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Basically, you put batteries into the flash, put it into the flash mount on the top of the camera, turn everything on, select a flash mode, and start shooting. The flash comes with a detailed manual describing its operation. There is a section in the camera manual describing the various flash modes. The SB-700 is fully compatible with the Nikon iCLS system, which includes the D3100.
Since you asked a general question, I can only give you a general answer. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask them.
The D40x works as SLRs have worked for half a century. You have to compose the picture through the viewfinder. The LCD screen is for menus, settings, and reviewing pictures after they've been taken. The LiveView capability allowing you to compose on the screen is a relatively new development, which Nikon introduced into their cameras with the D3 and D300, introduced years after the D40x.
Sorry if that wasn't the answer you wanted to see, but that's the way the D40x works.
I was loaned a DX40 just yesterday. I didn't get the Tech. manual, but did get a quickstart guide. I hope this will help, have you adjusted your diopter located on the viewfinder? If you have, then I haven't got a clue.