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 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hey Everyone, 

It was so wonderful to hear from all of you! It makes my whole week to hear you are all doing well. :) Since Veteran's day was on Monday, and we had zone conference yesterday, today is our P-Day. Mom, thank you so much for the birthday present! What a wonderful surprise to have Brother and Sister Feigleson hand deliver it. It was so wonderful to see them! We have such an incredible ward back home. I opened one of the gifts, I absolutely love that red sweater! :) Thank you so much, I look forward to opening them. That was so thoughtful of you. Thanks for the sweet letter as well, I love all the memories we have made together. I don't know what I would do without you in my life! :) I love you! 

Everyone, Thank you for your words of encouragement, prayers, and support. I'm so grateful for each one of you. I know if it weren't for each one of you I wouldn't be where I am today. I am so grateful Heavenly Father put us together in families. Each one of you has influenced my life in so many ways, and I'm so grateful we'll get to be together for eternity! I love teaching other's the plan of salvation, and as I put the picture of our family next to the celestial kingdom, I am overcome with emotion each time. It's incredible that we can all make it their together. I can only imagine what that day will be like. I'm so grateful for Mom and Dad who have raised us in the gospel. I know that as we have learned the gospel, Mom and Dad have taught us how to walk in the light. I frequently hear the phrase, "We don't obey because we are blind, we obey because we can see." Mom and Dad, thank you so much for teaching me the gospel. I love having this gift to be out on a mission getting to share with everyone I meet, "how to walk in the light." Seeing people who don't have this light in their life, has truly helped my testimony grow of what a blessing it is to have this light in my life. We are incredibly blessed. 

To start off, Sister Strong and I have had some good laughs this week. Our mission president always says, "This isn't just missionary work- It's missionary fun!" that phrase has so much truth! 

Every day, I get to laugh, there's so much joy in missionary work. We had a lesson at one of our member's homes- Brother and Sister Mortenson, and they had over the Velez family. Viridiana (We call her Vidi) has two darling daughter's Mia, who just turned 8 and wants to be baptized, and 6 year old Daylene. The girls are so darling, we have been helping fellowship them with ward members and it has helped such a great deal. We have been teaching their Mother Viridiana, who was a convert of 5-6 years ago. Her testimony has been re-kindled and she wants her girls to grow up with the gospel in their lives. Viridiana is finishing up cosmetology school, and is hoping to graduate soon. It's been difficult because it has kept her from bringing her girls to church. The last 3 weeks, her wonderful visiting teacher has brought the girls to church. We have been teaching them the lesson's, as Mia is preparing to be baptized. The girls are very quiet and reserved. The Mortenson family has 5 children, 2 of their children son Kole (11) and Kate (6) have Autism, and are very energetic and then they have 2 other boys who were all over the place. Then the Velez family brought their cute little Chihuahua that was running around, and little Kole and Kate chased the dog through the plan of Salvation cut outs. haha.  While we were teaching cute little 6 year old Luke held up our booklet with pictures and kept finding pictures and then he would commentate on them. It was so funny. :) He said, "Faith- is being nice to people." we couldn't help but giggle. Through all the commotion, the girls felt comfortable and were able to get out of their shells, It was so neat. The commotion turned out to be a tender mercy. :) The girls started asking questions, about the Holy Spirit, and what would happen after this life, and cute little Daylene raised her hand and said, "Sister Missionaries, guess what? I read the picture book of Mormon you gave me all by myself." we were so touched to hear she was reading on her own. The next day at church we saw the Velez girls with the Mortenson kids. So many of our less active members have been reactivated not only through their hearts being touched by the spirit, but as well through caring members, who put their arms around them. Members have just as much, or more influence then missionaries. There is the spiritual conversion, but a social conversion, feeling loved and wanted at church is so crucial as well. We have reactivated so many families through fellow ship, to see these members come back has brought just as much joy as seeing Sue step into the waters of baptism. 

Yesterday, we had the most incredible zone conference! President and Sister Mullen spoke to us about their training meeting, in which they were trained by Elder Ballard. It touched me to know that Elder Ballard was trained by President Thomas S. Monson, who is a Prophet of God. So in the end, the guidance we received came from Heavenly Father. They spoke of how faith guides us in all that we do. I have seen a recurring theme throughout my studies. Faith has stood out to me over and over again. Ether 12 beautifully illustrates what faith can do for us in our lives. All miracles are brought about by faith, faith is our motivation for all action, and it motivates us to change into the people God has envisioned us to become. It helps us get through our hard times, knowing that God is just building us for greater things. We have faith, that better things lay ahead and that through relying on Christ through our struggles, we will be prepared for whatever God has in store for us. I know God has sure built me so much even these last few months. It's interesting to see that through the hard times we truly grow the most, because these are the times we learn how much we need God, and how much we must rely on him. That is when we truly learn he is there. 

I love how Ether 12:4 illustrates that faith is our anchor. 

 Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with asurety bhope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, whichchope cometh of dfaith, maketh an eanchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding infgood works, being led to gglorify God.

President Mullen focused so much on the atonement, and it's healing power, and that all gifts of joy we receive come through Christ's atonement. He showed a Mormon Message that really changed my perspective. 
You'll have to watch it, and then read the rest of this email. 

Just like the man on the cruise ship, so many people in life live without using the privileges God has provided for them. As people learn of the atonement, and recognize that they can be healed from guilt they have been holding onto, they are freed. They can be enabled through difficult times, they can find strength in all things. I know that the way we access the atonement is through getting down on our knees and praying for strength. I know that as we ask God for specific help, he will give us specific guidance. I know as we seek God in answer to our challenges, he will speak words of comfort, guidance and counsel. The Book of Mormon has been my greatest source of Strength. I know the words were written specifically for us. I know the prophets in the scriptures saw each one of us, and wrote to help us with our specific challenges, under the direction of God. 

I have been especially touched to see people out here in the field use the enabling power of the atonement. An Elder in our mission Elder Neilson, has Autism , which causes you to have many difficulties and social anxieties, and he has been out on a month long mission to see if he feels he can serve. He bore his testimony yesterday, and said, "That first week of my mission was probably the scariest week of my life! I was terrified, I was pushed out of my comfort zone more than I would have ever imagined! Yet, I have never felt happier in my life! I will definitely be serving a full time mission!" We all were overcome with emotion, Elder Neilson is incredible, He bore his testimony that it was through the atonement that he has overcome his fears. 

I sure love all of you, and I know that anything you may be going through that Christ can strengthen, and heal you. God loves you each so deeply, and doesn't want us to go through our trials alone. He wants to be with us each step of this journey.

I love you with all my heart, and hope you have a great week! 

Love Always,

 Sister Sarah Clark 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hey Everyone, 

Sorry this email is late. We didn't have time to email yesterday, and so we are just on our lunch break and are able to email today. Anyway, it was so good to hear from you guys! I loved the fun Halloween pictures! It looks like you guys had so much fun! Mom I just want to thank you for sending the oil, and Dad thank you for sending those vitamins, I took them this morning and I can already feel a difference. :) Thank you so much! Also, thank you for fasting for me, that was so sweet of you all. I am already starting to feel better. I was just struggling, because I couldn't make it through studies, I felt exhausted, and some nights I stay up thinking about those we teach and it's just been a struggle for me to get adequate rest. I was able to sleep well last night, and I'm so grateful for Christ and that if I hand these things to him, he will take care of the things I can't take care of. I've come to realize we can only do what is within our power to help guide, and then it is up to the person how they act. I have to trust Heavenly Father knows what is best for them. Anyway, thank you again, I was touched to hear you fasted for me and I can definitely feel the blessings of it. :) I'll get the results from the thyroid test in a few days, I've met several people with the same challenge, who are taking the medication and say it's made a world of difference! So I'll keep you posted. 

I'm so glad to hear you all had such a fun week! The primary program is always the best! I loved the story about Will's prayer, and cute Emily Cox. They are so close to the spirit, it's so sweet. Mom, I am amazed with all you do with your calling! They should get you a name tag. :) Sounds like you’re on a full time mission also! I'm so glad you have so many people helping and supporting you! We have such an incredible ward back home. It's amazing that with so much service, you really do feel true joy! The joy that comes through seeing the light and joy that comes into these people's lives... It's incredible! It's so neat that you are bringing Christ's light into those people's lives.  It was so touching to hear about Gwen and Myron, I'll keep them in my prayers, I loved all the stories you shared this week I was so touched by them... Also Mom, thank you so much for those addresses! :) I sure appreciate it! 

So Mom and Dad, do you remember how you had a dream that I'd speak Spanish on my mission? Well the other day on Halloween we went on exchanges with the Sister's and they only teach those who speak Spanish. I got to serve with Sister Taylor, it was difficult because not many people wanted to let us in because it was Halloween. Yet, so who knows, maybe as we go on more exchanges I'll get to use the little bit of Spanish I know. :) 

That's so neat Sister Demars was telling me she was able to send you a message! That's so neat! She is so wonderful, she came to almost every lesson we had with Sue. Sue's baptism was the most incredible day of my mission thus far! So many people came to support her, that we moved from the Relief Society room to the chapel! So many ward members came to support her the chapel was almost full! One of her best friends Sister Shauna Jo Larkin and her family came. Sue and Shauna have been friends for years, and Shauna's husband Tom Larkin baptized her. I was thrilled to see Sue's Husband Tom, and two of her children walk in the chapel doors to support her. Her beautiful daughters Kaity, and Anna were there. The spirit was incredibly strong! Sister Demars gave the talk on Baptism, She explained so beautifully about how we have the priesthood authority on this earth because of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith. She spoke of what a gift it is that Brother Larkin can trace his priesthood back to Jesus Christ, and that is is that same authority we have here on Earth today. She explained that in Matthew 3:15 Christ who was perfect was baptized to fulfill all righteousness, and that as we are baptized we follow in his steps. After her talk, we all walked over relief society room where the font was located, beautiful soft hymns were played as everyone entered . Sue was just glowing and exuding with joy! She looked so beautiful all in white. As she came out of the water, she was smiling. :) I was filled with emotion... The spirit was so strong! As we waited in the chapel we played Mormon Messages, about the Atonement and Christ. As she came back in Brother and Sister Demars, Thurber, and a few other ward members sang "Come Thou Fount." then Sister Larkin spoke on The Holy Ghost, and how it is our constant guide throughout life. What touched me is that she spoke of how all those who are righteous and seek the truth have the influence of the spirit to guide them to truth, yet to have the constant companionship of the Spirit is so beautiful and the greatest gift we receive. We went to her home after for dinner, and Tom and the girls were so kind, gracious and friendly. It was just so neat to see how supportive they are. 

Sue was confirmed yesterday in church, and she got up to bear her testimony, and I really think her family was touched. She said in her testimony- "I told the Lord, I would go where he wanted me to go. This is where he led me, I know I am in the right place." :) Her family came to church as well. So this weekend was so wonderful. It's neat to see Sue as the matriarch of her home have the joy of the gospel in her life, and I just feel she is really going to touch her family and bring the spirit into that home, and hopefully her family will see that change and want it for themselves as well! :) We are really praying for them right now. 

I really have a testimony of fasting, it was right after the 40 day fast that we met Sue. I feel like this is the start to a chain reaction of miracles. I think the ward has really been touched to see this joy come into Sue's life. I feel I've learned so much from Sue. She has so much humility and is so trusting in God. During each lesson, she was willing to sacrifice to be exactly obedient. I heard a quote I absolutely love! "Obedience brings blessings, Exact obedience brings miracles." That is the only thing we have control over in our lives is our own obedience. It's so interesting to see that if we take the road less traveled by, the road that to the world is hidden and not seen as the way to joy. As we take time out to read our scriptures and receive that guidance from God, and pray to him, to ask him for that strength. He will bless us. Miracles will happen. I know as we do those simple things daily, miracles will happen. :) It's amazing that as we live these heavenly laws, (Loving Guidelines for true joy) we receive Heavenly Blessings. I've come to learn that as we push ourselves out of our comfort zones, we will see great things happen. :) 

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

Love Always, Sister Sarah Clark