Monday, December 31, 2012

December 31st email

Happy new year to all. I'll be staying up late and partying. (ALWAYS THE SENSE OF HUMOR SHINES THROUGH! Lisa)

We had an awesome end to our week, and had 6 people at church. Everything in church was awesome (not that it usually isn't) and everybody that came enjoyed it a lot. We're still waiting for everybody to accept baptismal dates, but Sunday was a big turning point for a lot of people. 

Sunday morning came, and we didn't know if anybody was coming, but everything worked out. With some pushing and encouraging on our part. Missionary work is a lot of pushing people to do things.  

We've continued blessing houses this week. It does help us get in with a more people lot of people. Most Hispanics are just like "blessings from Christ? sure come in!" We've been able to get a few return appointments, but haven't seen anything come out of it yet. 

Thanks everybody!

Elder Clark

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Key breaker

Well, I just broke the key to the Family History Center. We borrowed the key so we could email, and I broke it! Good thing there were 7 more copies of the key in the file cabinet.

This week, President Wolfert has instructed us in a new way to go tracting, as if tracting wasn't effective and fun enough. The idea came from missions in Florida, who increased their baptisms from 30-40 a month to 150 a month. Now when we knock on people's doors, we don't say "We're from the Church of Jesus Christ.. etc. . . The Book of Mormon.... Restoration of the Gospel" All we say is "We are representatives of Jesus Christ, and we are here to leave a blessing of peace in your home, may we come in a leave a blessing?" I know, right? talk about different! There are of course those people who say no, but we have definitely gotten into a lot more houses than before. After we leave the blessing, we say that we have a message about how we become closer to Jesus Christ, and that we would love to come back and share it. They can't really say no when you just blessed their house. :) One house we got into, the lady who let us in ended up jumping the gun and started praying before we could, and it was a very long prayer, and very emotional too. It lasted at least 5 minutes, probably more like 7. Ah, the joys of going into stranger's houses.

We had our Mission Christmas party this week. It was great to see old companions and others. We were also entertained by an awesome talent show. Elder Rallison opened the show by juggling.

We've been teaching a quite few people, and have actually gotten back in with a few. It its always awesome when you can teach more than one lesson and not get ignored after the first.

Short and Sweet

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Elder Clark

 P-day activity, I decided to build my ginger bread houses representing the area where we work, so thats why the ones on the right are more of the quality of trailers, while Elder Rallisons on the left look like a true Ginger Bread town.

And the stockings were hung by the kitchen with care, and it appears that Saint Nick had already been there

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tiwi Appreciation day


FYI: The Tiwi is the little black spy box that is in the cars the missionaries drive.  I'm not sure if Jordan really appreciates it or not!  

I'm a little sad, this being my last letter home and all, because the world is ending on Friday. Wouldn't that be terrible if it really did? I mean 4 days before Christmas. It would be better if it ended December 31.

Anyway, we've had a fantastic week, found some new people, were answers to people's prayers, and even saw a baptism yesterday in our branch.

The first Miracle this week was finding Roberto and Dana. They're a couple in the 50's that we found knocking on doors on Tuesday. They were actually leaving the house when we showed up, but they let us in for a few minutes. It was cold in their house and they had no lights on because they couldn't pay the power bill. They also couldn't pay the water bill, and were going to loose their house on Friday because they couldn't pay rent either. But in the middle of all that, they said they knew the Lord would provide. Roberto told us he was able to fill his tank up with gas for only 18 dollars. If that's not a miracle, I don't know what is. We immediately started asking all of our members if they knew of place where he could work. Well, he ended up finding work on Thursday with a member that lives in a different stake, but that travels a lot to sell her product. We'd met her before, and he told her that we had come by.  She called us and told us a part of the story we hadn't heard. On Tuesday, right before we showed up, they prayed for help. After they prayed and started leaving we showed up. Then Roberto found work with a member! I know that there is no such things as coincidences in the Lord's work. Well, they had to leave they're house on Friday and stayed with a friend for a couple of nights. When we talked to them yesterday, they still didn't know where they were going to live, but they had faith that it would all work out. Unfortunately, they can't pay their phone bill either, so, we can't call them anymore, but we'll find them. :)

We also were an answer to another person's prayer. We were again knocking doors, and we found an American lady in a Hispanic neighborhood. Well, we talked about the Book of Mormon, the Restoration, the Prophet, and then she said "you are an answer to my prayers!" She had been praying for 2 weeks to know of which church to go to, because she hadn't really liked any of the churches where she had gone to before. In that period of 2 weeks, many other churches had gone through that neighborhood, but none of them knocked on her door, so we were the first. We read a few verses in the Book of Mormon to her, and she loved it. The only hang up is that when her husband found out, he wouldn't let her go to church or listen to us. It's always the husbands. Well, at least she knows the Mormons were the answer to her prayers.

Last but not least, we had a baptism on Sunday. A small family moved up here 2 weeks ago from Florida.  They had been investigating the church down there. They had to move because the Husband has cancer and there is a hospital here that has the necessary specialists for it. They came to church last week, Elder Cram and Elder Henson taught them during the week, and then they got married and baptized yesterday after church. It was a really Spiritual experience for them and for all in attendance. I'll try to get pictures next week.


God is still a God of miracles, I have no doubt about it.

Thanks everybody

Elder Clark

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mucho Gucho El Salvador


This week has been an interesting week. A recent convert in our branch, a 20 year old young man, died this week. I'm not going to go into details of why it happened, but if definitely was devastating to his family, who aren't members. This young man had changed his life completely around 6 months ago to get baptized, and his family was very happy for him, even though they never had interest.  Friday was his viewing, and when I went up to his dad, he put an arm around me and told me thanks for changing the life of his son and being a friend to him. His sister also expressed the same to me. Later that night, Elder Cram ended up speaking in front of hundreds of non members, as well as one of the members in the branch presidency. The dad had everybody applaud for the Mormons and what they did for his son. Saturday, at the Funeral, the 3 other missionaries that were also part of his conversion process and baptism were able to come, and the dad again expressed his thanks. It wasn't us that changed his son, it wasn't the Mormons, it was the Gospel of Jesus Christ that changed him. It was the testimony he received by the power of the Holy Ghost that the gospel was restored that changed him.

I'm grateful to know that there is life after death, that we will return to live with our Heavenly Father. I know that our families can be together forever.

We've found a family a couple weeks ago that show a lot of interest. The wife has accepted to be baptized, she says she feels peaceful when we teach them, and likes what she's learning. They were going to come to church, but her brother went to jail early in the morning, and they had to try to get him out.

This week somebody thought I was from Germany, because apparently my Spanish accent sounds like somebody from Germany speaking Spanish. I knew i didn't sound Mexican or anything like that, but I don't know where I picked up the German accent.

Muchos Gracias a todos

Elder Clark

Monday, December 3, 2012

Which one was neighbor


Hello!

Wow, we've had a great week from offering random service to amazing lessons to people coming to church!

To start off with the random service. We were walking around a neighborhood after dark trying to talk to people. No, after dark is not a really good time to find people outside, but we've got to do something. So we were walking, and we saw a man trying to put up Christmas lights, and we offered to help, and he let us. Very few people will accept help with anything. Well, we started helping him, he told us it was his first year putting up lights, and we could tell. He wasn't worried so much about how it looked, but more so that the lights were on the house at all. I must say it has to be one of the most interesting light jobs I've seen.

We had another awesome lesson with our less Active Hermana Flores. She was baptized at 8 years old, but never went to church after. We had a couple of other great lessons with her before, and we though she was close to coming back to church, but this week she dampened our hopes a little by saying she liked what the Mormons believe, but she's fine in her church. Well, we were going to teach about the importance of having a prophet, and we thought that would still be helpful (sorry he had some interesting phrasing here, so I'm not really quite sure what he meant to say), so we continued with our plans. We in read Ephesians in the bible where it says the Christ's church is built upon Prophets and Apostles, with Christ as the corner stone. I tried to make a funny comment and said "Its funny other churches read that scripture, and then don't believe in a modern prophet." Well, she gave me a blank stare, so I decided to just move on. But then she said "That scripture is very interesting, it says there needs to be a Prophet and Apostles, but my church doesn't have those, and the Mormon's do. Why doesn't my church have a prophet?" We said that was a very good question. Sister Flores responded that she was going to pray about it and ask her pastor why they didn't have a prophet this coming weekend.The Spirit was so necessary for that to happen during than lesson, we could tell she was thinking about that the whole lesson.

The Maldonado Family, a part member/less active family finally came to church. They've been to church many a time before, but have gone in a little while. The branch did an awesome job of greeting them and sharing how happy they were to have the Maldonados back.

This past weekend the English ward put on the Festival of the Nativities. There was over 600 different nativity scenes, and everything was decorated so beautifully, we probably only helped set up for a total of 3 hours, but so more went into it than that. Right before the people walked out, they got to go into a room depicting the life of the Savior, followed by a room decorated as his empty tomb, followed by a room depicting His ministry after His resurrection, including in the Americas. Lots of nonmembers go every year, so it was a great missionary opportunity.  

Thanks everybody, hope you all have a great week!!

Elder Clark

Monday, November 26, 2012

Turbo Charged

The week of El Dia de Turkey (a lot of Hispanics call it that) has come to end, how sad, but now we can prepare for Navidad!

For thanksgiving dinner, a member took us out to the buffet Golden Corral, apparently there are a lot of people that don't like to cook on Thanksgiving, because there were a lot of other people too. Other than that, our Turkey Day wasn't very different. We even got to stay in our apartment for 2 extra ours and plan for the coming week!

On Friday, and got to go work in Buford again with Elder Henson. I was there only 6 weeks ago, so it still feels like my area a little bit. The best thing that happened on exchange was I helped them find a less active they didn't know about. When I fist got to the area, we tried to visit this less active member, but to no avail, and we thought she didn't want anything to do with us, so we kind of just let it go. Well, 4 months later, Elder Cram and Henson knocked on the door not knowing it was a member, and she told she was Pentecostal, but let them in and talked for a little but. When I went back, after having heard she said she was Pentecostal, and asked her "You're a member right?" and she responded, "How do you know?" 1 point for the missionaries. :)

We've been teaching a young 15 year old joven that has excepted to be baptized. The odds, however, seem against her. She lives in a with 3 families that all our Catholic that don't have interest in our message. We're praying that it will all turn alright, and Miracles do happen. :)

Ojala que tenga un buen semana.

Elder Clark  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Trials are mandatory, suffering is optional


Hola! Como estan todos?

Everybody has some weeks that go by that a whole doesn't happen. There are just some weeks where you work real hard, and not very much happens. Well, this last week was one of those. But that's OK!  No reason to quit when the going gets tough. Even when things are hard, there are still always good things that happen.

One of the best things this week was hearing that one of less active members now has a testimony of the Book of Mormon. That family has progressed a lot. They went from not really understanding the church to gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon in 4 weeks. Now we just them to actually come to church, and everything will be just peachy!

We've finally also found another less active member that we've been looking for for the past 5 weeks. They have a lot of potential because her husband and most of her kids aren't members. Over time, as they feel the spirit, they'll all come back to church. The Spirit is really the one that converts. I've seen it over and over again that the Spirit is what changes people. What we say, what the scriptures say, will not change people, but the Spirit does.

Gracias a todos :)

Elder Clark

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Mormons are coming!


Bueno!
 
The weeks are sure flying by now. Everybody is telling me I'm old and going home soon, which is not true, but its makes me a little sad to think I only have 7 months left. :(
 
Anyways, we've been finding new people to teach this week, which is always good in missionary work. Our top investigator is still doing awesome. He didn't wan't to commit to a date for baptism, but is still progressing. His one problem is he works every Sunday and he doesn't really want to change jobs. We're going to help him understand the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy, and as he continues to feel the Spirit as he reads and prays, I know he'll find a way to come to church. 
 
This week, we had Zone Conference, and it was probably one of the best I've been to. All zone conferenes are awesome, but we were really Spiritually fed in this one. The Stake President came and talked about the difference between praying and "Calling upon the name of the Lord." Calling upon the name of the Lord is praying with sincerity, with intent, with necessity. He talked about how everybody, especialy missionaries, need to pray like that always, since we are doing his work. He told us if we have to push and force the work to progress, we're not doing it right and calling upon the name of the Lord, but when the work moves it self along, that's how we can know thing we're doing it right. He also talked about how he had never met anybody that regreted keeping the commandments, but he has met hundreds of people who regret not living the commandments. Yeah, they're hard to live, but when you obey them, and obey them for the right reason, you're happy. :)
 
President Wolfert Talked about a scripture in D&C says the Lord is able to do His own work. Well, thats pretty obvious, and we can see it today. We see today that the "Mormons" have been getting a lot of attention. We had a candidate that was running for President that was in the National spot light for months. There is a musical, "The Book of Mormon Musical" that is showing around the U.S. that makes fun of the Church, but has many people more interested in our beliefs. President told us about how the play is gonig to move to London soon, and the the play produces have put adds that take up the whole side of the 2 story busses that say "The Mormons are coming." The Lord is helping us get more attention. In the middle of all that attention, President Monson lowers the age limit, increasing the number of missionaires that can serve. Before April, we will have 11,000 more missionaries in the field increasing the number of 58,000 already serving to almost 70,000. These are exciting times to be a Mormon, and to be a missionary. 
 
Thanks everybody!
 
Elder Clark

 I work Elder Rallison really hard. After planning, he barely has enough energy to eat a small pack of skittles then he's out on the couch .

Zone Conference was like a family reunion, because I got to be with both of my sons.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Como un Jefe

Buenas tardes! 

Well, this week we found somebody had an incredible first lesson with somebody somebody! To bad they're not Hispanic, so we had to give them to the English missionaries. Anyways, we were walking through the projects (government housing) and this lady was like "Come halla at me about the Mormons," and I told her that we didn't want to holler at her, bu that we would love to share our message. She had a lot of good questions about our beliefs, and said we could come back. We finally taught her this week, and she seems so ready. She said she was looking for a good foundation for her family, and we promised her that we had what she was looking for. She easily accepted to read the Book of Mormon, come to church, and be baptized, so we hope she can continue to progress. I lot of people seem like they're interested and willing, but end up skipping appointments and ignoring phone calls, but I don't think she is one of them.

As for work in the Hispanic community, we're still looking. We're were supposed to have a lesson last week with that young father I talked about, but it got moved to today tonight. He's so awesome. We called him last night to remind him, and when he told him it was the missionaries, he got super excited and loud all of a sudden. He's been reading the Book of Mormon at work when he has the chance to, so everything so far looks awesome. 

Elder Rallison is really not a greeny at all. He has gotten into the swing of things really fast, and we'll get him his first baptism here in no time. I do have a funny story about him this week. We were leaving the apartment, and he said he felt like he had something in his shoe. He took it off, and found a live cockroach in it. It was crawling around his foot. He handled it pretty well, and he doesn't keep his shoes on the floor anymore. 

I hope every has a good week free of cockroaches,

Elder Clark 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

You like getting the mail? We like to do that to!

Welcome one and all.

Well, this week was another week full of tracting and teaching new people. The hard part about missionary work is not finding people to teach, because many people will let you teach them. The hard part is finding people who will accept the Gospel and not lose interest after the first lesson. At least Elder Rallison has gotten a lot of practice teaching the Restoration. Even with his limited time studying Spanish, he could teach the whole lesson by himself for 30 minutes. He is definitely going to speak Spanish better than I do.

Yesterday, on Sunday, we got to help a member move. I know, on Sunday. In Spanish branches, its almost like anything goes. (no, not really) They just live in such different circumstances than we long time USA folks are used to. I really do love the people though.

We've found a couple of people with a lot of potential, and we'll be having our second lessons with them this week. One of them, a young father, surprised us with his life story. We went over just to check if he was able to get work off so he could go to church on Sunday, and he ended up telling us about how terrible his past was, what he did wrong and what happened to him. I couldn't believe we were talking to a man that used to do all of that, because now he's just like a big teddy bear, humble and kind, looking for the truth. I know people can really change, can be happier, can get rid of their guilt, shame, sins, can overcome trials, all through Jesus Christ as we follow him.

Another great example of that is Patricia, who got baptized 2 weeks ago. Her Son got baptized this last Sunday, and she gave a short talk at the baptism. She shared how she had been searching for the truth for 6 years, and how the Gospel answered questions that nobody else could answer, and how much happier she was now that she found the truth. I'm not able to visit her anymore in person, but from what I've seen at church and heard from Elder Cram and Elder Henson, she is so much happier. Following Gospel really does bring miracles, not the least of which is it makes us happy.

Hasta la proxima semana

Elder Clark

 Ford knew that Elder Rallison was coming to Georgia

Patricia's son, Ezequiel, in white


Monday, October 22, 2012

The 5 minute lecture


I'm pleased to report that I am still alive and well.

Elder Rallison has no fear at all of talking to people, even in Spanish. I was so scared when I first started, but he'll just talk without any problems. Amazingly, he has avoided having any extremely funny or awkward new missionary experiences. What a lucky guy. He did get to help somebody move for the first time on his mission though last Saturday. Just one of hundreds of delightful experiences of carrying washing machines and dryers up 2 flights of stairs while on his mission. :)

We've had a lot more success this week than last week in finding people that will let us come back. We still haven't gotten in twice with anybody yet, except for with one part member/less active family. We also found, thanks to the help of a member, a less active member that hadn't come to church in a few years. We invited them to church this past Sunday, and they came! We also set a record on Sunday of handing out 5 copies of the Book of Mormon in 3 hours. Its all because Elder Rallison has the greenie fire. I wonder sometimes if we give them out to easily, but everyone we give it to says they'll read it, and that is what we want them to do with it, so I guess not.


Scripture time: Proverbs 28:25
He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the Lord shall be made fat.


Lesson: Those of us skinny people out there, we are clearly not trusting in the lord enough.

I'm thankful to be able to be a member and missionary of the restored Church of Jesus Christ, and I love sharing that with others.

Thanks everybody!

Elder Clark

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mini Mexico


Hello to one and to all from Gainesville, Georgia, the poultry capital of the world. I know, very exciting. Its actually really good for us, because there are a few giant chicken processing plants here, and most of the workers are Hispanic. I've never seen so many Hispanics in one city before. There are trailer parks galore with hundreds of people to talk to everywhere! We'll never run out of places to knock doors, which is is pretty much what we've done these last few days.

My new companion, Elder Rallison, has been taking all the door knocking well. He's from Salt Lake City, and has the best spanish out of any new missionary I've ever heard. He speaks way better than I did when I was new. He told me the trick was that while he was in the MTC, he tried to talk the whole time in Spanish like you're supposed to, but nobody actually does. Elder Rallison's MTc companion, Elder Henson, is actually being trained by Elder Cram, so they're in the same branch. They both bore their testimonies on Sunday at Church, and Elder Rallison's Spanish blew Elder Henson's Spanish out of the water. I'm proud of my new companion. :) Everybody says we're like twins, not in the fact that we look like and are both tall, but personality and behavior. So that basically means we're both awkward.

For those of you who aren't counting how long out I've been out, today I hit 16 months.

On Sunday, Patricia got baptized. It was definitely a super quick turn around. On Tuesday, the day before I left for Gainesville, we invited her to be baptized, and she said she would. Then we invited to be baptized this last weekend, and she accepted. Elder Cram's new companion, Elder Henson, got to baptize her, his very first Sunday in Georgia.

We're still trying to find people to teach, but with the number of doors we're knocking, we'll find people.

Espero que disfrutan su semana!

Elder Clark

Patricia in white! Her kids would not look at the camera in any of the photo's. Elder Rallison is farthest away from me, and Elder Henson is the one in white.  


Monday, October 8, 2012

Why wouldn't you got to the church with 2 pies?



October 7th, the day it got cold in Georgia. That’s right, cold season is here, and Elder Cram is not happy about it.

So this has been a week of unexpected, from investigators to transfers to conference. 

I'll start with our investigators, because they're the whole reason I'm out here anyway. Our top investigator, Patricia, has changed a lot this week. It started with a dinner at a member’s house on Monday, where the member was able to help answer a lot of her questions. After that and coming to church, she seemed more interested. She even texted us one night and told us to pray for her that she can understand the Book of Mormon when she reads it. I've never had an investigator ask me that before. She was also doubting that there could be a prophet today, but after she read the Book of Mormon, she was willing to go to General conference. Even though she only saw the last half an hour of one session, it was President Monson she heard, so that worked out good. 

Now, for transfers..... This is going to blow your mind. We get a call from the assistants. We knew they were calling us to tell us Elder Cram was going to train. He answered the phone, but they wanted to talk to me. They told me I was training, and then hung up. We were so confused because I did not expect to train, and President Wolfert told Elder Cram already that he was training. So we sat there for 5 minutes with stunned looks on our faces, and then the assistant called again. I answered, and they wanted to talk Elder Cram this time, and told him he was training also. We're both training! So, I'm going to whitewash Gainesville, which is the other half of our branch. so even though I already said goodbye to the whole branch, I'm staying in it. Yeah, smooth move on my part. For those who aren't familiar with the term whitewashing, it means me and my new companion are going to replace both missionaries that are there, which doesn't usually happen, usually only one changes.

Conference was awesome! It’s so great that we have a living Prophet and Apostles, and that we can listen to them. 

Thanks everybody. You all are awesome! 

Elder Clark    


The photo is Elder Thompson and I on exchange. I'm not giving a thumbs down the the Book of Mormon, but to the fact it’s not Spanish

Monday, October 1, 2012

A long night in the arm chair


Buenos tardes a todos!

Another amazingly fantastic week has gone by. :) I just found out that my cousin received his mission call, and he's coming here, also speaking in Spanish! He's lucky because it’s the best mission ever, and it’s even better when you speak Spanish.

Elder Cram got sick of me, so he went on 2 exchanges so he didn't have to see me as much. (He's not really sick of me) I got to work with my son again, Elder Dudley, one day and one of the Zone leaders another. I felt bad for the Zone Leader, Elder Thompson, because he doesn't speak Spanish so he just got to listen to me speak mumble jumble all day.

We've been trying to rescue one of our investigators this week. By rescue, I mean get them to understand the importance of our message and not lose interest. We had a super Spiritual lesson where we threw down hard on the importance of the Book of Mormon and the church. (For those of you who don't know what throwing down means, it means teaching very boldly, not leaving any room for misunderstanding, while making it absolutely clear that this is serious business.) Well, we did a good job, and one of the daughters told us she had felt the Spirit during our lessons. We were disappointed however when they told us Sunday morning that they weren't going to come to church because they didn't want to. :( It very sad and disappointing when people have felt the Spirit, and still decide not to act or change. Still, it’s important to move on, and focus on those who are ready.

Like one of our new investigators. We were trying to find a former investigator, and his wife was there, and we explained to her the wonderful blessing it is to have the Book of Mormon. Well, she wasn't interested at all, but her daughter came up right after and asked about it, so we re-explained everything, and she let us in and we taught her. She's been searching for the truth and has had many questions that nobody else has been able to answer. When we taught her the plan of Salvation, it answered a lot of her questions. We weren't sure if she was going to come to church, but after missing the first 2 hours, and the first half of sacrament meeting, she came. Tonight, if all goes well, we'll being having dinner at a members house with her, and hopefully we can answer some more of her questions.

Since it was my last fast Sunday here yesterday, I took the opportunity to bear my testimony. Everybody cried when I told them I was leaving. Ok, not really. But since I was leaving, they decided last minute to have me give the closing prayer.

I'm super excited for General conference next week. We get to listen to the prophet! How awesome is that?

I hope you all tried your best to share your testimony with one person this week. If you have any awesome experiences, you should tell my parents, or write me at

Elder Jordan Clark
Georgia Atlanta North Mission
1150 Cole Dr. SW
Lilburn, Georgia 30047

If you didn't have the chance last week, do it this week!

Thanks everybody!

Elder Clark 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mormon Power


Hola!

Well, this week went by super fast. There wasn't even anything super amazing, it was just a good week.

It was really cool to see the Lord bless us this week. We were striving to talk to 70 people during the week, but on the last day, we were short 17. Well, me being of little faith thought we wern't going to be able to get 17, especially since it was Sunday, and church took up 3 hours of the day. Well, we went to work, and it ended up being really easy to get those 17 contacts. It seemed like everybody was outside that day. I know that when we strive to do something, the Lord will make it possible.

After we talked to one person and started walking away, they yelled "Mormon Power!" I'm sure he meant something like the Book of Mormon gives us Spiritual power or something like that.

People's agency is a real problem, it has been since the fall of Adam and will be forever and ever. This week, our investigators choose to exercise their agency and not come to church. :( We'll be having a little encouraging chat with them this week about that. :)

I love being a missionary, I love being in Georgia, especially since the weather is cooling down a bit, and I love the Lord

Thanks everybody!

Elder Clark

P.S. I want to commit all of you to do something, since that's what missionaries do. I all of you to talk to 1 person this week about the Gospel or your faith in Christ. I promise that if you commit to do it, the Lord will provide you with an opportunity, and you'll be blessed for doing it. I know I'm more blessed when I strive to talk to more people about the Gospel. So, will you talk to one person this week? I'll follow up next week. My parents can also follow up. :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ah, Mira!


Hi! :)

Well, this week was awesome, and seemed to go by really fast.

For 2 days, I got to ride a bike again! Elder Cram has to go to leadership meetings, so I got to cruise around the town with 2 other Elders. I'm out of shape.... Anyways, it seems like I'm always district monkey. District monkey is the companion of the district leader, who always gets moved around whenever the district leader has to go to meetings or do or district leader type things. I've been district monkey with 5 of my 7 companions.

We have 2 families that have a lot of potential. We took one of them on a unexpected tour of the church. We had told them we were coming by on Saturday to talk more about church and how to get there. Well, we thought we were just going to explain to them how to get to the church, but when we showed up, they had their keys in hand, and said they were ready to follow us to the church. Well, its a good thing the church is only 5 minutes away from their house. We went around and showed them all the rooms and the paintings. We got to a painting of the story of the 10 virgins (See Matthew 25:1-13), and Elder Cram started explaining it,l then realized he didn't remember exactly what the painting represented at the moment. He made up something on the spot about us being the light to the world, and the family believed him.


The Book is blue, and the Church is true.

Thanks everybody!

Elder Clark

Monday, September 10, 2012

apples, cereal, a sandwich, and a chicken pot pie

Hola! 

You probably all can guess that I had another awesome week this week. It was full of finding new people, speaking Spanish, teaching awesome lessons, and with very good nights of sleep.

Friday evening, we had a Day of Nations event, like we did in my first area. There was food from a lot of the Spanish speaking countries, dances were performed, and tons of people came. I even got to see a few people from my first area that came to help in the dances. There was also one random bagpiper to start the even off. 

Some of the cool new people we found this week include a mother who said she wants to bring her kids to church because we have good morals, an English girl who has been wanting to go back to church, and took it as an answer when we knocked on her door, and the Brother of the Cordova family, who should up in the middle of the lesson with them, and told us he wanted to participate in further lessons. 

The Cordova family is the awesome family with the mom and 2 daughters. The younger daughter came by herself to church 2 weeks ago, and both daughters were supposed to go to church this Sunday, but the aunt decided to take them to the dentist instead. I've noticed that lot of Hispanics go to the dentist on Sunday.  

On Sunday, following the tradition of missionaries giving talks on every second Sunday, I talked about Charity. Charity is the pure love of Christ, is greater than all, and endures forever. Christ was and is the ultimate example of Charity. Everything he did was because he had Charity. He never complained, never thought "uuhhggg, I have to heal this person now." The Atonement, His great and last sacrifice, is the ultimate expression of Charity. The Atonement is the pure love of Christ, it is greater than all, and it endures forever. This is the work of the Lord, so we have to do it how he did it, with Charity. 

John 13:34-35

 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all menknow that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

When we have love, charity, all men will know we are disciples of Jesus Christ.

Love everybody you see!

Thanks to all

Elder Clark

The kids from our branch that danced

Great attendance, great decorations, and the bagpiper on stage

Monday, September 3, 2012

8 is a magic number


This part is from Jordan's letter to us.

Nick

"The Library may be closed on Labor day, but the stake center's family history center isn't! Ba-ha-hahahahaha

 I've gained like 12 pounds in 6 weeks, and its all MUSCLE!!!!! Well, maybe not all of it, but most of it"

Jordans Letter:

Greetings from Georgia :)

Well, we finished out spree of baptism this last week with the Jaramillo Family. The Mom and her 2 kids were baptized on Saturday and Confirmed on Sunday. The baptism went really well. Hermana Jaramillo invited her sister, mother, and boyfriend, and they all came. The Jaramillo family is another very special family. Hermana Jaramillo already acts like a long time member, helping serve the food and clean up at her own baptism. They're definitely going to be strong members in the church. 

We had another really cool experience with the Perez family this week. We asked how things were going after having been baptized and confirmed, how they felt. They told us that they felt completely different. They felt more happiness, more peace. One of them had been stressing about a lot of things, and they told us all that stress just went away. Satan had been working hard on them the few weeks before their baptism, even to the point that 1 hour before, one of them almost backed out because of the stress, but afterwards, it all left. That was a testimony builder to me, the importance of the decision to be baptized, the importance of the Gift of the holy Ghost and the comfort it gives us.

We've been really blessed by the Lord, and we're are continuing to be blessed by Him. We've continued finding awesome people to teach. We found a promising family that moved here form El Salvador 4 months ago, a mom and 2 daughters. Only the 12 year old daughter could come to church, and she came by herself. Church will be a little interesting for the 2 daughters because the youth are combined with the English ward, and neither of the daughters speak english due to the lack of time they've lived here. Somebody gets the fun job of translating.

Thanks everybody!

Elder Clark    

The Familia Jaramillo in white


The gateway 

We're tracting in the rain

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Black cherry to the WP


Hello to all who support me & read my letters!


Another awesome week! (I'm sorry to those who are bored of me saying that, but its true)
Wednesday, the baptism of the Perez family that was supposed to happen on Saturday looked like... it might not happen. One parent was super solid and ready to be baptized, the other felt rushed and unsure. We told them to pray very hard about it, the next day, Thursday, with only 2 more days to go, they still weren't sure about it. That's when their 8 year old son came in and saved it. He told us he had prayed and asked God if he should be baptized like we told him to, and he said he got an answer of yes. We asked him to describe what the answer felt like and he said "It felt like there was a person walking inside of me, and then they stopped at just the right place, and said yes." Well, that cleared up any doubt felt by the parent, and all 3 of them got baptized on Saturday! The baptism itself went really well, not redos or anything. On Sunday, the Perez family, Estefania, and Mariano all got confirmed. It was cool for me to be able to confirm Mariano and the Perez son, and watch 5 new members be welcomed into the church in one Sunday.

The Perez family is a really special family Both the parents grew up in not the best circumstances, and they decided that their kids were not going to go through what they went through. Because of their focus on their family, they accepted the Gospel really fast, because the Gospel is for our Families, and teaches them how to be the best Families they can be. The Perez's saw that, and now they're on the path to having an eternal family.

Friday was also a sweet day. We started out teaching the an awesome Plan of of Salvation lesson to our investigator Emelia, and she committed to be baptized on the 15th of September. Right after that we went to another investigators house, with 7 missionaries total, and cleaned her house. She had 6 kids, from ages 11 to 2, living in a small 2 bedroom apartment. A lot of cleaning was scrubbing crayon off the walls. We brought a member with us so that while we cleaned, the member could talk to the investigator and fellowship.


Well, today was transfer calls, and Elder Cram and I are going to be together for the next 6 weeks. I'm excited for this transfer. :)

Have a good week!

Elder Clark

The Perez Family in white

The baptismal font takes an 1 hour and 30 minutes to fill up........ 

 The Jaramillo family

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Its the super man cranberry combination


This is Elder Clark, reporting from Flowery Branch Georgia.
This week wasn't quite as intense and full of people accepting baptismal dates, but it was still awesome. We only had 1 investigator come to church, mainly because 2 of the families that came last week couldn't come this week, but the one that came got baptized after church, so it was ok. Estefania was baptized by her dad, which was a really awesome experience for their family, especially since the parents haven't be able to come to church a whole lot because of work.

The baptism that are happening this Saturday and next Saturday, the 25th of August and the 1st of September, are definitely happening. Both the baptisms are families of 3, and we're pretty excited. After those 2 weekends, its pretty much all up in the air, but I know we'll find people.

We had a cool experience finding a less active we didn't know about. We were walking toward the house of another less active, and then this little 6 year old kid one house over runs to us all excitedly and tells us, in Spanish, that we should knock on his door. He was like super excited and jumping up and down and stuff, but I think that mainly has to do with him be a little kid with too much energy. Well, if a little kid runs up to you and tells you in Spanish to knock on his door, you should probably do it. We ended up not even having to knock on the door, he just ran inside and got his mom. Well, she came out, we said who we were, and she said "I know, I'm a less active member." It turns out she hadn't gone to church in 4 years, so that 6 year old either must have remembered the missionaries from when he was 2, or or it was a miracle. Either way, I think it was miracle. We told the Branch President, and he knew about her, they just didn't know where she went. One thing I've learned is if you're a less active member, you can't hide for too long, because the missionaries will find you. The Lord always provides a way.

This week, Elder Cram also taught his very first complete lesson with a British accent. Not to be discriminatory, but white people just aren't as humble as Hispanic people, so it's really hard to find some that will listen. But Elder Cram figured out they'll listen just a little bit more if you talk to them with a British accent, because who doesn't want to talk to a guy with a British accent. We were trying to see another less active, but ended up talking to her son and his girlfriend. At first, the Girlfriend wasn't interested, but the more Elder Cram talked in a British accent, the softer her heart grew. We went back, and Elder Cram kept the British accent for the entire lesson. It was pretty awesome. He can also talk in Spanish with a British accent pretty well too, but he doesn't really need to use it to get Hispanics to listen.

On Saturday, we went to an appointment in a trailer park, which ended up not being there, and then we were walking down the street, and saw other church people form a baptist church, 4 of them. Well, we tried to see other people that we had talked to before, but we decided the addition of the us and baptists on the same street scared people, so we decided to split. On the way to our car, we saw a more of them, and all these were kids, like 10-15 year olds, out knocking doors. There was about 7 or 8 kids, and 2 more adults! They had that trailer park flooded, all of them verses the 2 of us. We left, but before we managed to do that, 2 kids handed us little pamphlets for the church.

Well, there you have it, another fun week will filled with fun and adventure.

Hasta la proxima

Elder Clark  

 Estefania and her parents, in white!

Estefania's baptism

Me and some trees 

Me and some different trees

Monday, August 13, 2012

wow wow wowowowow wow!!!!!!!!!!!


Well, I have some bad news, I had to play the piano at another baptism, so the music was terrible. But the whole rest of this letter is all fantastic news. None of you are goingg to believe what happened this week!
 
The baptism I played at was Mariano's, and everything but the music went super well. I love that man so much. Even though he has Alzheimer's, and probably doesn't know our names, he is still awesome. 
 
So the amazingness of this week started last Sunday. The Stake President was at our building, and joined us for our missionary meeting before church. We all talked and discussed what was happening, and then he says pretty much out of nowhere, "What do we need to do to have a baptism every week?" We all sat there like, "uhhh" and started saying things like "talk to everybody" or "work with the members." He waited quietly for a few seconds, then told us if we had 10 investigators at church every Sunday, we would have a baptism every week. Well, at first, I thought. "Yeah, 10 investigators at church, thats not happening anytime soon." Then we talked about it with the other pair of missionaries in our branch, and we figured we each only need to bring 5 to church, and then we'll have 10 together. But it still seemed to me a couple months away. But I was so wrong. I testify that modern day revelation exists, and what our Stake President said was revelation from God. What he said happened. We had 10 people at church, and a baptism scheduled for 6 weeks in a row, starting yesterday with Mariano. Now, I'm not trying to brag or say the other missionaries aren't good missionaries, but all 10 of those people at Church, 9 that have baptismal dates, and the 6 weeks of baptism's are all Elder Cram's and mine. Well, actually, they're the Lord's, he just put them all in our path.
 
Tuesday, we taught Estefonia. She's the daughter of parents who were baptized about a year ago, but she was out of the country when they got baptized, and for some reason, she never did. Well, we had an awesome lesson with her, and talked about how baptism was the door to get onto the path that leads to Eternal Life. We then asked her when she wanted to open that door, and she said as soon as possible. As soon as possible is this coming Sunday.
 
Wednesday, we had a lesson with a former, Jasmin. We were super bold, and committed her and her 2 kids to be baptized on the 2nd of September.
 
Thursday, we gave a date to 2 people, one for the 9th, and the other for the 16th.
 
Saturday, had another amazing lesson with a family Jesse and Crystal. They were the ones who were struggling and a member arranged a food order for them.; Well, It turns out Jesse had wanted to quite smoking for a long time, and he committed him to be baptized is was a big motivation to quit. They also talked about how they were only married in a court before, and they wanted a bigger wedding for their 10th anniversary. Well, their 10th anniversary is in about a year, about when they could get sealed in the temple. We didn't have any body with a date for the 25th of August, so thats they're going to get baptized.
 
Last week, I talked about they man who was almost baptized in Mexico 9 years ago. Well, his chance to be baptized has come again, and its on the 16th of September.
 
We also taught so many lessons this week. Its almost like everybody we've talked to has let us teach them at least once. The Lord is really blessing us with success. There is atleast a couple of reasons for that. This month, we're donig a month of consecration, meaning were trying to be the absolute best missionaries possible, dedicating our heart to the Lord and his work by being more obedient and working even harder. It also fullfills the prophecy about how we're gonig to see hundreds of baptisms a month in our mission. Baptizing nations!!
 
I don't know if all the people that came to church or have dates will end up being baptized, but I do know that the Lord has chosen to bless us right now, even though I feel unworthy of such blessings. I love the Lord and his work.
 
Thanks everybody!
 
Elder Clark

Mariano the Boss

Mariano the Boss

Mariano in white with his grandchildren

All of our investigators who came to chruch, minus the kids 

Monday, August 6, 2012

On your knees, you stand taller


Opa!!!!!

Bien venidos a mi blog! Hoy, yo voy a escribir todo en espanol! Que padre! Lo siento a aquellos que no pueden entender lo que voy a escribir. Estoy haciendo bromas, voy escribir en ingles

So we've been tracting up a strom this week. Literally, we were tracting, and then the Heaven's opened and the clouds unleashed their massive storage of water upon us and the earth around us. Luckily we were already in the car. But seriously, it rained like I had never seen it. We were driving at 20 mph, and we could barley see the road. Usually Georgia rain like that only lasts for 10-15 minutes, while this time it lasted for 40 minutes, the whole way home. I'm go to miss the awesome rain and lightning storms we have here.
So 9 years ago, a young man was learning about the Gospel in Mexico. He had attended church for over a year, and had gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration. Sadly, 2 weeks before he got baptized, his friend told him they were leaving for the United States. For 9 years, this man had lived in the United States without contact from anybody in the church, not even knowing where the church was. Without contact, that is, until a pair of English missionaries saw his leg sticking out of his car a decided to talk to him. They passed him to us, and he came to church for the first time yesterday in 9 years. Yeah, it was awesome, after 9 years of waiting, he is now close again to being baptized, if he finds the time to let us come over (which is the biggest problem with all Hispanics).


Mariona should be getting baptized this coming Sunday, the 12th. Whoo!!

This week, Elder Cram used his Rubix cube solving ability to get a return appoint with somebody. If they're not interested, impress them! I'm just kidding, its not a good way at all, but it worked once.

Now y'al should go out and rock the world. Can you do that for me? Thanks

Elder Clark 


My favorite reading spot

 Our album cover.

Elder Cram and our investigator Mariano watching "The Restoration" on a 7 inch screen :) 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

WP!!


Well hello there.

This week has been awesome, and I'm stoked for these up coming weeks.

Mariano, our top investigator, is remember things we teach him! Sure, we've taught him the same things a few times, like 5 or 10, but he's getting it! He should be getting baptized in August! He's really funny, and repeats what we say, but he's an awesome guy. This week, he even asked to his boss to get Sunday's off before we told him to do it.

We found a new awesome family this week also. They're in a tight money situation, and one of the members of our branch was able to help them get food from the Bishop Storehouse. We delivered the food to them, and we were able to go back and teach them again. Only the mom and the kids were able to come to church, but she said she had read in the Book of Mormon, and we heard from her Husband that he was reading and liked the Book of Mormon. We also have some other awesome people to work with, so a lot should be happening this transfer.

We also had the joy and pleasure of helping set up for a pre-wedding party of a recently returned missionary in our branch. After we 3 tries of putting and taking down the decorations, we decided just to do it completely differently, and it turned out pretty awesome. Life lesson: life doesn't go the way you want it to, but it turns out better that way.

I found this week that Elder Cram has an incredible ability to kill hornets on people's porches with his shoes, taking care not only of they're spiritual needs, but also physical and pest control needs. We have a lot of fun together. :)

Awesome quote about the Savior

"Even as He calls us to come unto Him and follow Him, He is unfailingly running to help us." - Elder Holland

Thanks everybody!

Elder Clark

P.S. For you sports fans out there, the Atlanta Falcons had they're first practice this week

The Clarks are big here in Georgia :)

The aftermath of all of our hard work for the party

Elder Cram and Me with grumpy old man in the background 

 "Fire in the Sky." I seemed to be obsessed with pictures of the sky recently 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Las Families pueden ser eternas


Buenos dias! Como le va?

So my new companion, Elder Cram, is from............ UTAH! who would have guessed! yep, Riverton, Utah. He's been out 16 months, just 2 more transfers than me. He is 6' 4", played college basket ball in California, and was the leading scorer on the team. I'm 6' 3" and can't score, so in that way we're very different. Elder Cram is a witty guy, very funny, encouraging, good teacher, all those other good characteristics. Its going to be a good transfer. Elder Cram is a really good people person, and seems like he can get even the most uninterested of people interested, unless they're really uninterested. 

We've found out that Mariano, our top investigator, doesn't really remember what we teach him. I can't blame him, he's old. But he does have a string desire to keep learning and and attend church. He won't be ready to be baptized by the end of this month, but someday he will be. 

Antonio, our recent convert of a about 2 months, got the Aaronic Priesthood this last Sunday, and he got to bless the sacrament for the first time, and did it flawlessly. Antonio is a great kid, and we're working on getting the rest of his family interested. 

I got a letter from one of my friends a couple weeks ago, and they something a really liked. If we were the only person to come to earth, Heavenly Father still would have sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to atone just for us, because we're that important to Him. I know its true 

Elder Clark
 My last companion, Elder Andreasen and I

Monday, July 16, 2012

Did you forget how to say hi?


Hi!

For all of you who aren't counting, I hit my 13th month mark yesterday, on the 15th.

Today, we found out about transfers! Well, I'm not going anywhere, but Elder Andreasen is. He's going to Norcross, my last area! My new companion is going to be Elder Cram. He was in my last district, so I've been around him before. If you can believe it, he's taller that me. Elder Dudley, my son (the missionary I trained) is going coming up here and going to be in the same branch as me with another missionary. Its going to be a good transfer. I'm sure Elder Andreasen is glad he only had to put up with me for one transfer. :)

Mariano is a really awesome investigator. We found him last week and he seemed super elect and ready to accept the Gospel, and he came to church yesterday and still seems that way. Every time we taught him this week, he talked about how he invited his friends and family and neighbors to church and how he wanted them to listen too. He was the only one that came to church, but it's still way awesome. The Jehovah's Witnesses showed up to one of our lessons to teach somebody else while we were teaching him outside, and they talked to us for a few minutes, but Mariano was unconvinced and still wants to get baptized. Right after we taught him, we contacted this crazy guy that believed that religion and the bible were created as a business by really smart beings, and how we'll all have our own gardens to tend after this life. Well, I'm sure if we wanted, we could all have our own gardens to tend.

Random fact: I love our branch president here, and he greats everybody with hugs.

There used to be a member that lived in this branch, but he moved to Puerto Rico a few months ago. Well, he called us yesterday and told he has a bunch of family living in this one apartment in our area. He basically told us to go over, knock on the door, say we knew him, and teach anybody in there that would listen to us. Well, amazingly, it worked. Everybody there speaks English though, so we had to pass them to the English Elders.

I hope you all enjoy your week!

Elder Clark