Monday, August 31, 2015

Minä jään Keravalla! (I'm staying in Kerava!)

Hey everyone :) Hope your week has gone well. Probably has been pretty busy lately, now is when school is starting up and everything again right? Good luck everyone! Also, Happy Birthday Chase!! I know you have been working your tail off recently so hopefully you get to fully enjoy a nice adventure filled, but mentally relaxing day.
So we got change calls this week! Sisar Herrmann is going to Turku and I'm staying in Kerava :) Sisar Bruce is going to come finish and training. I've loved working with Sisar Herrmann and will miss her, but I also look forward to learning new things from Sisar Bruce. Also, wow I'm so grateful I get to stay in Kerava. Seeing Sisar Herrmann tell everyone good bye has made me so grateful I don't have to leave yet. The ward and people here and so wonderful, words just don't explain. 
We had splits this week with the Sister Training Leaders and what an adventure that was. My companion ended up getting super sick that day (actually it was a huge blessing to have it happen on splits day though) so I ended up having to take the reins on all our lessons and everything. It doesn't sounds like that big of a deal, but I was shaking in my shoes pretty much all day. I felt pretty inadequate Finnish wise, navigation wise, and just in general. But, it felt so great by the end of the day to look back and think "Wow, I did it! With Heavenly Father's help, I did it!" Of course everything was so far from perfect, and I'm sure the Sister Training Leaders were thinking it was a disaster of a day haha, but I was feeling pretty blessed and grateful by the end of the day, it was a big success for me. 

Two big blessings from this week:
1) The power of the Book of Mormon is incredible. One investigators that hadn't progressed very much recently read the book of mormon. We called her everyday and every time she suddenly just lights up and tells us all the things she learned from reading that day and how much the spirit helped her feel better the rest of the day. We are very excited for her.

2) We walked into church on Sunday to find two "self referrals" (or people that have never meet the missionaries, but just came on their own) seating in the back waiting for sacrament meeting to start. They said they had read about the church online and just wanted to come visit! :0 wahhh!! We gave them a Book of Mormon etc. they said they wanted to go home and think about it some more before they started meeting with the missionaries, but they said they had a really good and pleasant experience and will probably come back next week. They were both so sweet and sincere. That has probably been my favorite part of my mission so far; seeing people with such sincere, humble desire to learn and find the truth.

One unique thing to Finland is the word "jaksaa". First off, you must know that Fins are very truthful, and it's not rude or anything, they just say it how it is. So, jaksaa pretty much means to feel like or to have the energy to do something. For example, if you are at a dinner appointment and they ask if you want more food you can simply say "en jaksaa" (I don't feel like it) and it is completely polite. haha sometimes I just chuckle a little in my mind still when I say it. But it also is totally acceptable to call in to work for a sick day or tell someone you don't want to come to church that week (as a missionary you hear this one a lot ha) and use the excuse that you just don't jaksaa to come. Oh the wonderful things of Finland ha :)
I hope all is well at home, I love you all!

-Sisar Clark
1- a classic Finland sky....I'm always in awe!
2- Mustikka Piiraka (Finnish version of blueberry pie.....Fins do it way is the best thing on this planet....especially when certain ward members make it for you......definitely my favorite Finnish food yet)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pikku hilja (a step at a time)

Hei everyone! I hope that your week went well :) Mine definitely did. Although many of our teaching appointments that we were very excited about fell through, we were able to get in contact with a lot of promising potentials from the past few weeks instead!  So one potential I talked about previously in my emails gave us her number and address, but the number didn't work, and her apartment building is locked most times during the day. We were so sad, because she has such a sweet spirit and we thought we may not be able to get in contact with her again. But, never fear! Miracles happen. On one of our random stop bys to see if anyone is near by to let us in (she lives on the way to many other people we visit, so we just randomly try once in a while), we got in!! and she was home!! We figured out what was wrong with the number and will most likely be meeting with her this weekend :)
This week gave me more hope language wise. I was able to see baby step improvements with the language (hence pikku hilja...which might be spelled wrong ...sorry ha) that I normally can't see. Sometimes I feel as though I can understand pretty much all of what people say, and then there are the random conversations where I come out not having a clue ha. Always an adventure, but Finnish is a great language. I love studying and using it. I hope to keep finding ways to improve faster, because I could always use that.
So one funny thing about Finland: everyone is super patient with their dogs. When they go for walks they just let the dog take the lead, sniff anything/everything, take its time. And its not just some people...everyone does this. Finland is just such a calm peaceful place. It's not like the "Hawaii chill" but it just has a pleasant, focused, steady feel. It is starting to get darker earlier and sometimes it is still dark when we get up in the morning. Kind of weird.
I was offered drugs for the first time this week. haha that was a funny one. Good news is a even if I didn't fully understand everything he was offering (because those just aren't really the first words in my word book to learn), I understood enough to know what the correct answer was. (dodged that awkward situation..phew ha)
This week in personal study, I was reading in Alma 26:22. I love how is says "prayeth continually with out ceasing" because many times we hear of all these wonderful and exciting missionary experiences, but not much is said about the fervent and earnest prayers behind them. I have been pondering a lot about the importance and power that prayer has. If you have any insights I'd love to hear them :) And of course I am praying for all of you, and although you don't write much, mom does so don't worry I still have some idea of whats going on. I know that everything isn't perfect, so I hope you know that I am praying for you. I love you all, and I'm so grateful for our family. What a blessing it is! Thank you for your examples!
- Sisar Clark
ps our pday is most likely on Monday next week due to transfers so write early if you want to write :)
pic= this sign says "Jesus will come! Are you ready?"....we thought it was pretty great

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

"Nyt on vaimo" (Now, I have a wife)

Hey everyone :) This week I had the wonderful blessing of going to Interim. It is pretty much like a three day long general conference sessions with the Mission President for all the trainees and trainers. It was wonderful and spirit filled. I learned SO much :). I'm excited to go out and work to apply what I learned. There were many funny stories shared and great memories relived as all these sister missionaries got back together haha. One sister told the funny story of a man they were teaching that would continually talk about trying to find a wife. They ended up dropping him as an investigator or something, but ran into him a few weeks later. The first thing he said to them was "Nyt on vaimo"....(I pretty sure the story is a lot funnier when she tells it) but for some reason the phrase stuck and now we all just keep having the phrase stuck in our head. ha But on the bright side, I definitely know the word for wife now. 

As fun as it was to see old MTC friends, eat incredible mission home food, and learn so much about missionary work, the best part of Interim was going to the temple! Wow, such a strong spirit there. There is nothing like the spirit of the temple. The work was successful this week too! We recently received a lot of new investigators and are looking forward to helping them progress to baptism. (the more I write the more I realize this probably sounds just like any other missionary's email home ha...sorry everyone..)  I saw the Lord's hand in the work this week when we went to deliver a BOM to a wonderful (not she needed a different language...that's why we were "delivering" it to her) young mother. First, her door was locked, but a cute little girl walking her dogs came around the corner and let us in. Then, she wasn't home, but we ran into her on the way down the stairs! She was very sweet and we are going to meet with her this week. Wow, I was very grateful for the Lord's help with that. Sisar Herrmann and I both were talking about how we can see the light of Christ in her and are excited to meet with her more. :) 

One thing I learned a lot from this week was Nephi's example. He had the spirit with him for his whole journey back to Jerusalem to get the plates, but that doesn't mean the spirit was whispering in his ear every two second of what to do and where to go. The first time it talks about the spirit specifically telling him what to do is when he kills Laban. Just because we don't her the Holy Ghost telling us every two seconds where to go doesn't mean we don't have the spirit. We must do our best and act in faith, then if we are in trouble or in need of extra guidance the Holy Ghost can warn, guide, protect, and help us. I was really grateful for this example! I hope all is going well at home :) Thank you for your prayers!

-Sisar Clark

Monday, August 10, 2015

Tämä vikko on ollut hulu! (This week has been crazy!)

Hey everyone :) I loved getting pictures from the party this week! Wow how all the nephews and nieces have grown!! It's incredible! So fun to see and hear about all the fun adventures! And Callie! Happy Birthday!!!! I love you all so much :)
Don't have tons of time to write, but wanted to just share a smidgit (spelling? sorry) of the blessings from this week. It was mass chaos early in the week...way too many things to even list...but needless to say, I was pretty stressed and a little overwhelmed. But in these crazy moments we saw more blessings than ever before. Here are a few:
- I had the opportunity to give a 9-10 minute talk in sacrament meeting this week. I was very stressed about it because....well Finnish...and felt very nervous up until the meeting started. But I said a prayer to be calm and was amazed the peace I felt all throughout the sacrament and when giving my talk. It was a simple, but powerful example to me of my Heavenly Father's love and care for me specifically.
- We had an investigator in sacrament meeting to hear my talk!...and he was very very kind after and seemed to really like it! ....and our incredible ward members just swooped right in and were so helpful with fellowshipping him and sitting next to him classes! and just Chruch in general was very uplifting, spirit filled, and a peaceful place after such a crazy week. (Could anyone ask for a better Sunday?)
- One morning I randomly woke up with a thought "Call ____(so and so)"....I didn't even remember who that was....but I asked my comp and she said he was a potential we had tried to contact a few times right when I got here, but never got in contact. I told her we should try again....he answered!!...he wanted to meet...he set up a time....we meet with him tonight! Very excited! I know that was not just a coincidence.
- (probably my favorite blessings this week...but hard to choose) We met with a couple this week from "spirit directed tracting" that could not be more prepared to hear this message and had the first lesson with them last night. Literally, Sisar Herrmann and I walked out of that lesson was pure amazement. It was incredible to hear all the ways the Lord has blessed their lives and prepared them. Wow! I know this couple will be a special part of my mission. The spirit was so strong! Oh ya and one of them doesn't speak Finnish, so we teach in English....that helps me be able to express my self a little more. (all this followed by the beautiful sky to see on the bike ride home....picture attached :))
- I have seen the Lord helping me having the confidence to speak up so much more this week. And because of it, I think my language has improved as well. But the secret is not focusing on the language....and just focusing on testifying and pushing myself that way. Atleast that is the secret for me right now ha. It is incredible how much more you can speak up and put yourself out there when you remember how special everyone is to our Heavenly Father and that this is his work; focusing on the people rather than your own weaknesses.
That is about all the time I have this week, but thank you for your support and prayers. They are definitely being answered. I love you all :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Enkelet (Angels)

Hey everyone! Hope all is going well! Happy Birthday Dad!! I hope you have a great relaxing day. This week has been another great week. During companion study this week, Sisar Herrmann and I were studying in Preach My Gospel about working with ward members. We realized that this Sunday (meaning two days ago) was fast Sunday, and really felt like we should involve our ward by asking them to fast for a specific family member, friend, or acquaintance that they could share the gospel with or invite to church etc. We working crazy hard to try and visit or at least contact all the members and everyone was very supportive and excited to participate. We have already seen some blessings from this and look forward to seeing more. Our ward is so support and great here in Kerava. Another exciting thing in the work is we met an ihan suomelinen (totally finnish...aka very very soft spoken, etc.) young adult women while street contacting. She gave us her address and we went and gave her a BOM and set up an appointment for tonight. After just talking for five minutes on her doorstep, Sisar Herrmann and I both just turned to each other were amazed with how strongly we felt the spirit...just right there on her door step. I'm very excited to meet with her tonight. We also have an investigator praying about a baptismal date right now which is very exciting. She has grown so much and gets so excited when we teach her. It has been really special to see how she lights up with the spirit.
Funny things from this week. A reoccurring topic that seems to follow when I introduce myself is Fin's connecting my name with Superman...Clark Kent. Ha that is always a fun one to hear. Dad we found the olympic runner statue (see picture) while contacting. It is right next to the train station and near the city center :).
So to explain the subject line, this week three different investigators/less active members told us of different experiences they have had with angels. It was really interesting to ponder about the angels that are all around us here. It really made me think of Alma 13:24 and how Heavenly Father truly has and is preparing people for us. What a blessing. I also found comfort in studying about Alma boldly testifying in Alma 9:7, but yet in the people still don't accept him. It was good to be reminded that boldly testifying doesn't always mean people accepting. But it does mean you are being an obedient and faithful missionary, so I'm working on that.
Anyways, I love you all and hope you are having a great time hanging out all together this week. Send me fun pictures! Oh last minute thought, next week my p-day is on monday for a special meeting, so if you want me to get your emails make sure you send them before monday morning. Love you!
-Sisar Clark