Monday, May 16, 2016

The End.

So you know how I sent out this epic email last week serenading my mission and basically making myself sound like it was my last P-day?? 

well it wasn't. 

Turns out I actually had one here we go! 

This week was just a great big cherry to top off the ice cream sundae of my missionary life.  A certain investigator we had been working with had his baptismal service on SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

It was one of the most multicultural ones I've ever seen (and that is saying a lot considering how many people I've taught from foreign countries) there were bits and pieces of the service done in English, Finnish, Swedish and even Icelandic. I remember just feeling so content with life, I have truly learned how to savor the simple things in life as I've been out here, can you imagine it folks? Finns have taught me how to be quiet and to savor the YKSINKERTAISTA things, I am grateful that I've had the opportunity come to learn of their culture and lifestyle. Remember how I compared Finnish to Elvish at the beginning of my mission? I honestly think that is the perfect way to describe the Finnish people, they're all just elves! 

We also ate a lot of CAKE during this baptism, which made Sister Kwok way happy!  🍰🍰 
All in all, it was an amazing day to celebrate a wonderful child of God into the fold.

But happy moments also mean bittersweet endings, I don't think I've cried this much in a long time (and that is saying a lot!) it's painful whenever ward members ask you where you are heading for the next transfer and you have to mouth the word "home" to them. Especially because they get these huge eyes and gasp, "EI OIKEASTI, MITÄ??

I will truly, truly miss the people that I have met here, every single one.  

To close off my final email, I would like to just quote a couple scriptures from Alma 26 (because Ammon is a lot better with words than I am) 

 11 But Ammon said unto him: do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joyand will rejoice in my God.

 12 Yea, know that am nothingas to my strength am weak; therefore will not boast of myself, but will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all thingsyea,behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

16 Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord;yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercyand of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, say unto you, cannot say the smallest part which feel.

I never knew how much my mission would change me when I first opened my mission call, or even when I stepped into the MTC two Octobers ago, I had absolutely no idea of all of the amazing things that were going to happen and all of the doors that it would open in my life. But I do know that miracles happen, and I know that I will never stop being a disciple of our Savior. 

Thank you so much for being a part of my conversion and adventures in Finland. 

Until we meet again, 
Sisar Kwok 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The best 18 months.

Dear Family and Friends, 

Things are really wrapping down to a close now, I never thought I would say this, but this is my last full week of full-time missionary work. How can that be, since I feel like I still have so much to learn? Although I have a life-time to progress, I thought I would write down in this email the things I DID learn. 

So here they are...1 for every month :) 

1.  So far, I've learned to... pray always.
2.  and then pray again.
3.  never forget to be charitable
4. The Savior is ALWAYS there, and He knows what to do.
5.  Never give up. 
6.  Smile, you never know who will be watching :)
7.  Love your companion, even if they are weird and will only eat oatmeal for all meals. (I love you!) 
8.  Miracles do and will happen! 
9.  Don't go into sketchy apartment buildings if you feel like you shouldn't. No, it's not worth it. And no, I'm pretty sure no one will be sober enough to understand what you are saying. 
10. Do the right thing, even when it's hard.
11. Get out on time, you'll regret it later. 
12.FINNISH, this one's a given though... (also, thought I would add that I am officially now trying to learn Pigeon from a recent convert. It's real, look it up!) 
13. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not break. (Or in other words, I've had to learn how to let things go
14. How to read a MAP!!! I AM SO PROUD OF MYSELF. 
15. How to make any type of baked dessert while cooking a meal within an hour. 
17. I love being a missionary.
18. I know the gospel is true

In reality, there are so many things that I could add to this list, but the most important thing that I learned from being here in Finland, serving the Lord, is that the gospel is true. I know that the church has been restored. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that the Lord Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. 

I've seen his hand in my life too many times to ever deny that. 

So here we's to the best 18 months! I'll talk to you all next week :) 

Sisar Kwok 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Blue skies and song birds. Finnish spring is the best spring ;)

Folks, the days are ticking down... 

It's crazy to believe that time moves so quickly and yet so slowly! On the mission they have this saying that goes like this, "The days are weeks and the weeks are days." I couldn't say it better myself. (I've probably shared that like 10 times by now)

Something that I have loved this past week is the WEATHER. OH MAN. Finnish springs are the perfect mix of breezy and warm. Not to mention all the flowers that are blooming now, I wish I could take them home with me, but then I'd probably end up being tackled by the massive TSA guy at the airport.

Wouldn't want that now would we! 

This week Sister Roberts and I had the magnificent opportunity to help our investigator unpack from moving. This investigator had a baptismal date for the 7th but because of difficulties, we won't really know when she will be baptized. Despite all the setbacks, I know for a sure that the Lord loves this investigator and that He will not allow them to fall or to struggle for longer than they have to before things become clear again, that is how He has always worked. 

We've also seen many miracles as a result of the hectic Vappu weekend, Vappu is a holiday where all Finns celebrate by wearing their graduation sailor caps, and party pants. No joke, they actually have real legit party pants here. They usually have a huge summer market and parties and parades. It's a lot like the fourth of July in the States, except it's just a lot more quieter here ;) 

While we were outside contacting, we see this dad quickly walking across the street with his daughters in the cart. We stop him and the contact goes from basic to pretty sour in a couple seconds. He looks at us with a bored look on his face and then proceeds to tell us how the Book of Mormon is a sick journal with all types of wars and sin in it. I honestly didn't expect this type of reaction and my mind starts to churn thinking of ways we can say to invite the spirit back into the conversation. I receive the thought, "Say something that will lead to his love for his family." 
After the man stops speaking, I ask him, "Sir, may I ask you, where have you found joy in your life?" He points to his two daughters in the stroller, and then I go on to say, "I KNOW, that the love you feel for your daughters is the exact same love that our Father in Heaven has for you. I don't know the answers to all things, and yes there are many wars in this book, but I know that God exists and he loves us so much he has given us the opportunity to act and choose for ourselves." We later went on to teach him the principle of agency, and at the end he took the Book of Mormon and gave his contact information. He lives in the elders area so we won't be able to see him, but whatever happens to him, I know that he felt something as we talked to him that day. 

I am so thankful for the holy spirit and for the wonderful people of this world, it is such a HUGE blessing to talk to people every day and learn more about who they are. I feel like the more I talk to people, the more I understand how God feels toward them. 

I guess that is it for this week, until next time! 
Love you all! 
Sisar Kwok