Monday, September 16, 2013

One of the Sister Missionaries who was going home came to say her goodbyes.

Sister Knowlton, Sister Maloy (who they live with) and Sarah.

Sarah and her new companion, Sister Strong- she's from Orem, Utah.
                                    September 16, 2013

Hey Everyone, 

It was so fun to read your weekly email, and I always love the pictures! What neat stories!

I loved the story about Andrew getting a "purse" haha, that made my whole day! He's such a cutie, I sure miss him! That's great Michael has decided to stick with piano, Michael- I have to tell you that I didn't like practicing the piano for the longest time, but now I'm so glad I stuck with it. Last year in college when I was struggling, I would go to the institute building, and just play the piano and it helped calm me, and now since I've practiced so much over the years, I can sit down and play for pleasure. I know that you will get to that point. Also, I'm the only person in our district that can play the piano. I'm able to play the hymns each week, and I feel it really helps bring the spirit to have accompaniment as we sing. So I'm so proud of you! You'll be so glad you're sticking with it! Also, it's so fun to hear Josh is having a blast in Junior High, sounds like the girls keep getting cuter and cuter. haha :) Mom and Dad, I'm sure glad you guys were able to have fun in Park City! It sounds like your all doing so well, I'm glad to hear that. I'm so happy the S.D card made it home safely, and I'm glad you got some good laughs out of our stories. 

So I'll start off with the weekly joke- this is another of Sister Knowlton's. 

There was a young man with long hair, he went to his Dad to ask if he could borrow the car. The Dad in response said, "Yes, as soon as you get a haircut." The boy was disappointed he came back to his Dad several times asking to borrow the car, his Dad responded over and over that if the boy got a hair cute he could drive the car. The boy really liked his long hair, and wanted to keep it. He came up with a clever retort for the next time he asked his father if he could borrow the car. The weekend came, and he asked his father again, "Can I borrow the car?" his father replied as usual, "Yes, as soon as you get a haircut." the boy replied, "Well, Jesus had long hair", the father said, "Yes, and Jesus walked." 

I got a good laugh out of that one. :) 

So as I mentioned in my letter home, I got a new companion Sister Strong. We have seen so many incredible miracles this week! If you remember Max, the 63 year old, who has struggled with drinking for years and years.. We've been praying and fasting for him to overcome his addiction. He has now been sober for 12 days! 12 days! Isn't that incredible?! He went from drinking 20 beers a day, to complete sobriety! It hasn't been easy at all... He has had seizures the past few days, and pneumonia.. It breaks my heart to see him struggle... But he's incredible! After seeing him almost daily last transfer and talking of the power of the atonement, he gained strength and desire to change. We got special permission to go to ARP this week with him. (Addiction Recovery Program) it's so neat, it's a program at Central Valley High School and those that attend share how the atonement is helping them overcome their addictions. So Sister Strong, I and two of our Ward Missionaries are going with him this week. So keep Max in your prayers. I feel his story is very similar to that of Alma, we read Alma 36:7-25 with him, Alma recounts "How bitter was my pain.... yet how sweet was my joy." so Max is going through much pain, yet he says as his children and grand children see his example, it's making the journey worth it. He's incredible! 

We had another incredible miracle this week that has strengthened my testimony of following promptings of the Holy Spirit. We had a church tour scheduled on Thursday, it ended up falling through. We were about to leave to head to our next appointment. We got a message and our investigator couldn't be there for the lesson. We felt a little crushed. Things weren't going well... We saw Bishop McFarland (of the YSA ward) and his wife cleaning up the grounds outside. We were about to head out, yet I got this strong spiritual prompting to go and help him and his wife. As we helped them clean the grounds there was a woman standing outside, her backyard looks out to the church parking lot. We felt prompted to speak with her. We learned that her name was Jane- she's about 60 years old. She's a Lutheran, and she's lived right next to our church building for 37 years. We learned that anytime the middle schooler's would start a fight by the church, she'd call the grounds people. She had been watching over the church for 37 years, yet no one had ever invited her in. Bishop McFarland came over and told her he believed that we had been sent here for her. He invited her to take a church tour with us and she agreed to come. As we took her through and sat in the chapel and spoke of the sacrament, her eyes were filled with tears. We explained that what she was feeling was the spirit. It was such an incredible experience! We were able to take 6 people on church tours this week, it was so incredible! 

~ Throughout my mission, each day I come to learn more and more of the importance of the Saviors atonement. I read a talk this week by Brad Wilcox called "His Grace is Sufficient" it's in this months Ensign. It touched my heart. I have never exactly understood grace. I learned that Grace, basically means that because of Christ's sacrifice we will all be resurrected. So yes, we are all physically saved. Yet to feel comfortable in God's presence we must work hard to become Heavenly people. That is how we show gratitude for Christs sacrifice is by becoming better each week. Brad related this to the analogy of a mother paying for piano lessons for her child. Does the mother expect the child to pay back her back? No, she has already paid for the lessons, she simply asks the child in turn to practice and do his/her best each week. She isn't expecting her child to be perfect, and of the caliber of a carnagie hall pianist. She is simply asking the child to do his/her best. He related that Christ has already paid the price, yet we must "Practice" each week, and do our best to become the best "Pianist" or people we can be. So that when we return to heaven, we can show him what we've done with the gift he's given us. This talk is on BYU Channel, probably YouTube as well. I'd suggest listening to it. It's incredible! 

Anyway, I'm so grateful for this gospel and how powerful Christ's Atoning sacrifice is. It's incredible to see how it can transform lives. I'm so grateful to get to be out serving the people of Washington. I know Heavenly Father loves each one of us so much! I know that Christ sacrificed for us because he knows of our incredible value, and that we are worth worlds! Don't ever forget that you are a child of God with great purpose here. 

I love you all so much and think of you often! Hope you have a wonderful week! 


Sister Sarah Clark 

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