Monday, February 24, 2014

Hey Everyone! 

Good to hear from you all! What a fun week, Mom and Dad glad you had such a fun anniversary trip! Grandpa's birthday party looked like a lot of fun! :) I'll have to write him! :) Rachel, cute haircut! I loved the story about our little soloist in the family, Andrew is so cute! I'll have to send you back the memory card, I would love to hear him! :) How cute... I love our family! Mom, way to be in finishing the Book of Mormon! I am very close, I'm in Ether, and plan to finish today during preparation day! :) I have to agree on your favorite stories! I absolutely love the chapter about the 3 nephites, the Stripling Warriors, the Anti Nephi Lehi's, etc... So many great hero's to look up to. I think what especially touched me this time, was that after all the chaos, and unbelief in Jesus Christ's coming... As I read in third Nephi, about Christ's coming, it brought so much peace to me. The spirit touched my heart so strongly. Knowing that one day we will get to meet Jesus Christ. It's amazing to hear of all the miracles he performed, and how he healed people one by one. 

3 Nephi 11:15
 15 And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and adid feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.

 I love knowing that today, Christ heals us one by one, and it's through the power of the priesthood that we have access to all the blessings that Christ blessed the people with while he was here. That we can feel his love today through the spirit. The Book of Mormon is the best! 

I was so sad to say good bye to Sister Lamb, she left for the mission home yesterday... I've learned so much from her. Saying good bye to her made me realize how fast this mission will go by. Time flies so quickly... Last night I got my transfer call, and I'm so happy! :) I get to stay in Moscow for another transfer, and my new companion will be Sister Reed! I get to go pick her up tomorrow. Pictures to come. ;) 

This week has been a great one! I think what I really learned this week is patience... I've learned that not everything happens in the time table we'd like it to. We've continued meeting with Chynna, and she'd really like her family to come to her baptism, so we aren't sure when she's going to be baptized. I think it will be great for her to have them there. Her Mom isn't a member and her Dad has been less active since before she was born. So I think this could be a great opportunity for them to feel the spirit, and support her. I'm praying that they will be supportive, and loving. Chynna is so incredible, I know she'll make the right decision. Then this week, Jacob our investigator who's athiest, said he's not willing to let go of the part of him that's resisting putting his heart into the gospel. He said one day he just decided there wasn't a God, and he said it's been difficult "Knowing-thinking" he's alone. But he's okay with it. We've invited him continually to pray to know that God's there, but he hasn't put his heart into it. So we are giving Jacob some time. It's so hard, because I just love the kid... I want him to feel Heavenly Father's love for him, but his heart is closed off... Ben Fujii came to church on Sunday! Which was wonderful! He's incredible, he's so open to learning... He's Catholic, yet he's open to knowing God's will for him. As well, Keegan is struggling and very busy, so we are trying to help him see how much this gospel can help him right now.

So funny story. We are teaching this sweet less active girl- Rachel. We came to her house to remind her about church, and she said, "Well, every time I go they seem to speak about marriage... And I'm just not ready." We said, "Oh.. it's not always about marriage. We need you there! :)" Then we talked about all the blessings that come along with coming to church. She said she'd make it a point to come. We were so happy! What do you know, at church on Sunday, she walked through the doors, we were so happy! :D In church they haven't talked about marriage in weeks. Well, guess what the topic was. Marriage! Haha. Sister Lamb and I were trying so hard not to laugh. We counted how many times the first speaker said marriage in his talk, 23 times! Haha. Afterwards we talked to her, and she said, "Maybe Heavenly Father's trying to send me a message." we started laughing. She comes every few months and each time she comes they talk about marriage. So I'll keep you posted about when she gets engaged LOL. I love serving in a singles ward. So that's the funny moment of this week. 

So ever since I've come to Moscow, It's been so much fun! We have been able to become involved in so many service projects, on Saturday we painted rooms in an Environmental center, we go to the "Kindred" care center every week to go paint nails, and do plastic canvas with the cute old people. We've been able to meet so many wonderful people this way! :) We're hoping one day in the future, when these people meet missionaries maybe they'll invite them into their homes. :) So this weeks been fun but crazy, we were in a trio because Sister Rasmussen's companion Sister Luki went back to temple square, so we've been serving over 3 wards! So I got to meet so many of her ward members. We got to teach her investigators Thomas and Kelly, who are athiests, they told us they'd been praying everyday, and they just felt more joy as they'd done so. We were able to teach them about the spirit and how it touches us and lets us know God is there. Thomas explained that he struggled with faith so he'd looked up in the index chapters on faith. He'd read Alma 32, and said he felt it was written for him! :) He said he prayed 10 times before his job interview, and he'd started praying about everything! I love seeing others develop their faith and discovering God in their lives. So incredible. 

Well, I love each one of you so much! I'm so grateful for each one of you in my life! :) Thanks for your encouragement, love, support and prayers! 
I hope you all have a great week! 
Love Always, Sister Sarah Clark 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hey There Everyone! 

It was so good hearing from you! Thanks for taking the time to write me! :) Sounds like so many exciting things are going on! Congratulations to Jennica! Louisville, Kentucky Spanish speaking! That's so awesome! I'm so excited for her! State side missions are the best! :) (No bias... ;) ) haha. She's going to be such an incredible missionary! I'm so excited for Natalie to get to serve a mission as well! What an exciting time! Who would've guessed this was where all of us would be only two years ago! Deciding to serve a mission is the best thing that's ever happened to me, I don't regret it one bit.  Mom and Dad, hope you have a great anniversary trip! I'm excited for you! Thanks for all the funny Andrew stories, they brought a smile to my face. Thanks for the update. I'm glad Aunt Lynda is doing better, and Mom way to be making it to 3rd Nephi! :) 

A lot has happened this week! It's been eventful, sometimes I feel I live a month worth of events within a week. I'm so sad, Sister Luki is leaving us today... She's such a sweetheart, I've loved having her here. We've had so much fun together! She's heading back to temple square, you guys will have to go and request Sister Luki as a tour guide. :) Then Sister Lamb goes home on Sunday, so it'll just be Sister Rasmussen and I left. Transfer calls are on Sunday, I get the feeling I might be training a new missionary this next transfer, we'll see. Whatever happens it'll be great! :) 

This week we made cookies with our district and went around campus, and gave them out along with pass along cards. Inviting people to come to church, and check out the institute. As a result, we are teaching this darling girl from Colombia named Lina. :) !! We had an incredible Zone Conference, Sister Lamb, Luki, Rasmussen, Johnson, Fuller, and I performed a musical number. We sang "Oh, My Father" to the tune of "Come Thou Fount". I realized how profound the words of that hymn are. I love the words...

O my Father, thou that dwellest in the high and glorious place. When shall I regain thy presence, and again behold thy face?

In thy holy habitation, did my spirit once reside? In my first primeval childhood, was I nurtured near thy side?

In thy holy habitation, did my spirit once reside? In my first primeval childhood, was I nurtured near thy side?

For a wise and glorious purpose thou hast placed me here on earth, and withheld the recollection of my former friends and birth.
Yet oft-times a secret something whispered, “You’re a stranger here;” And I felt that I had wandered from a more exalted sphere.

When I leave this frail existence, when I lay this mortal by, Father, Mother, may I meet you in your royal courts on high?
Then, at length, when I’ve completed all you sent me forth to do, With your mutual approbation let me come and dwell with you.

It's now a favorite of mine. How incredible to think, we lived with Heavenly Father, he nutured us, loved us, cared for us, we are his children. We had friendships there. Yet our recollection is with held from us, so that we can grow. As President Benson said, “Nothing is going to startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side than to realize how well we know our Father and how familiar his face is to us.” 

This week we've been working a lot with Jacob, who is an athiest. We felt a recurring theme throughout our lessons, "God's Love". Jacob hadn't been following through on his commitments, so we were thinking about "Putting him in the area book" thinking this wasn't his time and he wasn't ready to act on the answer God would give him. We told him the only way he was going to know if these things were true, was if he acted on the invitations we extended him, to continue reading the Book of Mormon, and to come to church. As he came to church on Sunday, the lesson was on "The Creation, and God's love for us" Jacob looked slightly uncomfortable as he sat in his chair. Afterwards, he explained to us that warmth had spread throughout him, he hadn't felt those feelings before. During our lessons right as he feels the spirit you can tell he braces himself against it. He's so intelligent, and I think he's afraid to brace change. On Sunday, we had a mission wide fast for new investigators. I feel Heavenly Father blessed us, and softened Jacob's heart. Miracles happen! :) 

Other exciting events! Chynna is doing wonderful! She came to Family Home Evening last night, and she is continuing on to read the Book of Mormon, We're going to have to bump her baptism forward a few weeks, so her family can come. I'm so excited for her! She's incredible! :) 

We are working with a sweet boy who has a slight case of autism, his friends the Schofield's invited him to Family Home Evening last week, and we've had a few discussions with him and he's very sincerely interested. He's such a sweet kid. We are also working with an investigator Ben Fujii, he's very intelligent, and had been meeting with missionaries before the winter break. He'd gotten a new phone, and lost our number. He came to the institute a few weeks ago to get our number, and we've been able to meet with him! :) He's reading the Book of Mormon, and is in Alma 26. He has the most incredible story. He told us that missionaries came knocking at his door looking for a Ben Fujii, the mother pointed to the infant in her arms and said, "Yes, this is him". The missionaries were shocked. The parents weren't interested in the church, but the missionaries had left the Book of Mormon and said, "We'll let you keep this for him" So when he'd been old enough to read, his parents gave him the Book, and he'd been intrigued ever since. I wouldn't believe this story unless I'd heard it myself. How incredible is that?! So Ben's a pretty incredible kid. 

So many miracles have happened this week! Heavenly Father is sure hastening his work, and preparing so many of his children to hear his word and bring more joy into their lives. I know without a doubt that this gospel is true, & brings lasting joy into lives! I'm so grateful to get to share it! :) 

Well, I love you guys so much! Hope you have a wonderful week! :) 

Love Always, Sister Sarah Clark! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hey Everyone,

I loved your emails this week! Thanks for taking the time to write me. Mom, Thank you so much for the cute Valentine's package! I loved it, thanks for the cute photo album! That was sure fun to look through, talk about an eventful year! I'm so excited to see where Jennica gets called! My guess is.. Either... Stateside- California, or Georgia; Out of Country- France! You'll have to keep me posted. She's going to be an incredible missionary! :) I can't believe Brady comes home next month! That's so exciting! Also, you'll have to keep me posted about Cali, I'm going to have to write her! I'll definitely keep Aunt Linda in my prayers. Mom and Dad, Happy 21st anniversary! Glad you're going to go celebrate, that'll be fun! Glad to hear you've all had a great week! :) 

My week has been so fun, exhausting, uplifting... Every emotion- I think I've felt it this week. I have to say I love living with another set of Sisters we have so much fun! At night when we've come home, we have a lot of fun. The other night we all put on clay masks haha. Or we'll make Food together, etc... I got to go on exchanges with Sister Luki this week, So much fun! :) It's been such a great week. 

I want to thank you for all of your prayers. I've seen them answered! :) I've seen so many tender mercies this week! 

A member of the 5th Young Single Adult Ward- Jacob, was baptized on Saturday. We invited Chynna to come, to see what baptisms are like, and to come feel the spirit there. As we told her it was for Jacob, she told us that it was his testimony that had really touched her in fast and testimony meeting, that he'd said exactly what she needed to hear while she'd been fasting for her answer to know if the church was true. After Jacob was baptized we asked her how she felt, she broke down in tears, and said told us she really felt this was the path she wants to take. It was such an incredible baptism, Jacob's parents who aren't members came to support him, and two incredible converts gave talks, it was all centered on Jesus Christ. It touched my heart to see Jacob walk into the font, to know that he was promising to dedicate his life to Heavenly Father, to follow Jesus Christ. It was so sweet, after church on Sunday Sister Lamb and I saw Chynna and Jacob talking. I don't think it was just a coincidence that he's been placed in her life at this time. His testimony has really strengthened hers. It's been amazing to see Chynna's enthusiasm about the Gospel. She is incredible! :) Seeing the happiness she has makes everything all worth the while. It's moments like these that make the hard work all worth it. Seeing people feel the joy of the gospel. :) 

In the Book of Mormon Alma talks about the joy he feels as he see's his brothers change their lives, and feel God's love in their lives and come to understand their divine identities. I was reading this verse last week, of how he explains his joy, and this is exactly how I feel. :) 

Alma 29:16 
 16 Now, when I think of the success of these my brethren my soul is carried away, even to the separation of it from the body, as it were, so great is my ajoy.

I've loved reading about the great missionaries in the Book of Mormon... Ammon, Alma, and Aaron. So many great examples to look to... 

Another miracle we've seen this week, was with our investigator Jacob Preston.  He's an atheist, but he's opening up, and wants to know if God is there. He is brilliant, he's an engineer, and he very well rounded. His concern is having "Proof" that these things are true. We read Alma 32 with him. God really has provided us a way to have evidence that these things are true. We taught him that God has provided a way. We've taught him about the Spirit and how when we feel the spirit, it's truly God speaking to our hearts. 

We read Galations 5:22  22 But the afruit of the bSpirit is clove, djoy, epeace, flongsuffering,ggentleness, goodness, hfaith,
 23 aMeeknessbtemperance: against such there is no law.
He's a very philosophical thinker, in our last lesson, he contended that maybe we were just appeasing our conscience by "Doing Good things". We talked about the evidences of God, through the outcome of the blessings that come from keeping the commandments. The adversary wants us to believe that there aren't consequences to action. This is when we become endangered. I love in Alma 32 that it invites us to conduct this experiment, by reading the Word of God, and coming to know for ourselves. 

21 And now as I said concerning faith—afaith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye bhope for things which are cnot seen, which are true.

26 Now, as I said concerning faith—that it was not a perfect knowledge—even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge.
 27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than adesire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.
I love how Alma goes on to say that whatever Seed we plant, will yield the fruit it states it will. For example, if we plant a carrot seed- it will yield a carrot. The seed we plant by reading the word of God is gaining a knowledge of our value in Jesus Christ. This yields- us being enabled in our lives, to feel God's love, to become more than we could by ourselves. 
31 And now, behold, are ye sure that this is a good seed? I say unto you, Yea; for every seed bringeth forth unto its own alikeness.
Then he goes on to say that when we experiment and see the blessings that come, that through the spirit our knowledge can be perfect. 
34 And now, behold, is your aknowledge bperfectYea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your cfaith is dormant; and this because you know, for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your dmind doth begin to expand.
I'm so grateful God has provided us a way to truly Know for ourselves that this is truth. We don't just have to rely on what others say. I've felt this so strongly as I've been reading the Book of Mormon. I know that it's truly God's word. We invited Jacob to read every day, and pray to know that God is there and that this is his word. I just hope he'll open his heart. 
Anyway, It's been a wonderful week! I've learned so much, It's the greatest thing in the world to see people find joy and purpose in their lives! I don't think I've ever felt happier! :) 
Love You All so much! Hope you all have a wonderful week! The Gospel is True! :) 
Much Love, Sister Sarah Clark 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Hey Everyone! 

Looks like you've had another awesome week! Thanks for sharing your neat stories and thank you for the updates! Sounds like you guys are doing well. :) I'm so proud to hear all of the great things you guys are doing! I know each one of you is a blessing in the lives of those around you! You guys are wonderful! Mom, I loved the story about Susie Sim, she's so cute! Also, you are going to have to keep me posted on Jennica's mission call! I'm so excited for her! :) 

I have had a wonderful week! Thank you for your prayers in my behalf and in behalf of the people I'm teaching. No prayer goes unanswered! :) Chynna fasted yesterday to receive an answer to know if this is Heavenly Father's path for her, and to know that the church is true. We fasted with her yesterday. At church I asked her if she was doing alright, and she replied that it was difficult but that she was doing alright. She knelt down to pray on Saturday night to begin her fast. She said she was just hanging out at her apartment, and she felt the strongest impression that she needed to kneel down and pray. She said that as she poured out her heart she felt so much love, and she said she was just overwhelmed with emotion. She then went on to tell me that minutes after her prayer, her roommate was drunk and called her and needed help. Her roommate was questioning her on why she was looking into the church. She said this really made her stop and consider why she was doing the things she was. She said as she has been watching the lives of the members, she admires how happy everyone is. As she told me her story, I don't think I've ever been happier! :) Heavenly Father saw her sacrifice and desire to know, he blessed her and answered her prayers. Chynna is such an incredibly strong girl! It's so exciting to see her walk in the steps of her Savior, she has so much faith. Throughout she's been so willing to see if this is what her Heavenly Father wants for her. Heavenly Father blesses us so much for the sacrifices we make to follow him. 

This week, we've had so many opportunities to help out and serve. 10 of us as missionaries helped this single father Kyle clean up his place. It needed a lot of help! Let me tell you... haha. It was cute he really likes this lady he's dating and was going to bring her to his home to meet his 3 children that night. He's a recent convert, and she is too. Cute right? :) It felt so good to see him smile! I think it's so incredible to look at Heavenly Fathers timing. That he recently joined the church and so did she. I really hope they get married! :) 

We also have been helping out at a retirement home- "Kindred" Sister Lamb, Luki, Rasmussen, went a few times this week to help them with this plastic canvas craft. As we helped them make bookmarks, and complete a simple pattern, their faces were just beaming! They were so proud of their projects, to see what they had accomplished. I got to work with Paul, he's hilarious! He had a pedometer, and he said, "Watch Sisters, time me I'm going to run down the hall!" and as he came back he showed us his pedometer, and said, "See- 5 miles faster than last time!" He's in his 60's and has some brain trauma, but he is just the happiest guy ever! He kept calling me Carrie Underwood, he's so funny. Anyway, I just felt so happy this week! :) I love seeing light come into others faces. 

Poor Sister Lamb was sick a majority of the week... So I went on exchanges with Sister Luki and Rasmussen. Also, I went out on exchanges with some of the relief society sisters and we went to visit some of the girls who we haven't seen at church in awhile. I had a lot of time to catch up on my Book of Mormon reading, I am determined to finish within these next few weeks. It has strengthened my testimony as I've been able to read at this faster pace. To see the pattern of how people gain strength through relying on Christ, and what has stood out to me most is that the people no matter how difficult their circumstances, were enabled to find joy as they prayed for help and relied on Christ. It's taught me that no matter how things go, I can be enabled in my circumstances.

One of my favorite stories in the Book of Mormon is the Story of Alma and his people who are living righteous lives, but because of the decisions of their wicked leader Amulon they are have many burdens affecting them, but as they pray, Heavenly Father strengthens them in their circumstances. 

Mosiah 24: 13-15 
13 And it acame to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
 14 And I will also ease the aburdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand asbwitnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their cafflictions.
 15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord didastrengthen them that they could bear up their bburdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with cpatience to all the will of the Lord.
Love you guys so much! Hope you have a wonderful week! 

Love, Sister Clark! :)