Monday, September 29, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Rach, Josh, Michael & Andrew, 

Thank you so much for all your wonderful emails! I feel bad I don't always to get to respond to them, I always go through and read each one of them, and then email you. Know that it means the world to me to hear from you! :) Oh. My. Goodness! Little Dave Jr. is the most darling little guy! I can't wait to meet him! Tell Aunt Janna and Uncle Dave congratulations for me. :) He looks like a little angel! It was so fun to see the pictures of you guys Skype-ing with Rachel, it was fun to see her cute face on the screen. Rachel, I'm so proud of you for how in tune you are with the spirit. I'll being praying for you as your searching for an answer about serving a mission- As I was watching the general women's meeting- When Linda K. Burton was speaking- she reminded me of Rachel! Rachel, I could totally see you in the General Young Women, or Relief Society board. I'm excited to see what great things you go on to do. Mom, I'm so proud of you with all your doing in the relief society, I'm sorry I've caused you to worry- Don't worry about me, I've got a great companion taking care of me, and I'm getting wonderful medical care. ;) Things are already going much better. Dad, thank you so much for your email this week, it brought me so much peace, you are so in tune with the spirit, this week- at lunch I was reading in Doctrine & Covenants and I came across that verse. Another that stood out to me was in Doctrine and Covenants 118: 3 

 3 Let the residue continue to preach from that hour, and if they will do this in all lowliness of heart, in meekness and humility, and long-suffering, I, the Lord, give unto them a promise that I will provide for their families; and an effectual door shall be opened for them, from henceforth.

It's always been so comforting in my patriarchal blessing it talks about how the needs will always be met for me and my family. Dad, I'm so excited for you with this new business- I think your going to see great success. I love you all, and I'm praying for each one of you. <3 

Thank you so much for your prayers in my behalf this week- I felt them in so many instances this week. Heavenly Father has truly blessed me this week. I really feel he's given me these trials and challenges to help  me learn to rely on him, and to help me gain a stronger testimony of the atonement these last few months. I've been blessed in the fact that a good portion of the medical help I've received is covered by our insurance and mission medical. I really feel that now that I've figured these things out about myself, It's going to bless me so much in the long run. 

~ My new companion Sister Larsen is such a sweetheart. She's from South Jordan, Utah. She just graduated from Snow College with an associates of science, and she loved snow college! She's been out on her mission for 6 months, and she just came from the Boons in Washington- Coalville- so she came prepared for Plummer :) She is very hard working, and I'm so glad to have her here with me! 

Heavenly Father answered so many of our prayers this week. We'd been praying that Bry would gain a testimony of the book of Mormon & find comfort in it's pages. As we met with her on Wednesday we taught the Plan of Salvation- and her "Adopted" Mom Dawn joined in for the lesson- That was a miracle in itself! :) Bry has lost many people in her life, she had a friend who's brother was in a gang, and while she was walking with that friend- her friend was shot in the head. She also lost her Grandmother, who practically raised her. So many people she loves that she's lost. As we taught about the Resurrection and talked about how she will see them again, tears came to her eyes. The next night we followed up on her reading, and she said she couldn't sleep the night before because she found out one of her best friends has a terminal illness- and so she picked up the Book of Mormon, and read clear from 1 Nephi 4- to Mosiah 3, she shared many verses that had touched her, and she explained that as she read she'd felt warmth, love and peace. Fruits of the spirit! We taught her the Word of Wisdom, it was one of the most powerful lessons I've taught. We shared 1 Corinthians 6:19-20- one of my favorites. She said- yes this all makes sense, God wants me to take care of myself. She drinks Coffee, but said she had no problem- she'd give it up. The next night we again followed up on her reading- she'd read all the way to Alma 4! She explained that she loved how close she felt to God as she reads. <3 Bry loves her Savior and Heavenly Father. Everything has a familiar ring to her, she loves the gospel. <3 She even fasted for strength to live the gospel this week. She's still planning to be baptized on October 19th. I'm so excited for her. I love that girl! 

 Linda was just confirmed yesterday, and we just started the new member lessons with her. She's the most tender hearted woman- she made a little bag of Soaps and Lotions to give to everyone that helped at her baptism, and she is so excited to prepare for the temple! We are hoping to get her to the temple for baptisms for the dead when it re-opens in a few weeks. We're starting to work with the Daniels family who has two children who are ready to be baptized. We've been working to serve them this week- helped them with cleaning, baked them cookies, and have been able to begin teaching them. There are so many part member families whose children are of age to be baptized- 9 year olds. So we are hoping to work with these families and help bring them to baptism together. We also have met so many potentials one of my favorite parts of a mission- is all of the incredible people you get to meet.  

Another miracle, I had just broken down in tears this week- Since I'm still fairly new to the area, it's been a little hard adjusting- we finally got  a good map- such a blessing. Also, going to my doctors appointments and such. I prayed and told Heavenly Father how sorry I felt about all my weakness and inadequacy. As President Utchdorf spoke,  he said, "Heavenly Father is aware of all that you are doing, he wants you to know he loves you, and he is proud of you." I felt like they weren't just his words, but my Heavenly Fathers. <3 I know those men are truly called of God, and speak for him. I'm grateful to be able to take my questions into conference again. 

I love all of you so much, and hope you have a wonderful week! 

Much Love, Sister Sarah Clark 

P.S. pictures to be coming next week. ;) 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hey Everyone!

Thanks so much for the emails, It was great to hear from all of you! Thanks for all the updates. Sounds like you had a great time at the Ogden temple dedication, I can't wait to see it when I get back. It looks breath-taking, I like this new model much better than the old. It was fun to see the cute picture of Andrew in preschool and with Hazel, oh it's so fun to watch everyone grow up. :) I'm sorry to hear Michael was sick- glad to hear he's doing better now. I'm glad to hear Rachel had so much fun this week- I'm glad to hear she's making so many great friends at Snow College. :) I'm so excited for Aunt Janna! I can't believe she's having this baby! She'll be such a cute Mom. 

We got transfer calls last night- and found out that Sister Ridge is heading to Lincoln Heights in South Spokane, and I'm staying in Plummer. My new companion will be  Sister Larsen. I'm sure going to miss Sister Ridge, this was definitely one of the greatest transfers of my mission. I sure love her. I'm looking forward to meeting Sister Larsen 

Well, this week has been such a great one! We had Linda's baptism yesterday, and it was such an incredible experience. I think it was a spiritual experience for everyone that was able to attend. We've been teaching this sweet girl named Bry- (Bree) we met her two weeks ago on the street, and she is so excited to get baptized. She came to all 3 hours of church, and then we had invited her to the baptism as well- we explained that we completely understood it would be a long day, and if she wanted to go home we understood. She said,"Well, I'm excited I want to see what a baptism is like!" She came with us, and afterward asked, "So when's the soonest I can get baptized?" We explained to her that she needs to begin living the word of wisdom, and come to church for three weeks. She's still looking forward to being baptized on October 19th. :) She's incredible she has so much faith.

Linda is one of the strongest women I've ever met. She was really going through a hard time- she really wanted her husband Lloyd to come- he even sat in on a few lessons this week- but he didn't want to come to her baptism. At church in gospel principles- she shared her experience, she said, "As I was talking with him I started  crying telling him I'd miss him. As I walked toward the door, I felt a warm hand on my shoulder, but saw no one. I felt a warmth and comfort that everything would be okay. I think it must have been the holy ghost." As she told this story the spirit touched my heart. After she was baptized, Sister Ridge and I gave her a hug, she said, "I feel like a weight has just been lifted off my shoulders, I feel so much love."

I love the scripture in Mosiah 5:7  

7 And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.

As we make those promises at baptism, we are literally spiritually reborn. 

 Linda- she was so prepared. It was such a special experience. I know Heavenly Father was so proud of her. Sister Ridge and I were able to teach the Restoration for the presentation in the middle, & the spirit was very present, after I spoke I couldn't remember exactly what I'd said. I'm so grateful for the spirit in this work. Without him, I know we couldn't do this work. 

I don't have a lot of time to email today- but I sure love all of you and hope you have a wonderful week! <3 Thanks for all you do! I love all of you so much! 

Much Love, Sister Sarah Clark

Captions 2212- the cute dinner Sister Lowe made us :) 
2161- Exercise in the Morning! Around the Couer D'alene trail. :) 
 2235- Us with Bry :) 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hola Mi Familia! 

It was so fun reading your emails this week! I am so grateful to have the most wonderful family in the world! :) Mom, thank you so much for the cute package! You are so sweet! I'm going to take pictures with it, and send them to you next week. ;) Thanks for the chocolate, and the SD card- I'm excited to watch those video's! That was so thoughtful of you. You know me well- those are all of my favorite things. ;) Oh, it was so fun seeing cute Prego aunt Janna, and Justin with his little daughter. Jen looks like she's having a good time on her mission, and it looks like you guys had a fun week! :) I loved the story about Andrew in the theater, that gave me a good laugh. :) Oh, I love that little guy. I love all of you guys! 

Well, funny story of the week- we were teaching a man named Jay he sounded like a golden referral. The Elders called us and said they'd met him outside the temple, & he wanted to know what he had to do to get inside. We were so excited. Well, we met him, he's about in his 40's. As we talked him seemed a little slower. As the lesson went on we talked about Joseph Smith, and we checked for understanding and asked who he thought Joseph Smith saw. He said, "Well, Joseph- you know.. He saw me. He saw me Walking down the street. Then there were lots of animals talking. Then he started skipping." then he said, "Uh, I don't know. Who did Joseph see?" We then determined that he may have been on drugs. Oh dear. Elders! Haha. Then he gave us nick names as he prayed, oh, it was funny :] Being a missionary- there is never a dull moment. Other fun things we got to do this week, we painted Betty Lou Wyatt's wall- a part member family, and had a great lesson with her non-member husband Mr. Wyatt. They live on a gorgeous ranch. We had a fun Pancake lunch at the Rockwood's home after District meeting. Then went for a hike today Tubs Hill. It was a fun week. 

Well, it's official! Linda is getting baptized on Sunday! :) We are so excited for her, she is so ready! :) She was pre-seasoned before we even met her. She loves the gospel, and she can't wait to be baptized. We brought over the baptismal clothes the other day, and they fit perfectly. She's been reading the Book of Mormon every day, and she's invited almost half the town to her baptism. We've had some incredible spiritual experiences with her. As we taught her about the commandments, she had a testimony of each one of them, and was willing to live them. She's stayed strong with the word of wisdom- thank you for all of your prayers in her behalf and ours. Brother Rockwood taught an incredible lesson about the Holy Ghost on Sunday and talked about the importance of Baptism before confirmation. He talked about how as we repent and prepare to make covenants we make ourselves clean vessels, that the Holy Ghost can then dwell within. That is why in the prayer it is so important that it is worded. "Receive the Holy Ghost." We prepare ourselves to receive him. We live in a way that we invite him. I'm so grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost- even through the most trying times, I feel his warmth in my heart, and it's divine assurance that I'm doing what the Lord wants me to be doing. 

This week I've really gained a testimony that the atonement enables us to break past the natural man limitations we have in our minds. I love the quote Dad wrote in my last weeks email. "Faith is a principle of power whereby natural forces may be conditioned and controlled." from Jesus the Christ. That has really stuck with me. I've tried to push myself to be even more obedient, more consecrated in my thoughts, and actions. I know that as we push ourselves a little more, and raise the bar for ourselves we can come to see what we are truly capable of. I know that the atonement enables us to see what we are truly capable of. 

I love you all so much! 

I hope you all have a wonderful week! 

Love, Sister Sarah Clark 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Hey Everyone! 

It was so good to hear from all of you! Thanks so much for your emails. :) Thanks for the fun pictures Mom, I especially loved the stories about Andrew this week- I can't believe he's talking so fluently now. So Michael went to his first dance? Michael, I bet all the girls just love you, you are such a sweet, caring thoughtful kid. Josh, I can't wait to hear you play the guitar when I get back- you'll have to teach me how to play! Dad, you have so much faith- I was talking to the Rockwood's, Elder Rockwood gave me a blessing before my Doctor's appointment, and he mentioned that when their son went on a mission he'd lost his job, and that he had been very discouraged, he said he learned so much at that time. He said, things will pan out, I did find a job, and now  they are very well off. It was touching to hear his story. Dad, I know you are going to be so proud of yourself for staying strong and keeping your faith in Heavenly Father. I know he loves you, and he does have a plan for you. Mom, thanks so much for sharing your stories and experiences with me. I love that you are praying to know who you can help each day- I know you're blessing so many lives. 

Well, It's been a week of miracles! We've been teaching Linda, (I mentioned her a few emails ago) She went to church 40 years ago- for two years- yet she was never baptized. She is in her early 60's and she's the cutest lady. She's so sweet, we went over this week to help her can peaches. She came to church for the first time this week. During Sacrament meeting she had a glow around her, and as the sacrament was being passed, she bowed her head and was praying in gratitude. She already knows so many members in the branch and has so many friends. At the end of the meeting she said, "It just feels like coming home." We felt prompted to go visit her a few hours after church, we decided to call. We'd both been fasting that we could help someone make it to the waters of  baptism before the transfer was over. We called her, and she said she wasn't feeling up to a visit, but then started talking about how her friend Genevieve Clark (Cute little 80 year old Lady, who talks very loudly because her hearing aides don't work well) said, "Oh, Linda's already been baptized!"  Linda said, "Oh, actually I haven't yet." Sister Clark said, "Well, I'll have to fix that for you! :)" As Linda told us this story, we all laughed together. Then Linda said, "Well girls, how do you schedule a baptism for adults?" we excitedly invited her to be baptized on September 21st, the spirit confirmed that that was the day. That's two weeks away! We talked with her about Heavenly Father's law of Health that she needs to live for two weeks before she can get baptized, she told us the only thing she'll have to work on is giving up coffee. We know she can do it! She's incredible- talk about golden. :) I sure love her! She's one of the kindest people I've met! 

Other Miracles this week- We've been teaching the sweet Lamanite children this week. Ashlynn and Cadence, and we tuaght them about the Gospel, and talked about how it's Heavenly Father's recipe for Happiness. At the end of our lesson, Cadence prayed, "Heavenly Father, I believe in you. I sure love you, and I miss you!" It was such a sweet heart felt prayer. After church on Sunday we asked the girls what they had learned and Cadence said, "I love it, because I got to learn about my father!" So tender. 

We got a referral this week, to go visit a guy that missionaries had talked to outside of the Spokane Temple, and he was asking how he could get inside. His name is Jay Abraham, he hasn't been home yet, but I can't wait to meet him! :) 

This week I have really been focusing on trying to listen more intently to the spirit. After Sister Ridge and I pray, we wait there for a moment for the spirit to speak to us. I know as we take time to listen, we will more readily be receptive to the guidance Heavenly Father wants to give us. Heavenly Father truly gives us everything, and I know that as we set apart time to talk with him, he's so grateful to get to talk to us. I love the Hymn "Be Still My Soul" 

 Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.

I know that as we take time to be still, Heavenly Father will more abundantly pour out his spirit upon us. 

I love all of you so much! As Jeffrey R. Holland says, "Above all else always never forget how much your father in Heaven Loves you more than you can comprehend." I'm so grateful he looks out for us each day. I love you all so much! I'm so grateful for each one of you. You have all made such a huge impact on my life, I hope you know that. 

Hope you have a great week! 

Much Love, Sister Sarah Clark

P.S. This week I'll do better at taking pictures- you'll get some next week. ;) Promise

Picture Captions

1958- Flashback- There's a picture of the Rockwood's on the left- We just love them! Having a senior couple is the best! :) 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hey Everyone! 

I was glad to hear you all had a great week! :) It was fun to see the pictures from Natalie's Farewell, I just printed off her talk- I'm looking forward to reading it! She's going to be such an amazing missionary. :) I'm so excited for her! I loved the first day of school picture- Andrew carrying the back pack that's about the same size as him. It's so fun to see everyone growing up- my handsome little brothers. :) It's crazy that schools already back in session, where has the time gone? Its always a high light of my week to hear from you guys. Thanks for all the emails. I love you guys so much! 

Well, to start off, I thought I'd share a funny story from my week. Yesterday, we were filling up the car with gasoline, and our recent convert Joe pulls in. He came over to talk with us. He had been reading in Doctrine in Covenants about the New Jerusalem, and was telling us some of his thoughts. Our receipt hadn't printed, so we had to go in to get it printed off- (We send in all the receipts to the mission office). Joe had come to the gas station to buy some nacho's. We walked in with him, and a member from our branch- Sister Bigelow was the cashier. Joe was so kind, he's always giving us cute little gifts when we visit him. :) He insisted on buying us gatorade, it was so sweet, because he doesn't have much at all- but he always wants to give. As he walked out to go to his car, Casey another member from the branch walks in. Joe came running back inside, and said, "Hey, Is this the New Jerusalem?!" We all got a good laugh. :) Oh, Joe- he's great. 

Anyway- It's been such a good week! Our members have been getting really excited about missionary work. We had Sister Schneider come out with us, and we met her friend Adriann, and he's excited to meet with us! She shared her testimony with him about how the gospel has blessed her life, and the spirit touched his heart. Another miracle- we've been teaching this lady Lindsay- she's in her mid 20's she's so fun and has this spunky personality. She lives with her Aunt Charlotte, and Charlotte's grand kids, Ashlynn- (age 11) Cadence, Jojo- (6) and cute 4 year old Isiah. What a sweet family. We just love them! We've been teaching them since I got here, Sister Ridge had met Lindsay 2 or so weeks previous. They met Lindsay- she was pretty drunk, and not very interested, but said that they could stop by again. The first time I met Lindsay, she wasn't very sober, and had several concerns about why Heavenly Father would let Adam and Eve- Fall. She said she felt like her purpose was to make mistakes so that everyone could learn from her mistakes. She didn't understand her purpose here. As we taught about the Plan of Salvation, the kids all came in while we were teaching. They were pretty rowdy when we first got there, but after we prayed, they listened really attentively. As we talked about the Plan of Salvation, she still had many questions. We told her that as she read Alma 42- that through the spirit, and the words that Heavenly Father would answers her questions. The next time as we came to follow up- she was so excited to share with us what she had learned! She said, "It all makes sense now, Adam and Eve had to fall so that we could come. They had to learn from their experiences!" It gave me a testimony of the importance of the spiritual experiences that they have on their own with the scriptures. That the spirit is truly the teacher. I'm so grateful for the spirit- I know that It's truly Heavenly Father that does his work. I've really come to learn this week, and throughout my mission that Heavenly Father really could do this work how ever he wants. Yet, he let's us have the experience of being a part of it. We learn and become like him, as we do his work. At the end of the lessons we always kneel and pray with Lindsay, Charlotte and the kids. It was so sweet, yesterday as we knelt to pray, each of the kids wanted to pray- they each prayed on their own without our help. The spirit was very present in that little home. Such a sweet experience. 

The other day, Lindsay broke down in tears as she talked with us about the experiences of her past. She grew up in a very harsh environment. She has so many burdens that she is carrying. She is heading back to Montana this week to see her kids, and she talked about how she was afraid of falling back into old habits. Sister Ridge had chose a scripture to define her experiences on her mission. We shared it with Lindsay and told her about how many changes we'd seen in her. 

It's in Alma 5 v. 7, 9

 7 Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word; yea, they were encircled about by the bands of death, and the chains of hell, and an everlasting destruction did await them.

9 And again I ask, were the bands of death broken, and the chains of hell which encircled them about, were they loosed? I say unto you, Yea, they were loosed, and their souls did expand, and   they did sing redeeming love. And I say unto you that they are saved.

That is really what the gospel does, we have a forgiving Savior who heals us from the past. The word of God illuminates our souls, and lets us know of the reality of our Savior. The gospel truly does change our hearts. 

I love each one of you! I know that your Savior loves you so much! The church is true! 

Much Love, Sister Sarah Clark