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