Monday, September 15, 2014

Elder Bednar's Visit

Missions Are the Best Things In the World
Sister Dixon and I--"We're like the same person"
It was a pretty miraculous week.  First off, I gotta say that I really love my mission.  It is the best experience of my life. I love this country. I love the people. I love being a missionary. I love everything about it.  It really has changed my life.  I will be honest that I never thought I would get to the point where I would feel super sad about leaving and never want to leave.  But it came!   I started bawling like 3 times this week just thinking about leaving this place and the people here.  I love it here.  My heart really is here with these people and I never want to leave. In church this week we got to hear from a missionary that just got home from his mission and he shared a quote from somewhere that said, "It may not be the best 2 years, but it will be the be the best 2 years for your life".  It is so true.  This really has changed my life.  It has made me a better person and I have really come to understand just a little bit better the love our Father in Heaven has for us and that He really knows better than we ever could what we need for our lives.  I never would have gone on a mission if it wasn't for the strong answer I received over a year and a half ago and it has changed my life and I am forever going to be grateful for it.  Missions are the best things in the world and everyone should have the chance to serve one. They will NEVER regret it.
With Sister Nyman, my last comp and
my new one, Sister Dixon
We Really Just Go Out and Make Friends
That said, this week has also been so much fun.  I have learned so much from Sister Dixon in the past couple of weeks. We are seriously like the same person and have way too much fun together.  From movies nights before bed watching the Legacy and drinking smoothies, to ruined cakes and many ruined meals, to finding new friends on the street. It has honestly been a blast. We are almost always laughing and talking and having fun everywhere we go.  My whole mission I been trying to figure out how to be myself and do the work and with Sister Dixon it is just so easy.  We are always ourselves and because of it our investigators have really become our friends. They talk and joke and laugh with us and we really just have so much fun.  And when it is time for a lesson, it goes amazing because they really know that we really do care and love them. It is honestly changing the way that I do missionary work and it is so good and so much more enjoyable. We really just go out and make friends. :)  
The Best Lesson Ever
We have two pretty incredible investigators.   One of our investigators is honestly like our best friend. His name is Mac.  He is from Thailand and seriously mind blowing.  He has read almost the entire Book of Mormon, all of the Joseph Smith History, Gospel Principles, True to the Faith, and is now starting to read the Doctrine and Covenants because they are studying it in institute.  WOW!   I swear that he knows and understands things better than we do!  So we have really been having a hard time knowing how to help him!  He also says he won't be baptized unless his mom supports, it but she wants him to become a Buddhist Monk first so that she can get into heaven.  We didn't know what to say to that so we told him to pray about it and we would talk about it later.  We then had some pretty amazing lessons with him this week.  One was so funny because it was right before institute and we couldn't stay, so when we asked him to pray at the end he prayed that we would both stay, then told us that God doesn't answer our prayers when we said that we had to leave. Hahaha. What a pill!  He is so funny.  We had the amazing opportunity to have Elder Bednar come and do a mission conference with us this week (will talk about later) and we went with questions to the meeting to know how we could better help our investigator progress and feel more of God's love for him. The only problem was that during and after the meeting Sister Dixon and I both had fevers and were feeling SO sick, but we decided that we still needed to go to lesson with Mac anyway and it went so well. The Spirit was so strong and I really just had to rely on it more than ever because my head hurt so bad that I couldn't focus much to understand really a ton what he was saying. But the lesson was incredible and Sister Dixon and I both felt strongly that if  Mac really wants to feel the Spirit and feel the importance of the gospel, that he needs to be preparing for baptism. So we expressed that to him and and after the lesson he told us that he wants to be baptized!  He has decided that he wants to do it no matter what his mom says and that it is right.  He is getting out of the boat and putting his faith in God!  Right now he is really praying to know what day he will be baptized but it will be sometime in the next 3 weeks!  We are so excited for him!  It was the best lesson and experience ever! :)
With Sister Ross, my MTC companion
Miracles in Marjaniemi
We also have a pretty amazing investigator from Kenya, Lincoln, who is 18 and has some of the strongest faith in God  I have ever seen. I have never seen someone pray so sincerely and trust in God so much as this kid.  It has been pretty incredible.  We gave him a baptismal date last week and he is honestly really searching and preparing for it and we know he will get an answer.  He has already even talked to his mom about it and is hoping that as he learns more that he will be able to talk to his mom better about it and that she will understand. We are really praying for him and feel so good about him.  He has so many good questions and is so willing to learn and to trust in God that he will receive an answer by his baptismal date.  It is pretty exciting to see the miracles that are happening her in Marjaniemi.
Mission Conference was amazing!
This past Friday was MISSION CONFERENCE!!!!  It was a once in a lifetime experience that is for sure.  I never thought that I would be sitting a room being instructed by an apostle of the Lord.  Elder Bednar was so good and really, you can tell he is so guided by the Spirit.  I received so many answers to my questions on how I can better help each of my investigators individually. The most fun thing was that it wasn't like a fireside where we just sat and listened to Elder Bednar speak to us but it was actually a discussion!  At first he just made us super comfortable and explained that he knew that if he asked us a question that we all knew the answer to, we would all know it until we got asked by an apostle to recite it to him.  In other words he would know that we got intimidated and freaked out when we are asked something by an apostle!  So everything was volunteer and we just talked and learned together. The Spirit in that room was so strong and really amazing. I am so grateful for that experience. One thing he said was the the world is the best it is ever going to be but we need not be afraid. We need to just have faith.  It really is crazy to think about, and even more amazing to see, so many girls and boys serving missions and how much it is going to make a difference.  We all need to be strong and to really learn to trust and rely on the Lord and everything is going to work.  We are going to be safe even in the world where so much bad is happening. :)  I loved mission conference.  It was amazing to be in a room with all the missionaries here in Finland.  Even though I don't know every single one of them, I could just look around and I really just loved them all!  I love the missionaries here in Finland.  They are amazing.  They really are my brothers and sisters and I am so lucky to be serving with them here in Finland.  I also got to see all of my amazing companions and my  MTC group and it was so much fun to see everyone and get to talk to everyone. Some of I haven't seen in almost 10 months!  It's amazing how fast time can go.
Elder Spiers (back) and Nemelka, who I knew in Jr. High
More Miracles
We also had a miracle with contacting a less-active this week. We were in the area where a less-active in the ward lives and were having a hard time deciding whether or not we should go try to see her because her gate is locked and she never answers the phone.  But last minute we decided to jump off the bus and go and see if she was there and you will never believe it!  She was outside!  It was a miracle!  We have tried this so many times and for once she was outside!  She was so nice and we got to really talk to her and see why she wasn't coming to church.  Apparently her husband has been pretty sick.  But she is going to let us come back and do service and she is really wanting to come back to church.  Hopefully we will be able to help her with that!

It was an amazing, fun-filled, miracle week.  I love this work.  There really isn't a better work out there.  Thank you for all of your love and support! 

Love, Sister Knapp
Sister Dixon and getting the perfect selfie

A failed food attempt

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