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