Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Mämmi (see picture)

Hey! :) 

So this week had some challenges, but also many blessings (what's new, right?). Easter was a wonderful day! I really loved reading in Mosiah 16:8-9 when Abinidai testifies about the endless life and light that Jesus Christ brings. The Lutheran Church in Lappeenranta put together a huge outdoor production around the church and harbor to remember Christ during this Easter time. It was really cool to see the whole town get really excited about it. We even got to see a sliver of it as we walked past it to our home from a lesson. Seeing the energy of that production, studying more about this joyful easter time, and pondering about Christ's life has allowed me to see even more of that light that Abinidai talks about. I'm so grateful for that.

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous lately! The lake is starting to melt a little bit. The sun is up for the majority of the day (wow cool!).

Unfortunately our investigator who wanted to be baptized decided the day before that he couldn't do it due to a bad atmosphere at home. That was very hard to see. Also some other investigators are having difficulty moving forward in their progression. But on the upside, this week we were blessed to find a lot of new potentials from just a few days of finding. 

I'm feeling so happy and blessed to be a missionary right now. Missionary work feels great! We are also looking forward to conference! Woo hoo! Enjoy a waffle for me! Love you all!

-Sisar Clark

pics- This is mämmi. It is disgusting. Don't ask me why, but it is a Finnish tradition to eat Mämmi on easter. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Virpoa (see email for translation)

Hyvää Pääsiäistä!! Happy Easter!!
Virpoa: On Palm Sunday a popular Finnish tradition includes children going around dressed up as witches with sticks they decorated with colorful feathers, ribbons, and pipe cleaners and trick or treating By singing this song at door steps "virvon, varvon, tuoreeks terveeks, vitsa sulle palkaa mulle"

This week has been very exciting with my new comp Sisar Carter, ward conference, our investigator texting us and saying he wants to be baptized on Saturday, our recent convert passing the sacrament, an investigator living the word of wisdom like boss, and a little more cold weather (-8/-9) mixed in there too. Sisar Carter hasn't had quite as many opportunities to teach in Finnish and develop her language skills, so I have become the main teacher and contacter etc. It has made me very very grateful for where I am in the language and also makes me realize how much more I need to learn haha. I felt very inadequate many times this week, however President Eyring's talk in Priesthood session from last conference was an answer to prayers. I definitely suggest it. It helped me remember the comforting truth that we are not alone in the work and that the Lord doesn't only work with us when we are perfect, but he strengthens us in our imperfection, inadequeces, and weaknesses. I have many of those and so I am deeply grateful for the promise that I am not alone. I have felt that help many times throughout my mission and especially this week.
I love you all and hope you have a wonderful easter week! I know that Christ Lives. I know that he is our loving Brother and Redeemer. I'm grateful for the joyful time when we can remember him and focus more on the redeeming and enabling power that we can receive from his atonement.
-Sisar Clark
our version of a quick street contacting virpo and then what an actually one should look like

Tämä sähköposti on lähetetty virusvapaasta tietokoneesta, jota suojaa Avast-ohjelmisto.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Yhtä innostava kuin Kebab Hampurilainen Hesburgerilta (as exciting as a Kebab Hamburger from Hesburger)

Hey everyone :) This week was about as exciting as a Kebab Hamburger
from Hesburger....
Here are a few highlights:
- We got change calls and...I GET TO STAY IN LAPPEENRANTA!! :) Sisar
Carter (an awesome sister that was with me in the MTC) is coming to be
my companion. I'm Super excited for a change full of hardwork and the
joy that comes from it :)
- Due to Sisar Richards going home, we had TONS of dinner appointments
this week! That is always Super fun to see the members' homes and
spend a meal with them. They all have such strong testimonies and
impressive family relationships. Their kids are happy and love each
- We had splits this week! Man I was pretty giddy with excitement
after being able to do a solid full day of finding!! (ps Sisar
Richards still is having stomach problems...but varmasti ratkaistaan
kohta (surely it will be solved soon) when she goes home)
- I read Alma 2:30 this Morning. It is said that alma had strengthened
from past experiences etc. loved the reminder that the struggles that
I have now are going to be very important for the future.
- After one of the busiest days ever it was 9 pm on saturday night
when one of the Bishopric counselors called to tell us that one of the
speakers fell through and asked if I could give a talk (along with the
talk he had already asked Sisar Richards to give earlier this
week)....haha that was a fun Morning sprinting to put that
together...then get to church and he said he actually didn't need me
to talk anymore haha (phew!)
- Our investigator that has a baptismal date read and prayed and said
that she feels that it is right! She also came to church!! Boo yay!
- We are starting to use the new easter video in our finding! It is
really cool you should watch and share it on Facebook :)

I am very grateful. I love you and hope you have a good week.
-Sisar Clark

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Hyvää Naisten Päivää!! (Happy Women's Day!!)

This morning we smiled and said hi to a man as we walked to the church to email and he cheerful responded "Hyvää Naisten Päivää" while tipping his hat. :) Little moments like that just make Finland the best place ever. 
I hear that I have a new niece!!! Woo hoo! I'm so excited! Congratulations Chase and Sarah :) I'll be praying for a peaceful and safe first couple weeks for you and your family.

This week was another week of being inside quite a lot. Sisar Richards stomach is still having some issues, but we are still so grateful for the progress we are still able to see! This week we had an exciting lesson with an investigator preparing for April 2nd as a baptismal date. We had been sending him scriptures about the Holy Ghost daily and committed him to read and pray about them. The effect was awesome! He came back with a firm testimony that God is real and hears his prayers. He said that the Holy Ghost is a feeling that gives him confidence and makes him feel good and he believes it is a blessing he receives because of his faith in God and doing what he has asked. Hearing him testify was something I will not forget. 

The members here are so awesome! I love them! (I never want to leave Lappeenranta.....unless the Lord really wants me to...but still) They helped us organize a "Perhe Ilta" (family home evening) with ward members and investigators. We had quite a unique group there including a some that didn't speak Finnish, so I ended up translating while Sisar Richards talked and attempted to translate as we played this super confusing charades game....ha ya that was funny. But all in all is was a great night and super fun!

During my studies this morning I read Mosiah 26 and was reminded of how much I LOVE Alma's example. I think it is so cool how humble he is and how much he cares about doing his work right. It motivates me to ask and seek guidance from the Lord in all things. 

I hope you have a good week this week! Enjoy that sweet new spirit and give her a big kiss for me! Also tell all the other nephews and nieces Hi for me! I miss them so much!

I love you!

-Sisar Clark
pics---cool ice sculptors we got to see in Mikkeli on our way to District Meeting
---- a members "yard" 

p.s. next week p-day is on monday

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Kaikki ovat hiihtäälomalla (Everyone is on ski-break)

Hey Fam! Thank you so much for all your emails this week! Wow what a fun surprise! This week Sisar Richards has still been pretty sick :( so still inside quiet a bit. Nevertheless, the blessings have been pretty miraculous! It is so clear to see how much Heavenly Father has watched over the work in Lappeenranta. We have had referrals giving referrals, members asking to have a family home evening with all our investigators, most of our investigators are reading and praying in preparation for their baptismal dates, we have had more time to study the scriptures and the language, and Sisar Richards and I have taken advantage of the time to get to know each other better and strengthen our relationship. Although I am looking forward to having more street contacting, tracting, and finding time, I feel very blessed. One funny thing from today: we called a referral we got (the classic older Finnish Lutheran mummo (grandma)) and she ended up singing two songs to us over the phone. That has NEVER happened before and I would have never ever guessed any Finn to do that, but we were sure grateful for the experience! Our investigator that was supposed to get baptized soon is having a few setbacks due to his family, but he still has a desire, so we are praying for him and expecting to see his baptism coming soon.

In Mosiah 16:5 it talks about how those who remain in their fallen state and go on in their own ways will not receive the blessings of eternal life. The blessings of repentance are incredible and I'm so grateful that we don't have to just remain, but instead we can change, improve, and move forward always. I hope you have a great week full of steps forward and joy, through applying Christ's atonement :) I love you!

-Sisar Clark

pics-- in case you were wondering, Zions is right here in Lappeenranta, Finland
-- This is a pic of our table at a dinner appointment (pretty rare here) or delicious makkara keitto (sausage soup) and ruisleipä (rye bread) YUM!