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