Monday, May 30, 2016

Week in LA Town‏

This week we taught a TON of less-active members of the church (**her post title LA town, she said, is for Less Active**). It was crazy how many people we saw! Cars really do make a difference in getting places faster, who knew...
J_____ admitted out loud that he believes in God! THIS IS HUGE!!! He was atheist when I first met him! He's basically our favorite. Tonight he's having us over for steak and a long lesson that he requested, and this morning they invited us to a community work-out event in the park. I LOVE them!!

This week we saw so many miracles. We'd really been trying our best this week to be exactly obedient to all the schedules and rules we have. They mean it when they say obedience brings blessings, but exact obedience brings miracles. For example, we had been wanting to see S_____ for ages, the one we met when we were driving by while she was walking on the street and she invited us to dinner, but every time we drove up to her house we kept feeling weird about it, like we got a "now isn't the time" feeling.

Well, yesterday we tried going to her house again and we finally felt like it was ok to go. She answered the door and she started crying and told us about how she'd been so busy at work the whole week, and then that morning she found out that one of her friends passed away in a car accident. She told us she'd been hoping we'd stop by because she could really use a spiritual message... it was a time that we saw the Lord's hand very blatantly. He really is helping us to look after His sheep in the world. We also just so happened to have the perfect scripture that she needed, the one I think I've put in an email before- John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."  I'm so, so, so, so, so honored that the Lord trusted us enough to work through us to deliver that message to His daughter in need.

Do your best to be obedient to the Lord's commandments, and I promise you that He will be able to work through you to help others so much more! :)
Speaking of daughters of God, there's one that's reeeeeeeally hard to get to- she lives up the side of a mountain, and her driveway is 0.7 miles long going up at about a 60 or 70 degree incline. It's super exciting when there's been a mudslide recently and we go around the next switchback not really sure what's going to happen... but the view is incredible. It's kinda worth it. We have no idea how she built her house though... She's the coolest Russian/French lady with the thickest accent I've ever heard. V____ T_____... she's an exciting one!

We made it a companionship goal to take more pictures this week but we failed... so we took a few right before we came into the family history center to email. Enjoy! :D We'll do better next week, maybe...!

Till next week!

Sister Clark


Monday, May 23, 2016

What's in an email title? By any other name, wouldn't it still be great?‏

Ok, so I don't have a ton of time this week, BUT! I'm going to try to get as much as I can down before we go!
So what even happened this week? Oh, we got our car back, but no biggie...
JUST KIDDING! I've never been so happy in my life probably. We love our Subaru so much.
Lately I've been studying a lot on what it means to really repent, and to really give up everything for the Lord. I've always thought, "but how do I do that exactly?" I've been afraid to commit to giving up everything because I've always been afraid that if I told the Lord I was willing to do that, then I'd lose everything and go through an experience like Job.... no thank you.... I've already given up 18 months of my life to service, and I gave up all the things I own at home, but have I given up my heart? After really looking at myself, I don't think I have! So I've been trying to completely devote all of my thoughts, my time, and my emotions to the work of salvation. I'm trying to think and care about others more than I care about myself. It's really, really hard! It's something I'm still working on, and probably will keep working on for a looooong time.
This past week we had Zone Conference, and Elder Anderson of the Seventy came and spoke. He talked about hope a lot, and how hope and faith go hand in hand, but when we struggle with hope we should not focus on having more hope. He talked about how the world can give hope for a limited time, more like an absence of trouble, but Christ gives us hope in the midst of trouble. He said that when we feel like we struggle with hope, we should focus on getting more faith. Faith in Jesus Christ is what carries us through everything life could possibly throw at us. Faith in Him gives us hope even when the world would tell us it's hopeless. I really see that to be true, more and more!

We started the lessons over with J_____. Somehow, with him and K_____ going through this rough patch, he's more ready and willing to hear the Gospel now and apply it. He's asking tons of deep questions and really searching himself, and asking all the same questions Joseph Smith did before he found the truth. We're really excited for J_____.

I've become really, really attached to people out here. I love all the members I work with, and I love all the people we teach. Sometimes, I'll even get attached to random people we barely met, and sometimes when they reject the Gospel and want nothing to do with it... it really hurts! All I can think about is what they're missing out on in their lives and how much I wish I could help them but the only One who can help is Jesus Christ. If they want nothing to do with Him... it makes me sad. But, it doesn't tear me down, because there's way too many people out there who need the Gospel and are willing to take it into their lives, but they just don't know where to find it right now. That's where Sister Wilson and I come in!

All in all, it's been a stellar week. Having our car back has been one of the best highlights, but being packed every day with appointments and running around and having to turn people down because we don't have enough time in the day to see them... it's been wonderful! Crazy, but wonderful!

I really appreciate all the prayers from home, I can definitely feel their influence out here. Thank you so much for everyone who supports me, and who support their own missionaries or friends on missions :) There's no better cause than bringing some soul to know that Christ is their Redeemer, and that our Heavenly Father loves us more than we can know. There's been nothing better for me to know in my life, and that's for sure.

Till next week!

Sister Clark

Monday, May 16, 2016

"These flats were made for walking, and that's just what they'll do...."

Nope, we don't have our car back yet, so we're still walking!! :D

This whole week, I've never had so many prayers answered so immediately and so often. As we were walking, one time I said a prayer in my mind that just said, "Hey Heavenly Father, it'd be nice if we could get a ride right now." Poof! The moment my thought ended someone pulled over and offered us a ride.
Another time, we were walking to an appointment in town and we asked for a ride from Heavenly Father. We didn't get a ride there, but we somehow made it to our appointment within 10 minutes when usually it takes us 35 minutes to walk. We didn't even run! On the way back from our appointment though, someone pulled over and offered us a ride home. Hahaha we didn't specify where we wanted our ride to, but God definitely arranged a ride for us!

(The two road pics sum up our experience pretty well: nothing for miles, no one for miles, no one picks up their phone... it was actually really fun!)
This past Saturday, C_____ got baptized!!! I have a picture of him and us below. It was so spiritual and such a precious moment. Now, he's influencing his whole family and it won't be too long before all of them are brought into the church. Go C______!!! The youth in our wards here are AMAZING. Over 100 people showed up to his baptism and half his extended family made it, and he was just swarmed by all his friends. There's countless people supporting him on every side, and I am so grateful for that. Us and the whole ward are just buzzing with excitement! 

Ok, sad news time... K_____ and J_____ are separating. We walked into their house one morning while J_____ was at work and we were visiting with K_____, and then she suddenly burst into tears and told us that she really wanted to live the Law of Chastity and she knew she had to move out, and it was what God had been telling her to do all along. She wants to go to the temple so badly, and she is now taking all the right steps to keep God's commandments so that she can do that. She told us that it was almost weird when we walked in, because she just finished texting the bishop telling him that she wanted help moving out... and then we knock on the door. She told us, "I thought he called you guys or something, it was so weird!"
It's bittersweet... it's good because she really has that desire to obey God and live the Law of Chastity so she can get married in the temple for time and all eternity... and it's also sad because their relationship isn't working out the way everyone- them especially- had hoped it would.

When you set a goal, Heavenly Father WILL help you reach it. This whole week I've been amazed that every time we set a goal and worked really hard to reach it, we always would. Even when it seemed impossible. Heavenly Father just made it possible, somehow. Miracles DO still happen- and they happen daily. On a bigger scale, for K_____, she set a goal to go to the temple, and although it's hard, He let her know that if she wants to do that, she needs to make adjustments in her life. But now she's doing them, and she feels like she's on the right path. We're really, really proud of her courage and faith. I know that Heavenly Father is so proud but He also weeps with her, and I know that He will carry her through this trial on the way to reaching happiness that lasts so much longer than just one lifetime. I know this because of John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
When we're doing all we can to follow Christ, we are always taken care of, and we will always find peace through Him. With Him, everything will always turn out ok :)
I'm thoroughly satisfied with this entire week. It's been fun, jam-pack full of miracles and tender mercies, and Sister Wilson and I have been really good at dancing in the rain when it might have been easier to get frustrated. I love this girl!! Ah, I am just so happy. Seriously, the key to being happy is serving other people! 1 John 4:7 spells this out nicely: "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God."

I've never come closer to Jesus Christ in my whole life than when I've been serving someone else. Whether that's offering a shoulder to cry on, leading someone to the waters of baptism and a lifelong commitment to love others and keep the commandments to be happy... doing this work, the Lord's work, is what makes me happier than anything else I've felt in my life :)

Everyone back home, abroad, stranger or friend or family... I've got a challenge for you! Do one small act of service for someone every day this next week. I can promise you that you will find happiness in the act of helping someone else be happy. Smile at someone, pick up someone else's stuff, say hello to someone sitting by themselves... Matthew 25:40 "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Sister Clark

(And one extra picture that Sis. Hoffman sent Sis. Clark from her new area.  This is a pic of a friend back home who now lives in Idaho.  Fun!)

Monday, May 9, 2016

One more exciting note to add...

By the way, I forgot to put it down in my mass email, but our mission is getting split in half! As of July 1st, they're opening up the Idaho Falls mission which will cover the north half of my mission, from Shelly up. Pocatello will keep the Star Valley temple though!
So next transfer, depending on where I end up being, I may or may not be in a whole new mission! I'm hoping to stay in Poky though, I really like President Hancock :(

But yeah! Crazy stuff right? We found out this Wednesday, poor President said he feels like he's losing half of his children.
Sister Clark

"On the road again..."‏

So last week we crashed our car, and then we got bikes for while it's getting fixed... but now, we're without bikes too! On about day 3 of having the bikes, we got out of one appointment and Sister Wilson moved her bike forward a foot on their driveway, and we hear a shhhhhhhh. That was a bad sign... We check it out and we had a goat-head thorn in her front tire, and then, it immediately starts raining. We looked at each other and busted out laughing- there couldn't have been a more perfect moment.
That thorn came out of nowhere, so we really think that God is trying to teach us a lesson. We've felt for ages that we really need to work with our members much more than we do, and then poof our car gets put in the shop for 2 weeks. That forced us to rely on the members for rides and such, and then once we get bikes poof a tire pops. Once again, we're on the road on our own two feet and we really have to work with the members to get anywhere! Hahaha maybe someday we'll learn our lesson- just hopefully before one of us breaks a leg next!!
Aside from that, the other super exciting event that happened this week is that I got to Skype home to my family!!!!!!!! :D It was amazing!!!! I miss you guys!! It was so cool to see that nothing has changed much, and it feels like it was only yesterday that I was home laughing with everyone the same way we were over Skype. But then Mom went and told me that I had 14 months and 20 days left on my mission.... I was like "Ack! No! Don't tell me that!!" I felt homesick right after our call ended, but I'm definitely not ready to go home yet. Probably won't ever be.... I'm happy where I am! (**The only reason I (her mom) told her how much time she had left was because she said she has 15 months left until she can see the new Captain America I told her it was less than she thought. Haha**)
A lot of the reason that I'm happy where I am is because I get to be around such cool people like C_____, and he's getting baptized this Saturday!!! I'm so excited!!! I_____ is a pretty tough area I'm finding out more and more, but the fact that he's getting baptized opens the door to so many of his friends and even his family to hearing the Gospel. A LOT of good things are about to happen, even more than what we already have happening right now :D

Well I hope everyone had a good Mother's Day. We got to speak in one of our wards and I got to sing my momma's praises, I feel really lucky :) I miss my family, and I love them all more than I can say. "Yall done good" to me. I'm so grateful for everyone's support and love and prayers, thank you!!

the-one-and-only Sister K. Clark

Monday, May 2, 2016

Breaking my Greenie in... and our car :D‏

So I only have a couple seconds, but yeah so we kinda ruined our car!

Sister Wilson back backing up and the car didn't turn on all the way, so the electricity was running but not the engine, and so that allowed her to shift gears but the brakes and steering didn't work. So she started rolling backwards and ran over the Nelson's fence and started rolling towards a cliff... so I opened the passenger door (because I was backing her like a good missionary!), and I yelled "Get out! Get out!" She jumped out of the car and I jumped out of the way and the door got bent backwards as it rolled over the white-picket fence. 
Because the door was open, it slowed down the car's momentum enough that it stopped 4 feet from going over the cliff. I have a picture of it for next week! Fun times. Sister Wilson and I were hugging and shaking and now we're best buds, 3 days in! Good start to a great transfer :D We'll be walking in our area until our car gets fixed, and it's in the shop as we speak!

Well, everything else is going good in the area- we're working SUPER hard and getting a lot done! I love Sister Wilson so much, she's so chill and yet crazy at the same time :D I love working with her! She's teaching me so much already, and I am SO excited I got to be her "trainer"!

Well, thanks for praying for us everyone! We definitely have felt your prayers all this week. From the miracle with the car to all the new people we're finding to teach, it's extremely obvious that God is working miracles all around us. I love being a missionary!!! And I have LOVED this whole past week!!! :D I'm looking forward to another great one next time!!
Sister Clark <3