Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hey Everyone! 

I had the opportunity to go to the temple today, it was so wonderful! The only challenge being our ride is coming soon, (it takes about 2 hours to get back to Moscow) So I don't have much time to write, but I'll do my best. :) 
Thanks so much for all your emails, I always love hearing from each one of you! I love you all so much, it always brings a smile to my face to hear from you. :) I'm so glad to hear Dad had such a great birthday, and how incredible that Mom and Rachel got to meet Sister Dalton! Thanks for sharing your notes from the meeting, she is such an incredible woman! Mom, that's so awesome you're working on the Book of Mormon challenge, I agree it really does give you a different perspective. I've loved it! It sounds like you guys have had a great week! 

Well, this week has been wonderful! I have to say working with college students has been such an incredible experience! They are searching out truth for themselves, this is the time that they are figuring out who they are. I have a testimony that Heavenly Father is not only hastening the work by inspiring more to come out on missions, he is also preparing the hearts of his children to hear the gospel. We have met so many people who are so excited to strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ. This week, we have been given referral after referral! It's been wonderful! The great thing as well, is that our young students are so excited to share the gospel with their friends! 

With our young married ward, we had an international dinner on Saturday and 3 non-member couples were there. We met a couple from Romania, Pakistan, and North Carolina. They loved the activity, and the Romanian couple commented that they really felt a special spirit as they came into the building. We're excited the members have been working a lot with the Romanian couple, it's been neat to see them all reach out together. In our young single adult ward we are working with 5 investigators, we are working with Jeff, Jacob, Chynna (cool way to spell it right?) Ashley, Oscar, and a few others. It's so amazing to see their great faith and their willingness to ask Heavenly Father if this is his will for them. It's neat to watch each one of them strengthen their relationship with their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and to watch them grow in confidence as they learn of their divine identity as children of a loving Heavenly Father, and that they have the potential to become like him. As I've been out on this mission it's made me really the value and significance of the message. I used to have fear in inviting people to be baptized, as I've been reading the Book of Mormon each day my testimony has been greatly strengthened, that as we have this opportunity to invite others to be baptized- we invite them to follow Jesus Christ, the perfect example, we are invite them to make promises with their Heavenly Father. Promises that lead them to true joy here on earth, and Eternal Life and joy in the life to come! It's helped me overcome my fears, I feel that on my mission I've been pushed out of my comfort zone in every aspect. Like they say- Miracles happen just outside your comfort zone. :) A mission has probably been the most humbling, yet most rewarding experience of my life! 

During these past few weeks, I've gained an even stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon! As we've been teaching one of our investigators Jacob, he has brought his Presbyterian friends with him who've really tried to ask questions that would catch us in our words. They are very familiar with the bible, and after the second lesson we realized they didn't have true intent in desiring to know if this was Heavenly Father's word or not. They kept telling us we were being misguided and it really hurt. As I've read the Book of Mormon, on every page I've had my testimony of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father, and my divine potential strengthened. Sometimes I wish I could just hand others what I'm feeling. I've learned that all we can do as missionaries is share what we know and then it's up to them to use their agency. We are here to help them use their agency to the best of their abilities. Each time I meet someone who struggles it reminds me of the scripture 

Mosiah 2: 41
 41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments ofGod. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

I love that scripture- that as we live the gospel we are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual. I've learned that we don't have much control over our circumstances, but we do have control over ourselves. As we have the spirit, and have our relationship with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, we can find joy in any circumstance. No matter what our challenges may be. I'm so grateful to have the great knowledge that I do. :) This gospel brings me so much happiness! We are so blessed! 

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

Love Always, Sister Sarah Clark 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hey Everyone! 

Dad, Happy Birthday!!! I hope it's a great one! :) You'll be getting something from me soon here! I love you so much, thanks for being the greatest Dad ever! I'm so grateful for you, thank you for working so hard to support all of us, and I'm especially grateful for your support while I've been out here on my mission! Thanks for your great sense of humor, and for always taking the time listen, I'm so grateful  for you. I know I wouldn't be where I am today without you! 

It was so wonderful to hear from each one of you and hear all the great things that are happening! I'm so excited for Rachel, Snow College sounds awesome! From everyone I've talked to who's gone there, it sounds like you get a lot more interaction with the teachers. I heard the classes are much smaller than that of those at Utah State. I had about 300-500 students in each of my classes. I hear it's 30-100 students per class at Snow College. I think it sounds like a great place to get your generals! Much more affordable as well! I'm so excited for you Rachel! :) You will absolutely love college! Enjoy you're last semester of High School! :) I loved my senior year of high school! 

Mom, that's so awesome you've started the Book of Mormon challenge! Isn't starting the day with the scriptures the best? I don't know how I went through my whole day before without reading till night, reading at the beginning of the day really gives you that spiritual strength throughout the day. There's a promise in 1 Nephi 15:24, that says we'll have strength against the adversary as we read the word of God! 

I have been so truly blessed to have this opportunity to serve with Sister Lamb! You asked where she's from, her Mom is Native American, and her Dad is Peruvian, cool right? So from that you're probably guessing where she grew up- The foreign land of Provo, Utah! :) haha. There are a lot of Utahn's out here! :) It's fun. We live with two other sisters. Sister Luki- She's from New Zealand (She's a temple square sister, but she's on her "Out Bound" experience, every sister at temple square gets an opportunity to go out for a transfer to proselyte, and Sister Rasmussen- Park City, Utah. It's so much fun living with them, I just love all of them! :) We live in this cute little apartment about a 5-10 minute walk away from Idaho State University's campus. We are serving in two wards, Moscow University 1st and 2nd wards. Our first ward is a young single adult ward, and the 2nd ward is a young married ward. I love working with people my age! I've never had a more full schedule, everyone this age is searching for truth, they are all in the mind set of learning. Everyone is so open, we have about 7 investigators we are working with! I've only met a few thus far. 

We have an investigator Jeff who's studying fire ecology, he's been a Christian his whole life, he has such child like faith! The sisters found about two weeks before I came here, as they were out street contacting. His step mom's father is actually a temple sealer. Crazy right? As we've taught him, he has such sincerity to know truth. He is preparing himself to be baptized on March 1st. We are so excited for him! We had a miracle on Sunday! This darling girl China came to church all by herself. We asked her what had struck her interest. She has been speaking with her friend Matt who is serving a mission in California, and he'd encouraged her to go to church several times, and she decided to go! :) She has always been interested in religion, but hadn't found a church that was right for her just yet. We've been teaching her, we had a lesson with her yesterday and she's very interested! :) Our other investigator Jacob has grown up agnostic, and we had a lesson with him and his Presbyterian friends who were asking us questions to try to catch us in our words, we had one of the institute teachers Dr. Jenkins with us who has an incredible knowledge of the Bible, and he answered every one of their questions perfectly! It was amazing! I was so grateful to have him with us! Our other investigator Zack, has had a difficult life, he had twins out of wedlock, and he loves them so deeply. His girlfriend left him, and he doesn't have custody rights to see his children. He is searching for belonging and to feel love. It's neat to see the ward has really taken him under their wings. He's out of work and school and just searching right now. There are so many people we've found who are just searching to know who they are. It such a blessing to get to share these incredible truths with them, that they are children of loving Heavenly Father, who has a great purpose and plan for them. They are here to grow and become like him. It's incredible that we have the answers to these questions and we can help them find this peace in their lives. 

I love being a missionary! :) It's been such a blessing to get to serve with Sister Lamb. I've learned so much from her already. With it being her last transfer, she has helped me recognize that I can't take this time for granted. That it's such a blessing to get to serve, and that my time out here is so short. It makes me want to work harder, and put my all into each day I have out here. I can't believe I'm already through 1/3 of my mission! Time goes by so quickly. I feel we have so much work to do! I hope to bring this message to as many as I can. 

Wish I had more time to write... Know that I love each one of you so much! Thank you for your love, support and prayers! Your prayers are being answered we are finding so many people who've been searching for the truth! :) 

Love Always, Sister Clark 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hey Everyone, 

Thank you so much for all of your emails! I sure enjoy hearing from you each week. :) I love you guys so much! I feel so blessed to have you guys in my life, I don't know what'd I'd do without each one of you! 

It was fun to hear sweet Sister Mulloy sent you another letter. She is so sweet, I feel like she's adopted me as a grand-daughter, we'll come home at night to a plate of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, and she'll always crack jokes while she's reading the paper to us. I just love her! It's been such a blessing to get to live with her. 

Well, I have some crazy news! I received a call from my District leader Elder Smith- It was our transfer call. I am going to be transferred to Moscow, and I'll be proselyting at Moscow University, serving in the young single adult ward!!!! I am so excited! My new companion will be Sister Lamb. I'm so grateful I'll have an opportunity to share with these college students, It's going to be so nice to be able to work with people my age- knowing how they feel and what they are going through at this stage in life. It's bitter sweet, I'm truly going to miss the people here. I feel like I'm leaving my family. This is where I've been for the last almost 6 months. I know them each by name and I'm so close with each one of them. It's been such a blessing to help them find joy in doing the Lord's work. It's been incredible to work with many less active members, and getting to be a part in helping them as they've been preparing to make it back to the temple. To see Sister Judi Marvin, and Sister Willis walking in the chapel doors each week. Sister Marvin just got called to be a Sunday school teacher, and it was one of the happiest moments of my life! I can just see this incredible light in them. They have re-kindled that relationship with their Heavenly Father. I have seen so many changes in these people. The light of Christ shines through them. It was such a blessing to share the gospel in it's fullness with Sue, and seeing how much she's already blessed the life of every member in our ward. I know she has inspired each of them! I love the Evergreen Ward with all my heart! I will never forget them... They have made a mark on my heart that will be there forever! 

On Saturday, Elder Neil L. Anderson came to speak with us! All 237 of us missionaries sang hymns as we awaited his arrival. The spirit was incredibly strong! I felt we were unified as one voice, then it hit me how powerful all of us are together, that we have the potential as the Lord's army to make a difference here in the Spokane Mission. It made me think of all the missionaries world wide, covering the Earth- bringing all to a knowledge of their Heavenly Father and his great plan for them. I had been praying for several days that I could gain a strong testimony that Elder Anderson is truly one of the Lord's apostles. As he walked in- he just glowed! The spirit touched my heart. After we took a photograph with him, we each had the opportunity to shake his hand. He shook my hand and looked me right in the eye, and said, "Thank you for your service Sister Clark" the fact that he said my name really touched me. It gave me a testimony that we are cared for as individuals, not just as a group. It made me think about how Christ and Heavenly Father know my name personally. I know that God shows his love to us through others. I know that that was truly an answer to my prayer. That he called me by name. I felt so much peace in my heart. I know that just as Christ has apostles during his ministry, he has called apostles again today to guide us, and to testify of him and let others know of his great love. As Elder Anderson spoke, he was so personable. He walked around the chapel with a microphone, he asked us questions and taught us so beautifully about the importance of the atonement in our lives. He said we must apply it daily to keep a testimony of it. He said we gain a testimony by doing. He told us that as members of the church we all have different personalities and that it's alright that not each of us are exactly alike. He said, "There is not "one" personality type the Lord allows to have a testimony. He said it's a blessing we are all different! He said that what we are to be doing the same is to be living righteously. What comforted me as well- he said, "We feel we must be perfect, but as long as you are diligent in your efforts, this is what matters. As we are continually in our efforts, we will become that person we desire to be. Be patient it takes time." He told us he definitely not a perfect missionary. It brought me so much comfort to know it's okay I'm not a perfect missionary. 

Before the evening session, we came in right as the priesthood session was ending, Brother Anderson was walking out, and he came up to shake my hand, and asked how Sister Strong and I were doing, he's so personable! During the evening session, He spoke all about missionary work, and we as missionaries and a ward need to unite. He called up a group that included a ward mission leader, the Assistants to the President, (AP's), A Bishop, a few others and our Relief Society President Sister Woolf. As he asked each of them how the work was going with their ward and their missionaries, he came to Sister Woolf. He asked her a few questions, he asked her, "How are the missionaries in your ward?" she replied, "They are outstanding, then she listed some of the things we have done to help the ward and she added, They are just over the top!" then Elder Anderson said, "Would those outstanding, over the top missionaries please stand?" we stood up, and I think my face probably turned bright red. He looked right at us and said, "Thank you Sisters!" How fun is that? Sister Woolf is so sweet. It's not every day that you get picked on by an apostle. :) So that was sure fun surprise! Anyway, It was probably the greatest weekend of my mission thus far! 

Anyway, we've seen so many miracles this week! We went to go visit our investigators at this apartment complex- Steve and Jacqueline, and they weren't home. We had met an Albanian man- Sergei, a week ago. I felt the strongest prompting that we needed to go and see this family! I was terrified. I don't speak Albanian. I prayed, Heavenly Father, I know you've told me we need to go see this family, I don't speak the language, but I have faith you can help them feel your love, and get the message across. We knocked on the door, and their whole family was home. We met their sweet mother, and their four darling little girls. The Salliyou Family. They gladly invited us in, and pulled us out a soda, and gathered all of their children in to hear our message. To great my great surprise they spoke just enough English that we could communicate! What a blessing! :) We talked to them about their beliefs and they have very strong beliefs that God is there. Yet, as we spoke of the Savior Jesus Christ, they said- If God is all powerful there is no such need for another God. We bore strong testimony that God is our loving Heavenly Father, and he we explained that he knew we would not be perfect, so he gave his beloved only begotten son in the flesh to pay the price for our imperfections. That through Christ we can become like our Heavenly Father. Mrs. Salliyou then told us her brother had just passed away, and we were able to share the sweet message that Christ has broken the bands of death and she will see him again. They went on to explain that they were Muslim. I was amazed to see how similar our beliefs are. What has really touched me especially lately, is that we of all faiths have the same desire, to know that God wants joy for us, to know he has a plan for us. We all have so much in common, I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is the only church that contains the fullness of truths, and that because we have the fullness of truth we have light. We don't have to worry and wonder, because we know. We know who we are, why we are here, and where we are going. That all is possible through Jesus Christ. We have had so many miracles this week, for lack of time, this was my favorite that I thought I'd share. 

I love you all so much! Thanks for your love and support! 

Much Love, Sister Sarah Clark 

Picture Captions

0932- The Cute Willis Family (The Grandma- Margie Mother of the Two kids- Janette Son- Thomas Daughter-Dielle) 

0922- Sister Astin, and Sister Clark (She is Mrs. Bremer's Niece, this was right after the conference with Elder Anderson) 

0908- Our funny zone, and two 12 year old boys came to see what mission life is like. So much fun! :) 
 Spokane, Washington Missionaries with Elder Neil L. Anderson.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Hey There Everyone! 

It's always a treat to hear from you! To hear about all the great things you're involved with, and how much is going on! I can't believe Andrew is now in Primary! Where does the time go?! That's crazy! :) How fun I bet Sister Udall is an awesome teacher! Rachel, I'm so proud of you for standing up for what's right with the play. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. I'm so proud of you! Mom, it's so neat to hear of all the great things you are doing as the relief society president, you are making such a difference in so many lives! What an incredible opportunity, I'm so proud of you! 

It's hard to hear many people are struggling right now...Dad,  I'll definitely keep you in my prayers, I know Heavenly Father has a great plan for you. It's hard going through those times when our faith is tried. I loved how you've always told me throughout the years, that when we don't have all the answers this is when we learn the most. I definitely agree with Uncle Richard, Dad is so creative! You'll come up with something great, I know you will. I have faith that Heavenly Father will take care of everything during this process. As I've had more time to read the scriptures these last few months, it's incredible to see the pattern by which the Lord works. Thinking about the Jaredites, (Ether 2) who were in the barges for quite some time, not knowing their end destination, but knowing that since they'd taken the course of action that God had directed them to take they knew he was guiding them. Although they only had the light in the barges, they couldn't see the course in which the Lord was taking them, yet they ended up in the promise land. The same goes for Nephi and his family 
1 Nephi 4:6-  And I was aled by the Spirit, not bknowing beforehand the things which I should do.
Sometimes I wish Heavenly Father could just show us how things would turn out in the end, yet through the comfort of the spirit we can know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. In the scriptures they always end up making it to the promise land. Don't worry Dad, everything will work out. 

Well, this week had been a good one. It's been difficult as I've been sick for a majority of it, along with walking, yet as I exerted myself we were able to meet so many new people, and see miracles because of it! :) We met a woman named Donna a few weeks ago, and we were able to teach her and her husband. She and Paul have met with 2 sets of missionaries. She still has many questions. She has struggled because years back her 15 year old son, died in a fire, and she misses him dearly. It was difficult for her to understand that a loving Heavenly Father would take her son. We were able to share the message of the Plan of Salvation or the Plan of Happiness, and we were able to explain to her that her son was in the spirit world, a place of joy and peace, and that she would again see him. I felt the spirit so strongly as I was able to bear my testimony to her that we come to Earth to gain a body because our body is subject to temptation, and subjects us to  weakness, our physical bodies provide resistance for our spirit which allows us to grow. I was able to bear testimony that her son had completed his Earthly test, and that he was now in a place of peace. It was a neat moment, I don't feel I can adequately type out the words that came to me. There are moments when I can feel the spirit working through me, and I am unable to completely recall the words I spoke. Such a surreal experience. This last week I've felt prompted to promise many different blessings. We were teaching a 14 year old girl who is a grand daughter of one of our less actives. She isn't a member and she lives in a home with a mother who is addicted to drugs, and her father struggles as well. As we taught her of her divine identity as a daughter of God, I felt prompted to share with her that as she lives the gospel she will be able to make it to the temple and be sealed to her husband for eternity. I felt prompted to share, that there was a man who would be ready to take her there as she lives this gospel. It was a very specific blessing, and I don't think anyone had shared with her that those blessings were available to her. You could see a light in her as we shared this with her. I felt Heavenly Father's great love for her, and I felt that those were the very words he would have spoken to her if he were here. With each person we teach it's incredible that as we rely on the spirit, we know God knows these people perfectly, and although we don't know them, that he does, and he directs us in knowing what he'd have us say to them. 

I spent about a day and a half recovering, I had time to reflect. It takes me going without something to recognize how grateful I am to have it in my life. That's how Heavenly Father has taught me, I was getting to the point of comparing myself to some other missionaries, and then I got sick and realized how much God truly has blessed me with. My good Health, my memory, my wonderful family and friends. I've realized that although I'm not a perfect missionary, it's taught me to rely on my Heavenly Father, and as I've learned to rely on him, he makes my efforts perfect enough. I have to remember that it's not me as a missionary that helps others come to Christ, it's the spirit. As long as I'm obedient and put in my best effort Heavenly Father makes it enough. It's true to all situations in life, that as long as we strive to follow the spirit and put in our best efforts God will direct us. I know Heavenly Father has given each of us unique gifts, and attributes because he has sent each of us here to fulfill a unique mission. Although through the atonement, I've learned that I can overcome my weaknesses, and become better, I am unique for a reason. I know each of us can use our unique gifts to bless others. President Mullen always says to remember that once we've accepted that we are "Unfinished projects" we are always in the process of growth and remodel. As we see ourselves as God see's us, we find so much joy. As long as we remember who we are as children of God, nothing can shake us. 

I'm so grateful for this opportunity to serve the wonderful people of Washington, It's such a blessing to watch others grow close to their Savior, and see the light in their eyes, as they recognize who they are and why they are here. I know that this gospel is what brings true happiness! I'm so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father, who has faith in me and sent his beloved son Jesus Christ so that I can return to him someday. I know Heavenly Father knows us each individually, he knows the interests of our hearts, he has a divine plan for each one of us. I know that Jesus Christ is the God's greatest expression of love to us, and that truly has felt all the struggles we feel, he knows exactly how to comfort us, and he will as we turn to him through prayer, and act on the faith we have. As President Utchdorf said last conference, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." I love my Heavenly Father and My Savior, I love each one of you! 

I hope you each have a wonderful week, and I pray that you'll be able to feel of the great love your Heavenly Father has for you as you go throughout your week! 

Thank you again for your prayers, love and support! I love each one of you so much! 

Love Always, Sister Sarah Clark 

P.S. Thought I'd attach one of my favorite Mormon Messages! Its such a touching story.