Monday, November 24, 2014

Hola Mi Familia! :)

It was good to hear from all of you! Sounds like you had a really fun week! I loved the stories about Andrew- It's so crazy to see how much he's grown since I've been out. That was cute to hear he chose a present by himself for Josh. :) Josh! Happy Birthday this week! I hope it's a great one! You're growing up way too fast! haha. Dad, I'm so glad things with your business are going well- it's incredible how much Heavenly Father is blessing you, I know he's so proud of you for your diligence, and that you continued putting your trust in him all throughout this experience. I'm so proud of you too! Thanks for your emails Mom and Dad! Well, to answer your questions- 1) Where am I going for Thanksgiving? We're going to Linda and Lloyd's, they don't have any family that is coming in town, so they're adopting us in as their family. :) 2) Yes! I did get the package. Thank you so much, I'll be patiently waiting to open it. ;)  Also, Mom thank you for helping me out with the gym pass, etc... I'm so thankful for all you and Dad have done for me, words can't even express the gratitude I feel.

To start off, we had a lot of fun this week- Sister Larsen and I have become friends with several people at the gym, and one woman we met- Sheryl, was talking to one of the instructors about religion, and the Doctrine of Christ, he was teaching false doctrine... So Sister Larsen and I went to talk to her, and told her we had a message that could help her find peace and answer her questions. We met with her the morning of my exchange with the Post Falls Sisters  Sister Shelton, and Sister Tureson, they both came here to Plummer with me. Sheryl didn't want to give us her address yet, and only agreed to meet with us after she was done working out. We found a quiet conference room at the gym, and as we taught her about the Restoration the spirit was so strong! :) We're meeting with her again this next week. I decided we'd save contacting a referral we'd received to go contact a woman that lives in a Tepee, it was this HUGE Tepee, we met the son Isador who said we can come back next week. They got the true cultural experience of Plummer. :)

It's been a great week! It's definitely had it's ups and it's downs. It was really difficult Jed and Bishop lost their Dad this week. He had died from Drug over dose, and really had a hard life. I was touched to hear about how much they'd still loved and taken care of their Dad. Although he hadn't been a part of their life, until he came close this last year. He'd been homeless a majority of his life, and Jed and Bishop had worked to save money so that he could have a place to live. They had even started reading the Bible with him. They had so much love for him. Bishop and Jed had so many questions this week, I felt so much gratitude that we have answers to these questions. Jed asked where his Dad was right now? We shared Alma 40:11-12. He then asked about what happens to people who don't get to really have the gospel in their lives here? We then shared Mosiah 3:11. The spirit bore powerful witness of these truths. You could tell that Jed was able to feel more at peace. I just feel so much love for Jed, I'm so grateful Heavenly Father sent us to him. At that moment I thought to myself, if God would have sent me to Plummer just to help Jed, I would have done it. I realized in that moment, just how much I've taken these truths for granted. I'm so thankful that Heavenly Father hasn't left us in the dark, but has blessed us with knowledge and answers.

Other Events of the week, Lloyd sat in on Linda's lesson. We'd felt inspired that we needed to share the Restoration with him. As we taught, after we quoted Joseph's own words. I asked Lloyd how he felt. With tears in his eyes, he paused for a moment, then said, "I. I don't know.. I don't know.. " It was heart breaking to see that he'd felt the spirit, and still didn't want to accept it. I want this for him so badly... I just love him. I wasn't sure if we should extend a baptismal invitation, the spirit prompted me, that I needed to. As I did, I felt so much love overwhelm me. I explained how the greatest gift our Savior has to offer is to be baptized by someone holding the authority of God, that as we do, we can receive the gift of Having the Holy Ghost with us always. He still said he didn't know if he would. It broke my heart, We just continued to express our love, and we let him know we didn't love him any less for that decision. Each time something like this occurs,  my love and understanding of my Savior grows. It's so hard that to know that what I've been blessed with can completely change their life, yet they don't want it. I imagine how hard it must have been for the Savior to offer that gift to so many who rejected even him... I know when the time is right Lloyd will get to have all those blessings. This experience brought a favorite scripture to mind-

Doctrine and Covenants 45:8- The Saviors Words to Us

8 I came unto mine own, and mine own received me not; but unto as many as received me gave I power‍ to do many miracles, and to become the sons‍ of God; and even unto them that believed‍ on my name gave I power to obtain eternal life.

The Savior can only bless us according to our faith. If we exercise our faith, we receive the potential to have eternal life.

There are so many people who feel like there is something missing in their lives, we have many less active members who just aren't happy with their lives. Sister Shelton shared a powerful scripture with me about what can be missing in our lives at times.

3 Nephi 20:8- After the Savior was going to leave

8 And he said unto them: He that eateth this bread eateth of my body to his soul; and he that drinketh of this wine drinketh of my blood to his soul; and his soul shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled.

As we take the sacrament, we are filled with his spirit, what was missing in our life was that closeness with God. As we feel the spirit we feel that same love we would feel if we were in his presence. <3 I am so grateful to take the sacrament, to be filled, and feel joy no matter what the circumstances of life may be. To be able to feel whole, even when things aren't going perfectly. I thought at this point in my mission, I'd be close to perfect.

In the scriptures I found words of comfort. In Matthew 5:48

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

It cross references to- Doctrine and Covenants 67: 13

 13 Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now, neither the ministering of angels; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected.

I'm so grateful Heavenly Father has given us our whole lives to work on this process.

Well, I love each one of you so much! I hope you have a Great Thanksgiving! :)

Love Always, Sister Sarah Clark 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hello My Wonderful Family! 

Thank you so much for your emails, it was so touching to hear about President Hansen and his family. Especially the story of his wife... It's experiences like that, that really make you stop and think about what's most important in this life. When I was companions with Sister Reed, it was amazing to hear about her humility, that she said that experience helped her become who she was today. It broke my heart to hear her story, but it was such an inspiration to me. It's crazy that during the hard times, that is when we're truly closest to God. I can't wait to meet them, they sound incredible. I'm glad to hear Michael is feeling a little better. Sorry you were sick Michael. :( That's no fun. It was exciting to hear that Josh has his Eagle almost finished! Way to be Josh, I know that is not easy work. I'm so proud of you. Mom, thanks for all the spiritual insights you shared, I loved what President Phippen said about the Celestial Room representing being in God's presence. It's incredible that we're able to feel the same spirit we'd feel if we were in his presence. <3 Dad, That's incredible that you were able to go through the temple for one of our ancestors. It's incredible to think about how close we are to those people. 

This Sister, Sister Hoffman shared an experience at our Zone Training. She served with me in Moscow, but had to go home due to a broken arm. She said she just cried and cried. She didn't feel purpose, she felt empty. Wanting to come back out in the field so desperately. She said that President Mullen had given her a call, and said, "Sister Hoffman, work on your family history." She said she as time passed, and she worked on it, she felt the spirit fill that hole in her heart. She said she felt joy again, and suddenly everything was okay. It's amazing that Family History Work, and Missionary Work, are one in the same purpose. I'm so grateful we have all these angels looking out for us. I feel them every day. 

I again don't have as much time to email, so sorry this is again brief. 

Well, comic relief of the week- Elder and Sister Rockwood went to St. Maries this week, they now serve in our area, and there. They came across some funny signs while they were out driving in the Boons. :) One said, "Free Weeds, Pick your Own." Then they passed by a rickety falling apart bar. There was an arrow over to a dirt paved parking lot, it said, "Valet Parking" Oh we got a good laugh about that. :) I love serving with the Rockwoods. :) 

Thank you for all your prayers this week, I know Heavenly Father hears and is answering those prayers. We have continued teaching Rayven and Michelle. Michelle says she's just there to support her son, but truly she is listening. :)  I think it's incredible that Heavenly Father sent them here. I know it was no coincidence. His hand is in every detail of this work. As we taught Rayven & Michelle about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, after we quoted The First Vision, Michelle said, "Wow. I just got goose bumps." She kept intently looking at the beautiful depiction of this experience. I'm so thankful for the spirit- it truly helped her know this message was not just from us, but from her Heavenly Father. As we explained how Joseph was led to this ancient record, and was able to translate it through the power of God, Rayven just looked and said, "That's incredible, to think that he visited people here." 

There's a scripture I read in my study this week, in the Doctrine and Covenants Section 76: 114,116 that explained how the spirit testifies to the hearts of those we meet, more deeply than words can accredit.

114 But great and marvelous are the works of the Lord, and the mysteries of his kingdom which he showed unto us, which surpass all understanding in glory, and in might, and in dominion;

116 Neither is man capable to make them known, for they are only to be seen and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God bestows on those who love him, and purify themselves before him;

We then invited them to say a kneeling prayer, to ask if what we had taught was true. Rayven said a very sincere prayer, and said, "Dear God, I want to know if this is true, and I know my Mom wants to know if this is true too. Please give us that answer as we look for it." 

I just feel so much joy after teaching them. With our next visit, they hadn't read the introduction- so we read it with them. Rayven said, "Oh, well I tried reading out of my Bible, it's the same thing right?" many people don't understand that we believe the bible as well, but that The Book of Mormon is another Testament of Jesus Christ. We were able to explain how these three books of scripture go hand in hand. That God provided the Book of Mormon, so we can know his church is restored. As we read the introduction, he and Michelle were excited to read. We explained how the Book of Mormon answers the Questions of the Soul. We asked them what questions they had for their Heavenly Father. They both said, "What happens to infants that aren't able to be baptized." we were able to give them Moroni 8. What an incredible blessing we have, to have all this knowledge. It gives me so much peace. <3 We also got to teach them the Plan of Salvation. It's so sweet to see these Mother's and their sons learning together. 

Other events, We've starting taking our less actives on Church Tours. It's been such a powerful experience. We took Frank Bybee, and his heart is starting to soften. :) We also were able to get into the Latcowski home, a part member family. The wife Dianne and her daughter Jewell sat in! They are dry Mormons, such good people. We were able to get into so many homes this week! Heavenly Father is blessing us so much! 

Well, I love all of you and hope you have a wonderful week! Thanks for sharing all of your miracles! 

Love Always, Sister Sarah Clark :) 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hey Everyone! 

Thank you so much for your emails! I love hearing from you! It sounds like you guys all had a great week. I'm so happy things are looking up for Dad with this new business. That's great you'll be able to help so many people get online. I'm so excited for you! Our prayers are being answered. Things are panning out! Mom, I loved the pictures you sent this week! It was so fun to see everyone. :) I especially loved the picture of Hazel and Andrew going down the slide haha. Oh, McCall and her husband are so cute! I'm so happy for her. :) So many great things are happening. Heavenly Father has blessed us so much. Michael, that sure took a lot of courage to follow the spirit in giving a talk, without having time to prepare. I'm so proud of you, I don't know if I'd have that much courage! What an incredible experience you were able to have taking 20 family names to the temple! I'm glad you all had such a good week.

My email is going to be brief this week, As I took time to figure out my schedule for the semester. But I have so many miracles to share with you! Heavenly Father has been answering our prayers. 

My favorite moments of the week include.

1. Going to the Temple with Sue as she received her endowment. 
It was one of the most incredible moments of my whole mission. She had actually brought in over 20 of her family names that she gave to ward members so that work could be done for her family. It was so good to see all the members from the Evergreen Ward, not to mention it just happened to be ward temple day for the Married Student Ward I'd served in in Moscow, so I got to see my old ward mission leader and his wife- Joey and Lauren, and the Johnson's, all these people I know and love. I loved being in the Celestial room with all of them. I got a little glimpse that day of what the celestial kingdom is going to be like. Everyone we love, all in one place. Joy beyond words... 
~ I also got to stop in and have lunch with Sister Reed, it was SO good to see her again, I sure love and miss her. We found out Chynna and Michael are engaged, so we've decided we want to come back for their wedding! :) 

2. Finding out that Linda Schmidt used to be a famous trick rider when she was 9 years old! :) (Pictures below.) 

3. Taking Rayven and his Mom Michelle on a Church Tour- They are a member family in our branch's relatives. Sister Kennach's brother George isn't a member of the church. At their family party last week, we'd talked to Rayven (He's about 16 years old) and invited him on a church tour. He is so prepared for the gospel! :) The church tour was so powerful, the Rockwood's joined us for it. He explained the feelings of peace, and warmth that he felt. He'd been to a church in Seattle where they'd moved from, and he said he wants to start coming to church again! He said he wants to be baptized! :) We're so excited for him.

4. Sister O'Dell Wants her Kids baptized! The O'dell's are a Part Member Family, The Mom Akilah is inactive, and her husband is not a member. The Rockwood's talked with them this week, and Akilah said she wants her boys baptized. (They are 8 and 10 I believe...) So we'll get to start teaching them this week! 

5. Church! We were thinking of ways we could help those we're teaching make it to church. Sunday morning we brought Jed a pancake breakfast, and that helped him get up and going and then he came to church! :) Rayven and Ashlynn made it as well. :) Such a great day. 

6. We felt inspired to talk to Lisa about Priesthood Blessings. Elder Rockwood will be giving her one tonight. <3 

It was such a great week, I'm so grateful to get to be a missionary! The joy that comes in seeing people accept the gospel, and feel the joy the spirit brings is incomparable to anything I've ever experienced. I love all of you, and Hope you have a wonderful week!

Much Love, Sister Sarah Clark.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Hey There Everyone! 

From the pictures, it looks like you guys all had such a fun week! :) Oh my goodness, Emily's little twins are so stinkin cute! Michael the Viking, Josh the Egyptian, Andrew the Angry Bird, Rachel the... Dark Fairy, Mom the Geisha, and Dad the Cowboy? The Dream Team! haha ;) Oh, it's so fun to see everyone! It sounds like all of you had a great week! 

I actually wore a costume for Halloween as well. See if you can guess what my costume was.

 We went over to the Barrett's home in Coeur D'Alene, we have lots of branch members there. They have this gorgeous home, full of European art, Brass rubbings, etc... We were helping Sister Barrett finish cooking and she looked right at Sister Larsen, and she said, "Sister Clark, would you hand me that bowl?" I said, "Sure!" and handed it to her. She looked very confused, then she started laughing. Her husband and the Morefields couldn't figure out what was so funny. Then by the end of the night they all figured it out. I'm sure you guessed it, we switched name tags. :) 

Snow College?
I've been praying about it this week, and also had the opportunity to fast, and I feel peace about it. I'm so excited to get to spend a semester with Rachel! I think it will be a perfect transition. Thank you for following the spirit, I know Heavenly Father answered my prayers through all of you. Mom, thank you for taking all that time to get me registered. 

Miracles of the Week 
1.Linda got a priesthood blessing- because she's been sick. It was such a powerful experience. 
2. The Rockwood's are the sweetest people in the world. Joe had been kicked off his property by the tribe because he's now a member of the church, and his wife who was native passed away, and you lose all your rights if your native spouse passes on. Joe is now living with some members, and has a car! :) I'm so happy for him. 
3.We met two great potentials- Sherrie, and Rayven that we'll be teaching this week. 
4.Our less active Frank is starting to read the Book of Mormon.
5. Linda's Husband Lloyd had a huge miracle, he'd had a blood clot, but after returning again, they didn't see any sign of it again! :) 
6. Sue invited me to come with her to receive her endowments on November 8th. I am so excited for her!

New Favorite Mormon Message- You Never Know 

So many miracles this week. <3 My Favorite's of the Week

Seeing Ray again!

This week I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Sister Ellis, she just came out on her mission. She's from Tennessee, and was baptized just this last year. She had a "friend" :) throughout the years who was a member, and he invited her to come to church with him. He would go to her church, and she would go to his. Eventually she started asking him all these questions. He said, the missionaries can answer those questions better then I can. The rest is history. :) Her "Friend" Josh is serving a mission in New York, they have such a sweet love story. 

On our exchange- the night of Halloween, I went up to Post Falls. That night she told me about their investigator Ray. Then she said, "Oh! You're the one who met him and taught him for the first time with Sister Nally." We had met Ray in a trailor park, and he was a very devout member of the church of Christ. He had asked us many deep doctrinal questions, trying to cross us in our words. We began to teach the Restoration, and his heart softened. Sister Ellis told me he's now preparing for baptism, and I was so excited to get to teach him again. As Sister Ellis and I went to teach him, his whole countenance had changed since the last time we'd talked. He had more light in his eyes, he seemed so much happier. As we taught the law of Tithing, he was excited to be able to contribute to build Heavenly Father's Kingdom. He asked me to pray at the beginning and end of the lesson- it was so sweet. I was so thankful to get to see him again! :) 

After we taught that lesson, I realized how much my testimony of paying tithing has grown.

Lisa is starting to join us for the lessons. :) 

This week we had an incredible lesson with Jed and Lisa. Lisa actually sat in for the first time! She has such a strong desire to know the truth. As we told her she was literally a daughter of her Heavenly Father- The spirit touched her heart. She asked why we aren't given any remembrance of the life before this, and how we were to know God's plan. We explained how God has called Prophets to be his steward's here on the Earth. That God through them, also called missionaries, so that people could come to know these precious truths. There were so many moments where you could tell how much this knowledge deeply touched her. She asked in worry about her mistakes, would God forgive her? How did she know if her repentance had been accepted? We taught her the doctrine of baptism by someone holding the authority of God. 

We explained Christ's invitation to follow him and shared- 3 Nephi 9: 13-15

 13 O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?

 14 Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.

15 Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. I was with the Father from the beginning. I am in the Father, and the Father in me; and in me hath the Father glorified his name.

As we invited her to be baptized, tears streamed down her cheeks. She felt her Savior's love. I know the Savior has the power to heal broken hearts. 

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

Much Love, Sister Sarah Clark 

Picture Captions

874- R.S. Lunch with Victoria.

907- Halloween Dinner With the Barretts. 

819- Sticky Noting Joe's door. :)