Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March 30


This last week was CRAZY. Easter pagent started! First week of the transfer with Hna Nielsen again (!!!!!) and we were invited to Zone Leader Council. I don't know if I've ever been so exhausted in my life. Working at the temple until 10pm and then having to wake up early to make it to meetings and such. WOW.

We have soooo many people who are on the verge of committing to baptism and it is WAYYYY exciting! The work is amazing though and it is incredible to recognize that we are the lord's instruments. Just ... so much to work on to BECOME better people yet forgetting ourselves and going to work. This time is so limited. Actually, time on the computer is limited too. haha

I am having a hard time speaking english these days. Quite exciting I must say, but funny. Like I've said before, english prayers, and now it goes to dinner conversations. I've really been trying to be better at getting to know people ... so any questions along those lines I want to say en espanol! Pero, there is still soooo much to learn! I understand a lot more now though and really am able to understand what is going on.

Sorry I have to sign off! I wish i could write more tell more but this week was crazy. This week is more easter pageant and we are going to see so many miracles there! As well as in our area! General conference this next week ... yeah .. needlessto say ... I'M EXCITED. I love the mission

love love love thanks for the prayers, letters, love, and all. I love you! Love always, Hermana Clark


Ok my computer logged out while I was talking to my "aunt" Sister Morten. This transfer she is white washing and training on the Reservation!!! She only has 2 more months!

Easter Pageant started this past week. Friday and Saturday were in Spanish so that was extremely exciting to watch as well as to gather with so many people who speak spanish! Surprisingly though, I ended up talking to a lot of people in english .... but 2 of them agreed to meet with the missionaries. I even ran into Elder Call. Last time I saw him he was the missionary. Kind of funny though ... he gave me a referral for a guy he works with and I gave him a referral to give to the missionaries in New Jersey (he wanted to call them). At the Easter Pageant (like Christmas lights) we talk to everyone and ask them all if they know anyone else they know that would want to hear more about this message that Jesus Christ's church has been restored to the earth.  When talking to members (like I used to do), they tend to roll eyes at us. Honestly ... it can be awkward. Something I've been starting to do though is then to testify to them that here at the pageant the Spirit can be felt very strongly.  Yes, everyone agrees. Then I say, that Spirit is also the one who can help us recognize our friends who might be looking for something.  I testify to them that if there is a name that has come to their heads, maybe they need something. In many cases, no, they are not going to tell the missionaries to come in and teach them and baptize them (but we never know when people are ready ... as President Bassett said yesterday something like: I don't want to be held accountable for assumming people aren't ready when they really are.  Anyway .... many people then end up saying ... ok I have this friend. That's the beauty of it ... everyone knows someone who doesn't enjoy the same blessings of peace and joy.  WHO DOESN'T WANT THAT? Maybe right now, all they need is someone to stop by and say hello and they really don't want the whole Restored gospel, but everyone needs something. Our purpose is the help others to come unto Christ. I've found that can mean many different things though we do know the path has been set and that is to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized in the same manner He was. Anyway, Easter Pageant is pretty awesome to work!

Our investigators are progressing. Rosa had her baby but we found out a divorce needs to happen before a marriage ... and then a baptism. Same with Fransisca. Claudia has talked to Juan and they are probably going to separate and figure out things with Stephanie so that she can get baptized. In all cases, someone doesn't want a divorce or someone doesn't want to get married. Marta and her family are currently deciding about baptism.  Alma 34:8-10 and Alma 7:11-16.  We are destined to be lost. That is why a Savior has been provided. He has already set the path: have faith, repent, be baptized.  This week we pray for faith and plead to know how we can best help all of these children of God prepare to be baptized and continue preparing to one day meet God. Wow this work is a big deal! It is so humbling to be simply a servant and disciple and representative of Jesus Christ.  I just hope that we do it in His way, with His power -> it is His work!

Yesterday at Zone Leader Council we talked about a lot of things that all boiled in the end about who we are becoming. There are checklists we can make .... blah blah blah ... but it is who we are becoming ... more like our Savior, Jesus Christ. It has been painful and so incredibly humbling to see how true that is and how far I know I have to go.  It is like Luke 22:32 "when thou are converted, strengthn thy brethren" Christ said that to ..... I'm blanking on his name right now .... AFTER he'd seen all those miracles, after being with Christ for 3 years. That is the secret though .... seeing is not believing.

Ok time is up ....

I have never been happier. Never so happier to lay down at night from a hard day but excited to wake up and study and go to work. 

Love is where it's at. I want to BE love ... and everything else. As for now, I will be the best I can to do the Lord's work! :)

Love always, Hermana Clark

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

March 23

Juan Ferrer's baptism


Last week of transfers is always crazy! Baptisms, dinners, rain, heat, a fire, being a stupid driver ... the list could go on!

Juan Ferrer was baptized on Sunday! WOW The Lord is aware of his needs and it was absolutely incredible to see him change his life the past 6 weeks to be sooooo prepared to enter the waters of baptism.  So many things were going on this past week it would've been so easy to just push the baptism back ... but no! He needs this NOW in his life! We all do! He is ready ... why would we wait anylonger and preclude him from more of Heavenly Father's blessings! We saw him this morning and he expressed some of his concerns right now in his life with his children and it was so neat to see how the gospel of Jesus Christ really answers those concerns. I really don't feel any shame anymore when referring to the scriptures or words of living prophets to find answers to even the dumbest silliest problems.

We had some breakthroughs with investigators this week! One woman doesn't seem to be grasping .... anything.  She always refuses to pray.  She is very sweet and nice but we just did not see why it was so difficult for her to offer the prayer. During the lesson we were talking about things we were grateful for that we can thank God for. Hna Guzman turns to me to say what are you thankful for .... and I am looking out the corner of my eye at her ... and spot my glasses frames. So I say .... "my glasses".  We all errupted in laughter! Who says they're grateful for their glasses? Anyway, the point is .... Elisa, with our help, said the closing prayer! Progress is being made!

We teaching the Zuniga familia and they have had lessons before ... know about lots of stuff. They are reading in the Book of Mormon now, each in their own! Last night we talked about Jesus Christ's example of being baptized (2 Nephi 31) and one of the daughters says "yes, so baptism. This is the decision I know I need to make. I'm scared though .... how can I prepare to be baptized. How am I supposed to be ready to be baptized?" Golden words, every missionary wants to here! They will be getting baptized in the next two months!

We have started teaching a less active who denies his faith in Jesus Christ. It is so interesting to teach him because he knows the information. He knows the scriptures ... to an extent. He also knows, that it is up to him. He must take the action! He must be humble and ask God for His help in knowing the Book of Mormon is true, if we really do have a prophet on the earth today.

Que mas? I continue studying in mostly spanish. Scriptures, yes. My english scriptures are rarely out (wahoo!) I'm finishing the conference issue in english. It is amazing reading that. We have a lot of conversos recientes who have the way and have lots of faith but sometimes need someone saying yes! This is good ... keep going! Recently I've been opening up to the Conference report and just saying ... I don't know what to teach them ... but this is the next talk I haven't read. Yeah, you guessed it, answer to a prayer. A talk that directly answer their concerns, doubts, fears, etc. 

"I love loud boys." I read this talk and just thought ... yes .... teach them the gospel! Go! But how? How do you help them understand why this is important? That is exactly what we do though .... we teach people how they can do this. Anyway, I'm not really making sense but the point of the story is a then ended up reading a story in this months Liahona about fasting. Fasting was the answer we needed in what to teach to recent converts. Fasting is how they can help themselves. We do not need to just fast for them, they can fast, they can show their faith and plead with the Lord to help them overcome their challenges.

Ok time is close to ending. last week the letter sent with less than 3 sec left. Yikes! I love you all! Thank you for your love, your letters, your prayers, and your diligent examples to me! This is the Lord's work and I know that He has sent me here to Mesa, Arizona to help it go forward!

This next week is Easter Pagent, then comes General Conference and Easter! It'll be a crazy start but it's exciting!

Oh ... I didn't say this. Hna Nielsen is coming to me ... again! Wahoo! Kind of fun to be with an old companion again! This area is exciting and we will be seeing lots and lots of miracles each day!

Love always, Hermana Clark

PS We were at Claudia and Evelin's and we smelled something burning but figured it was outside (the door was open). We continued ... but we kept smelling it. Then Evelin and I, at the same time start seeing smoke behind the door and come to find the curtain is on fire because it is set on a light bulb. My reactions from emergencies kicked in and I pulled the curtain off the door and stepped on it to put the fire out. The curtain ... is ruined. Picture is good. Maybe next week .... who knows. Love love

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

March 16 "I love trailers"

our movie theater we study in

"our table and kitchen"

WOW this week was slow and fast .... where do I start? I want to talk about Saturday. We were walking in the trailors and began talking to a woman named Tony.  Her son was getting baptized that night and that was why she was in town. She reminded me of something that would've worked on the ranch where Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen had their "How the West was Fun" movie. Jeans and a big belt buckle, jean shirt, long braided hair. Anyway ... she'd had a lot of contact with the church. Somehow she began to tell us how she'd received a lot of help when her husband died.  She continued and said why she does and does not like the church.  When she talked about what she liked though, she said they're there for you. She, very briefly spoke of how much sadness she has (not past, current) when her husband, Lucky died. It was less than a year ago, and it is still very VERY difficult. As we were talking to her, the spirit confirmed to me Christ's invitation to "come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden ....". We just have to make that decision to give them to Him and follow Him.

As we leaving the trailers, we saw a big truck and lots of stuff outside the trailer of Articeli and her 4 daughters .... were they going back to Mexico then? Yes. We literally loaded all their stuff into a truck and a trailer. They had neighbors who were helping. Wow it was hard to see them leave. They are going back to where she used to live, with all her family, and her husband. The branch is losing wonderful members of the church though. WOW She is so strong in her faith and an example of an eye looking forward to the future. I've helped people move ... but not to another country. And not people that I can't just email or call a few days later and see how things are going. Wow how great our God is for putting people in our path and taking care of all of His children ... wherever they go.

We watched a short movie about the joy of our Savior Jesus Christ with Claudia and Evelin this week. Boy did that bring the spirit in their home and boy did it make our lesson clear -> follow the example of the Savior.

Yesterday we ate with two single women who are neighbors. One is widowed with 8 children, more grandchildren, and more great grandchildren. The other is recently divorced because of an unfaithful husband who has begun to take most of the kids down his path as well. AYYYY the faith of these women though. We left the home and just wondered how they are able to keep going each day. The Lord gives us what we can handle. It is in these homes that we are reminded of the Spirit we have as missionaries. We are a beacon of hope because we represent our Savior, Jesus Christ.

One night .... ok literally ... I love the trailers! This is where most of all these stories are! We passed by some members and they were having a little get together (other members of the church and some investigators!) and offered us some food. We actually didn't have dinner that night and so accepted. WOW I am officially a fan of hot dogs. I thought I was before but not like now. (And for the record ... it was not just because I was hungry .... it was just really good) Right now this sounds sick but I never want to each a hot dog any other way (ready Dad ... you'd love these): hot dog wrapped in bacon, mayo, tomato, lettuce, onions, guacamole, salsa, mexican cheese, cucumbers en crema. OH MY GOSH. Yeah JDogs at BYU has definitely gone down the drain .... that hot dog was loaded and it was delicious! I am definitely a fan of GOOD mexican food. I love cooking with tortillas now and I'm pretty sure everything is better with salsa on it. Ok I haven't totally given up my simple easy ways but really! We even had popcorn with .... something on it ... salsa and chamoa?? Hahaha I just don't know why I'd ever have just a plain hot dog anymore.  Plain food isn't worth eating!

We saw Satan working really hard this week. There is a reason he works so hard though .... because people are learning of truth. He wants us to be as miserable as he is. This is the Lord's work and nothing will get in the way of that! We testified more than ever of the Book of Mormon this week again. To most members, we extended the invitation to continue reading it again, and pray for that confirmation again of it's reality and truth. We are promised if we ask in sincerity, we will receive that. As Pres Packer says, that is how a testimony is kept from the proud and the wicked .... they can not receive one and cannot understand until they seek with humility. 

Thank you for your letters your love your stories your prayers!! I feel so grateful for the people I am privileged to have associated with before my mission as well as now on my mission! WOW. I think I've said that word a lot in this ... but it's true. I am amazed. The Lord loves ALL of His children!

Love always, Hermana Clark

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March 9

So our investigators are progressing! This week we've worked really hard to help people understand the significance and importance of the Book of Mormon and reading it everyday to discover for ourselves, if it is of worth.

Juan is getting baptized the 21st. He has literally changed before our eyes. He was a lawyer in Mexico and had the life, family, kids, money. Had no need for God in his life, so he thought. He came here to see if life could be better. Lost the wife, lost the kids, works as a KFC cook.  He is discovering the power of the Atonement and why we can always have this hope. He literally smiles now, always! He loves going to church, reading the Book of Mormon. He is so willing to obey because he has seen blessings from obeying God's commandments. WOW He is beginning to glow and it is incredible!

Rosa is a woman who we talked to last week and has expressed desires to be baptized. Last night we taught the Restoration and yeah .... there will be a baptism in about a month I'd say? After she has a baby in a week. She is ready though. She knows he's a prophet, she knows the Book of Mormon is true!

Claudia and Evelin. They're another story but woah I am excited for them, whenever they make the decision to be baptized. It will depend on a breakup/moveout or marriage. So it could be some time.  These two, however, see the rich blessings from their neighbors examples. They are constantly with them and it's amazing they've only known about the gospel for a month or two. They love it!

We had preparation meeting at the Visitor's Center (for sisters who serve in the VC ... my comp Hna Guzman!) and that was cool to hear direction from the director, Elder White, and from a couple who just started serving in the VC. Elder White talked about fasting and the great power it has, yet how many members of the church take it lightly. Something I want to understand better and implement in my life. Sunday was a great day to begin learning more.

Que mas? We had exchanges this week and that was fun to work with Hna McBride! The work goes forward, no matter who is put in a certain area! Our new mission president is coming in July, President and Sister Ellsworth. They are from Idaho. Don't know much more. Weird Pres and Sister Bassett will be leaving.  I've never heard anyone just shrug their name off .... everyone praises the work they'd done here for the past 3 years. Incredible and how wonderful they have been in the Mesa Mission!

The Book of Mormon ... is still true! And will be .... always! We need to run but I know this is the Lord's work. Gosh it would've failed miserably long ago was it of man. We are guided by a living prophet today, President Monson. Joseph Smith restored this gospel to the earth! Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer! It is only through Him we can be saved and have hope in this life and the life to come!

Love you all! This letter has no personality in it and I am sorry. I feel dead today. It's cold! I made tomato soup and grilled cheese and burned my tongue on the soup! Ayyyyy but it was delicious! Until next week,

Love always, Hermana Clark

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March 2

Ok short letter today. Our Preparation Day was going so fast and we were super fast with everything. I even vacuumed our whole basement! But ... then we were reminded there was a big lunch at chili's with a lot of VC (visitor center) sisters so we joined them for the big celebration! Lots of fun on the mission!

This week ... was work! It rained more and we got wet. It has never really rained like it has been here. Fun though, I certainly don't mind.

Lots happened this week and I can't even separate it .... from anything else. A woman and her 4 daughters are moving back to Mexico to be with her husband and it was supppper sad. She just cried at the pulpit sharing her testimony. We spent some time helping her one day and had a big FHE with another family and had time with her fun girls. Next week I'll send some pictures!

I read through Elder Callister's talk this morning on Joseph Smith again. I love that talk. That and Elder Hollands. I like reading it repeatedly to remember our purpose as missionary and the message we share: Through the Restoration, we have the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ! I also read D&C 4 which reminded me of how many Christlike attributes we're told to have to be in the Lord's work. Wow Chapter 6 in PMG is in there for a reason!

Que mas? This week I saw little miracles with the language. I think I've lacked some faith in it, especially with a companion who is pretty much native. Why would I say anything when she can say it fluidly, faster, and not have to repeat me right after to clarify? Well, obviously that is NOT the way to think. I have been called and I will serve, in the spanish language! It is coming and I love the language. Like I"ve said all this transfer, all study is in Spanish now and it is starting to really be understood. It is a miracle everyday! I love it!

I got some pictures from Fransisco, who got baptized in December. He did baptisms for the dead, is preparing for his patriarchal blessing, and wow he is doing well! Fun to hear from him! And the Soria's did get to do temple work for their son who passed away.

Last week we had Zone Conference. MAN, ZONE CONFERENCE ROCKS. Nothing really compares. I love the distinction President made between his testimony, by the power of the Holy Ghost, of the Book of Mormon, in contrast to the things that make sense in his head. like Joseph Smith only having a 3rd grade education and knowing all these things about ancient ... life. He knows it is true because of the witness of the Holy Ghost. Then all these other things add up ... because it simply ... is true. Anyway. He stressed 3 points: 1. The vision is eternal life and baptism is the first gate. Therefore we strive for baptisms but really we desire them to partake of eternal life. 2. I wish I remembered this point right now but we're in too much of a rush. 3. Book of Mormon. I love Mormon 8:16.

The work goes forward! I feel SO PRIVILEGED to be a missionary in Mesa, Arizona! Wow! The Lord's hand is in His work. I pray I can be his instrument to bring the world His truth!

Thank you for your letters, your love, your prayers!
Love always, Hermana Clark