Monday, October 27, 2014

Hey Everyone! 

Thank you so much for your emails! It's so good to hear from all of you. :) Looks like you had a really fun week! I loved the picture of Josh's choir. My year as a Choralier in Junior High was one of my favorites. :) What a fun group of kids, you'll be friends with them all throughout high school, I still consider my choir friends, some of my best friends it was so fun to be able to go to Derrick's farewell, oh good memories. We had so much fun together! It looks like you all had a fun time at the carnival, I loved the picture of Josh and Tate with Charley and Andrew on their shoulders. That's priceless. Oh, and cute little Dave Jr. and the flash back photo! Thanks for the pictures Mom, they really make my week. :) 

Thanks for all the stories you've shared with me, I loved the story about the Relief Society being the Sister Missionaries Mom. It's so true, I love that we all take care of each other. I am so thankful for Relief Society, we've been teaching the 9-12 year old class (which I do love, we got to teach them the story of Josiah this week, its an incredible story.) , and haven't been to Relief Society, and I really feel a difference when I go. We really all do need each other. It's definitely a program inspired by God. 

Rachel and Mom, I read your emails, and I feel peace about going to Snow College. I'll definitely pray about it, but it sounds perfect, I feel like that really would be a great way to transition. I would LOVE to be room-mates with Rachel! That would be so much fun to get to spend that time with her. :) That would be a dream come true. So yes, tell Aariah, it's a 95% yes. I'll let you know for sure next week. I'll pray about it. 

Funny story of the week

I was on exchanges this week, and the only night the Sisters could exchange was the night we went to the temple with Linda. They made an exception to getting home a little later. Sister Scott- who lived down the street from me in my first area, one of my good friends got to come with me. We were driving home from Tekoa, 20 min from Plummer, so we made it back about 10:20pm. I was exhausted at this point. We came home to the garage door opened, Sister Larsen accidentally left it open, we'd been gone since noon. I about died. I worried. Should we call someone to check our place out. It was so late... Finally Brother Cuthbert came to check it out for us. He checked every closet, we were clear. We finally went in hit the pillow and were out. Then at about midnight, someone was knocking on the door very adamantly. Then they rang our doorbell 5 times! I woke up Sister Scott, she peeked through the blinds to see who it was, to our relief it was the sheriff. We answered the door. They asked if a man named Ed Dorman lived here. We replied, "No sister Missionaries have lived here for a year now." "Okay, well thank you. We saw the garage open, and later saw a car in the garage, and thought it was him. Well good night ladies." The sheriff motioned to his deputy and they left. I said, "Well, Sister Scott welcome to Plummer." we both just laughed. Oh, aren't you glad life is un-boring? Mom, don't worry, we're safe. That story is proof that Heavenly Father was watching over our place. 

My Favorite Miracles of this Week
This has been another incredible week full of miracles! :) The highlight of my week, was going to the temple with Linda for the first time. :) After we'd walked up in front of the temple to take pictures together, we started walking up the stairs. Suddenly I saw a beautiful familiar face. She ran toward me and gave me a hug. It was Sister Demars from my first area, I just love and adore her. She came to almost all of Sue's lessons with us. "Sister Clark, Sister Clark! You'll never guess who's here!" she said, as she had her arm around me, she walked me into the temple. Suddenly I saw another beautiful face and her face lit up with a bright smile. It was Sue Metzger! She gave me a warm hug. I just felt so much joy! I hadn't seen her for almost a year! It was so wonderful to see her. :) We were able to talk and catch up for about 15 minutes. I also saw the rest of the Demars family, Sue's friend Paula Therber, one of Sue's best friends, who'd also come to all the lessons with us. I felt joy beyond words. Sue is doing wonderful! It was sweet, she told me her 18 year old daughter had called her last week, and said "Mom, I'm so glad you're a Mormon." :) 

After Sue left, I was worried, Sister Ridge had told me she may not be able to make it... They had other appointments they didn't know if they could change. Moments later, Sister Ridge walked in. :) Then I walked into the baptistry, and saw Sister Olsen, from the Evergreen ward. I sure love her. We've written back and forth while I've been out here. She's now a temple worker. I got a small glimpse of what the Celestial Kingdom is going to be like. <3 Everyone of the friends we make here, can be there with us. <3 I'm so grateful friendships are eternal. It was definitely no coincidence, It was an answer to prayer, I prayed to know if I'd done enough these last few months. He showed me that night, that I had helped him make a difference in these areas. 

This week we had so many other miracles. Jed's Mom Lisa's heart is softening. We were able to teach her a short version of the Plan of Salvation, I really think soon she might join us for the lessons. She always listens in from the kitchen. <3 We are going to fast with Bry tomorrow that she'll be able to get Sunday's off of work, or find a new job. If it weren't for that, she'd be able to be baptized already. She's still so excited and can't wait. We were able to get in contact with a less active who hasn't been contacted for over a year! Her name is Carol Antelope. She has 15 dogs that all ran at us as we walked into her home, and her care taker Gabe- this tall native american picked them up and tossed them out of her bedroom so we could hear her talk. Oh, that was an adventure. We taught a powerful lesson about Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and she really felt the spirit. At the end of the lesson we explained how the Book of Mormon answers the questions of the soul. We asked her what questions she had for Heavenly Father at this time. She said, "I want to know how to get back to church." We gave her Moroni 6. She has a power chair, but we're going to find her a way to church. <3 That was such a miracle! 

What Heavenly Father Has Been Teaching Me this week

I loved a talk Sister Scott told me about it's called, "Trying to serve the Lord without offending the Devil" By James E. Faust.

I love that he talks about how powerful statements of restored truth are! Here are my favorite snippets from his talk. 

 I  wonder how much we offend Satan if the proclamation of our faith is limited only to the great humanitarian work this Church does throughout the world, or to our beautiful buildings, or to this great university, marvelous as these activities are. When we preach the gospel of social justice, no doubt the devil is not troubled. But I believe the devil is terribly offended when we boldly declare by personal testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he saw the Father and the Son; when we preach that the Book of Mormon is another witness for Christ; when we declare that there has been a restoration of the fullness of the gospel in its simplicity and power in order to fulfill the great plan of happiness.
We challenge the powers of darkness when we speak of the perfect life of the Savior and of his sublime work for all mankind through the Atonement. This supernal gift permits us, through repentance, to break away from Satan’s grasping tentacles.
We please the devil when we argue that all roads lead to heaven; therefore, it does not matter which road we take, we will all end up in God’s presence. And when we contend that “we are all God’s children; therefore, it makes no difference to which church a person belongs; we are all working for the same place.”
This man-made philosophy—for such it is—sounds good, but the scriptures do not support it. I assure each of you that the road to God’s presence is not that easy. It is strait and narrow. Elder Delbert L. Stapley said,
I feel certain that the devil chuckles whenever this false opinion is expressed, for it pleases him that the minds of men have been so blinded to revealed truth by his cunning craftiness and deceit that they will believe any religion to be acceptable to God regardless of its tenets and ordinances or how or by whom those ordinances are administered. [Delbert L. Stapley, CR, April 1958, p. 115]
We need not become paralyzed with fear of Satan’s power. He can have no power over us unless we permit it. He is really a coward, and if we stand firm, he will retreat. The apostle James counseled: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). And Nephi states that “he hath no power over the hearts” of people who are righteous (l Nephi 22:26).
I also have learned that as we are obedient to the spirit, in standing for what's right, even when we may stand alone. We are not alone because God is with us. <3 
I know that each one of you has a powerful testimony, that we have the blessing of knowing who we are, what our potential is, who God is, Who our Savior is, and that Because God called a Prophet after the time of Apostasy, and Restored the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Earth. We have the knowledge that because of the Priesthood, we have access to the atonement, we have blessings beyond comprehension. I know as you share your testimony, the spirit will be kindled in the hearts of those you share this testimony with. 
I love all of you so much! Hope you have a wonderful week. 
Love, Sister Sarah Clark 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hey There Everyone!

Thanks for taking the time to write me, it sure means a lot. :) I just love all of you, and I know each of you was guided by the spirit, with the things you said. Mom and Dad thank you for your prayers in my behalf. After much prayer, I did decide on coming home on December 30th. (Sarah's 18 month mark is January 17th- so she was choosing between coming home a few weeks early or a few weeks late.)   Thank you so much for all of your prayers. I do think it will be wonderful to get back into school quickly that will be a wonderful transition. I sure have loved being a missionary, and it's hard to think of this badge coming off, but I am so excited to see all of you again. :)

Well- On another note- I thought I'd start off with some comic relief. You know you're in Plummer when.... You are teaching a cute elderly lady, and you're having a lesson, and there's scratching against the window, it sounds like a bear pawing at the window. Then she tells you that they have pet wolves in their backyard. She wasn't kidding, she let's them into the house and everything haha. You also know you're in Plummer when you're off to a lesson, and there's a Moose Buck and Dow on both sides of the road, and you have to wait for them to cross, so your car doesn't get bent up. Oh, good ole Plummer. :) I sure love it here, out in the middle of nature, with such humble people. It's grown on me.

Events of the Week

So many great things have happened this week! President Mullen surprised us at our training, and got a screen copy of "Meet the Mormons" which was incredible, It makes me excited just thinking about those not of our faith, seeing these conversion stories. <3 Great film!The so I'm so glad you guys got to see it too!  

Our Cultural Event was a great Success! There was a roasted Pig, we had good weather, and we met some great potentials that we'll be following up with. :)  We heard and saw song and dance, from Samoa, Martial Islands, Native American, and at the end, we went up and sang "Come, Come Ye Saints." and President Clark- from the mission presidency, and a few other people dressed in pioneer clothes, and even brought a beautiful red hand cart. Then President Clark challenged everyone there to look in to their family history. It was incredible!

We were able to see two less active members this week that we've been trying to see ever since I got here. We had an incredible family night with one of them, Sister Wilson, and the Morefield's who drive us up to Couer D'alene on P-day came with us. :) Bry our investigator is almost done with the Book of Mormon, she's still just trying to get work off, after she comes to church two more times she can be baptized! She told us this week, she found out she has depression, and I feel like Heavenly Father has given me my challenges so I can now help others with these same challenges. We also had a potential named Rebecca randomly show up at church, and she loved it! :) Oh, so many miracles.

Today, I got to go to the temple with Sister Ridge, Huang, Larsen, Richardson (From the MTC! :) ) and Sister Jensen. It was wonderful and well needed.

Our New Investigators- and their Stories!

Anyway, we've had a wonderful eventful last week and a half. We have some incredible new investigators. Sister Ridge and I, during the last week of our transfer together saw this kid walking down the street, we felt prompted to pull over and talk to him. We learned his name was Jed, that he was 16, and that yes, he would love to hear a message about Jesus Christ. :) We were so excited! Sister Larsen and I had tried his home the first week of the transfer and as we knocked on the door, we heard a teenage boy say, "Oh, haha. It's the missionaries.Great." Then they turned the lights out. We kind of gave up hope after that. Then about a week and a half ago his name just kept coming into my mind, over and over. We decided to go see him again. As we went to his home, this time his Mom answered, and she invited us in. Jed was there, and was excited to see us. We then saw his older brother on the couch, he was playing away with his video games. We figured he must have been the one who hadn't been excited before to see us. As we taught them the first lesson, "The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ" I was so humbled to see their circumstances... They pulled out some camping chairs for us to sit on, and you could tell they didn't have much at all. As we started teaching, we began with "How to Begin Teaching." Which is found in Preach My Gospel chapter 10. It is so inspired! He understood our purpose, and he had a sincere desire to be baptized. I always love being able to tell those we teach, "We aren't perfect, we have weaknesses, as everyone does. We may not be able to answer every question you have. But, we have been called by a Prophet of God to share what we Know, We Know our message is true." The spirit always bears such a strong witness of our divine calling.

As we taught, his friend Dennis, and his brother Bishop sat in. His Mom was cooking but listened in from the kitchen. At first Bishop didn't want much to do with us, but as we started teaching his heart softened. As we talked about how God has worked in patterns all throughout the times called  Dispensations, it really caught his attention. I absolutely love quoting Joseph Smith's own words in sharing about the first vision. After that all of them were paying attention. They are all Christian and love the Bible, and asked us- "So you just have a different bible then?" I answered, "Well, we use the King James version if that's what you mean." as we explained that the Book of Mormon is just another testament of Christ, given to us to know that the gospel is restored they were all excited to begin reading it!

The other night, we went over, and they have really been struggling. Lisa their mother, is a single Mom. At first she had been a little stand off-ish. Jed had mentioned that they only had one bed for the three of them. So on Sunday in ward council we asked if anyone had a twin bed they'd like to donate? A kind member Brother Lowe said they had one they were going to take to a thrift store. That he would love to deliver it to them. As we talked to Lisa, and told her about this, she started tearing up. She couldn't believe someone could be so kind. She explained to us, as she pointed to a chest of drawers in the corner, that on the day of a blizzard, she didn't have a truck. She found a sled, and put it on the sled, and tied a little piece of rope she'd found to the sled and the car. She drug it all the way home. A man had followed her all the way home in his truck but hadn't even offered to carry it for her. As we talked with her, her heart had been opened for a message, she only had a moment- She began to tell us how much she loved her boys. She just wants what's best for them, but she doesn't have much. Her car's windshield is completely broken, but she still drives around in it.

We felt prompted to share Moroni 9:25

 25. My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever.

That was Bry's favorite verse she'd shared with us the day previously. Then we shared with her the story where Peter wants to walk on water, but as he loses faith, the Savior immediately reaches out his hand to help him. We testified that the Savior is there to help her, and we told her it was no coincidence that God had sent us to her, we then sang "Be Still My Soul" and she was brought to tears... She said the most faith filled prayer I've ever had, and she prayed that she knew Heavenly Father had an incredible plan for her Son Jedidiah, The spirit overwhelmed me. I know God has a great plan for Jed. He has such a humble heart, he's the kindest kid, he always thanks us for coming, and loves meeting with us every day. I know that Heavenly Father has answered our prayers. <3 

I'm so grateful the Savior has the power to heal lives. I'm so grateful for this gospel, I don't know where I'd be without it. I love all of you and hope you have a wonderful week! :) 

Love, Sister Sarah Clark 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hey Everyone! 

From the pictures, it looks like you all had a wonderful week! :) I can't wait to meet Dave Jr. he is so cute! It was fun to hear all of Andrew's stories, It's fun to hear that he came up with all those responses on his own, he's picking up Dad's sense of humor. ;) aha. Oh, I can't wait to hear his voice again. Mom, as to coming home- I did call President Mullen the other day, and I had talked about going home January 26th- but I'll see if I could come home December 29th. I've been debating about it, I think it would be great to come home and work for awhile, and if I could start online classes with USU, that would be wonderful. Would you be able to look into that for me? I believe registration would be coming up really quickly. My counselor's name is Marcia Roberts- if you need to talk with her. I would love to see you all in December. I'll pray more about it. Anyway, thanks for all the fun pictures this week! :) I loved them. Mom, I love the picture of you and Dad at the temple, I'm looking forward to going! 

This week was a little slower.We were getting a little discouraged, we found out that Lloyd has water on his lungs, and an enlarged heart- he's not doing very well. Then we lost contact with Bry, we had been trying to call, text and stop by her house, and no one knew where she was. I just about broke down, Not to mention Sister Larsen I are still learning the area,  It's been hard I've felt the weight of trying to take care of everyone, and making sure no one slips through the cracks. Our area is huge with the 5 towns we cover, we had several appointments fall through. We've been sorting out our area book that's full to the max, which is nice, but several records don't have addresses, once we get it finished, it'll be so much easier for us to receive revelation. We had a special fast for our area, that we'd be able to find those who are ready. We've really been working with our members, looking for opportunities to serve, and help in any way we can. From weeding gardens, to teaching primary, I feel we are gaining the trust of our members. 

In preach my gospel, President Hinkley says, 
"“So many of us look upon missionary work as simply tracting. Everyone who is familiar with this work knows there is a better way. That way is through the members of the Church. Whenever there is a member who introduces an investigator, there is an immediate support system. The member bears testimony of the truth of the work. He is anxious for the happiness of his investigator friend. He becomes excited as that friend makes progress in learning the gospel." 

As we looked at our statistics this week- it looked like we hadn't been doing much work- but in the end, it gives me so much comfort to know that Heavenly Father knows the work we put in. I feel that once we strengthen our members things will take off. I know Heavenly Father has great things in store just around the corner. 

We have a huge cultural even coming up this week- and it should be a great way to meet new people. They'll be singing and dancing from groups of the Martial Islands, Native Americans, South Americans, and then we as a branch are going to sing "Come Come ye Saints." There's going to be a Samoan Roast Pig, S'mores, etc. I'm looking forward to it! :) I'm praying we'll be able to meet many new people. <3 

Yesterday, we had a miracle! Bry called us back, and we just found out that she's been working overtime, day and night shifts at the Care Center. She said she was able to get Saturday's and Sunday's off! That was a huge miracle! :) She wasn't able to make it to church, so we're going to push her baptismal date out, but I think it'll be good for her to have this time to deepen her conversion. 

Something that I learned this week is how Heavenly Father answers our prayers. I was reading Jean A. Steven talk from last conference, "Fear Not I am with Thee." 

Truly our Father knows us and hears the pleadings of our hearts. He accomplishes His miracles one prayer at time, one person at time.
We can trust that He will help us, not necessarily in the wawe want but in the way that will best help us to grow. Submitting our will to His maybe difficult, but it is essential to becoming like Him and finding the peace He offers us.
We can come to feel, as C. S. Lewis described: “I pray because can’t help myself. … pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn't change   God. It changes me.”3 
It's incredible to think of all the millions of people in the world, and to know he is aware of you particularly that he answers specifically your prayers. <3 The gospel is for us individually, He answers our prayers one by one. 
This week as I've prayed continually that Heavenly Father will bless this area, I came to recognize that Heavenly Father had been trying to teach me an important lesson all week. He taught me that all that matters is that he knows what I'm doing. I'm so grateful Heavenly Father Judges us according to our hearts. That sometimes others may judge us from the outward results they see, but that what matters is not what they think, but what Heavenly Father thinks. Everything is always alright as long as we are right with God.  <3 
Well, I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love each one of you so much! You are in my prayers always, I know our Savior lives, and that he's there always. I'm so grateful for this Gospel, it changes my life everyday! The Atonement is real, and covers all.  I can say with all my heart, that this church is God's on the Earth. 
Love Always,
 Sister Sarah Clark 
~ Throw Back Picture- On my year mark- It's tradition to burn a skirt, so Sister Huang Rees and I kept up the tradition, haha- so there you go. ;) 
The Other Picture- was on the University of Idaho Campus
P.S.  More Pictures to come next week ;) Sorry about this week- I'm going to do better. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Hey There Everyone! 

I was so glad to hear you had such a wonderful week! Bowling, Seeing you with the cute Layton Family, and Getting to see Aunt Nanette and Uncle John. What a fun week! :) Mom, I'm so glad the card was able to make it there, and my package as well. Sister Laprath was such a sweetheart to do that for me. Thanks for sharing your experiences from conference with me, you all received so much great revelation. Thank you so much for all your prayers in my behalf and of the people we're teaching, I've really felt them this week. 

Laugh of the week: as we were trying to watch conference at our branch building, we weren't getting internet connection, so Sister Tysz brought it up on her phone, and we all had a good laugh as the 10 of us gathered around the little iPhone, oh great times. :) (Picture Below)

This week Heavenly Father blessed us so much! We've been teaching Linda the new member lessons, and as we taught about temples, her husband Lloyd sat in with us. He was sitting in his recliner dozing off a little, but as we taught, some parts struck him, and he'd open his eyes. I think he was listening the whole time. He's German, and a Veteran, so we don't want to push him, but we really feel his heart is opening. The next day the Rockwood's visited them, and Lloyd asked them several questions about the temple! :) He was listening! Then on Thursday we were able to have the Wood's come over to their home with us, and Brother Wood is a Veteran as well and a convert, so they really hit it off! That was a miracle in and of itself. As Brother Wood bore his testimony of how learning about this plan changed his life, you could tell Lloyd was really taking it in. They invited them to come sit with him at church, so we think Lloyd might come! :) As we followed up last night with Linda about her experience watching conference, she said Lloyd had been asking all sorts of Questions, great soul searching questions. He thought Joseph Smith had written the Book of Mormon himself, and Linda had explained that Joseph had been led to the plates and translated them by the power of God. We were so proud of her. That opened the door for us to teach him more about the Book of Mormon. We are so excited, I wouldn't be surprised it Lloyd gets baptized soon here. :) 

Talk about the most powerful 8 hours I've ever experienced this last weekend for conference. I felt the spirit all throughout, those men and women are called of God. 

This week I was pondering the answers I have received from conferences in the past. Last year at Utah State, I had prayed repeatedly that I could become the person Heavenly Father wanted me to be, I prayed to know what I could do to one day become a good Mother. Then as conference came and the announcement was made of the mission age change, I knew this was the answer to my year of prayer. Then with this April conference, As I went in with the question- How I wanted to gain more confidence?  The answer that I needed to focus on the Book of Mormon, that as I felt his love each day, I couldn't deny it. These answers have completely changed my life. <3 

This conference I went in with several questions- one being how can we help our members be more excited about missionary work? I received the answer that we need to help them deepen their own conversion. Each time we visit, we're going to ask, how has Heavenly Father answered your prayers this week? and What have you been learning in the scriptures? It's incredible that that's what truly converts us, those daily habits. 

This week, we've taken the Ammon approach with our members. We've been able to serve, we helped our Primary President with her 3 weeks of piled up laundry. Bless her heart, she works full time, and takes care of her Mother in law that suffers from Dementia. Then we were able to help Sister Taylor take down her garden. I really feel as we gain their trust, they will trust us to help them share the gospel with their friends. I'm excited to see what miracles take place. <3 

This week, I've learned so much- There's a wonderful talk called "The Fourth Missionary" and it talks about how we offer our will to Heavenly Father he can change us. 

"Just Give it up. Surrender your will to him. Unconditionally. Withhold Nothing. Turn it all over to him; All of your desires, wishes dreams and hopes. Be true and faithful in your head and in your heart, not just in your behavior. Trust him. Trust him who knows all things. Trust Him who has all power. Trust him whose love for you is perfect. Trust Him, who alone suffered, paid and atoned for your sins, and for your weakenesses as well. Trust HIm that he will make of you, immeasurably more than you will ever, ever in eternity make of yourself. He will create of you a masterpiece. You will create of you only a smudge. You will create an ordinary man. He will create a God." 

That really struck me, throughout my mission it took me some time to fully give him my heart. As my mission has gone on, I've prayed each day to become more consecrated. In turn he's given me a new heart, which I'm so thankful for. <3 I'm so grateful the gospel is a gospel of change. 

I'm so thankful for each one of you, for your love, for your support, For all you do! 

I hope you have a wonderful week! 

Much Love, Sister Sarah Clark

Picture Captions: 

00804- Us with cute Sister Clark- She showed us her hand made quilts after our lesson.
00810- Watching conference iPhone style haha. 
00812- Sister Larsen and I. :)