Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Kala Seikkailu (Fish Adventure)

This week was another awesome week! Probably the biggest blessing for me has been feeling the spirit so strongly in our lessons. It is such a comfort to know that the Holy Ghost will take the message to our investigator's hearts and we are not required to be perfect teachers or missionaries. Also, Sisar Hales and I talked a lot this week about how grateful we are for this opportunity to share our testimonies so many times a day. It is such a privilege to truthfully declare what you know to be true and feel the spirit testify through you. Man it feels so great. 
So some fun random thoughts from this week include: I met two former Olympic runners in one day (one an investigator, and another a foreigner we were talking to on a bus). We take very long bus and train rides to head north to Mikkeli every week for District Meeting and they are absolutely gorgeous! It is so cool to see true Finland country side. One awesome members brought us a ton of fresh fish that he caught himself that morning. Sisar Hales and I had never dealt with fish like that before, but I was not about to that this awesome opportunity slide so I mustered up all I could remember from our trip to Alaska and did my best. Surprisingly it actually turned out pretty well! What a fun mission memory that one will be haha :) It snowed more! Yay!
Although we won't be able to celebrate Thanksgiving in the normal way, I'm grateful for this week to remember the importance of living with a heart full of gratitude. I feel very blessed to be a missionary in these last days. I'm so grateful for the power of the Book of Mormon, Holy Ghost, and prayer combined to solidify our faith and understanding. I'm grateful to have a loving Heavenly Father and to be placed in such a loving, supportive, and faithful family. I love you all and hope you have a good week.
-Sisar Clark
p.s. someone enjoy a piece of one of Mom's pie for me this week! (I will definitely be missing those!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Se saattoi lunta!! (It snowed!!!)

Hei! This week will be one of those mission highlight weeks that you just remember forever. It was incredible! So many blessings! First off, my new companion Sisar Hales is heaven sent. She is a "pro" at pretty much all missionary work and I've already learned so much from her. She is cheerful, so fun to contact and teach with, has a great drive for obedience, and just is great. I'm pumped to work with her. Lappeenranta is a dream area. Wow, the branch is just stuffed full of incredible strong and loving members. (so much to tell you and not enough time or words for it all ha....more awesome details will come in following weeks). We live right next to (and run along in the mornings) the largest lake in Finland, Lake Saimaa, and our area goes all the way to the Russian border....so I might try and learn a few Russian words too. It finally snowed!! and it was glorious!! Definitely lifted our spirits. It has been been cloudy every single day for the past week and a half (so cloudy that even in the 5 hours that the sun is up you still could not even point to where the sun it) and it usually is completely dark by around 3:30 or 4. (definitely can be a little mentally overwhelming...mutta älä huoli kaikki on parhain pain (but don't worry all is well)).And there was one day where we had a solid hour where we could see tiny bits of blue through the clouds!! That was SO exciting haha...cameras were out and everything.
The work this week was pretty miraculous as well. We found two! families that are investigating now from tracting and we gave out more Book of Mormons than I could even imagine could be done in a week. It was a pretty exciting week for Sisar Hales and I :) I'm feeling so incredibly blessed right now and very grateful for warm coats, leggings, and gloves. I love you all and I am very grateful for your wonderful emails and prayers. Good luck this week!
-Sisar Clark
pics: - our first snow!
- spots of blue sky!!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Minä menen Lappeenrantaan! (I'm going to Lappeenranta!)

Change calls: I'm going to Lappeenranta to be with Sisar Hales! Lappeenranta is on the east of Finland, right next to the Russian border (I'll wave to Tommy while I'm over there ha). It is a little more north than Kerava, so hopefully a little more chance of snow! Lappeenranta has its own branch (not ward). It has been pretty rough to say bye to ward members and investigators here in Kerava (especially on Sunday), but I'm excited to meet those in Lappeenranta too. One thing I'm super excited about is that it is the only other place like Kerava where sisters serve in a ward/branch all by themselves. I'm selfish and have absolutely loved having the whole ward to ourselves :) this week has been a great opportunity for me to look back on the past four months here in Kerava and see where I have grown (and where I still need to grow). It was a big blessing and really fun to realize how much I can understand and speak the language (especially understanding talks and lessons in church). But I've heard that the language is a little different in Lappeenranta so I'm sure all that understanding will take another big hit pretty soon haha.
This week was really nice because I was reminded of how my goal isn't to become a "perfect missionary", but to become the missionary the Heavenly Father wants me to become. Focusing on following the spirit rather than perfection has brought the spirit so much more. I'm so grateful for Heavenly Father's personal plan for each one of us. He truly has helped me this past week specifically with contacting. I felt like my ability to ask questions, extend commitments, and understand the language improved a lot.  I saw the Lord's hand in the work when a teenage boy shared his testimony of Christ and what it means to receive an answer through the Holy Ghost after reading Moroni 10:3-5 with him. I've never seen a teenage boy respond so maturally and sincerely to sister missionaries talking to people on the street. We have an appointment to teach him later this week (sadly I will not be here then...but I'm excited for him!)
I was reading in Ether during personaly study and was very impressed with the Jaredites' faith as they prepared and then immediately got in the boats (or immediately put themselves in the Lord's hands). In Ether 6:4 it says "and it came to pass that when they had done all these things they got aboard of their vessels or barges, and set forth into the sea, commending themselves unto the Lord their God." I hope to implement their example in my work.
Thank you for your prayers and support these past six months. I am so blessed. Have a good week!
-Sisar Clark

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Mahtava vähemmän aktiivinen jäsen (The wonderful less-active member)

This week was wonderful and I feel like there have been so many things I've wanted to tell you all, and they may all come out at once. So warning this could be a little scrambled, but hopefully worth it.
First off wow, that was so fun to see so many emails from all my siblings this week! Thank you! Change calls are this week: I don't want to leave Kerava. From everything I've heard about other areas, Kerava is definitely the best for so many reasons. I feel so blessed to have started out here. But katsotaan (we'll see). I know that whatever happens will be from Heavenly Father and will be the best for me so I'm excited to find out what that is. I loved seeing all your fun halloween costumes! You all looked great! (even scary Rob and Kari!) :) Halloween isn't really a thing here in Finland, but All-saints day is=candles all over cemetaries. Sadly, we didn't get the opportunity to see this, except for a small priests grave that is near our home. But, they do that for Christmas and their Independance day (Dec. 6th) as well and everyone says it is one of the most gorgeous things ever so I look forward to seeing it.
So this week was full of last minute cancelled appointments and finding many locked doors while trying to contact formers, but all is well! The biggest blessing for me this week was this wonderful less active woman that was recently found. She moved around and somehow her records got lost, but she was found and now she comes to church ready to learn, participates in all the lessons, asks us to come and teach her from the beginning because she wants to know everything, studys the scriptures and the lesson manuals for the following weeks lessons, prays, and works diligently to do what is right! She is on the older side, but has energy and motivation to do hard things. She is such a fun and impressive example to me! This week the weather suddenly warmed up a ton (especially today), but it has been getting a lot darker. It is usually completely dark before we go in for dinner (5 pm) and will only keep getting darker earlier from this point on. Everyone seems a little down because rumor has it that it isn't supposed to snow until January. We are praying for snow too! The temple was wonderful and such a great refuel. Ah I love this gospel, I love and am so grateful for our family. I'm so grateful for Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father's plan for us. I hope you all have a nice week! I love you and am praying for you! Keep working hard, I know things are stressful at home, but I know that we are Clarks and we can do hard things. :)
-Sisar Clark