Monday, March 31, 2014

Finding the "One a Day"

With Sister Vincent

Zone on boat to Suonmelinna Island
Well, not much really happened this week unfortunately.  We had so many lessons fall through, which was really discouraging but we had a lot of positive things happen that picked us up too!  We got to meet with our Chinese investigator who is just absolutely wonderful and really wants to learn.  I absolutely adore teaching her and she is so willing.  It definitely has been a bit of a struggle with the language barrier of course and we spend a lot of time on google translate so that we can get our points across.  Let's just say that we have to take it REALLY slow but it is so much fun and she is the sweetest person ever.  The worst was that the first time we came she offered us Green tea that she had made but we couldn't have it, of course, and tried to explain that to her.  She also explained to us the Chinese culture behind the offering of tea, etc.  After explaining why we couldn't drink it we thought she understood, but when we came back she actually told us that she didn't know why we didn't drink it and then looked it up online and found out why and she felt SO bad!  Oh my goodness.  Then we felt SO bad because we thought she had understood but she hadn't. But it all worked out anyway and she is wonderful! 
On the boat out to the island (sent by Sister Vincent!)
Last week we also got to go to Suomenlinna for our P-day!  It was absolutely the funnest thing that I have gotten to do on my mission so far!  It is a fortress out on an island.  So a big group of us got to travel out there and take pictures and explore the island.   I absolutely loved it.  It was beautiful and I can't even imagine what it is like in the summer!  It was kinda sad that all the museums were closed but we are hoping to be able to go there again.  So I suggest that anyone who comes to Finland must go to Suomenlinna because you would love it!  I will send out a ton of picutures later because I forgot my camera card today.  Ooops.  But it was so much fun!!  

Sähly & Badminton;  The Universal Language of Sports
I also got to play sähly this week!  Sähly is honestly probably my favorite sport in the world.  It is so much fun!  So we recently started this sports hour every Saturday with the ward so they can invite friends and we can get to know them.  It was awesome because Hai ended up inviting 5 of his friends and it was SO much fun!  I think that badminton must be an Asian sport because that is what they all wanted to play.  So we played that and had sähly going on too and just switched around doing the two sports.  It was absolutely a blast and we were able to get to know Hai's friends more and they are coming next week too.  We are hoping that they will open up more to missionaries because right now they aren't really but they seem so like us so hopefully that can change soon and we will be able to teach them!

Train Teaching
We also had a really cool thing happen.   We are really trying to find the "one a day,"  or one person a day that we were meant to talk to.  So an amazing thing happened.  We were traveling to a less-active Chinese party and I mixed up the train times.... whoops.  So we got on the wrong train but guess who got on with us?!  Our investigator!   So we got to talk to him and talk to him about Conference and now he is going to be coming with us this weekend!  We are so excited!  Trains really must be the place to meet people because another time we got on and it was completely packed and there was only one place for us to sit.  So we must have been meant to talk to them because we both sat down and my companion started talking to the lady next to her and the lady next to me started joining in and soon all 4 of us were just talking and laughing and it was so much fun.  They were amazing and we got to talk to them for 15 minutes on the trains. 

It was actually a pretty good week.  Thanks for all of your prayers and support! Mä Rakastan Teitä! 

Sisar Knapp

Monday, March 24, 2014


This past week was such a good week for us! Not only did we get to go and visit the Big White Church in Helsinki this week, we found 6 new investigators and Anna came to church!!  It was such a good week for us and was really a blessing because this area has been struggling for so long to open up and we are finally finding people that we can teach. The only hard part is that most of them--actually all of the investigators that we found this week--speak English and so I will not really be getting a lot of Finnish practice in.  But I guess I will learn Finnish if the Lord needs me to learn Finnish.  
Sister Egan and I at the Big White Church (The Helsinki Cathedral also known as St. Nicholas' Church because it was built as a tribute to The Grand Duke of Finland,Tsar Nicholas I of Russia.  It was built in 1830 and is one of Helsinki's most popular tourist attractions. :)

I Never Thought I Would Get THAT Close to the Members!
Relief Society Activity
I did however have one of the most embarrassing moments on my mission this week. So in Finland they have this thing where they put little pebbles all over the place to help people not slip. They actually drive me crazy!  Well, keep this in mind.  So we had this relief society party this week and we were supposed to bring our favorite pair of shoes, but we didn't and just went to get to know the relief society better.  Which was quite fun.  They did these funny games like musical chairs where they would yell out a body part, head, nose, shoulder, bottom, foot, etc.  and you would have to go to the nearest person to you and if they said nose you would have to go nose to nose with them.  Haha, I never thought I would get THAT close to members!  Haha but anyway, later they made us take off our shoes, since we didn't have our favorite with us, and put it in a big bag of shoes. They would hold up each person's shoe and we would have to come and get it and tell why it was our favorite.  Well when they help mine up.... upside down... a ton of little pebbles that I didn't know where there fell out.  Oh my word!!!  So embarrassing!  But I gave everyone a big laugh! :)
Baby Blessings
I also got to hold a baby this week!  It was the best.  We had a member, Julie, come with us to a lesson with Hai, but the only way that she could come is if she brought her 1 year old and her 3 year old with her, which was fine.  But when we got there she was trying to hold and take care of both and it was really hard for her. So she asked me to help her and I tried to explain that we weren't allowed to.  But she explained how well behaved the baby is and everything and she really needed help.  So I prayed about it and felt good about it because she had come 30 to 45 minutes just to help us. So I got to hold her baby for the whole lesson!  It was so much fun! Cutest baby ever. :)
Finding A Former Investigator
One of the new investigators that we started teaching was actually a former investigator!  It is the African woman, Ama, that I talked about back in December who had set a baptismal date but then got sick and we were unable to meet with her at all.  Well, we were finally able to get a hold of her again and have started teaching her and are teaching her again this week!  It turns out that she is pregnant with twins, but right now there are some complications and so she has to stay at home all day everyday unless she is getting a check up at the hospital. So she has a lot of time on her hands and so we are able to teach her!  Awesome!  Well, besides the coming to church part. That is a barrier we will have to cross. She isn't allowed to walk very far so hopefully we can work out a ride or something! But It was so good to see her!! 
Teaching a Chinese Investigator in English in Finland :)
Another investigator that we have came from a referral of the less-active Chinese couple, Yan and Lin, that we meet with every week. Their names are Tem and Jiao.  I love them so much!  They are honestly two of my favorite people in the entire world!  Anyway, they have this friend that has only been in Finland for about a year and is really lonely and so they told her about us and about the church and she wanted to learn more.  So we called her and set up a time that she could come to Yan's and we could meet her and talk to her and she could practice her English.  It was a fun experience because Yan and her friend are still learning English. Yan speaks understandable English and is actually pretty good but she still doesn't understand everything so we have to talk super simple and slow.  And her friend knows even less than Yan.  So teaching was kinda fun!  We got to have Yan translate or teach a lot of it in Chinese. So we would tell her to explain about prayer and she would do it in Chinese.  I think that she understood it, and it was better coming from Yan anyway. But this week we have an appointment with her and Yan can't come, so we are going to have to take it really slow.  But it will be good practice for her and her English.  She is so cute! 
Sunday, was so good because Anna came to church!!!  It was so great to see her!  We hadn't been able to see her in about a month, but finally a member that she became friends with moved to Espoo from Lohja and  she is able to really help us get her to church and give her a ride!  So that is really good.  We were able to talk about her baptismal date, and she wont be getting baptized in April it looks like, but we are going to set a new date next week because she will be coming to church next week.  It was so funny because she just kept giving me a ton of hugs when she saw us!  It was so good to see her.  I  love her!  
The Lord Provided the Perfect Lesson!
Yan also came to church! That was a really big deal because she is really shy about coming to church without her husband because she doesn't speak very good English. She is in a Finnish class at school though and wants to start learning faster so she wants to come to church every week no matter what so that she can practice her Finnish!!  Yes!  It was also amazing how the Lord provided the perfect lesson for her in Sunday School.  It was all about eternal marriage and the temple, which is something we have been wanting to work with them on. We were able to talk to her after church and she really really REALLY wants to been married in the temple so that she can be with her husband Lin forever.  It is SO cute! So we were able to talk to her about it and she wants to get sealed to him on the 18th of June, the same day as her baptism.  That is her goal and she is going to talk to Lin about it and we are meeting with them tonight to talk about how they can prepare and what they need to do.  We are so excited for them!  

It really has been such a good week and the Lord has blessed us in so many ways.  He really does love each and everyone of us and will truly guide us in our lives if we will trust in him.

Thanks for all of the support! 

Sister Knapp

Monday, March 17, 2014

Snowballs From Heaven


Smallest Glimmer of Hope 
It is definitely not summer here in Finland.  I have to admit that I got the smallest glimmer of hope that it was going to be an extremely odd winter and we were going to have an early summer.... That was definitely not true. It SNOWED!  I guess that might not be the biggest surprise for everyone back home but it was definitely a surprise to me! I was not expecting it to snow again because it had been so warm!  I even had a day where I didn't wear any tights!  That is like a really big deal!  The sun was shinning and it was just beautiful. Then one night I could not sleep because I was absolutely freezing.  It turns out that it had snowed ALL night long and ALL day the next day and the day after that.  This meant walking through the slushiness and getting hit by "snowballs from heaven" as the trees let go of all the snow that they had collected right on top of you.  It wasn't too bad though.  It is kinda crazy because when it snows a lot here they have tractors that come and knock the snow off of roofs because apparently people die every year from the snow falling of the roof and onto people. Not good..
Living In a Freezer
Sister Egan in the bathroom and me behind in the sauna
Anyway, one exciting thing is that the heaters in our apartment decided to stop working this past week...uh yeah..... cold, Cold, COLD!!!  We are basically living in a freezer!  The only heat that we get in our apartment right now comes from the heated tiles in our bathroom. This means a lot of time is spent in the bathroom.  After much contemplation with my companion we decided that we had no other option but to deep clean the bathroom... I mean I literally got on my hands and knees and scrubbed every inch of that bathroom... and then pull our mattresses in there and sleep in the bathroom and sauna.  Yes, this really did happen!  It was the best night sleep I had gotten in 3 nights!  So let's just say that we really hope we can get the heaters fixed sooner rather than later! 
Shortcut to Heaven
Can I just say that Ha i(our convert) is one of my favorite people in the world?! Even though it does require me to eat really weird foods, some of which I would never want to try in my life time, I really just love Hai.  Hahaha he is so funny. So this past Monday we got to visit with the Hentunens for family home evening and of course Hai came with us.  Our discussion was going really well and we were talking about trusting the Lord and about Jacob and the stones and boats, when all of a sudden Hai jumps in and says " that seems a bit risky....." hahaha. So we said, " Yeah, that is a bit risky, so why did they do it?!!"  His answer: "I guess because you just trust God and hope that tomorrow you get somewhere.  And if you sink.... It is just a shortcut."  Haha  that's right!  Shortcut to Heaven right there!! hahaha  We about died laughing.  Oh Hai!!  
Look!  No Tights!
You Know You Are a Missionary When...
This week was really rough because all of our investigators decided that they didn't want to answer any of our phone calls or text messages.  I really don't like it when that happens! Fortunately, one of them did and we were able to do another movie night this week.  It was crazy though because we planned to do it on Saturday because there is mutual night on Fridays and so the church is really crowded. It turned out at the last minute our investigator that could come along with the Hagaa sisters' investigator could only come on Friday though.  So we had to make some quick calls and were told that they only use 3 rooms and that we could easily use one of the rooms in the church and the TV. Well, Friday we got to the church and it turned out that that was not the case! Almost every room was being used and so was the TV!  Plus, a lot more people ended up coming because some other missionaries brought their investigator too. So we ended up having to squish 12 of us into our tiny library and watch the movie on the computer.  It ended up going really well though. They loved the Joseph Smith movie and we were able to give both of them the Book of Mormon. So that was great. We also had a bunch of food left over, including 2 bags of chips that we did not want at all. So while Sister Egan and I were in the room cleaning up and talking to Gezelle (another new convert), Elder Smith walked in and asked if there was anything they could do to help. We immediately tried to get him to take the bags of chips but he wouldn't.  Instead, he turned to Gisel and asked,  "Gisel do you know anyone who would benefit from this bag of chips?  I have had many bags of chips in my lifetime and they have really blessed me."  Oh boy!! haha You know you are a missionary when you are trying to get a referral using a bag of chips!!!  
The Crazy Things That Happen
Crazy things always happen at the movie nights. Last week we had it in Haaga and their Muslim investigator came and watched the movie with us.  She absolutely loved it and was so filled with the Spirit that she didn't know what to do.  So she immediately stood up after it ended and told everyone that she needed to give us all a blessing and asked us all to close her eyes... umm... So we we all did and for like 2 minutes it was completely silent and she didn't say ANYTHING until she finally said, amen.  We later asked the Haaga sisters about it and apparently she annointed us all. Oh the things that happen on missions!  

Thank you for all of your love and support!  Mä Rakastan Teita! 

Sister Knapp

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

That Is What We Do!

Sister P-day shopping!

The Lord Places People in Our Paths
This week has been a good week.  I got to teach one of the most spiritual lessons of my entire mission this week and it was amazing!  We had this Vietnamese girl, Thu, text us this past week asking if she could meet with us because she had been struggling with depression and being in Finland! Sister Fronk and I had actually met her on a train in the beginning of December and somehow she remembered us!  So that was really neat.  We ended up inviting her to the church and told her all about how it was a place that we can find peace and comfort and so she really wanted to come. She ended up meeting us there on Tuesday and we got to give her a church tour and tell her about how much her Heavenly Father loves her and knows her.  It was so special and you could just see how much it meant to her!  The Spirit was so strong and we ended up feeling prompted to invite her to be baptized! So we did!  And she said yes, if she can come to know that this is all true, but she doesn't know how.  YES!!! That is what we do!  We help people come to know how they can receive answers and come to know the church is true!  Perfect!! We ended up being able to teach her how to pray and gave her a Book of Mormon and she was so happy because it was in Vietnamese. :)   I am guessing that you can't find a lot of Vietnamese books in Finland. She then ended up praying for the first time and it was the sweetest prayer ever!  She is so cute and we are going to be meeting with her again this week!  We are so excited for her.  She is wonderful and it is just amazing because I know how hard it is to adjust to coming to Finland and being alone without family.  It is amazing how the Lord places people in our paths that we can really relate to. 
On a Frozen Lake!
This Train Is Leaving!
The funny story of the week is that I actually got separated from my companion!  We were running for a train, which is a usual thing for us to be doing, but it was pulling up and we were still about 100 meters away.  So I naturally I started sprinting to the train thinking that if I can get there first I can just keep pushing the button to keep the doors open so that my companion can get on.  So I do just that. The only problem was that the doors started closing and I was pushing the button from the inside but they kept closing anyway.  My companion was pushing the button on the other side.... but no. This train was taking off no matter what!  So It ended up leaving with me on the train and my companion on the outside of the train!  Whoops!  I ended up having to get off at the next stop and sat alone for 15 minutes waiting for the next train to come.  This stop was Kera, and absolutely no one is ever at Kera, so it was completely empty!  Perfect time for a power nap!! :) 
Tears & Sniffles:  Food Adventures
Also, Guess what I got to try this week!!!  PIG TOUNGE!!! Yep!  Hai was kind enough to make us some "delicious"  pig tounge this week.  Oh my goodness.  There were things that I thought I would avoid trying by coming to Finland but it looks like that is not the case!  Surprisingly it didn't actually taste all that bad.  The only problem was knowing what it was and getting it down.  Yuck!  I mean pig tongue?  Really?  I used to think that Dad had a hard time letting things go to waste.  It looks like other people have that same kind of problem but to the more extreme side of things!  But hey, It does make for a good story to be able to say that I  tried pig tongue on my mission.  I was worried I wouldn't get to try anything weird. Haha no need to worry now!  

We also got to meet with Yan and Lin this week!  They are a less-active couple in our area and they are the cutest!  I absolutely love them so much!  And guess what!  They made us Chinese food this week!  YES!!!!  I love Chinese food!  It was so good, though it was really Spicy!  They had made it earlier this week for a movie night we had and Lin said that it wasn't spicy enough.  Well this chicken was definitely spicy enough!  Through tears and sniffles we were able to share a really good lesson all about family history work  and it was awesome!  Plus, I really loved the food! :) 
Family History Work & Loving My Family
This week I got to talk a lot to people about families and family history work and it was amazing!  It made me realize how grateful I am for my family and the fact that we get to be with them for all eternity!  And because my family is so wonderful I want everyone to know a little bit about them! 

Taylor and Emily:  Shout out to Taylor who is turning 26 this week!!!!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!  I have the best older brother and sister-in-law in the world!  I love them so much!  They even surprised me and flew out to my farewell from Texas before I left on my mission!  It honestly meant the world to me that they were there!  

Kara:  She is like my best friend!  She is so understanding and the easiest person to talk to!  She really knows how to take care of others and is really amazing at it!  I can't even count the times that she was there for me to listen to me after having a bad day, failing a test, struggling with friends, etc.  She is amazing and I love her so much! 

Cassie:  She is the best sister!  She is absolutely HILARIOUS!  She has this amazing talent of making people smile and laugh where ever she is!  She is the best at making family trips and activities fun!  I love her! 

Landon is my buddy.  He is the sweetest, most caring person in the world. He just cares about everyone and wants to make everyone happy.  I remember time and time again when I would fall asleep on the couch and he would get me a blanket and cover me up to make sure I didn't get too cold. He is an angel!  I love my bud! 

My dad is the worlds #1 Dad!  He is so supportive in everything I do!  He writes me every week and you can just tell he spends hours on each of his letters and I love them. 

My mom means the world to me.  I love my mom so much.  She does so much to take care of me and really is the reason I am the person I am today.  I don't know what I would ever do with out her.  I love you Mom! 

Really, I love my family so much! I am so grateful for each of them and I am sure most everyone out there is so grateful for their families!  So I would like to encourage everyone to do something to show your family how much you love them because I really believe that the closest things to heaven is when you are with your family!   

Thank you for all of your love and support!   I love you all! 

Sister Knapp

P.S  I would also love to thank my Aunt Judy who sent me a ring this week!  I absolutely LOVE it!  E.T.T.E.  Endure to the End!  :)
 P.P.S. I found the coolest park in the world this week!
 Angry Birds was invented in Finland!

Monday, March 3, 2014

You Have to Face the Sun!

Record Those Family History Stories!
This has been a rather crazy hard week.  But even though it was really hard, there was so many blessings that we got to see and it made it so much fun! One really fun thing that happen is that some Area of the Seventies came to teach us all about family history work!  That was one of the most amazing thing ever!  We got to take our recent converts Hai and Gezelle to the devotional they had in Helsinki and it was absolutely the most motivating devotional that I have ever been to.  I am so excited to be able to do my family history when I get home. The decided to emphzise how Family History work is not Geneology work.  It is the stories about our family members that we pass on!  It just sounds so fun to me to be able to hear stories about my grandparents and parents and write a book with all of the stories.  They encouraged us all to go home and to ask a family member a story that they remember about their childhood or their parents and to record it and write it down!  So I would like to encourage all of you to do the same!  Record those family stories because how fun will it be for generations to come to hear all about your stories and what life was like for you or for your parents!
With Gizelle (center) and Hai (left) and his friends
You Look Like a Dead Chicken
We also got to see a lot of my wonderful one and only Gisel! I love her so much!  She loves to spoil us and make us soup and bring food to us all the time! I absolutely love her so much!  It was actually the funniest thing ever...there was one day this week that they sun was really shinning and she decided to visit us.  So we are sitting there talking and I am facing away from the sun and she finally grabs me and turns me towards the sun and says, "You have to face the sun Sisar!  You look like a dead chicken!". hahaha  So I guess that is what happens when you live in Finland in the winter! You become SO SO white from not seeing the sun that you look like a dead chicken!  So let's just all hope that the sun just starts to show itself a little bit more here! 
With Sister Egan, my new companion
Heartfelt Prayers
Saturday was super fun!  I got to go on an exchange with Sister Fronk!  I absolutely love her.  She is wonderful. So we started the day by helping a member clean her house because she had to move last minute and really needed a lot of help.  So we got to do that.  After that, we went to the church where we were going to meet with Gisel and Hai and make spring rolls and then end up teaching them all about  family history, when to our surprise Hai called us and told us that he was bringing 4 friends with him to help us make spring rolls!  Awesome!  Sister Fronk and I almost died laughing (inside) from shock when Hai walks in the church with these 4 beautiful Vietnamese girls, Whan, Thu, Tu, and Chang!! Our Hai, who claims that girls really don't like him, shows up with 4 beautiful girls!!!  It was the funniest thing ever and they were the cutest!  We ended up spending like 4 hours with them and gave them a church tour too!  They had so many questions about repentence and baptism which was amazing.  They also asked us if they could come back here whenever they wanted so they could feel peace.  It was amazing.  We then decided to close with a prayer of course and asked one of them to say it,  they all wanted to learn, so we all knelt in a circle and went around and each said a prayer.  They were the most sincerely heartfelt prayers I had ever heard. It is also so exciting because we are meeting with them all again on Friday and having a movie night and watching the full length restoration movie.  We are super excited and they are so cute!
Baptizing Asia in Finland
With Sister Vincent, whom I met before we both reported to the MTC
Speaking of Vietnamese girls, we also had a really cool experience with a Vietnamese girl, Thu, that we had met a couple of months ago and invited to an activity but she couldn't come.  Well, last night she ended up texting us because she has really been struggling being in Finland and felt like we could help and asked if we had any activities going on! Yes!!  It was so cool!  So I got to call and talk to her and we are actually taking her to family home evening in Helsinki with us tonight and we are so excited!  It should be so much fun!  And she is the cutest!  So we now have a lot of Chinese and Vietnamese Investigators!  Looks like we are going to be baptizing Asia in Finland.... Who knew!? 

Well, Thank you for all of your prayers and support! I love you all! The church is true! 

Sister Knapp

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Best Last Lesson

My First Baptismal Challenge
This has been a pretty exciting week! We finally got a baptismal date with our investigator, Anna!! It was such a fun experience because it was the last lesson that Sister Fronk and I got to teach together!!  I have to admit that I was so scared to invite her to be baptized even though we were almost positive that she was going to say yes!  And it was such a cool experience to see how excited she is to be baptized and how she feels like this church is true!  She is absolutely wonderful and we are so excited for her!
Sister Fronk and I before transfers
Best Companion Ever
I have to also write about how great of a companion Sister Fronk was!  She is absolutely one of the most amazing people that I have ever met!  She loves everyone and takes care of everyone and helped me personally through so many hard times and I am so grateful for her! She is SO much fun and absolutely hilarious and could make me laugh in moments when I thought it wouldn't be possible to laugh!  She is also one of the most forgetful people I have ever met and would forget things everywhere!  The last night I was with her we got to pull an all nighter for her doctor appointment the next day!  Talk about fun!  But before that we had a little disagreement on which day the appointment was on.  I was sure it was Wednesday and she was positive it was Tuesday! So we went with Tuesday, stayed up all night, and missed our district meeting just to find out that it was actually on Wednesday!  hahaha It honestly was the cherry  on top of the cake with all the crazy experiences I had with Sister Fronk!  Luckily, because of that we did get to go to the temple after district meeting and get pictures with people in our district before we all headed off to where ever we were going!  But anyway, I love Sister Fronk! Best Companion Ever!!! 
With my Espoo district just before transfers
Tracting Success
The rest of the week went really pretty well, even though we had to do a lot of tracting, which I will admit is not my favorite way of finding people, but it all worked out and we ended up finding 3 new investigators this week!  One was super confusing.  At first she told us that she was absolutely not interested, but after my companion jumped in and testified a little bit and talked to her all about prayer and asked if we could come back and talk to her more about prayer, she said yes!  And we set up a time and exchanged numbers and everything! So we are excited to see how that lesson this week goes! We also had a cool experience where we were 5 minutes early to a lesson and so we had a few minutes to tract.  We prayed about where we should go and felt really good about this one door that we saw.  It ended up being a Chinese couple that was Christian... rare to find one of those... and they were all for hearing more about the church!  It was really amazing!  
Teaching Agency with Chocolate
Sunday was also a really fun day at church!  We got to teach the Primary all about agency, which I have to say was the funnest thing ever!  We started by doing a couple of games and one was giving them chocolate and giving them the choice of whether or not to eat it and if they didn't eat it then they got more at the end of the lesson.  We also played a game where we would blind fold one of the kids and they would have to follow one of our voices while everyone else was trying to make them lose their way. It was really fun and we got to relate that to how we are going to have a lot of choices to make but that our Heavenly Father is there to guide us to help us make right choices and when we make right choices we get blessings for it!  It was so much fun and the kids loved it!
Well, Thank you for all your love and support!  Kirkko on Totta! 

Sister Knapp