Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Kaste ja Revontulet! (Baptism and the Northern Lights!)

Hey Fam! This week was definitely one for the books! First off, our baptism and confirmation went so well! The ward was so supportive and helpful and have just taken our recent convert under their wings. The biggest blessing for me this whole week was seeing how happy he is now! He truly has a light in his eyes and the spirit with him. It brings so much joy to hear him share his thoughts and testimony about how he has received his testimony of Joseph Smith. Wow! He will always be someone very dear to my heart and to my mission. 
Secondly, after a spirit filled and wonderful world wide missionary broadcast (which we ended up watching in Kouvola...long story and long night haha but at least we got to watch it) we saw the NORTHERN LIGHTS! There were pretty dim and we were sprinting to catch a train, but I have officially seen them and they are cool! Our world is pretty incredible. 
Another interesting fact that you might be interested in is that we only have 98 missionaries in Finland right now. Small, but happy and hard working mission :). So grateful to be here.
This week I have been studying a lot about knowledge and have especially just loved reading all of the promises in the scriptures about knowledge. One of my favorites is in D&C 42:61 "If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal." 
Sorry, don't have tons of time this week to write, but I love you and hope that things are going well at home :)!
-Sisar Clark
pics- walking on water.....ok walking on frozen lake Saima (plus the skier in the background :) we saw a ton of skiers and ice fishers this week)
- gorgeous snow everywhere :) (eli nothing else to send sorry haha)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Uusi vaihto ja uusi toverini (New change and new companion :))

Hey everyone :) Hope this week has treated you well. Sarah I hope you had a great birthday and I hope everyone is safe and feeling well.
This week was the start of another change with a new great companion. Her name is Sisar Richards and on of my my favorite things about her is her Finnish. This is her last change of her mission and her Finnish is great (I'm going to learn so much!! Ya hoo!). It is pretty exciting to learn a different language. Update on the weather: We finally are getting more snow! It is absolutely gorgeous and surprisingly we have had quite a few clear sunny days (which also means super cold days...-30 :))
This upcoming week we are planning a baptism for an investigator that is very dear to me! Sisar Hales and I found him street contacting last change and have taught him ever since. This young man is completely finnish (very quiet, smart, blonde) and has powerful faith. He trusts in the Holy Ghost strongly. We also were able to give a church tour to a family we are teaching right now which was super exciting. They ask great questions and are really fun to teach.
I'll give you more updates on how everything goes next week, but I'm so grateful to be a missionary right now. I'm so grateful for the small peaceful moments in prayer and scripture study when I can feel the confirming comfort of the Holy Ghost. Love you!
-Sisar Clark

Monday, January 11, 2016

Kaksikymmentäkahdeksen asteita pakkasta! (-28 degrees C)

Hey fam! :) It has been another excitingly cold week! We finally hit -28 degrees C but that was only one day of the week. Most of the week has been around -19 to -22 degrees which surprising now feels super normal! It is pretty incredible how fast your body adjusts as a missionary. Being outside so much you just kind of get used to it. I did get a little frost bite on my nose this week, but it isn't bad or anything...just enough to teach me that I really do need to cover everything up haha.
But on more important matters, this week we got change calls and I am the lucky duck who gets to stay in Lappeenranta!! ya whoo! Sadly, Sisar Hales is leaving to Tampere to be a Sister Training Leader (her wonderful missionary gifts are needed elsewhere :(....I'm going to miss her so much!) And my new companion will be Sisar Richards. This will be her last change before she goes home and she has been either training or a Sister Training Leader practically her whole mission, so it is pretty safe to say I'm getting the best and most experienced sister missionary in Finland as a companion. It is kind of intimidating (she is literally perfect), but I'm going to learn SO much from her and I'm grateful for it.
Recently we have had a lot of lessons with investigators that have very serious mental diseases. It has been pretty sad and difficult to see them struggle. However, it has also been a powerful reminder to me that the blessings of peace, joy, and clarity that come from the gospel and the book of mormon are truly to everyone. What a comfort it is to know that Jesus Christ knows exactly how they feel and knows how to succor them. I'm so grateful for how patient and calm our Savior, Jesus Christ is.
 I love you all and hope you are doing well! I truly am so grateful to know that I have such wonderful parents and siblings who support me, love me, and have strong testimonies of their own.
-Sisar Clark
pics: - this whole frozen eyelashes and hair thing is pretty normal now
- visiting the Russian border with some awesome members on pday!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Suomelainen talvi on lopulta saapunut!! (Finnish winter has finally arrived!!)

Hey everyone!! This week has been a crazy wonderful week full of answered prayers, laughter, and frozen boogers. So winter has finally come and it is awesome! Our normal street contacting weather this week has been between -13 and -18 degrees Celsius and we finally have been getting some snow (not buckets yet, but little by little!) Now I know why Frozen is said to be set in Finland, when it is this cold everything sparkles...everything is glitter...street lights.....the ground.....your companions frozen hair. Haha and one of our favorite findings of the winter is that not only does the cold make your nose run....but then it freezes it too!! But really we are actually having a blast and that was only a small blessing of the week. 
Our golden investigator we found a couple weeks ago is doing awesome!! Wow! He had a big concern about tithing and how he wouldn't have enough money, but we challenged him to fast and pray about it. (and totta kai (of course) we did too......Fasting totally works...I love fasting...it is awesome) Then our next meeting he sat there and just bore testimony to us about how through fasting, praying, and reading the Book of Mormon (specifically 2 Nephi 2) he realized the importance of tithing and was willing to take that step of faith. Wow...the excitement after that lesson kept us warm for the whole walk home to dinner! He is looking forward to his baptism and we are too!
Another investigator who found us this week (he came up to us and immediately asked to meet) has a huge desire to be baptized. The first thing he told us when we sat down in our first lesson was that he was ready to be converted. He also decided to bear his testimony in his first sacrament meeting ever, in which he proudly told the whole ward that he was the newest member of the church! His desire is really helping stick to the plan we set to help him quit smoking. His determination is pretty remarkable.
There were so many other blessings that happened this week, and there is just never time to write them all (sorry) but I hope that you had a great New Years! Also, I got the calendar you all helped to put together for Christmas and it is AWESOME! Thank you so much! Our family brings so much joy and peace to me. Thank you! I love you!
-Sisar Clark
pics- "pre-snow" but frozen lake and beautiful scene of the harbor :)
- best posti day ever! Excitement of getting mail!