Monday, April 21, 2014

Hey Everyone! 

Thank you so much for taking the time to write me, I sure love you guys! Mom, thanks for the fun Easter Package! It was so cute, Sister Reed, Rees, and Piliami loved the cute little treats too. They told me to tell you thank you so much! I told Chynna I would bring hers to her tonight! That was so thoughtful of you! Thank you so much for thinking of all of us! :) That was such a fun surprise! I especially loved the fun pictures this week! The one of Andrew flying the kite was adorable. I loved Rachel's dance pictures too, Looks like she had a great time! :) I'm glad Grandma had a good birthday. Sounds like you guys had a fun eventful week. :) 

I had a wonderful Easter too! This cute couple in the Stake Presidency- Brother and Sister Anderson invited us over for Easter Dinner- we had roast it was so good! It was so wonderful to be in their home. :) Elder Paul Christensen of the seventy came to speak at our stake conference. President Mullen asked him if he could speak to our zone on Sunday morning, so before stake conference we had a personal meeting with him! It was such a fun treat! He talked to us about how we were foreordained to come to this mission, and how Heavenly Father prepared us for the experiences that we would have. He talked about how this work is about reminding others of the gospel that they've already accepted once before. So in reality this is reminding work, as we share the gospel with people we remind others of Heavenly Father's plan that they've accepted once before.- Then he told us about the importance of the authority Heavenly Father has given us to teach, and what a gift it is- the mantle that we have- To be able to receive revelation to help those we have stewardship over.It's what has truly humbled me, throughout my mission recognizing what an important responsibility I have to help Heavenly Father's children make it back to him. I know each one of you are a part of that as well. :) You each have a circle of influence, the people you go to school with, the people you work with, etc... You can make such a big difference in this reminding work. 

Our Sunday Morning session of Stake Conference was the greatest day yet! Chynna, Kimmie, and Megan were able to make it to Stake Conference! (Megan- a girl we just started she's in her 30's, and she's legally blind, she was especially touched when we taught her that she could see her grandma again because of Jesus Christ.) They all came and sat with us, and I just felt so much love for each one of them. :) The greatest surprise of all! Keegan came with the Schofield's and he came and said hi to us! :) The conference was all about finding joy through turning outward, and it was all focused on Christ and his atonement. We were able to have a lesson with Chynna after the conference, and she told us about everything she had learned, she has come to love her savior so much. She asked us during our meeting, "What about all the mistakes I've made? So, I guess Jesus Christ covers that?" we were able to teach her about how there was a moment in the garden of Gethsemane when Christ thought of just her. How much he loved her, and how it made it worth it for him because he knew of the incredible potential she had. We told her that after she was baptized, her slate will be washed clean, and that she will get to start her life clean. She had tears in her eyes as we talked. I'm so grateful for the atonement, that it covers all of my mistakes, weaknesses, and the pain I go through. There's nothing we've felt that our savior hasn't. We invited her to repent daily. I love that the word repent simply means- change. As we change every day to align our will with God's will, that's when we truly become like our Savior- our perfect example. I'm so so so grateful for the atonement. For a new fresh start every week as I take the sacrament. 

This week had been difficult, Matt told us he'd prayed about the Book of Mormon, and all he could hear in his head was his own voice telling him he didn't want this yet. Then we had a miracle we were able to get in contact with Cody again- He's really been struggling. His Mom is very Anti- Mormon and she'd stayed with him this last week. So he was very discouraged... Nicole- from our ward asked us if we'd like to come visit him with her. We went with her, and she bore such a sweet testimony to him of God's love. We were able to share with him that as he reads his scriptures and prays, he can have the spirit- that it will give him strength to stay strong. Sunday he explained he wasn't ready to look into the gospel again... It's hard to see them reject these incredible blessings... Sister Reed and I want it for them so badly. I've just come to love both Matt and Cody so much... I know everything is in God's hands and that he has his time table. I know when the time is right they'll remember where to turn. They'll remember the spirit they felt, and remember that they were able to feel God's love. I'm glad we've been able to help them in their journey. 

Favorite verse of the week- Alma 36:24-25

24 Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto 
repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
25 Yea, and now behold, O my son, the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors;
I know as we feel God's love for us, and share it with others we find so much happiness! :)

Well, I love each one of you so much! I hope you know that you have made such a difference in my life and I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for you. I hope you have a great week! 
Love Always, Sister Sarah Clark 


1098- Sister Piliami and Sister Clark writing letters last P-day! :) 

1103- Sisters having fun at Friday Forum. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hey Everyone! 

Sounds like you had a great week! Thanks for all the fun pictures Mom! Also, I got your letter in the mail the other day. Thank you so much for your love and encouragement that meant so much to me! You sure know how to make people feel loved. It's been a difficult week and that letter really helped me get through. So thank you! I can't believe Jace Harris is home already! Time goes by so quickly, I loved the stories you shared from his talk. :) I'm so glad Rachel had such a fun time at prom! She looked stunning! :) Josh, I'll keep you in my prayers... I'm sorry you haven't been feeling well... Dad, I'll keep praying for you, I know Heavenly Father has a great job in store for you. Michael, I hope your liking school, I can't believe you'll be in junior high next year! :) Andrew, I love you! Thanks for the fun picture you made for me! :) I love you all so much! 

Well, this week I feel I've grown a lot. Some weeks out in the mission field, Heavenly Father feels you are ready to take a months worth of events and gives them to you. I've realized that missions are definitely a time that Heavenly Father gives you to help you grow. Poor Sister Reed was sick for two days this week and had to stay in bed, so I took over the area while the other Sisters took turns taking care of her. Then this weekend we got special permission to go to a baptism in Lewiston for Liz and Loretta- two investigators that Sister Reed had the opportunity to teach since this last August. We had been looking forward to it for weeks! :) We drove out to Lewiston and everyone was walking out the church to leave, we asked what had happened- Liz and Loretta had changed their minds. Poor Sister Reed was devastated. I've come to realize out on my mission Heavenly Father has helped me love people so much more than I've loved them before... Whenever Sister Reed is struggling, I just want to cry with her... Whenever someone we teach is going through a challenge I want to cry with them. I think Heavenly Father is really helping me develop Charity and compassion for others. As I read 3 Nephi 17 this week I was touched to learn that the Savior cried when he loved people. This is my new favorite chapter! :) He blessed the Nephite's children and then cried with them because he was so sad to that they were sad he would be leaving, although he knew he would see them again. I just love the Savior so much! 

Although the baptism fell through, Heavenly Father helped me recognize his tender mercies that day. Chynna had come with us, and a cute pregnant Mom Sister Walker had taken the time to drive us out there. We  went on splits so Sister Reed could go talk with them, and Sister Johnson and I stayed with Chynna and Sister Walker. I had the opportunity to get talk with Chynna and it was such a tender mercy to get to know her better. She told me that Michael had been inviting her to an institute class about the Book of Mormon, she told me that every time she goes the spirit keeps confirming to her that as she follows Jesus Christ she'll be happy. She still says she wants to be baptized in August. As we waited in the room in the chapel with the filled font, Sister Walker said, "Chynna, why don't you just go jump in there." haha Chynna said, "Oh, I wish I could!" :) She is so excited to be baptized! I was so grateful I had that time to get to talk to her and get to know her better. I learned so much about her that I wouldn't have known otherwise. I learned that her parents were divorced when she was only 14. That her Dad is a substance abuser, and I learned that she has gone through so much. She is one of the strongest people I know. I have just come to love her so much, I love her like a Sister. I really felt that she had needed that time to talk. 

The week previous Chynna had, had questions about the priesthood, so we had a lesson about it with her on Thursday. It was one of the most powerful lessons I've ever taught, we taught her about the restoration of the priesthood, and the responsibilities of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood. After we taught her that priesthood is the authority given to man for the salvation of his children, we asked her what the priesthood was from what we had taught. She responded, "Men who hold the priesthood get to act as God's hands." I was so touched by the spirit in the room. It made me recognize how grateful I am for Righteous men who can hold that priesthood to bless us. We showed her the Mormon Message "Power of God" (If you click this it will take you to the link) you'll have to watch it. It's so powerful! 

This week we had the opportunity to teach Josh and Kimi. If you remember, Josh is the one that was going to play baseball professionally, but then his hand was smashed in a car accident, so his dreams of being a star was thwarted. It's so hard on him.... He doesn't have a firm belief in God yet, but he wants to! Kimi is the one who recently started coming back to church. They are dating and love each other so much. As we taught Josh, I was touched to see his desire to have faith. As we taught the Plan of Salvation we taught him that after this life he will be resurrected, and he'll be able to have a perfected body. He got teary eyed. The spirit testified to his heart this was true. As I committed him to strengthen his relationship with Heavenly Father every day, through prayer he explained to us that he felt silly and felt as though he was talking to himself. Kimi shared that she imagined a Fatherly Figure who looked similar to Christ, but with white hair listening to her, as she prayed. I felt prompted to share that as he wanted to speak with God, he should pray, and that as he wanted God to speak to him he needed to read God's word. He thought for a second and said, "That makes a lot of sense." Josh has so much faith. He wants to believe. He's working towards baptism, we are so excited for him! 

Another miracle, the Book of Mormon has so much power! We went over to visit Rachel and Kaylee who are both less active. As we walked in I felt prompted that we should then and there do scripture study with them. We read 3 Nephi 11- the crowning event in the Book of Mormon when Christ visits the people in the America's after they've been in darkness for a long time. The spirit we felt was so powerful. Kaylee prayed before we left, and said the most sincere prayer I've ever heard. She thanked Heavenly Father for letting her feel the spirit again. She sincerely expressed her gratitude. Then on Sunday she and Rachel both showed up! :) It was the first time Kaylee's made it to church since I've been here! That was such a miracle in and of itself. :) 

Well, there is a Mormon Message that particularly has touched me lately- you'll have to watch it. "Mountains to Climb"- "Mountains to Climb"

Thank you so much for your prayers, I feel them every day! They have helped me stay strong. Thanks for your love and support! :) I hope you all have a wonderful week. When you feel you are struggling remember the Savior is there to make up the difference. He loves you so much! He's always aware of you. 

Love Always, Sister Sarah Clark

Monday, April 7, 2014

Hey Everyone! 

Great to hear from all of you! Glad to hear you had a great Spring Break! :) I loved the funny story about Andrew... Oh goodness haha! That was touching to hear about Rachel working with the cute ladies at the rest home. I bet they just love her! Rachel, you are going to be such a great nurse, you are so loving and compassionate. That sounds like a great field to go into.

I'm glad to hear you guys enjoyed conference! Mom, I loved what you wrote about conference, I think one of my favorite talks was Deiter F. Uchtdorf's too! It made me realize how many incredible blessings I have in my life. I'm excited to hear what you guys learn in "Preach My Gospel" each week. It's so beautifully written, and It's amazing that all of it has been approved and most has been written by the first presidency. I love Preach My Gospel! :) I've learned so much. That is one of my favorite parts of being a missionary is getting to study the Standard Works, preach my gospel, Conference Talks, its so wonderful to be able to start the day with scripture study. To have an hour to study, and then as a companionship we practice teaching, and study preach my gospel. Let me tell you, those are the fastest two hours of the day.... It's crazy! My love for the savior and my Heavenly Father grow stronger every day... 

Well, this week has been a great one! We had so many miracles! Chynna's Mom and best friend came into town this weekend, and she talked to her friend Katie who's LDS, and she told Chynna she knew she would decide to get baptized one day. She also talked to her Mom and it sounds like her heart is starting to soften towards Chynna's decision. Chynna told us last week that she's decided to be baptized in August due to wanting to have all her family come etc... I'm a little worried if she waits too long she'll forget the importance... So I keep praying that she'll decide to make the decision to be baptized earlier, because once the decision is made for someone to be baptized the adversary does all he can to sway and discourage people. When she is able to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, I know it will bless her and help keep her strong. Thankfully she's almost been reading the Book of Mormon every day, and she prays continually and knows the Restored Gospel is true. After our lesson on Tuesday we encouraged her to bring her questions to conference, and promised her that through the spirit, and words spoken, her questions would be answered. As we had a lesson with her after the Sunday afternoon session she said all her questions had been answered. I was so thankful that the spirit and words spoken had touched her. 

Another miracle, Matt was able to come to conference and his questions were answered as well. It was amazing, as we listened to conference, I had written down the concerns of all of those we are teaching written down, and I was able to receive guidance and direction as to how I could help them. I also came into conference with lots of my questions, a list of about 6 concerns and questions and every single one of them was answered! I gained a stronger testimony that Heavenly Father is aware of me. 

I feel like miracles always happen after conference. We have been trying to contact a referral we received and we've tried his house over 5 times. We were about ready to give up. Then Sundaywe felt prompted to go try his apartment again. The information we received in the text said, "Media Referral- Daniel, met missionaries in the Spokane Library, he came up to them and wanted to meet with them. Told him they could find missionaries in his area." as we met him, I've never met someone so enthusiastic as we came to his door. He started telling us about he'd been to temple square, and he'd been by the temple in Ogden, and he wanted to know more! :) We are meeting with him on Tuesday! I'm so excited! :) 

Then the most incredible miracle happened yesterday... Sister Reed and I have been trying a less active couples home, we've probably tried their apartment over 7 times within the last transfer. To no avail did they come to the door. Last night we knocked on their door again. To our surprise a tall african american guy named Curtis answered the door- we were a little surprised.. He definitely wasn't related to the Spafford's. We talked to him about the gospel, and asked him if we could share a message later, he didn't seem very interested but was gracious. We left him with our card. Later that night we get a phone call from a girl named Dezi. She told us we'd tracted into her boyfriend's apartment, and that he had taken a picture of the card and texted her "Hey! Look who just stopped by. Haha" She saw our number on the card and called us. She told us her story and we couldn't believe it! She's been been dating him for quite some time, and she told us about how much she loves him and how much she wished that she knew how to contact the missionaries to let them know about Curtis. She really wants to him to have the gospel in his life, but knows she wants him to do this for himself and not just for her. So we'll be stopping by again this next week. :) Turns out he's lived there since July, so we have no idea how we still had that address on our directory. 

Favorite Scripture of the Week, John 14:21

 21 He that hath my commandments, and akeepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be bloved of my Father, and I will love him, and will cmanifest myself to him.

I know as we obey our Heavenly Father's commandments, we'll be able to feel God's love in our lives! I really saw Heavenly Father's hand in our work this week. I know Heavenly Father truly answers prayers. He is so aware of each and every one of us. I've come to learn that after the trials we have, then come the blessings. It's broken my heart to see the obstacles that everyone we teach is going through. I know that through the hard times, Heavenly Father showers us with tender mercies to help us through. 

I love you each so much! Hope you have a wonderful week! 

Love Always, Sister Sarah Clark 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hey Mom Dad, Rachel, Josh, Michael and Andrew! :) 

I have to say hearing from all of you is definitely the highlight of my week! I just love each one of you so much! I hope you all know how much I love and miss you, as we teach about eternal families every day my love for you guys grows each and every day! I show people the picture of our family all the time, and tell people how much I love you guys!

 It's always fun to hear about the great things you are doing with your lives. Thanks for sharing the cute story about Andrew giving his talk, that's so sweet to hear about his love for the Savior already. :) It's so cute to see that kids already just have so much love for Christ. I really think the veil is so thin when their little. I can't believe Cali is engaged! That's so exciting! I'm so happy for her! :) They sure are cute together. Rachel, way to go on the straight A's! I can't wait to hear Josh's voice on Mother's day! I hope Michael is feeling better... Being sick is no fun... I'll keep him in my prayers. Mom, during the Women's broadcast I missed you so much! I remember that being our tradition every year. I just wanted to hug you! As they talked about how as women we need each other, and that God placed us in each other's lives for a reason, I thought of all the wonderful women he's placed in my life! Mom, Rachel, all my wonderful grandma's, Cousin's, friends, mission companions... I felt overwhelmed with emotion and tears came to my eyes. I just love you guys! 

The week started off a little rocky, I must have a really weak immune system, I caught a cold-flu virus, and was out for two days... I asked Brother Bell and Christiansen for a priesthood blessing, and it was the most touching blessing I've ever received, Heavenly Father told me everything I needed to hear! It strengthened my testimony of the power of the priesthood. I almost felt like Heavenly Father had let me get sick so I would ask for a priesthood blessing. I had only asked for a blessing of healing, but I was given direction, comfort, and peace... I had been worrying about you guys... and in the Blessing he blessed me to know that my family was being watched over by the protective caring hands of Heavenly Father. That just brought me so much peace... In the blessing he also blessed me with a greater portion of the spirit, and angels to be with me everyday. He blessed me to know that the Lord is so proud of me as his servant, and to walk with confidence, because he is with me in everything. I think Heavenly Father gives us trials to help us remember we need him... I felt so much peace and comfort after that blessing. 

After I recovered, we had such a wonderful week! We have had the opportunity to teach a recent convert named Andrew, he's amazing! He has so much faith.. He told us that although he's been overwhelmed by all that he doesn't know, that Heavenly Father gives him peace that he knows enough to keep going strong. I can only imagine how overwhelming it is to come into the church.. A whole new culture, vocabulary, etc... I forget I've had 20 years of experience... He told us in a recent visit to the doctor that he is going to lose his vision, but he has peace, because he knows that God will help him feel purpose, and peace until he gets his vision back in the next life. He is the most faith filled person I've ever met! He finds peace in the eternal perspective. 

We had a miracle this week! On Saturday we had a member visit scheduled, we had felt prompted to meet with a member Nicole Reed. Saturday morning she texted us and asked if it would be okay if she brought her friend, and said he wanted to take the lessons! :) We were so excited! That doesn't happen often! We met her friend Cody, and taught the first lesson- the message of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He said all growing up he thought he was a Mormon, because he had lots of friends who belonged to the church. He has been reading the Book of Mormon with Nicole for the last few weeks, and he needed peace about deciding whether or not to be baptized and Nicole talked to him about receiving a blessing. As we met with him, he broke down in tears as we talked about the Savior's atonement, and how as he suffered, for him. Cody is so prepared! We explained that he was feeling the spirit, and that he could have that spirit always, as he is baptized and receives a remission of his sins. As we explained the peace that comes from having the spirit always, he accepted baptism. Cody's parents are very devoutly Catholic, and Nicole is a little worried about him talking to his parents... It breaks my heart that almost everyone we teach has no family support... 

Chynna’s aunt came into town this weekend, and joined us for a lesson. She is very against the church.. She kept trying to contend during the lesson.. Thankfully we'd felt inspired to watch the talk "Come Join With Us" for the lesson that day, so she couldn't commentate much. She has also told us her brother told her it would break his heart if she joined the church, and her parents aren't supportive either... Sister Reed and I continually prayed that her familys hearts would be softened. As Chynna came back from Spokane, she made it just in time for church. It was fast Sunday, and She said, Sisters I have something I want to say, so... I get up there, and then just say in the name of Jesus Christ Amen? We were so happy and explained yes, that's exactly how we bear testimony. She went to the pulpit, and said "I know that Heavenly Father will soften the hearts of all our family to the gospel, in the name of Jesus Christ Amen" I was so touched by her sweet simple testimony, she testified of what she knew was true. :) After the meeting she explained, that although her aunt had been angry at first, (We felt She had specifically made the trip down to try to talk her out of joining the church...) After Chynna talked with her about how the church had blessed her, her heart was softened. Chynna said she had even told her she would buy her a set of scriptures. So thank you for praying for Chynna I know your prayers have influenced the heart of her family members! :) 

Another miracle, Matt an investigator we are teaching read 1 Nephi all the way through 2 Nephi! :) He is so excited to learn! His roommate Ben hasn't been able to meet with us, but I really feel that we were supposed to meet Matt! :) 

I just love being a missionary, I've just come to love these people so much! I can't even explain how much I love them... I know Heavenly Father loves each and every one of his children so much! I'm so grateful he's entrusted Sister Reed and I to teach them... It's amazing to see the transformation in people as they live the gospel. It's also been amazing to be able to see the transformation in myself. As I've felt the spirit it's helped me be okay through everything... I know that when we feel the spirit it's God's way of saying.. "I love you!... I forgive you!.. I'm enabling you!" I know Heavenly Father is so aware of each one of us, he knows our struggles, he knows the desires of our hearts, and he knows exactly what experiences to give us to help us achieve the desires of our hearts. 

I love each one of you so so so much! I hope you have a wonderful week ahead. I'm so grateful for your love, and for how much each one of you has blessed my life! 

Love Always, Sister Sarah Clark :)