Monday, March 24, 2014

Hey Everyone! 

Thanks for the emails, I love each one of you so much! :) It amazes me to hear how much happens in one week! I'm so glad Rachel had such a wonderful birthday, and I loved the story about the cute little mini missionaries! I'm so impressed by the youth back in our home ward... They have such strong testimonies, It will be neat to see the group of young men Josh and Michaels's ages that will all go out together, they remind me of the 2,000 stripling warriors. It was fun to see Justin's cute baby, and that's so crazy to me to see that Brady's back home! :) You'll have to tell him hi for me! Also, I would love to send him an email, if you have his email address! :) I can't believe two years have passed since he left.. How exciting! I'll keep Aunt Linda in my prayers.. That's hard to see her have to go through cancer... Mom, I'm sorry you've had a difficult week, I'll keep you in my prayers. I love you so much! Hang in there!

Well, this week was Spring Break for the students at University of Idaho. Yet surprisingly we kept busy. Well, a good majority of this week we've been contacting people on the street, and tracting apartment complexes. We've met so many people, it's been great! I love getting to share what's most precious to me everyday. Being a missionary is the best! We've met people in all situations, circumstances, from countless backgrounds. One contact that might bring a smile to your face. There was this little man with a russian accent and he was carrying around this wooden stick, with a star bead at the top, and he was wearing a pink coat, and had red dread locks. We told him about the Book of Mormon and how having faith in Christ could bring him happiness. We asked if he had any beliefs, he told us about how he believes in Hades and the book of the dead, and he asked all sorts of funny questions... Then we met an adorable man named Robert, he has downs syndrome and we started talking to him about how having a belief in Christ can help him and he said, "I believe in Aslan, he's a lion" and we told him, "God is your loving Heavenly Father Robert, he's a person just like you," He got so excited and said, "Oh! I guess that's better right?!" as he asked what we did as missionaries we told him we get to help people strengthen their relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. He said, "Well that sure is something! Well isn't it" With this huge grin on his face. :) He was so cute... Oh, I'm glad life is un boring haha. :) 

Well, I want to thank you all so much for your prayers in my behalf. This was a much better week! Since the doctor perscribed me that medication I feel so much better! :) After receiving that priesthood blessing, I've gained a testimony that Heavenly Father truly does answer our prayers through others. I've gained such a strong testimony of prayer. Well, we saw so many miracles this week! 

On Monday the Johnson's, Adele and Daniel a cute couple in our married student ward, invited us to come sing hymn's at an old folk's home with them. Brother Johnson is studying music and is going to get a Doctorate and become a University professor, so he is very gifted. He invited two of the students he works with, Wesley and Elizabeth- who have incredible voices! They are all professional opera singers! Sister Reed and I were a little nervous, we can sing but not to the caliber of professional singers. We prayed that we could have angels to help strengthen us so that Wesley and Elizabeth could be touched by our testimonies through song. As we sang I felt divine help, I felt that as I sang, I was strengthened beyond my own capacity, I hit notes I didn't think I could hit. I really felt like angels were helping us. It was a neat experience. We both had the impression that we need to ask Wesley to do a musical number in sacrament meeting in our singles ward, Brother Johnson had given them each a Book of Mormon for Christmas. He asked if they still had their copies, and Wesley asked if the Easter Story was in the Book of Mormon- he responded that it was in 3 Nephi 11, After Christ was resurrected he visited the people in the America's. Wesley is such a sweet kid, I really feel Brother and Sister Johnson's testimonies will touch him. I'm excited to see where things go with him. 

Most of the people we have been teaching went home over Spring Break, Chynna went home to Idaho Falls, Ben Fujii, Matt, Michael, and everyone else went home. We had the opportunity to meet lot's of new people this week. We mostly tried to reach out to less active members this week. On our way between apartments, we met so many incredible people! We met a student named Jeremy, he's from China, and as we talked to him we learned that he had lived in Southern Idaho previously and that a good majority of his friends were members of the church. He said that every time he has friends or family come to visit from China, he invites them to go to Temple Square in Salt Lake City. He said, "You know, in China we don't have much religion and I think everyone should have it." We told him about the Book of Mormon, and he said, "Yes, the Book about Christ in the America's." We get to meet with Jeremy on Wednesday, I'm so excited to teach him! :) He says he'll be staying in the states, so we are allowed to teach him! :)  We have a whole week full of appointments scheduled, I'm so excited to meet with all these people. We're taking a darling girl Jessi on a church tour, we're meeting with a guy named JD, who has previously met with missionaries and he was excited we'd found him. 

Another miracle, we were in our district meeting, and one of our members from the Single's ward- Avery brought his friend Kala to play pool. We went out to talk with them, and Kala (phonetically-Call-uh) and she said, "Hi Sisters, I'm going to join the church!" She's so cute! She has a couple tattoo's and Smokes, and has a few challenges but I know the gospel is going to help her find so much joy! :) We are teaching her this week as well. Avery is a convert and he's been inviting her to activities and such. I'm excited for her. 

One more miracle, Sister Rasmusen and Amato from the 4th ward talked with a girl named Kimmie, they met her on the street, and she told them she had been wanting to come back to church. She brought her boyfriend Josh to the lesson, and he's not a member- in fact he's been atheist. They shared Alma 32, about cultivating faith. Kimmie has been through a life of challenges, her father pressured her into drugs, and is anti toward the church... Her mom came to the lesson, and was so overjoyed that Kimmie was coming back. :) Because Kimmie are YSA age, we get to teach them. They both came to church Sunday, and all the speakers were so led by the spirit, and the whole meeting was very Christ centered, such an answer to my prayers. After the meeting, Josh said, "That was very moving." I was touched to see them both make it to church.. I know Heavenly Father rejoices so much to see his children come back. 

I am so grateful for this gospel, every day as I've felt the spirit and Heavenly Father's love, I've felt peace. I'm so grateful I have a Savior who helps strengthen me, and helps me in this work, I know this isn't "Missionary Work" it's "The Lord's Work" and he over see's it all. I'm grateful for the peace that the gospel has brought me. I love seeing people feel God's love, I know the spirit motivates us to become more than we ever thought we could. 

Love you all so much! 

Love, Sister Sarah Clark 

Picture Caption- There was a stake preparedness fair, and lots of the Elders and Sisters dressed up, haha. :) Elder Smokey, and Sister Sparky haha! :) 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Hey Everyone! 

Thanks so much for your emails! It was fun to hear about your week! Looks like Rachel had a great time with her show! I can totally see her performing one day at Pickelville Playhouse! :) Rachel, one day I'll get to see you perform! Rach, sorry you're not feeling well... I hope you still have a wonderful birthday! :) I can't believe you're 18! Where does the time go... Mom, thanks for sharing all those neat stories about Grandpa Adair, I'm excited to meet him one day. That story about Andrew was so funny... Oh, he sounds like a character. haha.... I didn't know that story you told about me and the picture of Christ, oh... Kids haha. Well, I'm glad you all had such a fun week! I loved the cute pictures this week, It's fun to know what's going on! :) 

To answer your question about going to the doctor, I just kept constantly having migraines, and insomnia. I was feeling so terrible about myself, because it was very difficult for me to always be obedient, during studies I would get nausea and a migraine would come on, so I'd have to go lay down. Day after day, I've prayed to Heavenly Father asking him for the strength to be obedient. I felt I wasn't worthy of the spirit, even just laying down for a few minutes to feel better. I was losing confidence in myself because we are promised the spirit to testify as we are obedient. I talked to Sister Mullen during our interviews this last week and she told me that it was the adversary that was telling me I was unworthy, not Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father loves us deeply and understands our struggles. I felt the spirit as she spoke those words. She told me that he knows the intent of my heart and how hard I'm trying.  After I received a priesthood blessing a few weeks ago, I was counseled that as I went to the doctor, and that the doctor through the spirit could help me find a solution, so that I could be healed. When we talked to Bishop Boydston the other week, I learned that he is a P.A. I felt prompted to ask him if he knew a good doctor. He listed two names, when he mentioned Dr. Hall's name I felt the spirit that he was the one I should see. We went in to his office, and as I told him about how I had constantly been struggling, and as I received the priesthood blessing, and told him the words Elder Church had said, I felt the spirit, and tears came to my eyes. He asked several questions, and it lead up to my sleep pattern. I have never gotten very deep sleep. He was able to give me a sleep aid, and I have been feeling so much better. I'm so grateful that I was able to go to a physician who had the spirit with him, because I know Heavenly Father truly knew what could help me. It was a neat experience. I was also able to talk to Sister Reed about everything and I was able to feel so much peace, I haven't cried for 8 months, and I was able to recognize that it's okay to feel, and it's okay to cry. Everything is okay, I just needed to talk about some of my worries, and such. I'm so grateful for Sister Reed she's wonderful!

Well with mission life, It's the best of times, it's the worst of times... Our hearts were broken this week as we received a letter from Keegan's Dad, stating that if we were ever to talk to Keegan again, we would be sued. Since Keegan has Aspergers syndrome they are his legal guardians. I felt like crying...We showed Keegan the letter, and tears came to his eyes... He told us he had never felt that we had pressured him, he thanked us for everything. It felt like letting a child go... I feel like he's my brother, he's been bullied, and is going through so much, he needs the gospel... At least the members can still invite him to activities. At least we were able to share that he can find peace through prayer and through the scriptures... It broke my heart... Poor Keegan.. 

Well, Heavenly Father is definitely hastening his work! :) This week I was able to see Heavenly Father's hand in everything! We had a lesson with Matt, and he hadn't received an answer to his fast, as we talked about what he did during his fast he mentioned that he'd been too scared to pray for an answer because he was afraid it was all going to be true. We asked him questions to see what his intent was, we asked him what was most important to him in life, and what his goals and aspirations were. It all came down to one thing, his love for his family and future family, and desire for their happiness. We told him that that was what the gospel is all about, to bless families, and bring them true joy! He said he wanted to wait until he was older to start going to church. We told him the longer he waited, the longer he'd miss out on blessings, that Heavenly Father was just waiting to answer him, and that he was just waiting to bless him. We learned that his Mom is a less active member, and he told us he really wants to marry a "Mormon girl" and he would love for her to raise their kids "Mormon" funny right? He's been reading the Koran, and he listed off about 5 other religious books, he's been searching for a long time. We taught him about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and when he learned about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ visiting Joseph Smith, the spirit was in the room testifying so powerfully, he kept saying.. "That makes sense.. That makes sense..." So I think once Matt gets the courage to ask Heavenly Father if these things are true, he'll get his answer. 

Another neat miracle, all of Chynna's family are okay! :) She fasted for them last week, and Heavenly Father blessed her for that sacrifice... Last Sunday, she had a priesthood blessing and told us that she now has a testimony that the priesthood is here on the Earth. She explained to us that it was even more powerful than she had imagined. We had a lesson with her and a couple from our married ward- The Walker's invited her over. We taught her about Prophets, and we were able to share segments from President Monson's talk "We never walk alone" As we watched it- I felt that those words were just for her. :) Afterwards Chynna came to a lesson with us at a less active couple's home. We taught the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and she bore testimony that she knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet, because she had had a blessing, and felt peace, and knew that the words spoken weren't just from Michael (who gave her the blessing) but that they were words from her Heavenly Father. It was so touching to here her share her testimony. I'm so excited for her to get baptized! :) She's incredible! 

Well, I love you all so much! Hope you have a great week! :) Thanks for your prayers, love and support! I love you all so much! 

Much Love, Sister Sarah Clark 

Picture caption: Sister Reed, Clark, Rasmusson, Rees :) 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hey Everyone!

I'm so glad to hear you're all doing well! :) Mom, thank you so so much for the thoughtful gifts you sent! You are so sweet! That was so sweet of you! I love the oils, I've been using them, and I especially love the peppermint, it's definitely helped alleviate my headaches. Thanks for the Vitamins, yummy soup, the cute clothes, and your sweet letter. That was just what I needed! It's been a best and most emotionally draining last two weeks. That brought me a lot of comfort. :) So thank you again! I'm so grateful for you! I'm so thankful for all of you! I love each one of you so so much! I don't know what I would do without you! 

So much has happened this week, I don't know where to begin! First off we got a new bishop in our singles ward, and it was such an answer to prayer. Bishop and Sister Boydston are now serving in our ward. :) They are the sweetest couple! They are both converts in the church, and they lost their son to heart disease when he was in his 20-30's. They have such strong testimonies. Bishop Boydston reminds me a lot of Dad, sense of humor, enthusiasm, everything. It's such a tender mercy, because I miss Dad! Bishop and Sister Boydston have made us feel so loved. They had us over for dinner the other night, and they have the most beautiful home, and just made us feel so at home! It was the first time I've been in a nice home in a long time. :)  Anyway, Bishop told us if we ever need anything that they are here for us. It was such a relief that he said, "Well missionaries are in-human right?" haha.. Then he said, "I know you guys still go through hard times, if you need anything, we are here!" It made us both feel so loved. Sister Reed and I are so grateful for them both! :) 

This week we saw so many miracles! We had a lesson with Ben Fujii and he happened to bring his roommate Matt, who has read the whole Book of Mormon, he dated this girl before she left on her mission, and he was really interested! We were a little worried, because the lesson we had prepared for Ben was about Fasting. Yet Sister Reed and I both still felt we need to teach fasting. Ben has been praying and praying to recieve an answer, and he's been continually reading, yet it's been difficult for him to accept change. As we taught them both about fasting, Matt said "I think I'd like to fast too!" we told him he was more than welcome to fast, and we were so excited for him! :) Both Ben and Matt fasted yesterday to know if The Book of Mormon was the word of God. We told them that we would fast with them. Yesterday was probably the hardest day of my life... With daylight savings time, we only got 6 hours of sleep because we had to be at ward council at 7a.m, and without any breaks we were in church till 2:30, I didn't know if I could make it... I felt the spirit so strongly throughout my fast. We have our follow up lesson with them tonight. I'm so excited to hear how things went! 

This week Chynna was really struggling, her grandma was just taken off of life support, and yesterday during church she recieved a text that her brother was in the emergency room, her Aunt has a life threatening condition, and her uncle goes in for surgery on Tuesday! As she told us, she broke down in tears, all I could do was hug her. It broke my heart. When it rains, it poors.... This cute girl in our ward Audrey, who's come to several of our lessons with Chynna, told her about priesthood blessings, although we had to go, Audrey went and asked Michael in our ward to give her a blessing. I feel that although this time is such a struggle for her, Heavenly Father is really helping her learn to rely on him. I was touched as she told us, she had been fasting for her uncle.. She's been going to church every Sunday and is so dedicated! I know that when the time is right, she'll be baptized. I've learned that things don't work according to the missionaries time table, they work according to the Lord's. He see's the big picture, and I feel he really wants her family to be able to support her when she makes he decision to be baptized. She's incredible, I feel so blessed to get to be on this journey with her, she's become one of my close friends, and I feel like she's a sister to me. I love her so much! 

Another miracle, there's a sweet girl named Kimber in the Palouse River Ward, and she is dating a non-member, Michael Mueller. She invited him to take the lessons and he's a student, so we've had the opportunity to teach him! We taught him the Plan of Salvation, and he kept saying, "Yes... That makes sense!" you could see in his eyes that he felt the spirit. Our recent convert Avery bore his testimony of how the plan of salvation has given him a purpose and Eternal perspective, and I feel the words he spoke were exactly what Michael needed to hear. It such an incredible experience! 

Other events, Keegan accepted baptism, and wants to be baptized April 26th! He still has concerns so it's not solidified, he keeps fearing he's not ready. I feel with encouragement, he'll make it there! :) We had our last lesson with Jacob Preston, sadly he is not ready to progress... He doesn't want to strengthen his relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ so we can't help him... He asked what we benefit from in living the gospel, and knowing it's true, I felt I was able to bear the strongest testimony I've ever born. I told him that I'm so grateful to know I'm not in this alone. That Heavenly Father is supporting me, and that through the spirit, I feel his love every day. I told him I know I'm truly a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father, and that through Jesus Christ, I have strength through trials. I felt the spirit so strongly. I was worried that teaching an athiest would tear me down. It really strengthened my testimony. 

My favorite scripture this week has been 3 Nephi 28:10- The Blessings of living the gospel. I know this Gospel is true, because of the effect it's had on my life, and the changes it's made within me. 

10 And for this cause ye shall have afulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are bone;

I know this gospel is true, and it brings lasting happiness! I'm so grateful for the spirit that touches my heart every day. I feel Heavenly Father speaking comfort to me every day. We are never alone... I love each one of you so much! I hope you all have a wonderful week! :) 

Love Always, Sister Sarah Clark 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Hey Everyone! 

It was so wonderful to hear from each of you! I can't tell you how much your emails mean to me! I'm always so proud to hear about the great things you are involved with. Each one of you is such a great example! I'm so grateful to be strengthened by your stories, and to hear about the great things you are doing!  I loved your story about visiting Sister Dady, that's hilarious about Fred :) that made my whole day haha! :D I'm so grateful for the moments that make you laugh. A sense of humor is the best medicine for happiness! :) Dad, thank you so much for your support as I've been out! I pray for you Mom, and our whole family often. I'm so proud of you for putting Heavenly Father first with work... You and Mom have always been such great examples of putting Heavenly Father's will first. Thank you for teaching me that important principle, it's helped me so much throughout my life! Rachel- You are going to put on such a great show! I'm so excited for you! :) Wish I could be there... One day I'll see one of your productions! :) I'm so excited for Josh to get to perform in Disney Land! I hope Michael gets feeling better, I'll keep him in my prayers.. Andrew is sure cute as ever! It's fun to watch him grow, He's not a baby anymore.   Oh, I love you guys! 

This week I got a new companion, Sister Reed. She's such a sweetheart! Such an answer to prayers! She is from San Diego, California, she spent last year at BYU, Provo. She's not sure what she wants to study yet. She's incredible, she's been through a lot in her life, she's such a strong person, and is so willing to work hard and serve her Heavenly Father. Such a blessing! :) She is such a loving, empathetic person, every time we pray she prays personally for me, and I can just feel Christ like love come from her. She's such a blessing! :) I'm so grateful for her!

We've had a bit of a difficult week, I'm still in the process of learning our area, and the ward lists, our members, etc... So it's been a very humbling experience... This week we've really been working on learning our area together, and we've been creating a system so that this week we can be more effective. We like to say, we're "Sharpening the ax" I love the analogy Stephen Covey uses in his book "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" about the man who is chopping at a tree with a dull ax, he's been chopping for hours, and a man comes up and asks him, "Aren't you tired? Have you thought about sharpening your ax?" The man replies "No, I'm too tired!" ever since I gave my farewell talk on habits this analogy has stuck with me. It's always good to take time to "Sharpen the ax" or prioritize and work on the skills that will help you be more effective. For example, instead of us just looking all over town for different addresses, we studied out which routes would be quickest place to place, we put a list of those we wanted to visit in specific area's etc... I'm so grateful for the time we've taken this week. It was humbling. I recognized that there were things I could've done better last transfer to prepare me for this transfer... I'm so grateful for Jesus Christ's atonement, to know that I can put those mistakes behind me, and just focus on what I can do now to improve. It's been humbling recognizing how much I don't know.... It's made me realize this work is impossible without God. I've been prayerful throughout my mission, but this week I've been more prayerful than I've ever been. I've felt the spirit of peace as I've prayed for forgiveness... I know Heavenly Father loves me even though I have weaknesses. I've gained a testimony that Heavenly Father knows when we are putting in our best efforts. He loves us and allows us to know of his love through the spirit. I'm so grateful for his patience with me. I know he knows each one of us individually and loves us so much! It's amazing to see expressions of his love for me everywhere, he sent me to a wonderful family, he gave me the scriptures so I can recieve answers to my questions, he gave me a prophet to help me know what he'd have me hear, he gave me my sweet companion who such a great support, he's blessed me with means to be on this mission, I'm so grateful for whomever it was that paid for the rest of my mission, He gave the Savior to give me someone to rely on strength beyond my own. This week has been humbling, yet a blessing all in one package. 

I was really struggling, as I had the opportunity to fast, I fasted for guidance with things I've been going through. I've still had headaches and feel fatigue often, and I've had a hard time having faith in myself at times, and there were a few other things I fasted for.. I asked our District Leader Elder Church for a blessing, and it was such a comforting blessing. He blessed me to know of Heavenly Father's love for me, and to know that Heavenly Father had given me my companion Sister Reed as a source of comfort. I knew that those words weren't from Elder Church, that through the Holy Ghost, he was so inspired to know what to say, and he said those things I needed to hear. It was hard... I had been praying in faith that I would be healed from my headaches. In the blessing I was told that as I went to the doctor, the doctor under the direction of the spirit would know what to do so that I could be healed. That wasn't what I wanted to hear. I feel I've been to the doctor countless times, had countless blood tests... etc... I just wanted him to say "You are healed" but it's okay. Maybe there will be a doctor in Moscow who will be the one that knows how to help me. I shouldn't complain, headaches aren't bad... I have faith in the blessing I was given... I had prayed to Heavenly Father, and told him I would give up my will for his.. There have been things I've needed to let go of from home so that I can give my whole heart to Heavenly Father. I felt relief and I felt a burden lifted, as I received the blessing that as I rely on Jesus Christ, I can let go of these things and be able to more fully devote myself to Heavenly Father. I'm so incredibly grateful for the power of the priesthood. That blessing was so comforting to me.... 

This week, we have met with lots of our ward members, and have been able to get to know them better, it's been wonderful! I'm so grateful for our amazing ward members! :) We have continued to work with Chynna and Ben, and we figured out what their concerns are... Ben is still seeking for his answer, and striving to put aside his "bias" Sister Reed and I both felt impressed that we need to teach him about fasting... I have faith Heavenly Father will give him his answer! :) We do a good portion of contacting people on the street, and we get to meet people all the time. Everyone we meet is searching for more joy. We met a man named Ean, who told us that he believed the Bible was the only source of God's work. We testified to him that Heavenly Father loved him so much that he provided a second witness of Jesus Christ that would strengthen the faith he had. 
We shared 2 Nephi 29:28 
Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the atestimony of btwo nations is acwitness unto you that I am God, that I remember one dnation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two enations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.

I'm so grateful we have two accounts of scripture that let us know of Jesus Christ, I know both strengthen and fortify our faith. After we shared this testimony with him, as we were holding the Book of Mormon, he said, "Can I have that book?" we gladly gave it to him... I have a testimony that it's through the spirit that God's work is possible! :) 

I love being a missionary! I love the joy that comes into lives through Jesus Christ! I know that he is what brings true joy into lives! I know he lives and loves us so much! :) 

I know this is so cliche, but this Gospel is true! 

I love you all so much, I'm so grateful for you in my life! I think about you all often, and I'm so proud of the wonderful things you're doing with your lives! I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Much Love, Sister Sarah Clark