Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December 29 - Christmas recap and picutres

Group of sisters

Hna Clark with Hna Ghan

Raking leaves

Fransisco's baptism


Hello family that I love and got to talk to on Friday! I am sorry I talked to much! I feel like I hardly heard what is going on with you besides the fact Costco was crazy at Christmas .... NYC is still in need of lawyers that are honest and speak Spanish ... Abby's dating BYU campus ... you know ... MACKENZIE'S HAVING ANOTHER BABY .... (i'm guessing it's going to be a boy!) .... It was so fun to hear your voices! It made the day a grand one!

Besides that we spent the morning at Sis. Houston's and ate delicious breakfast food and told stories, then relaxed! We saw lots of other missionaries at a member of the mission presidency's house for a brunch. We made plans for a dinner that night, which is a story to tell.

In Arizona there are BILLIONS of members. Missionaries are definitely WELL taken care of here. Well we were way excited for our Christmas morning, but to tell you the truth we didn't have plans for a Christmas dinner. We didn't really think anything of it until everyone the week of Christmas kept saying "I'm sure you have plans for Christmas" and we just kind of nod and say uhuh and wonder if anyone will really invite us over. For no reason did we feel we needed to fish for invitations. While contacting Bishops in our area (talk about that later), we were warmly welcomed by one, Bishop Shreeve, and they asked the question, "Do you have somehwere to go for Christmas." We did the usual nod and muttered something while walking out and stopped us and said "No really ... do you have somewhere to go ... because we'd love to have you." We burst out laughing after a few moments of silence admitting we didn't have any plans for the night of Christmas and gladly accepted the invitation. What I didn't mention was that when we drove up to their house we knew they'd be a fun family to talk to because they had a big sign saying WELCOME HOME ELDER SHREEVE. Their son was still in the mission home that night and was delayed from coming home until the 26th. They also have another son in the MTC right now ... they love missionaries! Anyway, so Christmas night we go and don't really know what to expect ... don't know them very well. Hna Ghan's mom had said something to the extent of "I hope people treat you well and give you as much love as we would on Christmas." That was definitely how we felt all of Christmas day, with Sis. Houston and with the Shreeves. We felt completely spoiled! By the end of the night we were driving home with a backseat full of food and treats and gifts! Anyway yeah, Christmas was a great day on the mission. We spent it with missionaries and members we love!

So today is transfers and I now have a new companion! Her name is Hna Nielson and she is from Michigan .... I wish I could tell you more ... but I only picked her up right before coming to the library! She's been out for 3 transfers and .... yeah! I'm excited! It'll be different but who doesn't like a little change?

Yesterday we saw the full extent and impact of Hna Ghan. She said goodbye to some conversos recentes and menos activos and we all just cried. She's been here for 6 months. She has been an angel for soooo many people here and it is daunting to think I'm the one they now know. Ay! Hna Ghan just has a way with so many people. Oh how I will miss her, as well as the ward!

This last week today we managed to contact all of the Bishops and the Stake President in the Mesa Central Stake. To meet them, tell them we are here, ask them how we can help, if they have any referrals. This will be SUCH a huge blessing eating in this stake from now on. I don't know if I already wrote about some of it but even just in the short while we've been eating in the stake we've received 3 referrals and we've eating Peruvian, Columbian, and tonight is Brazilian food! The Bishops though, have been an incredible wealth of knowledge and it is good to finally coordinate things with them. Most of them had no idea spanish speaking missionaries covered their area!

Man there is so much to write about this week!!! Fransisco got baptized! Wahoo! All of his neighbors (who we're teaching now ...) came as well as his brother and nephew. What a wonderful experience that was to see Fransisco take this step in his life! (picture attached)Now when we go to see Fransisco, we see his friend Carlow (who's real name is Raynaldo we found out this week ... don't ask) and his girlfriend Erin and their roommate Isadoro. All three of them are supposibly (is that a word?) moving but until then ... we are continuing to teach them. At this point it's like having a class. I think we've taught the specific message of the restoration 3 times for each one individually. They're enjoying it though and love asking questions and learning more!

Ok so I think that's all for this week. What an incredible last week with Hna Ghan! She was an amazing trainer! For an extra bonus last night her trainer (who was in AZ for her sisters wedding) came to see us, so I got to meet my grandma (lingo on the mission), Hna Lopez. She is a professional singer and so we listened to her music a lot so it was fun to hear/see her and put a face to this voice I always hear in the car!

New Years Eve (I think I told you this?) we're singing at the Christmas lights so I really excited for that! You would love the lights and the concerts every night!

Anyway, love you all. I am so appreciative of your letters and love and prayers! Missionary work certainly isn't easy but it is soooo rewarding! Wow how we see miracles in the Lord's work! I started the Book of Mormon again a week or two ago and how far have I gotten? Ohhhhh I think 6 verses. There is too much to cross reference and put together. This might take a while but I am loving it! The Book of Mormon really is truth! I love sharing the scripture Mormon 8:16 and how it will shine through the darkness! It is so true!!!! Love you love you! Now I'll send some pictures! Happy New Year!

Love always, Hermana Clark
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