Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Free gum and Reindeer!!

Hi everyone! 

Pictures are finally working again! Yay! 

A lot of fun things happening here in Lahti, for instance, I went on splits with the STLs on Saturday, 2 investigators came to church, and most importantly, we helped a dear invesigator clean her house (it was much needed, imagine an episode of "Hoarders") while we were trying to help her vacuum, we noticed that there was no suction going on and so we had to take the vacuum apart and clean it out. In the vacuum tube thingy we found:

A bottle cap.
A playing card.
Lots of cigarrettes. 
and many other things that I probably don't need to mention.

That floor was so clean when we were done! 

Anyway, I got to try reindeer yesterday (in Finnish it is Porro)! It was so cool, it tasted really similar to lamb and beef. Also, my trainer has an obsession with gum. This is really sad because we aren't allowed to eat gum in public. So while we are studying in our apartment she will eat up to 5 pieces of gum at a time. She ran out yesterday and was super antsy but then guess what? While we were cleaning our beloved investigators house, we found a box that was full of gum, almost to the top! When we asked her where she got it, she said

Her:"Oh, that gum? They were throwing it away at the Saksala store down the street." 
Us: "Oh...why?" 
Her: "I think there was some sort of default or something, but they ended up just giving it to me"
Us: ".....so..."
Her:"Take some!"
Us: "OK!!"

There is no shame in missionary work people! When people give you free things you say thank you and take it gratefully! Sisar Owen was so happy! 

That's about it this week, thanks for your prayers and for your kindness! I hope you don't follow our examples and take shady gum from others! Be nice to people! 

Sisar Kwok 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sisar Kwok's Original "Third Week of Finland" (limited edition)

Just to shake things up, I've decided to compose this email to the tune of the 12 days of Christmas. It's not Christmas, but there is still snow on the ground, so this song is still valid.
 Feel free to sing along :)  

On my third week in Finland Sisar Owen and I saw:

ONE new Burger King (This Burger King is 1 out of 3 in the whole country. People are pretty excited) 
THREE lost bus cards :(
FOUR awesome new investigators
FIVE harmless drunk meeennnnn!! (there are many more than five here, but i didn't know where else to put this so...) 
SIX dogs a barking
SEVEN pigeons a flying (there is house behind our apartment that seems to just house pigeons, there are literally whole swarms of them that just fly around and distract me during personal study)
EIGHT old women telling us to wear hats
NINE knitted articles of clothing (knitting is a BIG DEAL here)
TEN fingers and toes (still intact) 
ELEVEN degrees below...

142 Nordic walking sticks!!! (the people here use Nordic walking sticks religiously, it makes a lot of sense because there is so much ice here, but it also makes it look like the whole town is skiing in the city)

Have a great week everyone! I hope the new year is going well! Keep up your goals! 
Don't forget to pray! Read the scriptures!
Sisar Kwok 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Amputating appendages, but we are still doing great!

Hi everyone!

It's been a great week, a lot of Finnish, a lot of slipping and sliding, but still doing well!

Things really picked up! As a companionship we've found 6 new investigators within this week which is really great! One of them is a girl named R, she approached us on the bus and we were able to discuss a lot of really great things, I am so excited to teach her!

Other than a lot of finding, President Watson stopped by on Sunday to interview us! It was so great, I love President, they always say that your mission president will be like a second dad to you and I agree!

A couple of days ago we hit a solid -18 degrees. It was awesome. Sisar Owens and I were at a bus stop waiting for a bus and she turned to me and said, "I am legitimately afraid that we will have to amputate our toes off tonight."  But don't worry! It was really not as bad as it sounds!  

Interesting story of the week:

Seeing as I can't speak Finnish very well yet, we decided to try walking into a chinese restaurant in the city to see if anyone spoke Cantonese. We ended up teaching the woman working there in three languages, Finnish, Mandarin, and Cantonese. The woman was actually from mainland China and did not speak any Cantonese. I just thought she said she did, so here I am spouting off in Cantonese, and she's just looking at me like "Who is this girl?"

Let's just say that it was really really awkward, because no one had a clue who was speaking what or what was being said. BUT at least she knows now that she is a daughter of God and that He loves her! 

I love you all!

Email me, I'd love to hear from you!

Sisar Kwok 

(also this computer doesn't have an SD card reader, so maybe pictures next week?)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

"elder, that is NOT the language they taught me in the mtc"

HALLELUJAH I finally made it to the land of the midnight sun!! 
Holy cow has this week been crazy, first off i want to apologize for the lack of capitilization in this email, the shift button is really tiny on this keyboard and i figured it would be easier if i stopped trying to correct every other word. 

my new companion is sisar owens! she is great and so enthusiastic about getting to work, the area i am in is called lahti. it's pretty big area and there are only two companionships covering it, us and the elders. the funny thing is that out of the four missionaries in the area, two are being trained, sometimes it's a struggle! 

The language is crazy, you know that one scene of "the best two years" when elder calhoun goes to buy bread and when he realizes that he doesn't understand the cashier his face just drops? That was my face. For the whole week. I don't understand a single word that people are saying. It's really humbling! 

I got to bear my testimony on sunday at the lahti ward, they are amazing people with great faith. there's only about a hundred or so members and it's awesome! 

the rumors about it being really cold here are true, we were finding a contact last night and my eyelashes froze over. I could see the ice crystals and they kept sticking to my face whenever i blinked. last night it was probably around -15 degrees celsius. YAY missionary work! 

the sun also sets really fast! probably around 3:30ish to 4 and it doesn't come back up until 9 in the morning, it definitely has made me more grateful for the sun back at home! 

Anyways, i have lots to say but not a lot of time so I'll just share a really funny story, one night when were knocking on  a couple of doors, this old man opens up and gives us the weirdest look, so Sisar Owens explains that because it's Sunday, we were hoping to sing him a church hymn. He answers by saying,
"I'm on a lot of drugs right now and I have a really weird "olo"(sensation or feeling?) i'm just going to go to bed now"  
And then he just closes the door on us, it was so funny, we were laughing so hard haha. 

This week was new and wonderful but also pretty hard, every single appointment that we had planned fell through, either by us getting dropped or people not answering the door. It was easy to get a little discouraged, but I am excited to get to know the people of lahti better.

I'll send some pictures soon! 
SIsar Kwok