Monday, October 6, 2014

The Converting Power of Conference

Fall is here! (Sister Dixon)
Best Week Ever!
This week was a pretty hard one but one of the best weeks of my entire mission. The week started with us having had the BEST planning session ever the week before and having 3 to 4 lessons set up per day.  We were going to be SO busy. Then came the downfall.  Within hours a total of 2 days got completely blanked out.  We had 9 lessons cancel this week. It was the worst.  Blank days are some of the hardest days ever.  A lot of walking, contacting, looking up potential investigators and formers. It was going to be long... and to no surprise it was long.  
The Fun of Metro Contacting
We spent a lot of time just Metro contacting, which is honestly one thing that I don't really mind on blank days. You always get good stories.  We actually met this super funny guy from Italy who was so hard to talk to and really wanted to buy us coffee... uh.... no....  So we tried to come up with some excuse so that we could leave and finally he was going to let us and went to shake our hands. But when we did, he pulled us in and gave us "besos"  That is a first, haha.  Awkward x ten   We did meet this super cool girl, about 25 years old, on the metro and invited her to conference and told her about the Book of Mormon.  As soon as we showed her and told her about the Book of Mormon she couldn't take her eyes off of it.  When we told her that we wanted to give it to her as a gift she got so excited and just hugged the book. We are meeting with her next week to talk more about it! :) Miracles. So when Thursday rolled around and it was planning day we were pretty excited because we got to plan and then we had appointments so our day was full!  But right as we were getting ready to go to our first appointment it fell through.... Noooooooo.....!  We honestly crashed on the floor.  Not again.  Then a seriously tender mercy happened. The AP's called.  They had an emergency they had to take care of and were supposed to go to bishop's house for a dinner appointment but now they couldn't so... we got to!!  Heavenly Father really loves us...an appointment and food! It doesn't get better than that!  Well, actually it does... 
You Can Always Count on Conference
Our investigator, Mac, is incredible.  He is honestly amazing!  We have been so worried the past couple of weeks that he wouldn't be ready to be baptized this week since he wasn't sure if he believed that Jesus was the Son of God or that this is really the one true church on the earth today. Those are some super important things that people have to know!  So we started to put everything on Conference and how important Conference would be and that he really could get his answers there. If you are going to count on something you can ALWAYS count on Conference. This week was honestly a miracle week for him. I think I have already told you how amazing of an investigator he is. Sometimes we worry about information overload with him since he has already read the Gospel Principles Book, Joseph Smith History, True to the Faith, stays up late watching Mormon messages and videos, listens to conference talks all day (practically) while he is at work, and this week he finished the Book of Mormon.  I have never seen an investigator understand the Gospel and the Book of Mormon so well in my life.  Sometimes I think he understands it better than me!  Sister Dixon and Sister Heggie (I was on splits) had a super amazing lesson with him all about the Book of Mormon testifying that Jesus Christ really is the Son of God.  They then asked him if he believed the Book of Mormon was true. He told them, "I feel that it is more than just a book." So then Sister Heggie (who was perfect for that lesson) pointed out that must be his answer then.  Later that night, when sister Dixon and I were back together he texted us telling us that he knows that the Book of Mormon is true and that he was wrong.  Oh my word!!!  I can not express the joy that Sister Dixon and I felt when when we got that message.  We spent practically the rest of the night dancing around the apartment! :)  Then there was Conference.  Oh my goodness, I just love Conference. I gained the strongest testimony of Conference this past weekend.  The Lord really does love his children.  It was so amazing to see so many things said that were perfectly meant for Mac.  Sister Dixon and I turned to each other SO many times with just our mouths dropping open.  We couldn't believe it.  After the session was over Saturday night Sister Dixon felt that he seemed a little down and I immediately felt we need to text him and make sure he was doing ok.  He ended up calling us and told us about his day.  He had a really hard day since one of his best friends is really upset and struggling with the changes he has made.  It was so sad but we were able to help him and he is more than willing and ready to keep changing and growing.  We are so proud of him.  We then got to talk to him all about Conference on the phone.  He talked about how amazing it was because something that he had thought of about 3 weeks before about the Urium and Thumim Elder Uchtdorf talked about EXACTLY.  He couldn't believe it!  How cool is that?  He then really felt strongly at multiple times that Jesus Christ really is the Son of God.  I can't even explain how happy Conference made me.  I almost burst into tears multiple times as I felt the answers meant just for M. go right past me to him.  It was one of the best, most unforgettable moments of my life.  He is so ready.  Plus, he is more committed then I have ever seen him be.  We told him that we needed speakers, someone to baptize him, the priesthood holders to give the Holy Ghost, a musical number, etc for his baptismal service and before we knew it he had already asked and put together his entire program.  Its so nice.  We don't really have to do much of anything!  He also told us that we have ALL the time we need every single day this week to prepare him to be baptized, haha. Yes!  He really knows where his priorities are.  He is going to make an incredible member.  We are SO excited and SO happy for him!

With Gisel in Espoo
Splits in My Beloved Espoo
This week, as I already mentioned above, I got to go on Splits with Sister Neilsen in Espoo!!! I love that place.  I honestly had the biggest flashbacks of my life walking into that apartment where I had lived for 6 months. I never thought I would ever get to go back to good ol' Kilo. It was so much fun to be walking down the street and seeing so many people that I knew and had talked to before. We also got to stop my some less-actives, Yan and Lin, that we had been working with and it was so good to see them.  I love them. I think the biggest shock for me about the whole split was that I realized how much I truly came to love these people. I really love all the members and people I worked with in Espoo, Oulu, and Marjaniemi.  The Lord really knows me better than I know myself because I really have served in places that were just perfect for me.  I also found out that a different family that we were working with, the Jonios, just had a baby!  Sister Fronk and I were there when she told us that she was pregnant and now she has a little baby!  Has it really been that long?  Have I really been on a mission for that long?!  Time really flies by.  The only sad thing was that I didn't get to see Hai.  But I did get to talk to him on the phone.  He is doing amazing and promised me that he would go to all the General Conference sessions. So that was good. I can't believe that he can go through the temple in just one month!  Oh, yeah!  I did get to see Gisel though. So that was a blessing :)
In between conference sessions eating cinnamon rolls
The Atonement is Real
Conference was absolutely amazing.  I am so grateful for prophets and apostles to lead and guide us on the earth today. This really is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He loves us so much that he was willing to take all of our sins and mistakes upon him self and to suffer in our behalf. I am so grateful for his Atonement that really enables me to continue forward each and everyday. It really is from the Atonement that I receive the strength to do everything everyday.  I have started to learn so much more about it and really can't even grasp a small portion of it.  The Atonement is real and it is for all of us.  No matter how many mistakes we make and how many times we fall if we will but look to him and seek his help, his arm is stretched out to us always ready to pick us up.  I love this Gospel.  I love my Savior and Redeemer.  This really is the way to peace and happiness and healing!  Never forget to turn to the Savior and "close your umbrellas" and let the blessing just pour out upon you because they really are there. 
Conference tradition cinnamon rolls

I love you all so much!  Thank you for all of the love and support! :) 

Sister Knapp

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