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 resturaunt...it 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 gorgeous....so 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