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