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


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