Monday, October 28, 2013

Hey Mom, Dad, Rachel, Joshua, Michael and Andrew,

Thank you for all the emails! It's so wonderful getting to hear from you all each week! I absolutely loved the pictures this week, cool costumes everyone! Michael makes a handsome gladiator, and Josh's costume is just hilarious! and Dad looks like.. Indiana Jones? Mom, you're a cute giesha, love it! Haha. It looks like you found Andrew his dream costume, so cute! :) For Sister Strong and my Halloween costume's I think we're going to be each other and switch name tags haha. Just teasing. :) 

It's so fun to hear all the exciting news going on in our ward back home! That's so exciting McCall is going on a mission! You'll have to tell her I'm so excited for her! :) Sam is going to New York, New York. That was adorable to hear about little Nixon already preparing for a mission, what a cutie. What video's did Josh show? I'd love to see them. Have you guys checked out the "Hastening the work" page yet? It's so inspirational! I love hearing about all the neat work that is going on, with Brother Winkelman's friend etc... We sure have such an amazing ward back home. :) I'm glad to hear Mom and Dad got to go  on a fun date. So is Josh getting braces? 

So it's a wonderful week to be a missionary! We have been making preparations for Sue's baptism this week, it's been neat to see how supportive the ward is. Her wonderful friend Sister Larkin is coming from Utah with her family to support Sue, and her husband and a few of her children are going to make it as well. I'm so glad to see her receiving this support. We're really praying for her family right now, it would be so incredible to get to see them make this journey together. My dream is to see them all go to the temple together. That would be incredible! It's so neat as a missionary you get to see a portion of the vision that Heavenly Father see's for each of his children. With each person I meet, I just feel so much love for them because I know how much they mean to Heavenly Father. I was able to give a talk in sacrament meeting yesterday, and the topic was "Becoming More Christ-like" I based my talk on a quote by C.S. Lewis. 

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace” (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, New York: MacMillan Co., 1960, p. 160).

It's nice to feel comfortable, the remodeling process can be painful, yet as we have faith in God that he is turning us into a beautiful palace, the pain that comes with the building process is so worth it! Through Christ, we are remodeled. As we repent- (Simply put-change) we become so beautiful, we transform. In a conference, Elder Boren said, "The nearer we get to God, the clearer our weaknesses become. It's a gift that he shows us what we can change" that is the painful part is recognizing what we must change. Ether 12:27 so beautifully illustrates the changing process. 

 27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them theiraweakness. I bgive unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my cgrace is sufficient for all men that dhumble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make eweak things become strong unto them.

It's amazing that we have this gift, that we can be transformed through Christ. I'm so grateful that through Christ's sacrifice this gift is available and that he has left us the perfect example, that as we follow in his steps we can have eternal life. I can't wait to go thank Christ one day and give him a great big hug! :) 

Well, so many miracles this week.. Although Max is still struggling we felt prompted to ask Sister Poffenberger one of our cute ward missionaries, (She's in her 70's and just lost her husband to cancer this last year.) Anyway she's so sweet, we took her to visit Max and it went so well, she has even offered to have him in her home for lessons. She brought him this huge beautiful picture of Christ and we put it up in his apartment. It's so sweet, Sister Poffenberger told us, " I'm so glad they called me as a ward missionary, I just feel the happiest I've been since my husband died." it was so sweet. It's amazing that you really do feel so much joy seeing that you have the power to bless lives. I know each one of you has the power to bless lives and the gospel is the greatest gift we can give to those we love and care for. 

I just want to leave you with the invitation to start marking your favorite scriptures in a Book of Mormon, and write your testimony in it, and pray for an opportunity to share it with someone. 

I sure love you guys so much! 
Thank you for all of your prayers in my behalf and in behalf of the people I get to serve. 
I'm truly grateful to be so blessed with such a wonderful family. :) 

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Much Love, Sister Sarah Clark 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hey Everyone, 

It sounds like you've had a busy week. You guys are amazing with all you do! I have to tell you, I always read all of your emails, and I love hearing from each one of you! I am so sorry I haven't responded to them all... I feel so bad. We don't have much time to email or write on P-Day, We do our regular studies in the morning till 10:30, grocery shopping, cleaning the apartment, laundry, etc... Our P-day ends at 5 o'clock. So I just want to tell you how much I do love hearing from each of you and know that I love all of you so much! I'm going to try to get on top of things. Anyway, poor little Andrew, that broke my heart to see his little bruised face...Poor Michael too... That was so cute to hear that Andrew he said he missed me. :) That just made my whole day! I sure miss you guys as well. Anyway, Mom that's so neat you've had so many tender mercies. I bet the women in the ward are so grateful to have you as their relief society president, that really is a mission in itself! You amaze me! :) That's so fun Rachel asked Dallin to the dance. What are they going to go as? Bless her heart, the ACT, and the dance on the same day? Go Rachel you are gung ho! haha :) I'm so excited for you, the Halloween dance was always my favorite. :) It sure looks like you guys had a fun time at Wolf Creek! Washington actually looks quite similar to Wolf creek. The fall leaves are just gorgeous here! I love the scenery here, it's so beautiful! Dad, I'm still praying for you every day. I really feel working for the church would be incredible and that the Lord could really use your help. I'll keep you in my prayers, that is a pretty big decision. I'm sure proud of you for all that you've done with the non profit, and how you've done so much for the Lord with your talents. 

So I want to hear, What's everyone going to be for Halloween? Keep me posted on who you invite over, or to an activity, that's so neat! I know you guys are going to bless so many lives through your missionary work. Do you have Elders or Sisters? 

This week, I got really sick, I couldn't get out of bed I felt like crying... I had a really bad cold, and I was afraid it would keep me out of order for most of the week. Sister Strong went on splits with Sisters in the Belle Terre ward, and she called the relief society president and asked if I could stay at her home. I felt bad I didn't want to expose them to whatever I had. I had been around people with pnuemonia, and the flu... So I was a little worried. Sister Woolf had a guest bedroom that she let me stay in and she was so sweet, every hour she brought something in to me. Ginger Ale, Popcicle, an Ensign, she even came in and told me stories. She's such a sweetheart. I had time to just read the Book of Mormon all day, and I felt my heart was filled. I read Helaman chapter 5, and it's the most powerful chapter! You'll have to read it! :) Brother Woolf and Spear came to give me a blessing, and the next day I was fully recovered, it was such a tender mercy. It's amazing that Heavenly Father helps us feel his love through people. This ward is amazing. I'm so grateful. 

We really have just had an amazing week! Yesterday was probably one of the happiest days of my life. Sue came to church in our ward for the first time, and everyone was so warm and welcoming to her. She has been struggling this past week, she went back to work this week and she was still weak from her surgery. It's been hard because her family knows of her decision to join the church but they don't fully support her. She's been having some scary spiritual attacks from the adversary... It broke my heart to hear. She was thinking about postponing the lessons for awhile. We sent her chapters of the Book of Mormon each day and it really helped her gain strength. We offered that she could receive a priesthood blessing and she agreed that, that would help her. Right after church Bishop Clark gave her a blessing, and it was the most touching blessing I've ever heard. It's been incredible to see her grow and progress. She's so incredible, after we taught her the word of wisdom, she agreed right then and there to stop drinking coffee and tea. After we taught fasting, she fasted that Sunday although she'd just had surgery. She's so humble and willing to submit to God's will for her. We are so excited for her, she's going to be baptized on November 2nd!!! :) I was so touched to hear Rachel had been praying she'd gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, I really feel the scriptures have helped her incredibly! 

Another miracle, a less active family we teach- The Willis Family, have been trying to make it back to church since my first transfer. The Grandmother, and Mother work at Walmart and have had to work on Sundays. We encouraged them time and time again to see if they could get Sunday's off. The Grandmother Margie was able to get Sunday's off work! It's taken a long time, but she has it in print! She took her 3 grand children to church, I felt so emotional as I saw them all dressed up. They made it back. :) They were all so excited to be there! We are teaching Sister Willis the lessons again so she can make it to the temple! That was such a miracle, I am so happy for them. 

Lily was able to make it to church with her friend Alex, and Sister Skinfill invited two of her non member friends Michelle, and Sandy to church. She met them through driving her son to school. It was so neat she boar her testimony to us that the Lord had put Michelle and Sandy in her path. We were able to take Michelle on a church tour the night before, and it was so neat, she grew up in the Baptist church and has been through so much and said she wants to re-dedicate her life to the Lord. As we sat in the chapel, over and over she kept saying- "this feels good, this feels good. I feel like this is where I'm supposed to be." Not to mention Sister Marvin who's working to make it back to the temple came to church too. It was such a great day, I was so emotionally exhausted because of the incredible day we had! 

We got transfer calls last night, and Sister Strong and I both get to serve another transfer in the Evergreen ward! We are so happy! We love the people, and we are gaining the trust of the ward, and the work is just moving forward. So many miracles are happening! I absolutely love being a missionary! :) 

Anyway, Love you guys so much! Hope you have a wonderful week. Thanks again for praying for those Sister Strong and I are teaching, and thank you for praying for us too! We feel your prayers every day. 

Love Always, 

Sister Sarah Clark 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hey Everyone, 

Thank you so much for the emails! Mom thank you so much for all the pictures! I loved them! I'm smiling right now as I look at them. I sure love getting to hear from all of you, and the great things your doing, and are involved with! You guys are amazing! Mom, thank you so much for the cute package and sweet letter! I loved it so so so much! You know me so well, I loved the pearl necklace, and that red coat is so darling! I wear it every day! :) It keeps me so warm and cozy. I loved the treats, and Sister Strong and I are so excited to do the facial masks! :) That was so thoughtful and sweet of you! I sure miss you, and love you so much, I think about you guys often. 

So fun trivia for you.. Our Investigator Sue's daughter's basketball coach is John Stockton! How amazing is that?! Another fun story you might enjoy, Sister Mulloy came out of her room while I was eating breakfast and I asked her how she was doing? She said, "Oh, alright. Bev and I were talking and we were trying to fix the government and we didn't get much done. Then I looked in the mirror and saw a mad woman" aha. She is so funny, she keeps us laughing. I love her so much! She is hilarious. :) 

I was so excited to hear that Dad found that job opening! That's so neat, now that I'm a missionary I've come to realize how crucial referrals are. We had a mission conference last week, and talked about how important it is to work with members. President Mullen put up some statistics on the board. He said that only 2-3% of people whom the missionaries tract into are baptized, yet 68% people who have a member friend are baptized. President Mullen said our job as missionaries is to find the elect, not make the elect. Dad, I'm so proud of you. This is going to bless so many people's lives! I know the Lord needs you, and is so grateful you are willing to help him. You are helping him with what brings him most joy. 
39 For behold, this is my awork and my bglory—to bring to pass the cimmortality and deternal elife of man.
I know that, that is God's joy- to bring to pass the eternal life of man. Mom, I know you are helping so much with that work to. I know that this is part of our divine calling. That as we bring people to God, this is where true joy stems from. That's why service brings so much joy! I am so proud of you all! You are all doing wonderful things with your lives and Heavenly Father is so grateful. 

So this week has been amazing! We have had so many miracles! Sue is doing wonderfully. Her friend Paula Therber comes with us for the lessons, and it's been so touching to see how happy she is seeing her friend growing in the gospel. Coming out on a mission has made me realize how much I've taken these precious truths for granted. We taught her the plan of salvation, and she had been wondering for years and years about the life before this. To tell her that God has a body of Flesh and Bone, and that she has a relationship with him, and that he knows her by name. She hadn't had a knowledge of this. It was amazing to share this with her. :) We have already been able to teach her four lessons! After the second lesson we invited her to pray about telling the rest of her family about her decision to join the church. The next day we came back and she had talked to all of her children, and things had mostly gone well! She is so courageous! I'm so impressed she keeps out a note pad to takes notes during the lesson, she's so willing to do what God asks of her. She never ceases to amaze me. It's been so neat to see the ward reach out to her already. Sister Demars, a wonderful woman in our ward has already sent the relief society to take her meals while she's been sick, and she's come to almost every lesson with us and just taken Sue under her wing. It's really touched my heart. It was so neat yesterday Sister Demars got up in fast and testimony meeting and in her testimony she told Sue's story and she said, " I'm so grateful to get to be a part of this process of Sue's conversion.... The Sister Missionaries of our ward really teach with the spirit, I commend them to you." It meant so much to hear her say that, I know that it truly is the spirit that teaches.  I feel so privileged to get to be a part in helping Sue prepare for baptism. During our last lesson she was already asking about who she could invite to her baptism, and was asking us questions about the temple. She is incredible! We sure love her. 

Another miracle, a young girl in our ward Alex Maughan invited her friend Lili to hear the lessons they are both seniors in high school. Alex's young women's leader Sister Skinfill invited them and us over for dinner. Afterwards Sister Mullen (Our mission president's wife) came to help us teach the lesson. We taught her about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As we first established the expectations for the visits, we explained that through Christ she could be enabled to overcome any challenges she may be going through. She explained that she had anxiety, and I felt the spirit so strongly as we explained that through Christ she could find peace and overcome those anxieties. We explained through the lesson, that baptism was the way to gain full access to feeling Christ's love. We explained that Christ is God's expression of love to us. It's just incredible that through ordinances like baptism, (Ordinance: a sacred, formal act performed by the authority of the priesthood, that allows us to make promises with God, and receive blessings from him.)  we can have God's love and direction with us every day, and be forgiven and cleansed of our mistakes. After we taught this we asked her to pray, she said the most heart felt sincere prayer I've ever heard. It was neat as she felt the spirit she was overwhelmed with emotion. We were all crying because we felt so much joy for her. She wants to be baptized, and we are so excited for her! :) 

Other miracles, We have 4 less active members who are working to return to the temple. It's so neat that we teach them the same way that we teach those who are preparing for baptism. We asked one of our less active members- Judi if she had the desire to return to the temple. She said she did, and we told her that the Lord has prepared a way for her to return, and through Christ she could overcome drinking coffee, and other challenges she's having. She said, "Thank you so much for having faith in me!" and we told her we had faith in her, and so does the Lord. It was such a neat experience. :) I'm so excited to see her make it back to the temple. 

I know that all of these peoples hearts have been touched because of all the fasting of the ward, and because of all of your prayers. I know that the Lord has listened to all these prayers and has seen all the sacrifice in behalf of his work. It's been so incredible! I'm so grateful to get to be a part of this amazing work. In seeing people find joy in the gospel. 

I'm so grateful that the Lord never gives up on us, and that he has a great vision for each one of us. I know that we really can overcome any sin, pain, weakness, we may have as we turn to the Savior, have faith in his sacrifice for us, and then take action and change. I know he will bless us. I've needed this knowledge every single day of my mission. It's been neat to see that the Lord has helped me be enough each day as I've tried my best. I'm so grateful for the knowledge we have! I love my Savior so much, and can't wait to give him a big hug one day for all that he's done for me! 

I love and pray for you guys, and I'm sure grateful for all your prayers in my behalf. I know the Lord hears and answers those prayers. I'm so grateful for your love and support. 
I  love you guys so much, and I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Love Always, 

Sister Sarah Clark

P.S My new favorite Chapter in the Book of Mormon is 3 Nephi 18- It's about the blessings of the sacrament, and about the blessings of prayer. I especially love (v. 12-13, 15-16, and 19-20) It's such a powerful chapter! :) 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hey Everyone, 

Thank you so much for all your emails, and kind words. I sure love you guys and I'm so grateful to have such a wonderful family. :) Mom, thank you so much for the fun pictures! I have to tell you thank you again for the wonderful family album you sent me with, whenever I'm having a hard day I look at it and I can't help but smile as I think of all our wonderful memories! Also, I want to thank you for sending me those bottles of Doterra Oil, especially the On Guard. Poor Sister Strong had bronchitis all last week, and right when she got sick I started taking the oil, and it was incredible, I stayed healthy! It was sure a tender mercy, so thank you so much! I sure appreciate all you do! Also, thank you so much for putting that money on my card, that was so sweet of you! I sure appreciate that. :) I have the best Mom in the whole world! 

Thanks for all the updates, I love hearing about what's going on! Also, I'm so glad you liked the pictures, and had a good birthday! :) Aren't those pictures just beautiful? I love how they show that the savior just has so much love, and that is such a happy person. I love your new relief society theme: "As we reach out to the one, we will become one." that's so neat! It's incredible how service really does bring people so close. As a missionary, It's neat to see that I've been able to gain such great friendship with my companions, and I really think it's because we do service together. It brings people so close together. It's so fun to hear about all you guys have been doing. :) I especially loved the story about Andrew seeing snow and thinking it was Christmas ahah. 

Wasn't conference incredible this weekend? Sister Strong and I were able to watch it at one of our members home, and several less active sisters came to watch it with us, it was such a neat experience. :) So many of my prayers and questions in my heart were answered during conference. One of my greatest struggles has been having faith in the future, and I loved Edward Dube's talk about "Faith" I felt that I need to remember the promises Heavenly Father has made to me in my call letter, and my patriarchal blessing, they are my daily motivation. Along with scripture study of course. 

Well, this week has been incredible! Today, especially has been a day of miracles already! Looking back at the past few weeks, we hadn't been teaching many who were genuinely interested in the gospel. I was starting to get discouraged. Many people from other churches we'd been talking to were questioning our motives. It hurt, I thought... If this church is true, why are so many people so closed off to it? It was so hard... I felt prompted to mount my Mission Call onto my wall by my desk, and I read it every morning to help me remember my purpose. It reads, "As you devote your time and attention to the Lord, you will gain increased knowledge and you will be led to those who have been prepared for Baptism." (that's not the exact wording, but something very similar.) As I read that daily, it gave me hope. I felt this strong hope and faith, and I love Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21.
It reads 

20 There is a alaw, irrevocably decreed in bheaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all cblessings are predicated—
 21 And when we obtain any ablessing from God, it is bybobedience to that law upon which it is predicated. 
I felt hope knowing that my call has come from a prophet of God, and that God keeps his promises. I knew that if I just kept pressing forward, doing what God asked, I was doing his will, even if at that time we hadn't met anyone ready to receive the fullness of the gospel. 

After lots of faith, and praying every day that we would be guided to find those searching for the truth. A miracle happened!
This morning we received a phone call. It was a woman from the Belle Terre ward. She began speaking about her friend who was interested in learning more about the gospel. She told us that her friend had read the whole Book of Mormon, she is reading the Doctrine and Covenants and is already to section 129, and she wanted to read the Pearl of Great Price before she met with us so she could be prepared. Yet after conference she said President Utchdorf's talk had touched her and she felt she needed to meet with missionaries. We were so touched, I felt emotion well up in me as we got this phone call. About an hour ago we went to meet Sue, she is an incredible woman! She grew up Catholic, her whole family is Catholic. She went to Utah State to study Forestry, and she is in her 40's. She's such a sweet lady, she reminds me a lot of Sister Wilkes. We shared the message of the Restoration with her, and she said, "Oh, this all just makes sense." we then extended a baptismal invitation, and she said that when she knows it's true she wants to be baptized! We are so excited for her! :) She has an incredible story, her pursuit of learning more about the church started as she visited temple square, and she has had Mormon friends all her life, and she told her friend Paula, I feel like this is the direction God is guiding me in. As we prayed with her before we left, she prayed, "God, please help me to be open to your will." She is an incredible woman. :)
 I love the scripture, Doctrine and Covenants 18:10;15

10 Remember the aworth of bsouls is great in the sight of God;
15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one asoul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

I am so excited for Sue to have the gospel in her life! I know that the Lord is preparing so many people, so many people are just waiting for the invitation. I think this has probably been the most incredible experience of my mission so far. :) 

This morning we also had another miracle. A woman in our ward, a recent convert of a few years ago has been struggling and just had a priesthood blessing from the bishop, and said she'd like to take the lessons again. Her name is Jamie, and she is a young mom. It would be incredible to get to see her go to the temple with her family!

I would just like to encourage each of you to remember the wonderful blessings Heavenly Father has promised you. The blessings in your patriarchal blessings, the blessings God promises us in the scriptures. I have a testimony that if we do those things God asks of us, that the blessings will follow. I know that Heavenly Father loves us incredibly, and that all that he does is for our good to help us grow. I know as we read our scriptures, pray daily, and serve others, miracles will come. Heavenly Father knows each of you individually and personally, and he wants to bless you! :) 

Thank you so much for all your prayers, I can feel them everyday. I sure love you all so much! You guys are so wonderful, and help strengthen me so much! Thanks for all your love and support. I think about you all often, and you are in my prayers as well. 

Love Always, 

Sister Sarah Clark