Monday, April 4, 2016

Happy Conference Weekend!!!

Sorry guys, I had a picture to send home but we forgot our cameras today :P Next time!
How was everyone's Conference weekend?!?! I hope it was amazing!!!!! I had an amazing time on my end of the world! I'm still on this crazy spiritual high from listening to the prophet, and hearing the word of God from them..... WOO!!! Think about it, we just listened to God speaking through a modern day prophet! I'm completely guilty of not paying a ton of attention to Conference in years past, but this time around I feel like I was trying to drink out of a fire-hose of deep insight and personal revelation and feeling the Spirit... I wish it didn't have to be over........ But! As soon as I can, I'm buying that magazine in Deseret Book that has all of the Conference talks in it. I CAN'T WAIT!!!! Elder Holland's talk, the very last one, was my absolute favorite :')
I feel like I say this every time but... I'm just learning so much. I LOVE being a missionary and representative of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I've started a prayer journal, where I'm writing things down as I pray. I'll write down a question I have, and then as I pray I'll write down what I think God would tell me as my answer. Amazing answers and insight have popped into my head out of "nowhere"... actually, I know where it's really coming from- it's Heavenly Father answering me! It's the neatest thing, I'd invite all of you back home to try it out :D

Also, this is the first time I've gone into watching General Conference with a question in mind- actually, I had 8 of them I really thought over in the weeks prior. I wrote down my question at the top of a notebook page and then left the whole page blank, and then as I listened to Conference I wrote down the answers to my questions that I was hearing in the talks. It was incredible! I even asked the question "how can I honor my parents more?" and I got amazing and deep answers that completely made sense, but that I'd never thought of before of at least didn't think much of in the past. One of the answers to my question about honoring my parents was "live in a way that your very life honors them- make them proud like you're trying to make your Father in Heaven proud." I was blown away by the answers I received to all 8 of my questions, and then because I was really listening, I found even more answers to questions I didn't even write down- like how can I teach more like the Master Teacher? Got an answer to that one too! Several!! Seriously, I mean it when I say I felt like I was trying to drink out of a fire-hose. I just couldn't write fast enough to keep up with everything the Spirit of God was telling me!

For the first time in my mission since B_______'s baptism, I've really felt true joy this weekend. I've been happy, yes, but this week in particular has filled me with joy. We found a new investigator to teach named L______ S______, and she is the coolest lady in the world but also one of the loneliest. As we left her house last night, I was overcome with emotion and gratitude that I was able to be one of the missionaries that could be there for her in her life, no matter how small of a difference I may or may not have made. I'm so grateful that I can be out here learning from Jesus Christ and His life. I'm trying my best to follow in His footsteps and feed His sheep, and let me tell you... there's nothing sweeter. I've got THE best job in the world with the best pay there is. 

For my family- thank you. Thank you for always being there for me. I wouldn't be who I am today without all of you. To my friends, thank you too! You've influenced and shaped my life and I'm so grateful that I was able to get to know each and every one of you. I LOVE all of you- please, please, please keep doing your best to live the way that God wants you to. Heaven just isn't heaven if there's empty seats up there! I'm going to keep doing my best to make it, and take as many as I can with me :D 
Thank you so much for being in my life, everyone!!! Never suppress a generous thought, and never underestimate the good you can do!!!
~Sister Clark :)
Below is an email from Sis. Clark's companion.  I love it because she really details what a typical day of a full time missionary is like. 
So this week was pretty great. We felt pretty accomplished even though our numbers weren't the greatest... But Success is not measured by numbers it is measured by your effort, diligence and love for helping others Come unto Christ. 
So let me give you a little look on the life of Sister Hoffman.  6:30 we wake up and hit the ground with our knees and offer a prayer. The prayers are always a little groggy but the more you practice doing it the more it wakes you up and your able to have a better day from waking up and talking to your Father telling him good morning and telling him what you want to accomplish that day. 
After praying we go and exercise... my least favorite part of the day! But I am getting better. Sister Clark is whipping me into shape. We have to lose the Idaho weight and all of those carbs from the potatoes and spaghetti that we get fed all the time!! Not complaining but I will be happy if I never eat another potato again. 
After Exercise we go and prepare for the day. This includes showering, getting dressed, makeup and eating some breakfast, which is for me either toast with a fruit smoothie or cereal. 
I really like the fruit smoothies.. banana strawberry mangos and peaches... yup can't get much better. All that Vitamin C really makes you feel great and ready for the day. 
Then comes personal study, this really is part of the greatest part of the day. We each have a desk where we study at and get to learn everyday for ourselves or for our investigators. My favorite thing I have been studying lately is the Book of Mormon. I have 6 highlighters that I highlight then I write in my notebook the thoughts and impressions I had this morning. But this morning I reflected on my notes from General Conference and man, talk about words from God!! I had all these questions that I wanted answers to, and each day I am reflecting on the talks and how I got my answer. This morning I read over the talk notes with the question in mind on how I could be a better mother from being on a mission and wow I got my answer. The biggest talks that gave me my answers was the talks by Mary R Durham where she talked about having the Spirit in your home. I loved it!! It was perfect! I thought about the home I want to live in when I get home and how I can contribute to having the spirit. But the main thing I learned from that is that the Spirit can not and will not dwell in a home with frustration and anger. So slow down take a step back evaluate and pray. But also if you have the Spirit that helps so much with the fact that you want to be better so that your peers can feel that presence as well. I also loved loved loved the talk about family counseling that Elder Ballard gave. I instantly thought back to the times that my father pulled us aside as a family and discussed the things going on that week or deciding on something as a family. I truly felt like a part of something bigger when he did that and I got to participate. Now I really want to make sure that I go and do that with my family. 

Ok so after personal study we have comp study. This is where it gets real. We come together, say a prayer than we recite our purpose and D&C 88:63. Then we read out of the white handbook (keeps us up to date on the rules to be obedient) then we read out of the adjusting to missionary life where we read things to help us with the rules. Really neat book. If I can get my hands on an extra one I would love to send you a copy because there is stuff in there that applies to real life.
Then once that daily routine is out of the way we ask how each others personal study went, this is where we get revelation for our area and such because we mesh out ideas together and make the area what it is. We then study for our investigators by creating lesson plans and then reading the assignments that we give them. We also role play/practice how the lesson is going to go. It all is great! But my favorite part is getting to know her spiritually. We become a lot closer as a companionship as we have more unity together. This time is critical because it is where all begins to happen as missionaries. 

Then there is training. I LOVE TRAINING! I think that I am learning more than she is. But either way we are both learning. The program we have is called 12 week and it is where it adds on to what she learned at the MTC and enhances her teaching skills and helps her adjust to being the best missionary that she can be! I love being her trainer and hope that she loves me just as much as I love her. :) 
Then comes lunch. Pretty basic. Just a quick meal and either study more for the hour break we have or play guitar or something like that. 

Then PROSELYTING. We have sooo many people that we are teaching. It is amazing to continue to find more though! For example yesterday we were contacting one of our 18 referrals and met L_____. This woman was a referral that we have been trying to meet for ages. There she was just standing there in her garden. We walked up to her and talked to her about her family and just life. We just acted as our normal selves though and she opened up a lot more. She said "You know I don't do this a lot but you can come back tonight and I will show you some pictures of my family and show you the bow and arrows that my husband made." She knew I liked archery. So we went back and she opened the door to us. We got to know her and found out that both of the husbands she had died very tragically and we very out of the blue. She had a lot of adventure in her life like traveling the world and stuff like that. It was amazing to hear her stories. But overall she was sad and that she seemed lonely. She liked the visit and said that she really liked us a lot because we were different and sweeter than other missionaries. Lemme tell you that this is from making these people my friend. I think of how the Lord ministered to people and how people really loved him because He loved THEM! Think about it. If we all acted like the Lord how much different would the state, the country, even the world be? This is how WE make a change! We can be effective through loving everyone! This is how the Lord was and this is how he wants us to be! I love serving people in this manner. This is what being a missionary is! It is inviting others to Come unto Christ and we can do this through loving like Him!! 

After proselyting we come in at around 9 and go through our day. We go over who all we taught and add up how many lessons we did. Then we go on and plan for the next day. After planning we end with a prayer and then do teaching records. Teaching records are where we write down everything that we taught the people we taught that day and then continue to update them through the week. 

Then one day out of the week we weekly plan where we take about 3ish hours our of our day to plan for everybody and how we can be better missionaries. Then at the end of weekly planning we have something called comp inventory where we talk about our feelings... I hate it but love it at the same time. I grew to love it though. I found that bottling up feelings is not really worth it!! So this week Sister Clark and I talked out a lot of things and nothing was to the point of like oh my goodness I hate you or you are so annoying but it was almost like a wake up call to both of us on what we need to work on. I actually really liked it because I felt more in the loop with her life and always wanting to improve. It is a great feeling to know that you can put trust in your companionship to talk to her or that she can talk to you! When I am married I know for sure that comp inventory will save any fight form going extra sour and the relationship I have with him will be much stronger. Try it with your relationships and see what happens. 
Here are the steps: 
Conduct companionship inventory. At the end of your weekly planning session, share with your companion appropriate goals, and ask for his or her help to accomplish them. Discuss the strength of your relationship with your companion. Discuss any challenges that may be keeping your companionship from working in unity or from being obedient. Resolve conflicts. Share with your companion what you think his or her strengths are. Ask for suggestions on how you can improve. If needed, set goals that will improve your relationship. Conclude with prayer.
I promise you blessings that if you apply what you learned in the conference sessions you watched and apply them into your life you WILL see a difference. Make sure to continue to pray and I hope to hear from you soon! 

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