Thursday, May 22, 2014

Week #49

Ola from Brasil!
Well now all of my emails will have some Portuguese in them again. Let me tell you, being in the MTC again is not my favorite thing. But it definitely is much needed. I am the only person in my whole district that didn't do language study on my mission. Woops. But that's because I actually wanted to, ya know, do some missionary work. I forgot how exhausting the MTC is. And how spiritual it is as well. Lessons go so well here! Here's my classic line for the MTC "...and the spirit was so strong". Still rings true on another continent. But I like the MTC here WAY BETTER than Provo. First of all, everyone was wrong about Provo being better for learning the language. Total immersion is the way to go. We sit and talk with Brazilians every day at lunch and everyone is so nice here. It's a lot more friendly. You ALWAYS say hi. To everyone. Portuguese is coming along. My companion speaks and understands it really well. It's super frustrating because that's how I want to be! I have to work so hard and we don't have any study time. Anytime we are supposed to have time to study another teacher comes in and plays a game with us. So that's kind of hard. But it's really fun! I don't know if it helps me learn, though. I speak a lot better than I did in Provo and I think it's because I actually know how to teach now so I know what I want to say. I just have to put it into another language. I think all missionaries should have a chance to teach a few times in their own language before they have to do it in the mission language.
So we're actually allowed to leave the MTC here and walk around outside on P-Day. Only problem is it just so happens that today the buses decided to shut down and there was lots of protesting so we couldn't leave. So sad! But we do get to out and proselyte on certain days. Last Saturday we took a bus to the center of Sao Paulo and we had to give out 4 Book of Mormons as a companionship. I had so much fun. Brazilians are the nicest people. It's so easy to talk to them and they love Americans. It's great. Too bad I couldn't understand anything they were saying. But we gave away all of ours and one guy was reading it when we walked away! So cool! We had a couple of older men blow us kisses when we left and one man kissed my hand haha. Once I got the hang of speaking the first time it got easier and easier. I just can't wait to get out of here and be able to speak it non stop because since my companion speaks so well she doesn't really care to SYL all the time. She speaks in English a lot.
Oh I got sick. It was pretty bad. They call it traveler's sickness I guess when you go somewhere completely different and you have to adjust to new surroundings and a new culture and new food. I lost 10 pounds..... But I'm okay now! So don't worry. I eat a lot because I couldn't have anything for like, 4 days. The food here is so good.
Well that's about it. There's not really a lot of interesting things that happen here in the MTC. Hopefully I'll have some better stories when I get to the jungle. Oh the weight in my suitcase was under! So that's good.
It's definitely different here and it was hard to just be a missionary when we went to proselyte because I wanted to walk around and see the city. When I get off my mission I'm for sure coming back.
Love you!!!!!!!!!!
Sister Clark

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Week #48

It was really great to talk to you and everybody yesterday! So much happened this week it's insane.
Monday Liz kidnapped us and took us to Amish country. We ate some good Amish food and went to some shops. It was fun. Tuesday we set out to find and we FOUND. We had 8 return appointments for Thursday (only 2 were actually home though when we came back). But it was crazy! We were on a roll. I actually really like tracting. It can be really fun and you meet ALL kinds of people. And when they slam the door in your face it's actually kind of humorous. Then we met this awesome lady Crystal who is writing a book and just has a really strong testimony of her faith. She is so cool. And the thing is that we put down a potential to go see and parked on her street and then ended up walking to go see Vickie. So on our way back to our car Crystal was outside and she just started talking to us! Let me tell you, the Lord knows where we need to go and He will place people in our path. I see it more and more everyday.

Saturday we had our social media split. We helped put up a barn and there was a ton of people. Many hands make light work. It was fun. Thank you, again, for teaching me how to work.

I'm so glad I got to talk to you all yesterday! You're the best family ever! I am so grateful for the relationship that we have. You're my best friend mom! I don't know how people can NOT have a good relationship with their parents. But I'm grateful for you and dad both. I love you a lot! I know this is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We have a prophet on the earth today. The Book of Mormon is true. It contains more words from God for our day. Christ lives. He loves us.

Sister Clark

Everybody needs to go to this link! 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Week 46 & 47

Week # 47

Hello mom! 

Mother's day: We're pretty sure we get to skype. We'll be doing it from a member's house but she has to skype with her son on a mission so we're not sure what time it's going to be at. We don't get out of church until 2 and then we have dinner with those members at 5. So I'll probably just have someone text you in the middle of the week to get it all figured out. We're three hours ahead here. 

Glad things are going good! That is really scary about the shooting. I can't believe that happened! Good thing it wasn't in the school. Sheesh.
Well we had the busiest week this week. So much happened! 

Let's start with Tuesday. It was HOT. And of course when we left it was all rainy so we were dressed to be warm. I was dying. So hot I could not stand it. And we couldn't just go home and change because we were in the next town over. But we found a lot of people! We met this super nice catholic priest who lived in Utah for 4 years and was invited to have dinner with President Hinckley! He was so cool. He said that if he dies and Brigham Young tells him that the church is true and people did his work in the temple he would accept it. haha WHAT?! Pretty cool guy. Then that night we had a tornado warning. "Take shelter now". Uhhhhh.... Alayna told me once that the bathroom is a pretty safe bet for shelter if you have nothing else. It was pretty scary. Super stormy. You should have seen those lightning bolts. Crazy! 

Wednesday a lady from the other ward called us to tell us her friend's barn blew over from the crazy wind/tornado the night before. So what did we do? Went and helped him tear apart the barn. Everyone was like um I don't think that's work for the sisters to do. So I told them that I tore apart a trailer once and I just went straight to work. I think they were in shock. Thanks for making me do labor even if I hated it at the time! We were knee deep in mud. This Saturday we're going back to help him rebuild it. I think I'm going to buy some rain boots or something. Also I wish I had a picture of our goat lean-to thing to show him because his barn was teeny and it was all patched together with random wood. 

Karen tried to cancel our appointment this week but we said no way and went anyway. We bought her some church clothes from Goodwill last Monday because that was her excuse last week for not coming to church. Molly Collins said Karen came in to her office and was so excited and showed her what we got her and was really touched. She said nobody had ever done something that nice for her. She is so cute. She's now working towards May 31st. Then we saw the McHattens and we had a really good discussion. 
Friday the zone set out to break a mission record for finding. It was really fun and exciting. They would text every time someone found and we kept a tally. We 2-2-5'd and I had this feeling that no one was going to be accepting but to keep knocking. Finally we got to the end of the street and turned back to walk to our car. There was this kid walking towards us and I asked him for directions and gave him the whole "we're not from here, we're missionaries from our church" shpeel (spelling?). He was way interested. We talked about the Book of Mormon and he was like "yeah my mom would actually probably really want one of those. She says we don't go to church because it's all corrupt and things have been changed." Whoa. So we got a return appointment. We went back Sunday afternoon and he was really excited about his own copy of the Book of Mormon. He is the nicest kid. He went to go get his mom and guess what? SHE IS A MEMBER. I almost fell over. What the heck? She left the church when she was 18 because when Orion (the kid we're going to baptize) was 2 he was in the hospital with a heart condition and in a coma. She asked someone from her ward to come give him a blessing and he scoffed and said no because Orion was born out of wedlock. I want to find this man. Who denies a 2 year old a priesthood blessing?! I was just kind of in shock for the next 5 minutes as she continues to tell her story. Here's the best part, though. She still has a testimony and we asked if we could come back and teach her family the discussions and she said yes. We have an appointment with them next week! We met her husband. He is so nice. And you can seriously just feel the spirit so strong around all of them. Heavenly Father truly leads us to his children that are prepared. We found them! It's insane. 

Also remember Heather from a few weeks ago? The one that we had that awesome lesson with where the spirit was just super strong and then she was like ummm I'll just stick with my baptist. We went to see her again and she's thinking more and more about coming to church! We also talked about how the Book of Mormon talks about things from the Bible since Lehi's family had the first 5 books of Moses and she was like what? I want to read that! Super cool. Then after we left her apartment we helped some random people move furniture up to their apartment and then we saw Mickey and stopped in to say hi to Vickie. All of these people live in the Shelby Villas and everyone knows us there. It's actually really cool. We're just part of the family now and everyone in the villas loves us. We are literally their local community missionaries. It really is all about building relationships with people and slowly but surely their hearts soften. 

Transfers are in a week and half. This transfer has gone by so fast. I feel like the last 6 months of my mission are going to fly. I'm really sad about it. 

Oh and Liz Deemer wants to get baptized! 

Well I just love you! 

Sister Clark 

Week # 46

Okay here's the update on Brazil. The transfer there is May 6th. I will be going to the MTC for 2 weeks. I would have had to leave last week to get there in time for the transfer. But Sister Sender says a lot of missionaries come in the middle of the transfer. They won't tell me when I'm leaving. So I'm sure that when I leave they'll let me email your or call you or something so just tell everyone that asks that I don't know until about 3 days before I'm supposed to leave. It's all just up in the air and I just have to wait.
Well this week just flew by. It feels like I was just emailing. I don't really know why it went so fast. Not a lot happened.
We had dinner with Sister Engh Monday. We couldn't play tennis :( but I could tell she really misses church. It's just hard for her with her husband since he's catholic and she doesn't like going to different churches. But she has had so many callings and we just really need her in the ward!
Tuesday we had a lesson with the McHattens and we extended baptism and they accepted! Of course it was conditional, life "if you came to know these things were true would you be baptized and be a part of it". But it was crazy she immediately said yes! Her heart is doing some serious softening. Then we had dinner with Liz. Chicken Marsala mmmm but I don't think the wine cooked out all the way.... woops.

Thursday we had a surprise specialized training. A day of repentance is what President called it. Or rather, a mission intervention. I'm guessing the mission is slacking. It's pretty sad they have to keep bringing these things up. But it was really good! We went over a lot of basic stuff and then it was just all motivating quotes from there. President said if you're not working your heart out, you do not have faith. Whoa. And then Sister Nilsen said on a mission we have to adapt or die. That was a big wake up call for me. Sister Hibbert of course thinks we're perfect and there's not a lot of improving we need to do but there are little things that we do need to fix in order to be more obedient so we can receive those blessings. And I'm at the point where I only have 7 months left and I just want to go, go, go. And we haven't been working as hard as we should be. So I am going to change.
Friday we saw Karen. She is on track to get baptized! Except for the part where she didn't come to church this Sunday so now we have to push her date back. But she's tired of putting it off and she just wants to do it. She's been through SEVERAL sets of missionaries. It made me think of all the people I've come in contact with on my mission that didn't get baptized while I was there or just flat out rejected us. The Lord continues to reach out to them no matter how many times they say no until they finally say yes. 
We watched the Prophet of the Restoration with Liz Saturday night and she really liked it. She doesn't understand how people can be so intolerant. And then we talked about that for a very long time. Finally we brought back to praying and gaining a testimony and Sister Pederson with us. She told Liz that she hopes she'll come to the knowledge that this is all true and Liz said she hopes so too. That she's searching for something. And she came to church with us on Sunday!!! I was so excited. And everybody from the ward just swarmed her (like we told them to) and she was really happy about that. She said she would be back! It's just a slow process with some people and I get so impatient because I want to be here to see them get baptized. We have some really progressing investigators though so it's just a matter of time and getting them to church before they accept baptism.
Well I love you! Have a great week!