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

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