Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Laxatives... 'nuff said.

Terve kaikki ihmiset,

Wow this week was eventful, but also not eventful. If that makes sense.
They say time doesn't travel the same way in the MTC and whoever "they" is, is absolutely correct! 
But anyway, I bet you are all wondering what that amazing subject line is talking about...\

After a long day of classes my district ends up walking back to our dorms together, while I am walking I overhear this conversation happening between two of the elders behind me. 
"Elder, it doesn't matter how many laxatives you take, the result is going to be the same..." 
So of course, I turn around and say, "what?" 
And then one of the elders just looks at me sheepishly and says, "The food here is difficult, ok!" 
Haha, I was laughing so hard! 

Anyway...on a more uplifting note, my companion and I were able to teach several lessons this week without any vocab or notes! WOOHOO, that is a huge step for us, and definitely a big confidence booster for me! I know that I'm not fluent, but at least I won't starve in the streets of freezing Helsinki! Speaking of freezing, our teacher showed us pictures of her mission, and I was so excited to see all the snow! What is up with this weather? Hopefully we get snow on Christmas day! 

Anyway, that is about it. Oh, if any of you get the chance you should look up the Christmas song "While Shepherds Lately Knelt." I don't know if it will be on Youtube or anything since it is a choir song, but I hope it is because it is BEAUTIFUL. 

Take care of yourselves! I love you! This week the post offices will be closed, so if you were thinking of sending me mail, I might not be able to get it until Saturday! 
Also, this is my last p-day at the MTC! So if you were thinking of sending me packages, it'd probably be best to send it to the mission home in Finland, the address is on my facebook! 

Sisar Kwok 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

"I think I would die without food."

Terve perhe ja ystävä 

Happy Valummistaustumispäivää!!!
That is how you say Preparation day in Finnish!

So this week has been fun!
We did our first skype call, we got to teach a lesson with an actual Finnish person in Finland. Hahaha, just imagine us staring blankly at a computer screen while our investigator, Jennu, is spouting out rapid fire Finnish. It was definitely interesting! You could tell she was trying so hard not to laugh as we did our best to speak. Teaching is awesome haha.

Anyway, with that being said, I think my poor district is suffering from missionary-training-centeritis. This place is definitely wonderful, but we are so ready to actually do real things! We are also so ready to just be active and go outside!

For some reason, everyone's mothers think that we are starving and so they send us so much food. One of the Sister's mom sends her a box of food every single week, no joke. It's paradise, but we are also getting so fat! 

Yesterday, we were in class eating crackers and one of the Sister's, with her mouth full of gingerbread cookie just says, "I think I would die without food." It doesn't sound very funny when I type it out, but oh my goodness, we were laughing so hard! 

Anyway, that's about it! I love you all and I hope you are all doing well!
Read the scriptures and pray, I have a testimony that it will bring peace into your life! 
Merry Christmas! 
Hyvää Jouluä!!!

Sisar Kwok 

Sister Powell trying to get over her food coma

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Apostles, partings...and Finnish.


So I bet you all are wondering why you are receiving this email at like 5 in the morning, well as it turns out, because today is Thursday, and it is Thanksgiving, they just didn't schedule us a p-day. So here we are, walking up at 4:30 to do our laundry/emails/ letter writing. YAY!!!!!

So this week was both a very happy and sad week, first of all, the Hungarians left us, it was like losing 12 older brothers and sisters, it broke my heart! But I know this change is one of the many that are going to come this next year, so "Tuo on lähetysaarnaja elämä" That is the missionary life. 

Anyway, on a happier note... DALLIN H. OAKS CAME TO THE MTC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WAAHHHHHH! It was amazing! I even got to sing for him (plus or minus 500 other missionaries) 
He compared missionaries to pens, a tool that to be constantly willing to work in order to be useful. I laughed because he said, "When I use this pen, it can't tell me that it is too tired, or that because it is P-day it is not going to work, I need my pen to be willing to work when I am" It's so true, the Lord is always going to give us revelation when we are constantly seeking it, it will never be the other way around!

That being said, I learned a lot about patience this week. Patience with others and myself. Sometimes when you are in a classroom with five other very unique and wonderful beings for 11 hours or more, things can get a little tense or even a little irreverent. Being a missionary has definitely helped me see things like Christ would, Christ is the most patient being ever, as I've worked on becoming more Christ-like, I have seen the change that comes with dedication and love toward others. 

Finnish is hard, haha I know I would joke about it before, but it really is. Nevertheless, I can see myself improve EVERY DAY, just not at the speed I would like it to be. It's hard to realize that you have been in the MTC for a whole month and you still can't say a complete sentence grammatically correct to save your life. Also the words are massive, so that doesn't help. 
Fun Finnish Fact:
the word: 
is kahdeskymmenes viisas  

Fun story:
Before they left, Elder Baird, one of the hungarians, decided to do the rainbow challenge, (drinking one cup of every single colored drink, and then one cup of all of them mixed) he literally had 1 SIP left, but he ended up throwing up all over his companion. Haha I just thought that would be fun to share.

Happy Thanksgiving! May your week be full of fun and family!



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tips from an RM to a PM

I got to speak to a really good friend of mine over the phone a couple days ago and he offered me some of the most sincere and beneficial advice.

1. Love your mission from day one.
Somebody told me that they regretted falling in love with their mission only six months in. They said that they wished they had done it from day one. We only get a limited time to be a full time missionary, love it from the moment you get set apart. Start loving your companion the minute you meet them. Love the people and the language the minute your feet touch the ground every morning. 

2. Make mistakes as quickly as possible.
There are some who might discourage this, but the way I see it the sooner you make a mistake the sooner you can learn from it. Don't be too caught up in being perfect, people don't react to perfect. People make connections with imperfection. 

3.Miracles can literally be just one step away.
There will be some days on your mission when you feel like you have talked to everyone and done everything, yet no one will listen to what you have to say. Some days when your feet hurt from walking, your mouth is dry from talking and your mind hurts from worrying. Weeks when the hand of the Lord seems missing and you feel utterly alone. 
Don't stop. 
Because blessings and miracles are really just on the other side of the hill.
The days that you think you can no longer continue are the days when things turn around. 

4. Don't worry about the language
The missionary is only the tool that Heavenly Father uses to find his elect. The Holy Spirit is the true teacher of the gospel. Be humble. Be genuine. Learn to the best of your ability, but don't worry about your capacity to speak the language. Heavenly Father will open the minds of his missionaries to the languages of the world. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wow wow Wow wow!!

I leave in 8 days!! HOLY COW!!! I am definitely going into full packing mode right now, the floor of my room is completely covered in store bags filled with everything from skirts to Vaseline. Life is pretty crazy!
        Beside all the craziness, however, I want to talk about tender mercies today. Within these last few weeks I have seen so many tender mercies from the Lord in helping me prepare physically and spiritually for my mission.
         My family has always been pretty financially secure, but we recently just recovered from a rough patch. As I was submitting my papers, I had never really thought about how much money it would take to go on a mission. I mean, I knew the basic amount, but I had never thought of all the little things I would have to buy. Thankfully, I've held a job since 16 yrs old and had saved enough, but I was still worried about not having any fall back money to have when I came back to go to school. That was when I began to see all the miracles in my life. In case many of you don't know, quality winter boots and winter jackets can cost A LOT of money. It was to the point where I was estimating spending up to $350 just for those two items alone. This may not seem like a lot but also factor in that I had to buy new skirts, which can cost $20-$35 each, new shirts, luggage, proselyting shoes (which go for around $70-$80), personal hygiene items and other knick knacks, and you were looking at a large portion of money that took out of my budget for in-country use.
          Despite all these issues (which everybody has, I'm not the only one who struggles to fund a mission.) I put my trust in the Lord that everything would work out. And it did! A lovely sister on facebook had just returned from Estonia with a barely worn pair of boots and was selling them for half the price they would've sold for online.
          While shopping, my mom was able to found a very nice quality down jacket that reached my knees for only TEN DOLLARS (granted it needed some work with a tailor, but still TEN DOLLARS)!! On top of all these blessings, every time I would check my bank account, the amount would be more or less the same as before despite my constant spending.
           This doesn't happen to everyone, but I want to share my testimony that the Lord is mindful of what we NEED. He knows the situation of every single person on this earth and if we are faithful, he will bless us with what he knows is best for us. I'm so excited to serve the people of Finland and to learn how to be a true representative of the Lord! Who knows, maybe next time I write, I'll be in the MTC??


Friday, October 10, 2014

Because what's better than being a sister missionary and photo shoots?

Hi everyone!
A really good friend of mine was able to take my mission portraits and I thought it would be fun to share them on this blog! I have less than twenty days until I report to the Provo MTC and I am so stoked! Life has not been exactly easy these past few months but one thing that I have come to know for sure is that our Heavenly Father's love is perfect and everlasting. Many of us struggle with our futures, we're indecisive on which schools to attend, whether or not we should go on a mission or stay home. Let me tell you this, the beauty of this life is in the agency that God has given us. There are some people that will receive specific promptings because He will need them to do certain things either for the good of this church or for their own sake, but the majority of us have the amazing option of sculpting our own lives to match His. Whether you choose to serve a mission or decide to stay home, know that He will bless you in whatever you do as long as you strive to do the right thing.

*photo credit to Nicole Tucker

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pics or it didn't happen!

I just remembered that I had forgotten to upload the pictures of my last couple of adventures so here they are!

Second hike up to Delicate Arch!

In Park City with my beautiful friends :)

This wasn't on the list but I thought I'd share it anyway
congrats to Nicole for receiving her call to 
the Ohio Cincinnati mission! 

Monday, September 8, 2014



Minum nimeni on Emily, hauske tatuskua! 
Suomi on vaikea ya mina olen hidas. Apua! Ha Ha olen vain vitsailin!

Mina olen Amerikkalainen. Kotimaavii on Kyna. Minulla on tumma hiukset ja tumma silvat. 

My name is Emily, nice to meet you!
Finnish is difficult and I am slow. Help! Ha ha, i'm just joking!

I am from America. My home country is China. My hair is dark and my eyes are dark. 


That folks, is how much Finnish I've learned since auditing a couple classes in the past few days. My head has been wanting to explode every single time I leave the class, so I'm not exactly looking forward to the full day of classes at the MTC! Hopefully the days go by quickly! 

Time has been moving so quickly, only about 50 days until I enter the MTC! I am beyond excited but also scared for my life! Only 50 days until I leave for a whole 18 months into the unknown. 

I've been able to complete a lot of my bucket list items. I recently got the chance to...
hike to the Delicate Arch in Moab
go on a trip to Park City with my closest friends
teach a lesson about the Word of Wisdom with the missionaries (so cool!)
go on a (single) date
and I just bought tickets to the BYU Homecoming game! 

Woohoo! So many down, so many to go! 

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Pre-mission Bucket List

As time ticks by, I've compiled a list that I would like to complete before I leave to the MTC

  • Go to a BYU football game.
  • Go on a last trip with all my friends
  • Go hiking somewhere cool
  • Go on some dates
  • Go to a crazy college party (ok, not too crazy)
  • Be able to do baptisms in at least 3 different temples 
  • Finish the Book of Mormon again. 
  • Hike the Y again 
  • Cook a Finnish dish
  • Take a picture with someone famous (the degrees of famous-ness can vary)
  • Teach a lesson with the missionaries 
  • Bike 10 miles in a skirt (for practice reasons) 
  • Drive somewhere spontaneously 
  • Have a bonfire with my friends 
  • Re-learn the piano and be able to play simple hymns 
  • Go star gazing 

This list is constantly changing, but I hope that I'll be able to do some of these things before I go. One adventure after the next, right? 

What would you add to this list? 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Anticipation and Motivation

Welp! I've hit the twenty day mark since receiving my call, I officially report in SEVENTY-NINE days to the Provo MTC!!! And because this is a celebration I've decided to FINALLY upload some pictures of my mission call opening, whoo hoo!!!

(1. Photo with my dad 2. Photo with my parents 3.The lettter!! 4. With my sister Helen)
I have so many more photos than this and I want to thank everybody who came, I just haven't found the time to transfer the photos from my dad's iPad to the computer. Hopefully I can upload them soon!

Recently, I've been having difficulties focusing on tasks that I need to do. I'm not sure if this is normal pre-mission anxiety or if it's just something I've developed over the past couple of weeks as a result of not going to school for 4 months. Don't get me wrong, I still clean the house, take showers and exercise, I'm not a total wreck but I just cannot seem to read the Book of Mormon or study Preach My Gospel for more than 10 minutes at a time. This makes me a little nervous because these two books are basically staples in the missionary diet, if you haven't thoroughly studied either of them, then the MTC is going to be rough. (or so i've heard)
It's not like I don't want to study them, I know having a solid foundation is crucial for the upcoming months, but it's like I physically cannot sit still for that long, which is quite shocking given that fact that I am a total bookworm and a devoted student at school.
Adding on to all of this stress is the idea that I will have to learn FINNISH along with everything else. Not a day goes by when someone I know will congratulate me on my call but then tell me that Finnish is the hardest language to learn in the MTC, and all I end up doing is just nodding my head and smiling because really, I have nothing to say.

What am I supposed to say to that??

Instead, I'll just let the legendary Sean Bean do the talking for me.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Greetings from Utah!

Hello everyone!

My name is Emily Kwok and I have been given the privilege to serve a full time LDS mission in the Finland Helsinki mission!!! This blog will harbor my weekly updates while I'm in the mission field, personal tidbits, and just about anything else that will be heading my way within the next year and a half!

So I guess I'll introduce myself a little more, I am from Utah but my parents are from Hong Kong. I speak fluent Cantonese and English and I am studying at BYU. I love music and almost everything to do with art and literature. I also have another blog, it's more of a personal one with weird stories and awful poetry but hey, if you're interested, feel free to check it out