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 of nations is a unto you that I am God, that I remember one like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two 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