Monday, April 21, 2014

Week #45


This week was the best week ever! 

Okay first of all, Sister Sender informed me that the transfer in Brazil is a week earlier than I thought soooo I might be leaving sooner? Also Elder Clark told me that I will be going to the MTC for 2 weeks before they send me out in the mission field. Just to brush up on my language. So that'll be fun. Hopefully I'm in America for Mother's Day. I should probably find a mosquito net and an adapter haha.

Okay this week was awesome. Totally makes up for last week because last week was just... awful. 

It's finally Spring in the great Ohio! Nice and warm and sunny and green and perfect. I think I have allergies. I was sneezing for 5 days straight. But now I'm fine. 

We had interviews with President on Tuesday and we had the best training from Elder Flanders on overcoming negative thinking. And I forgot my notes on it so next week I'll have a better insight. But it was just what I needed to hear because it's seriously so easy to just think negatively. No one likes us, we have no one to teach, the members don't do anything blah blah blah. One of the biggest thoughts is nobody wants to listen. And Elder Flanders was like you're right, nobody does want to listen to you. People want to talk so start asking questions! It was awesome. We had dinner with Vickie later that night and she wants to be baptized! She knows it's true and it's what she needs to do! 
Wednesday was awesome! We got a text from our investigator Karen, that she wasn't feeling well and couldn't meet. We went anyway and pretended like we never got the message. Good thing we went because she's getting baptized on May 10th! She brought up the whole baptism thing all by herself and she wants her son who is a recent convert to fly up and baptize her. It's going to be awesome. She just has to come to church... Then we went and saw some formers who we've just been building a relationship with and she was so hard-hearted and stubborn and Sister Hibbert asked if they wanted to take the lessons again and they said yes! We have such a big teaching pool now we really don't have to spend much time knocking doors or finding. 

Thursday we saw Liz, Angelica's friend. Angelica has been dodging us so we've put Liz as more of a focus. She is super sensitive to the spirit. She gets her answers to prayers mainly through dreams and when we went to see her she was like there is truth to what you're telling me. It all makes sense. Then she told us about this dream that she had of the spirit world and she saw her aunt who has passed on and she asked her aunt if she (Liz) is going to hell because the way she's living her life. Then her aunt said"oh honey, it is not how you were taught. You are going to be just fine". I just didn't have anything to say after that because then Liz was like, "once I remembered that dream and remembered what you had shared about the plan of salvation, everything clicked". We extended baptism and she accepted. Of course she said she won't be ready until she hears more of the lessons we have prepared for her. And she's coming to church this Sunday! Last week she was hesitant, this time not so much. 

We have just been so blessed this past week and I know it's because we worked diligently, even when it seemed impossible and even when our zone leaders were breathing down our necks. 

I'm playing tennis today with Sister Engh, a less active. We saw her Friday and helped her do some yard work. She felt bad because we were in our skirts haha. But she was really grateful we had stopped by. She's so funny. She was active until the ward split and then she just stopped going. She used to be the missionary meal coordinator and I told her that we need her! And then she was like, well you have to go to church to do that. Uh yeah! We're going to get her to church. She's too awesome to be less active. 

Oh happy Easter by the way! Yesterday we ate at the Breedlove's and we had lamb. Oh it was so good. Sister Breedlove is the best cook ever. She runs a close second to Brother Bristow's cooking in Huber Heights. I am still full. We had lamb and potatoes and soup and bread and asparagus and cake and cheesecake and yeah I ate a lot. It was delicious. 

Love ya!
Sister Clark

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Week #44

Hey mom!

Well not much happened this week. Thanks for the skirts and the dress! I really love them! I'm scared to take them to Brazil I don't want to ruin them! I gave the black/multi colored one to my companion. I think it'll be too heavy to take.

Well I talked to one of the office couples yesterday and she can't tell me anything about my visa. But then she said it might be wise to start sending some boxes home. So really what she's saying is yes, your visa is in! I'm really really overwhelmed and kinda freaking out. So there will be some boxes coming within the next few weeks. It'll probably be the day after I call home for Mother's Day that I'll be headed out. 

So Monday we had dinner with our investigator Liz Deemer. She is the funniest lady ever! She wasn't able to listen to conference :( But she's going to come to church with us in 2 Sundays! I'm really excited. She's really prepared. 

Tuesday we found a few potentials and Angelica cancelled our lesson. But we still met with her friend Liz. And it was way better meeting with her separately. We were actually able to have a discussion without Angelica's daughter running around and talking the whole time. I think I'm going to have to entertain her while Sister Hibbert gives the lesson from now on. Then we had dinner with Vickie. We're still hanging on to her and I'm pretty sure it's time to put her on the back burner and focus on some other people. She's still coming to church, she had her big trial, and she still shuts down every time we talk about baptism. It makes me so sad when people progress and progress and then they decide they don't want it. So frustrating! 

Wednesday we had the longest zone meeting of my life. It was 2 1/2 hours! Usually it's only an hour and a half. But it was good. We had a lot of changes to the zone. Then we had exchanges with the sister training leaders in Marion. Marion is super ghetto. It's awesome. We met Angelica's mom, Rose, who is a recent convert. She's the sweetest lady ever and is really excited that we're teaching her daughter. Just not sure how really interested Angelica is. So Sister Arnell and I found like 3 new investigators that day and people were letting us in left and right. She must be good luck or something. Sheesh. Except for the part where on our way back from exchanges we were taking the STL's to Mansfield and they get a call from their investigator saying she doesn't want to get baptized anymore. No!!! So we drove them back to their apartment and they resolved her concern and then she called them Saturday morning and said don't call me again I'm not getting baptized. We had the best lesson with her just a few days earlier and she tried on her baptism clothes and she was so excited and she said she wasn't going to let Satan get to her. Well Satan got to her. It's so sad! 

We went and saw Molly Collins  and she's doing really good then we met her friend April who reminds me of Lorelai from Gilmore Girls. She is hilarious. And she told Molly she'd come to church with her Sunday!! She said she's interested in learning about the Mormons. 

Saturday we spent the whole day contacting referrals. And everybody let us in. But nobody wants to take the lessons. It was exhausting. We didn't eat lunch until 4:30 we were just so busy. Good thing we didn't have a dinner appointment that night. 

Sunday we had a Relief Society fireside where President and Sister Nilsen spoke. I just love them, they're so great! I got a lot of really good insights and they talked about a seminar that their relatives went to with Elder Bednar and he would ask people at random times "what are you hearing and what are you learning?" We've got to remember that we can talk and talk and talk but the spirit is the teacher and it's okay if our minds wander during the talk because sometimes that's how the spirit talks to us. As long as your mind doesn't wander to stuff like the latest TV show or what am I going to eat when I get home.

Oh it's finally warm here in the great Ohio! It was in the 60's and 70's all week! It's going to snow tomorrow but then I think it'll FINALLY be done. Hopefully. Fingers crossed. 

So yeah, not a lot happened this week. Hopefully next week will be a lot more successful since we'll actually be in our area. And we have interviews with President on Tuesday

Well I love ya lots! Happy Easter! 

Sister Clark

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Week #42 and #43

Week #43
Well hello mom!
Wasn't conference so good?! Ah it was fantastic. I just really loved it. Saturday session is the best. I think they do that on purpose so people will actually watch it on Saturday

So on Wednesday we had a zone fun day at the Ohio State Reformatory. Where they filmed the Shawshank Redemption. I have some pretty sweet pictures. I'll see if I can attach some. Thursday it rained. All day long. Just poured. It reminded me of home. Except at home I can sit on the couch and watch the rain from the inside. On a mission I have to be out knocking on doors. And we knocked. And knocked. And knocked. Sister Hibbert was soaked. I had an umbrella. (I think I'm a little smarter). But no one let us in! Where is the humanity in the world? It's gone I'm pretty sure. People need this gospel. It would make them nicer people. We did meet a few potentials and we have this new door approach that we got from Brother Breedlove here in the ward. Let me tell you, it works! It gets straight to the point and it's pretty bold and that way we can weed people out faster. Rather than getting a lot of "sure you can come back" situations and then they're peeking out their blinds when we actually DO come back. It just saves a lot of time. 

Let me just say this. I'm pretty Satan hates us. Specifically us here in Clear Fork. Friday was the worst day of my life. We had found a few potentials in a trailer park and were going to contact them and finish up the park when I got this feeling that we needed to stop and leave. So we're on our way out and there's this old man walking. Talk to everyone! So we talk to him. He just retired from being a pastor for 60 years. He was pretty nice at first until he read our name tags and who we were actually clicked. I can relate to Elder Holland's story about the sister missionaries getting food spit on them and mashed potatoes thrown at the back of their heads. Fortunately, that didn't happen. But he did take it upon himself to preach to us and call us liars and then yelled at us for being in the park knocking on doors because there's a sign that says no soliciting. I said we're not selling anything and he yells Liar! You're lying! You are a liar. Oooo that hit a nerve but I kept my cool and just said we're not looking to get in an argument. We're on our way out. And I start walking away and he just keeps talking to us and finally I was just like look, we're leaving. So we're heading to our car and then the manager man of the trailer park drives up and tells us to get out. Pretty awesome day. On top of all that it was super windy and really cold and I'm pretty sure it started raining. So that put me in a little funk for a couple of days. I don't know why it bothered me so much but it did. That was the first day on my mission where I totally felt pure rejection and not wanted at all. It was hard. But I have to remember the opposition that all missionaries faced. I mean, the apostles were dragged through the streets and crucified and stoned and the early missionaries of the church were persecuted as well. Being a follower of Jesus Christ just is not easy. But life was never meant to be a walk in the park. 

So thank goodness it was conference weekend. We went to the Salimbene's and their son Brett, invited his girlfriend who was a former investigator of Sister Hibbert's. She reminds me a lot of my friend Anna. So we were talking after the afternoon session of conference and she doesn't have much of a background on Jesus Christ and she started crying because she felt like she had never felt the Holy Ghost. Turns out she has, just not in the warm fuzzies that everyone talks about. She is awesome. And we're going to teach her! I will be here for her baptism. I've never met anyone who needs this gospel more than she does. 

Also, we had a huge set up for Liz Deemer to watch conference. First, she didn't have the BYU channel. So then we told her that Bishop invited her to his home to watch conference and we were going to make them all breakfast. Well of course her son and his family have to take a spontaneous trip from Cleveland and surprise her. She called us and she was so mad because she wanted to watch conference! She was like "I have a life, don't they know that?" Haha it was actually kind of funny. She said he was going to find a way for her to listen to it so we told her that she can get it broadcasted on her computer. She's feeding us dinner tonight so hopefully she was able to hear some of it!  

I was just ready for this week to be over. Hopefully next week will be a lot better. I am so thankful for conference and for the opportunity that we have to listen to the prophet and the apostles and church leaders speak. And I'm excited for the Ensign to come out so I can read all the talks! I think my favorite talk was Elder Holland's. He just tells it like it is. It's awesome!

Well I love you! And in about a month I get to talk to you on the phone! Yay!

Sister Clark 
Week #42
Hi mom, 

So my visa is ready for collection but it didn't make it here in time. I blame the mail man. Maybe you should call the travel people and see when the heck they're going to send it out and when I'll be leaving so i can be prepared. Also I heard that I'll have to go back to the MTC in Brazil for a few weeks to relearn Portuguese. Sounds terrible. 
This week was insane. I don't know if I can capture how crazy it was in just one email. but I'll try. Basically this week was a huge testament to how much Satan hates the missionaries. And I feel like especially me. 

We've come to the conclusion that Vickie is not going to get baptized. I think she's just afraid of hurting our feelings. I don't think she really understands what all baptism entails so we need to make sure she understands that and go from there. We had a referral from the Marion elders and taught her (Angelica) and her friend (Liz) and her friend's mom on Wednesday. We taught them the first lesson and Liz cried during the first vision. She is super prepared and she just gets it. It's awesome. Then we went to Vickie's for dinner. Then Vickie's friend, Mickey walks in and sits on the floor and is crying over how she can't pay her bills. Now, this is how good of a person Sister Collins is. Although she is going through a really really tough time, she sits down next to Mickey and says I'll pay your electric and your phone bill and you can pay the rent letter (Because she's the landlord) and I know you'll pay me back when you get your first check. And then a miracle happened! Sister Collins made a comment about my visa and Mickey looks up and goes what? you're leaving? So I said yeah probably to Brazil. Big pause.... "well, are you going to write?" I was so surprised! We showed them the Mormon message Abide With Me and Mickey was in tears and afterwards she gave me this huge hug and said how glad she was that she got to meet me and that she is actually interested in the church! So I guess if we're keeping score, missionaries: 2, Satan: 1. 

Thursday we found Sister Reyes! She was in the hospital! We went and talked with her and we were helping her move to another room when the fire alarm went off. Then we heard "Code Red 3rd Floor". Sister Reyes was up there! We didn't see her again until yesterday, she was in the nursing home! Turns out she went into a coma and doesn't remember us seeing her at all. Oh man Satan does not want her to go to the temple. 

We met this kid this week who said believing in God is totally preposterous and if there is a god he's totally neglected him. Ah, my heart just totally went out to this guy. I felt so sad that he's not able to recognize God's hand in his life. 

Saturday it snowed.... again. A complete blizzard. That's all I have to say about Saturday. But we got to watch the broadcast and it was awesome! I loved it. Especially the last talk. "Help wanted: True Disciples of Jesus Christ". So good! 

Sunday we taught the 5th Sunday lesson in church. We talked about missionary work of course and it went really well. We only had about 15 minutes since everyone took forever with their announcements and then introducing us and making remarks before we could talk. But nevertheless, it was a really good lesson.

All we did Monday was tract. and tract. and tract.... and tract. My feet hurt so bad and I was so sore. But we were diligent and we found people. Then yesterday we were so busy! We had Bishop give our investigator, Liz Deemer a blessing and I was glad we brought him because he was like "you need to listen to these girls" and we were able to find out that she really is interested in learning and wants to come to church because usually when we go over there she just talks and talks. But she is the sweetest lady. I just love everyone here and I hope I get another transfer!

Oh yeah, also my zone leaders are crazy. They had our district leader call us every day last week to ask how our day went and what we did that worked and didn't work and then we had to report numbers. And then they agreed to a competition with another zone on how many we could get to church. Losers have to make an embarrassing video. Well we lost because the other zone hustled us and when you do a competition, that's when the numbers are the worst. I get people to church because I want them to progress, not to win a competition. But I'm not doing the video. I didn't come on my mission to look stupid in front of other missionaries.
So that was the week in a nutshell. I'm sure I forgot a ton of stuff. 

Love you mom!
Sister Clark