Monday, December 30, 2013

Hello there Everyone!

I'm so grateful I was able to Skype with you guys on Christmas! That was the greatest present ever! :) I loved getting to see your faces and hear your voices. Best gift ever! I love you guys so much! I tell you being out here on a mission has made me realize how much I have taken having you all in my life for granted. I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful family! I want to thank each one of you for the Christmas gifts! Mom thank you so much for all the darling clothes, I love them! They all fit perfectly! Surprisingly I'm still the same size, so don't worry you've been sending the right size. I loved the maroon dress, darling gingham top, and white sweater and the wrap around skirt, they are all so cute! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I didn't feel I adequately got to thank you on Skype, so Thank you again! I loved the cute earrings from Michael, good pick ;) The cute Dog from Andrew, Red Lobster Biscuit mix from Josh, (that is a favorite of mine! I can't wait to make it!) and Rachel thank you for the lotion and bath salt. You guys spoiled me! Thank you so much! :) It was such a fun Christmas! We had a breakfast with the other Sisters, and played games, went to the Jensen's to Skype, and they made us Chimichanga's so delicious! Then we went to see our sweet ward Missionary Sister Gerling who lives at the care center, we received so many goodies from ward members so we decided to bring them to the care center and we went with Sister Gerling to go caroling and pass them out to her cute friends. That was probably one of the greatest moments of the day! We met a woman Isabelle who is 105 years old! It was sweet to see the smile that lit their faces as Sister Gerling handed them the goodies. We brought the Nativity video and Mr. Krueger's Christmas and watched it with a big group of residents. So fun! Later that night we went to the Ross's home. It was so much fun, they have a beautiful home up in the hills. Their son Jacob had shot a turkey and they had cooked it for dinner. Jacob was so proud of his turkey. As Sister Ross started carving the turkey, we heard a scream moments later, and we went over to see if she was alright. We looked at the turkey to discover it hadn't been fully gutted, haha. It was pretty funny. The Ross's had their neighbor Joel over who wasn't a member - that was a neat experience, we were able to share a message about Christ with him. I'll keep you posted if anything further happens with him. :) 

Well, This has been such a great week! We have had miracle after miracle! The Young men's president Brother Demars had invited Jacob Nolan- an 17 year old boy to mutual and church and he'd gone and had a great experience. Jacob's mother is the only member in her family. Brother Demars asked Jacob just this last week if he would like to take the lessons? He gladly accepted.On Friday we had the most incredible lesson with him! Brother and Sister Demars, their son Britton, and another youth Josh Ross came with us to the lesson. We shared the Restoration, and there were 6 of us that bore testimony during the lesson. Jacob said the most sincere prayer to know if this is what God wants for him. He gladly accepted to follow the savior and he wants to be baptized. We set a date for January 18th. It was such a powerful lesson. 

Another miracle. I've really had the desire to teach a family, that has been one of my hopes and dreams. On exchanges, Sister Taylor was with me, and we tracted in to a home, and the woman who answered the door was so sweet, she invited us in and we met her 3 darling children. David- 12, Dallas- 9 and Felicity-1. Dallas is deaf, and he was so excited to meet us. Although he couldn't understand us, and I don't speak sign language, he sat there and tentatively looked at us during the lesson. We taught the restoration, and I have never felt the spirit so strongly in my life. She hadn't grown up with religion in her home while she was growing up. She said she had been looking for a church that would fit her family. She said they just hadn't found one yet. We invited them to church and she was so grateful for the invitation. She said that they had had a babysitter come take care of her children that belonged to the church. She said she has several friends who are members, and that she had been interested for quite some time. As we told her she was a daughter of a loving heavenly father, who wanted her to have access to all of his blessings, tears came to her eyes. Heavenly Father was speaking to her through the spirit. I just felt this overwhelming love, because I know how much her Heavenly Father loves her. It was amazing! She has that desire to follow Jesus Christ and she accepted to prepare herself for the baptismal date of January 25th. I'm so excited to get to teach this sweet little family. We are teaching them again tonight, I can't wait! :) 

We had the opportunity to go do baptisms on Saturday with Sue, it was such an incredible experience. To get to see her walk through the temple doors, and to see the beautiful smile on her face. We went with Brother and Sister Therber, and their family. It was an amazing experience. Some of the words the temple worker said really touched me, he said that as we do work in the temple we are doing the work that not even angels can do. He reminded us that as we do this work, these are real people who had fallen in love, had hardship, and wonderful times as well. People who had dreams, and aspirations. People who have families that they love and hold dear. As we do the work for them we allow them to progress. In a doctrine and covenants class, Sister McComas taught us that as those in the spirit world are still affected by the adversary until they accept baptism, then they can feel relief from the feelings of their mistakes, and the adversary can't influence them anymore. They are able to feel peace and joy. I think Sue had a great experience, I always love going to the temple, although there are many harsh things going on in the world, it reminds me that as long as we have the gospel, we don't have to worry, God is watching over us. He'll always protect us. 

This last week we invited over 30 people to church, we have been talking to about 12 people a day outside our appointments and we've seen miracles from it. The mission president has raised the bar for each of us. It's been wonderful, each day I feel I'm growing, I've learned so much about myself while I've been out here, as I've pushed past my expectations for myself, and worked hard to meet the expectations president Mullen. Which goes back to the expectations Heavenly Father has for me. As I've pushed myself each day it's been amazing to see that with Heavenly Father, and with great faith in him I can do much more than I ever could have done myself. Although we invited 30 people, and made countless follow up calls, none of them made it to church. Yet although none of those we'd invited came so many members had invited friends to church! Sue's daughter Sarah came, and girl who just recently became re-activated invited her friend to church. We were so grateful the Lord blessed us for our efforts. One of the speakers in church had shared his testimony about the Book of Mormon, and Haley's friend Amira asked for a Book of Mormon, and said she's excited to read it. We will hopefully be teaching her soon here. 

I'm so grateful we've been able to see so many miracles this week! Thank you for all of your prayers, I'm so grateful for your love and support I can feel strength from your prayers each day!  
I love each one of you so much! I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Sincerely, Sister Sarah Clark 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Dear Family, 

I was so humbled by your email.... It's hard to hear Dad didn't get the job... I nearly started crying with joy to hear that kind donor offered to pay for my mission.  I'm so incredibly grateful! Whoever you are, thank you so much!!! I know you are supporting not only me, but God's work. I plan to put my all into these months I have here serving in Washington. I just want to express my gratitude for that wonderful act of kindness, I will forever be grateful! 

Dad, don't worry I know God has a great plan for you, and maybe he needs you elsewhere at this time. I'll keep you in my prayers. Thank you for all you do for our family! I don't know where I would be without our family... You guys mean everything to me! I sure miss you during this Christmas season, but I know this is where Heavenly Father needs me at this time. I'm so excited to get to talk with all of you on Christmas! I've been looking forward to it for a long time! To get to see your faces, and hear from you! :) Thanks for all your love and support while I've been out, it has meant the world to me. 

First of all, Merry Christmas!
Thank you for the update, it's fun to hear all the wonderful things you're doing! I'm so excited for Rachel! Footloose, how fun! :) You'll definitely have to video tape it, I have a feeling I'm going to have several home video's to catch up on when I get home, haha. I'm glad to hear the package made it to you safely. I got your packages as well! Thank you so much! I'm excited to open them Christmas morning, you are all so sweet! Thank you! That's so fun that you were able to Skype with the Jensen's! They are such a fun family, they live right next to us, and we get to see them frequently. I think in the future we just might have to set up Josh and Julia haha. So Josh broke his wrist, oh no! Now he's broken both, haha...  That was so sweet of Caleb to give him a snowboard. :) Now you've got a conversation starter with the girls right Josh? haha. Anyway, I'll definitely keep Aunt Linda in my prayers, it breaks my heart to see her going through so much... Could you send me her address? I loved your story about the cute  Megan Louise, I bet you made her entire day! :) 

Well, it's been another wonderful week! Miracles galore! We were able to meet two of Sue's children this week, her daughter Shannon- 18 joined us for Sue's new member lesson, she's been searching for truth, in Montana where she is attending college, she is part of a Christian youth group. She's grown up with Catholicism, and Catholic's believe that the spirit is created during conception here on Earth. The spirit bore strong testimony, as we read the description in True to the Faith about the Pre-Mortal Existence. That we had distinct personalities, likes, and developed talents before we came here. It was neat to me to think about those things which I enjoy.. Whenever I sketch, it just feels so natural, I can't help but think that may have been something I enjoyed before I came to this Earth. As we explained that she lived with her loving Heavenly Father, and that he presented his plan for her here on Earth, I just felt the spirit bear witness so strongly. Sue bore her testimony throughout the lesson, it's neat to see that fire in her as she shares. Yesterday, Sue's son Patrick was able to make it to church, he lives in Salt Lake City, it's neat to see the influences God places in lives... Nothing is there coincidentally. I'm so excited for the day when that family will get to dress in white and be sealed as together for time and eternity. That love and great vision of God's great plan for them is what brings so much joy throughout this work! I love being able to catch a glimpse of this. 

Other miracles this week, we've just had so many less actives that have been touched,  and want this joy for their whole family. Judi Marvin, who is working toward the temple had us over for dinner the other night, and her husband Ron who is not a member joined us. We shared a message from President Monson called "The Search for Jesus" Ron said he didn't really see the need for religion and that he was just fine where he was at and that Judi could participate in religion but he didn't care for it. As we spoke of how Christ's sacrifice allows us to be enabled to overcome any "Weakness, Sin, or Pain" the spirit came into the room. We bore testimony that through Christ we can be enabled in all things. I could tell that his heart was touched. I've seen so many changes in Judi, and I think he's really noticed that. I have a testimony that through Christ our natures really can be changed. It's been such a blessing to see this, coming out on this mission has been a very humbling experience, I've come to recognize my weakness, and I have to strive daily to overcome them. I've seen God's hand everyday, as I've put forth my effort, he has helped me so much! I'm so grateful for the Savior. 

As well, we've been working with a less active woman- Sister Erlene Pickett. Since my first transfer here we'd visited, we'd shared scriptures through the screen door, and her parents had given us the cold shoulder as we came to the door, they are both devout Lutheran. After quite some time, a miracle happened! After we were quite persistent, and we'd met her Mom Yvonne several times to ask if Erlene was there one day Erlene was there! Yvonne gladly said, "Well girls you finally caught her!" haha. Her husband Earl was there and we asked if we could share a message about Christ, we shared the message about his gospel and how it can change us. Yvonne started tearing up, the spirit had touched her heart, we've been back to see them a few times. They have really started warming up to us. 

I'm so grateful for this Christmas season, so many hearts have been touched and opened, Word's of President Monson have really touched my heart, In his talk "The Search for Jesus" 1990, he said
And when we find him, will we be prepared as were the wise men of old to provide gifts from our many treasures? They presented gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These are not the gifts Jesus asks of us. From the treasure of our hearts Jesus asks that we give of ourselves: “Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind.” (D&C 64:34.) I've been touched to see you all giving of yourselves, I remember hearing a talk once that said Love is really spelled T-I-M-E. :) I hope this year I can truly give of myself, and help others feel the joy of Christ. I'm so grateful for this time to reflect on Christ. It's touching to see that although God's son, he was born in a humble stable, that all people could come to him. I know Christ came for each and everyone of us, and every person we meet. I can only imagine seeing that sweet baby, and feeling of the great mission he would serve the world. God's only begotten son of the flesh... The prince of peace, the author of our Salvation. Knowing this, and looking at that sweet baby. 

I love you all so much! I'm grateful for each one of you and the light you bring into my life, I can't wait to talk to you in a few days! :) Merry Christmas!

Love Always, Sister Sarah Clark

The Maughan Family made Sarah and her companion Pajama pants for Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hey Everyone,

Thank you for the emails! It was so fun to hear about how you're all doing!  Rachel looks so gorgeous in that green prom dress! Looks like she had a fun time. :) The Christmas program looked awesome, they went all out haha. Thanks for all the fun pictures, like they say a picture is worth a thousand words. So I got a novel! I'm so thankful you document our family's history. It's so fun to be able to see what you're all up to, although I'm not with all of you, I'm so grateful we get to stay in touch. I sure love each one of you so much, especially during this Christmas season, as I've had time to reflect on all of my blessings, you are all the greatest blessing! I love you all and think of you often. 

Thanks for all your kind words of encouragement. Your support means the world to me! Thanks for the fun pictures! Mom, thank you so much for that nice warm coat! It has been a life saver! Also, that is so sweet of Grandma Walpole to send that money, that is so sweet of her! I know if it weren't for your help, I couldn't be out here having this incredible experience. This has been the most life changing experience! I've loved every moment of it! It's crazy to see that 5 months have already gone by. I'm grateful for every moment I've had out here. Although it's hard work, walking out in the cold each day, and looking for people who will listen to our message, when we find the few that will listen, it makes it all worth it. On the days I feel I've put in my all, yet no one is receptive, I feel God is helping me grow. It's made me reflect on my gratitude for the knowledge I have. It's been a struggle to watch and see those who won't listen, I want this joy for them so much... Yet, it truly takes an open heart, and humility. On the days no one will listen I still think to myself, how can we bring joy to this person as we represent the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, so that one day in the future they will have good nostalgia of us as representatives. There is quite a mantle that comes with being a representative of Jesus Christ. 

 As I put on my name tag each day- I look at the words- Sister Clark- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I feel this great sense of responsibility. Although as members we don't wear a name badge each day- 

I loved that Elder Neil L. Anderson said, If you’re not a full-time missionary with a missionary badge pinned on your coat, now is the time to paint one on your heart—painted, as Paul said, “not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.”  In our baptismal covenants we promise to stand as representatives of Jesus Christ. What an incredible mantle each of us carry. You are a representative of Jesus Christ. 

Well, this has been a great week! It's been a humbling week, As a missionary sometimes I tend to make the mistake of judging my success by numbers and the weekly reports we send in. Even when we've worked hard, and we account to our district leader, at times I feel we failed...  yet I've come to realize that success is not measured by numbers. Success is measured by obedience, and effort. Sometimes we put a label on success for ourselves, we say "If _______ happens, that means I was successful." This week we weren't able to find many who were interested in our message, yet looking back at this week we have been building and encouraging our members, and we've seen miracles! We've been seeing several families and sharing the discussions with them. It's been neat to see their own personal conversion grow. As we've taught, I feel they are gaining perspective of the great joy their friends can come to experience. Each family we've visited this week has a prospective family they are praying for, and are planning to invite them to hear more. Before I came out on a mission, as I thought of missionary work, I thought 97% of the work was to be done by missionaries alone. I thought they found those people interested in the gospel, I didn't think much at all of member involvement. Yet coming out on a mission I've recognized the great role of members. I wasn't a very good member missionary before I came out, as I I was able to take part in the discussions with Katie I started to catch a glimpse of what sharing the gospel with my friends could be like, and when I return home that is my goal, I want to a much better member missionary! I'm realizing this work can't be done without members. As members invite their friends and let the missionaries have an opportunity to meet them, this is when miracles happen. Because the members in the ward are truly those who will be there for these new members coming into the church. We only get to be in area's for a short period of time, we eventually leave. The members are there forever.  It takes courage, yet yields miraculous results that last an eternity. As we invite our friends to come home into the fold of God, we invite them to partake of Eternal Life, to be with their family forever, to feel of the great love of God, to have access full and complete access to the atonement, to know their identity as children of God, and know of their great potential. As we imagine them in white, and imagine them feeling the joy we feel, I can promise our fears will dissolve. I know that with these moments you have to share the gospel, these are the great blessings you are giving to those in your lives. It's so wonderful to hear of all the great opportunities you've had, I know Heavenly Father is incredibly grateful for the courage you've taken to invite his children to come to him. I know as we share with others, this is the greatest way to strengthen our own testimonies. I loved what Jonah said, "Kind acts, can melt frozen hearts." :) 

So exciting news! On January 11, Elder Neil L. Anderson will be coming to speak with us as missionaries! He's going to be speaking to our zone of 20 people for an hour! I'm so excited to get to meet an apostle of the Lord. I know that this isn't the missionaries work- It's truly the work of God, and that it is guided through him by his servants, the Prophet and Apostles. Who in turn guide and direct us. I know this church is true and that it is directed by God. What a testimony we have to know this! 

I love you all so much, and I hope you have a great week ahead, I'm not 100% sure about what time I'll be able to Skype on Christmas, if you could email me your Skype information that would be wonderful! Sister Jensen said we can Skype at her house. I can have her text you the information as soon as I get it! I'm so excited to get to talk with you guys! Thanks again for the video's on the S.D. Card, that has been such a treat! Thanks for all your kind words, I love you guys so much! 

Love Always,

 Sister Sarah Clark  

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hello Everyone, 

Thank you all for making my birthday so wonderful last week! I had the most incredible day! We went out to dinner with several of my friends, and Sister Jensen and Sister Strong suprised me with a birthday cake, sweet Sister Scott and Johnson bought me a beautiful boquet of flowers, Sister Riley drew a portrait of me! It was amazing it looks just like me! :) And then when we came home that night Sister Mulloy had bought me balloons, and made me a chocolate cheese cake complete with candles and all. It was the best birthday I could've asked for. Not to mention the package you guys sent me, and letters from Grandma and Grandpa Clark, and Grandma Walpole. It was a wonderful day! :) Also, something else fun. You'll never guess who I met! Sister Crowley's niece Sister Becraft! 

Thank you so much for all of your emails! It was so neat to hear about all your missionary moments! :) Mom, that's so neat you were able to share a few copies of the Book of Mormon. Although not all the reception went well, I know they will in the end be grateful. It's hard that not all people's hearts are prepared at the moment that we wish they were, yet you are part of the process of preparing them. You are planting seeds in their hearts. It definitely takes time for seeds to grow. I'm so proud of you! Dad, that's so neat to hear that you were able to share about your site in Stake Conference! I'm sure you inspired many people! :) I am amazed that even before there was such an emphasis on doing the Lord's work of bringing people to him, you'd started your non-profit. Rachel, Josh, and Michael, I'll be looking forward to hear about your missionary moments as well. :) You are all so wonderful, I know each one of you has such a great influence on the people around you! You are each a light. I know that Heavenly Father guides people to the truth, by guiding them to members who are a light. Remember, each one of you is a light house people find refuge as they see the peace you have in your life. You can be that refuge. 

I love the scripture 

Matthew 5:16  16 Let your alight so shine before men, that they may see your good bworks, and cglorify your Father which is in heaven.

Well, I have learned so much this week! We as a district have been thinking of many innovative ways to do missionary work. If you want different results you have to do things differently than you've been doing them. This week some of our innovative ideas- We are having a movie night so that others can invite their friends, we have been caroling to meet others, we have put ads in the newspaper, and much more. We wanted to have an invitation to invite others to church. We have a graphic designer in our ward Sister Burgess, (We couldn't make them ourselves, As we can only use computers to email and go to so she created a beautiful invitation! (we will also be making invitations to invite on church tours, and "Take us up on Service")  

The invitations to church reads- 
               The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints would like to invite you to come join with us.
               Come and feel the great peace that comes from hearing the word of the Lord. 
               Then we included the time, the address, etc... 

We have been handing those out, and this week we had an incredible miracle! A couple Janice and Darrell walked in the doors of the church. We met Janice in the summer, and have contacted her here and there. She and her husband are in their 50's. We were overjoyed to see them there! The ward was very welcoming. I was a little worried because the meeting was all about prophets, and not as Christ centered as I'd wished. Yet, after the meeting we talked with them and they were so surprised to know that we have a living prophet. They wanted to know more, so it was the perfect segway. We were able to share the Message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we had two wonderful couples with us, the Cannons and the Heilesons they are about the same age as Janice and Darrell. The lesson went so wonderfully. Janice explained to us that she has been on a search for truth for quite some time, and that she just felt so at home here in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She and Darrell said they'll start reading the Book of Mormon. They are both very open. At the end Janice said the sweetest prayer, she prayed that she could know if this is God's church and that she wanted to know it was true, it was so heartfelt and sincere. What strengthened my testimony, is that although we aren't always able to perfectly answer all of their questions, we know that as those we teach read the Book of Mormon and seek that answer sincerely for themselves that the Spirit will testify to them that it is from God I absolutely love the promise in the last two paragraphs that 

We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5.)
 Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is His revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the Second Coming of the Messiah
That's what gives me the courage is that this truly is Heavenly Fathers work, and that if his children sincerely seek the truth he will give them that witness. I am so grateful Heavenly Father hasn't left us alone and that we do have a prophet today. I can't imagine what confusion I'd feel if it weren't for a prophet on the Earth today. I know that as times change the guidance we need from Heavenly Father differs for his people. His laws are unchanging, but just as we are at different stages in our life and need different guidance, people of the Earth and their situations change, and God through a prophet can give us specific counsel. I'm so grateful for the Book of Mormon, and that there is a sure way to know that this church is true. That is where I truly gained my testimony, through reading it. I know those prophets saw our day specifically and wrote for us in our challenges. I know that it gives us peace about who we are as children of God, outlines Heavenly Father's plan for us, and through it we can receive a divine witness that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live, and that the gospel in it's fullness is restored in our day. I'm so grateful for the peace I have in my life knowing I am a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father who has a plan for me, and that through Jesus Christ I can be enabled to overcome my weaknesses, and that I am here to learn and grow and become like my Heavenly Father. 

The other day I came across this cute Mormon message I thought you all might enjoy! I'm so grateful for this Christmas season, It's incredible to see love enter hearts, families brought together, it's a time to reflect on the Saviors great life, and the blessings it has brought into our lives. 

Again, I am so grateful for this incredible opportunity to serve a mission! Thank you for all your love and support, I'm grateful for each one of you! :)

Much Love, Sister Sarah Clark 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hey Everyone, 

Thank you so much for the fun Birthday package, and sweet letters,That was so sweet of you guys! Sister Strong was so sweet she made me a birthday sign this morning, she's so wonderful! I was just watching some of the video's, it was so fun to hear Andrew's cute little voice, and see everyone! I think I'll watch two a week, because of limited time on the computer. That was such a wonderful surprise! Thank you so much! I can't believe I'm 20, time goes by so quickly. My advice is to enjoy the stage of life you're at, because time truly passes so quickly. I still remember Junior High like it was yesterday. Remember love where you're at! :) 

I'm glad to hear you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I love the Allred's! Who all was able to make it? Sister Strong and I were able to go to two Thanksgiving dinners! It was so much fun. :) We were able to spend time with the Jenkins, and Guinn family. It wasn't the same without all of you this year, but we were grateful the ward adopted us. Afterwards we went to visit Sister Gerling at the care center, and it was so neat her roommate Norma joined us for scripture study. It was such a wonderful day! 

Well, It's been another great week to be a missionary! This week I've seen so many incredible miracles! It was the last week of the transfer, and I wanted to do all I could before I left the Evergreen ward. Yet, to Sister Strong and I's surprise, we received the call with the news last night, and we both get to serve another transfer in this ward! I'm so grateful! I finally feel I've got my feet on the ground. I feel I know the ward members, the area, and feel I'm getting the swing of things. Well, Sister Strong and I were struggling with our investigators. No one was progressing. They weren't keeping the commitments we'd extended. We weren't sure what to do. We decided to start new, and find new investigators. We have a list of potentials, ( a list of people who past missionaries have met, and extended an invitation to in the past.) We have been stopping by all of our potentials. Almost every single one has invited us in! It's been incredible. Just when we felt that no one was interested in hearing our message, God opened a door for us. :) We've had two that have said they'd like to be baptized when they come to know that this gospel is true. So in life, when you feel the task you've been given is impossible just remember God will make a way. The scripture 1 Nephi 3:7 has such a special meaning to me. I've seen how the Lord prepares a way. The people we've met with have been prepared. 

This week I had the opportunity to go help out at a Food Bank, that was the most humbling experience. Seeing so many people who have almost nothing. One woman was missing almost all her teeth, another had 3 little children and they were dressed in clothes much to small for them. It broke my heart, these people were sure going through a lot. Yet, most of them had a smile on their face. It made me reflect on all my blessings. I've taken for granted so many of my blessings. Good dental care, clothes on my back, I've never had to worry about food and shelter. I've taken so much for granted. It felt good to be able to help out. I just wish I could do more to help. I have loved having so many opportunities to serve, it's really changed my perspective. God has taught me so much. 

Yesterday, was one of the most incredible days! We've been teaching a woman named Judi (Short for Judith)  Marvin, and we've been helping her on her journey back to the temple. (She's the one that stopped drinking coffee right after we taught her the word of wisdom.) She has such great faith. She is the only member in her family. As we've been teaching her the lessons, we've just seen a light come into her eyes. We've had a Sister from the ward come with us each lesson, and she now has so many friends and you can just tell she feels love and support again. She's come to church the past 6 weeks, and she's come more in the last 2 months than she has in the last 4 years. She came to all 3 hours of church yesterday, which was a big step for her. :) At the end of relief society she bore her testimony about how she's so grateful to be back, and that she never wants to fall away again. It was so sweet, you can tell she is truly reconverted. :) I feel she is going to be a great influence on her family. I can't wait, she'll be going back to the temple in a few months here. So exciting! :) In testimony meeting Sister Strong and I were able to bear our testimonies thinking it might be our last time to do so in the Ever Green ward. .. Brother Orndorf (A cute little 60 year old man) came up after the meeting and through tears said, "Sister's, I just have to tell you, you have changed my life. Ever since you sister's have been here, I've been able to have so many missionary moments, and I'm so grateful, It's been so neat." Brother Orndorf is so wonderful, he was the one who taught Betty about Family History, and he and his wife have been fasting for their non-member children. They have been truly converted to doing the Lord's work. 

Anyway, how is your missionary work going? :) I'd love to hear about any experiences you've had! I'd like to invite you guys to read the talk our Stake President gave, and invite you to pray in faith for missionary moments, and the courage to act on them. I know Heavenly Father will bless you with them. You'll have to tell me about the miracles that come. :) 

I love you all so much, and hope you have a wonderful week! 

Love, Sister Sarah Clark 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hello Everyone, 

Great to read your emails as always! I love you guys! Mom, thank you so much for sending me a hard copy of that story of the miracle in the Philippines, and Andrew's cute little picture haha. That story touches me every time I read it. I'm so glad all of those missionaries are okay. Heavenly Father truly does look out for his missionaries. I've seen that countless times out here. I'm so glad Sister Poffenberger called you! She is such a sweet heart! She is one of our ward missionaries and she has adopted us as her grand children. She is so cute, when we're cold she let's us stop in to warm up and she always sends us away with some cookies. It's been such a blessing anytime we're cold, we just stop in at members homes to warm up. It's been great! So don't worry this ward takes such good care of us. :) It was exciting to hear that Bryant got his mission call! He's going to be such a great missionary! He's sure a great kid. Thanks for filming Rachel's performance, I'll be looking forward to that when I get back home! I can't believe she'll be going to college soon here.. I'm so excited for her! Keep me posted, and Rachel don't worry about the ACT score, I wish I would've received a higher score than I did, but all that matters is that you're able to get into a college you'd like to go to. Utah State was my dream come true! I had the greatest year there. I'm sure whichever you choose you will love! It breaks my heart to hear about Aunt Linda, and poor Aunt Gwen, they'll be in my prayers. As for your question about Thanksgiving, I'm so excited we've been invited by two families! :) The Jenkins and the Guinn families. So it should be fun! 

Well, this week has been wonderful! To start off with a funny story, on Friday night we visited two cute families with darling little kids. The Spear family had 2 children, one being their 3 year old Sadie, cute little blue eyed, blond curly haired girl. While we taught the restoration, we starting teaching about how Christ through Heavenly Father set up his gospel here on this Earth. Sadie raised her hand and started jumping up and down. "Yes. Sadie." "Um, I know that for a long time Jesus was locked up in a cage, and then God saved him!" We tried so hard to keep a straight face, haha and said,"Yes, your right before he was resurrected they laid his body in a tomb." Then we went to the Hanley's home. They had a 2 daughters, 2 and 5. It was so cute 5 year old Avery was thrilled to see us. She came and sat right in the middle of Sister Strong and I, and we let her help teach the lesson, as we placed Sister Strong's name badge on her pajamas. As we taught about how the gospel blesses families she raised her hand and said, "Yes, and families teach us not to talk to strangers, so we won't get kidnapped." so matter of factly. Then she whispered in my ear, "Hey Sister Clark, I have a bunk bed! You have to see it!" Oh, I love kids. :) They are so funny. 

 We've been working hard, although we haven't met anyone genuinely interested this week I feel God has blessed me with deepened perspective. We got permission to go to a Doctrine and Covenants class every Thursday. I have loved being able to delve into it! We talked about section 128, when Joseph received revelation for the ordinance of baptisms for the dead. What really touched me, we spoke about why it's so crucial that we do the work for those who've passed on, and until they are able to accept baptism, they aren't able to be at peace, and the adversary still has the ability to tempt them. When they are able to accept the baptism they can't be affected by the adversary anymore, and they are able to feel peace. We had had a lesson with Sue this week about the blessings of the temple, Family History, and invited her to go get a recommend to go do baptisms. She was at that class with us on Thursday, and it was neat to see her light up as she recognized how many names she has to take to the temple! She got her recommend last night, and it's so touching to see how quickly she's progressed! She amazes me. Sue is on fire! :) 

This Sunday we had Stake Conference, and Elder Richard J. Maynes, of the presidency of the seventy came and spoke to us. his message was about uniting as members and missionaries. A few things he said really touched me. He said that the reason this work is progressing so rapidly is that The Lord see's the faith of the members and that we as a people have been prepared to move this work forward. That is why triple the amount of missionaries have been called! He said that as we pray for missionary opportunities daily, it will change the way we look at opportunities. He gave the example of meeting a UPS Delivery man, he said that usually we we just see this as a delivery, but that one man had had the experience of praying that morning for missionary opportunities when a delivery man came to his door just hours later. He'd been reading his scriptures, and walked out with a book of Mormon, and the Delivery Man asked what he was reading and the man had an opportunity to share about the Book of Mormon. It touched me, that as we pray for something to come to pass we see everything with a different set of glasses, or a different perspective. As he prayed for missionary opportunities, he saw them. I know as we pray for opportunities to share the gospel we'll have them. I'd like to invite you all to carry a pass along card and a Book of Mormon with you in your purse or back pack, and pray for a missionary opportunity, and I can promise you Heavenly Father will bless you with an opportunity to share. :) He touched on the fact that we don't have to be best friends with someone to share the gospel. It can be simply and acquaintance. His talk really changed my perspective. Then President Mott, spoke about Faith and talked about Ether 12:6. He spoke about how sometimes the trial of our faith is that we don't have complete knowledge of what will happen when we take action. He said it is acting without the knowledge of the end result that can be the trial of our faith. He than went on to say that revelation comes while we are in action, and we shouldn't wait for answers to come to us, we should seek them. It was an incredible conference! I had the opportunity to shake hands with Elder Maynes, and thank him for his talk. That was the first time I'd met an authority, it was a neat experience. 

Well, I'm short on time today.. So sorry my letter is so brief. 

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving! I'm so thankful for each one of you in my life. You have all influenced me, and touched me in so many different ways. I'm so thankful for this gospel and the light it brings to my life. I'm thankful for our prophet who leads us today, I'm thankful for the power of prayer and that I can talk with my Heavenly Father whenever I need him. That has been my greatest source of strength, I know I couldn't make it without the constant help of my Heavenly Father.  I'm so grateful to get to be out here on a mission, I'm grateful for wonderful parents, who are so supportive loving and have sacrificed so much for us. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! 

I love you all so much!

Love Always, Sister Sarah Clark 

Bishop Clark- He is so wonderful, so grateful to have the opportunity to serve with him. (He asked, are we related through Ezra T's wife Mary Stevenson?)

 Sister Poffenberger, Sister Strong and I- we call her Grandma Poff. :) 

Wheel Chairs- Visiting Less Active Member Janine Long, we delivered a humongous Book of Mormon. :) Isn't she so cute, this was just a kodak moment. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hola mi Familia, 

I can't wait Sister Strong and I get to go to the temple today! We get to go to the temple every other transfer, and it's our transfer to go! So our P-day switches to our temple day, so I get to email you today. 
The Spokane temple is so beautiful, I love the peace that the temple brings. It's truly a sanctuary away from the world. 

It sounds like you had an awesome week! Rachel your show looked awesome, and like a great success! :) I bet you did a fabulous job! You are so gorgeous, watch out for those guys alright? What a fun group , I saw several familiar faces. Rachel, even though you didn't get the sterling scholar, don't let it get you down. With how hard you've worked, I know it's going to bless you as you continue on with college classes, etc.. I wish I would've pushed myself harder in high school, it's so wonderful to see you doing so many great things with your life. You are still just as brilliant don't let that get you down. As I was looking at the pictures that Mom sent this week I couldn't help but giggle at Andrew's cute little face. He is a goof ball. :) haha. Josh and Michael are sure growing up and look so handsome! I still can't believe Rachel will be graduating this year, and Josh will be a highschool freshman next year, and Michael will be in Junior High... Where does the time go?! Dad, good luck with the interview! You will be in my prayers, they will be so lucky to have you on their team. I know Heavenly Father really needs you. It's amazing to see what a difference the gospel makes in people's lives. As you work for their site, I know it's going to bring so many people the gospel. What a great thing to do with your life! I'm proud of you Dad! :) Mom, thank you for sharing that incredible story from Stake Conference. It's neat to hear that serving the relief society sister's has helped heal you... That really touched my heart. 

To answer your questions, yes I'll be biking through the winter. Don't worry, in Preach my Gospel one of the guidelines is to have a member at every lesson. I think for the winter we will definitely be better at keeping that. It will be great motivation. haha. :) I think we'll be just fine. 

I was especially touched this week to here about the 10 missionaries in the Philippines who survived the tropical storm that hit. Brother Call, called us in to help teach his Sundayschool class and read the story, about how these Sister's had God with them. I know God watches out for us. It broke my heart, but what an incredible miracle that they are alright. 

Well, It's been a great week to be missionary! We've had so many miracles happen this week! :) 

In particular, there's a woman named Karen, she is such a sweet lady. She has had many obstacles taking over her life. Her grandson is strongly addicted to drugs, and she loves him and took him into her home. He then stole many of her valuable things, precious jewelry from her grandmother, her laptop, etc... Not to mention his friends have been lingering around her home. She doesn't feel safe in her own home... She lives alone, she told Jared he had lost the privilege to live in her home. She has had a hard life, she was bullied as a child. Her ex husband abused her. Karen has been through it all. She is a convert, but hasn't been to church in over 20 years. This week we started the lessons over, and invited her to make it a goal to get back to the temple. She gladly accepted. We felt prompted to invite her to receive a priesthood blessing, and have her home dedicated. We called Sister Cannon, a member in the relief society presidency and her husband to come give Karen a blessing. The next day we came with them. Brother Cannon gave her such a beautiful blessing, and after he did the spirit's presence was so strong. Brother and Sister Cannon both embraced Karen, and told her they were there for her if she needed anything. It was such an incredible moment. :) Karen had a light in her eyes. The next day we felt prompted to give Karen our conference ensign with a note and we told her we couldn't wait to see her at church. On Sunday as we were greeting the members as they walked in to the chapel, this beautiful woman all dressed up walked in just glowing! This woman was Karen, I almost started crying with joy. We have been visiting her since my first transfer, and she made it! Seconds later, by a miracle Brother and Sister Cannon walked in and wrapped their arms around her and invited her to sit with them. That Christ like love touched my heart. They did exactly what Christ would have done if he were here. Karen was just glowing, the light was re-kindled within her. It's amazing what an influence members have, never under estimate the power of friendship, As we reach out, and let people know we love and care about them miracles occur. 

Another favorite moment of mine was our lesson with Sue this week. Now that she is baptized she has the opportunity to go to the temple and perform Baptisms for the dead. She is the first member in her family, and has so many family members who need their work performed. I felt such a sweet peace, realizing that at this very moment, they are all cheering her on from the other side of the veil. It made me think of how many ancestor's and family members we have who've passed on, who are cheering us on. Our District leader Elder Smith sent us a beautiful passage of scripture to lift us. 

87 Behold, I send you out to areprove the world of all their unrighteous deeds, and to teach them of a judgment which is to come.
 88 And whoso areceiveth you, there I will be also, for I will gobbefore your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my cSpirit shall be in your hearts, and mine dangels round about you, to bear you up.
This applies to each one of us in our lives. We have angels helping us on this and the other side of the veil. We aren't alone. 

I'm so excited for Sue to have the opportunity to do the work for her family, and feel of the great peace of the temple. Her family has had many questions about the church, so we will be starting the new member lessons with them. :) So if you could keep Tom, Ana, and Kaity in your prayers that would be wonderful! It would be incredible to see them all make it to the temple together. 

With Thanksgiving coming up this week, I just want to say how thankful I am for my life, for each one of you and the blessing you are in my life, and for this great gospel. I'm grateful to live in this beautiful free country where we have religious freedom, and I'm grateful for all those who've sacrificed so that we can have this freedom. I'm grateful that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I'm thankful that God hasn't left us alone, and that we have a prophet through whom God leads and guides us. I'm thankful for Jesus Christ and his atonement, and that through it I can change, and become better each day. I'm thankful to have the opportunity to serve my Heavenly Father and his children, and for the joy of seeing light come into others lives. I'm grateful to be able to see God's hand in my life each day, I truly know he is there. 

I love each one of you so much! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! :) 

Love Always, Sister Sarah Clark