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 cow...so 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 soup....one 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