Monday, November 21, 2016

Hän jopa halasi hänta :) (He even hugged her!)

The rain came back to Finland this week and melted the snow, it is 14:00 right now and pretty dark already, it is fairly warm....just for a little update
This blessed powerful week included some of these highlights:
- The Elder's had a baptism for their investigator (this adorable older Finnish mummo). She specifically asked for the "nice sisters that always say hi to her at church" (eli us)  to come :) She is definitely one of my favorite finns. Although on the older side of life, she has such a willing and ready heart. She follows the spirits promptings with such courage. 
- Our finnish young man investigator (one of those that was found and you look back and realize how much the spirit led you to find him) came to the Elder's baptismal service. He liked it a lot, and he even gave the this sweet mummo a hug! It was ADORABLE! Then he came to church and our other recent convert was a perfect friend. Oh, it was so great. The members were so helpful with giving rides.
- Change calls: Sisar Jones is going to holding up the fort here in Tampere (her mtc companion is coming to be a stl with her...they are going to do some great work together) and Sisar DuPaix is headed to Turku another tripe!! Wow she is such solid missionary.
- Our other investigator came to church as well!
- saying good bye to those members on Sunday....uh so hard. They are all SO sweet. And saying bye to especially my recent converts here as been really rough. One told me that I was a "super missionary" and that just about made my whole mission. 
- When I was in Lahti with Sisar Thayne for exchanges we met a man that lives in Tampere and we set a baptismal date with him this week! That was exciting!
- Wow we had a ton of fun this week with a lot of first lessons. I love teaching the restoration!

So....the time has come. Mission time goes faster than anything. Approaching this thanksgiving, I am filled with gratitude for the past year and a half. I am grateful for the testimony I have of our Heavenly Father. I know that he has a plan for us. On my mission I have learned much more of the importance of obedience and humility. I have gained a better understanding of faith and how to go forward courageously. I have experienced the power of fasting. Fasting brings necessary understanding and blessings. I am so grateful for the leadership experiences I have had to learn from. Through these I have recognized at a greater level Christ's perfect example of leadership. I know that Jesus Christ is the good paimen (shephard). This is his work and I am honored that I could have (and will continue to) take part in it. I am filled with gratitude for the divine help and guidance in learning Finnish. Similar to the waters of Mormon, I have come to the knowledge of my Redeemer in Finland and how beautiful it is to my eyes. (Alma 18:30) I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Jesus Christ's church restored upon the earth. And what exciting knowledge that is! Thank you to you all for your support and your examples. I look forward to seeing you.
-Sisar Clark

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

aika rientää (time flies)

Hei! sorry writing this week will be short, we are helping a sister who is really sick etc. so shortly a few thoughts from this great and crazy week--
- a few exchanges with other sisters: we found a really cool potential investigator that actually lives in our area but we met him in Lahti. He almost died three different times and has strong faith in God. He is excited to meet with us this week.
- zone training meeting: so much help from above! Somehow everything just works out.
- weather: cold, snowy, and dark---eli wonderful! :) well at least the cold and snowy is wonderful
- visit to valkeakoski (farther out area to visit members): met with some really cool less active members and felt the spirit strongly. We are excited to see what follows with that. We shared we one of them Alma 36:17-20. Remembering Christ brings power. It brings joy and peace. I'm so grateful for that. I know that Jesus Christ lives. 
I love you and hope you have a great week!
-Sisar Clark

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Mahtavat Jäsenet (the Wonderful Members)

Hello Family :) Wow what a wonderful (and busy) week it has been. I don't even know what all to write about...So here are a few thoughts:
- We found a new investigator this week through our recent convert. This recent convert just blew us all out of the water during the lesson as we powerful taught the restoration and shared his testimony. It was especially fun because I was one of the main missionaries that taught him. 
- At church the members are always SO sweet. Two sweet women in our ward brought us food this week. One member came up and gave me a big hug and just kept whispering I love you in my ear. It is indescribable the true joy and love that comes from the members. 
- On exchanges we saw miracles in finding new investigators and potentials. The excitement and energy in our apartment that night was incredible. I love missionary work!
- Although there are difficulties and at times feeling of discouragement when progression can't be seen, I know that everything will work out just as it needs to. I know that Heavenly Father is watching closely and has his hand in many things around me. I know that true and lasting joy come through following the Spirit and from diligent work. I'm so grateful for the abundant work to be done.

I love you and hope you have a great week!
-Sisar Clark

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sisar Watsonin ruoka :) (Sister Watson's food)

Hey Family :) It seems like there have been a couple hard weeks right in a row here. With Uncle Marlis and Roxy I'm sure there is a melancholy atmosphere at home. I'm grateful for the gospel that even through sadder times in our life we can find stability and peace. The song "I know that my Redeemer Lives" comes to mind. What great knowledge it is! And it is offered to everyone that seeketh! This week in my studies I read about Alma's wonderful example of prayer and fulfilling his calling in Mosiah 26.It is interesting how King Mosiah didn't just solve the problem for him, but rather gave Alma the opportunity to seek and receive guidance and support from the Lord in his calling. Similar to Alma, in our difficult times we need to sincerely and wholeheartedly seek. It says that "after he had poured out his whole soul to God, the voice of the Lord came to him" saying "Blessed art thou, Alma" continued by divine guidance to answer his concern. 
This week we found a new investigator that had such a quick and solid understanding of the power of the Holy Ghost. It was really exciting to hear his connection to our message and willingness to read and pray. He is a young Finnish student. This week we also had Interim (a five day training at the mission home for all the new missionaries and their trainers). It was awesome! I just wish I had another 18 months to apply everything I learned! Another awesome part about Interim is being at the mission home and having Sisar Watson's food! Yum!! :) Also, she gave a closing prayer one night that was so powerful. It was like having a mother pray for you. The spirit was strong. I'm so grateful for President and Sister Watson. I'm grateful for the time I have and for Finland. It even snowed twice for just a tiny bit this week(none of it stuck, but it snowed!!). I love you and hope things are going well. Have a nice week!
-Sisar Clark
pic- Sisar DuPaix's first lippupäivä (flag day)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Haravan masterit (Masters of the rake)

Hey Family :) Thank you all for your emails and letters! What a wonderful blessing you are. There was a large amount of time spent this week traveling for "sister training leader duties" but also a lot of member work. One of my favorite parts of this week was helping two families rake leaves in their yard. Not only did we get to take in Finland's fall beauty, but we got to enjoy the joyful sounds of Finnish children and improve our raking skills.
Right now we have an investigator that is a member referral. We met her through an english hour that we held. She is a single mom and has great faith in the Jesus Christ. She wants her children to learn about it as well, so we are definitely looking forward to that. 
I have read Luke 77:12-15 many times in correlation with a study of charity, but reading it this time I recognized another aspect of the story. It says, "behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her." I may be wrong in this, but I wondered when it says much people of the city was with her it probably didn't mean that she was front and center with everyone surrounding and focused on her. Instead, I pictured her very possibly blending into the crowd that came to see Christ.There could have been many more with their sick and afflicted. He had to have an eye of discernment to recognize her. Without that she couldn't have been easily over-looked. Like Christ we should all have open eyes and hearts to those that need our attention.
Thank you for the Christ like love you have shown to me all the way over here in Finland. I'm so grateful for you and love you. Have a great week.
-Sisar Clark
pic- an advertisement for a delicious Finnish candy :)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Meidän valmistautumispäivänä Ouluun matka! (Our trip to Oulu on P-day!)

Hey Everyone! So sorry this email is going to stink, but it is for a super great cause. We got a surprise trip up to Oulu to be here for the zone conference. Due to us taking over the Oulu STL's they decided that we should be yep terverisin from Oulu! Love you all! I'll write more next week, but thanks for your emails :) Oh btw Laura I think you birthday is before my next p-day so Hyvää Syntymäpäivää!! I hope it is a great one. 
 In my studies recently I have continued my study on charity as a Christ-like attribute and loved in 2 Nephi 33:7 "I have charity for my people, and great faith in Christ that I shall meet many souls spotless at his judgment-seat." Even though Nephi had seen the wickedness of his people, he could see their potential and had hope and faith in them. What a better example of the love Heavenly Father has for us. 
Love you have a great week!
-Sisar Clark

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Yleiskonferenssi :) (General Conference)

Hey Family! Wasn't conference powerful and energizing? I was very grateful for the emphasis on Plan of Happiness and missionary work. It was such a good motivation for me to continue strong these last few weeks, but then also to not fear going home. I'm not actually "going home" I'm just going to be transferred. It may be a pretty foreign and intimidating new area, but I'm going to be doing the same work and striving to live according to the same true gospel of Jesus Christ. We also had a meeting for all the departing missionaries about setting goals for post mission life and how to apply what we have learned. It was a good reminder and addition to what was shared in conference. So now that we don't have to worry about that any more...
This week we found a new investigator that is very very strong in his Lutheran beliefs. I was honored to again bear pure testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon after we read in 3 Nephi 11 and John 10:14-16. The spirit was strong and again reconfirmed what I have felt many times before. I love missionary work! I also love exact obedience! We found small and simple tender mercies in our work this week as we strove and searched for every opportunity to be obedient. 
In connection to the plan of happiness focus, I was specifically touched in my personal study by the simplicity and light of 2 Nephi 10:23 "Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life." It is truly a message that should cheer up our hearts!
I hope that you also are able to feel that joy and excitement from knowing God's plan for us. I hope you have a great week. I love you!
-Sisar Clark
ps p day next week I believe will be on monday..just fyi

pics-- I got to be with SIsar Toomey for travels down to Helsinki for our meeting :) fun!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Kaste meni hyvin!

Hey Fam! This week has been pretty good. Transfer weeks are always a little crazy, but our baptism went well and the members did a great job at supporting him there. Sisar Jones and Sisar Dupaix are really great. Wow Sisar Dupaix's finnish is incredible for just coming out of the MTC. She is a really hard worker. It is actually a lot more fun than I expected to be in a tripe and the blessings are just pouring down. It is so fun! In our contacting we are able to have very substantial and influential conversations where the spirit is present. We are excited to find some new investigators this upcoming week. :) Here is a fun picture of the beautiful fall that is taking place in Tampere right now :) Love you all!
-Sisar Clark

Monday, September 19, 2016

Meitä on kolme (There are three of us)

Hey Everyone :) What a wonderful week it has been. Wow absolutely crazy week (I feel like I say this every week, sorry, it just somehow seems to get crazier each week) Zone Meeting and the youth Superi event went really well! I loving having the opportunity to learn how to prepare and lead spirit lead discussions and role-plays. I know that despite our obvious weaknesses, as we strive to prepare and seek the Lord's guidance, he will lead us by the spirit and give us the words that we need to say in all types of teaching situations. We also rejoiced as our Finnish young man made the ordinances of baptism and confirmation. In our lesson with him after he shared how he felt nervous right before his baptism thinking what if I can't fully endure to the end, what if I make a mistake. He said right after, he suddenly felt to calm and at peace about things. He said he felt free. Wow, what an honor it is to hear his powerful testimony of how the Holy Ghost has come into his life. It truly does bring peace and joy!
So this week we also got change calls for my last change in the mission and...... 
I will be staying here in Tampere (woohoo I love being in areas for six months!) Sisar Jones will be coming to be a sister training leader with me (I have never met her before, but I'm sure she is great). We also will be training a new sister. Also due to how many new missionaries are coming in, they have taken sister training leaders out of oulu, meaning we and the helsinki sister training leaders will be in charge of all the sisters in the mission (eli we get to go on exchanges with Oulu and Vaasa in addition to our zone's sisters). It will definitely be a busy 9 weeks. Pray for us!
One of our newer investigators this week came back after a very very short intro lesson saying that he after reading parts of the book of mormon now believes in God and wants to exercise faith in him. We are so excited for him! But his is actually moving to Scotland this week (what a shame)...but no doubt he will continue to exercise his faith by learning from the missionaries there. 
Last week in our mission president's email to all of us he included the words to the children's song "I hope they call me on a mission" 
 1. I hope they call me on a mission

When I have grown a foot or two.

I hope by then I will be ready

To teach and preach and work as missionaries do.

2. I hope that I can share the gospel

With those who want to know the truth.

I want to be a missionary

And serve and help the Lord while I am in my youth.

I loved this reminder. Although, it is very intimidating to think of training, being in a tripe, organizing time/exchanges etc., just all of missionary work, I know that I'm here doing the Lord's work and that he will be here with us. I'm living that dream that I sang about forever ago. What a blessing! I love you, have a great week!
-Sisar Clark

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

"vaan nostakoon Kristus sinua" (but may Christ lift thee up)

Hey Family :) This week has been a lot of preparation for what is coming this following week: help leading a zone training meeting (we are focusing on teaching the doctrine from the scriptures rather than just using the scriptures to back up what we say---also on what we learned from the mission tour when Elder Johnson and Elder Sabin came and taught us), the Finland youth Superi (we are teaching a class in this giant activity for all the youth of finland), and our baptism on friday (yay, our finnish young man investigator is getting baptized! One of my favorite things he shared with us recently is how he came to know that God is our loving Heavenly Father and the Jesus Christ is the savior of the world. He talked about how he read diligently in the New Testament and bore powerful testimony of how it felt so right and good. It was a good reminder of the scripture's power.). Also on friday we get change calls (therefore next p-day will actually be on monday just as a heads up). Things are crazy busy, but crazy good. It is wonderful to see little tender mercies such as a thought of what to share to in investigator, or a perfect scripture to base a discussion off of in a meeting. I'm so grateful the Heavenly Father helps us in fulfilling his work.
Also, just one really cool scripture that stood out to me this week was Moroni 9:25. "My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever." I think it is such a wonderful explanation of what having faith in Christ means.
Thank you for your emails and support :) I love you and hope you have a great week!
-Sisar Clark

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Nöyryyden tärkeys (The importance of humility)

Hey Family :) This week was a great one. We went on exchanges with the other Tampere sisters. Their area is just a half hour away but it feels like a completely different city. Pretty crazy. Fall is starting and I'm very excited for winter. The young finnish man that was going to be baptized last week is going to be baptized in two week now, but is progressing well. We are excited for that.
A main insight from my studies this week emphasized the importance of humility. In Moroni 7:42-43 (I think those are the verses) it mentions multiple times being "meek and of lowly heart." And also in Elder Snow's conference talk from the April 2016 conference he quotes President Kimball saying "How does one get humble? To me, one must constantly be reminded of his dependence. On whom dependent? On the Lord. How remind one's self? By real, constant, worshipful, grateful prayer." This has meant a lot to me this week. Pondering, especially as a missionary, who do I represent and who must I look to for guidance? has brought comfort and confidence in my actions. It is wonderful that strengthening in humility and in confidence (in the Lord's support) can take place at the same time. Also in Preach my Gospel it mentions the importance of gratitude in humility. One example of Christ's gratitude is his immediate acknowledgment of gratitude to Heavenly Father in his prayers after the disciples on the American continent have received the Holy Ghost.  I too have so much to be grateful for. 
Love you all, thank you for your emails and support!
-Sisar Clark
pic- the sky while running this morning

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Hey Family, this week I felt so much heavenly support. I don't really have tons have time to explain it all so this can be a week that I tell you more about when I get home....sorry. But things are going well! Our baptism was such a spiritual uplift and I'm happy! Have a great week! Love you!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Vähän aikaa Lahdessa (a little time in Lahti)

Hey Family :) How are things going? It was really cool to hear more about Chase's Kneaders opening. Good luck with that! Right across the street from our apartment is an elementary school and it has been really fun this week to hear and see kids playing out there and feel the excitement of those "first day of school"s. Hope that summer has come to a fulfilling close and that school has started well for you. That was definitely the fastest Summer of my life and certainly August has been the fastest month ever. 
This week both our baptismal dates had some switching around. One because he realized that he had a break from school and wanted to go home, but is excited for his baptism so much that he doesn't want to wait till the next saturday, but rather tuesday. The other baptismal date we had texted us saying his family was against it and he needed more time, but than later that night changed his mind and said he again wan't to learn and prepare for baptism. (that was all on the same day....quite an exciting day). We had many investigators in church which was very excited! It has been very impressive to see our investigators determination and desire to come to church. But overall it has been a good week. We were able to go on exchanges with the Lahti Sisaret and doing exciting work there :). 
Recently the question of "What does God think of war?" has come up more and more on the streets/buses, so I was studying about that a little more this week. It was interesting to ponder how even God is in a war. There was a war in heaven and we are still fighting in that war. The necessity of opposition is so important in our lives. 
Hope you have a great week. I love you!
-Sisar Clark

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Meitä on kolme

Hey Family, sorry short email this week, but with double the love! What a wonderful and stretching experience it was to train Sisar Santos :). She was a champ! So cheerful and happy no matter what. The main difficulty was the language barrier. We always did our best to speak simple Finnish but most of the time (although she would never say it) it was very clear that she didn't understand us. But by the end of the week she was catching on faster and faster. :) It was really fun to have a third companion for a week! And we saw so many miracles! We were very very busy teaching this week and trying hard to find people to talk to amidst our lessons. Although they weren't as often as we would have liked we were blown away with how many were ready and excited to learn more. One of our favorites is an Italian man we met on the bus that we will teach when he gets back from Russia in three weeks! He was SO excited about the book of mormon and kept asking questions about it the whole bus ride. Way cool young man! Also we set a new baptismal date and our other baptismal date is progressing so well! :) His understanding of faith has taken huge steps forward!
Love you and hope you have a great week!
-Sisar Clark

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

"niin, teillä Pyhän Hengen voimasta olisi runsas toivo."(- Romans 15:13)

I studied and pondered this scripture in preparation for a lesson about the Holy Ghost with our investigator that is preparing for baptism in August. I love that truly the Holy Ghost fills our life with hope and light...."abound in hope". I definitely need that hope this week and am so grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost. 
The youth in Finland have a special opportunity each summer to participate in what is called a mini mission. They get to come to a companionship of missionaries and serve for a week, just as if they were a normal missionary. This year there are 23 youth (which is an incredibly large and awesome group!) and we are a lucky companionship that gets one! And we are actually the luckiest because we are the only ones that get Sisar Santos! She is actually from Brazil and has lived in Finland for a little over a year and a half. She doesn't speak Finnish too fluently and only understands a little English, but she has enough courage and excitement for the work that language barriers won't be holding her back. But I'll be completely honest, I'm a little "deer in the headlights" about how to train in Finnish, but I'm definitely excited for this opportunity to learn how to do it. 
Also, this week has started already with so many blessings. Last week was quite rough and we were feeling frustrated that so many important lessons fell through etc. but than Sunday night miracles happened and now we barely have any time left to fit people in this week. The blessings are abundant. 
Hope things are going well! I love you!
-Sisar Clark

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Uusi Vaihto (new change)

Hey Family!! Wow it was so fun to see pictures of you all together and hear fun stories :) Hope that everyone made it home safe. Although it is hard to miss out on such a fun time with the family, I have been extremely blessed this week. We were able to set a baptismal date with our investigator that I've talked about before. He is a young finnish man. Also, my new companion is great! This is Sisar Allen's last change on her mission (and then the next change will be my last change.....what...weird....not ready yet) and we are excited to be getting three brand new sisters in our zone this change! So many new sisters! It is great! It has been so hot and humid this week (ugh...I want to -32 back) Seriously though. I think Finland has totally messed with me...I'm always wishing it was colder. 
One fun thing I haven't really talked about hardly at all, but have grown to really like during my mission is salmiakki and lakritsi. Salmiakki is very very strong flavor of lakritsi (black licorice but way better because it is Finnish) (it's actually not legal in the states). It is delicious and they have everything in a lakritsi flavor (ice cream--- probably the best one, potatoe chips, yoghurt--my least favorite, but not disgusting). 
This week during my studies I was really impressed with Jesus Christ's obedience. While reading in 3 Nephi I noticed many times (almost always) Christ prefaces his actions and words stating what Heavenly Father had and hadn't commanded him to do. It is so clear and simple. That is something I'm trying to check myself on always. How can I be more obedient? (trust me there is always an answer... and quite often it is difficult...but brings so many blessings)
I love you and hope you have a great week!
-Sisar Clark

Sunday, July 24, 2016

emme pysty syödä mitään muuta (we are not able to eat anything else)

Hey everyone :) this week we had the wonderful opportunity of celebrating Juhannus. The Finns celebrate the longest day of the year by heading out to their mökki (cabin on the lake), swimming in the lake, saunaing, eating lots of food, and then saunaing more. (don't ask me why they like to sauna in the middle of the summer, I don't get it either haha) Due to this street contacting was quite dry this weekend, but nonetheless many blessings seen and lots of missionary work done! 

I guess in the spirit of Juhannus, we also had so much food given to us. Wow! We had surprise dinner appointments from investigators and members we were doing service for and lots of people giving us food to take home. (I'm so so grateful we don't have dinner appointments that often here in Finland haha holy full!) Sisar Harris and I had some good laughs and ended that day saying we literally can not eat anything else. 

We are very excited for our investigator (older Finnish woman) that is preparing to be baptized on the 9th! Wow she is so excited and has helped me realize how blessed we are in this church and how many of us don't even realize how unique and special it is. She comes to sunday school and relief society having read and prepared before hand for the chapters discussed. She many times in our lessons weeps as she tells of the peace and love she feels in church. 

One struggle of this week (and the coming summer) is finding members to come on lesson. My plea on behalf of the missionaries in your area....offer to go on lessons especially in the summer!

This week I was studying a lot about what the process of revelation is. I specifically studied from Nephi's example in 1 Nephi 4. It was very interesting to see that 1) the spirit didn't just talk to him once, but rather it says multiple times that the spirit "said unto me again"2) once he heard the voice of the spirit (or felt the promptings of the spirit) he reflected back on what he had been taught earlier and what he knew to be true from his past experiences. All of our life experiences build upon each other and are important parts of receiving and following revelation from the spirit. And after reflecting on these things we can like Nephi obey and go forth with action and confidence.

Thank you for your support, letters, emails, and prayers :) I love you and miss you! Have a great summer week!

-Sisar Clark

pic- it rained buckets yesterday (everything=soaked) yay for street contacting in the rain! 
-lotus root of the many many foods we ate (and definitely most unique). It tastes really good!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Hyvänen aika! (Good heavens! or Oh my goodness!)

Wow what a week it has been. We got change calls this week and I'm staying in Tampere (no big surprise) and Sisar Allen is coming to be my companion! I got to meet her when we were in the East together and I'm very excited to have such a kind and hard working missionary. One of my favorite moments of this week was bearing testimony to one of our investigators at the end of our lesson. This investigator is so great. He has a lot of sincere concerns and questions that we are helping him get answers to from the spirit, but he has a solid testimony of church, scripture reading, and prayer. We had a rougher lesson in which he expressed that his desire to be baptized wasn't as strong anymore due to confusion and concerns. Our member was talking quite a lot, the focus wasn't any longer on Christ, and we were struggling to help him feel the spirit as we discussed. But at the end I was able to share my testimony more boldly than I have felt before on my mission. I was so grateful that although my words were not grand, new, enlightening thoughts and phrases, the spirit was there. Obviously we are not perfect missionaries, and I'm continually reminded of how much I need that spirit. I'm full of gratitude that Heavenly Father will help us bring the spirit into those difficult times despite our weaknesses. I hope of course that our investigator was able to feel the spirit at the end of that lesson, but if anything came out that experience my testimony was strengthened when I could feel the spirit testifying through me. 
But I hope you have a great week all together :) I'm excited to hear how the baptisms go there at home! Take lots of pictures! I love you.
-Sisar Clark

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Laske siunauksiasi (count your blessings)

Terve, Mitä teille kuuluu?
This week was pretty interesting. Most of the week investigators were falling off the face of the planet right and left. It was pretty rough to see that, especially with investigators that had been doing so well just last week. But in the moment of feeling sad that no one made it to church this week, the words of our recent convert of 2 months brought me back on track. He gave the best and most powerful new member talk in sacrament meeting, in which he shared a solid testimony of God and Jesus Christ. He said "Now I understand that I have no reason to be sad." He then continued to share about the many blessings he has received from learning about the gospel. I realized that Wow I too have been so blessed! As I thought more blessings just started flooding my mind: That was the first sunday our whole change that we didn't have someone in church. I was able to partake of the sacrament and feel my savior's love. I can pray.....(the list continues...for a long time). 
And to add to the blessings the end of our week came back strong when we were able to find a new investigator that we are very excited about and have some very solid potentials. 
The scripture I have been pondering most recently has been D&C 50:21-22. It has reminded me how important it is to not only teach in a way that our investigators can understand, but also understand our investigators as well. We we both understand, then are we both edified and we can rejoice. Pretty cool. Welll, thank you for your wonderful examples of pressing forward diligently and faithfully. I hope you have a good week. I love you!
-Sisar Clark 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hyvää Itsenäisyyttä Päivää Amerikalle! (Happy Independance Day America!)

Hey Fam :) This week has been pretty interesting (but of course good...always good). Sadly, our investigator that was progressing towards baptism relapsed and has been dishonest about her drinking :( that was pretty sad to see, mutta kaikki on parhain päin (but all is well). I'm so grateful that we can teach of the Savior's atonement. It is infinite and we can continually repent.
On a brighter note, we have a finnish young man that we are teaching that is so awesome! He is a member referral and decided to take the lessons because he said he saw something in this members family and he wanted it. He is coming to church regularly, praying, reading, and paying close attention to the Holy Ghost. He has been a big example of 2 Nephi 28:30 to me; every lesson he seems to understand more and more. He is very sincere and it has been a thrill to teach him.
We have interviews with president today so we don't have much time to email (sorry), but I love you and hope you all had a great 4th of July! We sure did! Have a good week!
-Sisar Clark
pics-- check out the name on the door! It is "kaste" which means baptism....It is the door we have been waiting for our whole missions! This door leads to eternal life! (it is like Narnia but better)
(p.s. mom and know it looks like I chopped my hair in this pic, but I didn't don't worry. It is just a weird angle)
-- the celebratory foods of the 4th of July

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Kaksi Kasteetta (two baptisms)

Hey Everyone :) This week we had two baptisms! (I never ever thought that would happen on my cool!?!) The family of the little girl that was baptized was so fun to watch. They all were full of energy and excitement to support their sister. In sacrament meeting her mother was asked to share her testimony and in her broken Finnish (Portuguese is her native tongue) she gave one of the most powerful testimonies I've heard. So grateful for her humble example. The other baptism also went really well. He was pretty nervous right before, but after said he felt a lot of peace and happiness. I especially enjoyed thinking back when I received the gift of the Holy Ghost and the feelings I had, as I heard the confirmation blessings. It also made me miss doing baptisms for the dead at the temple a ton!

Besides that it was another week full of work! It was a week in which it was a little more difficult to see progression and improvement. Sometimes that can be hard. But I know that the comforting spirit I feel as I pray is real. It is from my Heavenly Father. By following that I know I am doing what is most important. I hope you have a great week! I love you!

-Sisar Clark

pic- Filipino food with some members :) 
- what we run alongside every morning

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Kävimme Turussa (We visited Turku :))

First off, Happy Father's Day to my wonderful Dad and to all my wonderful brothers!

Wow this week was just jam-packed with excited events:
- we got to go to Turku for exchanges and do work with Sisar Cardin and Sisar Toomey (both of them where in the MTC with me and are dear friends!) and wow the city of Turku is incredible! Running in the morning was so cool. 
- gave a talk on sunday about how repentance and the law of sacrifice fit together. Definitely had to learn a few more words for that one, but overall went alright
- had Zone Training Meeting (my first time ever leading in still so much to learn) but it was great to see all the missionaries and feel the spirit together. As a zone we are focusing a lot on getting people to church and setting baptismal dates with people that have previously said no, or weren't able to make their date. 
- On saturday we have 2 baptisms (I never thought I would ever have two baptisms on the same day! Pretty cool right!?) One is the young daughter of a less active family (9 years old so falls under our jurisdiction). It has been a privilege to teach a humble and meek child. The other is a young man that is here in Finland studying. He is very excited to make this covenant and strengthen his relationship with Christ. He has an incredible skill of remembering. He has studies a lot on his own about the doctrine and covenants and basically recited the whole introduction (with names of key people and everything) to us in our lesson. It should be a wonderful day!
This week I have been thinking a lot about what goals I want for the last few months of my mission. It has been very powerful to see the spirit of revelation come from focusing on making every prayer and every personal study sincere and with real intent. I am grateful for the joy that comes from the spirit. I hope you have been able to feel that joy as well this past week. I love you!

-Sisar Clark

pic-- Sisar Cardon and I after our lesson fell through and waiting for the bus we had the most spot on Finnish tracting contact ever (classic finnish home in the middle of gorgeous farm land....adorable mummo with curls and apron opens the door with a sweet smile...calls the grandpa over because he is the religious one that goes to prayer night every tuesday in the city...classic inactive Lutheran ...never heard of Book of Mormon before and politely listen and share sincere thoughts as we introduce the book of mormon and restoration......take book of mormon and say we can come back after summer when grandkids aren't there and they have time to read.)
- the surrounding area of that house :) Finland

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Paastoamisen voima (The power of fasting)

Another week of crazy busy work and many blessings. One great part of this week was having many of our investigators fast with us on fast sunday. This week and over my whole mission my gratitude for fasting has grown immensely. What a wonderful gift and opportunity it is to receive more understanding, peace, and miracles in our life. We are teaching a little girl right now (such a fun and different experience to teach a child!) who is preparing for baptism on the 18th. It has been an etuoikeus (privilege) to see the joy, humility, and light in her simple desire to follow Jesus Christ and be baptized. It makes me think of my two awesome nieces preparing for baptism right now too :) speaking of which----Hyvää Syntymäpäivää Katelyn!! 

We also had a really exciting first lesson with a young finnish woman that has sincere real intent and perseverance. In the beginning of the lesson as we got to know her religious background she shared with us this wonderful description of how she feels the Holy Ghost and how it has helped her in very difficult situations in her life. I love how she said it didn't solve the problem, but she knew that Heavenly Father had heard her prayer and she felt at peace. She felt enabled to do what was needed. The spirit was very strong in that lesson.  

I hope you have a great week! I love you!

-Sisar Clark

pic-- visited this super sketchy old water tower pizza restaurant today (it is kind of famous in Hervanta ) and this is the view from the top.....mmmm Suomi :) 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Syreenia kaikkialla (Lilacs everywhere)

Hey! This week all the lilac bushes bloomed and every neighborhood is filled with the lilac aroma. Mom you would love it! 

The work this week has been awesome! We set a very exciting new baptismal date with a woman that has been looking forward to this for a long time. It is pretty interesting to see how the Lord works differently in each of our lives. Sisar Harris and I love doing finding in Hervanta. It is the largest student housing center in all of Scandinavia! Wow, I have never had such fruitful street contacting and tracting. It is so fun! Also, we spent some time this week at the Mission home receiving instruction about being a better leader and how to help the work progress forward. The spirit was strong and I was really grateful for the opportunity to visit the temple as well! 

I still feel pretty new and all over the place, but it is a big blessings to have so much work to do here. It is easier to keep an eye single to the glory of God and not getting distracted by other unimportant things when you truly have no time for them. It brings a lot of peace and joy. I have also become even more grateful for the precious time of personal study in the mornings to rejuvenate and prepare for the upcoming day. I was reading in Alma 52:31("And it came to pass that before the Lamanites had retreated far they were surrounded by the Nephites, by the men of Moroni on one hand, and the men of Lehi on the other, all of whom were fresh and full of strength; but the Lamanites were wearied because of their long march") this week and it reminded me the importance of being fresh and full of strength (ready to face the challenges) everyday through personal spiritual preparation. I hope you have also seen the abundant blessings that come from studying the scriptures daily.

Have a great week! Enjoy summer :) Love you!

-Sisar Clark

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Lentävä Matto (the flying carpet)

Hey Fam! This week has been one of the most crazy, but exciting weeks of my mission. I feel as though I have been going 100 mph on a "flying carpet" and barely hanging on...but it's a flying carpet so what more could you ask for. (see pic--we saw this beaut while heading to one of our lessons this week)

Sadly I wasn't able to be in Lappeenranta to see my investigator be baptized (but my heart is so happy to know he is baptized and doing well!) but instead I got to enjoy a baptism that happened here in Tampere! Tampere has many many things that are just completely different from Lappeenranta and Kerava. It almost feels like a different mission....normal sized ward again (in my mind it feels giant!!), soooo many people (street contacting has never been more exciting), we see other missionaries all the time now (sharing a ward with other missionaries....weird), we have a car (still use the buses quite a lot though thank goodness....I love the buses) the list goes on. But many blessings and cool things are here in Tampere. 

A large portion of our investigators are students studying here (many foreigners) and I am realizing how long it has been since I have taught in English. I definitely need to practice a little more with that.
My companion Sisar Harris is wonderful. She is from California and I'm excited to be working with such an experienced missionary. This is her last change. 

One of my favorite parts of this last week was getting to know of few of the members that came to lessons with us. They all have strong testimonies of missionary work and bring a lot of hope and excitement to us. It makes me happy to think of the lasting impact that our work has and how it continues to blesses generations of families etc. 
Sorry this is so scatter-brained, but those are just a few random thoughts from this week. I'm happy and feeling so blessed to share the gospel here in Tampere. Hope you have a great week this week. I love you!

-Sisar Clark

other pic--on our train ride from Helsinki to Tampere the train had electrical problems so we were stuck out there for about an hour....but we weren't complaining because this was our view (sorry about the window glare). Here is just a little snippet of what we see for hours on end on our beautiful train rides :)....I love Finland

Monday, May 16, 2016

Minä lähden Tamperelle! (I'm heading to Tampere!)

Hey family! Happy (late....anteeksi) Birthday sweet little Venna :) Hope the celebrations went well and I hope that the celebrations continue for Gramps birthday! Hyvää Syntymäpäivää Gramps!!
So change calls this week---> I'm going to Tampere and will be a Sister Training Leader there with Sisar Harris. Sisar Carter is going to be training a greenie here in Lappeenranta.
I'm really excited have a chance to learn, improve, and push myself. Although it is rough to leave Lappeenranta, Tampere seems to be a great Place and I'm sure there are very important things for me to learn there. Every change seems to bring a large step forward in the language, teaching, and overall progression so I look forward to those blessings.
This week we enjoyed going down to Helsinki for our stake conference (although farther away, our branch is still part of the Helsinki stake). It was so fun to see all my fun friends from Kerava and feel the support and energy of the other missionaries there. It just made my day when a few members went out of their way to say hi to me and wish me luck in Tampere. Wow, that thoughtful act went such a long way. It definitely motivated me to look for ways I can hopefully support others in that same loving and thoughtful way.
This week I was reading in Alma 44 when Moroni and his armies have surrounded Zerahemnah and his armies. Moroni is testifying to them of the purpose they are fighting in verse 5.  "And now, Zerahemnah, I command you, in the name of that all-powerful God, who has strengthened our arms that we have gained power over you, by our faith, by our religion, and by our rites of worship, and by our church, and by the sacred support which we owe to our wives and our children, by that liberty which binds us to our lands and our country; yea, and also by the maintenance of the sacred word of God, to which we owe all our happiness; and by all that is most dear unto us—" It reminds me of how important an eye single to the glory of God is in this joyful work. This next change I want to specifically focus on my motives behind things.
I hope you have a great week. I love you!
-Sisar Clark

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Yski vuosi! (One year!)

Terve perheeni,
What a wonderful week it has been! This year we hit our one year mark! and what a blessing it was to be with Sisar Carter for it! We both enjoyed remenising (spelling?) on the ways we have seen the Lord's hand in the work (usually By small and very simple means with moments of giant miracles as well). We celebrated By eating at our Muslim friend's indiana curry was delicious!
Oh also, this week we were again humbled By the love and support of the people around us including members and investigators. We got a call this week saying we had a bike waiting for us at the bike shop to add to the other bike that the ward had donated to the sister missionaries of Lappeenranta. So now we are biking!! woo hoo! It feels great to be on a bike again. The blessings are continually overflowing here.
Our investigators are doing great! Oh man, it is SO fun to see the blessings of living according to commandments. Our investigator that is prepared for baptism on the 21st is loves coming to church and the ward members are great support. We also have two other investigators living according to their word of wisdom "plans" like bosses. It is definitely one of those times that you just wonder....why in the world are they changing their whole life from just two girls talking to them in broken finnish.--the Holy Ghost works miracles.
I loved reading Alma's testimonies in the Book of Mormon (Alma 5, Alma 36 and Alma 38). He is so wise.  "Now, my son, I would not that ye should think that I know these things of myself, but it is the Spirit of God which is in me which maketh these things known unto me; for if I had not been born of God I should not have known these things." The spirit is the only reason anyone knows the truth of these things. I add my testimony to his that I too have felt the Holy Ghost's assurance and confirmation. I know that it is true. I am so grateful and joyful because of it.
We get change calls on Friday and again praying to stay in Lappeenranta....probably not going to happen....but whereever I go I know it will be best....Lappeenranta would just be really cool.:)
I hope you have a great week! I love you and loved talking with a few of you shortly.
-Sisar Clark

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Huhtikuun sadekuurot tuovat Toukokuun kukkia (April showers bring May flowers)

Hey everyone :) this week was the perfect example of how April showers bring May flowers. It rained for a few days straight, and then the past two days have been absolutely gorgous that......(wait for it).....we didn't even wear coats today!!! WAAAHH!! This week the Finnish people celebrated Vappu by wearing their graduation caps (these white sailor looking hats), the current students wearing their ”party pants” (see picture) and everyone drinking a lot. Siksi (that's why) we could not have a better time to proudly say that our investigators preparing for their upcoming baptism are doing great with living according to the Word of Wisdom!! Really though, specifically one of them has such a solid testimony of prayer and the Holy Ghost and he even fasted this last Sunday! He was a jolly fellow to begin with, but now you can really actually see a light in his eyes and the real lasting joy he has.

One blessing of the spring, is lots more service opportunities! We loved switching up the work a little and finding some great ways to serve. Oh and another blessings is that our member who brought us fresh fish before is back fishing at his mökki (summer cabin) so we get surprised with fresh fish once in a while!
The blessing are overflowing here in Lappeenranta (like always) and I'm so grateful to be working with the investigators we have. It is a joy to do the work of the Lord when he is by our side :)

I love you and hope you have a good week! (I'm excited to maybe see to some of you on Mother's day!)

-Sisar Clark

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

rauhallinen ja lämmin tunne (peaceful and warm feeling)

Hey everyone :) hope you have had a great week! 

This week has been great here in Lappeenranta (every week in LPR is great). One of our investigators is doing SO well and it is SO fun to teach him! Recently he had a close family member tragically die and it was really hard on him, but he told us about how he saw the picture of Christ on one of the pamphlets we gave him when he was really struggling and remembered that he could pray. He said he prayed and then bore powerful testimony of the rauhallinen ja lämmin tunne joka tuli rukoiltuaan (peaceful and warm feeling that came after he prayed). He is also officially living the Word of Wisdom now and coming to church regularly. kiva :) 

This week I really enjoyed studying about joy specifically in Alma 26 and 27. Ammon explains it pretty well. There is no better joy than the joy that comes from missionary work. 

Besides the gray skies, the weather is perfect right now. Just a little bit of rain here and there (oh and one morning we got snow) at about 6-9 degrees. 

It is really fun to get letters in the mail from nephews and nieces and get emails from you (ps still working on getting faster at responding sorry...but responses are coming). Thank you for your sweet words of support :) I love you!

-Sisar Clark

this is a puu truck (tree truck) see them everywhere, but I'm running out of pics to send so here ya go :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

yäk (gross)

Hey Fam!

This week has been great! It has been really warm (a little rainy). The seagulls have migrated in (such a new sound to me) and lake Saima is just about completely melted (still the thinist layer of ice covering, but practically there).

We have two investigators working on living the Word of Wisdom and are doing awesome! It is pretty impressive to see their real intent.

The adventure of the week happened yesterday on splits (which were super awesome is really fun because one of my sister training leaders was my trainer). We were trying to follow up with some potentials when up the stairs comes our potential and another one of our investigators (turns out their friends! Cool!). They were coming to clean his house and after a few offers they accepted! (that never happens in Finland). So this potential investigator has quite a strong addiction to smoking and drinking and maybe not the most put together life...and this was quite evident in his house. Needless to say, I got some serious mom training cleaning out some of that stuff haha my comp and I had some good laughs after that one as we lathered on the hand sanitizer. But it was a great blessing to serve!

In my Book of Mormon study I am in Alma, specifically when the Lamanites are preparing to go up to battle against the Anti-Nephi-Lehites. Alma 23:5 confirms what Elder Ballard talked about in this last conference. The importance of having a council in order to be united in defence against the adversary is a principle also found in the Book of Mormon. That was a cool find! It made me grateful for the mini "councils" we get to have as companionships daily and weekly.

I'm greatful for the work here and so so grateful for Lappeenranta. I'm happy and doing well. I hope things are going well at home. I love you all :) Thanks for all your support and prayers.

-Sisar Clark

pics-- making riisipiirakkas from scratch at the our ward's fhe....We were in charge of the game (and it was awesome!! the kids loved it!! :) So fun!)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Bussissa Mormonin Kirjan lukemista (Reading the Book of Mormon in the bus)

Hey Fam :) yep can you believe it is already Tuesday again....I can't. Some of the main successes of this week include:

- One investigator doing awesome with the plan we made for him to stop smoking! He is a pretty quirky guy, but we just love him. 
- Lots of very interesting discussions while finding that make me so grateful for the Holy Ghost. The world has some pretty crazy ideas out there. I would feel so lost and confused without that solid, confirmation of truth.

- (probably my favorite success of the week) We talked to these two (some might say harsher looking) young adults on the bus that didn't want to meet and learn more, but they took a Book of Mormon, immediately stopped talking to each other, opened it up, and intently read the rest of the bus ride until they sincerely thanked us while getting off at their stop. And then again later in the week we gave a man a Book of Mormon as we waited at the bus stop and watched as he too read intently the whole bus ride. :) Those were pretty fun moments I hope to never forget. (it made me think about in newsies when they are giving everyone their newspaper to read and the whole city just stops what they are doing and intently reads their paper :) haha)

But overall things are going great! I'm happy and so grateful! The weather is just gorgeous (the sun is practically up all day now). I'm so blessed. I think and pray for you often and hope things are going well for you! Love you.
-Sisar Clark

pics--oh those majestic finnish clouds!