner of our area, which I have now learned might not be the best idea.  We ended up running a lot to lessons,  barely missing 2 trains (seeing them pull away right in front of us when we were already running on a tight schedule), watching a bus do the exact same thing, somehow getting on the wrong bus, managing to get us lost and finally having to call a member for directions to their house. But through the miles of running, the wrong turns, and missed trains.... It was SO much fun and we had some awesome lessons so it all worked out great!
With Sister Ladd on splits
Lesson Learned!
Thursday was just plain embarrassing but makes for an awesome story.  On Wednesday night we ended up getting home really late because of traveling from exchanges and lessons going way to late and everything.  So Thursday...well, let's just say I was exhausted and not the perfect missionary and may not have gotten up on time and then didn't Jaksaa (feel like) to get dressed so I stayed in my pajamas through our studies and I figured that since it was planning day and we would be inside a lot that I had time to get dressed later.  Well, lets just say that Heavenly Father had a great way of teaching me a lesson! So we were in the middle of this really great companion study when all of the sudden some people bang on the back door.... Oh No! The first thing that popped into my head was "Angry Drunk Guys" but then I looked at the my companion's face of terror as her face went pale and she said  her thoughts out loud, "Trainers.... Temple... Oh No!"  I grabbed her knees as we noticed people starting to open the back door and said, "Sister Fronk!  I am still in my Pajamas!" haha.  Immediately I followed Sister Fronk's great idea "Hurry!  Get in the room!" which led to me diving over a couch and rushing into the bedroom... it was so bad!   Sister Fronk covered for me, telling them that I wasn't feeling well.  It happened to be like 5 of the trainers who were all going to the temple because their trainies were in language school and they wanted to see us.  One was this elder that Sister Fronk had served with for a long time, along with practically everyone in my district, who I had heard a ton about and really wanted to meet but guess who decided not to get ready on time?! After they finally left Sister Fronk was dying because she had no makeup on and was so embarrassed.  I was dying because I didn't get to meet the famous Elder Werjefelt that everyone talks about!  It just goes to teach the both of us, but especially me, to get ready on time and wake up! hahaha It was a good lesson learned.  Fortunately they stopped by again after the temple so I got to meet them all :)  It was so embarrassing to get a million "get better soon's" even though I was just fine!  We were both way embarrassed about the whole thing! 
missionary night with the young women
The Luckiest Missionary Ever
Friday we had Mission Leadership Counsel and so we got to go to the temple! I love being able to go to the temple!   This was the fourth time I have been to the temple while on my mission and I just feel like the luckiest missionary ever! Some missionaries have been out a year and still never been inside the temple or only seen it once and I get to see it everyday!  It is seriously one of the best blessings ever.  The training also was really good and we learned so much and I was so grateful for it.  It gave me a new perspective and I am just so grateful to be  apart of this amazing work. Afterwards, we got to go and conduct a Young Women's activity focusing on missionary work and that was the coolest thing ever!  Every single one of them is wanting to serve a mission and had so many questions for us and it was just great! They were awesome and it was so cool to see how much they look up to us. We had some of them pulling out cameras and taking pictures of us while we were teaching. haha.  Its really amazing to be apart of the work and to see how the work really starts to grow and go forth! 
Email Hijack!
Hi! I'm Sister Fronk and I have stolen Sister Knapp's email so you can know the truth about her. She is about the most gutsy, hilarious, wonderful person ever! She is doing so well at being a missionary in Finland, which isn't easy. She works really hard at the language and has a natural gift for it that really impresses.
Funny Answers
Saturday and Sunday were both really good.  Saturday we did a lot of contacting and tracting because we are still trying to really get this area open and let's just say it was freezing!  But fortunately eventually our feet just went numb and then we were fine!  No worries, we didn't get frostbite or anything. But we did get to teach Hai our recent convert who is really struggling with jobs and housing and everything and guess what happened!  Sister Fronk managed to get a bloody nose right as we got there! So she told him ,"And now Sister Knapp is going to give you a thought that will lift you up and make you feel better".  Talk about pressure!  But it all worked out :) Sunday was a really interesting day. Our investigator Anna came to church for the fourth time this month!  She is amazing!  And now she is going to institute too! The only problem is that she is still really busy so she never can meet during the week really but we are hoping to be able to do so at institute this week before she leaves town.  She says she can meet next week so we are excited about that!  It was really funny to find out that 3 people tried to give her a Book of Mormon on the same day we did.  Haha, we just have some awesome members!  Sunday was also really exciting because my companion has this habit of passing out on occasion but she never does it in front of other people, just with me.  On Sunday she decided (I guess she really didn't actually want to, haha)  pass out in front of the ward in the hall right after sacrament meeting!  At first Gisel and I were just holding her up and she usually pulls out of it really quick.  The elders were asking if she needed to be moved to a chair but I  just said that she was fine because I didn't want to draw attention to her since she would hate that, but she didn't start to pull out!  So I had to get Elder Waite to help me pick her up and take her to a chair.  So we did but she was still having a tough time and all the members were really worried..  So I had to try and explain what was going on to them in Finnish!  That was rough!  But she ended up coming out of it and being fine! After church, however, she really needed to rest a lot and so she did and I got to study the scriptures to help prepare for the upcoming zone conference.  It was the best!  Plus I had been praying to know how I can better help my companion and take of the stress load that she has and I even got my answer while studying!  Heavenly Father really does have a sense of humor :) ...
Hai and Sister Fronk

D&C 75:10 -12
"Calling on the name of the Lord for the Comforter, which shall teach them all things that is expedient for them-- Praying always that they faint not; and inasmuch as they do this, I will be with them even unto the end.... Behold, this is the will of the Lord your God concerning you.  Even so. Amen." 

I have to say that I love this Gospel and I am so grateful to be here in Finland! I apologize that this is so long!  I love you all!

Sister Knapp