Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Land of the Midnight Sun: Johannus!

The Longest Day of the Year...LITERALLY!!!
Looking at my backyard at 11:00 pm
I officially have survived the longest day of the year!  Johannus (midsummer day and eve), where the sun never actually goes down!  It was super fun.  Lets just say that it is nearly impossible to sleep.  The sun is up all of the time and every time I wake up I think it is midday.  It is the most confusing thing ever!  But it only gets darker from here on out! :)  Well, our Johannus week was a good week but a rather slow week.  Johannus is one of the biggest holidays in Finland.  It still amazes me how Finns celebrate Holidays.  Every holiday literally everything closes.  Its like the whole city just shuts down and everyone just gets drunk and stays at home.  At least this is what it seems like anyway.  However, we are not allowed to go outside on Johannus unless we have an appointment and no one wanted to meet with us.  So basically that meant that was our planning day.  But the rest of the week was so good! 
The Finnish Sauna Turning Point
The Oulu district
This week was huge for our Finnish investigator Jari.  He is awesome.  The gospel is literally changing him and it is amazing to be apart of and to see him change.  When we first met him he was struggling with really bad depression, but really in the month that we have been teaching him he has come to life.  He is so happy and jokes with us so much.  He is finding answers through the Book of Mormon, praying for us to jaksaa (feel like it) in our important work, and he told us that we are always welcome! No one tells us that!!  He also came to our ward Johannus party and he went to the sauna with the members (which is usually a turning point I am told for investigators according to stories I have heard) and he ended up staying there with the members until 2:00 am!  What!?  Yup, he was too tired to come to church but he felt really bad about not coming so we are pretty happy about that!  The members were doing too good of a job and kept him up all night!  We are so excited for him though. His baptism is scheduled for July 5th and today we are talking to him more about how he feels about his baptism.  So we will see what happens tonight!  We both feel strongly that he will be baptized though and we are so excited for him.  The gospel really is going to change his life forever.  :)
Oulu missionaries
Half of My Companions Die This Week
This week I also got to go on splits with Sister Gasser for the last time. She is amazing and is going home this week with Sister Fronk!  It is crazy to see people that I have served with going home. I just realized that half of my companions die this week!  The only companions I will have left are the ones that I came into the country with.  So weird.  Sister Nyman and I will be staying together in Oulu for another 9 weeks so we will be together for 4 months!  Wow.
Sister Gasser and me on splits
Though It May Be Awkward, The Spirit Can Work Miracles
 Anyway, we had one of the craziest most full days ever and it was way fun because we got to go and meet a former investigator that we had called a week or so before and wanted to meet.  So we had never actually met him and didn't have any idea what he looked like. We just got his address and went to go and meet with him.  Before Sister Gasser and I had left ,Sister Nyman had been telling me how excited she was that I got to go to the "sketchy" area of the city.... haha.   I just laughed at that thinking that its not possible for there to be a "sketchy" area in Finland.  When we got there it didn't look sketchy at all.  So I just thought she was being ridiculous.  Then while we were locking up our bikes this guy comes out with hair down past his shoulders and a beard that goes half way down his chest.  I just thought "Oh, now I get it.  Sister Nyman was right!"  Then he asked us if we were coming to visit him.  I was like "huh?"  One, because I totally though I understood him wrong, but turns out that I was completely right and this was actually the investigator.  What proceeded was the most awkward lesson I have ever taught in my entire life but he said that he will start reading the Book of Mormon and wants to meet again and start coming to church!  So though it may have been awkward.... The Spirit can work miracles! :)
Another 11:00 pm picture of my backyard
All He Asks
I love my mission.  It really is amazing.  I love the chance that I have to be and instrument in the Lord's hands and to see people changing.  It really is amazing!  I may not be perfect, and I have so much still to learn and change about myself, but I think that is the best thing about the atonement and our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  They know we aren't perfect and that we are going to make so many mistakes but all they ask is for us to do our best, to trust in them, and to try to change and become better.  I love my mission and the person it is helping me to become. This work is amazing.  It really is the best work that you can do. :)
I love you all! Thank you for all of your love and support!

Sister Knapp
Looking out my front window

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