Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Taika Lähistö (the magic neighborhood)

Oh boy! I hope your weeks have been as exhilarating as mine have been. It sounds like Savy is going to be walking any day! How exciting! I love hearing about everyone and Katie!! CONGRATS!! You finished school!! WOO HOO go for a long awesome celebratory run for me! I love hearing about how every one is doing. Thanks for the updates :) Before I begin, just know that I have had some difficult times and everything isn't just a skip in the park. There were definitely some trying times this week, but there is so much good stuff to say that there is no reason to even talk about those things at all. Just know that I'm not trying to hide weaknesses or the difficultly of a mission. 

Now on to the wonderful blessings and miracles this week.  We somehow keep running into all of our former and current investigators everywhere. Trust me, Kerava is not too small for this to be just a coincidence. Heavenly Father has definitely led us into many people's path. Yesterday we went tracting in what Sisar Herrmann and I now call the taika lähistö (magic neighborhood). We prayed before for guidance and felt good about this area, so the next day we went. It had the biggest and nicest houses we have seen in Finland (I know its only my second week...but trust me they were huge ha), which is actually very intimidating and usually means a lot of people that don't have huge open hearts towards other ways of life, but we felt like we needed to continue anyways. We met a lady outside moving a big pile of rocks and asked if we could help. She didn't let us help (like all finnish people...they never accept help...just such sweet indepent people), but we asked if we could come and teach her family and she happily said yes! She gave us the day they would return from their vacation and gave us a big smile. Wow! So cool! That never happens! (I'll keep you updated on that). Then like four houses later we had a fifteen to twenty minute conversation about Jesus Christ with this woman whose husband is very against religion. She just sat there and talked to us, and cried at times; it seemed as though she hasn't had anybody to express her testimony, beliefs, and love with for a very long time. We gave her a book of mormon and invited her to read and pray about it and she seemed very excited....and needless to say we were very excited as well. (again...keep you updated on that). We continually see the truth of the statement that you never know who your next investigator will be unfold in front of our faces. Just so many miraculous contacts throughout the week. Even though all of our investigators canceled appointments and didn't respond to calls or texts this week, we were just in awe of all sincerely searching people we met. Also, our ward is incredible. I never dreamed of eating so much at members homes (and they have all been really great cooks double blessing!) One day it was raining like crazy! (random rain storms everywhere...never leaving without my umbrella ever again) We crossed paths with this lady with suitcases walked about a mile and a half from the bus stop to a big school where all these gymnasts are staying the night (ya kind of weird, but not enough time to explain more) so we walked with her and held our umbrella over her head and just let her talk and vent. She had a lot of really hard stuff going on in her life right now. But we ended up giving her a book of mormon and I just felt so grateful for the rain that day. I was grateful for the opportunity to truly help someone and feel Heavenly Father's love for her. 

I have felt to grateful for Heavenly Father's help in helping me feel much more comfortable with my surroundings, the language, and the people. Even though I don't understand everything, I'm slowly able to say more and more and go out of my comfort zone more and more. I studied a lot this week about charity and was very grateful for the insight I found. I read that charity is the bond of perfectness and peace. What a comfort this was to find. I am striving to have this true love expressed in a peaceful and happy way to these people. Even though I pretty awkward with everything still, I can see heavenly help with this. Also, I have definitely felt blessed when I just opened my mouth. I usually say something weird or wrong, but I feel and see growth each time. I see people understanding when I simply (very simply) testify and it is exhilarating.

Some funny quirks about Finland I noticed: American baseball teams are like a big thing over here. I'm pretty sure its just like a brand thing and they don't actually watch it, but hey it is really fun to see new york yankee hats everywhere ha. The clouds are gorgeous here. They move a lot faster and just seem so much closer to you. (more to come...sorry don't have tons of time)

One fun p-day adventure we had today was strawberry picking! It was a blast! Some wonderful members took us and we had such a joyful time. In Finland, you can go pick strawberries and eat as many as you want for free. So cool.

One funny language mess up this week was at a members home when they asked about my family. I was trying to say I am the youngest (olen nuorin) but I accidentally said I am the humblest (olen nöyrin) ....pronunciation is important...haha ya we got some laughs from that one.

Anyways, I'm very very happy and grateful. Thank you for your love and support. I pray for you all every night and am so grateful for your prayers. They do not go unanswered. Sorry don't have to much time to write everything, but know that I love you!

- Sisar Clark

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