Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hey Everyone, 

Thanks for the updates and emails! :)

I'm so excited to Skype with you guys too! Mom, a lady in the Branch Sister Benham said she'd call you to coordinate. Sorry it's taken me so long.  Also, the Mandarin is my favorite! That sounds fun to me, thank you so much! :) Also, thank you for talking to Sister Fisher about my bike. Mom and Dad, thank you for all your help while I've been out here. I got the Christmas package you sent, and also want to Thank Aunt Nanette and Grandma & Grandpa Clark, and Grandma Walpole for the fun packages they've sent. Also thank you everyone for the fun Christmas Cards. :) I have the best family and friends in the world! 

As usual something that will bring a smile to your face. We get to do all sorts of service projects in Plummer, This week the first day our new companion Sister Bohling arrived we went to wash dishes for a member whose pipes broke down. Three weeks of dishes and we washed them in a Bath Tub. I've never been more grateful for hot water, and a kitchen sink before in my life! 

It looks like you all had a great week. Dad, I was laughing so hard when you shared Andrew's experience with me. He's getting so clever, it sounds like he has so much personality. haha. Rachel and Jared are sure cute together! :) Mom, I loved the experiences you shared. That was sweet to hear about how the lady you met at the Post Office had been praying for an opportunity to serve. It sounds like you are helping so many people. I've loved hearing about your experiences this year.

I can't believe this is the last time I get to email you as a missionary. I feel so may emotions right now, I'm a little heart broken as I think of taking of my name badge, and not doing this full time anymore. I am so grateful for this experience to have been so close to my Heavenly Father every day. A quote from President Utchdorf's talk in April 2014  brought me peace.  He says "How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings." There are no endings in the gospel, only beginnings. I'm so thankful my "Mission" will never be over. Now I'll get to help in being a member missionary. <3 The joy that comes from seeing people progressing is something I can't express in words... 

As I've had time to reflect, my heart is full of so much gratitude. This year and a half has completely changed my life! I didn't realize how grateful I was for the gospel, until I got to share it with others who haven't had it in their lives. I've seen how these precious truths have changed, healed, and empowered them in their own lived. The greatest miracle has been applying it in my own life. I came to realize just how many weaknesses I have. This has been such a blessing! I couldn't change , until I recognized my weaknesses and came to my Savior. I think the greatest thing I've gained from my mission is my relationship with my Heavenly Father, and My Savior. I'm grateful for the hardship I experienced that brought me to my knee's and felt the Savior heal my heart. In the Mormon Message, "The Will of God" the words of the man going through that experience describe how I feel. "Thanks for loving me, enough to cut me down." I'm grateful for the knowledge I've gained, that this is how we progress. 

A Few of our Miracles This Week 

 Having Linda come out to Don's lessons this week. He had read the first 4 chapters but skipped the introduction page. Linda bore powerful testimony of how the Book of Mormon helped her know God's church is on the Earth again, and shared the experience of her baptism. It really softened Don's heart. <3 He's on date for January 11th

Rayven is going to be Baptized on February 7th! His cousins are going to be baptized on that same day by his uncle. ( they are 9 and 10) and he again came to church for all 3 hours this week, and He's been reading every day! :) I'm so excited for him.

Getting to Help with the Christmas Families Coalition- Elder Rockwood was the Chairman for this group, we got to help wrap, distribute and deliver presents throughout the week to family's in need. It was sure a humbling experience. I felt so much joy as we saw the gratitude in their eyes. That really brought in the spirit of Christmas. 

Well, I love each one of you so much! I'm looking forward to talking to you on Thursday! :) Thanks for all your love and support while I've been out here! I couldn't do this without all of you!

Much Love, Sister Sarah Clark

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hello There Everyone!! :)

Thank you so much for your emails! I love hearing about each one of you and the experiences that you've had this year. Each one of you has grown so much, I feel like we've all been on a mission together. You all have such strong testimonies! Mom, thanks for sharing the story about Kylee's home coming talk, the story about the boy who carried his brother all the way to Winter Quarters made me cry... That's such an incredible story! The pioneers sure had a lot of faith... Dad, thanks for encouraging me to write more frequently in my journal. I am so grateful for the experiences I have written down.. I can definitely keep working on that.

I'm so glad Josh is having a blast with Choir. How fun- singing the anthem at the finals game! Oh, I miss those days of choir. Josh, those friends you have will stay with you all throughout the rest of your life. Choir is the best! :) Michael, that's wonderful you get to serve in your Deacon's quorum. I know that means so much to Anthon right now... I just love all of you. I don't know how I got so lucky to have each one of you in my life. <3

I am looking forward to seeing all of you in two weeks. :)

Well, It's been a great week! We saw so many miracles this week, and I have sure learned a lot. I've come to realize every day is full of lessons to learn. In church Sister Rockwood said, "We're not just here on Earth to grow old, wear out, and that's it." She shared Revelations 1:6 which says-  "And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." We are here to learn, progress, and become like our Heavenly Father, and our Savior. As we do, we will receive the blessings of heaven.  I'm so thankful for my trials that have helped me continually re-evaluate my life, where I'm at, and what I can change. At our Zone Training this week, My Zone Leader Elder Hansen said, "Because of the gift of agency, you can be someone different than who you were 5 minutes ago." I'm so thankful for that. My mission has truly taught me that Heavenly Father doesn't expect immediate perfection, but he does expect immediate progression. I'm so thankful for the blessings of the atonement in my life. <3

This week, we have been working really hard to get member fellowship. We'd been calling the young men to come to lessons with Jed & Bishop, and Rayven. For the past 3-4 weeks, we tried 3-4 times a week to call each. We'd call the young men a week in advance, we set a time, and each and every time we had an appointment set, the young men couldn't make it. I felt like giving up, but Heavenly Father continued to help us exercise their faith in inviting them to come with us. After many weeks a miracle happened! Brother Benham the young men's leader and Sister Benham invited us for dinner, and said that we could bring who ever we'd like. Bishop and Jed were able to come, and Brother Benham really connected with them. Jed is aspiring to be in the military, and Brother Benham served in the military for quite some time. You could tell they both really respected him. We had a great lesson, and taught the Restoration again because it had been quite some time. We learned that they may be losing there home soon... They really have a hard life. As we bore testimony of Heavenly Father's love for them the spirit was overwhelming. I felt a very strong impression to share 

2 Nephi 2:2-3.
2 Nevertheless, Jacob (Jed), my firstborn in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.

 3 Wherefore, thy soul shall be blessed, and thou shalt dwell safely with thy brother, Nephi; and thy days shall be spent in the service of thy God. Wherefore, I know that thou art redeemed, because of the righteousness of thy Redeemer; for thou hast beheld that in the fulness of time he cometh to bring salvation unto men. 

Heavenly Father loves those boys so much! I really feel like Heavenly Father sent me to Plummer for Jed. We invited him again to be baptized because he'd fallen off date, due to working on Sundays to provide for his family. He is now on date for January 11th. I'm so excited for him!

Heavenly Father also blessed us with Rayven, we've also tried to get fellowship for the past several weeks. He was timid about staying all 3 hours, no matter what we said. This week he's been in our prayers very frequently. He gained the courage to stay all 3 hours this week! :) He hit it off really well with several of the young men. I saw them talking with him after young men's and I just felt so much joy!

I can see both of them serving missions one day. :) I imagine them becoming priesthood holders, and wonderful fathers. I know Heavenly Father has great things in store for them. :)

Other events of the week- Great ward Christmas party! Lot's of Non members, and Less Active members came! :) Rebecca the music teacher for the district who isn't a member came and sang for our Christmas program on Sunday and so many people reached out to her. She's a dry Mormon. :)

 I got to attend the departing dinner last night. We had a testimony meeting where we each got to share a turning point from our mission, I felt so much love for each of the missionaries there. Sister Ridge, Sister Reed, Piliami, Richardson, so many of my friends were there. <3 I am so thankful for each of them, they have changed my life.

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

Love Always, Sister Sarah Clark

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hey Everyone,

I just wanted to thank all of you SO much for the birthday wishes, delicious treats, money, and thoughtful letters. I had a fun birthday, Sister Larsen surprised me last P-Day by inviting all the Sisters to come to Golden Corral, and surprised me with a birthday card that all of the Sisters had signed. It was so sweet!  :) The day of my Birthday we went to help Linda with a project she was doing, and she surprised me with cupcakes, and I received lots of letters this week. :) Thank you everyone! I had a great birthday! 
I was so inspired by your emails this week! Dad, it was so touching to hear about Angela- I didn't know the non-profit has generated over 188 referrals. I know Heavenly Father is so grateful you followed the spirit in creating that website. That you were able to be an instrument in his hands in answering her prayers. Maybe one day we'll get to meet her. :) That was so touching to see her with the Elders, it's almost unreal. :) Dad, you have taught me so much about missionary work throughout my life, from sharing the gospel on planes as we were on vacation. Our experience with Esther on the cruise, etc... Thank you for teaching me how to be a missionary. :) 

Mom, I can't believe you got to meet David Archuleta!! I'm so jealous right now. :) Well, if Rachel's to tall, I guess I wouldn't be right? Haha j.k.  It's incredible to see someone famous use their talents to glorify Heavenly Father.  ( 1 Corinthians 6:19-20) Thanks for sending those song lyrics. I love that message.... 

It was fun to see Josh at his choir concert, Kenny and his adorable wife, and I love the cute Christmas card! :) Thanks for the pictures you send every week, I love them! :) I'm glad to hear you guys had such a great week! 

I have learned so much this week! It's had it's ups and downs just as a normal week does. We had a specialized training this week, and we tried implementing a lot of teaching techniques from the "Come Follow me Program" I love reading about how the Savior taught. That inspired questions really help people soul search and when they apply the doctrine, and see the personal relevance they develop the faith to receive an answer. 

Sister Mullen gave a wonderful training about the foundation we build our lives upon. 

1. "My Way" foundation. We make decisions based upon what "We" think is best. We go throughout our day just going through the motions. We "Do" a lot, but we don't know if it was Heavenly Father's will or not. Yields: us to stagnate in our progression, emptiness, pride, misery, etc... President Mullen said, "Sometimes the natural man causes us to tarry in the wilderness." 

2 "Willingness to Change" Foundation. As we prayerfully ask the Lord each day what he'd have us do, what he'd have us change in our lives, we are emulating the atonement. Becoming like Christ. Our actions and decisions are guided by the spirit. Yields: Joy, fulfillment, happiness, progression. 

I really needed this training, because I'll admit after being a missionary for so long, you feel confident in your decisions and the way you want to teach a principle, and to go with the day "you" have scheduled. After this training, I have been praying every day that Heavenly Father would soften and open my heart to his will. I have seen so many miracles, and have prayed more frequently that I could help Heavenly Father fulfill "His" will. I'm so grateful for the power of change in my life.

Miracles of the Week- 
Rebecca- She's the music teacher for the district here. She sung professionally on Broadway, she moved in a few months ago, she did come to church once with us, and has been church hopping. Finally for the first time she invited us to come in and let us talk with her. She had lots of questions about missionary work. She asked how we'd decided to serve, and Sister Larsen got to share our experiences. I think the spirit really touched her. She said, "You know, God really inspired me to move here, but I'm still trying to figure out why... I hope he'll show me soon." I wanted to say, "well, let me tell you. :)" But it's great, a member from our branch has been able to get her involved with the Christmas program, they've been becoming good friends. It was such a testimony to me that Heavenly Father truly is answering her prayers. <3 

Rayven- This week we taught him that we have a prophet today, and showed him the clip ,We Need Living Prophets, everytime we share that video the spirit is so strong! We then invited him to watch President Monson's last talk from conference, and to afterwards pray to know if he is a Prophet called of God. We followed up the next day and he sent a message saying, "It was interesting. :) " Us: "Interesting meaning?" Rayven- "I did not know there was a prophet until you informed me! :) " he received his answer! :) 

Don- Our new investigator- he was a former, and we decided to see how he was. As we talked and got to know Don, he told us about what is most important to him, his challenges, etc.. He explained how he was slowly beginning to lose his memory. The spirit prompted me to bear testimony, "As you read the scriptures Heavenly Father will bless you and help enlarge and strengthen your memory" Heavenly Father really inspires us to bear testimony of the things he will bless those we teach with. Sister Laprath came with us, and she bore powerful testimony of her decision to join the church and how it's blessed her life. Sister Laprath had come to his last lesson months ago, and she said his heart has really softened. <3 

I hope all of you have a wonderful week! I love you all so much! Thank you for your love, support and prayers! :) 

Love, Sister Sarah Clark 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hey There Everyone! 
Thank you for your emails, and all the pictures! :) It looks like you had a fun eventful week! Rachel and her cute date, and I loved the throw back pictures of Josh. :) Especially where he's suited up in "the armor of God" I still remember that family night haha. :) I can't believe how fast he's growing up... Time is going by so fast! Mom, you about gave me a heart attack when you said I was coming home on a different date! haha. I'll be looking forward to seeing you guys on the 29th. :) The song "I'll be home for Christmas" has never had this much meaning to me.  I'm glad to hear you guys are doing well. P.S I'm looking forward to opening that package tomorrow, and thanks for the Birthday wishes! Mom and Dad, thanks for all you've done to help me get where I am today. I'm so thankful to have such wonderful parents! :) 

Fun News Thanksgiving with Linda and Lloyd was a blast! (Pictures below) :) the first presidency has come out with a video that talks about the blessings of keeping Christ in Christmas. It's called He is The Gift, the first presidency came out with it for us as members to be able to "Share The Gift" this year. :) If you get the chance, you'll have to check it out if you haven't already. In the new ensign, they are sending out pass along cards. Sister Larsen and I have seen so many miracles in being able to share it! :) If you haven't had the chance yet, it's a great thing to share with your friends!! 

So as always, I'm going to start off with a moment that made me smile this week- hope it brings one to your face too. :) ~ On exchanges this week, I got to go to Post Falls with Sister Nally, she is an incredible missionary- she's a power house! We went to a member family's home- The Clark's a young couple with a 7 year old son Bennett, we talked with them about the Christmas Initiative, and watched the video, after the lesson, Brother Clark asked Bennett to say the closing prayer. Bennett said, "Heavenly Father, Thank you for letting us live here on planet earth. Thank you for the Straight and Narrow path, and even for the parts of it that are bumpy and twisty. Please help all of us to make it to the Terrestrial Kingdom. Please bless us that when we have to die, we will be ready. Thank you for all the people on this planet earth. A-men!" Sister Nally and I had such a hard time keeping straight faces, oh, from the mouth of babes. :) 

Miracles of the Week Carly!! :) This cute girl carly who's 14 just moved to Plummer from St. Maries 2 or so weeks ago. Her Mom has been less active, and they are going through a really rough patch right now, Carly's mom is going through a divorce... They invited us for dinner this week, and we were able to get to know them, we learned that Carly hasn't been baptized yet, and she's had several sets of missionaries. She is so prepared! As we taught, she really grasped the importance of the need for a Restoration after the Great Apostacy. As we talked about the atonement, and asked how they'd grown closer to their Savior during this hard time, They both bore powerful testimony that he's been their rock through all of this. You could feel how much Heavenly Father loves both of them. Carly is praying about Baptism for the 21st of December. :) We're so excited for her! 

Ed- A member of our Branch had given us a referral to go see her neighbor Ed. As we went out to Tensed, we saw him sitting on his porch, about in his 60's, smoking a cigarette. It was pouring rain. We went up to talk with him, and immediately we got the cold shoulder. Without us speaking a word, he told us how impolite it is to talk about someone's beliefs. That it was just such an impersonal thing to do, for Sister Phillips to just send us over. We just sat there and listened to him with love. After he was finished, we apologized if we'd done something to offend him. We then asked how he was doing, and he told us he'd just lost his mother. He told us how much he loves her, and started talking about his beliefs, he said he didn't believe in an after life. We asked him more about his family, it turned out he was pretty passionate about his family, and talked about how he has several old music compositions from his great great grandpa. We talked about family history, he still didn't seem to interested. He told us music was his way to feeling the spirit. I remembered Courtney Cox's story, about singing "I am a Child of God." I felt inspired that, that's what should sing. We asked if we could sing, he seemed hesitant, but let us. All of the sudden I saw his ridged gruff countenance soften, he closed his eyes and tears streamed down his cheeks. The spirit truly softened his heart, and changed him. He said that maybe sometime we could come back to help him with his family history! Huge Miracle! :) 

Things I've learned this week. This past few months, I've been reading through the Book of Mormon. I'm now in 3 Nephi- and I love it, with this time of year, reading about when Christ came to the Earth. <3 I thought it was interesting that in 3 Nephi 11- when Christ appears to the Nephites, in (v8)  it says that many thought he was just an angel, they didn't know and feel that he was their Savior. I reflected, would I recognize him, and know that he was Christ? I received an answer that as I feel the spirit, that is how we will recognize him. I think it's incredible that every time we feel the spirit, we get to feel what it will be like to be in his presence. <3 I also came across a verse about the Savior that is now one of my favorites. 
Doctrine and Covenants 45:8 came unto mine own, and mine own received me notbut unto as many as received me gave power to do many miraclesand to become the sons of Godand even unto them that believed on my name gave power tobtain eternal life.
Those words are so profound... he has provided the opportunity for every single person to obtain eternal life, to be cleansed of their sins, so they can feel peace and rest in God's kingdom. <3 that is what we are sharing this Christmas season, the greatest gift. The knowledge of Heavenly Father's greatest expression of love, sending his beloved son. Because of this we know how to find peace in this life, and Eternal life in the world to come. 
I love my Savior so much, I'm grateful for the opportunity to come to know him better everyday. As I strive to repent daily I feel the power in accessing the atonement. I'm grateful for the power of change in my life. I'm grateful to read the scriptures, it's like I get to spend time with him. 
I hope you each have a wonderful week! I love all of you so much, and I'm so thankful to have you in my life. <3 
Much Love, Sister Sarah Clark
0765- Our District- The Elders have better copies of this picture- sorry it's so blurry...