Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hey Everyone!

Thanks for all of the emails, It looks like you guys had such a fun week! Josh, I'm proud of you for working hard! Way to go with the good grades! Rachel, I'm so sad I won't be able to make it to your graduation... I'm sure proud of you, and love you! Dad, I'm so excited for you with this new job, I've been praying for you every day! What an incredible opportunity to work at the MTC! Heavenly Father really has been preparing you all along! I have to say I just love the picture of you guys with Hannah and Aunt Nan, where Andrew's holding on to all his little friends haha.

That made my whole day! :) He's so cute! How fun that Aunt Nanette and Hannah stopped by. The other day Sister Reed and I were talking about our families traditions for Memorial Day, and It was neat we started talking about Natalie Allred, and I felt the spirit touch my heart that I know her, and that she could be helping me with this work. It's amazing to think about all the angels around us, Grandma Jensen, Grandpa Adair, I know I'm not in this work alone. It's amazing how interconnected this life is with the next. I turned the other day to
Doctrine and Covenants 84: 88  And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up. I know that promise is true, I've definitely felt that every day.

This week has been hard, but good. A good majority of the students have left home for the summer, so there's a sparse amount of people who have stayed for the summer. As well, we received a call from our Zone Leaders on Tuesday, and they have decided to condense the married student wards, so the other Sisters are now serving in our married student ward. We now only serve in the Singles ward.  We are sure going to miss serving in that ward, but now we will be able to focus in all of our time and attention to the 1st ward. Which will be nice. It's been a harder week, there were two days this week, when we only came in contact with 3 people the whole day, those we tried weren't home, yet we kept going. I know that as long as we are diligent and keep going each day, that we are doing Heavenly Father's will. I know that despite those days, God has a plan. The scripture Ether 12:6 continually comes to my mind. -  6 "And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." We did end up seeing miracles this week.

We again were traveling on the bus to our next appointment, and we talked with a man named David. He just moved here from a country called- Togo. He seemed a little discouraged, I was able to bear my testimony that I knew because the Savior died for him that that's were his value lay. We taught him about the restoration, and he excitedly took the Book of Mormon. We will hopefully meet with him again this week! :) An experience that also made everything worth it, was meeting with Meghan. We've been struggling to know what to do, she has a learning disability, and she behind developmentally, but as we prayed whether or not to keep teaching her, Heavenly Father impressed upon us that she needs us right now. We had a lesson yesterday, and taught her about obedience, and the blessings that come. We asked her what blessings she'd seen from keeping the commandments we'd taught her thus far. She explained that she'd been looking for a church for quite some time, and that ever since she's been coming to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, She felt at home, she feels peace and felt like a hole in her heart had been filled. She explained that as she's read the scriptures and prayed she feels close to God, and feels that even though she's having challenges, she's going to be okay. I recognized, that to feel God's love, we continually have to act, as we keep the commandments, that's how we access the atonement and feel his love- which is the spirit. 

Rachel asked me to share a few stories about moments in my life when I knew this Church is true- 

I've had so many different moments, where my testimony has grown. I think one of my first was when I was in highschool, I really struggled to know where my value came from. Sometimes I placed my value in how I looked, who my friends were and how they felt about me, my grades, etc... I felt sad that I hadn't developed some of my talents as far as I could have, Then I realized that the only place I could truly place my value and stay happy, was when I valued myself, because I was Heavenly Father's daughter, because Jesus Christ died for me because he saw my worth- that I was worth it! I had eternal potential. I felt so much peace, any time, any of those other factors I used to put my worth into when they'd fail, I still recognized that my value didn't change. I knew who I was as Heavenly Father's daughter. I was loved no matter what. I remember a speaker came and spoke in Young Women's- Laurel Christensen, and she said, as long as you know who you are, as a daughter of God, who Jesus Christ is- your Savior, and who God is- Your loving Heavenly Father, it changes everything! That is where the foundation of my testimony lays. 

Another experience, after the Manti Pageant I was probably 15 or 16. - I remember being really shaken up after speaking to this man who was anti against the church. He said, "How do you know your church is the true church, you were born into it, so how do you know another church isn't right for you?" I remember feeling sick inside after talking to him... That night, I felt discouraged, I turned to the Book of Mormon, and just felt overwhelming peace as I read it. I started to question why I believed what I did. I thought of all the blessings of the restored gospel, the temple and that I can be with those I love for eternity. I thought about how we have a prophet today, I thought about the priesthood blessings I've received and how I knew those words were straight from my Heavenly Father. As I read the Book of Mormon, I felt overwhelming peace, and knew it was from God. I knew that it wasn't just made it. I knew it was from God! The gospel has brought an incredible amount of good into my life. As I've been out on a mission, I've come to see how much the Bible and Book of Mormon support each other. It brings me peace about my divine identity, and God's plan for me. The fact that the gospel has helped me recognize my purpose- I'm here to prepare to meet my Heavenly Father, and to become like my Savior. I love Elder Holland's testimony- Testimony of The Book of Mormon

There have been many experiences where I've known this gospel is true, but there are a few. :) 

I would love to hear about those moments when you knew this gospel was true, you guys should email them! :) I would love that! 

I love each one of you with all my heart! Thanks for all your prayers in my behalf, I feel them every day! I know with all my heart this Gospel is True! :) 

Much Love, Sister Sarah Clark 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Hey Everyone! 

It was so good to hear from all of you! :) Thanks so much for the emails! Rachel, congratulations with graduation from seminary! :) Oh, seminary is the best- you are going to love institute as well, it just keeps getting better! I still am mind blown that you are going to be graduating from high school! I love the cute pictures of all of you and your friends. How fun, everyone looks so grown up... Time goes by so quickly! How neat that Michael got to pass the sacrament this week. Dad, I'll keep you in my prayers this week especially- that's incredible you made it into the top ten. I know Heavenly Father is very aware of you, and that if this is right, that they will be inspired to call you- just like you said. I love you Dad! I really hope you get this job! :) That would be incredible! Mom, it warms my heart to hear about all the incredible opportunities you've had to serve! I know you are touching so many lives. That's so neat to hear you were able to find 4 names to take to the temple! 

I'm so excited this week we get to travel to Hayden for a Specialized Training, and Elder Adukitus of the 70 is coming to speak to us! During conference he gave the talk about seeking answers to know truth. I'm excited to meet him! :) Other news- we got a call from our district leaders last night- transfer calls! We had all waited in suspense all day... You don't know where you'll be going until Sunday night, then if you get transferred you have Monday to pack- along with all other responsibilities- then Tuesday you take the transfer van to your new area. Elder Church put us on 3 way call with the other set of Sisters. He announced that Sister Reed and I are staying another transfer in Moscow! The other sisters we live with are staying as well! I'm so happy! I feel that this transfer we are going to see miracles. One of our goals for this transfer is to change someone's life! Whether it be by bringing them back to church, or helping them make promises with God through baptism. 

This week my goal was to push past my fears and talk with everyone! I had some incredible experiences as a result. We were on the bus on Wednesday- and I started talking to this woman next to me- she seemed a little stand off-ish. I complimented her on the set of scriptures she was holding in her lap. She thanked me, and we started talking about Jesus Christ, and how he'd strengthened her in her life. I learned that she was Catholic. I then started to talk about how much God loved her, and talked with her about the Book of Mormon, she looked at me and said, I'm okay, I already have all I need in the Bible. I told her I loved the Bible as well, and that the Book of Mormon helped strengthen my testimony of the Bible, and expounded upon truths of the bible. Usually once they are un-interested I don't proceed much further. We came to a halting stop, As Sister Reed and I stood up the woman sitting behind the woman I'd been talking to said, "Excuse me. Can I have a bible?" I explained I didn't have a copy with me, but that I could get her one. Then she asked, "Well, can I have a Book of Mormon?" we gladly gave her a copy and got her information so we could get her a copy. Incredible right? Her name is Tammy, and she'd be in the family ward, so I'm excited for the Sisters to get to teach her. :) The whole time, I had no idea that it was Tammy that God had prepared! 

This week so many people went home. It was so hard to say good bye to Chynna... We had our last lesson with her, we were able to go through the baptismal interview questions. Her answers touched my heart. She has grown so much spiritually. She bore her testimony of how much it meant to her to know she has a loving Heavenly Father, she just loves her Savior with all her heart, and knows she can constantly change through him. She loves this gospel so much! She knows her divine identity, and knows her purpose in life. I'm so happy for her! She's going to go to church with her friend Katie this summer, who recently decided she wants to start coming back to church. It's amazing to see the lives Chynna is influences. I love her with all my heart! I think we must have known each other in the life before this. :) 

Other miracles, we were able to come in contact with 3 people that we've been trying to come in contact with for 4 1/2 months! As we plan at night, it's amazing that when we listen to the spirit, God can guide us to these people, he knows when they'll be home, and also when they are prepared. We met a less active named Don! Bishop Boydston met him just weeks ago, we are excited to start teaching him. He's in his 20's and could still serve a mission! So that's our hope. :) Then we finally came in contact with Kyle, he lives with a less active member Matt. We asked Kyle about his religious background, and he said, "No religion in particular- I'm just looking for the right fit." We are also going to start teaching him this week! 

Well, I know without a doubt, that this gospel is true! I know that we have an incredibly loving Heavenly Father, who gives us all our experiences so we can become like him. There is purpose to everything that happens to us. I have grown in love for my Savior. I know that there was a moment when he was performing the atonement that he thought of just me, and just you. He shed drops of blood, so that we can have eternal life. I know he loves me personally and he loves you. I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead! 

I love you all so much! 

Love Always, Sister Sarah Clark 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hey Everyone! 

I only have a few minutes to email you, so I apologize for my short email as well. It was our Temple Day! :) Oh, it was so wonderful- there's nothing like the peace that sinks into your heart as you go to the temple. I felt God's love envelop me as I walked in those doors. It was so fun, I got to see Sister Seal, Sister Gordon (From the Evergreen Ward) then as I was waiting to go into the session, I saw Sue, and Patty Bass! It was such a fun surprise! Patty was so sweet, she came and sat by me, she's so sweet. I talked a little with her after, and she told me that she had the opportunity to serve two missions, one in temple square and in Rochester New York! I had no idea. The little tender mercies that God places in your life. Anyway, I'm so glad that you all had a great week! Josh's play looked like a hit, and I absolutely love our family picture! (Skype) That made my whole day! :) Sunday, was probably one of the greatest days ever, it meant so much to me to be able to see all of your smiling faces, and know that your still there! I love you guys with all my heart, I'm so grateful among all the changes of mission life, that I know I always have a family who loves me. My Heavenly Father, and Family. I couldn't do this without you all! Thanks for all your love and support, I can't even tell you how much Skype-ing with you meant to me, greatest gift of all! 

This week has been a great one! We've had lots of opportunities to serve. Yesterday we worked with the L.D.S.S.A, they set up a table by the students center on campus, and they helped us talk to others about coming to church with us, and asking the students if we could share a message about Jesus Christ with them. Many people gave us the cold shoulder, but then there were others who greeted us in a warm friendly manner. We told over 50 people about church, and gave them Mormon.org cards. It was incredible! :) We met a darling girl named Ashley, who we are meeting with this week! Miracles happen. :) 

My other favorite part of this week, was the miracles that came from planning specifically. On Friday we planned specifically that we wanted to find someone who didn't know Jesus Christ, and help them come to know them- between the hours of 10am-2pm. We found Holly, she said she believed in God, but didn't know much about Jesus Christ We bore testimony of the Atonement, and Shared Alma 7:11-13, and are going to meet again with her this week. Then on Saturday, we planned from 5-7pm- Find someone who doesn't have the knowledge of Eternal Families. We were on the way to visit a less active member, and accidentally knocked on the wrong door, and we met Toh, (he's from China) We asked him if he believed in life after death, and he looked down, and muttered, "No.." We bore testimony that because of Jesus Christ, he would live again, and get to live with his family forever. We were able to share a copy of the Book of Mormon. It was such an incredible experience, we plan to continue planning more specifically. :) 

Well, I've got to go. I love all of you so much! Hope you have a great week ahead! Thanks for all of your kind words, love, support and prayers!

Love Always, Sister Sarah Clark 

1137- This is Chynna, Isn't she darling! :) 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Hey there Everyone! :) 

Thanks so much for all your emails! It was fun to hear about all the fun things you did this week! Josh is going to do such a great job in "Hello Dolly" Rachel looks gorgeous in her senior pictures, and I can't believe Michael's birthday is coming up this week, how neat that he'll be getting ordained this week! Andrew is so cute, he's growing up so fast! He's such a cutie. Mom, looks like great things are happening with relief society, and I'm excited to hear about what happens with Dad, and this job possibility of working for the MTC! :) It was neat to be able to join you in the fast, I pray everyday for you Dad! I know God cares about you, and he has a plan. I'm so excited for Aunt Janna! She and Uncle Dave are going to be such cute parents! Also, I'm so excited for Natalie and Jennica to be able to serve missions! How fun we'll all be serving at the same time! :) 

Well, I've learned so much this week. We started off the week with Family Home Evening at Bishop Boydston's home, it was so gorgeous! It was wonderful to be in a home again. :) We celebrated Allyssa's birthday, so we had cake ice cream and got to mingle with our members. This week was a harder week. More than half of our appointments fell through, and I was starting to get discouraged. Many of those we taught this week had hard hearts. We taught Josh, a guy the 6th ward sisters had met. As we met with him, he didn't accept any of the message we had to share, he told us he had his bible and that was all he needed. I felt so sad for him, he's getting married this next month, and we told him that our message was also about how families can be together forever. As we explained that knowing the truth of the message was based on his commitment to show God he wanted an answer, he told us he had no desire to read the Book of Mormon. We did all in our power to help him accept the Gospel, accept the blessings God wanted him to have, but in turn he rejected it. My heart was torn, I had only met him this once, but through the spirit, I felt how much love God had for him, I felt with all my heart that God wanted Josh to live with him again. I've come to realize I have deeper love for people. At the beginning of my mission I wasn't as heart broken when people rejected the gospel. Now, I know all the incredible blessings they are missing, I know that the only way for them to live with Heavenly Father again- who loves them so so much, is to make promises or covenants with him, so they can enter the gate and feel God's love here, and make it back to him to live with him in the eternities. I've felt a slight glimpse of what Heavenly Father feels, when his children don't choose the path of happiness. 

It's funny because as I've prayed to Heavenly Father, for help to become better, that's when he puts a trial in my path. Sister Reed had a neat insight about trials. She said, "When you're happy, you feel fine where you're at. You don't want to make changes in your life. When you are feeling sorrow, you constantly look to see what you need to change in your life to be happy again. Then you have a new skill, characteristic, or attribute that makes you more Christ-like." Looking back on all the trying times on my mission, it's helped me recognize who I've become. I wasn't a bad person before I left, but God has helped me have- more patience, more compassion, knowledge, etc... So when you are going through a difficult time in your life, look back at the person God has shaped you into. He's continually helped me refocus on what is most important. I'm grateful he's given me the trials I've had, they've really made me a better person. 

Sister Reed has taught me so much! She shared her story with me. When she was in highschool, she was a dancer. She loved it, it was her greatest pride and joy. She spent hours daily practicing, she even made it to Nationals! Then one day, they found out she had a curve in her spine, the doctor's diagnosed her with scoliosis. She knew at some point she would have to have surgery. Her senior year of high school, she had the corrective surgery. After the surgery, they placed a metal rod, and over 20 screws into her spine. She lost the full ability of her flexibility. She said for the longest time, she was mad at her Heavenly Father. Why would he take away what was most dear to her. She was looking forward to dancing at BYU, and her dreams of dancing with the team her senior year were gone. Then she said something miraculous happened. She was called to be in the laurel class presidency, time she wouldn't have had before, she spent talking with these girls, uplifting and encouraging them, by the end of the year she had made some incredible friends! She said she learned from that experience where her true value was. It was not in her ability to dance, etc.. It was in that she was Heavenly Father's daughter, that she had divine potential. One day she'll be able to dance again. She is always turning outward, I am amazed by the love and compassion she has for everyone. She's truly changed my life. I love her! 

Yesterday, I felt like I had nothing left to give, I'd exerted myself each day, only to be rejected continually. I know we planted so many seeds, in people's hearts.   Although this week was a difficult one, we had so many tender mercies! We met with several members, who made us feel so loved! 

Just like Nephi says in the Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 1:20- (Nephi speaking right after he'd had to leave the home he loved, and everything he knew.) 

20 And when the Jews heard these things they were angry with him; yea, even as with the prophets of old, whom they had acast out, and stoned, and slain; and they also bsought his life, that they might take it away. But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender cmercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of ddeliverance.
We had one member Stephen, ask us who he could pray for out of those we are teaching. Nicole made us a whole bag of chocolate chip cookies. Scott is the most kind hearted happy person I've ever met, and he took the time to ask us how we were doing, and just made us feel so loved. God has truly blessed me with so many tender mercies! 

I know Heavenly Father will bless each one of you with tender mercies through your trials, remember- the gospel doesn't prevent us from having trials, it equips us with the power to face them and grow from them. I know He loves each one of you so much, and so do I! :) I hope you have a wonderful week!

Much love, Sister Sarah Clark 

2056- Chynna, Sister Reed, Clark, Nicole Reed

DSC- Sister Rees took a picture of us while we were proseltying! I was on exchanges with Sister Wood. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Hey Everyone! 

It was so wonderful to read your emails, I still have a big smile on my face. :) It's always a highlight of my week! I feel like a months worth of events happen between the weeks! Thanks for all the fun stories. :) I'm excited for Dad with the new job opportunity! Working at the MTC with language development would be incredible! Dad's program is pretty incredible, especially with all the years he put into it's development! I bet missionaries would start picking up the language more quickly. Dad, I'll keep you in my prayers. Sounds like Heavenly Father has some great plans for you ahead. I'm excited for you! I'm glad Rachel had fun at the moonlight serenade dance, she looks gorgeous! I'll keep Michael and Josh in my prayers. Allergies, that's no fun... Andrew is just the cutest, thanks for sharing the fun stories. :) Sounds like you guys had an awesome week! 

I've had such a wonderful week! The rainbow always comes after the rain. I had a neat realization this week. One of the questions I went into this last general conference with was, "How can I be more confident as a missionary?" I'll be honest, at times I'm nervous to talk with people, because they seem busy, or intimidating, and I'm not always the best with words. As I went in to conference, repetitively over and over the spirit told me, "Sister Clark, confidence comes through reading the Book of Mormon." I thought to myself, this seems to simple. I do read the Book of Mormon daily, yet some days I would only read a few verses, and focus my study on conference talks, preach my gospel, true to the faith, etc... Which are all great things, but I decided to put the Book of Mormon first. I've been reading 1-2 chapters each day at the beginning of my study, I have felt the spirit testify to my heart so powerfully that this is the truth. As I feel the spirit, I feel God's love for me, and It's helped me feel so close to my savior. As I have felt that love and spirit, I remember that I don't want to deny anyone of feeling what I've felt. Each day I carry my Book of Mormon sometimes I hold it close to my heart when I'm going through a hard time. It just brings me comfort. As I hold it, it helps me remember the peace I feel as I've read it. I've overcome my fear. I know that evidence of Heavenly Father's love for me is this restored gospel, I'm so grateful for all the blessings I have in my life because of it. A knowledge of God's plan for my life, the Savior's atonement and care for me, and the gift of having the spirit with me every day to comfort my heart. There is so much power that comes from reading the Book of Mormon. 

This week Sister Reed and I decided to start a 40 day fast from all the things that have been taking us away from having the spirit. The list included: Negative thoughts, fear of talking with everyone, letting our minds dwell in the future instead of the present, unhealthy eating habits, talking about worldly things- movies, music, etc... We started with a fast from food, and prayed for help. Each morning we pray for strength to focus our minds on uplifting and gospel centered topics. I've been able to feel the spirit so much more! It's been a 360 degree turn around. I felt like a good missionary before, but now I feel even more receptive to the spirit. The blessings are worth all the sacrifice. 

Since we began the fast, we've had so many miracles, we received a referral from the Pullman sister's to visit a girl named Ashley. We've been trying to get in contact with her for weeks, finally on Thursday we got in contact with her! :) She's darling! She's going to law school, she's African American, and she just glows. As we talked about how the same gospel that was here on the Earth when Christ was, is here again today, we gave her a Book of Mormon. She couldn't believe that we were giving her a copy. We talked about how it would bring her closer to her Savior, and she kept thanking us over and over. I'm so excited to start teaching her! :) 

Another miracle, we met a guy named Cullen on campus, and he looked busy so we were hesitant to talk with him. As we began a conversation, I felt prompted to talk about how as we make mistakes in life we feel feelings of guilt and shame but that through being baptized by someone holding the authority of God, he could feel relief from all those feelings, and start fresh with a clean slate. The spirit I felt was so strong. He sat and thought, then said, "wow, that would be incredible!" He told us he's an atheist, because he doesn't know much about God. We met with him Friday, and taught him about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As we taught him that he has a loving Heavenly Father who has perfected glorified body, and before this life he had a relationship with him, and he so badly wants him to return to him one day. Cullen asked, "Well, why do I need an Earthly Father, and a 'Heavenly Father'?" I had read in Mosiah 4 that morning, and felt inspired to share a verse.

Mosiah 4:9  
Believe in aGod; believe that he is, and that he bcreated all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has allcwisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not dcomprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.

I then asked him, "Why do you feel it could help to be able to pray to him every day?" he thoughtfully answered, "Because he knows the plan for my life.."  We testified that what he said was true. That God is all knowing, and see's the big picture, and could help him gain understanding. The spirit was so powerful during that lesson. It's moments like that when you feel you're carried to another realm. Elder Holland gave a talk called, "The Divine Companionship" he talked about how as we teach the spirit can carry us to a Heavenly Realm. I've felt that so many times this week. 

We also started teaching Emmanuel , the Sister's from the Sunnyside Ward met him at a car wash weeks ago and felt prompted to speak with him. He came here this year from Sudan, He's African American, and grew up with a Christian Mother, and his Father is a Muslim. He runs track, and told us he came here in search of more opportunities and a better life. As we taught him, he explained that he had a desire to have a relationship with God, and just hadn't felt it. As we shared Joseph Smith's first vision, he just glowed. A moment later he said, "But... God and Jesus Christ are one person" he looked at the picture, and saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ standing side by side. Sister Reed asked, "How did you feel as we shared Joseph Smith's experience?"  He said, "I felt so moved, it's different, but I like it." We explained that what he felt was the spirit and that it always testifies of truth. "Joseph, that's my middle name." He said with a smile. Chynna bore testimony that she knew this was Christ's restored gospel. It was such an incredible lesson. :)  

I am so grateful for the spirit and that it testifies of the reality of Jesus Christ, and God's love. This week I've relied on Heavenly Father so much to help me know what to say. :) I know that as you feel the spirit you feel God's love, and that is such a powerfully motivating force in our lives! 

I love each one of you and hope you have a wonderful week! Thanks for all of your prayers in my behalf and in behalf of those we're teaching. I can feel them every day! :) I hope you each have a wonderful week! 

Love Always, Sister Sarah Clark