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

Friday, July 19, 2013


Sister Clark:
At this time, we have not received your visa to travel to your mission. You will be serving a temporary assignment in the Ohio Columbus Mission until your visa arrives. Please e-mail your family as soon as possible to give them all travel information.
COLUMBUS OHIO can you believe it????????? I'm so completely excited!! Plus I have a friend currently serving in this mission. All of the elders in my district serving in Belem have also been reassigned to this mission so I will be in good company on the way to Ohio. It's so crazy to think that this call is as inspired as my original mission call and I am ecstatic to serve the people of Columbus for however long the Lord needs me there. I'm so overwhelmed but in a very very good way!
Travel Info:
I will be departing salt Lake at 6 am so I will be calling before I take off so just be up and have your phone on you! I land in Dallas at 9:40 and don't depart until 11:45 so I'll probably call you in Dallas as well. So just have your phone turned up as loud as you can! I land in Columbus at 3 pm. I'm getting a phone card from the bookstore that costs $5. I'll probably get a few of these.
Love you so much mommy!!!!!
Sister Clark 
I'm departing the MTC Wednesday July 24th. I forgot to tell you that. I'm not leaving tomorrow so please take note!!!!!! My pday is on Tuesday so I'll be doing emailing then and I leave that Wednesday. I can't believe I forgot to tell you the date I'm so sorry!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Week #5

Hey momma!
This week was so awesome. We had the best speakers for Tuesday and Sunday devotional. We are now investigators and we teach other missionaries in my district. It is so fun being an investigator because I've gained a lot of insight and how it feels when the missionaries are not teaching to my needs. It's an awesome experience. I feel like my Portuguese is getting better and better but I'm definitely for sure not fluent yet. I think in the MTC there's only so far you can go. I just need to get down to Brazil and be surrounded by it! I can't believe this is my last week here at the MTC! It's so surreal and exciting because I need to get out of here haha. I said goodbye to Hannah on Sunday. She's in Chile now!
So our tough investigator, Flavia, totally had a change of heart the other day in our lesson and she prayed! It was so wonderful and she really loves reading the scriptures and said she never thought of God being our loving Heavenly Father. She always thought he was mean and strict but she totally changed her mind! It seriously is a miracle. Then we invited her to church and she was like "one thing at a time" haha it was funny but she said she'd think about it!
2 Elders in our zone got reassigned to the Everett Washington mission! I was so excited and told them all about it. They're super excited. A couple of missionaries got their visas, though, so the process is moving a little faster. Speaking of visas.... Sister Sender, my companion, got hers yesterday. And so did 2 Elders in our district. 2 went through the DC consulate and 1 went through Houston. Do you know which one I went through? Apparently DC and Atlanta are golden. Sister Sender is so excited and nervous and she leaves on Monday! I'm so excited for her to get down there and get to work. I have this feeling that I"m going to get reassigned. But I'm really okay with it. I've just been thinking that there's not a lot of Portuguese missions here in the U.S. and maybe the only way Heavenly Father can reach those people is by reassigning some missionaries for a while. And I was talking to a guy that works here at the MTC who got reassigned the first 2 months of his mission and he said they were the best 2 months for his mission and that if the Lord wanted me to have my visa right now, I would have it. Which is so true because he can move mountains, if he wanted me to have my visa I'd have it. I'm just meant to serve others right now and that's totally okay. I'm actually excited to get to teach in English! I feel like I can speak more from my heart. But I could still get my visa this week. You never know! The suspense is killing me!
We're hosting tomorrow! Which means I get to pick up a new missionary on the curb. I'm way excited. This morning we got to clean the temple! The Provo Temple is closed for 6 weeks for cleaning and our district got signed up to go help! And we got to clean the crystal on the chandeliers in their biggest sealing room. It was so incredible because they take each piece off of the chandelier clean each individual piece and then we got to start reassembling it. It took 3 hours! And we only got halfway done. But it was amazing and we got to go see the Bride's room, which is absolutely gorgeous.
I'll have another p-day before I leave either on Saturday, Monday, or Tuesday. I'll know when I get reassigned so I'll shoot you a quick email to let you know. Keep praying for my visa! But be okay with the reassignments because it really is what the Lord wants. It doesn't mean I'm not prepared for Brazil or don't have enough faith or anything like that. I really would feel honored to get the opportunity to bless my country before I bless Brazil.
 I love being on a mission. It's the best thing ever and there are hard days but mostly I just feel so much love for everyone and I feel so much love from my Heavenly Father. It's kind of odd to see how much I've changed just in the past 6 weeks. I wish I would have been reading my scriptures my whole life! Oh my gosh they're such a blessing. I've been so selfish with my time before my mission.
Te amo! A igreja e verdadeiro!
Sister Clark

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Week #4

Boa tarde! Como vao?
This week went by so fast! Can you believe I've been here for a month already?! I'll be heading out to Brasil in just 2 semanas! I am telling myself I'm not getting reassigned. A sister in our zone got her visa last night. There's hope.
I had such a great week! Tuesday devotional talked about what it means to be a real missionary and each day, whether good or bad, makes us strong. It really hit me that night that I am a REAL missionary. How did I even get to this point? I'm literally in awe everyday. I am a representative of Jesus Christ and I bare, on my little plaquetta, the name that conquers fear. I came into the MTC Believing in this gospel and I am going to come out truly converted.
Wednesday I sang the national anthem for the MTC President and his wife. I was SO scared! But it sounded good I think. They didn't have enough time to put it in the 4th of July program, though. Oh well I wasn't upset. We taught Flavia Wednesday night and decided to go in with pictures of our families and talk about ourselves. She pointed out the "Clark nose". I was cracking up. Then we asked her if she knew why we were there teaching her and she had no idea. We told her our purpose and she totally opened up! It has been so hard to figure out what she needs but we had the best lesson ever! We spent most of the time just answering her questions. I loved it!
The 4th of July was great! We decorated our classroom and sang songs about America. Brother Cannon made me sing for the class. I started too high because I was so nervous! I don't know why I was nervous, but it didn't sound terrible. Some Elders who were in the hall heard it and told me I had a very pretty voice. We got out of class early that night for a program and we Had a little mini devotional and then we got to watch 17 Miracles!!! Oh my gosh I was so excited. This sister next to me was crying the entire movie, bless her heart. After the movie we got ice cream bars and watched the fireworks from Stadium of fire. My comps and I went to our room because we had a better view and the fireworks were awesome! We just talked about life and it was great. It made me miss home a lot, though. And we didn't go to bed til almost midnight! Never doing that ever again. I was exhausted the next morning.
Friday we taught Victor about the Plan of Salvation and used this awesome puzzle that one of the Elders has. It's the coolest thing ever. And we had a thunder and lightning storm! Pretty exciting. Friday night we discussed the importance of inspired question and teaching the people, not lessons. We learned that it's so much better to have a conversation than to spit information out at them and we practiced that last night with each other. It was a neat experience.
I bore my testimony in church on Sunday! In Portuguese! I was so scared but I did it, and it was just simple but I needed to do it. I felt the spirit so strongly. We were taught in devotional later that night to be bold but be humble. Learning Portuguese has been a very humbling experience. I love it. I wouldn't ask for anything different.
Oh this is funny: So there's this Brazilian sister who comes and talks to us every Friday night so we can speak with a native and we're also teaching her and her companion English and one of the Elders is in love with her. It's hilarious. He's like, she's flawless! It cracks me up!

 I can't wait to get out of the MTC and start teaching people! Plus I'm seriously so over this food. It makes me sick every time I eat it. I've lost 6 pounds since I've been in here. Oh also next week we get to clean the temple! It takes 3 1/2 hours... but I'm excited!!!

 Te amo!
Sister Clark

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Week #3

Ola Mae!

I'm singing the national anthem, maybe, on the 4th for the whole MTC. Scary!!!
Well this week went by so fast! We had TRC on Thursday for the first time. I love TRC! Basically what we do is knock on a random door and we share a message with a member who just volunteers at the MTC and speaks Portuguese. Best thing ever! We went in with no notes and it really is amazing how much you can say. We taught a man probably around dad's age who lost his job so now he just volunteers at the MTC with his wife. He is so nice! We spent most of the time just chatting and talking about ourselves and we taught him about the importance of prayer and asked if he would make an effort to pray every night and morning with his family. Then we asked him to pray and it was so powerful! He prayed for our safety and for our visas and it was the sweetest thing ever. The spirit was so strong.
So we have two investigators Victor and Flavia. Flavia is such a challenge! She doesn't get the importance of religion at all and doesn't believe in God or have any faith. We've had two lessons with her so far and both have been a bust. We just can't figure her out! So we've decided that we need to show her that she can trust us because it seems like she's just putting on a front, so tomorrow we teach her and we're just going to go in with questions and talk about ourselves and build a relationship. It's what we've been needing to do all along it's just so hard with a language barrier. We did commit Victor to baptism though and now we're just powering through the lessons because he knows so much already. It's a really neat experience. We taught him the first lesson on the restoration yesterday and the spirit was so strong. Loved it! And we did it without notes!!!
Sunday was awesome. I live for Sundays! Every Sunday we have to prepare a talk because they just pick you at the beginning of sacrament meeting so you have to be prepared. It's so scary! So our district leader Elder Poaletti was like " I hope they don't call on me because I didn't have time to write a talk." I knew they would pick him though, hehe, and he got up there and said maybe 2 words in English! It was incredible. He gave such a good little talk. They only have to be 3-5 minutes.
It was 104 degrees on Sunday when we walked to the temple. It was so bad. Way too hot. Our poor Elders were dying and soon as all the sister got back to our classroom we turned on the fan and just sat in front of it trying to cool and dry ourselves off. Too much information? I don't know what I'm going to do in Brazil!
Sherri Dew spoke to us in Relief Society! I love her. And we had the new Brazil MTC President talk to us at devotional that night. Sundays are the best! We get to watch a movie too at night and we watched Legacy. The one about the pioneers. So cheesy. So good.
Last Tuesday we had such a good devotional! I sang in the choir and then the lady who wrote like 10 songs in the primary song book including a child's prayer spoke and she sang us some songs and we sang with her and it was just so cute. She also wrote As Sisters in Zion and she rewrote a version of it for sister missionaries and so she arranged a NEW medley like the EFY one but with the new sisters in Zion and we all sang it together and when it was the elders' turn they all stood up together it was so powerful! I was crying like a baby. You'll have to look up the lyrics or see if you can find the music or something. It's so great!
Last night in class we talked about the importance of listening to our investigators and teaching people, not lessons. Which is something we've been struggling with a little bit and the spirit was so strong in that classroom. It just felt so peaceful and comforting. I absolutely love my district and I absolutely love this work.
I know that this church is true with all of my heart and I'm so happy for the opportunity I have to spread the gospel, something that has blessed me and made me so happy in life, to people who really truly need it. It's just amazing!
Te amo, Mae!
Sister Clark

Monday, July 1, 2013

Week #2

Bon tarde! (Good afternoon)

I love the MTC! I'm so sick of the food, though. It's driving me crazy! I ran a mile and a half yesterday (yay me!). I was proud.
Definitely still working on patience. Sempre (that means always). Especially with myself. There were a couple of days where I seriously couldn't understand anything and I was so frustrated! It was really hard to feel the spirit but then I remembered that I've only been here two weeks!
We taught our last lesson with Henrique this week and he agreed to come to church with his mom! It was awesome. Then yesterday we found out Henrique is actually Brother Cannon, our new teacher. Because here at the MTC the teachers take on the role of investigators that they actually taught in the mission field. He showed us a picture of the real Henrique from Brazil. I loved it. Brother Cannon is a really good teacher and I'm excited to learn more from him.
On Friday we met a Sister from Brazil! Every Friday now we're going to get together with her and teacher her English and she's going to teach us Portuguese. I'm so excited! She's going to temple square on her mission. Saturday we taught each other the first lesson about the restoration (in English, which I was grateful for) and I was writing out my plan and I just felt like I needed to stop writing and try it without notes. What an experience! I'm so glad I listened to the prompting because the lesson went much better than I expected! The spirit was so strong, and the picture on the cover of the panfleto (pamphlet) was a picture of Christ holding a lamb. It's called "The Lost Lamb" and I was just overcome with this incredible feeling of love as I pictured myself in the arms of my Savior. Completely turned my day around! It was wonderful.
Yesterday was one of the Elder's birthday and we all made him little birthday cards and drew on the board. He loved it! He was cracking up while reading our notes. So great.
We also got another investigator yesterday. His name is Victor (Brother Cannon) and we just had to go knock on the door and hope he lets us in. Like tracting.  We didn't take any notes either and we had like no time to prepare! It was so scary but we just prayed really hard. It was difficult to understand what he was saying but he wants to come to church and be baptized! After he learns more about the gospel, of course, but he was just so awesome and the spirit was so strong. Its amazing how much you can say. More than I ever imagined I knew how to say in Portuguese! The gift of tongues is awesome!!!!!! We meet our other investigator, Flavia, tomorrow.
I absolutely love this work so much. Like yesterday just made me so happy. I know that this is 100% what I'm supposed to be doing and I have fun doing it! It's really not that stressful for me. It's fun and I love when the investigator just understands something or the spirit is strong and you can tell they just feel love and they just know it's right. I hope it's a lot like that in the real mission field haha. I'm sure I'll have hard days.

Com amor,
Sister Clark