Monday, May 26, 2014

The Blessing of Being Exhausted

Strength to Make It Through Another Day
This week has been another amazing week.  But I must say that I am exhausted.  I really don't think that I have been more tired in my entire life.  I could sleep forever!!!  But we keep going and keep praying for the strength and somehow we make it through an entire day.  That does not mean that we don't collapse on the floor the minute we walk in the door though!  Oulu just gets more and more beautiful every single day.  Spring and nearly summer has finally come to Finland and I am so excited!!  I never thought that this day would come!  I have to admit that it is crazy seeing how the sun isn't going down until after we are asleep.  It still blows my mind.  I think I fall more and more in love with Finland every day!
Member Testimonies Add So Much
This week we continued to have so much success with members coming on lessons with us (we had 9 this week!) and it really does change everything.  Members and their testimonies add so much to each lesson and really has been changing everything about the work. We are seeing so many miracles. Sister Nyman and I have been trying to do two things better.  1) Follow counsel given to us better. 2) Be consistent.  So to start with following counsel better, we are counseled in Preach My Gospel to invite people to be baptized on the first or second lesson. So, we decided that we were really going to be good about doing just that (along with the things that we were working on last week--church tours and member present lessons.  So we had two church tours this week and though I think it can be the scariest thing ever inviting people to be baptized in the first lesson, we prayed about it and felt really good about it.  So we prayed about dates and got ready to invite them to be baptized.
Church Tours & Baptismal Dates
The first tour was with our Chinese investigator, Sofia.  She is absolutely the cutest sweetest person that I have ever met in my entire life.  We absolutely love her.  She hasn't been living in Finland for too long, just about 8 months and so she needs friends. We invited her to a church tour and she came and it went so well.  The spirit was so strong and she really was just loving all of it and then at the end we invited her to be baptized on June 28th and she said yes!!  At first she wasn't very sure because she wasn't sure that she could know that fast and asked if we had received answers that fast.  Then we found out that she thought we were inviting her to be baptized on the 28th of May!  She kept saying that she wanted to change her life but she wasn't sure she could do it that fast!  But once we got that cleared up she was completely willing and ready to learn.  She is wonderful.  We then were able to meet with her two times after that:  once to go and get ice cream for daily contact (the best kind of daily contact) and then we taught her on Saturday and guess what?! She made us Chinese food (my favorite!!)  It was so good! :)  We invited her to church but she had a big exam on Monday and hadn't started studying, but after explaining that God will bless her and help her to do well on her test if she came for at least one hour then she wanted to come. She ended up coming and loving Sacrament Meeting so much that she decided that she could stay another hour.  It was amazing to see.  She is wonderful and so prepared! 
We then had another church tour with a Finnish investigator of ours that we met playing volleyball, Jari.  It was really such a good tour and he is so good and so prepared.  He has been struggling with major depression and told us so during the church tour.  He cried through the whole thing and it was so sad but really sweet to see how much the spirit was working on him.  Then at the end of the tour we invited him to be baptized on the 21st of June and he said yes.  We are really excited for him and to see how the gospel can bring joy and happiness into his life and really just change his life. We really have been so blessed in finding those prepared and who really need the Gospel in their lives. 
Teaching a Lessons in Finnish, English and French
We also have an investigator that we are meeting with that doesn't have a baptismal date but came to church!  It was so cool because she speaks French and Finnish but not English.  But we have a member who is from France and speaks French and English and comes and helps us on teaches.  It is always interesting as we are constantly having 3 languages going in a lesson.  But this really might be why this French member came to Finland, so that she could help us to teach this investigator.  She came to church and it was so cool to see because our investigator helped to translate into French for our member!  It was amazing and she really is progressing!  Hopefully we can help her want to be baptized soon!  
I'm So Lucky!
Really this week was so busy and though tiring it was amazing to see the work moving forward and we know that it is just going to continue to get better and better as we are doing our best and work as hard as we can.   I love being a missionary and seeing the lives of those we teach changing.   This message really is a message of Joy. I am so lucky to be a part of this work because really there is no greater work than this!
Thank you for all of your love and support! I love all of you so much!!  

Sister Knapp
p.s. Sorry no pictures this week.  I forgot my camera cord.

p.p.s. Today we are only emailing but not having a full P-day because on Wednesday we have a district meeting in Rovaniemi and get to go to Santa Claus Village (on the Artic Circle)!

Here are some pictures from the internet of Santa Claus Village: 
Santa Claus Village in summer
The Article Circle

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