Thursday, July 28, 2011

I'd like to bear my toasted money

Hola cada una!
Ok, so people have asked me if there is any food here that I don't like, and I have finally discovered it. It’s Broccoli chicken casserole. So the color is bad. Just think of a casserole type dish, except colored like broccoli, and a little more yellow than that. Yeah, it looks terrible. They melted cheese over the top to try to make it look somewhat appealing, but the cheese didn't look like it belonged on there at all. The worst part is the cheese was the best part. If the melted cheese on top of the food is better than the food its on, you know there is a problem. 

Thursday: P-day is really long when we don't get to go to the temple. However, people have been soliciting me to fix their ties, because I'm the only one in our district that knows how to sew, thanks to my awesome mother.

Friday: The TRC (teaching resource center, where we practice giving lessons) is still a really interesting experience. It’s hard to share a scripture with return missionaries to help them come closer to Christ. They always know all the scripture we share. I guess its helps us learn the lessons, and it is really good practice for us to figure out the needs of our investigators.

Saturday: Our teacher inspired us to get these awesome study journals. They're small binders with sections, so you can sectionalize your study journal, and even put pictures in the front and back, which is just way awesome. Our teacher also shared with us what he had in his, and the coolest thing was a personal topical guide. It’s so awesome! You can write down scriptures under each topic, give a brief summary of the story and the meaning of the verse. Yeah, I'm excited to fill up my sweet journal. 

Sunday: Sundays are always awesome. We always hear about five different talks in one day, and then there are the evening firesides. Stephen D. Allen, who is the president of the Missionary department, or something to do with missionary work, spoke to us. He is so funny, and knows how to make people interested. He showed us a bunch of commercials the church produced that have punch lines like "Its not who you aren't, it’s who you are, and being yourself is being great." During one of these clips, the Spirit flooded me so fast. I felt ocean waves of the Spirit going through me. It was so awesome! That was probably the strongest I've ever felt the Spirit before. 

I love the gospel of Jesus Christ so much! I learn so much everyday, and the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know, and I want to learn so much more! 

I'll send another letter home with more information about my week, so be expecting another update! 

Elder Clark

Monday, July 25, 2011

mid-week letter

This is the letter that came along with the pictures

I'm so happy that Elder Spear is my companion. During companionship inventories we have talked about our testimonies and experiences that have strengthened our testimonies.  Even talking about this strengthened my testimony.  Some say the Lord works in mysterious ways, but I say he works in awesome ways.

So to give more information about my week. . .At the Sunday fireside, a member of the District presidency and his wife spoke.  His wife shared and awesome story about how the Lord has his eye on us.  The story goes that a young man from Japan was called to a Spanish speaking mission.  He struggled with Spanish throughout his mission.  He could never really communicate completely.  At the end of his mission, he found a Japanese man that wanted the missionary discussions.  When the missionary went to this man's house, there were 65 other Japanese people that all knew the church is true, but hadn't been able to find missionaries.  .  In their first meeting, all 65 were committed to baptism.  One of them wanted this missionary to write his testimony in the Book of Mormon.   When the missionary wrote in the Book of Mormon, he found there was a testimony of another elder.  This elder was his dad, who had given the Book of Mormon to this Japanese man many years before.

The Tuesday devotional was also amazing.  A member of the Quorum of the Seventy spoke about the power of the Book of Mormon.,  As a mission president, heard from people that couldn't read that they felt the power of the Book of Mormon when they held it to their hearts.  His wife also talked about how during their 3 years as mission president, 2,000 people were baptized (Lisa note:  might be 12,000-his writing wasn't quite clear-looks like there is a 1 in front of the 2, but we don't want to inflate the number inaccurately) 62 chapels were built, and a temple was constructed.  All of that because of the testimonies of the young elders and sisters, who put Christ as their first priority, and wanted to share their testimonies with others.  This is what I'm doing - sharing my testimony of Christ, and I love it.

Elder Clark

Pictures From Elder Clark

We received a letter from Elder Clark with some pictures of his time in the MTC so far.

Elder Clark and his Cousin Elder Judd 
The Cousins being strange as usual
Elder Clark and his Companion Elder Spear pointing to Atlanta

Elder Clark and His college roommate Elder Blake
Elder Clark and his District

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The window is like your own personal TV, except there is nothing happeing.

Another good week gone by!
Thursday afternoon, some of my zone got to clean the temple! We used toothpicks and q-tips to clean out little crevices for abouty two hours. If I could clean anything for two hours, it would be the temple. Friday, my district had a fiesta with chips an salsa to celebrate our one month stay here! Today, I have a little under 4 weeks left here, which is absoulutly crazy. I'm so excited to get into the field and work. Saturday was also an awesome day, and we learned about the subjunctive tense. The subjuctive tense, from what I had heard about it, always seemed so difficult and weird, and that it was impossible to master. It was like subjunctive was what really makes or breaks how well you speak Spanish. I had this imagry of subjunctive being all hard and crazy and mighty, when in reality, its pretty much changing an e to an a or vise versa sometimes. I was a little disapointed that I wasn't going to be a able to conquer the beast I once thought subjunctive was, but atleast I know about it now. Sunday was again awesome, complete with an awesome fireside and a viewing of the Jospeh Smith video. During the Joseph smith video, I always feel the spirit, but this time, I felt it so strong testifying to me that Joseph Smith was a prohpet of God. It was amazing!
Monday, we discovered that the entire plan of salavation can't really be taught in 20 minutes, so we left our investigator with a super suspensful cliff hanger, promising to teach him about the attonment and Eternal life after. We had to stop teaching right before we explained the Atonement of Christ, which is central to God's plan. Tuesday, we found out Elder Spear is going to be our new district leader! It seeed like everybody new it was coming. Now I'm going to be the asistent to the District leader, which isn't really a leadership position doesn't really mean anything at all.
I will write home with other stories from this week, so expect another update!
Elder Clark

Thursday, July 14, 2011

During our languege study, we'll figure out how to call people weird

Refering to the subject of this email, we did not spend our language studying doing that.
It's hard to believe I've been here for a whole month, and I'm almost half way done with my stay in the MTC.
Sunday: was a good day as always, throughout the course of the day, we learned about charity, virtue, repentance twice, and in the fireside in the evening, we learned about daily repentence. That was a really awesome fireside. The speaker talked about how we often think that when we have to repent, we feel bad. His point was that repentence leads to Joy. It's when we don't repent that we fill bad for what we've done.
Monday: We had oppurtunities to teach other missionoaries in our zone. I really love that we have so many oppurtunities to practice teaching. I can see that I've learned from past mistakes in teaching, and its better to make mistakes here instead of in the field.
Tuesday: speaking of mistakes, I learned that it is not a good idea to set a baptismal date for an investigator for less than a month away. I definitly wasn't thinking about the calendar when I asked one of our investigators to be baptized the 6th on August when it was already the 12th of July. No bueno. Oh well
Wenesday: We had an interesting lesson with our other investigator, and we didn't really end up teaching anything we had prepared. We did, however, answer a few questions he had, and the most important thing is to teach people, not lessons, and I felt like it was good we skipped the lesson and helped him with his needs.
Being a missionary has made me want to work harder than ever before. In college, I definitly could have worked harder, but here, I want to be studying or practining all of the time. It's definitly not a bad thing, but its an awesome thing. I want to learn everything, Spanish, Preach my Gospel, and the scritpures. I know this is an extremly unrealistic goal, because I'll never be able to learn everything, but I'll try.
Today, Thursday, we get to clean the temple for 3 hours! the temple is closed, and some selected group of missionaries help clean it.
My roommates decided that every P-day is gonig to be comb-over P-day, and they started today. My hair is too short, so I can't join yet.
Sorry that I'm a man a few words in my emails. You all know I can talk a lot in person, and that I like talking alot, but talking to a computer makes everything more difficult
Anyways, the MTC is still awesome, and Missionary work is awesome.
Con Amor
Elder Clark

Friday, July 8, 2011

To me are Pleasing the Tacos (MTC week 3)

Ok so, I'm sure everybody is wondering what we did for 4th of July here in the MTC. Well, we didn´t do anything special on the 4th of July. But its ok, because we did something on the 2nd of July instead. We had a special celebration about the freedom of our country and because of this freedom, the true church of Christ was able to be restored here. The celebration was awesome, and we sang songs like Yankee Doodle and Yankee Doodle Dandy. At one point, they showed an animation of missionaries running all of a world map to the over 300 missions in the world. But the best part was still to come. Five bagpipers and a small drumline marched in playing the typical bagpipe melody, which happens to be the tune of Praise to the Man, which we were talking about anyway in the clebration. While the bagpipes were playing, about 30 flags from different countries also came marching in. It was cool. After that, the whole MTC got to stay up late and watch firewroks that BYU was launching. Usually, we have to be back to our rooms at 9:30 and in bed by 10:30, but and Saturday, we didn't return to our rooms untill 10:45. I know, it was so late.
Sunday was had more meetings than usual becuase it was fast Sunday, but it was still awesome. The fireside in the evening made it even more awesome. Jenny Oaks Baker, who is the daughter of Elder Oaks, performed for us. She is a professional violinist who's soloed with about every major orchestra there is. She explained experiences of how her testimony was strengthened, and played songs that were related to the experience. Even her daughters, who were 8,6 and 4 played "I'm a Child of God" on the Piano, Violin, and Chello. Her daughters got a standing ovation.   
On Monday, Elder Spear (my companion) sprained his ankle playing basketball. He was on crutches for a half a day. The good part him being injured was that we got to use the elevator instead of climb up 4 flights of stairs to our classroom multiple times a day. Don't worry, his ankle is doing much better now.
This week, we kind of made a district theme song, but not really. Its the lyrics of "Listen to your Heart" translated into Spanish. Yeah, its awesome. My district also likes to make up what my teacher calls Spanish aposatsies, which is slang phrases in English we translate into Spanish. These include, but are not limited to.
Alto cinco
Justa Ka
Que Abrir
Other quatable quotes from this week include: Fiesta in the elevator and You from the desert?
Any ways,
The MTC is still an awesome place, and thanks to everybody that writes me.
Elder Clark