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 

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