Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Week #27

Hi mom

It was really cold. I still can't feel my toes. I'm pretty sure I won't ever be warm until July. It snowed 3 times this week and it's snowing today. This winter is already worse than last year, everyone says. But every time I'm cold I just think of Robert in the -40 weather and then I don't feel as bad. We had a really great lesson with Kelly and John on Tuesday. Kelly has zero faith and John is Catholic but they still have a lot of questions about religion. We read Alma 34 with her, which is basically a step by step process on how to gain faith. We bore our testimonies and even told her about the restoration because both her and John were curious. We asked her how she was feeling and she started to cry. She said she feels lost and like she's missed out because we're so passionate. It was so great! That means she was totally feeling the spirit. The spirit was really strong in that home and I told her that she's not lost anymore and she's going to gain that faith and Heavenly Father is there for her and he loves her because we love her and we've only met her like 2 times! And she cuts hair so we're going to have her cut our hair.
We didn't have a ton of success this week but we made a lot of progress with investigators and potentials. Matt and Jill came to the Christmas party! And they loved it! And they brought their kids. I sang and it was good... I think. And we showed Matt and Jill the chapel and there were people practicing a song for church so the spirit was there and their kids just went and sat and listened. I have never felt so much peace in the chapel than when we were sitting in there listening to the music. Jill said that if their kids love the church, then they will definitely keep it in their minds because if their kids hate it then they just forget about it. Good thing their kids loved it! We were going to go sledding with them on Saturday but we didn't have time :(
Sister Jensen and Sister Johnson were here on exchanges Friday and Saturday. I wish Sister Jensen and I could be companions again because we would just destroy Huber Heights or whatever area we were in. We just get along so well and like to work! So Saturday morning it snowed A LOT. We bought shovels and shovelled peoples driveways. I smelled like a wet dog all day because it was super wet snow and then it rained. But we did 5 houses and it was awesome! I need to get some snow boots.
So since the snow turned to slush and the roads were tricky we did not have a baptism this weekend. Charnelle was about 40 minutes away at an ultrasound and said she wasn't going to make it. It was super stressful. We rescheduled for this coming Saturday at 11. It's kind of a blessing in disguise though because she's so accepting of everything we're not really sure how much she understands the commitment she's making. She's just kind of casual with everything. Oh and guess who decided to show up and surprise us at the baptism? President and Sister Nilsen. Super. I'm glad they came but really embarrassed that we had to postpone our baptism. Satan is working really hard so that we don't reach our goal of 500+ baptisms in the mission. And we haven't been able to get in contact with Charnelle since we rescheduled. She hasn't responded to our texts, calls, or answered her door. So if everyone could just pray really hard that would be helpful.
Oh also church was cancelled yesterday because nobody bothered to get the parking lot plowed Saturday night. All of the slush froze overnight and the parking lot was a disaster. The roads were fine, though. So we didn't have church. Never thought I would have to plan backups for church on my mission. We made cookies and took Sydney, who's going on a mission to Bolivia in February, with us to visit some investigators. Yesterday was a hard day but it ended well with us getting a new investigator, Dorothy, who has taken lessons from the missionaries before. She's really old and she's just so cute! We're going to help her put up her Christmas decorations this week. Oh and also Karen dropped us. But it's for the better because I think she thought we needed to be taught and she just would never listen. I don't think she'll accept the gospel in this life.
Well I'm really tired but I love this work and I know that it's true! Even with a tough week.
Love you!
Sister Clark

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Week #26

It was COLD this week! Not as cold as Winnipeg I'm sure but it's cold. It was a weird week, but a good one! We have been so busy. So busy we haven't been able to see people that we want to see. I guess we should have gone on splits with the members...
Monday and Tuesday were super successful. We found quite a few people to teach and our investigator Jessica didn't drop us! Miracle! We just went into the lesson and started teaching her and she never brought up the conversation we had with her on Saturday. And we have an appointment with her tonight. She's halfway done with 1 Nephi. We also taught this older lady Diane who told us she's reading the Book of Mormon when we knocked on her door. So we taught her about where it came from and how the gospel was restored. She's pretty awesome. Then we met this lady Melinda who said she wants to learn more about the Book of Mormon and the gospel after we taught her the first lesson! She is super genuine and sincere. The only problem is that she works in Maryland... as in the state of. So she's only here on the weekends. Convenient. We went to Springfield on Wednesday for exchanges. So I got to see Sister Jensen! Then we had our mission Christmas devotional. I sang a song. It was a little messy. But the devotional was way good and I got to see Sister Hicken and Sister Tueller gave me a gift. It was really nice. Thursday night we taught Charnelle, who's on date for this Saturday, about the word of wisdom. She's pregnant so she's already living it and she has no problem with keeping it. I keep thinking that there's got to be some kind of catch because she is just so prepared and we found her by randomly knocking on her door! She'll be my first baptism that's come from tracting. Sometimes it works!
We helped the elders clean their apartment on Friday. They were moving and needed some serious deep cleaning in their old apartment. Boys are disgusting! They had 8 years of elders living in that apartment. There were so many marks all over the walls (including boogers.... yes, boogers), and cracks in the walls. I just don't know how they lived there. It actually made me grateful for our apartment. Even though we live in the ghetto and it wreaks of smoke. Also, the snow hit Friday. Our ward Christmas party was postponed. We helped Sister Miller and her husband take everything down and then they fed us Thai food.
Remember Floyd from all those months ago? We started teaching him again! I've been a lot more bold this past week. I'm just kind of sick of all the excuses people throw at us. For example the Springfield bishop doesn't want to do a 40 Day Fast in his ward because he personally doesn't believe in organized programs.... guess what i did? Told him how dad's been a bishop basically my whole life and how I know he is given the power to receive revelation for the ward. So I committed him to take it to the Lord and pray about it because then it will be coming from the Lord not anyone else. Sister Johnson will follow up. He shouldn't do the 40 Day Fast just because we as the missionaries ask for it but he shouldn't NOT do it just because he doesn't believe in programs. I thought he was going to fall over, but he said he would pray about it! Then Floyd told us that he doesn't want to miss the boat and he lets religious people in because "it could be Jesus". So I told him to look at my name tag and then I said "whether you believe it or not Floyd, the boat is here, we're bringing it". And he said "I know". I think we're actually going to make some progress here!
And it doesn't stop there! We met a lovely couple with a little 3 month old that are currently catholic but have a TON of questions about God and different religions and basically the plan of salvation. Things that we can answer! Holy cow this week has just been so great. It's kind of been like my first transfer here. We have just seen a lot of success. I hope President keeps Sister Loder and I together because we are going to tear it up here in Huber Heights.
I love this work and I love the Christmas season. We've been given the ultimate gifts. Heavenly Father gave us his son, and Christ gave us his life. What can we give in return? Bring souls back into the fold of God!
That's about it! The roads were a sheet of ice last night. Bring it on, winter.
Love you!
Sister Clark

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Week #25

Hi mom!
Yeah I'm still here. Didn't Sister Miller tell you that? Same address. 
Well I'm training again. We got the call on Monday and President broke the news. Sister Hicken and I were so shocked! We thought for sure we both would be staying or at least I would be leaving. Nope. Sister Hicken is now in Columbus and I'm still here in Huber. This will be my 4th transfer here. So I got a new missionary on Tuesday. Her name is Sister Loder and she's just like me. Really. Not even kidding. She's my same height and we basically have the same personality. It's weird. It's like being on a mission with your twin. But I love it. She's really great and she just gets everything and isn't afraid to jump in on lessons and she gave the spiritual thought at a member's house last night. She's so awesome.
Did I tell you we haven't been allowed to tract for the past 2 weeks? Which is good because tracting is really crappy and ineffective but now Sister Loder and I are trying to come up with new ways to find people rather than knocking on their doors. I think we're going to start riding the bus. Should have some interesting stories from that one! Oh also on Tuesday we forgot to pick up Sister Loder's bedding at the transfer meeting so we had to drive alllll the way back to Columbus. And it was snowing!
Thanksgiving was great here. We had 3 places to go. We saw Matt and Jill. Some former investigators invited them to the Christmas Party this Friday. Then we had Thanksgiving dinner with the Millers, Gustafsons, Stewarts, Tophams, and some of their friends who are nonmembers - The people we raked leaves for a few weeks ago! It was a lot of fun and we gave them our number so they can call us if they ever need help with anything. Then we went to the Stoddard's and saw Ray and had pie. Friday we had dinner with the Dowlers. They are the nicest people. I got a new bag from them! For free! And we taught Jenna the first lesson and she asked for a Book of Mormon. Good thing we had two on hand, marked and everything. We did service for her the next day and she said she already read some passages and really liked it and that we can teach her the lessons! We're going to continue doing service and helping her clean her house and teach her the lessons. They're pretty active in their church but that doesn't worry us. I'm singing this week at the mission Christmas party and at the ward Christmas party. Yikes! I haven't really picked a song yet either....
Well that's pretty much my week. Nothing too exciting. We're just trying to find people to teach. It's been unusually warm these past couple of days. I wonder if snow is going to hit.
Love you lots!
Sister Clark

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Week #24

Hi mom!
 Ready for my week?
It was freezing the past two days! The high was I think 29 degrees yesterday. I wore my fleece tights with my yoga pants underneath for extra warmth. And we were super bundled up. Yesterday morning we had to help our neighbor break into her car. She was this cute little old lady. Luckily her window was already broken. Miracle! So we got a coat hanger and fed it through the crack to roll down her window. Easier said than done. We were super late to breakfast and then 10 minutes late to stake conference.

We have a new investigator, Jay. His daughter is 8 and she really wants to go to church. His fiancee seems pretty on board too. We haven't had a chance to teach her yet though. Their schedules are crazy. We've also been visiting a less active Brother Thompson in the nursing home this past week. Let me tell you, those places are super depressing! But somehow he seems to just make light of it. He is the funniest person ever. The stories he tells... oh my. We also visited a less active who had cancer for 6 months and NOBODY from the church visited him. Sheesh. He was super active before so it makes me sad that he didn't get any visits and now he won't come back. We're going to keep working with him because he's a super awesome guy. Even though he told me my outfit was a mess....
Stake conference this weekend was awesome! President and Sister Nilsen came and spoke. She shared a really cool story from this convert from Rwanda who said something real profound that he learned in learning about the gospel. He said the world does not belong to us, it is only transit. Home is in heaven. What a super solid guy. I also really hope all of the members were listening to her talk because she told them it is degrading for a representative of the savior to knock on hostile doors. We are trained to teach, not find. Pretty blunt. I don't mind knocking on doors. It's just not effective whatsoever. We need help finding. Sister Hicken, and I are trying to come up with new creative ways to find because our president told the sisters we're not allowed to tract for 2 weeks. So far so good.
Ready for the big news? We got our investigator Charnelle to accept baptism for December 14th! Coolest lesson ever. Everything just makes sense to her and she just soaks up all of the information. She came to church yesterday and told Bishop she'll see him next Sunday. She also invited us to her baby shower.
Oh also I got sick on Friday randomly. I got super dizzy and light headed and hot and ended up throwing up. But then I was fine. It was weird. Just went on with the work.
I heard that they're no longer making calls to Brazil and if I don't get my visa by January I will most likely never get it. Oh well. I came to the realization the other day that maybe the Lord never intended for me to go to Brazil. I was called there initially so I could have the extra 6 weeks in the MTC, with the teachers and companions that I had. And I learned Portuguese to humble myself and to learn that I can do hard things. That if I can learn a language in 6 weeks, I can stick out an 18 month mission. And maybe that's all I needed in order to become the missionary I am. Who knows? Kind of a cool way to look at it though.
Well that's my week! I love you lots mom!
Sister Clark

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Week #23

Hello mom!
 I bought some fleece leggings! I don't know if I told you that already. But they are a life saver! I also got some hats. It's been so cold! But the past couple of days have been unusually warm. I'm hoping I don't get transferred! Sister Miller says I need to stay for one more transfer so I can sing at the Christmas party haha. But I would really love to stay in this ward for Christmas. So pray really hard I stay.  Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week already? And Christmas is in just like 35 days or something. Where is the year going? And this is the last week of this transfer! I think this has been the fastest transfer so far. We'll found out next Monday if we stay or go.
Well we had a baptism on Saturday! Let me tell you something, EVERYTHING goes wrong on the day of a baptism. It's insane how much Satan tries to stop it. But Ray made it and he got confirmed yesterday. When they said "receive the Holy Ghost" he said he felt it go right through him and that it was a really neat experience. He was just smiling and super happy. I love baptisms! Monday we had a chapel tour with our investigator Jessica to try to get her to church. She brought her son Heath and he was completely calm the whole time in the church. Then the minute we walked out he was back to his crazy self. Coincidence? I don't believe in those. We also watched The Prophet of the Restoration with Ray that night. Did you know they redid it? It's not as good as the one they played on temple square. It feels more political rather than truly getting a feel for Joseph Smith's character and who he was. But nevertheless, the spirit was incredibly strong. A little miracle happened on Tuesday! We went to go visit a potential and his fiancee opened the door. We asked when a good time would be to come back and she said "for the both of us, how about next Tuesday." We didn't even ask her if she wanted to be a part of learning about the gospel. She just included herself! How great is that? We ate dinner at a member's Tuesday night and they were having a birthday party! We had Monsters University cake. It was delicious. We met with a member Wednesday whose husband is Baptist. She was expressing how much fear she has of never being sealed to her children. He is a really nice guy though and they have a good deal where they go to our church one week and go to his the next. So at least he lets her go to church! And he has taken the lessons before but is held up on Joseph Smith. I just want to help her! Because her husband is a super righteous man and she just wants him to be a part of this church. Lately we've been having a problem of going over to teach lessons and people just end up preaching to us. It is exhausting. They say they want to learn then they're just like "no, it's this way" and then spend 30 minutes reiterating what we're trying to teach. I think just because it comes out of our mouth it's wrong. I think those people think they're going to save us. It's really frustrating because I just want someone to listen. I want a spirit filled lesson where the Holy Ghost can teach and testify to these people of the truth. We had dinner with Cora Louis on Thursday night. Her daughters are the ones who got baptized in October and her husband Jacquie is not a member. He completely opened up to us and after we left Sister Hicken said we needed to go back and ask him if he'd like to take the lessons. So we did, and he said he would talk to Cora and let us know on Sunday. We raked leaves for some of Sister Miller's friends who she's been trying to share the gospel with. They just had a baby and have been super stressed. Service is so powerful in softening hearts. A simple act of kindness works wonders! Well, I would be lying if I said missionary work is simple. It's definitely hard and has it's challenges. But I read a story this morning by a girl who is a convert to the church. She said that you can look for happiness in all places and it will last for a season, but the gospel is never fleeting. It's that sure rock that we can always count on for our happiness. I love this gospel. I love that we have it in its fullness. What a blessing!
Love you!
Sister Clark

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week #22

Hello mother,
Well yesterday I was informed that Sister Miller's sister got her visa. What the heck?! I actually heard that all the south missions were getting theirs and Belem is kind of the problem. I don't know. I really only get sad or frustrated when people bring it up. I honestly don't think much about my visa but ALL of the ward members are like "heard anything about your visa?" I kind of wish everyone would just stop asking. Most of them say that I'm needed here and they don't want me to leave so maybe that's why they ask? To make sure I haven't gotten it haha. 
Well Bryce sent me an email basically telling me that I need to forget about my visa because it's distracting me from the work. I would just like to tell you, in case you're thinking the same thing, that it is not. I love Ohio and it makes me sad to think I could leave. Well really I love Huber Heights and I've grown close to a lot of the members and missionaries out here. No one wants me to leave haha. Sister Jensen prays that I don't get my visa. But I just want you to know that I really do love it here. English is nice. I'm able to express all of my thoughts and feelings without a language barrier. And hearts are prepared here. That's for sure.
We only have 2 weeks left of this transfer. Where is the time going?! This week just absolutely flew by. We've seen some success from our potentials we've found tracting. A few have had experiences with members of the church in the past and are really open. This week I've really seen the power in listening to the little promptings of the spirit. We were visiting a potential Wednesday night and I felt like we needed to knock on the doors of their neighbors. Lo and behold a less active/part member family lived there! Sister Werner had constantly told us that her husband is very strongly baptist and doesn't want the missionaries over. I didn't even know that was her house! But her husband sat in the room with us and actually participated in the conversation. What a miracle! And we had lunch with her the next day and she said we did a phenomenal job with her husband. A few things we said really hit him hard. He's in the air force and I thanked him for his service and she said that was great because he's "Mr. G.I. Joe" haha. She invited us for Thanksgiving dinner. NO missionaries have ever had success with her husband. I keep praying his heart will soften. Friday morning we went down to OSU campus for a new missionary training. The greenies got to go on campus and street contact. The trainers had to stay in the institute. I was so bummed but Sister Hicken had a great time. So that's good. And we ate at Panda Express after! Oh man it was delightful. Hadn't had Chinese food in so long! Saturday morning we participated in a service project with the ward and we were raking leaves for some senior citizens in the area. Our new friends, the Donnellys, said we can come over anytime we get homesick and she'll make us some popcorn haha. And Mr. Donnelly played with the Cincinnati Reds baseball team for four years! He has a world series ring! Pretty sweet huh? Later that afternoon we decided to walk up in some neighborhoods and we helped a lady catch her crazy loose dog. Guess what? She said they'll have to come check out our church even though they're pretty active in their church in Fairborn. So many miracles happen when we just are willing to help and serve other people! It's fantastic. We have a baptism on Saturday with our investigator Ray. We're working all week to help get him prepared. I'm pretty excited! We also had dinner with the Miller family last night and they told us to go see their neighbors. Mitch and Katie came to the Trunk or Treat and just loved it and Katie said we'll all have to get together at the Miller's and have a discussion. I promised her that just 15 minutes of their time will really bless their family. Members are the key to missionary work. It doesn't matter how many doors you knock on and how many appointments you have after that, all of my baptisms have been people who have come from members. I love this work and I love Huber Heights. Hearts are truly prepared here.
Love you!
Sister Clark 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Week #21

Hi mom!
My visa did not come. But it's okay. I threw myself a little pity party yesterday and then got over it. Sister Miller was like are you just so grumpy because you're stuck in Ohio? She always brings up how crappy it must be haha so I was just really frustrated yesterday and pretty much almost cried. I just want to be in Brazil. But there's obviously a reason I'm still here. 5 people in Sister Miller's  MTC district got their visas last week and are headed to Brazil. So the process is picking up. Did you know you can check my status online? Just google Brazilian visa status. An elder here did that and that way he knew his visa was coming. I have to have my passport number which I don't know so if you want to look that up in your free time be my guest! Or just email me the number. Thank you so much for the package!  The sweaters and tights and my coat are a LIFE SAVER! It's cold here. It's been down in the 40's low 50's and sometimes 30's. No snow yet though and I don't think it's on the forecast. Which is good. I have a feeling I'll be here for for Christmas. But that's okay I've accepted it. Nobody here wants me to leave anyway so I guess I take that as a pretty  big compliment. Sister Miller really doesn't want me to leave and same with Sister Jensen and Sister Hicken. They all pray for my visa but also pray that it doesn't come haha. Oh well. 
Well my week was pretty good. Monday we had FHE with the Millers at the church and one of the nonmember families that came said we could come over and talk to them about the gospel! We're stopping by this week. I'm super excited. The work is so much better with the members help! Tuesday we had zone conference. It was awesome! Really motivating. We watched this video of this kid who carries his teammate across a whole football field on his back while doing a bear crawl, blindfolded. And the coach the whole time is yelling don't give up, it's all heart from here, I need you, this team needs you. So it was a pretty sweet experience because the whole time I just pictured walking down the street with the savior  feeling his love. It was a good pick me up and made me realize that I really need to step up my game. Even though it's really hard and exhausting, physically and emotionally, it really is all heart from here and we can do hard things with the savior by our side. Later Tuesday night we had dinner with our new investigators the Dowlers. He reminds me a lot of Brett haha. I'm excited to teach them. Miracle this week: We went to go visit a less active and turns out a potential family lives there! The dad talked to us for about 15 minutes on the door step and really needs the comfort that the gospel brings! He said we could come back and teach them more about the plan of salvation and that his wife would most likely be interested as well. We're going to see them this week! Thursday was pretty awful. It poured allllll night. And of course we were tracting and I just got totally soaked. We had a pretty big wind storm that night. I think there was a mini tornado somewhere in the state. Friday night we had a lesson with Shane and Tia. Our new investigators! They don't really attend any church. She never grew up religious and he grew up baptist. We took a new convert, Sister Elrich and she bore an awesome testimony on the Book of Mormon. She said that if you pray about something and don't get a feeling, it means that you already know it's true in your heart. Light bulb! They said we could totally come back and teach them more. Sunday was a rough day, we only had 1 person at church. We had committed seven people! Kind of a bummer but we had an awesome lesson later that afternoon and were kind of just led by the spirit throughout the day. It's now dark at 7 so that makes it kind of hard to tract and go see people. Ohioans love to sleep! They all go to bed early. So we're still trying to figure out something productive to do when it gets dark. We were sitting in the car trying to figure out who to see and I got a thought to go see a referral we had tried to contact weeks ago. The dad was sitting on the porch! And when we walked up he said he's not interested right off the bat but I just pushed through that and we had a really good talk and he got more and more interested as the conversation went on. It was awesome! We gave him a card and said to call us because he still was kind of weary about having us come back but I'm so glad that I listened to that little prompting. Having the companionship of the Holy Ghost is so important in life! 
Well I think that's all. Wish I could have been there for your big work party! Did you get my card yet? hehe. 
Love you!
Sister Clark 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Week #20

Hi mom!
Well my week was just so fantastic! We went on exchanges in Springfield on Tuesday. I love exchanges because I get to see Sister Jensen! And since our district has now changed I don't get to see her every week which is kind of a bummer. I wish that we could have been companions longer than 6 weeks because we just have so much fun and I get super motivated. Oh well. But we rode the bus! My first city bus ride EVER! I was super nervous to talk to people and for the first 20 minutes I tried and tried and everyone near me turned their backs and looked the other way. Depressing. But then this super awesome old man got on and I told him I'm going to Brazil and he sat straight up and started talking to me about missionary work and we talked about the church and I showed him a picture of the temple and he was just amazed and said I totally brightened his day. More like the other way around! I was grateful for him. Then we set out tracting and Sister Johnson is really good at not taking no for an answer and got a return appointment with a guy that's pretty active in his church. And she's since told me that he really wants to learn more! It's so important that we try to tear down those walls when we first meet people instead of just letting them go when they say they're really active or comfortable where they're at. This life is for progression! Not to just sit comfortably. I've taken that into thought as we've been knocking on doors this week. We've been informed that we have to drive to Columbus tomorrow and allot for 116 miles. So we've been walking EVERYWHERE for the past few days because we can't go over miles! It has been so cold but it really softens peoples hearts when we're out knocking doors in the 30 degree weather. Wednesday morning we woke up to snow. It melted by 10 though which I was grateful for. So since we have no miles we've just been building our teaching pool through tracting and this week we have so many contacts to go see! We also had trunk or treat Friday night and it was PACKED. There were so many less actives and non members! Sister Hicken and I passed out candy and anyone we didn't recognize as a member we slipped a mormon.org card in their bucket with our number on it. The ward is starting to become more missionary minded. Hearts are prepared in Huber Heights! That's why we have 3 sets of missionaries. Our investigator Jessica has a baptism date for November 30th. She is the funniest person I've ever met. She just tells it like it is. And it's really easy to be straight forward with her. We're teaching a 7th day Adventist named Karen and she's 70 years old. She told us when we met with her that she believes everything we've been telling her. We're teaching her the Plan of Salvation this week because she's lost both her daughter and her husband. She needs to know her family is eternal! She is so funny and I can tell she's just really lonely. Tonight Sister Miller has set up FHE with 5 families from the ward who are all bringing non members. And she said we have to be there! Done. When members bring friends, it makes it so much better and more rewarding because then those investigators have instant friends and support. Hopefully it goes well tonight!
This week we started a miracle wall in our apartment. Every night we take out post-it notes  and write the miracles from the day. It's really helpful because we're able to see the blessings rather than focus on all of the bad that happened. Because really, a day of missionary work is so long and so many things happen but of course we tend to focus on what didn't go right. Our little miracle wall has really helped to boost my mood and attitude! Even if all we had was one little miracle. One little miracle we had Saturday was we were walking up by the church and it was so cold and all day I was just praying that some nice person would pull over and give us a ride. 5 minutes later a member pulled up and said get in, where are you headed? God answers prayers that's for sure!
No word on my visa yet but November 1st is this Friday! It's funny though because yesterday I was reading an article that talks about having faith in the Lord's timing. It was called "But if not..." by Dennis E. Simmons of the 70. He talks about how we can pray for things to happen but we also have to be willing to say thy will be done and if this isn't your will, I have faith and will accept whatever comes. Then in sacrament meeting a man from the ward got up and talked about the same thing. Coincidence? I think not. So while I'm still praying for my visa, I'm also willing to accept the fact that I just might be here for a little longer than expected. I'm hoping I can get out before the really cold weather, but if not... I have faith in the Lord's timing and there's obviously someone here who's heart is prepared specifically for my testimony.
Love you!
Sister Clark

Monday, October 21, 2013

Week #19

It's freezing! It's been rainy and cold most of the week. I thought my hands were going to fall off. Apparently it's going to snow on Wednesday. I might need to buy myself some boots. Well my trainee is Sister Hicken. She's from Kamas, Utah. Basically Park City. She's super sweet and I love her! We balance each other out really well. She's super personable too. She just lights up at the door and while most people aren't interested, they're at least a little nice. We have 7 missionaries in our ward. How crazy is that?! We had dinner with Cora Louis this week. I love that family. She's so much happier. We've been doing a lot of 2-2-5ing and tracting. We met a lady that has a copy of the Book of Mormon and is currently reading it! Huh?! She's going into the hospital this week and said we could come back in about 4 weeks. Then we met another lady that took 3 of our cards and said she would pass them along to people. Huber Heights is great. We met a girl named Cece that reminds me a lot of my friend Brianne. She goes to a nondenominational church but she invited us in and asked us so many questions. We're going back this week to talk to her more. She has a friend that just converted last year. Remember Steven who I thought was so prepared? I think he got antied. His parents were in town this past week and we haven't been able to meet with him and then he told us to just focus our time on someone else. I'm super sad. But on the bright side Jessica said she would get baptized when she comes to know that all of this is true! And we met a part member family that reminds me of Paul and Katy Behan. Jeremy is a member and is thinking about coming back to church. His wife is super nice too and they have a little boy. With good fellow shipping I think we'll get to teach his wife. They're having us over for dinner on Wednesday. Saturday was a day of miracles! We were so tired Friday night and couldn't think of a lot of things to do so we had a lot of blank spaces Saturday but we never wasted a minute! Everything just worked out the way it was supposed to and we were just totally guided. We got to meet a lot of people. The Millers fed us Brazilian food again last night. So good! And he can make those little cheese balls from Tucanos. I can't wait to get there. I'm definitely going to be here for another 6 weeks because we're on the same transfer schedule as my mission in Brazil. I think I'm going to have to go buy some boots. I'm getting antsy to go to Brazil but I know there are people that I'm here for. Brent came to church again and stayed for Sunday school! We have some really solid investigators that I want to see baptized before I leave! I love this work! Even on the cold, rainy, long, hard days. It's worth it!
Love you!
Sister Clark

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Week #18

Hey mom!
Well this week was busy. We've been teaching Brent but he's very hard headed and has a lot of questions. Questions are good but sometimes I wonder if he just likes to argue. We have a new investigator Jessica, who is hilarious! We showed her the restoration DVD and she was like "that just makes sense". I love hearing that! We watched The Prophet of the Restoration with Kate and Corie and their dad watched it with us! The whole thing! And he loved it! And wants a copy of the movie so they can watch it again! Good thing we have 2 copies so we just gave them our extra one. We also had lunch with a less active. She just texted us out of nowhere and invited us over! They just bought their house and have to do some remodeling so we're going to help her with that. Her husband and daughter are not members. We have a new investigator, Steven, who we met a couple of weeks ago while tracting. We've been back a few times but no one ever answers the door even though they're home! So Wednesday night I felt like we need to go try again. He was home but I was really nervous to go knock on the door just because we've been back so often. I didn't want him to come out and get annoyed and tell us to go away. We almost didn't get out of the car! But then I got over myself and went up and knocked. He answered! He said his girlfriend is afraid to answer the door because they have a drug dealer that lives on their street but he was really hoping that we would come back! We talked with him on his porch for about half an hour. He has a lot of questions that we have answers for! I'm super excited to go back. His girlfriend is interested too and they have a little baby girl. They're really prepared. I can't believe I almost didn't knock! The people we're most afraid to talk to are usually the people who are the most prepared. Also we had dinner with Mariola and Joel again! He had so many questions and he basically made us bear our testimonies the whole time. It was great! They told us they love the spirit that we bring into their home. And Joel doesn't really even agree with most of the catholic beliefs. He pretty much believes the same as us. I want them to get baptized so bad so they can have all the happiness the gospel brings!! I really really love that family. Also our investigator Ray is getting baptized in November!
Kate and Corie got baptized on Saturday. It went great! They couldn't stop smiling and Cora, their mom, is so happy. Now we just need to work on her husband. He's getting there, slowly but surely. His heart is softening.
I got my first flat tire on my mission! We had to have a member come help us change it. Also we were driving last night and there was a horse walking on the road! We almost hit it! SO scary! And we pulled up later that night to a car accident. I'm pretty sure it happened maybe 15 minutes before we got there. There were a lot of people pulled over already helping but it was pretty intense. Also, a less active that we've been working with died of a heart attack last night. Sister Tueller took it pretty hard. They were really close since she's been here for 6 months.
I proudly write to you this week mother and tell you that I've really grown a love for Sister Tueller over these past 6 weeks. It took a lot of patience and changing on my part.  But if one of us gets transferred I'll be sad to split up. We actually do have fun. I really like her as a person.
Anyway I think that's about it. We find out transfers today so I'll send you a letter and tell you whether or not I got transferred.
Love you!
Sister Clark

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Week #17

This week flew by! On Tuesday we rode bikes! It was so fun! Well... I had fun. We met a few potentials from tracting and have appointments with all of them this week. And we're starting to teach a member's neighbor. Let me tell you, I'm so grateful for the conference talks on missionary work because the work moves much faster with the members. I especially loved Elder Ballard's talk where he was like "a lot of you are probably saying oh no not this topic again!" Well obviously the members just don't get it! I am so tired of tracting. We have to do it obviously because we have to find people but it's ineffective and frustrating. We've come up with a new plan to get the members more involved. We're going to make copies of a CD called "The Missionary Next Door". We're going to challenge them to listen to it and then invite someone to a church activity or dinner with the missionaries or just send us over there. It's a really good talk by this lady whose family was so involved in missionary work that they baptized over 30 people! See if you can look up the audio online or else I'll send you a copy of the CD. It's so good!
It was pouring almost everyday this week. I had to buy an umbrella. It's been warm though, except today it's decided to drop to the 50's. I thought Utah whether was bipolar. Try Ohio. It was 80 last week.
We have a new investigator named Brent. He is awesome. He cried when the member that came with us to the lesson bore her testimony. We invited him to the Millers' home for conference and dinner. He didn't come for conference but showed up at 6 for dinner. He got held up on a job and wanted to know what he missed from conference. The Millers are awesome. They just welcomed him in and made him feel at home. We've finally found someone that will keep their appointments! We're also teaching Ray who is starting to develop faith in Christ through reading the Book of Mormon and praying. And the Stoddards, a family in our ward, gave him some things to read in the Bible since he's never read it. He says he wants to get baptized. On Saturday night we met a guy that says he doesn't go to church right now because he believes there's something more than what's contained in just one book. Meaning the Bible. WHAT?! I was so excited and whipped out a pamphlet and the Book of Mormon. He said he'd read the pamphlet but wants to do his searching on his own without anyone else's influence. Which I totally understand. He was way nice and pretty excited by the fact he could get a free Book of Mormon sent to him.
Yesterday morning we got locked out of our apartment. The office was closed and it was pouring. We said a prayer and decided to try the back door. Locked. Then Sister Tueller pulls out a bobby pin and unlocked the door! It was a miracle!
Cora and her girls came to conference at the Gustafsons. Kate and Corie are getting baptized on Saturday! Cora was in tears the whole time she watched conference. I'm so happy she's coming back to church. I absolutely love this area and love this work! I love seeing the change the gospel brings to peoples' lives.
Love you lots mom!  Transfers are next Tuesday. We find out Monday.
Sister Clark

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Week #16

This week was a slow week. A less active family took us to the Roadhouse on Monday! So good as always. We're going to have to back off from teaching Jessica. She needs to gain a testimony of Christ on her own before we can really teach her anything else. We had exchanges on Tuesday with Sisters Jensen and Johnson. I got to be with Sister Jensen the whole time! It was so fun! I really miss her. On Wednesday we were going to have a day full of lessons. We had 6 lessons planned and only 1 person kept their appointment. But it was actually a blessing in disguise because we were able to do some service for a less active Cora Louis. Guess what we did? Stacked hay bales in their barn! Thank you so much for teaching me how to work! I felt like I was at home, it was great. And now we're teaching her 2 daughters. And they're getting baptized on Oct 12th! We helped them with hay 3 times this week. We actually went out to the field and picked up hay bales and put them on the trailer. My arms are killing me! 

We also found 3 potentials from tracting this week. These potentials we keep finding need to turn into investigators! But nobody keeps their appointments! It's really frustrating. 

We watched the Relief Society Broadcast Saturday night. Wasn't it so good?! I have to tell you, though, that at the time grandma died I was sitting in the chapel and I could feel her sitting next to me. I knew she was gone. Sister Miller broke the news yesterday in Sacrament Meeting. I read the Facebook post. The rest of church was a bit of a blur but I'm so grateful for eternal families, that we know the Plan of Salvation and I know where she is and what she's doing. I had the rest of church to get myself together to be ready to get out and work. And Cora Louis's husband came to sacrament meeting! It was a miracle! The week after conference we're going to try to get him to stay for all 3 hours! So even though the week was a little slow, miracles are happening in Huber Heights. The Lord and I make a pretty good team. 

I love this work, the church is true!

Sister Clark 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Week #15

Christmas will come before you know it. I'm excited to talk to all of you! Hopefully I'll be in Brazil by then and hopefully I can skype. President doesn't allow skyping here in this mission. I don't know why. So if I'm still here it'll just be a phone call but that's better than nothing! September is flying by and pretty soon it'll be December and I'll have been out for 6 months! That's so crazy!
Well this week was extremely long. We had a lot of people drop us. But when one door closes another one opens and we found 3 new potential investigators this week. People who seem really solid. Monday for p-day we went to Young's Dairy Farm with Jackie, Whitney, and Sister Miller and their families. It was so fun! And they had goats there that I fed. It was awesome. Smelled just like home. Sister Miller's daughter is crazy haha she's almost 18 months and we had ice cream and she was hugging the cone and wouldn't let Sister Miller have any of it. It was hilarious! I'm sure she put pictures on facebook. 
We had a dinner with a less active that night and she told us some amazing spiritual experiences she's had. She can't come to church because she works every Sunday but we challenged her to read the Book of Mormon everyday and pray for Heavenly Father to give her an opportunity to go to church. She has home and visiting teachers and I can tell she really has a desire to come back. She just works a lot. She is the nicest lady! Afterwards I got the prompting to go see Amber, a potential investigator and she was home! And we were able to set up a chapel tour with her! She then cancelled right before the tour on Thursday but still we haven't been able to get hold of her and I'm glad I listened to the spirit! 
Tuesday was a weird day. We were out tracting and every street we chose we knocked on one door and then looked at the rest of the street and had a super strong feeling it would be unproductive. Later that night we were tracting around a member's home and then we found our new investigator Nikki! So we had two streets of members in mind and we were going to pick the other member but a lady in the ward texted us and told us to tell Brother Richardson that she was in the hospital. So we picked the Richardson's house to tract around instead of the other member and then we found Nikki! And then we felt like we didn't need to knock on anyone else's door because we found who were supposed to find. The Lord works in mysterious ways. So we had a chapel tour with Nikki and she came to church!  
Thursday night we had a lesson with Jessica and we found that she doesn't really have any faith in Christ. We are backing way up and basically starting over with her. We have to take it really slow with her and we told her that she needs to read the BoM. We read her Alma 37:9 and said she has to do her part to gain that faith. We really can't teach her anything else until she gets a desire to know. Friday not one of our lessons fell through! We saw Reggie who just finished up finals for nursing. It went so well and he really wants to grow up and start changing his life. Then we had dinner with Sister Floyd's friend Mariola. It was so good! Her husband says he has a lot of questions so we're going to go back and answer them and teach them more! Mariola and Joel go to all of the church activities and she goes to Super Saturday and she taught a Relief Society enrichment night even! They're catholic and pretty active in their church but I want to teach them so bad! They are wonderful people. We were saying goodbye to them and I reached out to shake Joel's hand and he says "we hug people after we meet them" so he hugged me and gave me a kiss on the cheek! I didn't know what to do since we're not supposed to hug males. But that's how their culture is so I just went with it. 
Oh Saturday was a day of new experiences! I got my first door slammed in my face. He was atheist. And then we almost got hit by a car! We were at a stop sign and this lady wasn't paying attention and turned left but turned too sharp and almost hit us head on. Ohio drivers are worse than Utah drivers. Sunday afternoon we decided to tract the Floyd's neighborhood. We got two return appointments! The first guy was WAY nice and he was like "the Floyd's are really good examples and I want to learn more about their church, do you have any literature?" WHAT?! We told him Sister Floyd would bring him a BoM and we're teaching him next week. I never knew the impact we have on our neighbors or people we know. Everyone notices us and as long as we are the best examples of the savior that we can be, we'll help bring others closer to Christ and the gospel. Don't be afraid to share it with people! 
Well I love you a lot! I always look forward to your emails.
Sister Clark

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Week #14

It was so hot Tuesday morning. We were tracting for two hours and it was like 90 degrees at 10 am! What the heck?? 
We had a lesson with our new investigator Dionna. She tried to cancel on us the night before and we said we're here to add truths and blessings not change your religion. So she said we could still come over. The lesson was great. We taught her the restoration and then we told her about temples. She loved that our families can be together forever because she said she's always said to her husband that she doesn't want to be lost to him after this life. I'm so glad I listened to the Spirit and pulled out a picture of the Salt Lake Temple. I don't normally do that in the first lesson but I felt that she needed to hear it. Later that night we had a lesson with Brandy finally! We've never been actually able to sit down and have a lesson but it was awesome! We taught her the Plan of Salvation, which brought a lot of peace to her mind because she has loved ones that have passed on. After Brandy we watched 17 Miracles with Jackie. We're doing a countdown to her baptism where we do an activity with her everyday until she gets baptized. She really liked how the movie puts into perspective what the early saints went through for this gospel. I love that movie. Everybody should watch it if they haven't yet.  
Wednesday we had zone meeting and learned how to do chapel tours. It was super helpful and then we had a lesson with Abi, who came to church on Sunday!!! I was so happy she decided to come! Then we went to the temple grounds with Jackie. She is super excited to go in. We've been working on family history with her a couple of times so that she can take names and do baptisms. And she already has plans for next year to go to Nauvoo and go through. Thursday we had interviews with President and training. I really like training because I learn so much! We practiced door approaches and teaching with questions and setting expectations before a lesson so that we can keep our investigators focused and on track. We're trying to cut our lessons down to 25 minutes and keep them that way. Interviews lasted about 2 minutes per missionary because there were about 30+ missionaries President had to get through. Then afterwards we got to go to the temple! That's the first time I've felt at home my whole mission. I could have stayed there forever. The Columbus Temple is really small but it's beautiful. Friday we had dinner with Jackie and met her friend Whitney who is the one that referred her to us! Whitney is awesome and I'm so grateful for her and her example to Jackie. 
We also finally got a hold of Matt and Jill, our investigators who had a baby about 5 weeks ago. We have an appointment with them on Tuesday. We almost put them on the back burner. Hopefully we can still continue to teach them. I would just like to say that I have a testimony of tracting. Saturday morning we found 3 new investigators before 11:30 am just from knocking doors. It's awesome! The Lord really blessed us that morning by leading us to super prepared people who have been looking for a church to go to. We also had Jackie's baptism at 4. Sister Jensen was able to come and guess who else was there? President! That's super rare. It's because Jackie's so special and super awesome. The baptism was great. I sang Come Thou Fount and I almost cried in the middle when I looked at Jackie. And I almost cried when she got baptized. I'm just so happy for her! Not just because she's my investigator but also because she's my friend and I've been able to watch her grow her faith and act on that faith by following the example of our Savior. It was a great week. Also on Friday we got a referral from a member and we have a return appointment on Tuesday! I love when members are so involved in missionary work. Ohio has also decided to get cold. It was hot hot hot at the beginning of the week and now it's in the 60's. Sweet. I'm so grateful for this work and for our savior. I know he lives and that he loves us. I know that if we're faithful and work hard, we receive blessings and miracles can happen.
So if you could send maybe my purple 3/4 sleeve sweater and maybe have Holley help you pick out some other clothes. If you can find my tan sweater that has the holes in it and send my blue and white striped shirt that we got from H&M that would be sweet. They go really cute together. But you can wait to send them with the flash drives if you want. I'm going to good will today to get some plain black and brown skirts. Also if you could send back the straight brown one that holds in the heat they'd be awesome as well. I don't think it's going to get too cold too fast. Everyone says this is pretty normal for Ohio and it should warm back up. But cold days are starting to come.
Love you mom!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Week #13

Can you believe September is already almost halfway over? Where is the time going?! I want to tell you about my neighbors! I forgot to mention that we had a little, well, big leak in our apartment a few weeks ago so Sister Jensen and I ran over to our next door neighbor and asked if they had the maintenance number. Their names are Nathan and Alex. While Alex was getting the number Nathan says "nice night isn't it ladies?". He's mentally handicapped but we were cracking up! He's so awesome. Then Alex comes back and we ask him if he's religious. He says yes I'm baptist and then he says you are catholic? And we said no we're Mormons. Pause... Alex gets all fumbled and says oh well uh good night. Oh man we were cracking up. But we see Nathan everywhere! In the morning on our way back on our run we see him and he always says good morning ladies. They're great. Nathan looks like Napoleon Dynamite. Nuff said. 
 We saw Brandy Wednesday night and her sister was a mess. She has 4 kids and she is drunk all the time. Brandy basically takes care of the kids. It was a rough night and Brandy is just drowning in that situation. She's decided she needs to move out. Hopefully she does it soon and she's applying for a job! Thursday we set out to tract for my first time. We've been visiting formers and potentials and less actives for the past 6 weeks. Honestly, I don't mind tracting. It makes for some good stories and some people are really nice and you find people who are prepared! We found 3 potentials that day and we have a return appointment. 
Then we started Jackie's 10 Day Baptismal Plan which is basically like a countdown to her baptism. So we do an activity with her everyday. I love Jackie. She's so golden and she's our relaxing investigator. If we have a bad day, it's always better after we go to Jackie's. She just doesn't let anything get in the way of baptism. It's great! She knows where her priorities are. We had dinner with a less active young woman, Riley and her parents aren't members and her grandma who is active said her parents are probably ready to meet with the missionaries again. I hope so! We need to find more people to teach! 
We also finally got in contact with Trisha, a girl who's mom is less active. She's just so busy with work all the time but she really wants to come to church. We're going to see her again this week. Sunday was hectic. Well, church is always hectic. Kristin came! She came to church like 4 weeks ago and has been blowing us off and she finally came and brought her mom. Her mom LOVED IT. And she wants to get baptized. Of course we have to teach her what that really entails, but basically she's all for it. Kristin needs to just stop cancelling all of our appointments because the other day she asked us how she can get baptized. Hmm, maybe call us back, I don't know. So we have an appointment with her tomorrow. If she cancels, we might just have to put her on the back burner. 
Sunday night we saw a friend of one of the members and we're having dinner with her next week! The ward calls her family adopted Mormons. Their catholic and have met with missionaries before but I'm hoping we can get through to them. Her name is Mariola and she is the sweetest lady ever! They're from Puerto Rico.
Anyway, we had a mission wide p-day luau event today in Columbus and it was a lot of fun. It got my mind off of all the stress and I was able to interact with other people. Being with one person constantly can be pretty draining. Being a missionary is stressful, but I really do love it. I wouldn't be doing anything else right now. I know that this is a priority at this time in my life. Bringing people the message of the restored gospel is so important. These people don't even know! And I'm convinced the atonement is the only thing that can save this country. I love this work, I know Christ lives and that he loves us. I'm so grateful for the atonement and the knowledge that I have of this gospel. Everyone needs it!
Love you!
Sister Clark

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Week #12

What a week! I would just like to say how grateful I am for a clean house and that you raised me to clean up after myself. I'm definitely seeing a whole new world and other side of living out here. We watched the Restoration with our investigator Abi and she believes everything we've taught her! She's Muslim and I guess her religion is pretty similar to ours with believing in prophets. But she's still really hesitant to get baptized. I think we need to get her husband on board. 
Sister Duncan, whose husband is active, has been to church 3 weeks in a row! I'm so excited every time I see her there. They took us to Texas Roadhouse last night for dinner. They're awesome. 
Wednesday we were on exchanges in Springfield and we were in a lesson with this lady named Nikki and she accepted baptism! After an hour of us talking of course. She said she would really like to be baptized by someone who holds that proper authority, meaning the priesthood. It really helped to have a priesthood holder there to explain that to her. Then we had her pray to know if the date we chose was right for her. I have never heard a more sincere prayer in my life. She was the perfect example of someone who gives their whole heart to God. It was such a beautiful prayer. I teared up. And now she's getting baptized!   Our investigator Floyd dropped us this week. But he said it won't be the last we hear of him. I hope not! Floyd is awesome, he just needs to open his heart a bit more. 
Our investigator Samantha came to church, and a less active, Sister Bernhard! We're going to get her to the temple. And Samantha has a baptismal date! Also, I've been sick all week with a head cold. It's been rough. I had so much pressure in my head on Sunday, it was rough. But that didn't stop me from doing the Lord's work! We had a labor day brunch with the ward and it was a huge success! So many members came and brought their friends! There's a lady in our ward, Sister Pedersen. She's a convert and she's been through a lot. And she has her testimony written out and has a ton of copies in her car and she hands them out to people! She's so great! She said after she got baptized she asked the ward for Book of Mormons and she mailed them to everyone she knew. The ward had to stop giving her copies because she would run out so fast, she's the best missionary I've ever met! 
Last night we had a lesson with Jessica and read 3 Nephi 11 with her. She's super stubborn and we're not sure what that one thing is that needs to click. I think she's just going to be one of those people that takes a while. But her husband said the closing prayer and he said at the end "please bless that wherever the sisters go that they will be loved as much as they are here". It was the nicest thing ever! I really love that couple. Kyle is a member and Jessica really loves how much the gospel makes him happy. She loves church. I don't know what's holding her up.
Transfers are tomorrow and every one's getting all sentimental not us haha it's great! I love this work and I love Huber Heights. I don't want to leave! So pray really hard I don't get transferred.
Te amo 
Sister Clark

August 30, 2013

Missionary Department
50 E North Temple ST 3WW 

Salt Lake City, UT 84150-5400

Sister Taylor Kay Clark 
19 Clairedan Dr
Powell OH 43065 
 United States

Dear Sister Clark:
                                                                Visa Status

Thank you for your diligent service in the Ohio Columbus Mission. We know that, during this time of waiting, you have gained valuable experience in faith, knowledge, and perseverance that will help you feel the blessings of our Heavenly Father in your work. The people you are working with are truly blessed because of your service.

We continue to work through established procedures to obtain your visa to Brazil. Church Travel tracks the progress of your visa, is in regular contact with the consulate of Brazil, and receives on-going updates as to your visa status. Your current mission president will be notified as soon as your visa is granted.

May the Lord bless you as you continue to focus in your current assignment and strive to reach out to those who are seeking the truth.


Eduardo Gavarret

Assistant Executive Director

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Week #11

Monday we saw Brandi, our investigator, and she forgot we were coming. She was drunk and on her way out to see a friend. Sweet. We talked to her for a bit and told her what our purpose as missionaries is. She thought it was really beautiful so we set up another time to see her.

Then on Tuesday we did service for a potential investigator, Abi. She has 6 kids! I have never been so grateful for a clean house in my life. You have no idea how many dirty, well, filthy, houses I've cleaned. Oh man it's hard work. But she was really grateful for it because she has no time to clean the house. She has a 5 month old and she works and so does her husband. She's a busy lady. Anyway she's Muslim but believes in Jesus Christ, so I don't know what that's all about and we taught her the plan of salvation and she loved it. We also talked to her about temples and how we can be with our families forever. But she doesn't want to get baptized because that would mean she'd have to convert obviously and she wants to be Muslim but she loves the gospel. I think she's confused.

Then on Wednesday we saw this lady Alicia who is baptist and loves the lord. She's black haha she's awesome. She really liked our message but said she was going to decline but if we ever wanted to come and praise Jesus her door is always open. She's great. Then we had a lesson with Delores who has just decided to move on campus at Wright State. So now she's going to the singles ward and the elders over there are going to teach her :( We're super sad but she does need to be in a ward where there are people that go to school with her.

That night we had some men from the ward come and give blessings to our investigator and her kids before they started school. The spirit was so strong in that room! And her daughter wants to be baptized but Ashley is still skeptical. And she won't come to church. I know she knows there's something good about this gospel, we just need to teach her a bit more and help her gain a testimony.

Then we had a lesson with Brandi, she had been drinking all day but we really got through to her. She's been through A LOT of stuff and she was sober drinking for 5 years. She said she doesn't know where to start and she has no support from her sister that she lives with and she's super depressed. We talked to her about the savior and his atonement and she was like are you serious? He's felt everything I'm feeling? We were like yes! She was blown away. So many people say they know about Christ and that he died on the cross but I don't think a lot of people really understand that he suffered for our sins and knows every pain we've ever felt. It's interesting. But we told her we're here to support her and we told her she's got to get her own place because it's such a bad environment in there. She said we'll take it one day at a time and she made it to church! She's been sober for 2 whole days. This past year she's been drunk everyday so that's a really big deal! She absolutely loved church and we told her about the temple and she is just in love with this gospel. I'm hoping she can stick with everything! I was super drained after that lesson. You know in the Book of Mormon when it talks about how someone is so overcome with the spirit that they sleep for 3 days? That's how I felt. But of course I can't sleep for 3 days. I wish. But we got to go to Jackie's after that, which always lifts my spirits because she's so solid. We taught her how to do family history and she has 5 generations in her family still alive. It's pretty incredible. And her grandma has already started with family history which is awesome. We want her to be able to take family names to the temple. She seemed pretty excited about it and when she was signing up she had to check the non member box but then she was like I get to change that in 2 weeks right? She's so awesome!

Saturday we had a lesson with Floyd and we brought Brother Bristow who related to him so well! They're the same age and Brother Bristow was baptist before he converted. He pretty much taught the whole lesson. It was awesome. I wish we had more members willing to come out to lessons with us. We walked around the neighborhood after that lesson. It was HOT on Saturday. We walked for 3 hours. It was really nice because we were able to stop and talk to people that we normally wouldn't get to talk to when driving a car. I want to walk more often first of all because it's good exercise and second of all you see so many people and people see you and know that you exist! It's great!

Then we taught George, who we haven't seen in a long time! His wife and daughter moved out last weekend, we were super surprised because his wife was the one who wanted the missionaries over in the first place. It's really sad. But he opened up to us a lot and he read out loud and prayed out loud! And he's coming to church next Sunday! It's been an exhausting week but I love this work! I need to be more outgoing and confident so that's my focus for this upcoming week. Oh also 2 sisters here in the mission who have been waiting for their visas for 4 months are leaving next Monday for Brazil. Things are speeding up!

Love you!
Te amo
Sister Clark

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Week # 10

It's been quite a week. We have 4 new investigators! Miracles are happening. On Monday we had a lesson with Floyd. He showed us all of his life's accomplishments. He's so humble haha. But one thing that was cool was that he got to see Jackie Robinson play for the Brooklyn Dodgers when he was a kid! He's a huge baseball fan. Floyd is pretty set in his ways with religion and we just can't seem to get through to him. He tried to drop us on Saturday but we're not having it! We'll give him another chance and we're just going to read the Book of Mormon with him next time since he says it's really confusing. We ate at Waffle House for the first time on Tuesday. It is so good! We went with a less active who is so sweet and calls us all honey. She can't go to church because her husband is baptist. A LOT of women members are married to baptists. I don't get it.
Miracles for the week:
We had a lesson with Ashley and she wanted us to teach her daughter the plan of salvation because she's been bullied at school and she thinks it will bring her some comfort. It was amazing! We told her she's a daughter of God and all about why we have trials and she wants to be baptized! Then one of the members, Sydney who's holding the teal purse in the picture, set up a chapel tour for her friend, Delores and it went so well. She had a huge smile on her face when we walked into the chapel. She also attended a baptism this week and loved the restoration DVD they played. She says she wants to be baptized when she knows what we're teaching is true! She is super prepared. Then we went to go see a former investigator and she has been through A LOT in her life. She met a member on a plane who sent the missionaries a year ago to her house and we showed up at the perfect time. She definitely wants us to come back and teach her. We also had dinner with a couple in our ward and the wife is less active.  She came to church on Sunday! What a miracle. Next thing we're going to do is get her to the temple. We also hit a break through with Jessica. She told us that she believes Jesus Christ is her savior and the next time we come she wants us to read the Book of Mormon with her so that she can gain some understanding. We're not giving up on her. She said she's not ready to be baptized but then she said YET. That's huge for Jessica! So we just have to be patient with her. She also told us she wants us to teach her niece, so we've started teaching her and she is super prepared. I think us teaching her will really help Jessica. One more miracle for the week: We met with a less active lady who said she wants to start coming back to church. And she wants to go to the temple! We're definitely going to get her there.
These miracles make all the hard moments worth it because we have had to drop our 9 year old investigator who gets no support from his mom, who is a convert. And the Filipino family we were teaching dropped us. I always say when we get in the car Satan: 1 Missionaries: 0. I keep score haha. One day I was just like, Sisters, Satan hates us. And it was actually kind of funny because the next day we had specialized training and President gets up and says Elders and Sisters look, Satan hates you. We were trying so hard not to laugh! Because it's so true! He does not want this work to progress so he's going to do whatever it takes to harden peoples' hearts and make it more discouraging for us. The other day Sister Tueller asked us if we got a phone call saying we had the option of going home, would we stay? It was a weird thing to think about. And I just said there's nothing at home for me right now. I know this is where I'm supposed to be and I'm doing the most important work of my life. Why would I leave before my time is up? I love this work and I love when we teach people and they just get it and say it makes sense because it does! Everything about this gospel makes sense. And I just wish more people could see it! I love this gospel and I love the Lord.

 Te amo!
Sister Clark

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Week #9

I really love Ohio. I'm a little bit attached to it and speaking English is SO NICE! There are some days where I want my visa and some days where I don't. haha. Oh I think I'm allergic to the mosquitoes here. I had to go buy benadryl last night because my left foot and leg have been swelling up where I've been bit. The bugs are out like crazy!  I loved the pictures you sent. They were funny and my comps got a kick out of them. Well here's my week READ CAREFULLY
This week was long and tiring. But we found a good Thai restaurant and we're going again today! We had a chapel tour with our investigator Stephen on Tuesday and we asked a member to come with us just in case Stephen's dad was there too.
We had a lesson with a little boy who's nine but he doesn't want to be baptized until he's 14. His mom is a convert but she's not being very supportive about going to church. It's super weird. So I don't know what we're going to do because her sons are so sweet but he's just not progressing. On Wednesday we weeded for this lady, Pat, who runs a community garden. Oh my gosh it was so hot and I've never seen so many weeds in my life! It took us an hour to just do one little square. We had plastic shovels and the ground was super hard. So that's why it took so long. And Sister Tueller kind of just stood there and I had to be like Sister Tueller if I look up one more time and you're just standing there I'm gonna be super mad! Yeah she didn't get back to work after that. Oh well. She's from the burbs and Sister Jensen and I are from the country so we know how to pull weeds. I had tomato soup for the first time on Wednesday and I've decided that I love tomato soup. Who knew! And we dipped grilled cheese in it. It was sooooo good. Thursday we had a lesson with our investigator Jessica. Her husband is a member and he volunteered to say the opening prayer! It was awesome. And they took us out for ice cream. So Jessica is fascinated with Buddhism. Her friend is Buddhist and after asking her what she likes about it, we've realized that she believes all of the same things that Mormons believe in! And her husband was like you can totally be a Buddhist Mormon and we're like yeah! As long as you don't believe in reincarnation and stuff like that. Which she doesn't. So we're just trying to get her to see the similarities and she has a lot of really good questions. She's awesome, I love teaching her. Saturday was a really long day. We had all of our appointments fall through and each one we had invited members so I felt so bad that they drove out to the lessons and the people weren't even home! But we did find a few potential investigators that day. And Sister Miller's husband went to Brazil on his mission so he cooked us Brazilian food Saturday night. Oh my goodness it was so good. We had this soup that has a bunch of shredded pork, sausage, and beans. Then you put it over rice and put other stuff on it and he made the cheese balls from Tucanos. So you should tell Bryce to make those for Jordyn. Best meal ever. And we had another family from the ward join us at the Miller's so it was really fun. Both families have the cutest kids! I just want to pick them up and it's killing me that we're not allowed to hold kids :(. Sunday morning we cooked breakfast for our investigator Kristin and her son Anthony. She loved church and she said she's definitely coming back! She's so sweet and she was so surprised how nice we were to her and how nice everybody was. It's amazing. Oh also our investigators Matt and Jill had their baby girl this past week! So we dropped by yesterday to bring cookies and we got to see the baby. Their kids were super happy when we showed up with a plate full of cookies. They are the sweetest people and I hope we get to meet with them soon. It's a little hard since they just had a baby and we don't want to bombard them but they are super prepared people and they asked for us to say a prayer for them and the baby before we left and I got to say it. It was a little intimidating but I did it and they're just the greatest people! So that was my week. I'm really excited for this upcoming week because we have 2 referrals from a girl in the ward and one from the elders. We're starting to gain the trust of the members and respect from the elders. I love this work even though it can be really discouraging at time. Especially when people are super rude and don't want to talk to you. I just wish everybody knew how important this gospel is!
Te amo!
Sister Clark

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Week #8


Well it was another beautiful week in the great Ohio and we have seen so many miracles! The ward fast is rally helping. Monday for lunch we went to Chipotle and the workers LOVED what we are doing out here. We got free drinks and chips! It was awesome. Then on Tuesday we had lunch with a less active. She knows how to cook a meal. It was delicious. She said she wants to start coming back to church. She and her family were really offended a few years ago. I hope she sees the light! Then we were out one night and Sister Tueller says we need to go see Matt. Sister Jensen and I were like uhhh who is Matt?! So we go see Matt and his wife Jill is expecting a baby and they're looking for a church to agree on to raise their baby. They are super prepared people! Jill looks and sounds just like Emily Maynard from the Bachelorette haha She's so cute! Then the next day we were going to see a potential investigator and instead we met Kristin who has been looking for a church to go to but she's too afraid to go by herself. So I was like perfect you can come with us! She's super excited. Her mom and sister want to come too. And then we went to see a referral from the Elders and this man has been looking for a church and wants to learn more about the gospel. AND THEN we saw another referral from the elders and this woman and her husband are all in and so excited to learn and come to church. People are just falling into our laps! God is real. We have been so blessed. The members are awesome. Most of our investigators are solid. We do have some that are really struggling though. We have one that's going back and forth between us and Buddhist. But she's really making sure she finds out the truth for herself, which I appreciate because she can't just take our word for it. The less actives are what make me the most sad though because at one point they had a testimony and then they just let themselves get offended. So many people have been offended! We've been explaining to them the blessings of church and how the people aren't perfect. People are going to make mistakes or be judgemental but we have to remember that the gospel is perfect, it's unchanging, and most importantly, it's true. If only people could realize that! It's so frustrating! We're just trying to be welcoming and inviting and show that the ward has changed a lot. Which it has because it's a military ward and people are constantly moving out and in.
So here's a funny story from the week: We saw this potential the other day and his dad came out to talk to us. This guy was a little crazy. He started talking about being prepared for Armageddon and using HAM radio and then he asked if we believe in the big bang theory. Sister Tueller goes yes! Sister Jensen and I were like uhhhhh and this man goes OK what is it? And Sister Tueller goes oh I thought you were talking about the TV show. Hahahaha you should have seen this guy's face! It was hilarious. Anyway he's trying to get us to get our HAM radio licenses and we're like sir, we don't have time for that. It was a very interesting conversation.
Well I sure do love you a lot momma! And I miss you! But don't worry, I'm not homesick and I don't plan on coming home until December 9, 2014. It makes me sad how many people Sister Tueller knows that have all gone home. She almost went home too. But I know why I'm here and I knew that this mission wasn't going to be "peaches and cream". I love it here! The people are very humble and I've come to appreciate a lot of things I had back home. I know this gospel is true without a doubt in my mind! Love you!
Sister Clark
P.S. Here's some pictures. There are corn fields EVERYWHERE! Sister Jensen and I bought a dozen ears of corn.... it was only $5! And it's all sweet corn. It doesn't need butter or salt or anything. Best thing I've ever tasted!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Week #7

Well I'm in The Great Ohio. Apparently it's the best mission in the world. We'll see.
Well this week has just been awesome! The last night at the MTC was really good. We sang God Be With You Til We Meet Again as a district, those who were left anyway, and the elders made me sing the first verse by myself. Apparently they really like my voice. I miss all of them! We woke up bright and early and left at 2:30. If only the church knew that the Delta airline people don't get on duty to check bags until 4:30. We were waiting in line FOREVER! I sat next to this cute little Peruvian lady on my flight from Atlanta to Ohio. She kept asking me questions about the church and then kept asking where I would be in Ohio. I was about to give her a Book of Mormon until Elder Clark stole my thunder and gave her one. But the funny thing is that she looked at me and then I gave her a nod and a little nudge and then I took down her information and said I would come by and see her to teach her more if I was in the area. I gave the information to the assistants. So I got my first referral on the plane! Unfortunately, I'm not in her area. Hopefully she's open to hearing the gospel. I met my trainer on Thursday and I'm actually in a trio. My trainer has been out for 3 months and my other companion has been out for 5. We're a lot alike. And my trainer knows the Kidmans! Such a small world. She's from Shelley, Idaho. So we've really been working on going to see less actives, part member families, and former investigators. President doesn't like us to tract because it's ineffective and a waste of time. I agree. However, we did do a bit of tracting. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful. But we do have 8 investigators and one of them is getting baptized! She is golden! I love her. She was a referral from her friend and on the first day she was like yeah of course I'll get baptized. I want everything my friend has. It's awesome! And we had 4 investigators come to church. The work is just moving along. Also, I believe in miracles. Apparently nothing was really working and moving here before I got to the area. The members are doing a 40 day fast and I think they're about half way through. But it's working! Peoples' hearts are being softened and we're having dinner with 3 less actives that I guess my trainer and her comp could never get hold of. Members are so important! This ward is so awesome. Church was great and all of the members are pretty missionary oriented. I'm hoping they're willing to work with us! Funny story: so yesterday we went over to a member's house to drop something off and her neighbor was their and she was the cutest lady! She reminded me of Minny from The Help and she was like Oh I can't see you down there in Brazil. And she made me recite the first vision in Portuguese and she said my voice was so soothing and that the language was really pretty. Then we told her the first vision in English and she was like I just feel so good! And we were like yeah you can totally feel the spirit. So then we said hey can we come by and teach you more and she just straight up goes "No." and then laughs. This member in our ward has been working on her for ages I guess and she just has no interest. But she knows so much and she's so awesome! She said I can come back and speak more Portuguese to her, though. Also, I guess there's a couple of Brazilian people in the area. I need to find them!!! We taught a Filipino family last night. Our lesson was super long but we have members that speak Tagalog so they translate for us. The dad asks A LOT of questions but he's actually starting to become more accepting of what we teach. The church is true! And I love Ohio. It's going to be really hard to leave because the people are so nice and it looks like Washington here and I love the Mission President! But I'm also praying for my visa every night.
 I'm loving it! I love this work and I love seeing the change in people.
Te amo!
Sister Clark

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Week #6

Well my week was pretty awesome.
Tuesday night devotional was delivered by Elder Richard E. Hinckley. One of the sisters in my district is President Hinckley's great granddaughter so Richard Hinckley is her great uncle. Luckily, I was on an exchange for the choir with this sister and I got to meet Elder Hinckley and his wife! They are the sweetest people ever and he looks so much like President Hinckley. Ah it was the best! And his talk was awesome. After devotional we took the first MTC group photo in the Marriott EVER. I'm a true pioneer. It's pretty sweet.
Our district got to host on Wednesday which means we meet new missionaries at the curb and help them with their suitcases and getting their books and everything. I met a sister going to Spokane and a sister going to New Hampshire. And I hosted an international missionary. She was from Korea and didn't speak any English. I've never used my hands so much in my life! Haha she had no idea what I was saying most of the time. And I couldn't even tell her that I thought her outfit was cute. Which, it was. So sad. She was really overwhelmed, I could tell, so I just tried to reassure her about the MTC in any way I could. Also Wednesday my companion's brother joined us for dinner because he's a teacher at the MTC. I'm so glad she got to spend a little bit of time with him. 
Thursday we had in-field orientation. It was 8 1/2 hours! I was literally so exhausted at the end of the day. I've never been so tired in my life! And all we did was sit. It was draining but actually really helpful for preparing to go out into the field. Friday we learned how to street contact. I'm so awkward!! But the more I practiced the more comfortable I got and I actually found that I can say a lot more in Portuguese on the spot than I thought. It was a neat little experience. That night we got our reassignments and our teacher read them aloud to us one by one. We have 3 sisters going to New Jersey, one Elder going to Florida, one going to Texas, one to Las Vegas, and then the 3 elders going to Belem are going to Columbus with me! And then 2 elders, and 1 sister going to Brazil.
Sunday we sang in church because we were the leaving district and we sang Come Thou Fount. Our elders have come a long way. They sounded so good! I was so proud of them and every time we sang it for our teachers it just brought the spirit and we even made Irmao Cannon tear up. Oh I sliced my leg on a staple sticking out of a corner of a stage Sunday night. I had blood like gushing out of my leg. It was pretty nasty. It's a little sore still but healing quite nicely. Sunday night we watched the Character of Christ by Elder Bednar. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO GO LOOK UP THIS TALK RIGHT NOW. It's seriously the best thing I've ever heard in my life and  it totally changed my view on everything I've ever done and has changed my life. Seriously, go watch it. You can't read it because it's not the same. We had one last district prayer all together after  watching that and the spirit was so strong in that room. I am so fortunate to know these missionaries. They are all so wonderful and going to be amazing!
Monday I put Sister Sender on a bus to Brazil. I was so sad to say goodbye to her! Sister Garner, my other comp, left early that morning so we said our goodbyes the night before. I'm going to miss them so much! So all of the sisters in my district left yesterday morning so I have this nice little solo sticker on my plaquetta. Basically it just means I can be in a room full of elders by myself. It was actually kind of fun being solo. And the elders took very good care of me yesterday. They waited to walk with me to meal times and waited for me to finish my food and held the doors open for me and they're just the sweetest group of young men I've ever met. I'm kind of glad I got a bit of time to just spend with them by myself. And there were only 7 of us left so we all sat in a circle for class. Leaving the MTC is bittersweet. I'm so excited but so sad to leave my fellow missionaries and my teachers! Sister Steinbiegle and I got to teach each other last night and we just asked each other questions, prepared a short message, and then taught each other by the spirit. I love helping people! Because even though I was teaching her as herself, I was still able to help her with something in her life. And she did the same for me. The number one thing she taught me is to listen with love.
I report bright and early tomorrow morning at 2:30. I cannot wait to get to Columbus!
Te amo
Sister Clark