Monday, February 29, 2016

Two months out in 13 days!!!!!

No pictures this week, sorry! It's been kinda crazy lately :)
This email will be kind of short, but this week went pretty well! Some days were a little emotionally draining, but overall, I'm working hard and doing my very best. I've worked harder than I ever have this week, and come even closer to the Lord than before. My daily prayers are starting to stretch into 30 minutes of intense and earnest praying, I love it :)
J___ smoked again, poor guy. But we backtracked and re-emphasized the importance of C.P.R., which is Church, Payer, and Reading the scriptures. He seemed to really feel the Spirit in our lesson, and he told us that he needs to get married and he wants to quit smoking really bad. We love him so much and he knows that. He hugged Sister Hoffman- ack! Hahaha but it was really sweet, he loves us too. She kinda stood there like "aaahhh what do I do, I can't turn it away.." Hahaha it was great XD (*It's one of the missionary rules that missionaries can't hug the opposite sex.*)
Oh! So on exchanges I learned a new word- "salty". If you feel irritated but not quite angry, you're just "salty". Hehe I may not be learning a new language but I'm picking up the Idaho lingo. Sister Gilbert is one of my STLs (sister training leaders, like a zone leader), and she is AMAZING. I learned so much on the Tuesday I was with her! I really hope I'll be able to serve with her sometime in my mission, or at least come to be a little like her :) 
Another thing I learned- K____, J____'s fiance, has a warrant out for her arrest.... We were in the car with them looking at wedding venues and apparently they had their brights on, and we got pulled over. This is especially funny since I found out my brother got pulled over this week... hehehe. Anyways, the cop leans over and says, "Ma'am, are you aware there is a warrant out for your arrest?" She goes "Again?" Sister Hoffman and I kinda look at each other like ohmyheckwhatdowedo.
The cop knew them though and let us go with a friendly warning, and K____ explained she just didn't show up for a court date for a ticket on accident, but they took care of it. We won't let her live it down haha :)
Alright well, I'm sending real letters home this week so my family can expect some soon! Love you guys! 
~Sister Clark

Monday, February 22, 2016

MY FIRST BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

B_______ is SO great!!!!!!​ I'm really, really excited if you can't tell :D Also something I'm excited about....
SISTER HOFFMAN AND I ARE HELPING PLAN A WEDDING!!!! Whoa!! J____ and his fiance K____ live together so they need to get married, and they finally agreed to get married! We're going to do our best with the whole ward's help to get them their dream wedding, and then Jeff can get baptized!!! We reset Jeff's date for March 5th and we're really hoping we can get their wedding going in time, but either way, we're confident Jeff is going to get baptized soon!!!! :D
This week was such a good week. I'm really starting to hear God speak back to me while I pray. I take the time to ask Him something, and then I wait there on my knees and just listen. Answers are just flooding into my brain, I'm amazed. I've never really felt like prayer was truly a "phone call" to God, mostly it felt like I was speaking out my requests and then seeing if I'd find an answer hopefully later in the week. But now, I can literally talk to Him like I'm talking to another person. That's never happened to me before- my mission is really helping me to mature spiritually, where would I be if I hadn't decided to come?! 
So the Pocatello mission is the 2nd highest baptizing mission in the states, which is cool, but it's also a 40 pound mission...... I don't know how I feel about that part....... but I believe it................ One day I had two dinners lined up back to back- I was really worried I was going to explode.... Pray for me guys! I'm determined to stay fit, but my stomach might actually explode if I have two dinners in a row again! (not really mom) :)
Well, on that note, Sister Hoffman isn't going to die either, by the way! We went to the doctor and she is A-ok, just needs a bit of medicine :D I'm so relieved! We're working hard and having wayyyy too much fun a lot of the time, but we're pretty stress free considering how much work we have on our plates, I love it. Haha in our district everyone else has about 18 referrals to go see combined, but Sister Hoffman and I have about 31 of them to contact this week all on our own! People love giving us referrals, there's a TON to do! 
I'm absolutely loving Idaho, everyone, I really am :) They mean it when they say a mission is hard work, but I've never worked so hard at something so worthwhile. I may say that over and over again, sorry, but I really mean it :)
I love you all, and I'm keeping you in my prayers!
~Sister Clark

Monday, February 15, 2016

New Pictures :)

One day I was messing with Sister Hoffman and came out of the room wearing six of her outfits...... hehehe

I've officially been a missionary for a month!!!

I forgot my camera card this week, but we didn't take too many pictures anyways. I'll have pictures next week!
This past week was honesty really, really good! We found 3 new investigators, YEAH!!! We have about 23 referrals to go and visit too, ack! Also, we officially set the baptismal date with B_______ for February 20th. She'll be my first baptism ever, I am SO excited! J_____ is doing great too, he's still on track to be baptized on the 27th, and T____ will hopefully knock her smoking addiction so she can make it to being baptized on March 12th. Those are our wonderful people preparing to be baptized, I love them all :D
So one of our new investigators is amazing but also a little intimidating at the same time... We ran into George while tracting, and he is a STRONG Christian. He is super passionate about the Bible, which is fantastic! He's a super polite and nice guy, and he invited us to come back so we could talk about God more (we talked for about an hour when we met him), and he challenged us to read all of John, and he would read all of 3 Nephi before we met again. Wow! Part of me thinks he wants to convert us, haha :) He says he won't believe in the Book of Mormon unless he gets real proof that the Nephites existed like he says the Bible has concrete evidence supporting it, but demanding proof isn't having faith! He's a really kind Bible basher, we're excited to meet with him again :)
Oh, so a while ago at the Nelson's house (that's the members we're living with), I learned a lesson about always being with your companion. They don't have a trash can so they just burn all the garbage, and one day I was doing something and Sister Hoffman took the garbage outside real fast to get it burning. I felt the Spirit tell me to go with her, but I pushed away and I thought, "Meh, it's only for a second, plus I'm busy." A few minutes later she came back in all excited telling me about how she didn't know there was an old whip-cream can in the garbage and it exploded in the fire! My stomach dropped. I was SO happy she wasn't hurt, but I should've been with her just in case something did happen! She thought it was funny how it exploded, but I'll listen to the Spirit much more carefully from now on- it was a good lesson for me :)
Everyone, please keep praying for my companion! She's doing better but we'll go to the doctor soon for her. Something I've noticed- when Sister Hoffman isn't feeling well and sleeps in to rest more, I'm tempted to sleep in too- and while I could do that, it's not good for me. It gets kinda hard to exercise by myself or feel motivated to keep busy when I could just do nothing and no one would care. You can sleep too when your companion is sick, so it really isn't a huge deal, but it's huge to me. When I choose to be lazy when I could be sticking to the schedule and staying on track, the rest of my day is affected. I really need that exercise and personal study time in the morning! Keeping busy makes me happy :) I feel accomplished and motivated and I personally feel the Spirit with me stronger when I do that. Pray for me too that I'll keep doing what I need to do to stay motivated!
That's all for this week :) I love you all and I miss Texas with all my heart, especially when we're having so much fun with all this snow and icy roads... but! I know I'm where I'm meant to be doing what I need to do for the Lord. I've never been busier in my life- literally every minute is planned out in my day- but I've never been happier :D Till next time!
Sister Clark

Monday, February 8, 2016

"Idahooo, Idahoooooo, I'm one with the wind and snooooooow..."

Christmas came early this year!! I finally got all those letters my best friend Elder Nielsen had stuck in Africa with him, I was so happy!!!! And I got a Greenie Package from my family, full of green mints and green paper plates and a green necklace and green balloons and green straws.... thanks guys!!

Here's Sister Hoffman and I in our PJs! I love her to death :D  The poor girl has been sick a lot this week so she's taken the time to rest more in the mornings... pray with me for her. She's getting better now though so I'm super stoked to get out even more and meet more and more people :) Sister Hoffman and I have a goal of making our area into a stake, and it's completely possible!

Trying to get warm by the fireplace during planning
So while this week was a good week, I got a little frustrated with myself, because I keep expecting perfection. I had to sit back and come to terms with the fact that I can't be a perfect missionary right off the bat, or even ever. I have to be patient because sometimes I push myself too hard. While I was praying one morning, words came to my mind saying, "Work better, not harder." I realized that I was working on 20 goals at once and I was frustrated because I wasn't achieving any of them. The Lord helped me realize that I need to work on 2 goals at a time, max. I've been SO much happier ever since :) Prayer works! It also carries you through mealtime when you've had nothing but potato dinners and spaghetti since you arrived :D
This week we were teaching good old J____, our amazing golden investigator, and it came time to teach the Law of Chastity... it's just as awkward as you'd expect it to be. But! J____ is amazing, he has so much faith! He accepted it all, and we're hoping that him and his fiance will be married by Valentine's Day! and then baptized on the 27th!! I'm so excited!! He's struggling with smoking still, so we bought him a giant bag of Dum-Dum suckers as a replacement, and there were some weird flavors in there.... he gave us the pizza and bacon flavored ones.... they tasted like vomit. Ick! But it was hilarious. His little girl then put stickers on our foreheads and we were told to go the rest of the day with them on. I still have that sticker, but now it's on the back of my name-tag :)

Oh, and I wrote a song out here :D Sister Hoffman has her guitar here, I love it so much. I'll see if I can get my song recorded and I'll try to send it home soon :) Also, look up a song called the "Idaho Song" on YouTube. It's a hilarious song for Idaho to Frozen's "Let it Go" :D  And if you're wondering what kind of music we listen to out here... we listen to a lot of Mormon remixed songs like Justin Beiber's "Boyfriend", but this version goes like "Convert, convert, I could be your convert..." It's great.
One thing that I'm really coming to realize is that no matter what you experience with the Gospel, whether you see an angel or serve a full time mission, you can still fall away from the church. We find so many people out here like that who have just fallen away, even though they still believe in it. What you need to stay with the church and receive all the Lord's promised blessings is to keep doing what you know you need to do! Action leads to conversion. Having a testimony and believing in something is the first step, but if you get lazy and never do anything about what you know, what good does that do for anyone? Actively following Christ is the only way you'll ever get closer to Him. I'm working hard on converting myself to Christ more and more each day, and what's awesome is by doing that, my testimony is only growing too :) I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Even through the tough times, I'm happy because I'm serving Him.
The only thing that could possibly make me happier is sending me some Texas stuff I can wear with pride..... :)
Keep safe everyone, I love you all!
Sister Clark

Monday, February 1, 2016

MTC pics and My First Week

First, some pictures from the MTC...

One night Sister Meyers (one of my MTC girls in my district) hid in her laundry bag and scared the goodness out of her companion. Her reaction was priceless, super fun night :) 

Sis Jarvis and I and the Provo temple!

More of our district at the Provo Temple

Now pictures from Idaho below!!!

Sister Hoffman hit her 6 month mark so she burned a sweater!

Sis Hoffman decorated my room for when I came! She's so sweet!  [*Sis. Clark is what we call a "Greenie" because she's brand new to the mission field so that's what the green celebrates*]

Oh my goodness where do I even begin?! I feel like I've lived two lifetimes since I wrote last!
Where did I even leave off...? Well the MTC (Missionary Training Center) was absolutely amazing, my life has definitely changed just from that experience :) It was like every EFY (Especially For Youth) and Girls Camp and whatever else combined into two weeks, times a million. I loved my whole district and I absolutely loved Sis Jarvis (I'd go by Sis Stark with her and convinced a ton of people that was my actual name... hehe). I miss my amazing teachers, Sis Wrubell and Sis Rigby. I miss all of those amazing people a lot... but! Now I have a new district and zone to come to love :)
Update! On Friday at the MTC I got toe surgery! Yay! I had both sides of my big toenail on both feet removed because they were ingrown. I never thought it would be a problem because I thought it was minor, but the doc said it'd be best to get them out. It was really cool to watch the surgery once I couldn't feel it anymore.... :) It was great. I'm still sore but they're healing nicely, and I'm glad I got the surgery because I can already tell there's a difference.

We made it to the mission home safe and sound and my mission president is.... heroic! I don't know how else to describe him. He's like Clark Kent, he just has this superhero air to him. His wife is adorable, she's shorter than me but full to the brim with love. The Hancocks are both so powerful with the Spirit, they're great!!!

We stayed the night at the mission home and then drove to our areas to meet our trainers. I AM SO BLESSED, I got Sister Hoffman!!! She calls me her "daughter", she's such a caring and sweet person! She decorated the room for me when I first walked into the residence and she's so funny and energetic and motivated to teach the gospel. She just LOVES everyone and I love her to death already! We make a pretty good team :) We have a lot of fun as we get the work done, I'm so happy. Funny story- late one night the toilet got clogged and it started overflowing on poor Sis Hoffman. I come in and try to help her clean it all up and she suddenly says "It's Satan! He has control over the water, he's in the toilet!" We nearly died laughing that night, so does that count as a near death experience...?
Ok, on a side note... Idaho is stinking cold.... It's usually around 17 degrees if it's decent outside..... But it's gorgeous, the snow on the mountains is absolutely picture perfect! My area is_____ and we've got around 3 feet of snow here. Woohoo! I'm NOT a fan of driving on ice, and we have a decent sized area with a lot of driveways going up the side of mountains at a nearly 90 degree slope... It's super exciting every time :) (Don't panic mom, we haven't died yet) Toe warmers are my life now!
Already, I have seen miracles out here. I am so blessed. One night we planned for three lessons in our day, but the one for after dinner fell through. At dinner, we were just chatting with the members feeding us when suddenly the husband announces "So I read the Book of Mormon for the first time the other day." What? We asked if he was a convert, and he said he actually wasn't a member but his wife was. WHAT? We were blessed with the opportunity to teach him the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (first missionary lesson!) and he committed to pray about the Book of Mormon, and we have an appointment with him again later this week. Miracles! We not only had three lessons that day like we planned, but we met our goal for this week of getting 2 new investigators! The Lord is definitely mindful of every individual, I'm already seeing how much he's looking after me too. 
I love all of the people in _____, every member of the church we meet, every non member, every one of our lovely people investigating the church... I love them all. We have two official baptisms next month, a man going cold turkey on cigarettes and coffee, and little girl getting baptized soon to mention a few of our wonderful people, and plenty of new people I can't wait to get to know :) Pray for the people I meet, ok?! They're so amazing and so inspiring, trying to come closer to Christ, and they teach me so much every time we go over and "teach" them. The Spirit is real, it really does testify to our hearts the truth of all things, and I'm only just noticing how much. I love being a missionary, spreading the word of the love of God to everyone I meet :) I have never been happier forgetting about myself in the service of others.
Thank you so much for supporting me!! I love you all!! Till next Monday :)

Sister Clark